Posts filed under: ‘Detroit‘
Another Post I never got around to Publishing… SOUL TRAIN MUSIC AWARDS a couple years ago… TEXAS STABBINGS & EXPLOSION at BOSTON MARATHON
Talk about not getting around to POST… when I finally came back to this blog it was I don’t know how long. Now, after that it has been several weeks more …had to add the tags and things. And finally today here it goes…after a bomber or more…struck at the Boston Marathon today just as the runners started crossing the finish line.
I almost wrote… I’m just shaking my head… but it takes more than that if we ever expect to get a handle on this. And it goes beyond insanity to some type of morbid inner nothingness that these people have who go out and do these type of things.
Well, nevertheless…. here is another Post that I just never got around to publishing for one reason or other. After briefly reading through it I thought that I might share it with you…it seems that I felt like sharing some more of myself in it to you… wonder why?
I rarely like telling much about myself… though I must say that you really cannot tell it by reading many of my blogs. But for the record… I cannot remember at all when I wrote this but it was a while back… so today I am feeling great and the day is sunny and beautiful.
Now, here is that blog which I failed to published some time ago…
I am just a touch under the weather. And because I am not accustom to being sick… it tends to bother me a little more than most people.
The other thing is… I do not take medication. Not at all. Well… almost not at all. There have been times when I had to breakdown and swallow something… or go in and have them give me a shot or something… but not often. And believe me when I say… I have to be in an awful lot of pain and/or discomfort for me to do it.
Otherwise, I just suffer whatever it is that is bothering me… until it goes away. Not many people can do that… or attempt to do that. Since so many people rush to go grab up a bottle of this or that at the slightest on-set of something they think may be bothering them… they never even try to fight off anything.
But this is just a little slight cold. A sliver of dust must have gotten into my system while I was helping my brother move some furniture that he chose to move from my parent’s house into his new apartment. And since I am allergic to house dust… and it didn’t take much before I started itching then a tickle came into my throat. But as soon as the dust gets out of my system I will be up and about again.
But this past weekend I had a chance to catch the Soul Train Music Awards. Needless to say… I did not know most of acts or the awardees. But, of course, I did recognize Anita Baker and Ron Isley as they paid tribute to them.
For one thing how can anyone who portrayed herself as being so Afro-centric ever have lighten their skin?
Well, that is exactly what Eryka Badu has done… or so it appeared to be the case to me. And she looked terrible. At first I didn’t even notice it… because it was kind of subtle and her face was camouflaged by the hat she was wearing. It cast a shadow over her face.
We have all read about black women in Africa and the West Indies doing it… but to see that Eryka Badu has stooped to bleaching????
It is insane. If anything I have always wanted to be darker… but lighter no. A cousin of mine slipped and started calling me ‘light’ and I totally disliked it. She was trying to anger me. And she did the moment she let that slip out of mouth.
Needless to say, Eryka has always been a bit wired and out there. She likes doing things to grab attention… I guess you could say. I remember when she first came onto the music scene… everybody thought that the very long dredlocks she was sporting then were her own. But low-and-behold… over a period of time we all came to find out that it had been a wig or more than likely dred extensions. After that I think she went to having no hair at all.
But seeing Erykah Badu with lighter skin… was discussing to me. Talking about a mindless woman… who evidently hates herself. I wouldn’t want attention that bad. And whatever song that was… that she song on the Soul Train Music Awards… if it was intended to catapult the re-emergence of her singing career?
For the most part most of the music on the Soul Train Music Awards show really wasn’t even ‘soul music’ any more. But a bunch of that ‘neo-soul’ junk.
So, in watching the Soul Train Music Awards… I began to feel that we are loosing our identity…our musical identity and authenticity. An identity and authenticity which has marked and ruled… in my opinion the whole music world in this country since we came to these shores as slaves brought to America. And my did we bring something with us.
Some of the best and most authentic music America has ever had really came out of a revised culture whose roots were founded in slavery. Much like the food we developed here called ‘Soul Food.’ Hence, Soul Music… the Blues… Doo-Wop… Gospel Music… Rhythm & Blues etc… etc.. etc…
In watching the Soul Train Music Awards show I felt that soul music had been replaced by a bunch of people who neither wrote lyrics or played real instruments. People who only looked black, but were trying very hard to appear as weird and way-out as they possibly could be. This because it would seem that everything today concerning music is about branding and images… and far less than about true talent… real vocal skills or any skills as far as being a musician or a real song writer. What happened to artists with the talent of a Little Stevie Wonder or a Prince?
Based upon what I had seen those type of talents had faded far far far away.
None of them… this group or now generation singers seemed to want to have any connection to the music that put Motown on the charts, or Philly on the map… or Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, New York, and LA. Or that had made other urban places hubs for the rich urban soul sound and melodic tones that had come to be called ‘soul music’ or ‘rhythm & blues” …or even “gospel.”
While watching the Soul Train Music Awards… there were no Anita Bakers or Ron Isleys awaiting in the crowd to hear their names called for award. In fact, the only soulful talenst on the show was Anita Baker, Ron Isley, Pebo Bryson, Chante Moore, Rochelle Ferrell, Jeffery Osborne and a few others. But clearly the ‘soul‘ that had been in the history of Soul Train is now gone.
Everybody wants to be a cross-over artist… some neutral detergent that appears to be black or African American but actually doing some white thang.
The whole time I sat watching the Soul Train Music Awards… which is something I have not watched in years… or any other music or movie awards show in years. As I had long ago felt that they had been watered down to appeal to more less urban audiences.
But it was frightening for me to see such a lost of what seemed to me to be a vast depreciation of what has always been ours… our real musical genius and talenst… gifted voices and fantastic lyric writing… such as that of Barry White and Issac Hayes… Holland,-Dozier-Holland, Ashford & Simpson, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield… etc…etc… all to be turned into something which sounded a lot more like that puff of glitter disco music and digitized junk. And I must say that I see the exact same thing happening to gospel music.
In gospel music there has developed a vast desire to be played on something ‘called‘ Christian Radio stations… which in my opinion is nothing but a bunch of rock music stations playing rock music and calling it ‘Christian Music.’
It would be a shame to loose the richness of our music… and the history that our music carries with it to the junk I bared witnessed to on the Soul Train Music Awards. Outside of the tributes to some real Soul legends… there was nothing on that show I would have voted to give 1 award to.
One day we will look up and no one will know what ‘soul music’ was or that it had ever been. They will not know that there had been such groups like Blue Magic, the Dramatics, Delfonics, Temptations, Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Manhattans, Teddy Pendergrass, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Chi-Lites, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Phyllis Hyman, Najee, Kirk Walham, the Sylvers, Michael Jackson, the Jackson 5, the Sugar Hill Gang and the list goes on and on and on… And those are just those from my era there tons more before them.
Who can forget when James Brown first cried-
“Say it loud I’m black and I’m proud.”
Or, “Baby, please don’t go.”
Or when Curtis Mayfield song these words-
Or Nina came with-
“To be young gifted and black.”
Maybe there is no need for such lyrics like these today anymore. But that can’t true… particularly after what I just said about Eryka Badu and skin bleaching. But then how about-
“La-la-la means I love you… I love you.”
What about –
“They’re smiling in your face…all the while they want to take your place.”
Will soul music die like jazz has died?
There are no more jazz artists like Max… Coltrane … Gillipsie… or Yusuf LaTiff… or Miles …. any more.
Or how about a Junior Parker… or another B.B. King… or Muddy Waters… or Bo Diddley and their special blend?
Now, I must admit that these days I am strictly into gospel music… but having a history in the radio industry it is hard for me to not realize the importance of preserving this cultural history. It is ours… and our children need to be recipients of at least knowing of that it once was. We cannot just forsake everything.
These musical forms and artists are long gone… Well, more or less off the musical scene… the ones I just mentioned above. And soon along with their names will the memories of Blue Magic, Phyllis Hyman, the Dells, Temptations, Supremes, the Staple Singers and everybody else either before them or who came after them like Chak Khan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Emotions etc. be forgotten too. To be replaced by a bunch of people who have forsaken moving bass beats for neo- tinty sounds that have nothing soul about them. Music you can hop and jump up and down to… like we used to watch those young white kids do on those afternoon after school dance shows like the Dick Clark Show. But they can’t really dance to. And I guess that is really the point… its not meant to be danced to… but just to make some money.
Forget art… What does art have to do with it?
No wonder the Soul Train Musical Awards show didn’t resemble anything like their old award shows… or for that matter… didn’t come close to emitting anything I would have called ‘soul’… outside of having a tribute to a few past ‘soul’ artists. What a real shame…a legacy gone to naught…
I hate to say it… but little wonder Don Cornelius took a gun… When you sell off something your control of it goes too… Truly the history of Soul Train will never be the same…
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Add a comment April 15, 2013
When I read the story I knew I was going to be writing a blog on it. At first I chalked it up to something not clicking in their heads. And I said ‘they’… because first it was Serena and her nude layout in Esquire magazine.
Now here comes Venus with her illusion.
I thought about my young indiscretions. Things I did in my youth that I would never do or think to do now. Foolish things…some even down right ridiculous. But I did them.
And I wasn’t embarrassed about either…nor did I think anything wrong about me doing so. Getting almost naked…top off and letting it all hang out while I laid in the sun and walked along the rolling waves.
