Several years ago I found myself browsing through some blues and gospel music. In the pleasure of exploring great tracks by great musicians, I ran across one of my favorite artists, Ray Charles. He had an album titled “Genius Loves Company”. If you’re a fan of his, or if you like music worth listening to, try it out. Its a series of duets with other amazing artists. But I don’t write this in regards to the music. I write this because I loved the name and it reminds me of something more important to me.

Its a wonderful way to think about the level of commitment Valerie has given to the people, myself among them, who are blocked behind walls and wires feeling the emptiness of an otherwise silent existence. She took the time to provide the voice we so desperately wanted to have. She gave opportunity for me, and those like me, to tell you about the things that make us human. She provided a platform to ensure that you know that my life doesn’t exist in a vacuum as a convicted errant, but as a fellow person, citizen, and dreamer of big dreams for us all. A platform to showcase regrets, revelations and rehabilitations of flawed men, women and others.

And now our dear friend Harley has also stepped up to shoulder the burden of projecting our voices. You see, the only way the thoughts in our minds, the experiences we see, the truths we’ve come to realize, and the geniuses we’ve become ever get told to you is because we have great company in them. We have our voices because we have their love. You’d NEVER know me if we DIDN’T have them. 

So my thanks to Valerie and Harley and the world we speak to because of them. This Genius loves his Company…

by Rory Andes

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