Archive for August 2011
I can’t imagine working for anyone who threatened me.
In reading a posting on my facebook page, I read where the daughter of 1 of my facebook friends was told by her employer during Hurrican Irene-
“If any of you leaves, you’re fired.”
Meaning that if any of the employees left the job they would be terminated.
I can’t imagine me wanting to work for anyone who would even consider trying to strong-arm me like that… and particularly in a state of emergency. But it made me think of 9/ll.
On September 11th …on the day that the airplanes flew into the World Trade Center, after the first plane hit the first tower …many of the workers in the second tower were told to remain seated, to continue working.
But friends of mine who were inside the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center that day… told me that when they saw that first plane hit… they didn’t care what their supervisors said… they were getting out of there. And because many people had already began evacuating that second tower, as soon as they saw what had happened to the first tower… it for many meant the difference between life and death.
A few days ago while driving down to Atlanta, I happened to catch a news story on 1010 WINS …an all news radio network in New York City. I had seen the picketers standing before various Verizon locations. But I did not know what was going on.
It seems that the contract for 45,000 Verizon workers had expired… meaning the Verzion worker’s contract is now up for renegotiation. Playing hardball, Verizon withdrew their worker’s health plan when the workers went out on strike. Verzion claim that they could no longer afford to pay for the worker’s health coverage because they were losing so much money with them being out on strike.
Everybody who is doing any business with Verizon should cancel every service …or whatever have you with them.
What money is Verizon losing?
None. In fact, with the workers out… they are saving money. Because Verizon doesn’t have to pay them while they are out on strike.
But the problem we face today is this… IT IS AN EMPLOYER’S MARKET.
Do you hear me?
Can you understand that?
It is like how they say it is a buyer’s market in terms of real estate sales. Because not many people are buying homes …and banks are not lending as much as they used to. So, if you got money …and it doesn’t matter about what the seller is asking for …make them an offer. They may just take it… you never know. Because they are not getting many other offers these days. And who knows… your’s might be their only offer.
And you see this clear across the board. Car sales and other large ticket items… because there is less cash flow these days with so many people out of work.
And therein lays the Verizon workers dilemma.Verizon is having its way with the Verizon worker’s union because so many people are out of work… and Verizon knows that it has the power to wheel and deal as it pleases because of the way the job market is today.
These companies have no employee loyalty. In fact, most companies today could care less about their employees. This is why most companies today do not even offer full-time employment anymore. Who needs full-time employees when there are millions of people willing… able …and ready to accept part-time employment with no benefits, and wages that amount to little… but beats nothing.
There had been a time when America was sending top executives to China to learn techniques of how to create a happy and more productive working enviroment. It would seem that those executives learned something much more valuable to them. How to take an iron fist and hold it over the heads of your employees… and keep it there. Forcing them to produce more for less… while compensating them little… and forcing them to smile while the company break their backs.
I dislike companies with the Verzion attitude. My cell phone is a Sprint account… but my broadband was with Verizon. I can’t tell you how happy I am that it is off … and has been so for some time now. But I can’t see myself giving money to a company that will not do its employees right.
Though these companies may feel that they have the power… the truth of the matter is… no they don’t. We do. And our power can bring any company to its knees just as the Montgomery bus boycotts brought that city of Montgomery to its knees in the mid 1960′s, and gave way to the opening of the doors that gave us all the right to vote, sleep and eat … etc… etc… where we wanted to. Today we get on the highway and travel anywhere we want… as African American people in America… eat where we want to eat… and book a hotel and sleep where we want to sleep. But for years this was not the case at all.
I remember listening to Shirley Caesar talking about that very subject on a television show that she was being interviewed on. She said that back then when they travelled… talking about her days as a young singer travelling with Albertina Walker and the Caravan… back in latter 50′s through the 60′s. She said-
“We had to sleep in our car. Because back then they did not allow us (black folks) to stay in the hotels or the motels like they do today. And we just couldn’t pull up anywhere and eat either. Because it wasn’t allowed. If we wanted food. We had to go back around to the back the door and see if they would give us some food.”
Thank God for powerful people… who knew that they possessed power. Or we would still be sitting on the back of the bus today.
Union busting is not anything new. One of the greatest examples of it is when Ronald Reagon decided to interfere in the air traffic controller strike, PATCO …in August 1981. Reagon froze the air traffic controller’s $3.5 million strike fund in order to force the striking workers back to work… saying that they were in violation.
And if you remember any facts to this story… you will remember how quickly many of the striking air traffic controllers were replaced. While a the powers to be… then trained a bunch of unprofessionals to replace to them.
And our air ways have never been the same. They have found people sleeping and all kinds of crazy things. And we will not discuss what took place on 9/11.
Because if the truth be told… that is still a mystery to me?
How is it that at least 3 airplanes took off from Logan Airport in Boston… and got so far off of their courses. And nobody …not 1 person knew about it until very important buildings began to be flown into?
