Posts filed under: ‘Giving unto others‘
Wow, over the period of a few short months it is amazing how quickly things can change.
I just finished getting a text from a friend… and she began laying out to me just how very different this summer has been for her …juxtapose to last summer. Last summer we were breezing around eating hot dogs and ice cream cones here and there. While this summer we have yet to even see 1 another… and she just told me why?
The other thing is she has also been shuttling her daughter around… because her daughter’s car blew its engine. And they kindda just within a few months or so… just bought her that car to get around in at school.
And on top of all of this …she has her own health issues… and to top it all off… just last year her mother passed.
Did somebody say, “When it rains it pours?”
I guess my friend can attest to that.
And I thought I was facing something.
While sitting there texting back and forth with my friend with her laying out her summer woes to me… some workers on the college campus came in and sat down in the school cafeteria near me. And Jim, 1 of the workers, began laying out his summer to me… saying what a nightmare it has been for him on the job.
It seems that the whole campus heating system blew… which also effected the school air conditioning system. This in turn it seems forced all the summer classes to be placed in his building… the building he cleans. Which meant that while most of the summers he has only had to strip floors and do some waxing here and there at his leisure… not so this summer. This summer the floor stripping and waxing had to be put off… as his cleaning responsibilities had been far more than just doubled … say trippled by the additional people now using his building for classes.
But what Jim also told me kind of gave me reason to pause. He said that the school heating system was going to cost the school $2 million to replace… and that the school just did not have the money to get it fix. Jim also said that this winter students may be sitting in the cold all over the campus.
Wow… and I thought I was dealing with something.
Two million dollars????
And I thought I had heating problems.
While sitting there texting my friend and talking to Jim… I then got a phone call from a niece asking for some money. She said she was short on her rent, and that she had no money for food.
It is funny just how quickly your prespective on your own problems can change… when you come to realize just what other people are going through.
You know what?
I just realized just how blessed I am.
I am blessed. I am truly blessed… doesn’t matter what it looks like… or what it sounds like …land court… foreclosure notices… bills… repo’s… shut-off notices… etc…etc…etc. I want you to know that I AM BLESSED.
Hey, I would like to take this time to acknowledge all of you who have purchased my book, THE BISHOP’S WIFE… can’t believe it. I definitely hope that each of you are enjoying it and have found it to be a good read. Please let me know what you have to say about it… I would love to hear from you. You can reach me by either emailing me… of which my email address appears in my book. Or you can just leave a comment right here on my blog.
Well, it looks like rain… so I have to get out of here gotta get downtown to pay something on my parent’s taxes.
Well, God bless… and enjoy your weekend. I need some real rest. Lately been waking feeling tired…but I guess if you went to sleep most nites after 3 AM you would be too. But I think that I am going to try and take it this weekend… in between pulling out and trying to kill some weeds around the yard.
The Olympic Games… haven’t said much about them… because I no longer watch much tv. But happy about Gabby grabbing that gold… hadn’t missed that since it is all over the internet. She is stepping in the steps of another great gymnast… Dominique Dawns. And what a champion she was… and still is.
Usain Bolt “the Bolt” proved again during the Olympic Games that he is unbeatable. He is the world’s fastest man… nobody can even touch him. “The Bolt” is in a class all of his own… just proves what ‘yard’ cookin’ (as they say in Jamaica) …and having to walk for miles can build strength like nothing else can. Yea, Jamaica!
And I really cannot say enough about Serena this year… she has turned it all the way up. In spite of earlier health issues she has the determination of a true winner to not give in to it. Because to win… to win big… and to continuously perform on a very high level takes a lot… and whatever that lot is… lets say it is desire… a deep desire to win… and a desire to win all the time. Truly Serena has it.
But what amazes me more and more about the Williams Sisters is their great passion not only for the game of tennis… but for each other… and their family. What a family… It is wonderful to watch their great out-pouring of love for one another and dedication. Even though their mother and father are no longer together it has never prohibited them, mom and dad… from being in stadium for their daughters.
I like through thick and thin stories… and this Olympic Games has more than a few of them. Truly all the athletes are to be applauded. It takes a lot of lonely hours… mixed with sweat to be at the top of your sport… and they do it. They do what it takes to not only get to the top… but stay there.
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 ©2012
Add a comment August 3, 2012
They clamor to be in the videos, on the cover of the magazines, on the big screen, sitting on the Oprah show… or on somebody’s reality show. They want it… want it… or 15 minutes of it… if that is all they can get.
Some people have committed various acts… including murder… shooting up high schools …bombing buildings …etc… all in order to get their name in print and/or picture on TV.
If many knew what that life was really like I doubt that they would pursue it. It is a life filled with lots of ups and downs. And plenty of its own uncertainties… and always lots of money and work woes.
There are some things in the video clip above that you should play close…very close attention to. First of all, is the lack of any real care or concern by the woman who claims to be Gary Coleman’s wife.
Second of all, when she finally does start talking to him…listen to how she speaks rather…barks at him like she is talking to a little misbehaving child instead of a bleeding and near dying husband.
And Fourth of all, how much more concerned about herself and what she can’t stand and what is going on with her… which seems to be of far more importance to her than a bleeding Gary Coleman.
Is it possible that Gary Coleman may have fallen prey to a person he should have chased back and away from him…instead of marrying her?
After several episodes of run-ins with fans who seem to have gotten too close to him, where Coleman had been noted as being mean and evil towards them. And often it ended up with him punching 1 or 2 of them in the face.
Then how did he hook up with this woman?
Is it possible that she allowed Coleman to lay there bleeding until he was near death…and then decided to call 911 for emergency assistance for him?
Is it possible that she may have hit him or… somehow or other brought about brain hemorrhage that brought about his death?
Not if you go by what you hear during that 911 call.
What does that mean?
At any rate Gary’s parents have sent their people to step into the picture between that woman and Gary…on their son’s behalf. I really feel for them.
I had always thought it sad when Gary went into court with his parents, who are really foster parents to him. But I guess the only parents he ever knew. And after it happened, I had always hoped that time would have healed that wound between them.
It does happen sometimes in families. In fact in many families it does happen. Most families experience some type of falling out one time or other. But then there are those families that go to grave not ever speaking again after whatever happened came between them.
Those family members who mature and/or come to know that ‘there is nothing like family,’ they learn to but aside differences in order to not to continue to tear the family apart. Many times it is hard but you have to do it ‘for the sake of the family.’ Otherwise, there will be tons of regrets on both sides years later… and usually well after it is too late.
I had to learn through the grace of God to put aside some things dealing with family issues in our family. The things that set us at each other, and all the name calling… finger pointing …can’t override the value of keeping the family together. You have to work at keeping the family together… because no amount of things or ill will or words can compensate for it…family.
Family is important.
Unfortunately, Gary Coleman may have elected to turn his back on the 2 people who may have well loved him the most… to run into the arms of people who filled him up with a bunch of ill advice and evil counsel.
On the other hand Dana Plato’s, the young girl on Diff’rent Stroks, foster mother struck me as being much like Patty Duke’s family and aunt, who saw her as being a gold mine. The same could be said about the father of the star of the movie ‘Home Alone,’ McCaulay Culkin.
It is sad imagining any child who has to endure a life among people who really do not love them… or who value more what the child can earn for ‘them.’ At some point I guess this is exactly what Gary began to feel… though I must say I never believed it about the people who called him ‘their son.’
I think it was murder.
Michael Jackson was a young teen boy when people got in between him and his family too. Over time and perhaps even out of some degree of necessity on both parts… their’s and his… they slowly came back together. Because at the end of the day…family is all you have when you get right down to it. All you have got to depend upon.
Going through pictures of Gary Coleman, I can see that there were times when he wasn’t doing so well healthwise. I produced a documentary on dialysis a while ago. Before it I had never heard the word dialysis before or even knew that there people who could not urinate on their own due to problems with their kidneys.
But I had an aunt who started needing dialysis treatments due to her diabetes. Through her I came to find out about the illness and how it ate away at those who had to depend upon it.
Well, that is one of the side effects of dialysis. Another is the obvious swelling of his face… and the ashy-ness of his skin tone. Do you notice how his eyes appear to almost be shut?
He does look sick doesn’t he?
With so many health issues due to his kidneys since being a young child and straight through his life… which also stunted his growth greatly… and other problems… it is not hard to see why Gary Coleman was as he was. Though such adversity in the lives of others has caused them to not only raise above their circumstances…but to truly go for the stars in ways that Gary did not. They turn their circumstances around by working to benefit the lives of others. But it seems that Gary could not rally that kind of strength.
He seemed to be alone in the world… and the 1 person left for him to depend upon wouldn’t even help him in his final hour of need. What a tragedy…for him …and maybe even for us. As none us tried to help him either.
If you would like to read the 911 call put in by Shannon Price, you can CLICK on the LINK BELOW.
I will never forget watching her taking some award where she graciously stepped to the mic to said a few words to the teacher who told her that she would never make it as an actress. It is amazing the things we remember.
Of course like millions I too sat watching nights of Golden Girls. Who didn’t love ‘ma’ Estelle Getty…or Dorothy her larger than life daughter. And that ditizy Betty White… and that over-aged sex kitten Blanche.
One by 1 they are slowly departing this place. First Estelle Getty, then Bea Arthur, and Rue McClanahan and leaving Betty White. All of them better known by their character names… Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia…the Golden Girls.
Today there are reality shows… and shows about people trying to win a million dollars. It all became so boring to me that I stopped watching TV a while ago. And truthfully… I have not missed it. Besides, as an adult person my schedule is way too busy for me to be sitting down and watching television.
Didn’t intend to write so much. Now, I have a movie that I want to watch.
So, you have a good night… and a beautiful day tomorrow.
Update Saturday, June 5th: I awoke this morning having left my son’s laptop up on some news items on the oil spill in the Gulf. Listening to it… 1 news broadcast on the oil spill after another… the impact of the breath of this oil spill has finally really hit home to me.
The British people in the upper level of BP really were such big liars. They lied about everything… saying that they had it contained…that it was not going to hit the shores…and that it would not impact the local environment. In the beginning that BP top guy was passing the buck of responsibility on to someone else… some other company… and that it was not their oil rig at fault. Their oil rig that had failed to have all the safety measures that by law they should have had in place. Yet other lies by BP.
Now, the oil slick has hit Florida and is on its way out into the Atlantic Ocean if the clean up doesn’t speed up and can’t contain it any better than BP already has. It all makes me think about the Republican Convention during McCains’ run for the Presidency against Obama. Where they walked around with ton of signs and cries of-
“Drill, baby…drill,” could be heard all over that convention floor. The Republicans were excited about going out and digging more oil rigs… even stating that they would go into protected environmental areas to do so.
This is the video new items that awoke to. And believe it became crystal clear to me that what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico right now is surely going to impact us all.
How is it that a British oil company owns oil rigs in our own home waters… while we are seeking oil from foreign shores of countries such as those in the Middle East?
If we have oil right here in America then we should be producing it and controlling it for our own use. And particularly since these oil rigs are so dangerous and can impact us in such a way as this gushing BP oil rig in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.
Yes, I am advocating that we all boycott BP…it is time that they started feeling it in their pocketbook. Perhaps then BP might realize that they can’t come into America and treat Americans any kind of way…or endanger us without a hefty price.
THE BISHOP’S WIFE is now on sale…
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 ©2010
Add a comment June 5, 2010
Celebrating women… Mrs. Dorothy Height’s passing… and women we cannot applaud …what some women won’t do…
This morning before leaving out I made me a bowl of Cream of Wheat. Then I made sure I put on a coat.
Yes, a coat. Because… Well, because it is cold.
Though in speaking with one of my mother’s cousin’s I found out that they are having 90 degree weather in Florida. Wow…90 degree weather already. It is going to be smoldering there in Florida this coming summer if those kind of temperatures hold up.
But here it has been cold. And though I had been denying it.
I am now ready to face the hard and very cold facts…it’s cold. And I am not imagining it.
Yes, my conscience was bothering me… because I haven’t blogged in a short while. So, I decided that even if I just started it tonight then I could finish it tomorrow. And that would be so much better than not getting started with this at all.
So, that is just what I am doing. Because I have so much I want to talk about… I just know that there is no way that I am going to be through before this lab closes at 11 PM tonight…and it is just about 7:30 PM now.
First, let me start by mentioning the passing of Mrs. Dorothy Height. Though I had never met her, I certainly did know of her.
Mrs. Height along with her many years of work as a Civil Rights activist, and as head of the National Council of Negro Women… she was also known for her signature hats which she always sport without fail through the years.
She passed on Tuesday, April 20th in Washington, DC after several weeks of illness. It is sad to hear that she suffered. But truly she exemplified all the strengths and character of the women with whom she had the great fortune and I am sure pleasure to walk among… such as Mary McLeon Bethune, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Betty Shabazz, Coretta Scott King, Myrlie Evers, Ida B. Wells, Shirley Chisholm, Fannie Lou Hamer, Barbara Jordan, Bernice Reagon, Bessie Coleman and so many others.
It is odd that I am writing this blogg on this topic today. I never plan these things and never have any idea where I am going when I first start. And believe me that some people have written me pointing that out to me. But I welcome your comments…good or bad…or indifferent feel free to comment or drop me a note or 2.
I love celebrating women…and it has nothing to do with me being a past lesbian.
Maybe it is that my mother was a woman…my grand-mother was one…my great grand-mother was one… and all my aunts and nieces and most of my friends are one. And I think of them as being phenomenal people…and women. Clearly, Mrs. Height and all the women that I mentioned above were phenomenal women…but the women I am going to mention now are not. Some how they both fell well below the mark.
Many times while surfing over the internet looking for things…mostly to buy…I sometimes come across things or an article that sparks my saying something. And these 2 stories did just that…though one of them I saw on the Oprah Show.
But this story I came across over the internet. In reading it …it made me wonder-
“What women won’t do for a man.”
What this women did was insane…and she is not the first. Though if I were a Judge…she would have never been able to walk into my court with such an excuse…though I do not know exactly what her lawyer or lawyers plead for during her court trial. But if I had been the Judge it would not have been that…because what this woman did and the reason behind it was so sorted and sick …and just plain selfishness.
She was not some uneducated woman out in the streets. But I guess we may all very well agree that her mind wasn’t half as good or as decent as many of those women who we so often look down upon, when we come across them.
I will not call this woman’s name…not because I fear being sued or anything. But I do not want to add to her ever becoming famous or known. I feel she should go down into the depths without fanfare or pity. She was indeed evil. Her mind was without a doubt twisted…and she did it for a man.
