In high school Jeremy and I were in a madrigal choir and we had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to perform at the Kennedy Center with a thousand other singers. Wow. What an honor it was to be selected to travel to our nation’s capital from our little town of Caldwell, Idaho. We were to sing an African-American spiritual called Freedom Come, and Jeremy had a lead solo in it. Taking a lead solo was something I would never do. I prefer the comfort of harmonizing in the supportive section of altos. Not Freedom Cobra. He was always destined to show the world that he had a soul.
As it turned out, Jeremy was unable to travel with his choir-mates to Washington D.C. due to his personal commitments to his faith. It was a huge disappointment for everyone, Jeremy and the choir. What would we do? We knew Jeremy was our best shot to show D.C. that the Caldwell High School Madrigals not only had talent, but also had soul. The entire choir rallied in an attempt to make things work out, but it was just not possible. Jeremy was resolute. So we all resigned ourselves to the fact that the performance would not be showing our group’s full potential, and everyone respected Jeremy for his decision because we all knew that someday we too would be tested for what price we sell our soul. That time had come early for Jeremy and he chose to take a stand that he could not sell out to soul out in Washington.
So here we are. It is the second day of a new year: 2015. We are just four hours from Washington D.C. Our first stop: Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington. Jeremy wants to start our journey there. He wants to stand in the home and walk on the same ground as the guy who led a revolution. I suppose it is fitting, as Jeremy has never been one to follow rules. Always a rebel, but never without cause, Freedom Cobra, while brilliant on stage, moves through life to his own rhythm. Who is this guy, George Washington? What was he like? “He must have been an alien,” I’ve heard Jeremy surmise, “to have changed the world stage in such a drastic way.” Perhaps we’ll find out, by walking on the same dirt and wooden floors, that George Washington really was human after all, and we too can follow in George’s footsteps and make a way for Freedom. In the morning, we’ll enjoy a cup of America and we will find our way, but this time we’ll do it together. And the choir sings, “Freedom Come, Freedom Come.”