Something is wrong with that picture. And for the life of me… how was it that the 2nd airplane was allowed to hit the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center? This is even a bigger mystery to me?
Because before it did… every airplane and helicopter in New York City was up in the air that day soon after the 1st airplane had flown in the World Trade Center. So then, how is it that nobody saw the 2nd airplane until after it hit the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center?
My niece woke me that morning with a phone call saying that an airplane had just flown into 1 of the towers of the World Trade Center. And as she was still talking to me… some 20 minutes later the 2nd airplane flew into the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center.
How could that have happened?
After the 1st airplane into that air space… clearly, a 2nd air craft entering into that same air space should never have happened.
First of all, the air space around the whole area of the World Trade Center and Statue of Liberty was and is…a protected air space. Which means it was supposed to be under the protection of fighter jets anyhow. But notwithstanding the admission of the 1st air craft into that air space… clearly, a 2nd air craft entering into that same air space should have most definitely been shot down…and shot down long before coming in contact with the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center.
But going back to the then President Reagon who decided that he needed to step in on the striking air traffic controllers… and teach them a lesson. Reagon, of course, being the idol of ever Republican… the 1 that they most try to exemplify, and proclaim themselves to be the most like. And I wonder if that was before or after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?
But then of course… nobody knows exactly how long Reagon had actually been losing it. Though I must say that most of the Republican Party seems to be fit candidates for an Alzheimer’s examination. Because truly most of them seem to be suffering from some sort of mental deficiency… starting with but not limited to Palin.
Something has to be wrong …mentally with a bunch of people who claim that they love something and seek so vigilantly to destroy it. And I am talking about America.
They claim that they love America. Yet everything they have been doing lately… and I am talking … for years now… has been done to undermine America… if not to utterly destroy it.
One of the most disastrous things to happen to the United States of America was something called George W. Bush. I understand how wars were used in past American History to re-jump start the economy. But George who was supposedly an economy major from that great learning institution known as Yale University, in New Haven, CT. George having gotten into hot water somehow either on his own… or via the un-wise thinking of some of his flunkies…they came up with a plan. The plan was to go to war. Start some wars and the economy will take off again… the money you spent will be forgotten… and forgiven… and all will be well.
But there was a problem with the plan. The work place had changed.
In years past America had plenty of factories and factory workers. But by the time George stole his way into the White House all those jobs were gone. Those factories had been closed… and years later turned into lovely condominiums. And if the companies still exists those jobs didn’t… robots had moved in and replaced the workers.
Do you remember when you used to read the Help Wanted Ads and saw a train of Bank Teller jobs being offered?
Look for that now. You won’t find it. Because many of those jobs no longer exist. Bank tellers have been replaced by atm machines.
The same has happened to a position called ‘receptionist.’ When was the last time you heard that word?
It is voice mail… and automated voice activated systems now. No more receptionist jobs almost anywhere today.
Most utility companies have closed down their offices which used to handle bill paying services. They don’t do that any more. Oh, no… If you can’t send it in by mail… or go to a local payment center at your check cashing center …or corner store… then for a charge call them and they will take your payment over the phone.
Yet on the other hand Republicans will never say-
“And we have done everything within our power to ensure it.”
On every issue… and non-issue Republicans have done their best to block Obama from even trying to do anything to fix the mess. A massive and highly expensive and burdensome mess… that George W. Bush… a Republican …whom I believe will never ever be forgotten… for the mess that he left us all in. And when President Obama has managed to get something pass them… they … the Republicans attack it like a bunch of mad dogs.
Whoever said that Barack Obama was a magician?
Whoever said Obama was Merlin?
Or even had some kind of ‘black magic?’
In case you did think that let me be the first to just say-
“Are you for real?”
Magic is an illusion. It is based upon trickery… cunning and deceit. Thank goodness these are not traits that are found within our President Barack Obama.
President Barack Obama has never lied to us about ‘weapons of mass destruction.’
He has never tried to pull the wool over our eyes… by blinding us with a bunch of codes that meant absolutely nothing… code RED… code YELLOW… (if you have no understanding of this then you would have had to have lived in New York City following 9/11).
Obama has never tried to used 1 fear tactic to keep us up under our beds… or hid in our closets.
President Barack Obama is not the cause for why America is where America is today. He had nothing at all do do with it. He did not bring us here. In fact, as quiet as it is kept… he is trying to fix this mess. It is more than possible that he might aid in bringing us a long ways out of this runt… if we all stop listening to lies. Stop being deceived… and turning every which way the winds blows.
It is Republican deceit and lies that have turned this country upside down… and not Barack Obama.