This is what she did…she sought out some woman who was pregnant along with a group of thugs…beat and killed…and tortured. Then she stole the woman’s infant child to pretend that the child was her’s in an attempt to fool some man…with the hopes of being able to keep him.
You can read the story if you like…the LINKS are BELOW. But what kind of woman would have done such a thing?
And I think what bothered me more about this story is that there are those rallying to keep her from being executed for the insane criminal act which she committed.
I am sorry…and yes I am very much a Christian. But I have no tolerance for people who allow the devil to use them in such a vile and evil way. And by judging my her most recent picture she seems to be highly content.
We have all…I imagine…been the recipient of some vile and most evil thoughts. The kind of thoughts that came to us that were so foreign to us. It was some insane maybe even immoral act…or something that we would never imagine doing. Something that we totally rejected even the thought of it…or thoughts of it.
And yes…I too have experienced it.
I have a cousin who told me of such an incident which occurred with her. She told me that she used to be an alcoholic, and once while sitting at a table the thought came to her to get up from the table where she was sitting. She said she was told to take up a fork and begin stabbing a baby…a little infant that was nearby…and to stab it to death.
My cousin told me that at that moment is when she realized she had to stop drinking. She recognized the thought at being crazy and that it had frightened her…because the impulse to do it was so strong. And she said that she never drink again since that night.
In looking up info for this blog I came across information on Malcolm X’s grandson. The grandson who set his grand-mother on fire while she laid sleeping. Betty Shabazz suffered for nearly 2 months or more before finally succumbing to those injuries.
I have often wondered about her grandson whom she loved so much…a problem child…and perhaps is still troubled today. A child that she loved so much that she rather to have him come live with her than to see him placed some place and locked away, because no one could control him. And at the age of 12 he killed his own grand-mother.
What I have thought about on the times I have since reflected on him…was what went through his head that he would have done such a thing to someone who loved him so dearly?
It cannot be argued that some of toughest demons to resist are those which live inside of us. It is sad. But when crazy thoughts come into our minds we must with all our might resist them. A very large part of it is learning how to pray…and how to call upon the name of the Lord. It is what my cousin did. And it works…I know it for myself.
Now, on to the story I watched on Oprah last Thursday or Friday.
I had been in New York when the story broke…but like most people over time I had forgotten it. But if I thought the woman I wrote about above was evil that goes doubly for Vanessa Jackson…whom one of my brothers informed me was a member of the Church of God in Christ.
Note in the picture above…you will notice that 4 of the children look like something is wrong with them. They are different from the other children…not quite as well dressed…and if you look real closely you see that they were not as well…
Well, healthy looking…meaning not well nourished. Because they were not. That woman and her husband straved those little boys…while she, her husband and their biological children all eat well and seemed to be quite happy.
Some neighbors called 911 because late one night they heard a noise outside their window. And when they looked out they thought they saw what looked to them like a very young child rampaging through their garbage looking for food.
That young child was the boy in the picture to the right of the woman. The little tiny boy who looks so light and fragile. He was actually 19 years old and weighed under 60 pounds. And look at her own children…some of them quite plumb… as well as, she and her husband.
How could anyone be so heartless and so cruel?
These people called themselves ‘saved.’ They took those boys to church with them and their other children every Sunday. These people adopted those boys.
On the show the boys told how the woman would dress them in 3 or 4 sweaters under their clothes to make them appear fatter. How we gave them pancake mix to eat…and would tell them that they only had ‘x’ amount of time to eat it.
What kind of depraved people exist in this world?
Is money that important?
Vanessa Jackson and her husband, who has since died while in prison, went to church where they…I hope…were taught ‘love’…and that it is better to give than to receive. But somehow they felt that taking and cheating…and being evil and cruel was a better way.
They straved those little boys…and aided in seriously debilitating their growth, physically and mentally.
I could never love money that much. The world is filled with sick and degenerate people. I am so thankful to God that He gave me a mind to not to be 1 of them. And I hope that you aren’t either.
My Mother’s Day started with my cousin Jean…who loves reading her name in my blogs…waking me up early. It was then followed by my son telling me to get up and get dress because he was taking me to breakfast.
And what do you know it is not 11 o’clock yet. I must be getting better at this…because I am just about finish with this blog.
And don’t you dare leave out without your coat.
And 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 ©2010
THE BISHOP’S WIFE is now on sale…
Add a comment May 12, 2010
Well, we are just getting back in from our weekend little road trip. The weather was beautiful all the way down and back…90′s, baby…and felt like it.
One of my nephews preached his first sermon in his very own church this past Sunday…and we all went down to be with him for his opening ceremony…a monumental Christian event…in a place where I could see he was much needed. In Wilmington, DE…which is a much bigger place than I ever expected and has a very sizable amount of black folk.
While there I could not help but marvel at most of the homes…which were mostly made of stone and brick. They looked very historic…and I remembered that Delaware was an old State that has a very long and rich history due to George Washington having travelled and stayed there. And I could see that many of those homes dated back to that period in history…and had been well kept up and cared for through their long history…and still are.
But Wilmington reminded me of Detroit except for one distinct difference…there were no boarded up houses or boarded up businesses there…as far as I could see. Very much to the contrary was it to the situation in Detroit…in which as I stated in an earlier blogs on Detroit…that every other building and house was boarded up in Detroit due to foreclosures, down-sizing and massive job losses. Detroit was consumed by boarded up and vacated buildings and homes due to the shutting down of many of the factory jobs of its chief industry and job producers…the Big 3…the motor industry. And it looked every bit of it.
But contrary to Detroit…it seemed to me that Wilmington’s future was bright…the city that sits back off of I-95…but not too far off…just far enough off the main North Eastern throughway so you can’t see it.
But who knew that was really back there…down that short stretch of road where the signs lead you over to.
Little has been and is ever said about Wilmington, DE. But then I remembered as I glanced across and looked at the old beautiful mansions that our Vice President, Joe Biden and his family, also lives here…in that quiet little place which isn’t really all that little…and certainly not little at all compared to where I come from. Just 20 minutes South of Philly and not far from Baltimore. Wilmington really struck me as a great place to invest in…if you could find property to buy.
It has all the pluses… Wilmington does… including sitting on the banks of the Delaware River...you do remember that great picture they had in your history book of Washington standing on that boat looking very regal and General-like as he crossed the Delaware. It is funny the things you will remember years later from when you were a little grade school child sitting in various classes at school…of which none of it meant anything to you at the time. You just had to rememorize it because of the test tomorrow…and that was the only reason you placed it somewhere in your memory bank. Who knew 20-30-40-50-60 years later you would still be able to pull up and access that information stored somewhere in your brain?
This is why education is so important. Nothing in school ever seemed important to me. Teachers failed to be able to show the true value of why you should learn something. For some reason they cannot link anything that you do in school with real living. And then later in life you find out that it was all relevant to your everyday living. Like learning how to get up and go to school. Relevance: Getting up and going to work. If you never learned how to get up and get out to school on time you will certainly have problems at getting up and getting out to work on time. Therefore, it is relevant to real everyday living.
(2) Math…this is a big one (well, learning to get up and go to school was big too…) Relevance: Being able to keep track of your money…count your change…add up your groceries before you get into line…monitor your daily spending and align it with your budget and your pay check etc… I told you it was big. But for some reason teachers cannot appropriately inform students of the real value of learning math. There is not one kid…or child…or teen in school who doesn’t like money…and if they realized that math had something to do with money there would not be one student failing math.
Well, I guess you can tell that I am really tired from our trip to Delaware the place where George…oh, never mind…I’ve already said it…how he crossed that river and made history right there in that little…well…not so little town. Yeah…I am real tired.
Having talked often with Aunt Kate…it was not hard for me to tell when I first realized her mind was not as sharp as usual. You used to could say a name and she filled in all the blanks. I loved talking with her…and each time I learned more and more about our family. Her mother…was my grand-mother’s mother. She was a woman who had somehow ended up owning a very large portion of land…and I do mean very large. It ran along the shores and back a ways off from Lake Okeechobee, the 2nd largest lake in the United States…2nd only to Lake Michigan.
I found this out once during one of our last annual summer trips to Florida…when suddenly my mother began crying saying-
“You see this land it all belonged to my grand-mother.”
I was surprised…as my mother rarely became so emotional over such things…and certainly not out of the blue as she had that day. As many times as we had passed through that little town and across that bridge heading over to where I was born and where my grand-mother at the time stilled lived…my mother had never before said anything regarding the size or proportion of any of that land.
That day she told us that as far as we could see and as far back as we had just come…how it had all belonged to our great grand-mother. I had not realized until that moment that seeing where this town now absorbed all of what had been our family’s property…nor had I realized that seeing it as we drove pass it sadden my mother so until that day…as she sobbed loudly over her grand-mother’s property. She had spoken of it before but never had I any idea of the vast amount of property that was involved.
It is from that moment that I started paying more attention to those programs that I saw on PBS about black families going back through city records and trying to regain property which had been stolen away from their families during the mid-40′s through the 50′s…which included very large farm lands…by various people in those towns who simply just re-wrote the deeds to those black people’s property…giving themselves ownership over it without even bothering to purchase the property from any of the black families.
Very little has ever been said about my great grand-mother except for how extremely religious of a woman she was. But Aunt Kate had began sharing with me more about her. She told me of her giving nature…and how she had owned a restaurant. She told me that there had been people during the course of my great grand-mother’s restaurant business who could not afford to pay for the food…but she fed them anyway. She had even opened up the doors to her home and raised a child or 2 which was not her own…because they had been homeless.
“One little boy,” Aunt Kate said was a friend of one her brothers…whom they had found out that when they thought he would leave to go home…that he was actually sleeping down under their house.
Aunt Kate said, “Well, mother, wasn’t going to let him stay down there.”
She raised him along with her own children. He became another brother to our Aunt Kate and my grand-mother along with their other siblings.
Back in those days the houses in those areas of Florida were built raised up off the ground and sat upon concrete blocks. This was how they built all the houses back then down in Florida…raised up off the ground because of flooding. If the waters came up over the banks of Lake Okeechobee…it was hoped that they would not rise above the height of the concrete blocks.
Because Zora Neale Huston stayed in my great grand-mother’s area once upon a time…in fact, her book “Their Eyes Were Watching God”…takes place in a little town sitting on Lake Okeechobee. Imagine my great grand-mother being the great land Baroness that she was…and owner of the black folk’s only restaurant in that town…and just based on how folks lived down there…and still do…I imagine that they…my great grand-mother and Zora Neale Hurston may have known each another. Nobody lives in any of those little towns without knowing everybody…so much so…that they all become very much like family…caring and knowing everything about everyone and everything about them.
But Aunt Kate now being the last of all her sibling…out of 10 of them…was my source for much family history…which seemed to just pour out of her. I never had to ask any questions of her or try to coax her into sharing it with me…very unlike my own grand mother…who always seemed suspicious if you asked anything about our family history. Why I do not know…but it was something that I accepted thinking that perhaps there was something which I should not know.
But upon seeing Aunt Kate for the first time in years…I was somewhat surprised. She was much smaller now…though she had never been a big woman as she always kept herself up, as they say…meaning she always kept herself looking good and in good condition. But she wasn’t looking so good yesterday…most of her hair had thinned out…and she had this large black…what looked like smut smudge straight across her forehead. She had on no shoes or slippers on…of which I had never seen her walk around barefooted before…as Aunt Kate was quite prime and proper. And her feet were terribly ashy…meaning…well…you can look that one up…as I do not want nor wish to continue talking about my aunt in such a way.
But it was her mind…the thing most recently I had noticed in the last few phone calls we had had…her mind was slipping. She was not getting lost…but she had started forgetting things…and who such and such was…when she had always been so sharp about such things.
Aunt Kate was now in her 90′s…and though throughout all of these years age had somehow managed to not show up on her…yesterday was different. She seemed older than her 90 in fact…and she was now walking with a cane. That strong little woman was now…an aged shadow of what she had been…and though I smiled and was happy to see and talk with her and my cousins…it was hard for me not to notice the vast difference in our Aunt Kate yesterday…from the Aunt Kate I had last seen just about 3 years ago and throughout all the prior years.
I often think of the little church mothers in our church…woman who proudly proclaim their ages with such glee…because none of them looks anything near the age that they truly are. They are strong and fit…able to get onto and off buses…walk around their blocks…run errands on their own. There is a distinct difference between them and women who are not in the church. And it is very recognizable.
Though her mother had been an extremely religious woman…Aunt Kate may have been…and may still be quasi-religious. Until a few years ago…Atlantic City had become her friend. She had gotten bitten by that bug…called gambling. And if someone had not stolen some money from her…she still might be going…as it had become a weekly habit for her.
I really do believe that there is something about being in the church…and living a life separate from the ways of the world that will make a difference in your life…as witnessed by the many mothers who are in various churches around the world. There is just something about trusting and living your life as God intends you to live it…that will make a difference.
Yes, I am tired…but I am so thankful that God gave me the opportunity yesterday to finally go and visit with my very kind and loving Aunt Kate…through all the years this has never changed about her. I suspect that it comes from her mother.
There is little wonder that Obama’s approval rating for his first 100 days has been and is high…as he is actively pursuing to achieve exactly what he went into the White House knowing what he had and needed…and said he would do. Handle the business of the American people…and try to undo and dark mark the Bush Administration had put upon this country. And thus far…as my father would say…he has been doing just fine. But what I really like is the fact that the dynamic duo which we put into the White House are both getting high marks.
I always knew that Michelle was going to show herself to be simply wonderful as both First-Mom, First Lady…friend and confident to the man that sits in the top seat and wears the heavy crown…or in this country…heavy hat…President Barack Obama.
I really like reading all this good press about them. He was media darling prior to entering the race…media darling after entering the race…and still media darling after having won the race.
I like people who are consistent…don’t you?
As you know…I do not watch much television. But often while sitting around in a hotel room…I find little else to do. So, this is how I happened to hear about the ‘Swine Flu.” As far as I can tell…it is very much like most of the other flu’s…causing diarrhea, vomiting, fevers, headaches…etc. But thus far it has killed 81 people in New Mexico…and a series of people…up to 40 cases have been diagnosed here in other parts of the United States.
To protect yourself they say that you should continuously wash your hands…and when out in public keep your hands out of your mouth and eyes.
Could not resist this story…CLICK the LINK BELOW to read it and see the video.
I know you do not want to hear my opinion on that…because you probably already know it…if you have read any of these blogs at all with any degree or level of understanding.
