Confession: I am a hopeless romantic; I believe there is a perfect mate for everyone and still hold on fast to the hope that one day I will find mine. My faith in this is fed every time I see David Buckholtz, aka David B., and his lovely wife Karen Crawley-Buckholtz, poetically known as Adeke Rose. The adoration, respect and love they have for each other are evident and infectious. These two take to every microphone proudly speaking of how they have been happily married for 33 years (34 in August), and you get the sense that no matter what the ups and downs were they would do it all over again if they had to! Affectionately called Mama and Papa Rose by most of the poetry community, separately and together they possess that nurturing spirit that has earned them those nicknames.
Another confession: my father is a singer, and I imagine at some point during the years my parents were together he looked at my mother as David looks at Adeke. It is so special to see. When Adeke writes for him and looks him in the eye while performing, it gives you chills. I long for the day I can do that every time I take the stage.
David B. has been a solo artist in the DMV since 2011 but has been in the music industry since he was 13, starting as an equipment manager in Japan for his brothers’ and sisters’ band, the Ethics. His singing and bass playing have become a favorite performance the DMV poetry scene.
Adeke Rose’s writing is straight from the heart, whether she is discussing homelessness, a woman’s sexuality or love; her words are insightful and powerful. Her support the entire artist community is unwavering. She is one of the hosts of the Healing Space, a venue that bridges her counseling career and her love of poetry.
I couldn’t think of a better person to discuss this beautiful couple then their daughter, Bren Akilah:
How to describe the two most important people in your life, those who gave you life and who give you reason to live—my parents, Adeke Rose and David B: I don’t know anyone more blessed than myself and my siblings to have these two as our parents.
They truly are the epitome of love, perseverance, dedication, and the importance of family. They have been through things that could’ve torn them apart but instead brought them together and stronger.
I think is some ways we are all their children in poetry. We have all learned something from them in the years we have known them.
This is a special “From Behind the Microphone,” as I am profiling two artists, that happen to be married, in one column; both sets of answers are below. I also started off with a question that I’ve often wondered. The conversation, via email, went something like this:
Sherri: Where did you two meet?
Adeke: We met in Misawa, Japan; I was 8, he was 12.
Sherri: You have to expand on that: you two met at 8 and 12?!?!
Adeke: We met in Japan. Both of our fathers were stationed there. Our parents were friends. When we left Japan David’s parents divorced and we went to different states in the US. David’s mother remarried someone who was in the Air Force and also in Japan. He and my father were both assigned to NSA on Ft Meade, here in MD, where we reconnected. We became close friends, and later dated. We were four years apart in school so we never actually went to school together, but our parents moved around the corner from each other.
The hopeless romantic in me was hit with jolt of adrenaline when I read that!
Stepping from behind the Microphones: Adeke Ross and David B.
Sherri: Tell us more about what brought you to writing poetry.
Adeke: I lived overseas in a rural Turkish village for several years. We had no radio or television so reading was a primary form of entertainment. My mother would read and recite poetry. I fell in love with it. Poetry was my companion as I moved from country to country. I wrote my first real poem at age 9.
David: What brought me to poetry led me to songwriting. I needed an outlet to express my heartache, my frustrations, my fears—and making rhymes about them eased the pain. Here’s one of my earlier attempts: “I think that I shall never pee in foam more lovely than in the sea…” Just kidding!
My first exposure to music was through violin lessons in the 4th grade. I wanted to play guitar, but… When it came to singing, I was always inclined and inspired to harmonize. It was several years before I tried to sing solo; I would cringe whenever I heard my voice on playback.
Sherri: Tell the story of your first experience performing.
Adeke: My first performance was in junior high. My teacher recommended I try out for the senior high talent contest after hearing me recite several of Juliet ‘s stanzas from Romeo and Juliet from memory. I wrote a humorous piece and auditioned, even though I was terrified. I was one of the only junior high school students accepted. Afterwards it was as if a whole new world had opened to me. I was excited and hopeful. When I got to the high school the drama instructor/director was ready and waiting.