- Corporate greed and mis-handling of business was here long before Barack Obama walked into the White House
- Job losses many years before Obama
- National Debt was already there… but really began running away after George W. Bush stepped into the Presidential picture
- Problems on Wall Street with the stock market are not new… trace them back into the 1930′s
Several States now have had to fight against Republican Governors who lead people into believing that they were either the man or woman for the job… and would wholly work for them… the voters. Telling them that they were a person with their interests in their mind and in heart… only for those voters to lament a vote that they ever casted in that person’s favor. It ended up costing voters benefits… or their job… or a less powerful union etc. Because that Republican political had an agenda. And that agenda had nothing to do with the people’s minds… or hearts that they con into believing in them with their claims of ‘I want to serve you.’
The Republicans are so slimy they have created a 2nd Republican Party… the co-called Tea Party a group of real lunatics… formed by that lunatic queen Palin and few other crazies. All of whom who have fallen out with one another… that is how firmly rooted they were. Like a bunch of crabs in a barrel… all clamouring to be the top dog… and if they can’t then they pick up their marbles and go home.
They have all… whether they call themselves ‘Tea Party’ or not… they …the Republicans have all developed a seek and destroy attitude. And that attitude did not just get started when President Barack Obama stepped into the White House… it is an attitude that they have long adapted to.
You need only to look at the 2000 Presidential Election between George W. Bush and John Kerry to see how demented the Republicans are. They saw nothing wrong …NOTHING…in undermining the entire American practice of our right to vote… and to have ALL our votes counted. And it was not something that they were not bold enough to do so all could see… and dared any of us to do anything about it.
So, don’t blame Obama. This mess is not his. But he decide to champion the cause… to try to set America back on the right course. To raise Her from low depths She sank to under what no one can call ‘leadership’… but just say… George Bush brought Her to.
Don’t look for magic. Look at it as it really is. The world has changed. And the work place and work force has changed with it.
Many jobs that people used to do… no longer exist.
Re-training people has it place… I guess. But when they are re-trained where will they go?
Everyone is learning computers… but there are only but so many computer jobs.
The medical field is good. In a field that had nothing but female mostly… had seen a great emergence of male. Use to be you never saw a male nurse… but today hospitals are loaded with them. Men are entering the nursing field in very large numbers. And to think there was a time that such a thing… would have been seen as being sissy.
One thing is for sure… no matter what happens in this world… we all at some point or other need something medical. As long as we are in these bodies the need for the medical profession cannot …or will ever be replaced. But that is not to say that it too… will not evolve. It has.
However, technology is forever changing things. But even so there will still only be a need for but so many people to work in the medical field too… at any given time.
Radio stations have changed… television stations have changed. Most newspaper companies have gone out of business… because few people read newspapers any more. They get their news now over the internet… on their ipads… and cells. And if you haven’t noticed… most news companies have cut back drastically on their staff.
For 1 of my journalism classes, my professor… a great woman… had been booted out of her position as a staff writer for a local newspaper… a job she had had for many years. That company’s lost was of course … my great gain. Because she came with a wealth of knowledge, and understanding about the history and future of journalism… and media at large.
But if you have noticed over the internet all the news sources seem to buy their stories from 1 source. You can read the exact same story… word for word from 1 internet source to another. And if you are like me… you always have a need to want to know more… but they don’t have it to give.
And somewhere along the way… they grab ahold of this attitude: THAT LESS IS MORE.
Yeah, right… When I want to know less…or read less… I will just stop. I don’t need anyone deciding for me… when I have had enough.
Which I guess is the main reason why so many people like my blog… www.bsmith101.wordpress.com. For as you can tell… I do not believe in the ‘less is more’ concept. Nor do I just regenerate news items. What a waste that is. If I follow a story… I want to read something I haven’t already read… or at the very least …give me some more details …or info on whatever it is I’ve come to your website searching for.
But going back to my thought… the workplace has changed. It is not what it was 20 years ago… or even 10 years ago.
Remember all those customer service jobs that used to be in the newspapers?
Roughly about 20 years ago customer service became such a big thing. There were tons of ad campaigns about the type of service you could expect if you did business with such and such. Companies trained their employees to greet you in a special way, and to service you as quickly and efficiently as they could.
Today all of that is gone to the wind. You can stand in a line for up to 10 or 20 minutes listening to someone… who is working the only open window… or check-out line… carry on a conversation with another employee or either with the person who had been right ahead of before they got to the cashier.
Have you experienced that?
You are at the top of the line… but suddenly the ‘ONLY’ open window has a highly talkative employee… or someone looking around as though they are trying to wonder why ‘their’ window or ‘their’ counter is the only 1 open?
So, what do they do?
They slow down… as if mentally they have taken a mental stand in their mind… to not kill themselves trying to serve all the people who waiting in line.
No body cares about customer service any more. And so… gone are these jobs.