But it just goes to prove…just how overboard this whole sexual revolution has become. And I am not shocked…as it seems to me that there are some in the church…or seemingly of the church…who have great interest in the subject and are doing everything they can to spread that interest.
Though, I have to admit that my book, THE BISHOP’S WIFE… certainly touches upon the subject. It is…I guess important…but not something which should be preached or for that matter…needed to be taught in church…any more than sex education in school.
Speaking about my book, THE BISHOP’S WIFE…between it and counting down the days to when it is ready for sell…launching my website…blogging…and hitting the road to promote my book…and menopause…it is wonder that I am anything but tired.
Now, I think I am going to get some much more needed sleep, thank you. Being on the road somehow drains me these days. I love it…but it tires me. I think it throws my whole internal clock off…as I usually am the one driving through the night…and most of the day. But I love the road, baby. Ain\’t nothing like it.
So, if you will excuse me…I am going to rest now. Good-night.
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…
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Add a comment April 28, 2009
Got up very early again this morning…but I was not nearly as productive as I had been on Saturday. In fact, I got up going to the bathroom and then stopped to read a chapter in my Bible…and then returned to bed.
I spent the past couple of nights sweating out my cold…of course, I can certainly see a vast difference. Been drinking plenty of fluids too…and also been making sure I take my iron tablets. Got to thicken up my blood…which is why I am also enjoying my Cream of Wheat. I am working on my 2nd box of it now…and still enjoying every minute of it. And as I do…it makes me think of how my father used to make it for us as children.
Mondays was our father’s day to care for us. As he was a barber…Sundays and Mondays were his 2 days off. I do not know how they worked out their schedules…but my mother and father did have it worked out as we were never left in the care of other people.
Daddy worked days and mommy worked nights. She worked at a state institution as a nurse supervisor…as I had previously stated in another one of my blogs…my mother had been the first black nurse in the little southern town where I was born.
Everything my parents did centered around us…their children. When they bought their first house…it was less than a block away from the little grade school that most of us went to…there was a bakery at the corner…a drug store…a small corner grocery store and deli…a bus stop…and we were only three houses in from the corner of a main roadway. Not to mention as I see by the city records today…they had bought the largest parcel of land of any 2 family house within our block. They were wise. And on top of all of that…there is a college right across the street.
So, when I eat Cream of Wheat it takes me back to those days…when daddy used to make it for us on cold mornings just as were going off to school. Some mornings he would fry us this thing called festival by some Jamaicans…or fried dumplings. He could really make those things…no matter what you call them. And we loved them…we filled them up hot out of the pan with plenty of butter and jelly…or some times with lots of syrup and butter…but they were good…always. But daddy was a great cook…and for that matter…so was our mother.
I am watching the snow fall down…and it is steady. It had been rain. It had rained straight through the night…and hard. Had all that rain been snow we would have been buried up under it right now. And that rain had been steady right up to the time it just turned to snow not so long ago. Now it is just a steady flow of un-yielding snow. I will soon have to go out and start shoveling…cold or no cold. But I am not going to complain…it is still beautiful.
I remember my friend in New York…the elderly woman, the church mother, who used to go to our church who passed this past August. You know I had never realized until some time later that she had passed on my mother’s birth date. And last night as I was thinking of her…my friend…it also dawned on me that when I had gone to the hospital to visit her…that the floor I had to switch from elevator to elevator on…had the same name as our street…the street that my parent’s house in on.
It is not a common name…and you do not see it everywhere. I thought that to be divine providence…you know…God’s working in the matter. I was very blessed to have had her…to have met her…and that she counted me as a friend. Her guidance to me shall forever be treasured.
In reading the article on religion…it is odd to me that a country founded on the freedom to practice religious beliefs would today be shifting away from having religion at all. But these days were bound to come.
When you reflect back on the years following 1962 when the push began to remove prayer from public schools…then anything bearing the word “God”…the challenge to remove the 10 Commandments from court houses and so forth…then this really should be of no surprise.
I don’t know…perhaps it is just me. But where were all those anti-gay marriage people…and anti-abortion people when all of this was going on?
Droves of anti-gay marriage people come out picketing and marching…and demonstrating…against something which does not affect them…and will never affect them. But when something like taking prayer out the public school system…removal of the 10 Commandments from the court houses and other federal buildings…removing the words “In God we trust” off of our U.S. currency…comes up…where are these people?
Prayer was taken out of our school and replaced by sex education…and condoms. The kids today in school learn less about their A-B-C’s, Math, Sciences etc…than they are about condoms and the ‘birds and the bees.’
Kids do not need to learn anything about sex. Nature through all her infinite wisdom and years of expertise in that department has not needed any help…from the day that Adam and Eve ate that fruit from that tree. There does not seem to be one time in history that men and women did not know how to get together to procreate. And now it seems…little kids too. And I won’t blame it all on sex-education…because that would be foolish and quite absurb of me. But I do not see where educating kids about sex…does one thing to prepare them for their future in life.
But if they wanted to really to teach them something in regard to youth parenting…then maybe like those ‘Scared Straight’ programs they used to have years ago…perhaps they should take them to a welfare office where they get to meet and talk to some teenage mothers and see for themselves the pitfalls of pregnancy at young ages. There is nothing like a little one-on-one in reality in order to get the whole picture.
Or maybe…have them go do work study hours in places like a welfare office or WIC office aiding in in-take service…and they would truly learn a lot that just might give them a reason to pause and to think twice about the consequences of childhood pregnancy.
As I sit here watching the snow…I have been thinking about this guy…this man. I had met him at an event that I gave a few years ago. So, whenever he sees me…he likes to greet me.
Which is fine…I have no problem with that. It is something I became accustom to through my years in radio. Everybody wants to grab you…hug you…kiss you on the cheek. Okay…so, allow it. It is part of the territory…it goes with the turf when you become popular.
But this guy one day while I was in the library computer lab at school saw me…and he came greeting me…kissing me on the top of my head. Okay…fine. I did not say anything about it…but it was on my mind.
But the other day while I was waiting in a bank line…he happened to be passing by and saw me. My back was to the bank door…and he came up behind me. He said something to me grinning…and then kissed me to the back of my neck. I thought nothing of it at first…but later as I got into my son’s truck…in which sat a friend of his whom I was giving a ride to…that is when it hit me.
That guy had kissed me to the back of my neck.
I am very picky. Peculiar…you might even say. I really do not like people getting too familiar with me…and particularly people who I do not really know. And besides…he was not even good-looking. And even if he was…he still out of order…and I am still picky.
After all, this guy started out by sort of hugging me. Then he moved on to greeting me with a light kiss to a cheek…then to the top of my head. And I really should have stopped him then. So, I put it in my mind that the next time I saw that guy I would have to tell him that he could not touch me again.
That time came shortly…while I was once again in the library computer lab. As he approached me…he bent with his arms open ready to embrace me…and I guess kiss me again. But I happened to catch him…right on time…and drew away from him.
I stopped him saying-
“Listen, shake my hand if you want to greet me. But do not kiss me.”
He looked at me oddly.
So, I began to remind him about that day in the bank when he had come in and kissed me on my neck. I told him that anyone seeing that would have thought that we had a relationship and were involved with each other. Then I asked him what he would have thought if he had been standing off somewhere in the distance and happened to see a man kiss me on my neck.
And you know what he said?
“I would have thought that you were involved with each other too.”
“Look, I am a woman of God. I cannot just have people walking up to me and kissing me all over the place like that. Plus that is disrespectful of me for you to do that. You should have more respect of me to even do anything like that.”
Wow, I have truly grown. I am a woman.
Gone are the days when I was a child…and people could do anything to me…or with me.
I have control over me.
And I am not having it.
You will respect me.
Wow… I am woman.
That guy apologized to me…and thanked me for correcting him. I appreciated him accepting my correction. Yet…I felt within myself that it should not have been warranted that I should have had to do such a thing. But men have a way…of taking things for granted…and particularly women.
I felt that many times while working in radio. I hated when my bosses called me ‘sweetheart,’ and ‘dear.’ It was very demeaning to me…while they never greeted each other in such a way…or spoke to each other in such familiar terms. Consciously , sub-consciously or unconsciously…such things historically have been designed to keep women in their place.
When I was a child…I was powerless. When I worked in radio…I had limited power. Today I am my own boss…I wheel power as I may…but yet…I measure it. As I know I can be highly intimidating to some.
But this may come as a surprise to some of you. But I have never been kissed. Not by the male species.
I know I have a son…but that does not mean that I allowed that man to kiss me. And I know that I said in my other blog…that Willis Kattrell…well, he kissed me. And he did. But I think my head was in motion when he did it…so he only caught a portion of my lips. To the side really…of my mouth.
So, I have never been kissed. Not really…though yes many women have kissed me…and I them. But the male species…no.
I never had a boyfriend…and have never dated men.
I am different… Not like most people. And my experiences have been different.
Yet, I am a mother. And I have a fantastically wonderful son. I treasure and love him very much. He too is…different.
This is how I know of generational curses. It was in my mother’s family. And I do realize…that generational curses can be broken. I bear witness to it.
I love the change in my life and look forward to my tomorrow. Perhaps…my husband. I now wish I had had other children. My son often had spoken of it…and still does.
There is this funny thing about me. After having been sexually abused at a very early age…perhaps before or by the age of 10…only twice and by 2 different men…but sometime thereafter, I decided that I wanted to save myself for my husband. I thought I wanted to live in a big house with a white picket fence…with a 2 car gargage…and have all the children that I could have. So, that is what I did…I decided to save myself…and that is what I did.
From the point of whatever age it was…10 maybe less…the last time someone had taken sexual advantage of me…I never became engaged again sexually until some time when I was 25 years of age. At this point…I was only interested in woman. And not just any woman. Gay women…women like me. Women who were upper-wardly mobile and doing something with their lives…professional women mostly in media…though some were doctors, accountants etc…but talented…beautiful…well educated women…who looked and acted womanly.
Not all women who are gay…look it. In fact…many do not. The same is true of men…though the reverse thinking about gays is the myth.
I have no idea as to why I have begun to disclose so much to you…about myself. I shall have to pounder it.
Ahhh…yes… The point.
So, I decided to save myself. Well, at that point I could no longer save certain things as they had been stripped from me. My innocence had been stolen from me. But somehow throughout all the years one thing has remained…my kisses. So, since I have never kissed the male species…or allowed anyone of that species to kiss me directly on the lips…I decided to save it.
I am saving it for my husband…it is the least that I can give him. Unpolluted…un-tampered with…safe within my power…to give…or not to give. So, I am saving it for him. So, no I am not going to let somebody just walk up to me…or sneak up from behind me…and think that he can just come and steal it away from me…not that too. Except for…of course…er, uhm…if his name is Willis Kattrell. (you have just got to read that blog)
And let me just say…that I am still scrubbing my neck today…everytime I step into the shower…I am trying to remove the memory of that man’s lips to the back of my neck.
Well, the snow is slowing up now. And the kids are on their way home from school. I better get out and start shoveling. Enjoy the rest of your day.
Didn’t like the VOGUE cover of Michelle Obama at all…just goes to prove that nobody can do us better than us. Thank God for Essence, Ebony, Jet, VIB, Right-On, Black Enterprise…and everything
else we have today.
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 ©2009
Add a comment March 9, 2009
I must say…if I have to say so myself…that I am so proud of me today. Oh…I mean this morning. I do not know what time I got up but by the time I laid back down…it was only 7:57 AM.
I got up and had my Cream of Wheat. And yes…I am still enjoying it. I had me a cup of tea…and read my Bible and then laid back down. A few minutes later…perhaps an hour later…I got up again. I pulled out my bucket…got the scrub brush…and pulled out the cleaners and scrubbed down the kitchen again…then I hit the doors and wall in the small hall leading towards the bathroom. I sprayed down and lightly scrubed down the bathroom…and left it soaking.
Wow…yeah…. I think I should be proud of myself…and it is not even noon yet.
There is something about getting up early. You will get so much more done for some reason or another…if you get up and get started early. There is just something about getting up early…there really is. I do not know what…but that makes you work a little bit quicker and harder…and you just acheve more. And now I feel so good. And so…so proud of myself for taking care of my parent’s house in their absence. For me having gotten up early today..and gotten started the very first thing this morning.
I have been busy working on building my website for the past couple of weeks…and the pages are coming along well. I am really impressed with the pages that I have created thus far. A few years ago I decided to begin taking some graphic arts classes.
When I was in New York and started my own homebased business, an advertising agency, Queen Bee Multi-Media Advertising Agency. I used to hire students from the campus right around the corner from my apartment…Pratt Institute, to do artwork for me. Pratt has a very high reputation as a good art school…which I never knew at the time…but the students on that campus turned out some fantastic work for me. I never went to see a client without feeling proud of our presentations which they had prepared under, of course, my direction.
I represented schools, furniture stores, boutiques, concert promoters etc… There is little about advertising that I do not know about…having also a history in radio sales, media buying, telemarketing, product placement…etc…etc…etc… But I had always had an artistic bug.
When I was a child, I had begged and begged my mother to buy me a home study art school course. After begging for some time my mother finally broke down and ordered it for me. That home study art school cost $300…and my mother ordered it for me. As much as I begged for it…I only did one lesson of that course.
Eventually, I gave away one of the books…of which there had been 3. They were very big and thick…in a large binder…bound in expensive red binding filled with my untouched drawing lessons…and I gave away one of the 3 large lesson books and never touched those books again. Something that my mother had sacrificed to buy for me…and that I had begged and begged for it. And I did nothing with it…short of giving it away…and back then $300 was an awful lot of money…that really had to have been a sacrifice. But she did it for me.
I guess she always recognized that I had talent…that I was gifted. Though she would have done no less for any of my other sisters or brothers…and did. As we all had to take music lessons…and all had various interests. She had bought us all our own instrutments which she had purchased for us one Christmas.
I will never forget that Christmas…which was our musical Christmas. My mother must have bought everything the music store had. Whoever owned that music store must have loved her. That Christmas morning when we awoke…we found a large electric keyboard, piano, drum set, guiatar & amp and accordian all up under our Christmas tree.
Before the day was out I had mastered that keyboard and could play several songs on it. The next day that keyboard was gone. My mother replaced it was a real full size organ. I think back on that now and believe that she did it…because it had posed no real challenge in order to learn. Today both the piano and the organ are still here in the house with me…and nobody plays a note on them. That is not to say that they cannot play them…they just do not bother to do so.
My father, who had a saxaphone, a ukalie and a trumpet…which you could hear him practicing on sometimes late at night…he made me play the accordian. When he would come home from work…I would have to pull it out after he ate dinner that is when he forced me to practice…night after night. None of my sisters or brothers had to practice anything before him…but me. And he always would fall asleep on me.