So, when I thought of this I re-thought what I was going to say in this blog. I am now a little more tolerant of youth…and yes they do…do crazy things…we all sometimes do and have too.
Yes, I think it bad taste the choice that Venus made in her design of her tennis outfit for the French Open, in making it appear that she wasn’t wearing underwear…and thinking that it was cute… or comical… or sassy…or sexy… or even stylish.
I would never, however, compare my removing my top and enjoying a day out on the beach to being on center court in Paris at the French Open with tons of TV and news cameras flashing at me.
In fact, thinking about it made me think of Josephine Baker and her bananas…and the scathy way she used to dress when she performed. I very much think that if Josephine were alive today that she might re-think wrapping bananas around her waist and shaking her stuff like she was crazy.
I have always held that both Venus and Serena were great role models in all aspects of their careers…not just for young girls and the young ladies within our own race, but also to those outside of it as well. That is…up until Serena posed naked and now Venus stepping out on the courts wearing something…wanting to give the illusion of being naked.
It is all rather a bit too much for me to take at this time.
They have burst my bubble…
What are they thinking?
First Serena…then Tiger…and now Venus.
It was nice while it lasted. It used to be such a pleasure picking up the newspaper…or watching the news…or catching stuff over the internet about them. Now all 3 of them seem to be falling from the mark… loosing their barings…and the standards they once set for themselves… that they once up-held. And that they are now dropping down by the wayside.
My father would call it…going out of the world backwards. He was great at saying that…and especially to me. Perhaps, it has much to do with why I am as I am today.
But maybe it’s been too much money?
Too much fame?
Or maybe it is just their youth…
Or too much pressure being Black…and being so in sports that many Black people did not participate in…and then landing on the top of it. Sports which had typically been dominated by non-Black athletes…and here you go ending up being the top money makers…highest paid athletes in their games…grossing the highest earnings as a male atheletic… and as female athletes.
What an achievement. I am sure that it must come with plenty of scars… hurt… and lots of anguish. Particularily, when you were just starting out. Nobody within those circles liked you then…much less loved you. You were just a dark spot coming into a lilly white game that nobody believed would bloom and grow up dominating…and then becoming number 1.
Yeah, that had to be hard. Going out on courts where everybody snubbed you…and didn’t want you anywhere around in their ‘white only’ club houses. But then gradually over time and championships all of that changed. They came to know your name…wrote stories about you… wanted private interviews with you… and a few even sought you out for sponsorships. But not as many as you could have gotten…and should have gotten…if you were white.
But you aren’t white. Never been white…and I’m hoping never wanted to be white. But now you are ‘in like Flen.’ They can’t deny your talent… or your gifts from God. But you still remember the pain…the time when… When things didn’t seem that they were ever going to get to where they are now…but yet you kept pushing… kept reaching …striving… and achieving.
At the time it may have seemed like a great idea when Venus sat down and decided to design it… but to take black lace and create something which looks more like a ladies bustiea was never ever a good idea…when it was her intention to wear such an outfit out in public.
Why would Venus want to go out on center court…on a world stage looking like a cheap downtown hustler or prostitute?
All I can say is…. blame it on her youth…perhaps the times.
Nor do they see anything wrong or filthy in wearing their pajamas out in street. Or the boys with their pants hanging down to their knees.
There is something very wrong with the way culture and fashion seem to be clashing today. Standards in etiquette, style and class have all taken a back seat to the tasteless, classless and raunchy. And it doesn’t seem to matter how much money you make… or whether you are our new set of athletic supper stars… or new found musical talents and movie stars of today.
All tattooed out from head to toe…and pierced all over the place. There was a time only a chosen few rebellious outcast doorned the way out hair, blacken fingernails, body piercing and tattoos. But not now. It’s your daughter and my nieces and some nephews…and practically all the guys who play professional basketball and everything else. And every drummer…and groupie alike.
Used to be that everybody was searching for their own ‘unique’ them. Now it seems that everyone wants to be like everyone else. Marked up and grossly ‘un-individual.’
No one could ever say that she wasn’t a class act. No, they could never say that about Lena Horne. Always beautiful…and sassy… she had an air of proud-ness about her that could not be mistaken.
Can’t say I personally met her…but I once did have an opportunity to catch her in a performance at McCormick Place in Chicago. It was an opening when the seniors of Sixth Grace United Presbyterian Church decided to sponsor a trip to catch Lena in her finale show she was on tour with. Though I didn’t really want to go…by the time I got in my seat and Lena started to perform I was more than happy to be there.
I had never really thought much about Lena Horne as she was before my time. But the show was a retrospect of her life in the entertainment business, obstacles she had encountered, her determination to make it to the top in spite of…and it was filled with plenty of spunk and humor. I thought about Lena for days after that show… I loved it. I had absolutely loved that show and fell in love with Lena. And all those seniors who dragged me there loved it too.
I remember Mother Emma Turner so well. She just would not let me say ‘no.’ Nor would Mrs. Ripperton…Minnie’s mother…they teamed up on me. And so I got a wonderful opportunity to see and hear a legion. Someone I think I had seen her on the old Ed Sullivan Show several times…and had certainly seen in a couple of old movies. But that night even as an older woman…Lena was radiant and still just as beautiful.
Lena Horne passed recently a few days ago…and I had never known she was a native New Yorker. A Brooklyn girl in fact. I guess that accounts for why she had so much spunk and a wonderful attitude. And boy….did she have attitude…and in a good loving way.
Got a ton of hits today regarding this story. So, I decided that I would comment on it.
This is the story about the ex-Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick who just got thrown back in prison by a Judge who decided that Kwame hadn’t really learned his lesson…though he contended that he was changed and had become a ‘good guy.’
So, Kwame hires her as the personal assistant to the Mayor. And somewhere along the line they began carrying on romantically…texting messages and meeting up in various hotel rooms…then chatting about it in their text messages…him and Christine.
All of this while Kwame was taking the city for a ride…and living large…and I guess a little too large. For which the City of Detroit is demanding restitution. Well, they demanded it back in 2008 when the city took him to court…sued him… and then sent him to jail for 2 months. But Kwame after paying $140,000.00 against a $3 million debt…claimed that he had no more money. And did not the court find out otherwise.
Now, he is back off to jail again. And as you can see in the top courtroom picture of him…he is none too happy.
“When you are voted in by the people you have a moral responsibility to the people.”
And you also have a debt of service…which should not be converted into a self-serving attitude.
There is something about power…if you are not careful you can become too full of yourself and abuse it. I think that is what happened to Kwame…he became too full of himself. And then started thinking he was untouchable.
I have to say that after watching this footage I feel sorry for her… Christine Beatty. Almost everybody deserves a chance… and an opportunity to be forgiven. We have all done some foolish things. I know that I have.
It is highly unlikely that Ms. Beatty will resume her studies in law…or become that lawyer. But perhaps she will… sometimes these kinds of things come to prove to us who God is… and to make us better…stronger and more determined to succeed… and to labor to do the right things.
I wish her well… both of them really.
Some of us have to rise up out of the pits of hell to find ourselves and our true calling in life.
Worst oil spillage ever?
I thought that the oil spill that hit Alaska some years ago was the worst. And based upon what I hear the effects of it are still being felt. Perhaps it is time…or way past time that a little more time and oversight should be spent on ensuring that these type of things just do not happen. And at the very least certainly not to this extent.
The oil spill that hit Alaska in 2009 was due a boat transporting oil owned by Exxon. The Exxon Valdez ran aground spilling nearly 11 million gallons of oil upon a clean and scenic Alaska water way. Now the BP oil company is currently dealing with a oil rig which exploded killing 11 of its workers releasing an inestimable amount of crude oil which is now beginning to wash up on the shores of Louisiana and Florida. And is threatening to not only damage the Gulf and its coast line but also that of shores on the Atlantic Ocean side.
It is terrible seeing the birds covered with oil trapped down under the weight of it covering them, near dead in the muck of muddy tar like waste just waiting to die. The pollution that has filled their air, shores and an ever enlarging area destroying lives…and undoubtedly causing plenty of soon to come health issues. And while destroying the beauty of our dear Mother Earth.
Besides having to deal with the news of the oil spill President Obama was at West Point this past weekend delivering their Commmencement Speech. He has grown to not look Presidential but also sound it.
Though in reading the story I could not help but notice how whenever the writer spoke of the President…he always used the lower case ‘P’ …like when he wrote ‘and the president…’, as opposed to a capital ‘P.’ Which in the past has always been the custom in this country when referring to our Presidents in print. And that is why it always leaps out at me now whenever I come across it this way. Because I am not accustom to seeing that done at any other time in reference to the President of the United States.
It would the equivalent of using a lower case ‘q’ whenever someone wrote something in reference to ‘the Queen.’ Which is a definite no-no…just ask the British. You never see that…nor did I ever see a lower case ‘P’ ever being used in newspaper articles or anything else in reference to our other Presidents… past Presidents of the United States prior to Barack Obama. That is until this time. To be sure Barack Obama is ‘our’ President…and he definitely got voted into the White House. He is owed the respect that is due him as any other man who has operated in that capacity. And I have read several articles now written with that lower case ‘p’ when referring to him…and I find it to be a slap in his face…an insult and total lack of respect.