Switchboard operators are a thing of the past too. A little company in your area that hired local people… mostly women to man the phone lines. But then it was for mostly doctor’s offices. Today those people can be anywhere in the world taking tons of calls for everything from subscriptions to publications, orders for books or other products, complaints, messages, prayer requests …you name it. But small companies in your town probably do not offer this service any more because it has been farmed out around the world.
Most of the manufacturing companies long departed …going into Mexico and other countries where the labor was cheaper.
This country really does not have a great number of blue collar workers any more. Most of the automobile workers were replaced by robots… or companies that sent large divisions of their manufacturing into other countries as well.
So where are the jobs?
Where are the openings that are available …or will become available for all the displaced workers who are currently out of work… and have been so now for years?
There are none. And nobody can do anything to change that… because of computers coming into the marketplace. They… computers brought about an unpresidented change to what was our workplace.
The only thing you can do is look for the next big wave in the future. That will
More and more colleges are offering on-line courses. Have you noticed that?
Some schools are over the internet only.
I am dropping hints here. Personally, I hate on-line courses… and feel that they are a huge waste of time. If you are going to sit in isolation… with no classroom interaction… then you might as well just read the book and be done with it.
But if you were considering a teaching career. Great… but you should also consider this fact. That soon many of those teaching jobs too will soon be gone. Due to on-line classes and on-line classrooms… and schools… cities… colleges and universities looking to cut their budgets. It is coming… and soon the classroom as we know it today will be gone forever too… just like yesterdays work force.
And with it will be gone… tenure. Tenures will bite the dust just like pension plans… and all other full-time employment; and whatever else they can do away with for the sank of the bottom line.
Soon even common currency as we know it will be gone too. They are already talking about stop minting the $1 bill. Soon it will just be all plastic… be it a debit card …or credit card…. or something else. But the coins will be gone …and the paper bills.
Bet all those folks working at the Mints all felt that their jobs were well secured. We have all better start to think again.
Who ever thought there would be no more pension plans?
Or health care benefits on your job?
You really have to be a visionary. You have to look deep into the future. You must go beyond your nose… if you truly want to have a chance in the future. You have to look deep beyond what you see. The future is what you cannot visually see… but something coming.
Many people now do not even go into the office any more. They can do all their work from home. They write their news articles at home… edit news copy at home… edit books at home… and mother-frames and inter-locking networks are big things in corporations now.
I do see computers… and our dependence upon them growing.
In New York City they have all most totally done away with ticket booth operators down in the subway system. They too have been replaced by machines… which can dispense to you fare tickets. And while in Boston not so long ago… I noticed that they were doing the same in their subway system.
The world is becoming a place of less working people… and more automated machines. And unless you are prepared to service these machines… or program these machines… your work history will too soon come to an abrupt end. And you will find yourself with a need to be re-trained… to nothing.
So, when George W. Bush thought that he could jump start the economy by creating a war… with the hope that the war would create jobs. He and his people forgot something. All those factories were gone… and so weren’t those jobs. And even if the jobs could be revived… robotics still had replaced the manpower that used to produce the goods.
So, the wars didn’t work. But only sunk us deeper and deeper into debt as the years have dragged on. But of course …the Republicans will never tell you any of this. Any more than Verizon will tell you that they were happy for any old excuse to rid themselves of paying their employee’s health benefits.
Irene hit the East Coast hard… and it seems that my cousin who informed me of the storm was right. Sadly there were a few deaths. But thank God He saw most of us through it safely.
My cousins and friends in various places… including my brother had to deal of electrical outages. But that is the least. Many suffered damages due to flooding and/or falling trees.
The good news is Irene wasn’t as bad as what had been expected. To God be the glory.
The New York subway is up and running once again. Though on our way back from Atlanta… I did notice where many of the over-passes in the New York area were being worked on. And that was following the earthquake that hit us… before Irene came bouncing and blowing in.
Well, God bless…and enjoy the rest of your week. Amazingly we are at the end of August already. Schools and colleges are already in. I pray that all are safe and do well.
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2011
Add a comment August 28, 2011
You would think that 1 of the hottest topics at the Atlanta Hair Show would have been about some fantastic hair-do… but it wasn’t. Way from it.
The buzz on the floor and from booth to booth was about Will Smith and Jeda Pickett-Smith.
I had long ago wrote a glowing blog about them being great role models and a beautiful couple… but who knew that all was not what it seemed?
They seemed to be the perfect couple. Happy… and certainly with it all going on. But who knew what dark little secrets lurked deep down within?
Who knew that it was at all as it was made to seem?
I thought them happy. I thought them perfectly matched. I thought that they truly loved one another. I thought that there was nothing that could drive them apart. I thought…
Well, I thought all was well. But it seems that it wasn’t. And that it was far from being well.
It was my son that broke the news to me saying-
But who knew?
Well… I knew someone who knew… and she told me it many years ago saying-
“Awh, come on, Bern… don’t you see it. If you don’t then you are the only 1 who doesn’t.”