The accordian which was under the Christmas tree was my 2nd accordian. It was the bigger version of what they had already gotten for me before a year or so ago. And I went out every week to accordian lessons for years.
I hated the accordian. I loathe pokas. I wanted to play the piano…and in the beginning I had both piano and accordian lessons. But daddy wanted me to play the accordian…and we never argued against my mother or my father’s wishes. So, then my piano lessons were stopped.
As I stated in an earlier blog…our piano teacher was also my mother’s voice instructor…a little white woman who used to pay a couple of visits per week to our home…Mrs. Marlow. She was a very nice lady…and she knew her stuff. We were fortunate to have her. And that she didn’t mind coming to the home of black folks…though we lived well. At that time my parents had bought their 2nd house. This house had 15 rooms not including its full basement…and the house sat upon a hill overlooking the waterfront…with a long driveway leading in to our house.
I liked the house…but not as much as our other house. But it was grand…and it was spacious…but it was far more for us to clean…and especially for me…being the oldest.
Oh, man…the living room had windows all the way around so you could look across at the water no matter whether you stood or sat. And it had a very big fireplace…where we used to roast marshmellows…as though we were at camp. It was fun. And that house also had a raspberry tree growing in front of it, with a big lawn and all these beautiful trees with branchs swirling within it that yielded beautiful blossoms in the spring and summer.
I liked it…but it was a lot of work that house…and none of my sisters or brothers had to do more of it than me. I never held that against my parents though. But I did against my sisters and brothers though. They could never just drink from ‘one’ cup…or ‘one’ glass…I was washing dishes all day and night long. I truly know how Cinderella felt.
My parents were hard working people…who always did things for other people…and were always doing for us. Their lives centered around us. Which is why I regret never appreciating them as much as I should have.
I appreciated them…in that I never once caused them any problems…(well…except for the time I thought I could drive…I will tell you about that in some other blog, I am sure). I can’t say I may not have been a heartache…because I am sure that my being gay was not something hard for them to deal with…though they never once spoke about it. I am sure they would be surprised that I am no longer in gay life. But perhaps they had already known that at some point God was going to change my mind and my heart.
But I never gave them as much as I should have. Though they gave us the world…and everything else. There was nothing new that came out that they didn’t buy…from dishwashers on. As we became of age they bought us all cars. And we were always going on trips.
We went to the World Fair…
Do you remember that?
It was here in the states…in New York City that year. Now, only the big globe of the world remains at that site as a reminder of that very huge event. The location today is where they play the US Open.
But we were going to this place and that place…by train mostly when we were smaller…as we grew and learned to drive…mostly by car…and on by plane. They took us everywhere…and everything was a family thing.
I guess they lived the life that people who work…live for. To be able to buy whatever they wanted…when they wanted it…and to do as they wanted. And then…to be able to educate and provide for their children…which they certainly did. And they did it well…as well as, for their god children, neighborhood kids, church people…and those in need.
My parents had 8 of us…and spared nothing…including correcting us when it was called for.
Today, I think my mother would be proud to know that her $300 investment in me…really didn’t quite go wasted. As I later taught art in high school…which is so funny that should have happened…but it did. But I don’t think my mother saw any humor in my wasting her $300 the way I did…because I didn’t even try to pretend to do any of those lessons from that home art school once I got pass the 1st lesson.
One day…I think I was asking her for something else and she flared up at me suddenly saying-
“You are too talented and that is why you will never do nothing.”
Which was the tail end of whatever else she had said…I cannot remember the first part of it. But she was mad when she said it. And I was quite young…but somehow that always stuck with me. I don’t know if I quite understood what she meant…but I had somewhat of a clue. That statement has made me look at everything I have ever done…or thought to do…and it governs the things I am now doing.
Everything I have ever done is in media. From that day…when my mother told me …‘that is why you will never do nothing’…I have sought to not half learn anything…or half do anything…but to become proficient in everything I lay my hands to…no matter how long it takes me…or how many hours in a day or night. But if I set out to do it…then to stick with it.
I had to learn how spend the time learning to perfect things. To not get up from anything that I am doing…becoming readily interested in other things…other gifts…practicing something else.
I do not eat or drink when I am working on something. Nor do I take lunch breaks…or go to the bathroom…nothing. I am throughly engulfed.
Someone, an ex-, told me that I have tunnel vision. Meaning whatever it is, at that point or moment of my life, that I decide that I am going to do…I become so emerged and engrossed in it. So much so…that I only see it…think about it…and in some cases dream about it. I eat…sleep…and drink thinking about only what I am doing…when I am working on something. When I had my advertising business…which I still do…there have been many nights when a client’s project concept came to me in my sleep.
A wise elderly woman…my friend who passed this pass August…whom I have wrote about in a couple of these blogs…she told me that my habit of not eating or going to bathroom from morning into the very late hours of the evening was not a good thing. She told me that I would ruin my stomach…if I continued that practice. So, I have since been working on adjusting myself…my schedule and my body. I would hate to cause myself any medical conditions that I could have avoided. I had always found her wise in her counsel to me.
Yes, I was too talented…like my mother said. I could do a lot of things…and still can. And there is a trap to being able to do so. Most people are good at just one thing. So, they focus on that one thing. But to be multi-talented or gifted…you have to struggle with balancing your gifts.
I had to learn to direct all those gifts…or I would have become a ‘jack of all trades…and a master of none.’
My mother saw that…and that is what caused her to flare up at me telling me what she did that day…and how she told it to me. From that moment I began to focus upon everything I do…like these blogs which to date I have written nearly if not more…than a 130 of them since starting in mid to late June of last year. So, if you have just started reading them…you have alot of catching up to do. And you will have an exam in the morning…
I have always had to direct everything…just so I wouldn’t be all over the place. Though I do not think I have quite been so successful at doing that…I have endeavored nonetheless. But the most I can say…is that it has all been media related. But thank God for my mother saying that to me…and at a time when I needed to hear it…or I would have never been aware of something that was so crucial for me to grasp…and to have graspped it early.
It did not prohibit me from being more or less talented. But made me aware that I needed to channel those talents and not be flighty with them…but to engage them…focus them…and develop them to their highest levels. So, through my years that is what I have been doing. And from time to time…I find myself taking classes here or there…just like my mother.
That is so funny…when I think of. That I continue to take classes just like my mother…which is also something that I wrote about….in a blog or 2 prior to this one.
So, a few years ago, I decided to take some graphic art classes. The marketplace has changed so vastly with the influx of computers and software…everything is done totally differently today no matter what field you are in. So, I began taking these classes…and when I take classes I invest many after hours outside of the class to master the thing.
I do nothing without mastering it…and I invest the time to do exactly that…and the effort. Which when I decided to learn video production… it required me lugging around tons of heavy and very bulky equipment. It was not uncoummon to find me shouldering a 3/4″ video recorder deck, tripod, large light kit and large video camera trying to board a bus. And people wonder why I have muscles now…(smile). And I learned all that equipment…every piece of it…every cable connector…every cable…every kind of editing system, software etc…everything.
“Here comes Spike Lee’s sister.”
They don’t laugh any more though. No, not today…instead they ask about my film projects and what I’m getting ready to do next. I am no longer a joke…but it did not come without struggle. Hours upon hours of vested time, training, exploring…learning what I was doing wrong and trying to trouble shoot on my own…and sitting there until I got it done. Never looking for pay…but always looking to assist others so that I could learn more and sharpen my own skills. But I did what it took…and I still do.
Sometimes even in writing these blogs…I work on them straight for more than 6 or 10 hours…if not more…and it is usually more dependng upon what I am writing about…including searching for pictures…seeking out errors etc.
A professional is what I am…but a perfectionist is what I seek to be.
So, to date the classes I have taken in graphic arts are these…Photoshop, Quark and Illustrator…and additional software I have learned is FinalCut, Adobe Primere, Director, Flash, Dreamweaver, Avid, Fireworks…not to mention being able to write and read html…and having learned also all the latest stuff in radio studios. Though I played a bit with Freehand and at some point will try my hand at InDesign. I love playing with this stuff…exploring the capabilities.
So, I am proud of myself for having gotten up early this morning and gotten off to an early start with my cleaning. I am proud that the website is coming along too. And here is a preview , at the bottom of this blog, of something which I did this past week using the skills I have learned in graphic arts. Those Pratt students can eat their hearts out now. But those kids taught me a lot though…when they used to come for our conferences to discuss what my clients wanted.
Thank God for my mother and father…which is why I cannot understand that girl in Florida who killed her daughter and posted drawings of skeltons and other things symbolizing her acts. Clearly, she was troubled. But a guilty conscience will trouble you everytime.
There is something about mothers…real mothers…that when their child is missing nothing in this world can contain them. They act in a certain way…they become obssessed…and there is no consoling them. They are overtaken by grief and concern…and they are not interested in anybody or anything other than finding their child.
Once my son got separated from me. You will not know the sheer horror that ran all through me during that very brief span of time…but it seemed to me to be enternity. I was terribly horrorified. I was overcome and on verge of perhaps loosing my mind. I had lost my child in a large crowd of people at an outdoor affair which was quite crowded. One second he was right there with me and the next he was gone.
I felt someone had stolen him. And that was all I could think. I did not know which way to turn. People were all about me. I thought to scream out…but suddenly I looked up and across the field. It was as though a path had opened up…and there was my son. One of our neighbors had found him somewhere in the midst of all those people…and was bringing him back to me.
I dropped to my knees and embraced my son so hard…I know I must have been crying. I was so relieved…so happy…so overjoyed that someone had found him…and that it was one of our neighbors. I never experienced another moment like that…as I learned like every good mother who loves her child or children…how to keep my eyes or hands on my child at all times.
So, I certainly know the state that a real mother can fall into just believing her child is gone. She begins grieving immediately…because she will only think of the worst scenario.
That is what I thought about the Susan Smith case. The mother down in South Carolina…or somewhere south…that said that some black man had leaped into her car while she was stopped at a stop light. She said that he had stolen her car and drove off with her 2 small children in the back seat. I do not think that many people had to think twice about that story…but it was her actions following the supposed incident which gave her away. And likewise…were the actions of this young woman in Florida. She was out partying and having a good time.
When I thought of this young woman’s actions following the supposed disappearance of her 2 year old daughter…it made me think of that teenager who was at the prom and gave birth to her baby in a bathroom stall. And how she had walked off and left the bady there in that stall. She had returned to prom dance floor…and continued to dance and enjoy herself as if nothing had happened. For which she only got 2 years…or something…might have been counselling.
I understand denial. I understand that mothership may be difficult for many. But what I do not understand is when someone…a mother…or who be it…commits such acts as these young women against innocence. I cannot understand it. I just can’t…I just can’t… There are so many other options.
Parenting is a process…but some people they are just not equipped or mature enough to handle the responsibilities that it brings. This is the reason…that I know that young kids should never be bearing children. Everybody deserves to enjoy their youth…and have a time to grow up before taking on the task of motherhood and fatherhood way beyond the grade school level…and many times even beyond college. I was 48 years old before I realized that I had become a woman…and that I needed to grow up and start acting like one. Truthfully.
Not to say…that I did not mother my child. Oh, no… I was at doctor’s appointment, dentist appointment…sitting in the back of of my son’s classes when I had to…at every open house almost…and when I wasn’t my mother was. You have to stay on top of your children (just a frame of speech…not literally)…and certainly not in a bad way. But you have be conscious of them…what they are doing…who they are with…caring of them…and for them. And you should never feel that they are an inconvenience to you…and certainly never give them to feel that.
Therein lays the problem for the 3 young women whom I mentioned above. They felt that they could just rid themselves of their unwanted burdens by doing away with them. How sad for their children. How very very very sad…….. Sad.
I was checking through my blogs today…I watch to see what people are reading and who has linked up with me etc… I came upon this link in which the blogger found fault with a person who was standing in a soup kitchen line…and that person having a cell phone. The blogger felt outraged because the person was supposed to be down and out…yet he had a cell phone.
I found that to be as selfish…as a time I was waiting in the grocery checkout line. I never pay attention to what other people are buying…but this person near me…I believe she was just ahead of me but after the person who was checking out. I overheard her saying-
“Did you see that? She’s buying shrimps with foodstamps. And do you see her pocketbook? Honestly, buying shrimps on our money.”
Overhearing that, my curiosity was pricked…so I leaned a bit and saw that the woman had a Louis Vuitton handbag…a very nice and big one…and very nice expensive coat. These are things I also never pay attention to. What do I care about what people have on…as long as they have on clothes…or what type of pocketbook or handbag they have?
It doesn’t make a difference to me.
But I thought it a bit aburd of that the woman making the comment…that she was upset about the shrimps being purchased with the government supplied foodstamps.
Now, how stupid is that?
Even if she had gotten upset over the woman’s handbag…that would have been stupid too.
But she got upset…as if poor people can’t…or should not be allowed to eat shrimp. And that is not to say that that woman was poor…as none of us standing in that line knew her circumstances. But to question what people can or cannot eat depending upon what is or is not our preceived notion of them and as to their place or circumstances in life is absolutely foolish.
Why should that woman in that line…or anyone else in that line…or the whole store, for that matter…care whether or not that woman paid for those shrimps with her foodstamps?
Or whether or not she should eat shrimps or not?
She can eat whatever she wants. And she had legal tender by which to purchase it.
Perhaps, it is just me. Maybe, I’m the one obssessing. Could be…
But I think that some people concern themselves with so many things that really…that they have no right to be thinking about. As it is simply not their concern…or any of their business…nor their place to assess who can eat or cannot eat whatever.
Just how dumb is that?
But that is how I felt about that blog about a supposed poor person standing in a soup kitchen line taking a picture with his cell phone. And here is that picture…
Yeah, he was standing in a line that Michelle Obama, First Lady Obama, was assisting in at a shelter kitchen feeding needy people in Washington, DC…which I believe she does every Friday. I imagine a bunch of people were taking her picture including the camera crew that got these shots. If I was there…I would have taken her picture. And then asked her-
“Can we get one together?”
And whoever wrote that blog probably would have done the same thing.
How many times do you come face to face with the President of the United States…or his wife?
“Better start snapping, baby.”
But why should anyone feel that other people…black… checkered….green…poor… or otherwise are not entitled to have certain things?
That really seems stupid and quite selfish to me…and certanly demeaning.
“Well, if they couldn’t afford the mortgage they shouldn’t have bought the house.”
And I have heard this more than a few times…particularly following the last bailout of the banks on Wall Street.