It speaks volumes as to the state of mind and hidden agendas… and bias feelings which still exist here in this country. And I do speak of racism.
At least Barack Obama got voted in…whereas George W. Bush stole his way into the White House. And what a set-up that was…not to mention a mess he created of this country under him.
Now, if they…those newspaper columnists and others could refer to George W. Bush in their writings…their news articles and the like with a capital ‘P’…then I see no reason why they have a problem and cannot do so when referring to President Obama. Who by the way…got voted in…and by a resounding number.
I started this blog near 7 PM and it is now 5:45 AM. And I really can’t go a step further.
I can’t do it now…because I just can’t keep my eyes open. It gets like that sometimes.
But I just had to try to finish this as so many people have been hitting my blog to check on some things. Now, I feel much better…because it is done. And if I think of anything else I will add it later. Good-night….
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
2 comments May 26, 2010
The God Father of Gospel Music, Rev. Timothy Wright… Jesse again… Mike Steele RNC… First Family date night…
I was hoping to go to bed early tonight. Didn’t get in until after 2 AM last night. Had the opportunity to go into New York for the 2nd night of the funeral of the God Father of Gospel Music, Rev. Timothy Wright. And what an event it was. I am still happy that we decided to go.
It was a musical program celebrating the music and musical legacy and influence of Dr. Timothy Wright. So, some of everybody in gospel music was there and performed including a combined choir of 23 choirs…comprising 1,200 voices. So, if you can imagine that…then you have a clue of the kind of evening we had last night…and it was free and open to public. On top of it…it was very well organized…and had a super sound system…and there wasn’t anything outside of what that church already had that could have beat it. And was like being in the Appollo Theater…it had to have been a converted movie theater…the church…in fact, I know it had been theater because it had at least 2 balcony levels if not 3 of them.
So, from Ty Tribbett, to Rev. Milton Biggham, Myrna Summers, Timoney Figueroa, Hezekiah Walker & Love Fellowship Choir, Vershawn Mitchell, Keith Wonder Boy, Maurette Brown, Judieth McAllister…and many manyothers performed…a host of them. And it was fabulous…each and everyone of them. I am still glowing from that service in honor of the God Father of Gospel Music, Rev. Timothy Wright…a man I really feel was not given the real honor that his music deserved…during the course of his life. But he never complained…he continued writing… producing… performing and preaching to the glory of God. Truly, a fabulous man…and a real lover of his church…and God. Faithful…
It shocked me the Saturday, last July when we woke up to a bunch of text messages saying Rev. Timothy Wright had met with a tragic automobile accident which took the life of his wife and only grand son…leaving him paralyzed and mostly hospitalized until he passed just recently. From one moment to the next…we never know what is going to happen in our life.
Earlier that evening I had stopped by Rev. Wright’s booth at AIM, in Detroit…he had just been down a few booths and to the opposite of the aisle from Vicki Winans’ booth. He was autographing his book while cheerfully beaconing passerbyers to stop at his booth.
I will not forget how I had stood there telling him how great he looked…and how happy I was to see that he was doing so well healthwise…as the last time I had seen him was when I had booked him to performed at my summer outreach program called, Ministry Under the Tent. He was not feeling well at all…but yet he travelled from New York to perform before the people here who are still talking about that show…and weekend.
Because I could see that that he was not feeling well that day…as he was dietetic…I said to him-
“If you only sing one song I’ll be okay with that.”
That’s what I told him.
But when he hit that stage with his 30 choir members…you would not have been able to tell how he had been suffering prior to performing. And he kept on going like the Energized Bunny. They really performed…and sounded just like the CD’s.
So, it was good to see him in Detroit doing so well health-wise…and I just kept saying it over and over…and the following morning…
To tell you seriously I felt guilty…as though I had caused that accident myself…having raved so much about how good Rev. Wright had looked that Saturday afternoon. But a car coming up onto the inter-state highway travelling in the wrong direction ran right into his car…head-on… and Rev. Timothy Wright’s life was forever changed that night.
I was shocked…his life had been turned upside down in the flash of a moment. He had just finished performing in a large gospel concert with Mary Mary, the Clark Sisters, Ricky Dillard etc…and in a quick flash of a moment…his career had come to a end. He lost his wife and grand son…and very nearly lost his own life in less than 6 hours since the time I had spoken with both him and his wife as they worked their booth with their grand son.
D.U.I…driving under the influence of alcohol or anything else…is a serious problem…and it is highly dangerous and deadly to us all. The same roadway that that accident occured was the exact highway we had to travel on later in order for us to get back home from Detroit too. Any one of us could have met up with that driver. It should not take until something happens to one of us that we rally to do something about drivers who continue to get behind the wheel knowing that they are incapable of doing so properly or safely.
It is sad to think about what ended up happening to Rev. Timothy Wright and his family due a driver driving under the influence…who also ended up killing himself…by not only traveling in the wrong direction. But also travelling at a very high speed.
Needless to say…I was happy to hear that he was no longer suffering…and trying to deal with his loses. Yes, I was happy that he was no longer suffering from the loses in his personal life…and his physical being.
He was so gracious and so kind…when I called him…he never even asked me to sign a contract…didn’t have to wire him any up-front money…which is highly out of the norm. But that is what he did…just said have the money ready when he got there. And I did…and all cash. I have done many shows…and never had anyone been so trusting.
I have been involved in both concert promotions and other large events as a promoter for both R&B and religious concerts and events…but never had 1 entertainer… agent… manager… or other person that I booked for an event of any type…not require me to sign a contract and to send some money in advance…which is typically the way that it is done. And I am sure that through his many years in the industry…I am sure that Rev. Wright has probably had his share of problems with promoters…yet he did not require me to sign or forward him anything…for some reason. Though I asked him…and he said-
“No, just have it ready when I get there.”
I marvel at that even to this day. And I made sure that everything for him was set and ready for him when the bus I had hired for them pulled into town and they poured off of it.
And I cannot thank enough the Chamblee Bus Company out of Newark, New Jersey…who at 1 AM in the morning the night before Rev. Wright was to perform… they got me a bus and a driver…after the initial bus company I had hired for the job…to pick up Rev. Wright and his choir in Brooklyn…called me to say that they were not coming. I marvel at that too…God worked it out in the wee hours of the morn. And all ended up being just fine…better than fine.
As I sat there listening to all those performers and expeditors…and listened to the new group of radio gospel announcers in New York City now…my mind drifted back to all the years that I have played his music…and still do…and how he had come to perform here at Ministry Under the Tent…and I couldn’t help but cry a bit from time to time.
Following all the singing…Pastor Hubert Powell was allowed a few seconds to speak…and wow did he deliver. I wish I could write it like he said it…but I can’t. But he and the God Father of Gospel Music, Rev. Timothy Wright, had been friends for over 50 years. And I do not think…and would find it very hard to believe…that anybody who ever met him…didn’t meet somebody who they did ot like and love in the person of Rev. Timothy Wright. He was truly a man of God…who got his start up under the Father of Gospel Music…James Cleveland.
As I stated…I had decided not to write anything tonight. I could barely keep my eyes open earlier…but while checking on some things over the internet…I came across a couple of stories which really motivated me to begin to write this blog.
The first was a story on Jesse Jackson. I find him to be so disappointing. Not atall the person I thought him to be. I guess it is hard to accept when people do not meet your expectations of who you believe them to be…based upon your media knowledge of them…meaning news items that you read.
Throughout all the years all the information on Jesse Jackson had been positive…up until the story of the illegitimate baby…and that open mic story hit the news…where Jesse… Well, you know the story (wrote about it in 2 other blogs if you to read that story)…how Jesse said he wanted to cut off Obama’s… Well…you know the story. Until that point my preception of Rev. Jesse Jackson had been one of him being what he actively projected…and that is what it was a “projection”...that he was a dedicated black leader…who sincerely loved and cared for his people.
Now, reading this story further adds to my ever decreasing opinion of Jesse Jackson. Currently, he is being sued for $100,000 by the AEI Speakers Bureau for failing to show up at a speaking engagement in Trinidad…after…now check this out… after he had the conference promoters charter him a private jet to transporthim from Chicago to Trinidad for the speaking engagement…and demanding a fee of $75,000 to come and speak at the event. And I thought Aretha Franklin’s $65,000 fee plus a portion of the gate was excessive. Well, it was a bit too rich for my blood…but at least she was worth the money. I just couldn’t afford it.
Can you imagine that?
Seventy-five thousand dollars to have Jesse Jackson come to speak at a conference engagement. And an engagement in a poor country…run by black people?
And then force them to book him a private chartered jet?
Can you imagine the type of hotel accommodations Jesse must have requested…5 star plus…no doubt.
They deserve to sue him. And I hope they get every dime. What a ridiculously greedy man. He is definitely too full of himself.
I have to admit to having read years ago while in New York…that Jesse’s Wall Street Summit was nothing but one big corporate shake-down…in the name of black people.
Can you imagine Jesse Jackson getting rich on our backs?
Playing all these years…like something he has never been. Really interested in black people…and the social injustices surrounding them. And trying to get to get them irraticated. When in fact…he has always been out for Jesse…at the pretense of aiding the plight of black people in this country.