David: My first experience performing was after I started taking violin lessons in the 4th grade while living in Topeka, Kansas. The program was designed for disadvantaged inner-city kids, and they even had photos of me in the local newspaper receiving my violin. Of course, now I had to actually play the thing and, as I told you, I wanted to learn to play the guitar. Oh, well…
Anyway, my first performance was a violin recital in the auditorium at Belvoir Elementary School in Topeka. I was nervous before, scared during, and ridiculously relieved afterwards! The violin and I parted ways soon afterwards. It was a few years after that when we moved to Japan (where I met Adeke), and I joined the Calvary Baptist Gospel Choir in Misawa. After politicking for what seemed an eternity for an opportunity to solo, the director finally let me lead “We are Soldiers” at an evening church service:
“We are soldiers, in the army. We have to fight, although we have to die. We have to hold in to the blood-stained banner. We have to hold it up until we die.”
Then I sang, “My mother, she was a soldier; she had her hand on the gospel plow. And when she got old and couldn’t fight anymore she said I’ll stand up and fight anyhow! ‘Cause I’m a soldier!” I felt great! I also learned that if I was going to sing a solo, I’d always have to make opportunities. No one was going to give me one, just because. That’s a whole ‘nother story…
Sherri: Your stage name is Adeke Rose. Why did you choose that name? What do you want the audience to know about you when they hear it?
Adeke: A close friend named me “Adeke” because he felt I was regal. I added “Rose” because my heart was soft and fragile like the petals of a rose, so I found ways to distance and protect myself—my thorns. I want people to know my poems are my heart, my silence, my protection.
Sherri: Your stage name is David B. Why did you choose that name? What do you want the audience to know about you when they hear it?
David: “David B.” I chose the name because it sounds cool and it’s easier to pronounce than Buckholtz. It can also be “B as in Bassman.”
Sherri: Who is your favorite writer? (This can be a songwriter, poet, author or anyone you consider a writer.)
Adeke: My favorite writer is Alice Walker. She is an incredible writer, Womanist and political activist. She contributed to my own ideology and growth. My favorite poet is Gwendolyn Brooks.
David: My favorite songwriter is Stevie Wonder, and my favorite singer is Peabo Bryson.
Sherri: You have one hour to have a conversation with anyone in history, living or dead. Who will you choose, and why?
Adeke: I would choose Soujourner Truth. The way she dedicated her life to others at great risk to herself really affected me when I learned about her. During the years I struggled with my identities as black and female, I drew a lot of strength from her legacy. She risked her life for those she loved and was the epitome of love, activism and strength.
David: Jesus Christ, because I want to ask Him about the beginning and hope He’d explain the great mystery of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Sherri: Your perfect concert: who are three acts, living or dead, you would like to see perform?
Adeke: I’d love to see Chaka Khan, Miles Davis and Jill Scott perform.
David: My perfect concert would be Earth, Wind and Fire with Maurice White performing, Heatwave with Johnny and Keith Wilder and Rod Temperton performing, and Chicago with Peter Cetera and Robert Lamm performing.
Sherri: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
Adeke: Between poetry and social media I share a lot. I was born in Taiwan. The authorities refused to let my parents take me out of the country because they insisted I was Taiwanese, though they allowed my twin brother to leave. My father had to get the state department and embassy involved to get me released. So, I guess that is when my activism was born. My father taught me well. I’m always fighting for equal rights, services and justice.
David: I am a science fiction geek.
Sherri: Do you have another creative outlet? If not, what is something you have always wanted to learn how to do?
Adeke: Yes, I love interior design, landscape photography and singing in the shower.
David: Does providing PA and DJ services count? Although I play some, I’ve always wanted to play the piano in all different styles: jazz, ragtime, gospel, classical.
Sherri: [Borrowed from Inside the Actor’s Studio] If heaven exists, what do you want to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Adeke: “You loved fearlessly, gave endlessly and acted as a woman of faith. You done good.”
David: Heaven does exist, let’s be clear. This is what I’d like to hear: “Well done, my good and faithful servant! Take your rest, and take your pick of positions in My heavenly choir.”
Adeke Rose and David B. feature at Heard Through the Grapevine: Perfect Combination Edition on Friday, February 6, 2015 at Old Line Fine Wine and Spirits.
For more information about Adeke Rose:
FB: Adeke Rose, Poet
www.adekerose.com (feature list is on website)
Gig masters: Adeke Rose
David B. can be seen regularly at Acoustic Soul Thursdays at Peace and A Cup of Joe, Baltimore, MD.