Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Trentonian TV Production Notes: A Gentleman Interviews Gentlemen

TRENTON -- I believe this is the second occurrence of tier 3 community engagement because L.A. Parker interviewed city activist Freedom Green, then Freedom became a Trentonian TV host and interviewed 30th Gentlemen's Ball Chairman Jun King Walker, and based on that interview last week Walker was asked to host for this 83-minute special. I'd love nothing more for the one of today's guests to take on a show to become the first tier 4 guy.

Minus a few set difficulties -- like when the chair Gerald Truehart used kept sinking -- the show by and large played out the way I wanted it to. Jun's a cool cat with Barry White depths to his voice, and he facilitated the conversations well. He interviewed class of '84 honoree and Trenton School Board member Gerald Truehart and Gerald Truehart III (a Gentleman and the son of a Gentleman) before letting father interview son, who is a senior at the Solebury School in New Hope, Bucks County. He is headed to Morehouse College to major in anthropology. Jun interviewed '05 honoree Jerell Blakeley, the "Most Likely to Succeed" Trenton High whiz who graduated from Howard University and is studying to earn his Master's in education at Rutgers. Two weeks ago, Jerell was named one of six Eagleton Fellowship recipients. Jerell's going to be the mayor of Trenton is 10 to 12 years, maybe sooner. Jun said he teases Jerell for being so serious all the time, and I got a strong dose of that seriousness during a 15-minute chat before everyone else arrived, when we talked about the merits of Tony Mack and Doug Palmer. I think people of influence will help smooth out Jerell's rough edges during the next few years, but by all means the kid is going to run this town. He might be governor of New Jersey in 15 to 20 years. He's crazy for politics -- his political perspective runs back to Tamany Hall 100 years ago, and even beyond. He's a super-intelligent kid with opinions, and he isn't afraid to espouse them, although I took him to task in the middle of his chat with Jun when I wote something on the back of a cue card after he ripped The Trentonian for showing black people in a negative light all the time while never showing black people in a positive light. Never, huh?

A couple of Ewing High Gentlemen from the class of '12 -- Stormin' Norman Hamilton and Anthony Logan -- shared some nice moments with Jun, as did class of 2001 Gentleman James Edwards, who graduated from South Hunterdon High then West Virginia Wesleyan College. The final Gentleman was Steven Cooke, class of '89. He graduated Hamilton High and Elizabeth City State University, and he's been the emcee at the Gentleman's Ball for several years. He and Jun displayed their terrific rapport, especially when I pulled up photos of Jun's Gentleman's Ball in '84. Jun softened up while talking about the picture of him and former Trenton mayor Art Holland, and when he described the picture of him with Gentlemen's Ball creators John Couch Sr., Paul Pintella Sr. and Edith Savage-Jennings.

I think Jun can carry his own show, and I hope he accepts Trentonian TV's invitation to do so, and then I hope one of his guests one day becomes a tier 5 person. And so on and so on.

Here are some photos from the broadcast, and below them is the 83-minute episode, which was the 73rd production in Trentonian TV history.


Jun King Walker (right) with fellow '84 Gentleman Gerald Truehart


Jerell Blakeley, Norman Hamilton and Anthony Logan Jr.

Jerell reading "Now or Never" while waiting his turn

The Gentleman of a Gentleman: Gerald III (right) and pop

James Edwards is a comedian who performs often in North Philly

Jerell Blakely: He even sits like a politician

Stormin' Norman!

Anthony "I Don't Snap the Other Elbow" Logan Jr.

Jun King and Steve Cooke

Jun talking about his moment with Art Holland

Steve, Jun and Hunter S. Thompson

Jun in '84 with Savage-Jennings (l) and John Couch Sr. (r)