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  • Writer's pictureDiana McDaniel Hampo

Mr. T and My Mom

You guys remember Clubber Lang in Rocky III? Mr. T played a horrible fighter who kind of kills Rocky's trainer, Mick, he tries to take Rocky's woman, Adrian, and is just scary as hell. Clubber Lang was played by Mr. T, He was awesome and terrible with a big ol mohawk, feathers in his ears, tons of gold chains and jacked up, bulging mountains of muscle.

One of the last times I saw my mom, before she died, she was helping host a fund raiser in Boca Raton Florida. They were trying to raise money for a child care center for struggling families.

There was a fancy luncheon and Mr. T, icon of the 70s and 80s, was the guest speaker. At the time my mom, Ann Stell McDaniel, drove a little white convertible. She was a tiny brown woman with sunbaked skin and a wicked tongue and sense of humor..

I can't remember why I didn't go to the fundraiser, but I met my mom in the parking lot afterwards. She was supposed to drive Mr. T to the airport.

One of my very last memories of my mom was watching her drive away, up Dixie Highway, parallel to the train tracks. It was a pretty Boca Raton day, the top was down on her car and she and Mr. T were chatting it up, laughing about something, His dark shoulders and head towered above he small gray fame. His gold chains glistened in the South Florida sun, but the breeze could not move his mohawk.

I wish I had a photograph or painting of my mom and Mr. T driving away, I wish I knew what they were laughing about. I wish I knew why she left.

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