The Bible says…what is done in the dark will come to light. Meaning anything that is not true…will in time be unveiled…revealed. Jesse Jackson can truly speak to the words of this scripture…as more and more is being revealed about him.
Now…on to Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National commitee…another foolish black man…along the vain of a Clarence Thomas.
It is sad really.
We are living in a season now… Oh, well…come on lets grow up. We do not have go running around and cow-tauing and bowing down to everybody. Give me a break. I hate ignorance…and particularly from those who want to pretend that are above others…in terms of their intellect…place in life…etc…etc… But they don’t know who they are…or they forget where they come from…or how to love what is their’s…namely their own people while trying to pretend to be somebody else. And also loose their dignity by acting and talking foolishly.
Every group loves their own people…that is only natural. And anybody who doesn’t…then something is wrong with them.
Loving your own group doesn’t mean that you have feel that your group is superior…smarter…or better than any other group…or have ideas of bigotry. No, it just means you are proud in who you are.
But that group called the Republicans…particularly that group of ignorant and narrow minded black folk in that party…like Clarence Thomas, Alan Kayes…and now this Michael Steele. This Mike Steele recently, while sitting in of radio program chatting with a caller who had called in to discuss Barack Obama…Michael Steele made the statement that media created Barack Obama.
What kind of dumb statement was that?
Media did not create Barack Obama…as if he was the figment of someone’s imagination. Media definitely did not create Barack Obama…they chased Barack Obama because he was the story that people were interested in. And that is what media does…they make their living tracking down stories that people want to hear and read. That is the name of the business…or if you will…the game.
Barack Obama is not a splash in a pan…he was not created by a bunch of handlers…any more than Solomon or David was. Media did not create Tiger Woods…or Michael Jordan…or Muhammad Ali…or Jack Nicolas…Princess Diana…or even Dr. Martin L. King, Jr…or Bobby Kennedy or Jack Kennedy, his older brother also known as President John F. Kennedy. Destiny did…and their talents did.
So, how foolish is it for a supposed black man to try to down rate another black man by saying-
Because that is exactly what Steele said…though he may not have said it in those exact words. But it spoke every bit of envy.
Media did not create Barack Obama…but it could said that it assist in informing people about him. But the same could be said for any movie star…singing star…atlete…or anyone or anything of interest to the masses. That is what media does… it informs.
Too bad Mr. Steele, an ex-governor, is not the kind of Republican that Col. Colin Powell is. Col. Powell is capable of celebrating and appreciating the abilities and achievements…and excellence of those inside, as well as, outside of his own party affiliation and race…and so too Obama.
Too bad the former governor lacks their skills.
I am beginning to wonder if the excitement of the moment is starting to ware off for the Obama’s. Living your life in a bubble cannot be fun. Everything you do…say or wear…gets questions.
Who would like that?
I personally do not understand all the questions about the dog…Michelle clothes…her sneakers…etc…
I am not really a sneaker person…but in New York they are rave…and I guess everywhere else too. But with most sneakers ranging far above Pro-Keds back in the day…which were $10…I feel that all sneakers are seriously over priced. And as far as I can see most of them if you want a good pair are over $100.
So, then I do not understand the problem with the cost of Michelle’s sneakers costing over $500 as most sneakers cost $200 and more. Or maybe…the fuss was just over Michelle wearing those sneakers to some charity event…but men wear Stacy Adams shoes…and other people wear a bunch of expensive footware today…and nobody is calling to question their shoes…or sneakers.
In looking at the pictures of their date night…to think that was the first walk that they have taken together free of anybody being right up on them. I don’t know…but I find that rather sad. The joy of life seems to be stolen from them. It is the cost of fame I guess…and certainly the cost of becoming the President, First Lady and First Family of the United States.
I would take my life over their’s anyday. But it is a sacrifice that they willingly went into…because they felt that they could offer their service to help make this a better country. And for that I applaud them…and feel for them.
Nobody ever questioned the price tag of everything or anything that Jackie Kennedy wore. In fact, the rich never talk about price. They have this saying-
“If you have to ask the price then you really can’t afford it.”
Oh, I know what it is.
Jackie “O” never wore sneakers…only terribly expensive clothes…jewelry…and shoes. And there were no questions about them or their price tags.
Well, since it is now 2 AM again…and I was hoping to try to catch up on my sleep as I am trying to put the finishing touches on my book, THE BISHOP’S WIFE, promo for youtube…and I am becoming frustrated with my new book publishers. It seems that they can’t get my errors corrected properly for some reason.
Since my book had been back and forth to my former publisher…I did not have many errors this time around. But as few as they have been…I have received the galley back 4 times with almost the same errors not having been corrected. And I mean glearing errors that leap out at you…but evidently they do not to the person who is suppose to be setting my type and making these corrects.
I am beginning to come of a mind…that this whole self-publishing thing is for the birds. That it probably doesn’t matter who you get…there will be problems.
THE BISHOP’S WIFE is now on sale…CLICK this LINK to purchase my book. You do not need a paypal account to purchase, and you can purchase using a debit card. Thank you.
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…” http://www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2009
Add a comment May 5, 2009
I really do not like people who like to laugh and kajol themselves on the back of other people’s suffering. As if Chrysler’s going into bankruptcy only impacted the top dogs at Chrysler. If that was so…then maybe my attitude might be somewhat different too. But it does not…the top dogs rarely feel much of the ping…when the zing falls hardest upon those at the bottom. The top dogs get paid out…retire…and go on vacation for the rest of their lives while the poor factory workers get squeezed out of jobs. And are left suffering…wondering about tomorrow.
So, I really hate when I hear people laughing and joking about situations which impact poor innocent people…thousands upon thousands of them…just trying to make it…as black folks say…from day to day.
What could possibly be funny about another large American corporation having to declare bankruptcy?
It merely means more re-organizing…further cut backs and down-sizing…and the shuffling of more folks off into the unemployment lines.
It also means more mortgages can’t and won’t be met…due to people loosing their jobs. Credit card bills that won’t get paid…because… Well, people have lost their jobs. Less consumer wares and other items being purchased…because…well… Yes, people have lost their jobs. More people waiting to collect unemployment…more food stamps that will have to be given out…more medical problems for Medicare to add to their rows etc… More…more…more people who will need to be re-trained…for jobs which do not exist etc…etc…etc..
So, what is there to cheer about…concerning Chrysler filing bankruptcy?
And yes…President Obama should do everything he can to help constrain and assist Chrysler from totally going under.
Had I not gone to visit in Detroit last August such things would have never crossed my mind…but I cannot forget all those houses and all those buildings which I saw…street after street in Detroit all boarded up. There is something about having seen that…that has compelled me to never forget the plight of others.
Sometimes we get caught up in how big we are and how well we ourselves are doing… and what our family has…what we have…etc…etc… That we forget all about others…and about what is going on with them. But this is wrong. Other people lives do impact our lives…whether we care to believe it or not.
Recently, we have seen a series of shootings…where people just walked into some crowded place…office…church…mall…store…house…neighborhood…and just started shooting. And as you listened to the story unfold…you heard or read that the person who had done the shooting had just lost their job…been laid off…went seeking help and met up with nothing but frustration.
When your world comes tumbling down around you…and your family needs to be fed…the rent is due…the utilities are beginning to be cut off…and you are facing eviction…I wonder if you would be laughing because you worked for Chrysler…and your livelihood company just filed bankruptcy…and that meant it was going to cost you your job…your only means of a livelihood…for yourself and your family?
I doubt it.
The lost of jobs…corporate bankruptcies effect us all. And though you may view it as a government bailout because Uncle Sam is trying to help these companies out…the situations are bigger than their CEO’s. That money that Obama is taking to aid these companies is far less than what it would cost taxpayers to sustain those people…massive numbers of people who stand to loose their jobs. And I really hate to hear people who have limited vision…short sightedness…and who can’t see beyond their own nose…so much so…that they fail to see the bigger…and much broader picture concerning this issue.
Trying to re-train people for new jobs…many of whom have no computer skills and only know how to work in a factory…who many may be well up in age…meaning old…too old in fact to actively and with any real hope of ever being hired for a decent job outside of becoming some store associate, perhaps… far from receiving the pay they earned while doing piece work while on their factory job. Yet, they will be sent to school…enter junior colleges and things…on taxpayer dollars…and into various training programs…still on taxpayers dollars…they will receive unemployment…food stamps…Medicare etc…all of which will add up to far more than the cost of trying to keep Chrysler or any other large company on the verge of sinking from going totally under.
So, what is there to laugh about…and to say-
“There goes more taxpayers money.”
It is pay now…or pay far more later.
This recession thing is real. I may not be feeling it personally…but there are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of Americans who are. And they are in dire need of this country’s help and support…without the criticism.
Most people in this country have had a desire for a piece of that American pie…and when circumstances change…they should not be held responsible because of the curved balls that have been thrown their way. They only work for these companies and they should not be made to suffer because of them…ridiculed…or made to feel to blame because of any changes in the global economic environment…or the one here in America.
The first shoes made were made in Africa. University…library…books…etc…first in Africa. It is a widely known fact that most of the great Greek philosophers all studied in Africa. Africa is also known to be the place where the Garden of Eden had been. And where it may still well be…as there are still parts of Africa not yet seen by modern man…as you probably remember that most recently in some South American country recently they had found some unknown tribe of people who had not seen the modern world. And that was in South America…a place which is not two-thirds the size of Africa.
