The shaman comes to Wall Street

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NEW YORK - Remember those horror movies where Godzilla or King
Kong would pull the subway car from its tracks, shaking it like a
baby’s rattle, and peeling the roof off like a piece of wet tissue
paper? Then you’d see poor souls screaming bloody murder as they fall to their
deaths into the traffic below.

Or just maybe, the train gets commandeered by a band of commandos
firing automatic weapons and RPGs, taking screaming women and
children as hostages, blood splattered all over the bullet-ridden
windows, bodies all over.

Well that’s kinda like how it feels riding the subway cars in New York City. You just never know.

So you’re in New York City on the subway packed in like a can of sardines, when your hand
inadvertently touches someone else’s hand or other body part because
your mind is drifting off into a fantasyland, and then as if on cue,
somewhere in the can of sardines a little girl screams to high heaven,
a high-pitched scream that turns your blood into cottage cheese. Car
54 where are you?

Inside the New York Stock Exchange, with its noble columns and U.S.
flags hung, blowing in the cool afternoon breeze, traders and brokers,
moneymen wearing neat colored jackets over pressed white shirts and
ties, with tidy name tags and numbers embroidered on the sleeves, make
their way through the controlled chaos of money and stress and sweat
and fear.

This is the center of the financial universe, and the men and women
who zip past back and forth, trading, yelling, screaming and dealing
make up the Milky Way of Ben Franklin.


On the outside of this cocoon of money a shaman, witch doctor, or
medicine man, is dressed in a grassy skirt, face and half-naked body
painted, chanting and dancing, his sculpted figure moving in motion to
the beat from another universe unlike the one inside the stock
exchange. He blows his whistle, plays a percussion instrument, and
chants.

Tourists watch in utter amazement, jaws open, happy snap
cameras going full speed and filling up mega pixels with images of the
shaman. Fingers point, and people talk because you know full well that
you can’t find this kind of action in Des Moines, Iowa! And some
ignore the man with the painted face and grassy skirt, rolling their
eyes while does his voodoo…that voodoo, that he do, so well. This is
no sideshow, no sir, Agassi F. Bangura is from Sierra Leone, Africa,
and he came here to the site of the New York Stock Exchange
specifically to cast a positive voodoo spell called “Borro” to help
lift the stock market, the financial institutions, and the traders and
lenders, and borrowers out of the abyss.

You know it’s gonna be a long ride when a shaman has to come to Wall
Street and lift the money curse with voodoo! Kind of like the curse of
the Billy Goat and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, or the Boston
Red Sox and the Curse of the Bambino!

Oh, yeah, and then Uncle Sam came striding by on stilts while the
protestors with their handmade signs disappeared into the crowd of
moneymen and tourists, not unlike what you’d find in People’s Park in
Berkeley, Calif., minus the moneymen of course.

Excuse me, but when the train came to a stop this morning, the sign
read “Wall Street”…next stop the Twilight Zone, voodoo and all.

Rod Lamkey Jr.
Staff Photographer
The Washington Times

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Rod Lamkey

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