Did not your parents struggle?
Don\’t we all struggle to pay off stuff?
Most people do. And they are not wrong to do it.
I believe that everyone wishes they had the money to buy and pay for everything that they want…when they want it…or need it. But that is not how life is.
The unfortunate thing about it…is that no one knows what tomorrow will bring. And we are all looking towards tomorrow.
When I looked upon house after house..and business after business boarded up in Detroit…I know that those people had been looking towards tomorrow. But none of them realized that when tomorrow came it would mean that jobs would be cut back. They did not see that the company they worked for…that their father and grand father had worked before them…that they would be downsizing or laying them off. Or as they call it now…’re-organizing.’
Who thinks like that?
The wrong does not lay with them…most of the people who find themselves in foreclosure…it lays with the mortgage companies which preyed upon people with over inflated interest rates…red lining, offering higher rates to certain people…higher closing costs…a bunch of double talk and small print…with high late payment penalties…and absorbent legal costs which they love attaching to their costs.
I don’t know if any of you have ever had anything repossessed. But once they repossess your vehicle or house or whatever…the company then comes back at you to extract the money even though they repossessed and sold off whatever it was…and they leave it sitting on your credit reports for years upon years hindering you from getting anything else. This clearly is double dipping…and these companies…none of them should be allowed to do that.
Once they have repossess the object…and they have sold it off that should settle the debt. But no…they come back after you. And not for the debt minus whatever they got for it…but the entire debt plus all other costs.
A friend of mine who worked for Greyhound buslines once told me how she had been sold a faulty vehicle. She said it was a real lemon from the day she pulled it off the dealer lot. So, she returned the vehicle several times to the dealership who in turn never did anything fix the problem.
Finally, she became tired of trying to deal with the auto dealer…and just returned back to the car to the dealership where she had bought it. She said that she drove right up on the lot in the middle of the day and left it there. She stopped making payments on it…telling them as she left the lot that they could keep their car.
Years later, however, she noticed that her pay was being garnished…it was the dealership. They had kept the car but now they were forcing her company to withdraw payments from her pay check in order to pay them for a car which she had given back to them. And at this point…she just folded her hands and gave up. She let the company take her money…because she felt that it was a hopeless situation.
There is something seriously wrong with the system that allows companies to use these kind of tricks to get over on and rob people. Companies like that dealership abuse…exploit and use the system…to their benefit…a company that knowingly sold her automobile which was not in sound operating condition…and they knew it.
I had asked her if she hadn’t gotten the notice to go to court? And she told me that she had not. Without going into court to defend yourself…as I have stated in another blog…the other side wins automatically. If summoned to go to court…go. It is scary…yes, but go.
The most that can happen is that the judge won’t decide in your favor.
There is always a case that you may not receive the summon…if they have it sent to another address. These are games that people play. It is the game that CitiMortgage played against my parent’s property. But they had not counted on the fact that I knew…by the grace of God…to go into court and file my own complaint against them…to stop the auction…and have since gotten that mortgage nullified and made void. And believe me when I said…by the shear grace and mercy of God. That is how it was done.
In closing let me just say…
“Stay away from bad deals.”
If you are interested in something…or getting ready to sign a contract for the purchase of something and that contract is not in your favor…do not sign it. Do not go into a deal…or debt…in any type of an agreement in which you are not at least a partial winner. Or at the very least…where the pain is not so great.
Sometime, we have all had to swallow a little pain…until we can fix things…like our credit. But yet beware of the sharks…stay away from them.
In the claim I had to file against CitiMortgage…they claimed that my father had taken a loan against the house for some $27,000 at a 16.20% interest rate. This total agreement netted CitiMortgage over $60,000 in interest money…making the total contract for over $97,000 worth of debt against my parent’s house.
My father would have never made an agreement like that. And the other part of it is…he wasn’t much of a borrower. Didn’t have any charge cards or anything like that…because he earned money to pay for what he wanted. And that is what he did.
Nobody in there right mind would have signed a deal like that. The company was making 3 times as such as it was giving out…that is robbery no matter how bad your credit may or may not be. And my father did not have bad credit.
I knew that document was a forgery even before I saw the signature upon. So, I took the case to court…claiming that they had preyed upon my father, if indeed he had signed it. At the time that contract was supposedly sign my father had been diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s which would have rendered him as being legally incompetent to enter any type of legal or binding agreement. Plus my father had several bank accounts and definitely had at least one which had more money than that in it. So, I sued…of which I wrote about in a prior blog also.
I continue to pray for you and whatever situation or condition you are facing. Be encouraged. And stay away from bad deals.
Well, my little siesta is over…it is time for me to go back to work. Actually, it ended hours ago.
I have to finish scrubbing down the bathroom. And I am getting a bit hungry now too. But enjoy your weekend.
I just finished looking out and it looks like snow…again. But it is warm on the inside. Though it might be that I am running a slight fever. Been fighting off a dry cough for the past few days…but I am winning. Well…some times…I think.
Maybe, I will just finish the bathroom…take a shower and crawl back into bed…and forget about mopping the floors tonight. It’s late now.
Oh…yes, here is a taste of what the website will look like. Now, you tell me whether or not if you think some of those classes that I have taken are starting to pay off?
Thank goodness for a mother who was not afraid to speak truth into the life of her child.
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 ©2009
4 comments March 8, 2009
By now you may or may not know that I am highly repulsed by some of the things that teens today are doing. But this really turned my stomach…it is a story which came up over CNN.com regarding 2 Arizona teenaged girls who turned themselves into prostitutes then set about pimping other girls.
The grandmother is outraged…but there is only one problem. She doesn’t believe that her little darling is guilty of such a crime…and so therefore she is anxiously awaiting her day in court. Perhaps it is not the little darling but the grandmother who should be up before the judge. And dare I ask…what of the mother and father of this child…these 2 girls?
How is it that they would put themselves into such a situation?
How could 2 high schoolers get themselves into such as situation…where they were indulged in such a business as prostitution?
And had other school mates working the streets too?
Two 16 year old girls…involved in sex for hire?
Though the article called them ‘pimps.’
What could be going on?
I am sick to my stomach today…I hate reading these kinds of stories.
Can you imagine…that that man operated a day care center?
How old were his victims?
Four…or maybe 2?
I am truly sick to my stomach.
In a 29 city weekend sweep law enforcement officials arrested more than 500 people involved in a child and adult prostitution ring. They had some 48 juveniles, 464 adult prostitutes…and how many of them do you think had been children before becoming of age?
They arrested 55 co-called pimps…with many more out there somewhere. And some just like those young girls in Arizona anxious to take their place. I can think of nothing I feel is worst…than turning children into prostitutes…and ruining the lives of children. There are some things which I think we should not even waste tax-payers money on…such as taking certain people through the judical system. Just lock them up in jail and throw away the keys.
But the problem is…all the wrong people mostly end up in jail. The crooks and criminals somehow always seem to get less time or little to no prison time at all.
There is something about these kinds of stories that just turns my stomach. Perhaps it is because I am a supposed survivor. I don’t know. I just hate these type of stories. I hate to hear about children being abused…or used in such ways as these. Or children because they had been abused continue the cycle of abuse in their lives.
When I was trying to determine what I wanted to do with my life…you know…the kind of things you think about as a child.
“What do I want to be?”
I had read this book called “The Throw away Children.”
The stories in that book were terrible. I don’t believe any child is a throw away…or should be considered as such. But there are some children deemed by society as not having the same value as some others. And this is absolutely wrong.
So, as I thought about what it was I wanted to do I started discounting things. Like…becoming a doctor. I knew I would never be able to stand the sight of blood. So, that was out.
Then I thought of some other things…and I discounted them too. Can’t remember what they were…but I knew whatever they were I did not want to be them. But I soon fell upon becoming a lawyer. I wanted to do or be someone who would advantageous to my people…black people. Something that we needed the most…that is why I thought doctor at first…then somehow came to lawyer.
And so I set about to make that happen. When it was near time for me to enter into the 12th grade…I had already begun thinking about and applying to colleges…mostly black colleges…though I would have loved to have been accepted at University of California Berkley. The Black Panthers were there…Angela Davis was there…the Soledad Brothers… Yeah, that whole black thang was going on…and I wanted to be in the midst of it.
But that book, ‘The Throw Away Children ‘ by Lisa Aversa Richette…motivated me to want to become a criminal lawyer working in juvenile court. It was at the time my desire. I think because I have a passion for children…with particular children who feel lost and have no voice.
While I was a teacher in the high school system…I was often in tune and engaged in trying to encourage my students…as well as other students…some of which I would catch trying to sneak into my classes from time to time. It was during my time as a teacher that I came to realize just how tough some kids really have it…and there is little wonder why they end up doing much of what they do.
During the time I taught…I had never been aware of just how many students were involved in the foster care system before. For some children this was a great alternative to their own families…but for some (many)…it was not. It seems that many people turn to become foster parents solely for the money. And that is very sad. They never see the greater reward…and that is pouring something of value into the lives of those children…by showing them love and kindness…paying attention to them.
Then there are those children which are left to grow up on their own. They are like wild little animals…and many people observing them wonder why? But if they knew where these kids lived…or how they were living…or under what circumstances…and what sexual and other abuses they were subject to…then they would know why the child was acting as he or she was acting.
I have no idea as to what is going on with these female teachers becoming involved with young grade school children. It makes me sick…yes, to my stomach. Because I can’t see what any grown woman…or for that matter…grown man would see or find interesting in a child.
I know that children become infatuated with their teachers. I had my share of admirers. I never realized it at the time…but later on I did in particular one. He even proposed to me time after time. I never took any of it seriously…nor did I indulge him. But after I had left the teaching profession…this boy began calling me in New York.
I found out that he had gotten my number from my son. I wasn’t overly concerned at first…but then he started calling every evening. It did not frighten me…but I really wasn’t interested. By this time I didn’t even think it was cute. I could see that this boy really had an interest in me. So, I just stopped answering his calls. And I think he got the message.
What kind of conversation can I hold with a young boy?
Even one graduated from high school…come on, now.
In ’95, I went to L.A. to shop my screenplays. I had forgotten all about Ojay and his trial…it was months after the shooting had happened. So, though when I used to ride the bus from Woodlawn Hills into downtown L.A and see all the remote TV trucks with their huge satellite dishes…tons of them sitting outside of that court. But I didn’t at the time realize what I was looking at when the bus would drive pass. It is so funny…because I used to think-
“Wow, there must be a big case going on in that court.”
And what made it even funnier…was that during the whole time of the Ojay case…I was glued to the TV. I didn’t miss a beat…from day to day…I wast locked in and tuned to every episode of the Ojay Simpson trail saga until they signed off from day to day.
But when I could not get an agent to represent me or my work…because everybody in L.A. is about who you know…who referred you…who are you connected to. And being connected was all they cared about.
It was like you talked to tons of people all in the right place…but if you couldn’t give a name and didn’t have any ties…the conversation stopped right there. Years later, when I initially went into pre-production with my film, LIFE 101: da real skool…(which is where the 101 in my name comes from)…when I went into pre-production…I started getting all kinds of calls then talking about-
“Let’s do lunch.”
I hated L.A.
I became so frustrated with L.A. that I decided to give up and not leave the hotel room anymore. But my friend…whom I had gone to L.A. to spend some time with while her job had sent her there to audit some banks…she kept on encouraging me saying-
“So, what you couldn’t find an agent. And nobody wanted to see you or read your scripts. Go see a show or go to one of the movie lots. You know that is what you are interested in. So, go check it out.”
And finally, I did. Only because she kept trying to cheer me up.
It is so funny…because you may not believe this. The one day that I decided to go the night before I saw an expose on Prime Time or some show like that…about some male teacher who they tracked from New York to a motel down in Las Vegas. He had taken some very young Jr. High School girl and ran off with her across country. The television segment on the story was very detailed.
So, the next day, I visited Universal Studio’s movie lot…where a lot of television programs are shot. At the time I arrived the only thing going in was the audience for the “Leeza Show.” It wasn’t anything that I wanted but (well, because really I have never watched much television). But…I was there…it didn’t cost anything…and they were letting people in.
When they tape these shows you never know what topics are going to be featured or discussed until the show begins taping. To my surprise that guy…that teacher who had gone to Las Vegas with his little school student was the topic…and he was there.
I never went into that taping with any intentions of saying anything or being a part of any program. But it is very funny how things just seem to happen.
I sat quietly listening and watching taking in everything about the production…how they had someone warm up the audience before the show…the size of the studio…where the cameras were…all the people who worked in conjunction with the show…just the whole behind the scenes thing. This is what interested me…but of course, I was also listening to all the discussion and the questions coming up out of the audience. But there was something that disturbed me.
As that teacher talked about the young girl…her family…and how he just felt sorry for her…how he was trying to help her out…etc…etc… The audience all seemed sympathetic to him. They were eating that garbage up like candy. Here it was…and that girl was very pretty (and it doesn’t matter what she looked like…she was a kid)…he had engaged in sexual activity with this girl…had kidnapped her and taken her across state lines. And they were all just sucking it in like he was some kind of hero…a divine saviour.
“Why wasn’t anybody looking at the whole picture?”
“Did he have any responsibility in this matter?”
“Hadn’t he taken advantage of that young girl?”
He was her teacher. And as described on that expose show by other teachers who had also worked at that school with him…he was a male teacher who was a little too friendly with many of the female students.
Between segments of the taping they would stop to allow for the commercial break time frame to countdown then resume with their taping. At this time the program host would walk through the audience searching out the best questions to feature during the resumption of the program taping.
Finally, the cameras went dead…and Leeza started walking through the audience looking for her next audience questiones. She came up my aisle seeking for questions. I wasn’t going to do it…but they had made me mad. I put up my hand and Leeza walked over to me and said-
“Yes, do you have a question?”
And I said yes.
And she said, “Okay, what question would you like to ask?”
And I told her. Evidently, Leeza liked my question because she did not move from me. When the cameras came back up…she said what she had to say and asked me stand and ask my question.
Before I knew it…that guy and me where firing off against one another…and I was winning. And I did win.
I had made him mad. But I just could not stand it. And he was nasciating to me.
He was a teacher. He did not have any business…no matter what may have or may not have been going on in that girl’s life to become involved sexually with her. She was an under age child…and he was a 30 or 40 year old man. I didn’t care how he tried to justify it…there was no justification for it. And how dare…anyone try to make a movie out of that story.
Yes, he…that man…ex-teacher was out of jail walking around and making the television rounds because some production company had paid big money for the rights to his story. This is why the world is in the state that it is in. This is why many people are doing some of the craziest things…men killing their pregnan wives…teachers running off with grade school children. It is sick.
Everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame…and they are willing to do anything to get it. It is truly sad. When they see the TV coverage and movie…and book deals coming up out of these sick acts…people with copy cat mentalities figure…why not?
And what is sadder…is that there is a market for this.
A guaranteed $41 million…included in his $100 million deal. These guys make tons of money. You would think that the people who really work for a living could earn at least a tiny portion of it. It would look nice.
And Michael Vick is soon to be released from prison.
Sometimes it takes losing something…even if it is for a little period of time to have an appreciation for it and other things…and to look back and reflect on your blessings.
Not everybody gifted…or fast…or good at something gets a contract. Millions dream such dreams whether it be a music deal…or a sports deal…a movie deal…whatever…they dream of. They work hard to make it happen…and yet it doesn’t. So, for those that it does materializes for… Well, they really ought to feel blessed. They should make the most out that blessing…not only for just themselves but for others around them, as well.
Well, it has been beautiful here for the past 2 days. I’m feeling spring in the air.
I was not only on that Leeza Show giving it to that teacher. But Leeza and her production must have really liked me. They started featuring me in their commercial for the show, as well.
You will not believe how many people stopped me in grocery stores to talk about that show with me. I never would have thought anything like that would have happened to me. And I certainly never set out to be on anybody’s show…much less in their commercial.
Talking about 15 minutes. Well, I guess I have had mine now too.
Well, God bless…and enjoy your weekend. And I have not forgotten that it is still Black History Month. I celebrate our achievements all the time. Can’t help but do so. Don’t know what it is. But I love me some black folks…(smile). I really really do.
And oh yes, I have just added my real photo to my “ABOUT” page of this blog. Sorry, if it isn’t what you were imagining…but it is what God gave me. And on that page you can find out more about what I am doing…besides giving you my opinions on things in these blogs. I am truly a highly opinionated person…just can’t help it.
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 ©2009
1 comment February 28, 2009
Out for 9 months and the game just has not been the same. First of all who has been all that interested in watching the tournaments since Tiger Woods has been out due to knee surgery? And during his recovery his wife gave birth to a new baby too.
Now, the proud father of 2, a daughter and son…Tiger hit the green this past Wednesday in his big return to the PGA at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
I did watch as he played his last tournament prior to the surgery…and how even through the pain of the injury Tiger pulled it off. He just refused to give up…or in. That is the same way most athletes approach their sports.
In fact, I happened to come across this clip of Serena Williams who had gone out to play while fighting with a stomach virus. Watch this youtube clip below…and you will understand the amount of commitment professional athletes have for their game.
All I can say is that we have all been hit with it one time or another.
But if I had…had a stomach virus…they wouldn’t have seen me. It is hard to get away from the toilet with a stomach virus. But I guess you have to…when you know that thousands of people have come out to see you win…or get beat…or just because they love the sport.
Before Tiger hit the pro golf circuit…I have to admit that I never watched golf at all…that was near the beginning period when I started to watch less and less television. One of the reasons for which I have kind of kicked television to the curve is because of something my father would always say to me.
He would say-
“They have theirs and you’ve got to get yours.”
I used to hate hearing that. I would hear it after my mother would go to school for Open House and come back telling my father all the things the teacher had to say about me. You know…how I wasn’t doing this or I wasn’t doing that…or how I needed to improve in this or that…and how much Imay not have been paying attention while in class. Which often led to my getting a whipping.
When I would try to explain to daddy that the teacher had said all of those things because she really didn’t like me. But before I could open my mouth and get half of that out…daddy would usually cut me off saying-
“The teacher got hers.”
And he would say that sternly…and then he would start whipping.
And I am definitely all for parents whipping their kids. I whipped mine. But it is because of whipping…that I refused to do many things that others I knew didn’t hesitate to do. I will never forget when I decided to try my hand at smoking.
In Junior High School the girls during lunch period would gang into the girl’s bathroom down by the cafeteria smoking after lunch. One day, I had bought a pack of cigarettes and after eating lunch headed for the ladie’s room. Just as we were just getting started passing around the cigarettes and lighting up in came the vice principle of the school. We all went running scattering like a bunch of I don’t know what out through another door. I dashed back into the cafeteria took a seat at a table and started pretending as though I had been their the whole time.
The vice principle had caught one of the girls…and as he marched her through the cafeteria she pointed at me and said-
“She was there too.”
And I guess she pointed out a few others. And we all ended up in the principle’s office.
One by one the principle, Mr. Romano, called us into his office and began calling our parents. He left his door open so I could clearly see him and hear him on the phone. As I took a seat outside of the his office awaiting my turn to be called inside…I started crying. I was just a boo-whooing…and I do mean boo-whooing the whole time. I was crying and sobbing my poor little self to death…because I knew that my parents were going to kill me. I was the last one that the principle called into his office…and to my surprise he counseled me and warned me…and then sent me back to class. He had not called my parents. And from that day to this I have never touched another cigarette either. And have never been tempted to do so again.
So, yeah…I believe in whipping the child. Not in anger but out of love. I hated whipping my son…some times I even would go to him and just wrap my arms around him after. But I loved him…and prefered that I taught him rather than a bunch of police who would have no compassion for him…if they found themselves whipping him later. It is something I have never had to worry about…outside of the fact of him a young black male in America. Because he has never had a brush with the law…though I had had my share of going back and forth to school about him…like my parents did for me. And I have had to sit in the back of some of his classes…but by the time he got to the 10th grade he told me-
“Ma, I’m too old for you to still be sitting in the back of my classes.”
And he was right. Sometimes, parents just hate to let go. But the kids have to grow up. They have to be allowed to become their own people…but that doesn’t mean we stop parenting them. They will always be the children…and we will always be the parent.
Their can be no denying the privotal roles that both Earl Woods and Richard Williams…as well as, Joe Jackson (father of the Jacksons)…played in the lives of their children. Without whom their children lives may have been very very different…and they certainly may not have become the people we now recognize them to be.
Investing time in your children can really pay off…and as you see by the examples of Joe Jackson, Earl Jones and Richard Williams. Many times it can also put your children on their path.
Going back to why I really do not watch much television…well, besides my schedule and really not having ever been a big television person except for when I was child. Then I stayed up under the TV…but not now…and not for years. Besides there’s not really much on TV but a bunch of junk. How many different shows can you watch of someone trying to win a million dollars? After a while you have to get bored. And I have to say that it is because of my father and what he would always say to me-
“They got theirs already. You’ve got to get yours.”
Meaning the teacher had a job already and was making a living…and that I had to work to get mine. This meant I had to learn something…pay attention in school…get my school work done etc. And that I didn’t have the leisure of wasting any time in order to work towards learning what I needed to learn in order to make something out of myself.
Daddy would say the same thing about television just as he was about to cut it off and tell us to go study.
“They got theirs.”
Meaning I wasn’t learning nothing sitting in front of the TV…and those people had already learned what they needed to know…because they were now making their living.
And so…I hear those words still today as I sit and work…whether it be on class work, or writing screenplays or even this blog. Or even while working on my books. I am always working towards my goals.
Talking about my books…I hope you have not forgotten about “THE BISHOP’S WIFE.” The date is nearing for when you can get your copy. And I am sure you will enjoy it…it is probably not anything else you have ever read because it is a bit radical. But you will love the storyline…it will keep you reading I am sure.
So much for my station break…now, back to what I began writing this blog about.
Already the top grossing athlete of all times, Tiger Woods by September of 2007 had already earned over $86 million on the golf course. He is widely recognized as the first athlete who will exceed the billion dollar mark before his career is over. And that $86 million…mind you was only in tournament money…not inclusive of all those little added perks called endorsements and things like that which he also has. I known you have seen Tiger in all those television commercials…e.g. American Express…Nike…and what is that? Buick…or whatever it is…you know those automobile commercials. So, yes…Tiger is raking it in.
But since Tiger’s absence off the golf circuit for the past 9 months the golf world has been hurting. Their number one drawer had been sidelined…and the tickets and interest in the golf plummeted. I must admit that I myself never watched the game one day in my life until a little young man decided to end his college days and step out into the pro-golf world. Thus was the beginning of my interest in the sport of golf. Though I will also admit that prior to Tiger Woods ever hitting my television screen…I always wondered why they bothered to show golf on TV. When they took those long shots following the ball into the air…I never saw one thing. But that was before Tiger…I can see those balls clearly now, baby.
Sent almost my entire day in bed and I am not ashamed to say it. And I have enjoyed every minute of it. Though I did get up to wash some clothes and to mop the kitchen and bathroom floors…and oh, cooked me a little something. But that was it. And I plan to do the same thing tomorrow minus the washing of clothes and the mopping of the floors, of course.
And oh, yes…it is still Black History Month. But I included so many photos already in this blog…I will save my Black History stuff for my next blog. Definitely hope you are learning something…or trying to find out more on the people whom I have already placed into my other blogs this month.
And one more thing… Daddy had only a 7th grade education and could barely read yet he owned his own business…put us all through school…Princeton, Moorehouse, University of Alabama, University of Kentucky , Brandesis University etc. He and my mother both believed strongly in education. He was a highly successful businessman, as we lived very well, who never paid a bill when it due but always as soon as he got one. He never tried to cheat anybody or do anything illegal…and he never owned one charge card. Yet, he owned his business, had 2 houses…and paid for everything that we needed as he was definitely the head of our house…though my mother was the boss (smile). They made a great team.
My mother was always taking classes. She had graduated from nursing school and was the first black nurse in the little town down South that I was born in. Having graduated from nursing school down there at that time in history…and being the only one…I can’t imagine what my mother must have had to go through. She, however, took great pleasure in studying…she loved it…and these were classes she took many years while we were growing up. She took typing classes, accounting classes…and I can’t remember what else. But she even had a lady come to our house who taught us piano…and gave her voice lessons.
My parents were something else. I have to admit though that though we (meaning their kids) thought we were rich…we never really knew that we were rich until years later as we looked back over our life with our parents compared to those who lived around us. We were the riches people on our street. The riches people in our church…and the riches people most places we went. We never walked anywhere except to church on Sunday mornings to Sunday school as young children as my parents always had a car…and didn’t drive junk. Not that they flaunted anything either…that was not their nature. But they had moved North to ensure a better life for their children. And that they did…even for their grand children they did it…and they did it marvelously well.
Our riches were far greater than anything financially my parents may or may not have had. It was something that cannot be purchased for a price…and worth more than rubies. They gave us love.
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 ©2009
3 comments February 22, 2009
Well, it is snowing again. It is suppose to snow through the night… then turn to rain and sleet by tomorrow morning. So, I know that tomorrow will probably be a day to stay home. But I don’t mind all the snow.
For the past few days the mounds of snow which we already have had started to melt down pretty good. For February this really isn’t so bad… not yet. It has been said that February goes out like a lion… meaning either a lot more snow or plenty more cold.
On Monday, I decided to do something that I had been hoping to pay someone to come in and do for me. Through the years my parent’s house has taken such a beating. And the kitchen walls and woodwork looked so terrible…and I would have liked to have found someone other than me to come in and clean them. But since the house is without heat due to our blown furnace as you may or may not have read in a couple of my earlier blogs…I have been keeping the stove on with a couple of pots boiling water. This has caused everything in the kitchen area to stream up. Which meant that all that filth that I had been forced to look at which had caked upon the doors and other woodwork over the years in the kitchen have been steaming down off the doors etc…etc… So, since it had already loosened up the years of grime… I just decided to pull out a bucket and an old scrub brush and get busy. And that is how I spent my President’s Day.
It felt good to be finally getting those doors scrubbed down and then standing off to view my handy work. Real good. I had been loathing touching the doors or anything else in the kitchen… or for that matter around the house.
When we were kids… I hated those Saturday mornings when my parent’s woke us up early in the morning with buckets of soapy hot water waiting on us. It meant that we would be scrubbing most of the day.
Oh, how I hated those Saturdays when they would have us scrubbing down all the woodwork in the house and then scrub the floors too. And my father liked to have us get on our hands and knees to do that. Oh, how I hated it.
But as I started washing down those filthy doors with the old scrub brush thoughts of those days came back to me… and I was filled with pride. Because here I was… in my parent’s house again… and I was taking care of their property just the way they had taught me so many years ago.
While my son was talking to me last night… he happened to mention that I wouldn’t be able to watch TV anymore if I didn’t go out a buy a converter box. This is the thing I hate about new technology.
Why do they have to force it down our throats?
There are so many people who went out and invested in those large projector type televisions or other older models… only to find out that that television system is now out dated and they have no option but to convert it to a digital reception system.
They did the same thing when they decided against 8-track tapes, beta systems, turntables, records, VHS tapes, cassette tapes etc…etc…etc…all gone now. What you see is…is that the old stuff goes on sale and those looking for great deals rush out unaware that the only reason the stuff is on sale in the first place is because they are out dated…and that format is no longer going to be available…because they simply stopped making it.
Today, I’m looking for someone to build me an external floppy drive disk reader. I hadn’t realized it until the other day when I was looking for something… that I didn’t have those files on anything digital… but on a floppy disk. For which I have also run into the same problem with my word-processor files which I had saved on my processor’s little disk. I had not been paying any attention and before I knew it word-processors were no longer on the market… they had been replaced by computers. And it had took me a long time to convert from a regular typewriter to a word-processor.
So, by the time I finally bought one…a word processor… the item was nearly dead already… and computers were coming into the marketplace taking over their place. And I had never noticed.
This is why when my son wanted to buy a 10″ DVD player…I cautioned him and told him no. I suggested that he invest in a laptop computer instead…where he would have a choice of much larger screens plus be able to do more with it. And he did just like his mother had suggested… just like the good little boy he is (smile). Now, when his mother is away from home or can’t get on-line on her own computer… I just use his laptop. Now, how good is that… for being resourceful?
No, no need trying to fight it. It is a done deal. If you want to continue to watch television… and got rid of your cable provider years ago… then you will have to go out and invest in a converter box. The good part though is… I rarely watch television. So, it really doesn’t affect me much.
Well, it is still Black History Month… and I really haven’t spoken about anyone in these blogs… outside of giving you their names. What good is my telling you all about them… when researching to find out that information for yourself will prove more valuable to you… in that you may remember them or something about them because you looked up info on them on your own.