But none of this should really be a secret or surprise…as much of the Bible takes place in what as then ancient Africa…as Africa in ancient times stretched all the way into Asia. Ethiopia and other current African countries are cited in the Bible. Haran, a village in Africa, was the original home of Abram whose name was later changed by God to Abraham. And mentioned a few times in the Bible is the Queen of Sheba…an great African queen, who upon one time where she is mentioned she paid a visit to young king by the name of Solomon where she questioned him concerning things of God…as she was a woman of God.
So, if you want to read more on this story just CLICK the LINK BELOW.
If you want to get an understanding of early African History…CLICK and watch the video BELOW.
That being said…then China would really not be the oldest civilization known to man…as history is starting to show…but Africa…the oldest civilization of all mankind.
It is funny to me now…as I think back…but in one of my history classes about a year ago…I handed in a paper stating just that. Not about Africa…but about history…and how depending upon who is writing that history it may or may not bare the whole truth…or even be correct. I wrote that no matter how much man may try to corrupt history by purposely negilecting to tell some things…or by accidently doing so…that in time all things…meaning the truth…is eventually revealed through time.
Here is the newest African Beauty to emerge upon the stage of the world…and she is a high school student living with her family in Germany…and she is Germany’s next Top Model, Sara Nuru…an Ethiopian.
You must remember that it was a young beautiful…and evidently a very knowledgeable Ethiopian Queen…Sheba, who paid a visit upon King Solomon who brought him gifts and quizzed him.
Now, I am still trying to catch up on my sleep. So, if you will have to forgive me. I got up and out early this morning. I had to do what I really do not like to do too often…and that is catch the bus. But I must say…as a writer…it really does give you a great source for acquiring interesting little stories.
Hope you had a beautiful day…and for some reason I am feeling much anticipation. I guess because my book, THE BISHOP’S WIFE…is due out soon…and then the work really begins. I will keep you abreast.
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…” http://www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2009
2 comments April 30, 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
I had never heard a group that I thought more should have made it than these girls.
The Jones Girls…I really didn’t play much by them when I was on the radio…basically, because I was not the one programming the radio stations that I worked on back then. But if I had…
It is hard to say exactly why their career as a recording group didn’t take off. It certainly was not because they couldn’t sing. Because they could definitely sing. Nor was it because they didn’t want it bad enough…because they did. Nor was it because they were from the wrong place…because they came from the Motor City…Detroit. And everybody comes out of Detroit. Stevie Wonder is from Detroit…the Clark Sisters are from Detroit…Rance Allen…Aretha Franklin…Temptations, Diana Ross, the Supremes…Motown…etc… Almost everybody comes out of Detroit.
In fact, when I first saw or heard of the Jones Girls they were on tour with Diana Ross. They were so good it was hard not to notice the singers backing up Diana in that show. And then Diana showcased them…and I have never forgotten their names since that night. They were more than just talented…far more. And far better than just good.
And even the Boss Ms Ross knew it…who was far from being shabby herself that night. And so didn’t Motown to have packaged the Jones Girls on tour with their diva of all divas at the time…Diana Ross.
So, then what happened?
I don’t know. But whenever I hear ‘Nights over Egypt’….I think of them…those Jones Girls.
It sadden me to read last year sometime while searching the internet for something or other at the time….that one of the Jones Girls had passed some years ago. And more surprising was the fact that she had died supposedly…based on the information I was reading…that she had died from sclerosis of the liver…due to alcoholism.
What a sad end to a story I would have thought would have ended otherwise.
Valorie Jones died in Detroit on December 2, 2001…she was the middle sister of the Jones Girls. She was 46 years old.
Have another young nephew who will be heading to DC for Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday. And I am so happy.
It is so important for our young children to know that nothing can hold them back…block them…or stop them from achieving success in their lives but them…themselves.
There is something about accomplishments that make you feel good all over. No wonder Barack Obama’s smile is as pretty as it is….he has managed to achieve one accomphishment after another. And he never let anything hold him back…or let anybody tell him that ‘he couldn’t.’
The sky is the limit. Set your goals and start working towards them now…you just may surprise yourself.
But remember to be deligent in everything that you do. And never let anything bearing your name not be done to the best…or to its highest level.
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
For history on Diana Ross CLICK LINK BELOW.http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/r/diana_ross/index.html
Add a comment January 19, 2009
I was shocked when I read this story in Vibe magazine. I would have never realized the things that they were going through…and had gone through as they were all growing up. It is a shame some of the things that many children are forced to endure. There is little wonder why some have such anger and rage years later. On the surface who would have thought what hidden darkness they had locked within. Family secrets can be some of the worst kind of secrets.
They were one of the hottest family groups along with the Jackson’s to emerge from Motown. It is funny how success usually is often rooted in so much pain, sorrow and personal sadness.
A large family of 8 boys and 2 girls… Bunny, El, Randy, Mark and James made up the DeBarges, the Motown singing group, who left home from Detroit by way of Grand Rapids, Michigan to LA in search of success… but they were haunted by many sad memories that perhaps they had been trying to escape…but found that they couldn’t.
Two other members of the family made up part of the group called Switch which was also hot during the early 80’s, Bobby and Tommy.
Tortured by the deep dark secrets they all shared and carried into their success in the 80’s, they were colored by a past that ultimately claimed most of their lives. Their lives have been left shattered…and though the church could not and did not help shield them from the events that were taking place in their home as very young children…but over time some have found healing and renewing in God.
You can read the full story below. It is sad…and painful to read.
When I think of the times that a friend and I used to rush home to catch them being showcased on TV shows, and how we used to laugh at them. Though we loved their music and them…it always struck us, me and one of my friends, that the boys…were well rather ‘sweet.’ And I am shamefully sorrowful of that now.
We should not poke fun or laugh at others. And I will not blame it upon my youth nor on the lack of proper home training.
I never laughed at people with disabilities but I have seen people who have…and I have seen them do it openly as I was growing up. These people, of course, were not in our family…because my parents were not that kind of people. Plus they would not have ever allowed it of us. Nor did they indulge in gossiping or talking or laughing about anyone. Yes, they would occasionally chuckle about things. But they were never mean spirited or degrading people, nor did they find fault with people or talk or laughed about anyone.
I laughed at those boys, fine as they were but yet so effeminate…I found humor in that.
Should we laugh at such things and pick fun at people?
No. We should not.
And I regret having ever done it…which is why I am writing this blog.
I have never liked preachers doing such things as finding humor at the expense of gay people. It seems that within the church everything else is sacred accept poking fun and making jokes about gay people. They do not do that with any other sin…prostitution, lying, stealing, murdering…none of these things find their way into a Sunday morning sermon or any other time…as a joke.
Then why should they find it okay to make jokes about gays, lesbians or homosexuals?
And really the church is loaded with… Well, it is loaded with some of everything. And a lot of times from the top to the bottom…somebody is doing something which they should not be doing or acting out in ways which are not Godly.
And I am not trying to come down on the church or incite a war of words. But the church is full of everything. It was true in Jesus’ time and it is still very true today. The church is even full of predators. Not so long ago at least 10 Priests in the upper North East, the Massachusetts…Boston area were found quilty of such acts…leaving in their wake hundreds of very shattered and broken lives.
In Connecticut a preacher impregnated a 12 year girl that he had been routinely been engaging in sexual intercourse with. Since she was 12 when she had the baby…she had to be 11 or maybe 10 if not younger when he first got started.
This was the plight of the DeBarge children.
Without a doubt there should be some level of sensitivity with regards to making jokes that are belittling and unkind to anyone at any time. And particularly any jokes about all those lost in sin… any sin. The church is suppose to loving and giving in spirit. Yet, it is sanctuary for all types of activity as well.
Once well sitting in the choir as a young teen…I was seated beside this boy. His father was preaching less than…I don’t know…less that 4 or 5 feet away. And this boy produced from under his choir robe his…….. and tried to pulled my hand across to touch it. I at the time did not quite understand anything about erections or anything else. But that was what he had…and his father was preaching right there beside us as his son did this one Sunday morning…in front of the whole church. It is hard for me to believe that no one sitting in the church that Sunday saw our exchange as we were seated on the front row of the choir facing outward…must less seeing what he had in his hand.
Nor, will I ever forget the night I dropped this woman home following church service that night…and this was not so very long ago. As I pulled in front of her building and she was about to get out of my car she suddenly turned to me and kissed me in a way no woman had ever kissed me before. And having come out of lesbianism…that should
speak volumes as to how and the way this woman kissed me. But I didn’t say anything. I didn’t respond. She got out and I drove home determined to not even think about what that woman had just done. And I didn’t.
I didn’t think about it…for a couple of reasons. For one thing because I didn’t want to dwell on that kiss. For another reason I just did not want to obsess about it. I felt it was a trap…orchestrated by the devil to try to lure me back into a life I had now left behind. And I was not going to fall for it. So, I shoved that kiss and that woman aside in my mind…and never bothered to linger there thinking about it…now or then.
