Cherokee Kid

Jim Alberty is a member of the Bird Clan of the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma. Born in Claremore, OK he now lives in Maine, working as a composer, writer and Creative for Apple. He is active in the Casco Bay area arts and education communities as a composer, musician, social dancer and actor.


High and Congress Street - Portland, Maine.

Congress Square.

My daily constitutional.

After the Children's Museum and Theatre's Golf Tournament. After a nap on the Eastern Prom, a quick visit to wave at a friend and her daughter.

After an episode of "Top Gear" (the British one).

After seeing the bricks of the building across the street had lost their fireglow because the Sun had set.

Meine Spazierengang.

After the cemetery, the Exclusive Private Schoolyard, the Former Apartment Now A Condo, the House with the Tango Room in the Basement, the Dear Friend's condo, the B&B With the Strange Sculpture, the Old Church with the Bagpiper, the Scene of the Great Whorehouse Riot and after a stop for sobetto and a break.

After the Old Port Bar Row, the Shapely Women/Girls in the Twisty Skirts, the Tall Lady in the Classy Black Tights, the Cute Boys with Lattes, the Young Family with the Bouncy Little Girl and the Park with Large Stones Decorated with Tattooed Guitar Players.

After the Statue of the Unknown Lobster, after the Movie Theatre, after the Civic Center, after Portland's Oldest Pub, after the Children's Museum and the PMofA.

After I cross Congress to arrive at the last light before crossing High Street for my final stretch home.

After I follow my usual procedure and tap the "cross" button with my foot nothing happens.

The traffic light turns green but the "walk" light stays red. The traffic light turns red but the "walk" light  does not change to green.

The traffic crosses in front of me, continues down High Street.

The traffic passes  but with the "walk" light still  red a few pedestrians use the empty street to cross - but the "walk" light is red - the button has had no effect.

I tap it with my foot again and wait for the entire sequence. Still no "walk"light and still people cross over in both directions.  A cab driver turns right, in front of me, hesitating as if I'm going to cross but there's still no "walk" light so the cab driver continues, with the cab.

I walk to the other light on my corner and smoothly tap it with my foot, then wait for the sequence a third time. Still no "walk" light. The second button has had no effect.

Finally I give up. I run across High Street to the other side. It's only a simple, practiced motion to tap the button with my foot and then run back across High Street to the my corner to wait.

Sure enough, the traffic from High Street stops, the Congress Street traffic goes, the oncoming Congress street left turn comes toward me and then turns across and onto High Street, crossing in front and then on down and away. The button across the street seems to work.

And finally the "Walk" light comes on.  I jump, stomp. wiggle-hop, ocho and slide my way across the busiest street in the busiest corner of the busiest town in Maine.

And continue my walk home.

How do you celebrate your triumphs and joys?

Portland, Maine