Part Three - The Wonderment of Wormley vs. The Secret Addictions of Mrs. Hooper
The Wonderment of Wormley is my search for a role model. Through my mother's internal demise and a long estrangement with my father, I searched for someone to emulate, to revere. A representation of my search was found in James Wormley, born a free man, the son of an entrepreneur, he opened the Wormley Hotel in Washington, D.C. – the first black-owned hotel. I have long admired his entrepreneurial spirit, his strength and his pride, and felt a draw to the man himself as a surrogate father.
I used to be a big fan of Mr. Hooper of Sesame Street. His store was a true meeting place where everyone came together to hash things out. My mother and I had to find our own balance in order to extend past the mother-child paradigm to that of two adults. Through The Secret Addictions of Mrs. Hooper, I am dealing with taboo subjects of sex and vanity. My mother's definition of “success” was tied to being pretty, even beautiful; of having what it took to get a man. To her, “getting a man” was the ultimate success. My mother’s entire universe was focused on this goal: be pretty, be sweet, use the feminine wiles and be the perfect combination of woman and subservient child…all to attract a man. This focus became her entire life, and her entire personality. She never really grew up and never found love again.