But the church is full of a lot of things…like whoremongers, adulterers , liars etc. None of which I see any humor in…as all sin is sin and shameful. But for some reason people in the church really like to poke fun and laugh about gay people…and no one seems to find that to be offensive…but me it seems.
It is almost as though it is open season on gays in most churches while all else is taboo as something to joke about. None of it should be something to joke about. Perhaps it is that none of them were ever gay…or maybe they just do not want to confess to it. But there must be some reason for this.
Here were these children, the DeBarges, growing up in the church and such nasty things were going on in their own home from the earliest of ages. And I laughed at them when they finally hit the stage and started performing.
They were the most beautiful family of siblings…as were those Jacksons.
And in case you do not understand what ‘fine’ means when used here this way…it means that they were fantastically handsome, terribly good looking etc…etc…etc…
But those boys acted so gay.
I didn’t try to figure it out…I didn’t try to see anything other than that. And it struck me as being humorous…and that is as sad as whatever else they had to go through…if not more so. That we should all be so small…especially me…to have thought that that was humorous.
I sincerely apologize for that now. Not just because I now have a part inkling of their story, affliction and pain that they were forced to suffer…but because it was wrong of me to do so in the first place. And particularly because of all the misery and heartaches they have all had to come through and to have to bear in their lives very young children.
I cannot imagine how hard it is for a child to grow up having a father who is a predator…and using his own children sexually for most of their years growing up.
In August of 1996, Bobby DeBarge at the age of 39 died after years of alcohol and drugs abuse. He died from complications AIDS related. He was named after his father, Robert Louis DeBarge, a man who frequently sexually abused his own children beginning very early in their childhood. Bobby was a multi-talented song writer, lead singer and musican. In 1988 both he and his younger, Chico, were arrested for attempting to traffic drugs, they served 6 years in prison.
In October of this year, 2008, El DeBarge was back in court on more drug charges, vandalism and domestic violence. Though for many years El was able to not fall prey to the demons chasing him, as well as, his other sisters and brothers…but following Bobby’s death and other family issues, El too soon fell to the demons chasing them all.
Update on EL: I was very happy to see El last week when he emerged on the Soul Train Music Awards Show. He looks absolutely great… and he sounded great too. I am happy for him. Trying to pull your life back together is not an easy accomplishment. But thank God it can happen.
Bunny today is free of drugs and alcohol. She is saved and a mother. She is living her life as a Christian and has just finished writing a book called “The Kept Ones,” a tell all autobiography.
James DeBarge who was once married to Janet Jackson for a few weeks before her family had the marriage annulled, is also saved and living his life as a Christian, as well is their mother, Etterlene DeBarge.
You can CLICK the LINK S below to read the whole VIBE magazine story.
Their mother Etterlene DeBarge, which is also Bunny’s real name, is 72 with her own page on myspace.
Their lives have not been easy. But through it all they have a testimony of survival, defying the odds and are attempting to rise above, and through it all to once again unite as a family victorious through Christ Jesus.
In the words of James DeBarge in the last youtube video clip below-
Child abuse hurts…and in many cases it ruins people’s lives. Many never recover from it. Some just learn how to go on. But we all remember it…and it does remain with us for the rest of our lives whether it appears on the outside or not.
UPDATE: July 29, 2010…Robert Debarge, the father, died last year, August 2009. What a very sad, lonely and broken man he must have been for all the horrors he committed. Truly a sad story…which I understand is soon going to hit the big screen.
UPDATE: August 7, 2012…Just checking on my files and things as I usually do…when I spotted that a few people had been looking for info on the death of James. Immediately, I hit the internet looking thinking that James must have just died. But thank God… he has not. But I came across some pictures of him… and he has really aged.
In looking at his pictured I noticed how much he looks like his father. It must be hard waking up in the morning and looking into the mirror and seeing him… the face of the man who used to abuse you and all your other siblings.
I imagine that they all have good days… and bad days. There are some scars that never go away. That kind of hurt most hurt forever…but thank goodness for Jesus, He can make a difference. A lot of things become easier to bare because of Him.
Let us keep them all lifted up in our prayers.
THE BISHOP’S WIFE is now on sale…CLICK this LINK to purchase my book. And I would like to thank you all…if you have purchased my book. It is amazing to see that my book sells are growing and it is because of people like you. I thank you…and hope that it is a blessing upon to you.
…pass it on…’ www.bsmith101.wordpress.com
CLICK the above screen a COUPLE TIMES if it fails to play at first attempt…and ignor the text which appears on the screen.
God bless…and thanks for reading and …pass it on www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2008
71 comments December 14, 2008
Gulf War Syndrome
For some time the US government has failed to accept responsibility for having placed US Troops in harms way. Part of the problem is that this country has boldly and somewhat routinely experimented on unsuspecting US citizens without consideration to them, their quality of life, or the effects such experimentation would have on their families. And many times this experimentation has been on those serving in our own military…as well as, on some minorities in this country.
Chemical warfare is real and this country engages in it as much as any other.
During the Gulf War the US forces released certain chemicals without regard to our own troops. This was something which occurred also during Vietnam and various other periods in the history of this country. Very rarely has the US government ever accepted any culpability for these actions. But finally, after numerous charges and group action suits brought on behalf of the Vietnam Vets against the US government the government finally owned up to having dropped Agent Orange during the Vietnam war which left thousands of American service men and women with all types of health issues and irregularities, e.g. various respiration problems, children with birth defects, increased incidences down syndrome, body rashes etc.
Now, after hundreds of thousands of complaints the Gulf War viets will finally find some relief after their long battle against America’s denial that they too have been injured and are suffering various ailments due our countries non-caring attitude when it comes to her own people…and particular to those serving in uniform trying to protect this country…our own troops. Who have found that their own country was more deadly to them than those they were sent to fight. It is called the ‘danger from within.’ The one which they certainly should not have suspected…nor did.
But while our troops were busy down in the Gulf under the orders of the first George Bush…he had the military dropping a bunch of dirty little bombs filled with all kinds of chemical warfare. And never whispered a word of it to our own troops…after which thousands upon thousands on this side of the battle became contaminated…and for have been suffering the paining affects of…all to the denial of this country until just recently.
It is sad to say but Sadom Hussein wasn’t the only person who ever hurt his own people. And for a country who is the only country to have ever dropped an atomic bomb…this country not only has much to apologize for to other countries…but also to those living right here in America as well.
Last week Tuesday was Veterans Day. Every so often we really do need to stop and consider them and their service to this country. Without them where would this country be?
I had to chuckle when I read the article below.
It is about body language. It says that Obama and Bush may not have taken questions from the press but their body language spoke volumes. You have got to read the article…I think you will enjoy it too. Just CLICK on the LINK below to read it.
OBAMA and MCCAIN meeting…
The one thing you have got to say about Barack Obama…and that is that he is no fool. And he is not afraid to extend a hand and seek…to solicit the aid the help he feels he will need to help him to put this country back on track.
He is a person who doesn’t think party when he is looking for the best people or when seeking the allies he knows he will need to assist in getting things through Congress and the Senate when he finally takes over the White House. Even though the Democratics made significant gains in both the Senate and Congress during this past election…I agree with Obama. It still doesn’t hurt to have friends on both side of the aisles.
It is just unfortunate that more politicians fail to share his perspective.
THE BIG 3…give them what they need.
This whole thing about bailing out the ‘Big 3’….GM, Ford and Chrysler reeks of partisanship if ever I have heard of it.
When you examine the map of this country you will find that the states whom the failure to bailout the big 3 will impact the most are those states which were ‘red’ and that turned ‘blue’ during this past Presidential Election 2 Thursdays ago. If you want to talk about sour grapes and cry ‘foul’…now is the time.
When those Republicans rushed back to Capital Hill to bail out Wall Street a few weeks ago…it was in the hopes of trying to save a sinking ship called the “Republican Party.” It failed because…well, because John McCain did not win the Presidential race and a lot of their buddies and friends…and even some of them got voted out of office. Now, as their last official act…that bunch of stub nosed politicians are targeting everyday people…who dared to go to the polls and voted them out. And really…if the truth be known….they absolutely should have voted them out.
Had it not been for the Republican domination of the US Senate and Congress for nearly the past 8 years the Bush Administration may not have gotten away with as much…and we just might not be in the dire straights that this country is now in.
But why should that bunch of sour grape Republicans be upset?
They wholly deserved to be voted out of office because they failed to properly execute their positions properly. Nobody voted them into office to ‘okay’ a bunch of failed Bush policies. Then as a ‘new day’ came upon the horizon they all realized that they were in deep trouble…as well as they should have been for failure to represent their constituents. But they were busy serving themselves, vying for higher and higher positions, and seeking ranking offices in their party rather than caring for what their voters had sent them to Capitol Hill to do.
So, Wall Street hit the wall and began to crumble a few weeks ago and they all went running in to Captiol Hill like a bunch of wild animals pretending that they hadn’t a clue…hadn’t expected it…didn’t know what to do…but knew that ‘no matter what Wall Street had to be bailed out.’ Now, those same nice little gentlemen with their righteous indignation say-
“Why should we bailout General Motors…or Chrysler…or the Ford Automobile Companies?”
