by Caleb Jermaine
Serve act 1 : Arthur
This musical project is Titled after my grandfather Arthur Dillingham. He is 98 years young and Breathes life with my 92 year young grandmother Iceola Dillingham in Grayson, Oklahoma. Together they raised 12 kids and now are Grandparents too many many more grandchildren. I named this project in his honor because every song was influenced by him in some way, shape or form.
Back Story :
It was a sunny day in July of 1998 in Port Angeles, Washington. The air was filled with the aroma of smoked ribs, chicken and fresh applewood. The banter was of laughter, joy, memories remembered and memories building. I was dressed in white shorts and a red shirt matching my brothers, mother and father. Many of my cousins wore similar shirts but of a different color to symbolize their branch of the Dillingham Family. We were at the Annual Dillingham Family Reunion
This reunion was a full weekend and consisted of many beautiful activities. Upon arrival on Friday afternoon we unpacked our astrovan of many bodies and suitcases into our T shaped cabin. Beds and rooms were assigned and then we were kicked out to go run the grounds with the cousins we grew close with and the cousins we had yet to meet. It was such a joy because nearly the entire grounds were occupied by a family member or friend of the family in town for the reunion. Some cousins had an open door policy and some we knew we needed to knock, but either way, it was an experience of a lifetime.
Friday night, we played beach volleyball, road bikes and watched our elders play cards and dominos. While eating a ton of great food prepared by the elders. My uncles and aunts take cards and dominos quite seriously and me and my cousins just couldn't get enough of that, it really made us laugh until our chins and ribs began to crack. All this went on with the sounds of Gospel, Funk and R&b music playing.
Some family went to bed early, some late, and for their own specific reasons but either way, whether awoke at 5:30am or 9am Breakfast was hot and ready.
Grandma and Grandpa were used to having a lot of mouths to feed and made it look entirely too easy to me.
Fresh Hotcakes, sausage, oh and how would you like your eggs? Yummm i can smell the coffee, syrup and butter at this very moment. Can You?
Saturday was the PURPOSEFUL DAY of Fun and connectivity through water sports, more beach volley ball, basketball, Sack Raises, Egg Tosses, Card games, Dominoes, Music, Food, Food and more Food, nature walks and all sorts of activities of family competition, and more food :)
On Sunday we had breakfast again, followed by a church service and then our annual Talent and Fashion Show with dinner. This event showcased my aunties clothing designs on my cousins and their husbands. We shared crafts and held the mic to share wisdom, a few of my uncles and aunts and cousins sang and of course i sang a song too. It was an unforgettable experience.
But for me, most memorable was the final meeting held by my grandparents before we went back to Texas, Oklahoma, Hawaii and Oregon, California and Washington. As with nearly every activity of the weekend, This was the schedule as well, to go over how the weekend went and to begin the planning of our next reunion. Grandpa and Grandma held the mic in a town hall type of conversation that enabled open ideas to flow, streamlined with purpose.
At the end though, Grandpa became quiet and grandma began to speak in her soft tone and said. "Hey, we want to hear from you more, we got too many kids with kids now having kids to be calling all of you all everyday but we would like to hear from you more. There was day when all we had was paper mail. In those days we would walk to the mailbox expecting mail and delivering mail back to many family members. Nowadays we have email, text messaging and all these other ways of communicating but it seems as if we now communicate less, and we just want to hear from you more. You don't have to share your entire day or all your issues and problems, a simple call to say hello , We love You all"
I was age 13 then and had a phone myself. I took my phone out and made a weekly reminder in my phone to call my grandparents every Tuesday for the rest of my life, and since then I have been fortunate to speak to my grandfather and grandmother on a weekly basis. In those conversations many gems and golden nuggets that I cant hold onto for myself have been passed down. and it is my duty to share these values with my family and my friends through my gift in music
" We are built to serve, and when we serve well we live well" - Arthur Dillingham
Track list with Brief Description of Inspiration
1 : Prayer - No day is walked, no meal is eaten, no night is slept without first prayer. In respects to the highest power we pray to Open this project with a prayer
2 : Rights of Passage - Born from Kings, not from Slaves. Although as an infant baby, Grandfather Arthur was carried in my Great Grandmothers Sack as she picked Cotton on the Dillingham plantations of Texas.
3 : Locked in - "No one will focus on you like you, stay locked in" - Quote from Grandpa
4 : Since Birth - Is a collaboration with my inspiring friend and Designer NikkiLee Goodale AKA Remaerd. We met in 2019 in North hollywood at 237 studios. While Her Brand Line has transcended from street wear (Remaerd) to luxury fashion ( NikkiLee ), the message has remain the same. " You are developed as one, shine as one, hustle as one, you make it to the top as one, one of one is a mentality you must have in every aspect of life. This piece you are wearing is one of one, so I hope you feel that shit - Remaerd". To me, her one of one approach is in alignment with my all is one lifestyle.Together we wrote a song that shares the energy of how spreading love in our own creative ways is essential to the complete one ness we all share
5: Im Proud of You - This is an anthem fro my brothers who I have seen plant the seeds of service and water them daily into fruition! I am Proud of You!
Earlier this year several of my Barsh brothers reached milestones in their specific careers of service. Joshuael, my eldest brother launched his Soul Food BBQ "7 sons Kitchen" business while coaching the top in the state ranked Foss HS basketball team. Rjay, my second eldest brother recently became the assistant coach for Florida State University mens Basketball team. and my younger brother Joseph was named the director of operations for parks and recreation in Williston North Dakota ( He was an intern 8 years ago ) #SERVE