I can only say that I have a deep fondness for black people… and have for all of my life. I have read many books… and loved Langston Hughes’ book on Jesse B. Simple. I used to always have a copy of the Black Anthology. Read Baldwin’s ‘Amen Corner’… which I saw performed by Kumuba Workshop under the direction of Val Grey Ward. It was one of the things which also inspired me to move to Chicago… besides, of course, my hopes of getting hired by a radio station there… WGCI or WJPC. I have forgotten the other black radio stations they had in Chicago back then. But I loved those productions by Kumuba. But even more I enjoyed the time I actually met James Baldwin. He wasn’t a very big man…and he looked very much like his photos. But there was something about him… an aura about him… I guess you could say. He extended his hand out towards me looking me right in my eyes. And I knew I was in the presence of greatness… yet so humble… and kind. He was quite gracious and unassumming. I loved him.
I had seen the play… ‘Amen Corner’… and I had read his book ‘Go Tell it on the Mountain.’ But at that time, I never knew that he was still alive until he went to Mt. Holyoke College to teach.
Alexis, a friend of mine had introduced him to me. They had become very close and I could see and understand why. They shared something in common. It is hard if you have never felt that you looked as good as everybody else…it is hard to understand how some people battle with these feelings most of their lives…as did James Baldwin and myself. It is what I thought about Gwendolyn Brooks when I looked upon her picture as I added it into my last blog. Yet, in every picture of her…she always seemed so happy and smiling. And as I looked upon her pictures…I thought-
“She must have been a most beautiful person in ever possible way.”
Most recently I had to take some pictures. I should preface this by saying…I am not a big picture taking person…because I have never liked the way I looked. But I needed a promotional picture for my book. So, I set about trying to get one that I felt I could live with. But upon taking a few pictures and looking at them…I found that I have my grandmother’s nose. I must admit I have been laughing and smiling ever since.
I have my grandmother’s nose. And I never knew it.
My grandmother didn’t have just any old nose…it was unique. And I had not seen anyone else with it until we went to the church convention in Detroit this past July. While there we re-united with some long lost family members. And I sat there almost the whole time looking at this woman…a cousin…and thinking-
“She has Mauh’s nose.”
It was all I could think. I just kept thinking that over and over again in my head…and I rarely took my eyes off of that woman’s nose because I loved seeing it. So, to look into a picture and find that I have my grandmother’s nose is like finding out that all of these year’s God had played a trick on me. I have my grandmother’s nose.
I love having my grandmother’s nose. I can’t believe I have it. And I have it all by myself… no one else just me and that woman… my mother’s cousin in Detroit. We’ve got Mauh’s nose. Seeing that nose I didn’t feel so ugly anymore… because Mauh was not ugly. And in her day… she really must have been something… and even up to the time she died… she still had a boyfriend. Or should I say… male friend. I used to kid her about Mr. Alexander…the old man who everyday used to come by her house to visit with her while we were down there.
Mauh’s entire wardrobe was made of red. Everything in her house was red. Every pocket book she had was red and every pair of shoes. Her bed spreads…everything…table cloths…everything all red. Everything Mauh owned was red. And if it wasn’t…then it was pink.
Daddy used to say that from the time he met Mauh-
“She’s always been 30.”
He would grin real wide when he said it…because Mauh never admitted her age to anyone.
But she was never ugly. And I had her nose.
And from that moment I started seeing myself in a different light. And you know what?
I’m not ugly. I’ve got Mauh’s nose.
I’m not ugly. And for all these years I thought I was.
Hope you enjoy your day tomorrow. I will probably be buried up under the snow…but I will be loving every minute of it…and still smiling. Because…well…because I’ve got Mauh’s nose. And it feels so wonderful.
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 ©2009
Add a comment February 19, 2009
Today I woke up to the most interesting phone call. It was from a daughter of a friend of mine. I had been thinking of her since I had not heard from her for a few weeks and we usually try to touch bases with each other at least once a week, if we can. But that just does not always happen.
So, yesterday evening while waiting on my son, I decided to give her a call and received no answer. So, it was a pleasant surprise to see her number pop up on my cell phone when she buzzed me back this morning.
The good part was that she had not been sick…well… She hadn’t had to go to the hospital this week. Yes, I did say this week.
Very early on she had begun having to deal with a series of health issues. Many of which most people would have just given up and gone and crawled into a corner…but she didn’t.
It has been a fight for her…weekly…and I have no doubt daily. But she has remained strong through it. And that is really the best part about speaking with her because through it all she has managed to smile and laugh her way through it…every single episode. She always continues to see a brighter side.
I could not imagine myself having to deal with heavy health issues which have invaded her body since she reached womanhood. For one thing she has what Bernie Mack had Sarcoidosis. I don’t really know what that is…but it can cause sudden death and is considered a mysterious medical disorder.
But Vee, and I don’t often call names, also lives in Chi-town…that is Chicago for those of you who do not know what that means…just like Bernie Mack had. She started off our conversation telling me how she has been fighting the severe Chicago cold and the frosty wind blowing in off of Lake Michigan. And then she began to tell me about her ex-husband and how he was recently put into a hospice.
This was a guy whom when she was a high school teenager every other word that proceeded out of her mouth was his name. It was his name and his name only. I thought it interesting after years of having lost contact with her family…and upon finally becoming reconnected with them due to the death of her uncle, Tyrone Davis…whom if you are old enough know him by his hits…such as “Can I Change My Mind” and “In the Mood”…I thought it interesting that she had married him.
It was clearly a bad and most severe case of ‘puppy love’…and Vee had it bad. She adored that boy. And it was interesting that someone whom she had adored so much she did eventually marry. But through the years it had not worked out and eventually they got divorced only to find out that they liked each other well enough to be friends. And it is nice when people can do that. Break up but yet be able to pull and salvage something out those years together…and they did…and it was especially good because they had a child together.
Vee told me that he was now placed in this hospice suffering from having cancerous tumors all through his body.
Warning signs are so important…but nothing beats a regular check up. Even I am guilty of not always wanting to go to the doctors on a regular basis. As I never get sick…but never getting sick doesn’t mean you don’t need to ensure a healthy you.
At the end of last semester when I was just finishing up with all my classes…after carrying 18 credits for the semester…one morning my right hand began shaking uncontrollably. Since, I had to do a presentation in a few hours…I just thought I was becoming nervous or something.
But near the beginning of my second class on that day…my right hand began to freeze up on me. It would lock up and I could not open it…nor could I do anything with it. By this time I knew it was something more than just possible nerves bothering me..and I began to think I was near to having a stroke or either a heart attack. So, I immediately knew I needed to leave class to get to a hospital.
Have you ever had any warning signs?
Did you take heed…and realize that your body was trying to tell you something?
It is true…our bodies are like fine tuned automobiles…and when you start to hear some noise…well…in our case something starts to act up you better go and get it checked out. I understand being fearful of hearing bad news.
But what is worst?
Hearing the bad news while something can still be done…or hearing the bad news when it is too late to do anything about it?
I will never forget Mrs. Ripperton, Minnie Ripperton’s mother, who used to be a member of 6th Grace United Presbyterian Church in Chicago…down on Cottage Grove and 35th Street. She would talk to me sometimes about Minnie and how much pain Minnie had been in before her death. (Minnie’s daughter currently stars on Saturday Night Live…Maya Rudolph…who obviously has both of her grandparents sense of humor. That Mr. Ripperton was so so funny…and Mrs. Ripperton called him ‘Rip.’ They were a great couple. Wonderful family…Elaine and all of them. I remember them all well.)
One day Mrs. Ripperton held out her arm and said-
“You see this…Minnie could take her arm and beat it against the table and not feel anything. That’s how hard her arm had become and how filled up it was with all the pain.”
I had known nothing about cancer…but that day Mrs. Ripperton told me something about it that has stuck with me through the years. And I knew from that day that cancer was something I would never want to get. But illness is hard no matter what it is that people have…and by hard here…I mean difficult to deal with.
So, it was interesting to me that Vee would have called me giving me the information on how she had been staying up talking to her ex-husband over the phone…praying with him and reading the Bible to him. Though she said he really didn’t want to hear it…but she would read it to him anyway.
Many people say that they don’t want to hear it…that they do not want to have anybody telling them anything about the Bible or any more people coming to in to pray over them. I have heard it…but when nothing else can help…you’ve got to learn how to call upon the name of the Lord.
A friend of mine in New York became very ill. I had not seen her for a while. So, one day I decided to run by her house which was only a couple blocks up and just around the corner from me.
When her mother answered the door she told me that Jackie wasn’t feeling well…yet, another name that I have mentioned in this blog…but this blog is filled with so many people if I didn’t I call a name or 2…or 3…you would become confused. When I went up stairs and her mother opened Jackie’s bedroom door to allow me in…I was horrified. I was looking at death and I knew it.
Jackie was not even a shell of herself…her lips were a bright red…her complexion was very very dark…all her weight was gone…she was curled up in the fetus position…and when I approached her…I said immediately-
“Let me go get Shirley so she can pray for you.”
Jackie refused speaking in a very low and slow voice saying-
“I have had a enough praying for me. I don’t want any more prayers.”
But I kept begging…I was afraid for her and the only thing I knew to do was to go get somebody who get a prayer through to God. I was not saved…but I knew the power of finding someone who truly could get to God’s ear. Finally, Jackie consented.
I ran down the street and through the door open to Shirley’s real estate office and said-
“Shirley, you’ve got to come. You’ve got to come and pray for Jackie. You’ve got to come.”
Shirley got up and rushed out of her office leaving her secretary to handle her clients. And we both rushed back up the street and around the corner.
Shirley had brought with her…her oil…and as she went into the room she began praying and anointing Jackie’s body with the oil. I stood rubbing Jackie’s feet trying to pray as much as I could in agreement with Shirley as tears ran down my cheeks. I cried for my friend…and I prayed for God to spare her life.
Shirley soon left but I continued to rub Jackie’s limbs…and before I left some time later… first I saw a toe move and then she stretch out one of her legs slightly. Jackie was coming out of that fetal position. And I could see strength coming back into her body. Thank God for Shirley and the power of prayer.
Today, Jackie is doing just fine…and I have no doubt that she will never doubt the power of prayer ever again. It truly does changes things.
But I understood Vee’s ex-husband being bitter and angry over his illness. He is young yet and a death sentence has been pronounced over his head. That has to be harder than hard to deal with. And then to be placed in a hospice…the ultimate declaration of death upon him.
But even in that state God is able to turn his situation around.
Which brings me to another story…since when I had tried to reach Vee last night and couldn’t…I decided to buzz someone else. Tanya…and again I rarely called people’s names in these blogs…but sometimes I just can’t help it. When you come upon outstanding people…it is worth calling out their names.
At first I thought I was awaking her from her sleep as her voice sounded funny…but she told me no. She had just gotten out of the hospital…and she informed me that she had been there for an entire week. Her lungs had filled with fluid and she had suffered a bad asthma attack…but while in the hospital she had shared a room with a woman whom she told me had been very ill.
But it is the treatment of the woman by her doctor that Tanya really shared with me. Tanya said that the doctor had been so coarse with the woman who was…laying on her death bed. He told her that they had the papers from her health proxy to not resuscitate. Tanya said the doctor was not kind or caring at all in his words…and that when he left the woman felt even worst.
But Tanya told me how she encouraged the woman by saying-
“Don’t worry, ma’am. He doesn’t know. You might not need to be resuscitated at all. Can’t no doctor tell you when you are going to die. You might even out live him.”
Because of the various medical plans that people now have to have in order to be treated…most medical facilities feel they no longer have to treat you with any type of respect, dignity or courtesy. After all once you give them your card number they already have your money…it is as good as in the bank. And this is a sad commentary but true.
The medical field has gone to the dogs and pit-bulls…private companies have gone into the medical business as ‘for profit entities’…much like many prisons have also done. They care nothing about trying to save people or making them better. They would have you come back and forth a hundred times…while pretending they are checking on this or checking on that. While all the while they are just eating up your medical benefits. It is sad…quite sad.
But t is funny how God puts people in the right place at the right time. Every now and then we all need someone in the right place…at the right time to encourage us when we are going through a rough time in our life. And oftentimes…these people know and have not just a sense of who God is…but a true relationship with Him as well.
One morning a couple of years ago, I woke up with a pain to my lower back area. It was a very severe pain…so much so that whenever I moved I would scream out in pain. As the day progressed the pain progressed…it got worst. I could barely stand, walk, turn or lay down without that severe excruciating pain getting the best of me. I, however, prefer to suffer pain rather than to take any type of medication. So, I endure things until they pass…if they pass. Thus far God has blessed me usually…they pass. But this problem kept on growing worst. And it inhibited me…I could not make the slightest move without screaming out.
I had to push myself through this pain and it was very hard. But I decided to drive into New York and to go to church. While in the car the pain was bad but I didn’t let it stop me…and the funny thing about it was this. When I got to the church and walked inside the pain was gone. As if it had never been. It was gone throughout almost the entire church service and I thought it had left me entirely. And it had…up until the time the service ended. And slowly the pain began to resume.
That night I decided to stay over in New York with mother. Yes, the one I have written about in several of these blogs who recently passed near the latter part of last year. Mother enjoyed my company. And I…well, I enjoyed hers as well. She was a very funny and witty woman…but she also loved the Lord and she possessed much wisdom. I loved talking with her as she was well versed on everything from politics to the latest news topics of interest…as well as, the Bible.
She would often ask me to stay or come into New York to spend some time with her after I had left the city to return home to take care of some family matters. But most of the time I would not…I did not want to infringe upon her or our friendship…though I knew that she did not mind. But occasional I would stay over…and this was one of those times.
By the time we had reached mother’s apartment…my pain was almost totally back and occasionally I would screech out in pain. But by morning it had gotten far worst…I barely got up off the bed…and when I did I knew I would not be able to lay back down. So, I could not lay down and nor could I stand. It was terrible…and I was at mother’s house to make it even worst.
Not wanting to worry mother over my condition, I decided I better go to the hospital. Mother and I had lived around the corner from each other…and the hospital was right across the street from her apartment. So, I made my way out the door…into the elevator…across the street and into the hospital where I told them upon stepping up to the reception window-
“I can’t stand and I can’t sit…I think you need to lay me down somewhere.”
And they immediately admitted me into emergency and they sent a person around to me to take all my information once I finally was able to get into a laying position.
A fairly good-looking doctor came and began servicing me…and eventually he told me my problem. I had a slipped disc. When I asked him about how I could get it fix…he told me I couldn’t. He said that the disc has to slip back into place on its own. I was in such pain…that I was willing to go up under the knife to never have to find myself back in this state again. And that was rare…because I usually say no to such things…to operations if I felt I could live without them. But every time I moved I was screaming out in pain that is how severe the pain was. And I could do nothing. So, yes…there are times when even I start to sing a different tune…and this was one of them.