I’ll tell you why…because it has nothing to do with one Corporate executive but everything to do with millions of soon to be displaced and out of work Americans who have depended on those companies to provide them with a living. They are taxpayers…homeowners…and they deserve the same consideration and sense of emergency afforded to Wall Street.
How could we dare to be so jaded that we would dare to turn our backs on the workers upon which this country runs?
The blow to those people living in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio loosing any more jobs will be a shot heard around this country. This country cannot afford to turn her back on these hard working people.
I will not forget visting Detroit this past summer and seeing first hand every other house boarded up and every other business closed. It is something that you will really have to see for yourself in order to understand just how extreme this thing was…and I do mean every other. This was not a fantasy and I was amazed looking out at it street after street…main streets and side streets…all alike. It is the reality that these hard working everyday people live in…many of them having already seen their neighbors loose everything due the downsizing and the shutting down of many automobile factories across this country as well as in Detroit, Indiana and Ohio.
And what industry was the one that has opened up in Detroit?
Even GM has one which bares its logo very largely on the building.
For some reason every state and every politician believes that the cure all for the economy is to give people any kind of job…by the way of casinos. They look at casinos as the new trend for job creation. But somebody has to walk into those casinos and take some risk. And usually it is those faced with what they believe is the last resort to saving their house or business. Those who should least do it…but feel trapped and that there are no other options for them in oder to hold on to what they already have.
Sooner rather than later, they found themselves without a job, had gambled away their severance pay…and then have no money left to even try to meet the debt on their homes or businesses which they had gone into the casino with the hopes of trying to save in the first place. They are now in a worst state than they started in.
In Detroit many of factory jobs are gone…and yet that city has 2 very large brand new casinos…and a third, if you consider the casino across the waters from them in nearby Canada. I had never been in Detroit before but I was amazed by all the houses that were boarded up and all the boarded up businesses…unbelieveably so. In fact, between every boarded up house stood a house which wasn’t…and those people represented those who still had a job at GM. And soon if something isn’t done for the ‘Big 3’ those people too will be out in the cold, and their houses will be boarded up as well…and other businesses will go under along with them.
That group of angry gentlemen Washington, DC…those Republicans seeking to pay back Americans for voting them out of office for their lousy job at co-governing this country and as the supposed ‘check & balances’ of this country. They sincerely need to step back and take a deep breath to consider the millions of people who will suffer if they fail to vote in favor of bailouting the ‘Big 3.’ And it will hurt and it will reel some dire consequences upon us all if they don’t.
I think that there is just too little love of neighbor these days. No one cares about anyone else anymore. The populous is beginning to become just like the bunch of selfish and self-serving politicians. Whom many of us are starting to emulate in every possible way…and look just like them too.
Recently in one of my history classes we hit upon this subject…of how during the building of the EU (the European Union) many of the opinions about what is wrong or right with the EU are shaped by those in charge of media and in power. Don’t let these same groups shape you or your opinions of others…or what is or isn’t right.
Oh, yes…before I end this blog.
Let me just say…that the automobile industry started in this country. It is as American as apple pie. It is a part of Americana…because other countries have entered the marketplace does not mean that we should forfeit an industry that belongs to country to foreign interests. This is how we got into the mess we are in today with the foreign oil countries. We forfeited that industry too. We found it easier to buy from other countries than to continue to build upon our own reserves and resources. And look at the state we are in because of it.
There is no question that the American automobile companies should be bailed out. There is no question that the automobile industry in this country would be suffering…who is buying anything these days?
Who can afford to?
We are all suffering from this current climate of failed economic management. But is that any reason to desert our own people and an industry which this country single handedly created.
If the airlines and Wall Street have been bailed out…the auto industry certainly should be too. To thousands from New Jersey and thousands in other states around this country upon whom there will be a great impact in lost of jobs, there can be no other answer. But ‘bailout.’
Not to mention the lost that every US citizen themselves will suffer. Heaven forbid that every American citizen should have to turn to foreign imports only as possible vihicle purchases whenever we decide we want to buy a car or SUV. And that the only selection we will have is a foreign vehicle. If this happens…this country will really be in big trouble.
For an industry which has done over $70 billion worth of business in this country, with millions of car owners on the roadway today who all would stand to loose big, not even including the police departments and large companies who are invested in U.S. autos…if these companies were forced out of business by not being able to service, get parts or have any recourse when problems arose with their vehicles imagine the problems. This would be a very great problem for tons of us. And it is certainly something to be considered.
BAILOUT the BIG 3.
Well, have a beautiful day…and thank you, as always, for reading.
In memorial of Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham…I take this time to thank her for all of her dedication and love that she showed to our President. And the aid that she gave him in becoming the person whom he is. We applaud you and celebrate you…along with Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm, Fanny Lou Hamer, Harriette Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune and many numerous other women for whom we owe much…and upon who’s shoulders we certainly now stand.
Thank you Lord God for them.
…pass it on…’ www.bsmith101.wordpress.com
…pass it on…’ www.bsmith101.wordpress.com
God bless…and thanks for reading ©2008
1 comment November 19, 2008
Just getting in from New York City.
Through the graciousness of my son the opportunity availed itself.
Though they predicted rain the sun came out. So, I had to pull out the sunglasses and clip my hair back as I like to drive with the wind blowing in my face. I think this comes from a habit I developed while driving up and down on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago in my sports convertible…with the lake to my right and the impressive Chicago skyline to my left.
Oh, how I used to love making that trip up and down the drive…watching the large beautiful yachts peacefully settled in the wonderfully blue waters of Lake Michigan, which line Chicago from one side to the other…rendering much of it beach front property.
Wasn’t much traffic getting in or out of New York today.
How do you go to say good-bye to someone whom God has enriched your life with?
How do you stand and see someone in a state that you know that they do not want to be in?
I am one of the worst people to go and visit anyone in the hospital.
As I hit the door I started crying…and calling upon the name of the Lord.
I don’t think we place enough value on people who are older.
Just yesterday she celebrated her 95th birthday. And after suffering a stroke which has rendered her virtually helpless…unable to speak, eat, walk etc. And yet strong…and yet holding on.
We would often laugh and try to figure out just how it was that we first came together…and neither of us could remember. I suspect that it really doesn’t matter. The fact is…is that we did. And my life has been the better for it. And I hope that the same can be said of me in regards to her.
Through all the estate issues, legal issues and other woes I had a confidant, a friend, a person who listened…and never passed judgement…and often times filled me up with such wisdom that if I had been required to purchase it…Oprah couldn’t have bank-rolled it for me. Because even Oprah wouldn’t have had enough to pay for it. And I got it for free.
When I cried…she heard me. When I laughed…she laughed with me. When I needed guidance…she gave it to me. When I was weak…she spoke strength into me. When I faltered…she straightened me and put me back on course. When I would have turned and ran…she blocked me.
When I would bare my soul…she would withhold all comments until after I exercised some decision on the matter. Then she would almost leap up exclaiming over the phone-
“I don’t know what took you so long. I would have done that a long time ago.”
We cannot purchase wisdom.
For it is not up for sale. Yet it is readily available…if we avail ourselves to it.
Honor those who have walked before us. Cherish the moments you have with them. Give ear unto them and what they have to share on the matters.
Don’t let wisdom flee from you without tapping into it
I am happy I finally I got into New York. I feel alot better now.
I have let alot of opportunities get pass me when I should have said, “I love you.”
But today wasn’t one of them.
God bless… enjoy your day and put a smile on someone’s face.
ps…hope you have had an opportunity to check out my LINK to Phillip Brooks’ website. If so, then you know what I mean when I say…”He is good.” www.phillipabrooks.com
Talking about being good…let me just say this. God is good….all the time. Oh, yes….He is. ©2008
Add a comment July 15, 2008
CLICK!!! my link to Phillip Brooks…over to the right under LINKS
Phillip is a young musican I came across while in Detroit who had set up a booth next to my brother’s booth at AIM this year.
And he was nice enough to give me a CD…and since I basically come out of media where radio, graphic arts, television, film etc…etc…have been my world for the past uhmmmm years…and don’t ask me how I did it but I just happened to look over towards the items on the righthand side of my blogs…and found that I had somehow set up a link to Phil’s site. Which is a blessing and a special treat just for you.
So, have fun and give a listen to Phil’s music as you read. And if you like it you can purchase it too.
….from me to you. God bless… and thank you, Phil. ©2008
Add a comment July 14, 2008
Well, it is 8 something in the morning and we’ve just gotten back into town. After Detroit we drove on into Chicago and stayed at the most fabulous hotel. But we drove and drove until 5 a.m in the morning trying to find a hotel outside of Chicago…because Chicago hotels are just too expensive…any hotel really inside a reasonble distance of a major city is. So, we really had to hunt for some place…and it got later and later and later. And after a while we were just pretty much burning gas.
But we continued looking. We drove and drove…all the way back into Indiana (which isn’t that very far, but seems endlessly long in the wee hours of the morn when you are very sleepy). We pulled in anywhere we saw a hotel sign. And there were times when we wished we had not even bothered as trying to get to some of them was just so convoluted with barren and long darken dangerous looking passageways.
The first hotel we pulled up to did have rooms but it just didn’t look clean and the cost was high. But it was the look that cancelled it out for me. Who wants to stay in a hotel room where you will be itching and scratching all night because you loathe the place?