But I refused to accept it. But it seems that she was right… that same friend who I wrote about in my blog about the DeBarge family… the 1 who I used to laugh with when we would giggle over, and pick fun at how sissy the DeBarge brothers all seemed. Yeah, her…
And he said they got tired of having an open marriage.
I said -
“What? What do you mean an open marriage?”
I was thinking he was talking about the usual kind of thing maybe some other woman … or possibly another man. The man part was right… but he wasn’t talking about Jeda.
It was Will.
And my son said that everybody at the hair show was talking about it. Since the hair show was made up of a large number of gay men… I immediately began to think that this had to be true. Because gay men are in the know about such things as this. And from men to women at the hair show… they were all buzzing about it.
I have yet to pull myself up off the floor behind this. Some things really do come as such a surprise… and this was 1 for me. Though I have to say it again… my friend had told me it long ago, when Will was playing as the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire.
It was something I guess I never wanted to see… and perhaps way down deep I was hoping it wasn’t so. And I STILL AM.
I really thought Will and Jeda made for a great couple. They seemed to be great parents …and they seemed to place a high value on family.
Though I wasn’t particular about their new-found religious beliefs… and how after coming into all that money they decided that they wanted to convert into becoming members of the Church of Scientology. Which struck me as a Hollywood thang… for the $20 million plus crowd. Which Will stepped into many years ago after leaping from the small screen onto the large screen… with a massive following.
It is disappointing really. But I guess we are all chased by demons at some point or other in our lives. The trick is to not allow them to consume us. And to fight until we win… and not them.
There seems to be a rash of men and women stepping into the gay lifestyle. For some it seems to be hip…even fashionable. But for others it is something that they have been drawn into … whether by their own fascination …or by some type of inducement… enticement… inquisitive nature … or whatever have you. And clearly I forgot about acts of abuse as another root cause for some.
But for whatever reason it seems to be growing. Or maybe it is that it is more open. Perhaps, the latter is probably the real case.
And it seems to me that I see so many young school kids making choices at early ages about such things. And many of them… especially the girls are deep into role-playing… meaning dressing or acting out the male role.
Having come out ‘the life’… meaning having been gay myself… I cannot help but feel for them. So, I study them and watch them… and can’t seem to take my eyes off them. Because I hate to see anyone commit their lives to something that is so anti-them.
I can’t say that I hated me. But I did hate what I looked like… hated my size… and I can’t remember what else. But I never really liked me.
I never thought I was pretty or anything like that. And my interest were not really in girl-ly things.
But I never desired to be a boy… and certainly not a man. I did like that part about me.
So, I never considered role-playing as an option for me… though for most of my relationships with women …I was designated as what would have been the male role. Because even in not playing roles… somehow you end up in them. Somebody is going to be more fem …and somebody butch. And it is because that is how life is… and we imitated life and the various categories of life as 2 people together.
But I really get disturbed at seeing so many young people gravitating towards an alternate lifestyle. And particular those who are so young… young girls and boys in the 7th or 8th grade.
CLICK. It has just dawn on me that I was in the 9th grade when some girl first started following me around… and later began to stick letters into my locker. How quickly we forget.
I rarely think of it now. Her letters turned into phone calls when she happen to come upon my sister 1 day… telling my sister that I had given her our phone number… and that she had lost it. So, my sister accommodated her by giving it to her again… or so she thought.
This is when I found out that all those mysterious letters in my locker were coming from a girl. It is funny because I never ever talked to that girl face 2 face… until much later in our lives. Because for 1 thing I was afraid of her…
Once I realized what was going on I soon began to notice that that girl used to walk pass all my classrooms. She used to just stand there outside my classrooms looking through the glass door at me. She also used to sneak into the 9th grade lunch… as she at the time was only an 8th grader… and she would always sit somewhere across from me… watching me… staring at me. It is funny how I had never noticed her before… but then I had thought it was some boy sending me all those letters.
Though the girl never tried to hurt me… or ask me to do anything sexually… I nevertheless kept my distance from her.
Believe it of not I had actually finished this blog…BUT LOST EVERYTHING BELOw THIS. So, at some point maybe I may come back and redo it. But not right now …or tonight it is after 4 AM…
So, please forgive me while I get some sleep.
Well, God bless…
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2011
Add a comment August 24, 2011
First Zackery Tims …and now Nicholas Ashford.
Oh, I know… I know that Nick was not known for writing and singing gospel music. But no one can deny that he did come from a strong gospel background… that sometimes even managed to show up in his song writing and way of singing.
And what songs they were. He was gifted… and what he didn’t have …his partner and later to become his wife… Valerie Simpson had. Together they wrote some of Motow’s best known music. Songs like ‘Ain’t No Moutain High Enough,’ ‘It Takes Two,’ ‘Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand’ ….just to name a few. And I do mean just a few… because their list does indeed truly go on and on.
