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Posted at 05:15 PM ET, 05/17/2012

Chuck Brown farewell planning could take a while


Family and friends are talking about how to do Brown’s big farewell right. (Marvin Joseph - The Washington Post)

In the 24 hours that have elapsed since news of Chuck Brown’s death broke, there’s been plenty of talk about how to give the “godfather of go-go” a proper send-off.

But it could be days, if not longer, before plans for a public memorial come together.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), in the course of calling Brown a “great human being” and “musical genius” in a NewsChannel 8 interview, announced he would order city flags flown at half-staff on the as-yet-undetermined day of his funeral.

“That’s the least we can do to remember Chuck Brown,” he said. “And we’ll be working to see in what other ways we’re going remember him in the immediate future and then in the aftermath.”

Other than that, a spokesman said, planning is still in its earliest stages. “We’re talking to the family, and we want to make sure that whatever we do fits within their wishes,” said Pedro Ribeiro.

Brown’s daughter Cherita Whiting Thursday said she had been in contact with Gray about the public arrangements, which are being discussed within the family and with Brown’s manager Tom Goldfogle.

Gray, she said, “definitely told me the city wants to do something.”

Several officials have mentioned using a city-owned facility — like the D.C. Armory, Nationals Park or RFK Stadium. But several observers — including D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) — suggested that the indoor Verizon Center would be more appropriate.

Using that privately owned arena would be a bit more complicated. Sheila Francis, a spokeswoman for Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the arena’s owner, said nothing is yet in the works.

”We haven’t been contacted by anyone about any type of event,” she said. “If were to get a phone call, those types of discussions would start.”

Perhaps it helps that Monumental’s majority owner, Ted Leonsis, is a Chuck Brown fan. “He was the epitome of cool and a man who helped define DC culture and style and created a soundtrack to our life,” he blogged Thursday.

By  |  05:15 PM ET, 05/17/2012

 
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