The doctor had an ‘i-v’ hooked up to me and they began to feed me muscle relaxers and pain killers to cause the pain to subside. And while laying there down there in a stall in the emergency room one of our church’s prayer warriors came in. It was Sister Capers…this blog is filled with names today. But she too has since passed…and I am sure she would not mind me calling her name as I celebrate her. (though I doubt that calling any of the names in the related blogs would have bother any of my friends…but I just prefer not to)
Sister Capers had a long badge around her neck and said that the hospital allowed her full access to walk around to talk and pray for people. She touched me and began to pray for me. But it was the sight of seeing her…a friend come into that emergency room and stepped into my curtained off area that meant so much to me. It was something I had not expected at all.
The pain killers and muscle relaxers began to work too…and after a few hours they released me giving me a couple of prescriptions…which I did go and get filled immediately. And this time I took some of that medication…a couple of times in fact. But I found it to be exceedingly strong. And after taking it…yes, it helped the pain in my back…but I was left feeling sick to my stomach…in fact my stomach would be cramping.
So, I stop taking the medicatjon. Some medication today will correct one problem…but leave with something else to deal with. If that be the case…you should seriously weigh your options.
What good would it have been for me to relieve by back pain (a temporary condition)…only to have burned a hole through my stomach?
Finally, the pain left…or rather I guess I should say….my disc slipped back into place. But without having been at mother’s house I probably would not have gone to the hospital…nor would have known exactly what my problem was…and Sister Capers would not have been able to pay me a surprise visit and then pray for me. I am happy that I elected to stay the night in New York.
So, you see in this blog that I have some friends who are going through some trying life circumstances themselves…yet because of their walk and faith in the Lord…they are bigger than what they are going through. They have managed to turn what many would say should have been their tears into smiles. And in the process they have not been too pre-occupied with their own health issues to not be able to reach out and comfort others in their time of need. I think that this is wonderful…and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with them as they shared their stories with me.
I do know some phenomenal people…they are special in every possible way.
I just could not let this day go by without sharing with you something about them.
After looking at these videos of the Whispers…I now regret having not gone through and done that ‘Headlights’ Concert which I had booked them for. But when the tickets didn’t start moving…and the venue called telling me that if I didn’t rush in there with the advance ticket money and bring in all the tickets that we had put out there in the various locations…that they were going to cancel the show. I felt was left with no choice.
So, as much as I didn’t want to make that call to L.A…I did. I actually dredded calling L.A to have a conversation about cancelling the show…2 days before it was to take place. But I did it. I called the Whisper’s manager and told him that I was forced to cancel the show. And this is what he said to me in response-
“What do you mean you are being forced to cancel the show? It’s your show…your money. They can’t force you to cancel your own show.”
And you know what he was right…it was my show. It was my money…not that large auditorium but my money that was on the line for that show. The venue hadn’t bought the radio time for the spots…or placed any newspaper ads announcing my concert. I was the one.
No, I was the only one invested in that concert…and I was the only one who stood to loose anything any kind of way it went. Because I was the one responsible for paying everybody…including the venue…though I had already paid them a portion of it…that was not going to come back to me even after the cancellation.
But it was too bad I called the Whispers last…I had already pulled all the tickets…cancelled the remainder of the radio ads and then had the radio stations to start announcing that-
“Tomorrow night’s concert featuring the Whisper’s Headlights Tour is cancelled.”
That is when I realized I had had a slave mentality. I had let that white man who booked the events at the auditorium dictate to me the lost of a very very large sum of money. Something which will never ever happen to me again. It was a life experience…and life experiences are made for us to learn from.
There are times when we can block our own success…by failing to believe in ourselves or what we are attempting to do. But if you start a thing…you should be big enough to see it through. Don’t try to second guess yourself. Either do it…or don’t do it. But do not kid yourself by starting something that you are afraid of seeing through.
Monday is President’s Day…so if you are one of those fortunate ones…I know when I worked in radio there no such thing as a holiday…particularly if you were at the low end of the totem pole. But if you by chance you are one of those who does have the day off enjoy it.
Isn’t it wonderful…we now get to really celebrate that day. I mean not that there were not other presidents who were great…but mostly they became great by being thrust into some difficult situations that forced them to make during their times some very hard decisions. But isn’t it interesting how being forced to make hard decisions can often work out for the good…when the right choices are made. And make you great…as opposed to being ‘just one of.’ Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson may all be considered to be great Presidents because of the times and the decisions they were forced to make…and Washington simply because he was the first.
Abraham Lincoln did not have a great love for the freedom of slaves but he recognized the danger it caused to the union of all of the then 13 states of the United States of America coming together. Slavery was the thing which tore them apart…so it made sense that slavery was the thing that had to end in order for this country to be able to move forward in order to be able to tackle the other events and things that a growing America would come to face as a nation.
It’s Black History Month…and I certainly salute it and celebrate it. There are so many great people…inventors, doctors, lawyers, writers, news journalists, actors, orators, wise people, civic leaders, religious people, hard working desent black people who were purposely left out of the history books of this country. I think it is time to right that error as well.
The road was not easy but they carried the torches anyhow… knowing that one day a change was going to come.
Well, God bless…
7 comments February 15, 2009
If they are not getting busted for fooling around on their wives…then its in a sting operation investigating fraud, shake-downs and/or corruption…and whatever else.
It seems that some politicians simply cannot learn. They repeat the same old things over and over again. From being caught with under aged male pages on Capitol Hill to sticking their feet into another man’s bathroom stall.
What is the problem?
Democratics and Republicans alike…where are the morals?
Is there anyone who is not quilty?
I used to think that John Edwards was a decent stand-up guy…a good husband and family man.
Well, that is what it seemed. He also seemed ginuwine…and a person you could really believe.
Boy, was I way off base there.
The guy was an out and out liar…deceiver and cheat to his wife who was ill and battling for her life against cancer. And on top of it all…in video footage he calls himself “Ken”….of the Ken & Barbie doll thang. And grinning no less…as he said it. Grinning into a mirror while combing his hair.
Now, enter the Govenor of Illinois….Rod Blagojevich.
Was the guy stupid or something?
He gets busted trying to sell off Obama’s seat in the Senate.
Did he really need money that bad?
The feds actually have audio tape of phone coversation of the Governor seeking financial gain for himself and his wife behind the sell of Obama’s Illinois Senate seat. Now, that is just plain dumb.
The Bible says they have eyes to see but they see not. They have ears to hear but they hear not. If someone had told him that it was a bad idea…he probably would not have listened to the person. Because he had ears but could not hear. And though he had eyes…and has seen other politicians go down for various reasons…yet, he could not see how trying to sell off Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder was both wrong and illegal…and that he might get caught.
Though Governor Blagojevich had a supposed list of 5 probable candidates inclusive of Jessie Jackson’s son, Jessie Jackson, III. But he was apparently fishing for some other fishs to add to his list…who had some deep pockets.
The question we should all ponder is-
“What causes people to want to just throw it all away?”
“Why do they want to just throw everything away?”
Bill Clinton did it not only with Monica Lewinski…but with all those other women he had been involved with before he even got to the White House as President of the United States. He just continually kept risking it all.
Kwame Kilpatrick did it, the Mayor of Detroit...text messaging his aid whom he was having an intra-office affair with and was sending hot steamy text messages.
High level Democrats and Republicans and small local politicians of both parties have been quilty of doing the same…be it was sex or other forms of illegal acts.
Some actors…some business people…some just plain ordinary people…have all ventured to just chuck everything away for something that you and I would classify as…nothing. And it was for nothing considering who they were and what they had.
Countless governors have fallen from one sex problem after another over the past 2 years.
It seems that both sex and money are still seem still high on the charts as the number 1 and 2 down falls of people. Sex and money continuously have been the number one and two corruptors of all times…even since the beginning of time. Though I think that back in the earlier times ‘power‘ was also counted among money and sex. But today it those with ‘power’ who keep falling into the pits…or some may say….the web of money and/or sex.
I understand the draw of sex…but I don’t know if I would let it sink my ship. I can admit to this. At one point in my life that sex was all I mostly thought about and desired.
I am so happy now that I am no longer in that trap.
I am now neither definded by sex…nor does it any longer rule me.
But then there is money…over a few dollars some people would give their lives…their profession…and their reputation.
Can money or sex have that much value…pull…or lure?
Can you be lured in by money or sex?
I have seen people get so far down with sickness where nothing…and I do mean nothing…nothing mattered. Not the car…not the house…not the kids….not whatever situation they had been going through a month ago…nothing.
It is when you see these kinds of things…you come to realize what is really important in life.
The Bible says a good name is worth more than rubies. I believe this…I don’t have much money. I have never worked with money as my focus…and I have said ‘no’ to money many times. I also have given away alot of money.
I have been down to my last dime…walked out of a McDonald’s and seen someone who was hungry…and gave them both my bag of hot McDonald’s food and my drink. All of which I had not touched. But I figured they needed it more than I did.
While I could go home and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…I realized that they could not….because they had no home.
No, I don’t value money.
In a fire would you rush to get out…or would you rush to get you money stashed in the next room first?
I think in a fire…most people think about their lives first. Everybody would vacate the house or building leaving most of their valuables inside. Because as long as you live you can always make more money or obtain more valuables…get some more pictures etc. It is true…whether you say so or not…at the end of the day you value your life over money or things.
That is why…when I have seen people get to the point where they are near death…I have also seen people to whom nothing else mattered outside of their current state. This is how I have come to know the essence of life. And it is not money…or things.
And a good name is worth more than rubies. And the stupidity of what that Illinois Governor has done will haunt him for a long time. As does anythig which we have done or will do foolishly.
Well, we finally have seen our first real snow. Wasn’t much…but I did have to shovel. But then it is winter.
Still haven’t gotten a new furance…and thank goodness it has not been overly cold. But the furance is coming. God worked it out… I am so glad that I know Him. And believe me when I say…He has never let me down.
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God bless…and thanks for reading ©2008
Add a comment December 9, 2008
That Dexter King is a greedy little boy.
They have been educated…sent off to school. But still they can’t make it on their own. Or maybe they don’t want to. They want everything that the parent has got…and actively set out to get it. And many times while the parent is yet alive.
They desire to live off their parents…be it on the memory of their parents…on their parents earnings…or financial resources…or businesses. Whatever it is…and however it is. They seek to do it. If the parent has a business which the parent got started then the child decides they will take it over. And they (if more than one child) set about removing the parent.
That whole removing thang…is really the main problem. Because if an aging parent is not careful the child or children will remove their name from off of their own bank accounts (the parent’s name from the parent’s bank account)…and off everything else if they can.
And I am not crazy. It is true.
I have seen it first hand and have had documentation of it.
Over time the chid takes over handling all the parent’s personal business…the putting in or pulling money out of the bank for the parent. They start writing the checks drawn against the parent’s bank account…at first supposedly taking care of the parent’s bills for them. Which at first all might seem helpful and quite loving and attentive of the child. And it may even be very convenient for the parent. But parents beware.
It is a set-up for disaster.
It is the biggest mistake any parent can make. Before they know it nothing is their’s anymore…everything has been changed. And the child has taken over.
Yeah…I imagine that it hurts really bad when you see the people that you breath life into…fed and clothed grow up to be your own worst enemy. But it does happen.
It’s family matters.
Sometimes it starts as the parent starts aging. Sometimes it starts after one of the parents passes. But it does happen. And before long the parent will start fearing the child who now begins to terrorize them…and telling them that they aren’t dying quick enough.
It is sad. And there is really no real way to protect against it. It has to go to the nature of the child. And oftentimes this nature is never revealed until it is too late.
Enter Dexter King. There was a point where his mother, Coretta Scott King, had removed him from being the head of the Martin L. King, Jr. Non-violence Center. Dexter at that point claimed that she had done so because “they had had differences in opionions.” So, it would seem that his only two remaining siblings share those same differences now also.
The below articles only prove my point about ol’ Dexter boy. CLICK on the LINKS BELOW to read.
What a shame. Imagine how powerful he could be…if only he…and they could live up to the legacy.
Who wouldn’t have expected black folks to create t-shirts and other merchandise with both Dr. Martin L. King, Jr and Barack Obama side by side.
Are not they both icons in the black community?
Aren’t black folks equally as excited about Obama as they now celebrate Martin?
I can understand being ridgid about it…if say Nike was doing it. But not just some brothers and sisters trying to spread the word and generate some bread (money to put food) on their kitchen tables. I think Martin would be proud and properly smile about it.
Imagine the long miles Martin L. King, Jr. walked. The amount of churches he had to visit. The number of preachers he had to try to placate just in order to get one little thing done. And to have it calumniate in a ‘Barack Obama.’
Oh, yeah…I know he would smile…and be proud to be on that t-shirt or that cap…or that carrying bag with his picture right up ther next to Obama’s picture.
So, yeah…I think he would smile to know that some 40 years later…after his “I have a dream” speech that a tall tan black man would stand up in a square of Chicago and be accepting the nomination to be President of the United States. In fact, he would not only be smiling…but poking out his chest…saying-
“Yes, I always knew it wasn’t going to be in vain.”
I know he would.
I know that Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. be down right proud to be displayed on a t-shirt or on a baseball cap…or on a silk-screened carrying bay…his picture right there…right next to that of Barack. And nobody can tell me differently…because I know Dr. King would be proud indeed.
As in the words of Langston Hughes…who wrote “A dream deferred.” It ain’t deferred any more, baby.
And yeah…I said it.
Dexter King is a very greedy little boy. And I do mean ‘boy.’
Instead of trying to chase down folks and trying to get his share. He really should be out scouting down the best t-shirts and other merchandise and striking a deal for the copyrights. Some of those t-shirts are fabulous.
Well, God bless. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.
I am so tired I don’t know what to do. I stayed up until 5 AM this morning working on a class presentation. But I got it done. Missed my 8 o’clock class though. But the presentation went very well. It was worth the lost of a little sleep.
Now, I can close my eyes…without having to worry if I will get up on time. My next class is not until 9:25 AM tomorrow morning. And I’m going to get some much needed sleep now.
And needed it is.
I made 10 apple pies this past holiday and boiled the sweet potatoes for the 14 pies that my son made and baked. We had more than enough…and we are still enjoying them. Plus everybody got to carry home at least one apple and one sweet potato each. We have a very larged and highly blessed family. All praises be to God most high.
…pass it on…’ www.bsmith101.wordpress.com
God bless…and thanks for reading ©2008
Add a comment December 1, 2008