For a while Val and Nick could be caught holding down the evening drive-time radio slot at WBLS,in New York City. In fact, 1 afternoon I decided to drop by BLS with the hope of getting in to see Vinny Brown, an old friend and co-worker who at the time was the Program Director for the station. While waiting …to my unexpected surprise as I happened to look up… standing before me were 2 people I would have had to be totally blind to not to have recognized from the very moment my eyes came up on them.
“Val and Nick,” I heard myself say… as my head jerked back slightly in surprise.
It just kind of eased out of my mouth… I hadn’t realized they were handling BLS’s on-air drive-time shift at that time. So, I was really surprised to look up and see them, standing right there before me… close enough for me to just reach out and touch them. Nick slightly smiled at me… while Val kind of looked off.
From the time I hit college Nick and Valerie had been busy in recording studios. So, I had looked at and played just about every album of their’s. Definitely a sign of the time… because most of the kids don’t even know what an album was …or a 45 for that matter. But yes …I had played Val and Nick for many years. And it didn’t hurt for me to be a big fan either… which meant as often as I could I would sneak them in on my music lists rotations.
As the years went on I didn’t have to continue to ease… I just played them… back to back …or however I wanted. Them and Phyllis Hyman… Donnie and Roberta… Friends of Distiction… Dells… Roy Ayres… George Duke… and whoever else I wanted to program. Including Motown’s Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye… and just so much good music… The kids don’t even have a clue… they have nothing like it today.
Nobody writes good music any more… they don’t even know what it is to have anything called ‘good lyrics.’ They… the kids are too busy buying beats. A lot of which are stolen from times gone… times that music like that during which Val and Nick came from …and wrote during.
Though they …Val and Nick had long since turned their attention to other things …such as going into the restaurant business… New York’s Sugarbar and I forget what their first restaurant was called …it had been on 22nd Street also in Manhattan.
And whenever traveling home on I-95… as I passed Stamford, CT… my mind would always run across them, as I knew that for a while at least they had made their home in Connecticut.
Having their number I called them once while seeking investors for 1 of my feature film projects. Though I failed to reach them initially… you will never know to my surprise… how thrill I was to receive a call back from them concerning the message that I had left. Val told me that they were just getting ready to open up another restaurant… which was to become the Sugarbar. So, they couldn’t afford to do it at the time. She appologized and told me maybe the next time.
I hung up not at all feeling let down. All I could think was… wasn’t that nice for them to take the time to call me back?
This is my all time favorite song by Valerie Simpson and Nicholas Ashford.
While living in Chicago… Millie J… used to visit a friend of mine by the name of
Jean… who was Tyrone Davis’ sister. Millie had come to town to perform and while talking with Jean… I overheard her say-
“While I was coming through the airport guess who I came across? These two people walking around holding hands. I didn’t even have to look twice. I knew right off it was nobody but Nick and Val.”
They had that something special… kind of like what Michelle and Obama have. A total appreciation for each other… and a desire to always be in touch with one another… as though they cannot do or bear to be without each other.
Just a few seconds ago, a friend of mine informed me that Nick had dealt with sustance abuse. Never knew that …or ever heard that. So, I don’t know for sure. I have not seen him or Val for years now. But I know their music anywhere or anyhow I hear it.
Personally, I cannot imagine Val without Nick. She loved him… and held on to him. And he loved her… and held onto her. And together they held on to each other …a profoundly good example of 2 people who truly walked in love with one another. I certainly pray her strenght in the Lord… and that of their children and other family members.
I had heard his testimony. And what an awesome testimony he had had regarding how God had saved and pulled him out of a messed up life of drug addiction… and having come from a home where nobody knew the Lord. How God had put someone in his path that gave him an invitation… and 1 day for whatever reason Zackery Tims, some 8 or so years ago… called a man on his job who had invited him to come and go to church with him. And that night he got saved… and his life was forever changed.
A megachurch Pastor having a congregation of more than 4,000 members in the Orlando, FL area… on this past Wednesday, Pastor Zackery Tims was found dead on the floor of his Time Square hotel room. The first information said… heart attack. But later information started circulating… that a white powder sustance… cocaine had been found on him.
I had long ago stopped watching him … or some reason or other. I cannot remember why… but it always seems to me that as you watch some of these television evangelists… you like them in the beginning, but then they begin to shift. And everything about them and what they are preaching changes.
I cannot say that about Pastor Tims… because I cannot remember what prompted me to stop watching his program. And it might not have had been anything with him… but a time conflict between the show schedule and my schedule.
His eyes lately were watery or shiney… glossy I guess you could say… whenever I would happen to catch the tailend or some part of his show. And I am not just saying that because I am hoping that after the autopsy is finally released… it will show any drugs in his system. Because I am not… if anything quite the opposite.
