Days of Grace by Arthur Ashe, Arnold Rampersad

By Arthur Ashe, Arnold Rampersad

Days of Grace is an inspiring memoir of a awesome guy who used to be the real embodiment of braveness, splendor, and the spirit to struggle: Arthur Ashe--tennis champion, social activist, and individual with AIDS. Frank, revealing, touching--Days of Grace is the tale of a guy felled too quickly. It is still as his legacy to us all....

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But on pondering the question, the matrons decided not to bring the matter to the Principal’s notice, the common consensus among them being that I was too much of an idiot to pull off something like this. It was common knowledge that many senior boys smoked, and it was concluded that the cigarettes had been planted in my pocket; some senior was shifting evidence that might have damned him. The suspicion that I was a complete idiot began to grow into a conviction, and I had not a clue what to do about it.

I fell ill on show day, and so my debut onstage was delayed by quite a few years. I don’t remember being particularly broken up about it, but I must have been and maybe what I felt then, though lost in the smoke rings of time, somewhere unknowingly fed the desire to act. I mean, Zameer played a sailor that night in On the Good Ship Lollipop and he never felt a similar urge. The same year I watched a play for the first time, in the Sem concert hall. It was called Mr Fixit and has faded from my memory almost entirely but while watching it the only thing I wanted was to be up there with those people.

And to my utter astonishment, instead of pulling his ears for his atrocious grammar and taking the ‘skin off his back’ with her feather duster after disabling him with one of her roundhouse forehands, or much worse, putting a hex on him and turning him to stone, she actually caved in and turned quite mild before letting me off the hook. Valiant valiant Shah Mamu! To Ma Perry’s credit, she did not hold the incident against me, I guess she didn’t need to, I gave her plenty of other reasons anyway and I didn’t dare defy her.

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