And having just heard a news item over the radio about the number of hotels which have bed bugs…really didn’t help.
So, we continued our search for a nice clean hotel at a decent price. After that first hotel everything was booked solid.
Well, it was Friday night…so, what really could you expect? On weekends hotels load up like crazy. After hitting at least 10 hotels..and not a room in the bunch was available except for that dump where we had first stopped at and some other dump shortly after that…and they even wanted more money than the first dump…so, we were getting pretty flustered.
Finally, I decided to drive out to O’Hare Airport knowing that we would be able to have our pick of hotels out there. And the first hotel we drove up to was this large grand looking hotel, Marriott Executive Suites Hotel, that I just knew we were not going to be able to afford…but I decided we would try it anyways.
It just goes to show what God has for you no man can put assunder.
At the lowest price offer of the night, under $100, and an extended check out time because we were checking in so late…we ended up in one of the most fabulous hotel rooms I have ever stayed in or seen or knew that they had. First of all you would really have to see it to believe it. But I will try my best to describe it to you.
This hotel room was like walking into someone’s very expensive one bedroom apartment on the lower East or Upper West side of New York City or something. It had 2 televisions, 3 rooms, 2 glass doors leading to the bedroom section, a separate room for the closet which had French doors, combined with 2 sinks and a long mirror in it. The bathroom had a tub and a shower area separate of each other, and it was quite large with a beautiful Italian Marble floor. The bathroom all by itself was huge and gorgeous. I just kept staring at the bathroom floor wondering how much would it cost for me to have my partent’s bathroom done like that. I loved it.
In the bedroom were 2 large very very comfortable beds with the crispiest sheets and a view of the planes flying in and out of O’Hare Airport…which you could lay on the bed and just watch through a big floor to ceiling length window that ran the whole width of the bedroom. And this hotel room, our room, was a corner room…so, imagine the views. Fantastic.
In what would have been the living room area of an apartment, there was a beautiful sleeper couch, coffee table, 2 arm chairs, and a large desk…which still had enough room for a few more pieces of furniture. And, of course, the room came complete with an under the counter refrigerator and few other things like that.
After I showered and finally laid down between my wonderfully crisp sheets, I slept like a new born baby right up to 12:30 in the afternoon…though I had intended to get up early and go to church. But it just was not to be…we had been on the road most of day and night as we had done some sight seeing in Detroit before leaving.
Finally got to go to Motown and walk through that building. We arrived there just about the time it was closing. But the gentleman who met us in the hall virtually gave us our own personal tour of the place. It was interesting learning that the artist walked through that house, which today is a museum called ‘Hitsville U.S.A.’, to go to the garage in the back where the recording was done.
It was also very interesting to find out that as his company grew Berry Gordy bought all the houses next door to him to expand his business into, and each house represent an individual arm of the business. One house was artist development where they trained and polished the acts. Another house was for bookkeeping and clerical duties…and I have forgotten what the other houses were for. But they were all in a row right next door to each, about 6 or 7 houses all together. Oh, yeah…they had a house for the musicians, a house for wardrobing…Gordy had it set up almost like a movie studio lot with its various production houses.
Undoubtedly, Barry Gordy was a very smart man. He developed and grew an empire out of his garage, called Motown from which sprang forth a bunch of super stars the likes of Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Lionel Richie and the Commandors, the 4 Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, the Marvelettes, Jr. Walker and the Allstars, Gladys Knight and Pips, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell, the DeBarges etc…etc…just to name a few. And I just had to go by there and see that little house…and little it was but my oh my…look what came out of it. From $800 which he borrowed from family members Barry Gordy launched the careers of many a super stars and himself. What a success story.
I didn’t say much in my blog about Black Music Month, last month, but Motown more than makes my statement for me…what a history when you consider Motown, the Philly Sound, those who came out of Chicago, New York City, Louisiana and everywhere else. And that is not including gospel music…or jazz, swing, blues etc.
After going to Motown we had to go into Canada which is right across a bridge or through a tunnel depending upon which way you want to travel. And Ontario is that part of Canada which is right across the Michigan River from Detroit. It was clean and very much set up for tourism with lots of restaurants and little shops to walk into all along its tiny little streets. But it is the coming across or going back which might present a problem if you are not properly prepared with an appropriate ID and your birth certificate.
When we got into Chicago it was late and I just had to drive down onto Lake Shore Blvd as soon as we hit Chicago…something I have always loved doing. It is so beautiful with the city to the left and the lake to your right, I have forgotten what great lake that is…it has been a long time since I have been in Chicago…but amazingly I still remember how to get around in it. I remembered all my stops on the “L”…that’s short for elevated train (Detroit doesn’t really have a subway system…but they have this thing they call “The People Mover.” It only circles the main points in downtown Detroit.)
While in Chicago, I would have loved to drive by Oprah’s production studio…just to see what it looked like. But when I tried to call friends and ask them…no one picked up. So, I didn’t get to see it.
For the most part we only had beautiful weather during last week straight through to the 4th and into the 7th. But Chicago was much hotter than Detroit and it was also very much congested. And I could see tremendous growth in the size of the city, its skyline and that Chicago is booming as opposed to Detroit which is suffering from urban blige. Almost every other building in Detroit was boarded up and abandoned…both commercial property and resdential property.
When I asked our long lost relatives which I had just met while there in Detroit, they said that it was due to foreclosures and closings at General Motors and Ford. You would really have had to see this to clearly understand what I am talking about when I say it is like every other house is boarded up on all the streets…and on along all the major road ways sometimes the entire line of stores, gas stations, beauty salons, grocery stores etc…
You see it on the news but we don’t really get the full sense of it when they show those signs sitting out on people’s lawns reading ‘for sale.’ It is terrible that so many people have lost so much. I have never equated the closing down of whole plants or the relocation of companies with the lost of property due to not having a job that vanished into the thin air shortly after you just purchased it. Now, when I hear over the news that Ford is considering laying off another 2,400 people or shutting down another plant…I will equate that announcement with realizing that it means that those people…those ex-workers may well loose their homes, automobiles etc. because their company is downsizing or moving and leaving them with nothing.
While in Detroit our church convention was being picketed somewhat outside by a small group of people who were anti-Obama because of his stand on abortion. As we pulled to a stop at a stop light just outside of Cobo Center, the location of our church convention, I spotted the sign and a picketer, a pastor, whom I asked if he had picketed outside the courthouse against R. Kelly a known paedophile? Of which he said ‘no.’ Not intending to be rude, we started to have somewhat of an exchange as to how he could pickete against Obama while living here in Detroit with a known paedophile, (though I now remember R. Kelly lives in Chicago)…someone who could pose some type of danger or possibly hurt to some child in his church, or one of his nieces or daughter, and he had not gone to the court to pickete against R. Kelly a known sex offender and paedophile and was yet out picketing in front of our church convention against Obama. Needless to say, I thought his priorities were a bit out of order…but I was not overly obnoxious.
The issue of abortion, I know, it is a heated topic. But God gave us choice…the ability to choose right from wrong. And God has given us all choice in everything that we do…why then should a few try to restrict others by limiting their choices about anything when God has not?
Secondly, Obama did not write the legislation on abortion. He had nothing to do with it. It was written into law many years before him. When that law was written and passed there were many many women seeking out abortions in back alleys and butcher shops etc…and for the most part these women were poor and they were loosing their lives in large numbers behind blouched abortions. While rich women could fly aboard and have abortions done safely and return home to America where here at that time abortions were illegal.
In this day and time when so many women were so pro-Hillary for being a woman and a likely President…but yet so anti-women making such an important choice as to bare and bring forth a child or not to…on their own accord shows some lax in thinking. If a woman can stand up and make all kinds of decisions concerning this country…then why should she be denied the right to make her own personal decisions as well concerning issues dealing with her body.
I am certainly not for abortion but I am for women’s right to have a choice and freedom of will.
There are many things that I don’t agree with but I don’t try to go around and force them upon others. We all have to live with the choices that we have made…good and/or bad. Every day we make choices…some of us moment by moment. Now, who would I be to try to hinder you from doing that?
In the same token if I knew that you were doing something wrong and I failed to say something in order to have you consider your options…then I would be wrong in not doing so. But the choice is yours…as well as the costs, or penalties, or benefits. And if I were to try to impose my will upon you, I would be wrong in trying to take from you something which God himself has clearly given onto you…your ability to have freedom of choice. It is God given. He only asks that we endeavor to make the right choices.
I have a lot more to say…but I can’t think of it right now. I’m tired.
Oh, yes…I heard Venus won Wimbledon on Saturday. I was too sleepy to watch though I had on the TV…but it was mostly watching me. Besides the match started off really slow and wasn’t very interesting…hopefully it picked up and that if you watched Venus and Serena on Saturday, hopefully you enjoyed them. And I hope and trust that you all had a good 4th of July.
And before I close let me say that my prayers are with Rev Timothy Wright and the entire Wright family as I along with entire COGIC Family and the gospel world mourn with them…when I heard the news of the car accident Saturday morning I immediately began to pray and hoped that it was not true…but so sadly…it was.
The Bible says that we are only here but for a twinkle of an eye…and that no man knows the hour…lost hurts and senseless lost all the more. We pray for the parties involved. God bless… ©2008
4 comments July 8, 2008