I would hate to think that he would have been drawn back… into something that he was blessed enough to have been released from. But when you think back to the events that lead to his divorce… you have to think… Well, maybe.
He was involved with a stripper for a year… that is what the article read. But if it read a year… then it is possible that it was for a longer time than that. While he was engaging in adultry with her… it is very likely that he was also indulging in other things too. And while that relationship may have ended… and who really knows… But if he was drinking or indulging in drugs as well… it is not so likely that he also just stopped abusing either. And do note I said ‘if’… because I don’t know.
I didn’t know him… or much about him except what most of you who also watched the Word Network knew about him. But I was watching the day he leaped upon the top of his pulpit podium to dramatize something he was preaching. I did think that was very odd… and all I could think was-
“That is suppose to be holy. How could he jump up on it?”
But it would seem that not much is still considered to be holy any more in church. I see preachers with baseball caps and hats on in the pulpit… and sweat suits and sneakers. Anything it seems goes today… whatever… however… whenever. My, Lord…
Whatever happened to reverencing the house …and the things of the Lord?
UPDATE: SUNDAY, January 15, 2012…As of New Years Eve this year Pastor Paula White has been chosen the Board of Regents of New Destiny Christian Center. And it would seem that since the autopsy done on the body of Pastor Tims was never released to the public…that drugs had indeed been found in the blood system of the late Pastor Zackary Tims.
With the announcement of Paula White becoming the chosen replacement… Well, it did not seem to sit right with Pastor Tims ex-wife. Tims’ ex-wife claims that Tims’ and her children are being robbed of their inheritance. You can read more on that by CLICKING the LINK below.
Since I am on the subject of Pastors… and since I did write a blog on it. Let me just note here that I read somewhere… or heard it… that Bishop Eddie Long quietly settled his cases with the young men who had filed law suits against him, for supposedly taking sexual advantage of them while they were under his religious leadership as young teenaged boys.
The settlement is said to have been $15 million total going out to the young men in question.
Visiting with a niece and enjoying myself. Can’t you tell?
I have so much time on my hands that I decided to take some of it to write this blog. I rarely have much time these days. I am on assignment… and must pick up my pace. I have to stay busy in the things of the Lord. And at the end of the day… I just want to be ready when He comes.
And for as long as I can remember that has not changed.
I still love this picture… It is sooooo refreshing looking.
Speaking of which… while talking with a cousin this evening… she told me that they were buckling down for a bad storm that they… the insurance claims agents of the company she works for …are being prep for if it should hit us this week on the east coast.
Better get out and pick up a few things for just in case. And no need to wait until the last minute… do it now since you have gotten some advance info.
One other thing… while here. My niece took me by Dr. Martin L. King’s house and the Center for Non-Violence. Took a picture with a tour guide who informed me that every house on his street was bought by the Federal Government… and the only house on the street that is not owned by the Federal Government on that street is the King house… which is still owned by the King family. But the house is open for tours …which are done on the half-hour.
It was amazing watching the people… black and white touring the grounds of the King’s house and the Center for Non-Violence. And it is all free… parking and everything without any hassles.
Mrs. Coretta Scott King was a very smart woman. A woman who was determined that her husband’s death was not going to be in vain… or forgotten. And I mean she did it… and she didn’t do it half-stepping either.
Well, God bless…
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2011
4 comments August 23, 2011
It really should be no surprise to me to be on the bus or out anywhere… to hear someone call my name. But I guess I am still not quite used to it yet… though it has been going on for years and years. It comes with the territory I guess… of being somewhat of what they call a star. At least, some people think so.
They are always reminding me of my days on radio… things I used to say… music I used to play… events I put on etc…etc…
And it is always nice to meet up with them… though many of them I do not even know their names… but they know mine. And know it well.
In fact, they strike up conversations with me as though we were old friends. That’s nice… To think that they consider me a friend… a voice that used to invade their homes… their offices… and automobiles. I guess you could say we have a connection… and I appreciate their kindness to me. That they should feel that.
Nearly 40 years now… and I am still a shinning light to them. Truly, I have been blessed.
Yesterday, while riding the bus I overheard some people talking about the deficit reduction plan. Talking about how various social programs were in for big cuts… cuts to social security…. medicare and Medicaid… college money etc. Not up on the news… I sat listening to them while looking off in another direction.
One lady said that at anytime now we will start to see major cuts in our income. It made me start to think… And…oh, yeah, the sky could come crashing down too.
Then she said… and I ain’t got nothing now. I don’t even have $5 in the bank.
It made me think that just a few days ago, and for more than 20 days my own bank account was in the red by nearly $120. Oh, woe is me…
I can’t imagine what $17 trillion dollars may look like… but I do know that Oprah doesn’t have enough to even try to cover that bill. But it is the state that we are in. And yes, I am going to throw a stone… a big fat rock if I can find 1 nearby. Because it is very true… when George Bush stole his way into the White House successfully proclaiming himself ‘President’ …we had a surplus. And that was under a Democratic President… a guy from a little ol’ State called Arkansas.
That guy’s name was Bill Clinton… but from the moment George W. Bush hit the White House all of that went bye-bye. The guy was a one-way force stronger than any tornado… the way he whipped in there, and blew us up hard against the rocks… just as hard as he could.
So, here we are today… left in this mess. One of the worst and most massive messes to hit this country… and if history has its way, and the truth finally does come to light… probably worst than the day that Wall Street went dark after the stock market crashed in the 1930′s.
And who was George W. Bush?
He was a Republican!
The Republicans are up to their old tricks again… and it may be cliché to say. I know… you’ve heard time and time before. But it is true. They never fail to keep pulling out that same old smelly trick bag. And always just about every election time… in order to make the Democrats look bad.
How do we stop Obama… is and has been the foremost thing on their minds… and on the tip of their tongues…of every almost 1 of those Republicans. Because lets face it… as hard as it may seem. There are some Republicans with a moral conscious and true sense of responsibility to their constituents… and to this country too.
But for the most part…most of those Republicans do not. They sleep dreaming about this. How they can keep the poor poorer… and the defenseless weaker.
Well, let’s make Obama look bad… in effective… and lets just not pass anything that will get Americans back to work …or aid Obama in better doing his job for America. Lets just block everything we can… clog up the process… ‘hem and ha’ for as long as we can… go on vacation… and when we get back… vote against everything that Obama puts on the table.
That’s the sentiment. The vibe… and silent agreement among them.
Well, my friends so you have it in a nut shell. Oh, my goodness! Forget that I said that. But this is the rational of the Republicans… people you may have …or may not have voted into office… but they are there.
Why would a group of people who profess that they love this country …and the people of this country… be out to do such harm to this country?
It really doesn’t make much sense…
Well, not to us.
Because they like playing political games. It is not about you or I. It is about the game, baby. And seeing who will win… who can make the most money… what friends and compadres… and co-hearts they can make rich today… so that they will able to turn around and bless me tomorrow, when they run for President or that Congressional seat next term.
This is their warped thinking. That 1 hand washing another hand thang… in the back room thinking.
Someone over the internet asked-
“What does warped thing mean?”
Three answers were given:
- deviant thought process
- inappropriate modes of thought
- …and worst of all… acting upon those thought
Great numbers of people cast their votes for people who go under the title “REPUBLICAN.” Within the past few months of this year, in some State elections many people came to grieve the vote that they may have cast for some men whom they voted in as Governors of their States. Men who were “REPUBLICANS” who set about to undermine and destroy their State… and attempted to cut their jobs and/or lay them off… and called it in the name of ‘cutting their budgets.’ They targeted unions, state workers, teachers… and everything else they could set fire to in order to in truest essence … to breakup Democratic strongholds.
What is that?
That is groups or organizations that continually work to support those candidates which they believe they can trust, and who have their best interests at heart. Which usually ends up being anybody but a Republican… and usually the Democratic candidate.
If the Republicans worked as hard at winning back the trust and faith of Americans on the merit of ‘good works’ for the good of the people at large… not just for a chosen elite few… maybe then there would be more trust in the Republican Party.
The Republican Party is not about building trust or faith… or any type of merit… with any kind of real sincerity or genuine heart. They are full of deceit and corruption… lies… and malice for most of us. If it were not so then they would not be playing politics with every issue that affects the well-being of the American public.
The FAA today has some 70,000 airport workers laid off from work, because of the political games that Republicans like to play. They are not into job creation… because the creation of jobs would make Obama look good. And heaven forbid that should ever happen.
Both sides talk a good game… but none can out-talk those double-talking tricky Republicans. They are even so cool and cunning that they decided to create a 2nd Republican Party… and call it the Tea Party. Now, I ask you… how cunning is that? And what a bunch of extreme jerks they are. But than anybody who would have gotten their start under the gumption of someone by the name of Palin can’t have ‘em all anyway.
I am sicken by all kinds of acts and crimes against children. Perhaps it stems from myself having been abused as a small child. But I have no tolerance for it… and desire that all such people be put where they truly belong …away from all mankind forever.
Though one might argue about what harm does it do if someone only wanted to look at pictures of small children. But thoughts bloom into acts and actions… and once carried out these acts and actions can never be taken back… or erased from the minds… and sadly from the behavior of many children. Child abuse on any level does hurt.
I love this picture… so until I get tired of it you will see it again and again. I just love the rain. And doesn’t this picture look sooooo refreshing.
Speaking of which… while on my return trip the bus driver started talking to me. He told me about those places where people are in dire need of rain… as there has not been any for so time now. If you live in 1 of those… I hope this picture gives you some relief… and know that rain is on the way.
Well, God bless…
Add a comment August 4, 2011