Saturday, June 26, 2010

Born On This Day 67 years ago

Born On This Day 67 Years Ago; I was born on June 25th 1943 at 5:29 PM, in my grandparents house rather than a hospital (no Negros allowed in the local hospital), right on highway 45, in West Point, Mississippi.

First of all I give thanks to God for giving me these 67 years of what has been a great life. Its been full of a lot of pleasure and joy along with some sadness and hard times mixed in. But the bottom line is I am so glad that I was born in this time in the history of the world. I think it’s the best time to have been born.

I am glad that I was born after the Cholera epidemic that hit many parts of the world, after the “Black Death” that spread across Europe, after the Europeans discovered the Americas, after the whole United States was settled, after the slave trade and the end of slavery, and after the invention of the automobile, and travel by trains and airplanes, after the decline of racism and racial hatred (NO, it has not been eliminated), after the medical and electronic revolutions that have improved everyone's life.

I have seen so many changes in the world in my 67 years, many of which I never could have imagined when I was a young kid. There have been so many changes during my life time that I am thankful for and really appreciate because what we all have now I didn’t always have. I am glad that we now have indoor plumbing and bathrooms because I didn’t have that the first 10 years of my life. I am glad we have electric lighting, central heating air conditioning, and refrigeration. I remember from when I was a kid kerosene lamps for lighting, wood and coal stoves for heating, and the only air conditioning was what you could make with a fan in your hand. Back then the refrigerator needed a 25 pound block of ice to keep cool. I am glad that we have the interstate road system because it has allowed me to see the USA.
I remember riding on the two lane roads through every town between Mississippi and DC and the trip taking 24 hours. I am glad that we have jet airplane service because it has allowed me to see the world. I am glad that we have cruise ships because it has allowed me to see even more of the world..

When I was a kid I never envisioned television. I was 10 years old before I first saw a TV show. Now we have cable and satellite TV along with the over the air broadcasts and hundreds of channel selections. And we have gone from a 12 inch TV tube watching back and white TV programs to 70 inch wide screen TV’s broadcasting in high definition so clear that you seem to be right there. I am glad that I saw the shows on TV in the 1960's 70's and 80's because now I think there has been a degeneration of the quality of what is on TV.

I have witnessed the blossoming of the internet and all types of electronic media.. I remember when the only telephones were hanging on a wall and you had to turn a crank on the side to signal the operator that you wanted to make a call; and then make sure that someone else was not already using the party line. Back then your phone number in my town was three digits. Now people walk around with telephones that have much better service in their pockets and purses, and have to dial 7 to 10 digits to make a call. You can talk on the phone in the car, walking down the street and just about anywhere. Well maybe that's not such an improvement.

The internet has expanded my circle of friends to all of you and more importantly brought me to Sarah. I remember when personal computers were first introduced. Many people said why would I want or need one of those. Now just about everybody has one, or two, or three of their own and also one at work. I could never have imagined that I would spend 3 or 4 hours a day every day in front of a PC screen talking with great friends like you, ordering things I want/need from online stores, and exploring the world. I could never have imagined that I would have spent the last 4 years answering 6,000 questions about travel on a web site called Yahoo Answers. Or that I would have created several web pages on a web site called Blackplanet where I mat many of you. Who even knew back just 20-some years ago what a "web site" or "URL" was?

I am glad I that have listened to Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, and all of the great artists of my early childhood. I am so glad that I was born after great artists list Levi Stubbs and the Four Tops, Eddie Kendrick and the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Gladys Knight and the Pips, and all of the other Motown artists. I don’t see any of the current musicians making the great music that these great musicians did.

I am glad that I was born after the medical breakthroughs like penicillin, X-rays, MRI’s, to say nothing of the microscopic and laproscopic surgeries now being done, and all of the great wonder drugs now available. Now I have no doubt that the future will bring many more wonders in the medical field, but the ones we have not have made my life much better.

Now I don’t know what the future hold for me or the world. But what I do know and think is that I have had the very best of times. I honestly don't think I would want to have been born in any other time period. I have seen great improvements in the quality of life for everyone. Now I am not saying that things are perfect, just that the changes and improvements have been amazing.

About 15 years ago I met an older man teaching a seminar, he was about 80 at the time, who told the story of how he marveled at the changes in his 80 years. His greatest sense of joy came from seeing the world change after the Freedom Marches and what Dr Martin Luther King Jr did for the country. He said that when he was growing up he had no idea that it would ever be any different from the way it was when he was born. I guess I kinda feel that way too. Its all so amazing and hard to take in unless you take the time to do as my church’s male chorus sings in a song, “Count Your Blessing And Name Them One By One”. I need a much bigger sheet of paper for that!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Punch I the Mouth

I need to get something off my chest and so I'm writing this for that purpose. Now some of you may not agree with me and that's OK; I don't expect everyone to agree with me.

This concerns the incident a few days ago where the two young girls were being arrested for 'J" walking and got into an altercation with the arresting police officer and one of the girls was punched in the mouth. Many of you may have seen it on the news and/or on YouTube.

Yesterday as were were driving back from the picnic I heard a portion of Michael Basidens afternoon radio show when he was asking views on the incident and whether the policeman went too far. Well my opinion on it is she got what she deserved and there ain't no need to put no "buts" in it about the policeman going too far, or she was only 17 years old, or she was Black and was it racist.

I am sick of young folks disrespecting their parents, grandparents, other people, their teachers, and anybody in authority. And it especially galls me when they do something like this and then cry racism, or it was a juvenile, or the police should not have done "whatever they did". Young folks want to be thugs they gotta deal with the results of thugisms. In this case the YouTube showed this young girls was pulling away from someone else to go shove the policeman. That's how most fights start, someone pushes/shoves someone else. And then she just stood there not giving any ground or trying to move away. So I my book the cop should have booped her in her mouth maybe two or three times. And there shouldn't be any repercussions for him either. Otherwise another young punk, or punkette, might think its OK to shove a policeman when he's trying to do his job and duty.

Now some of you will say, "well he didn't have to hit her in the mouth". True dat, he could have shot her, he could have hit her in the head with his blackjack, or his night stick, or his flashlight, or with a tazer. So in my book she got off light.

And all these "authority type" DJ's who are making social comentary need to stop talking about what the police may have done wrong and focus on the fact that this young girl was dead wrong and all you other punks and punkette thugs need to learn from this that you don't need to buck authority. And don't start talking about she was only 17 because she was/is a big girl, about the same size as the police officer. After that bop in the mouth my bet is she will not go after a police officer again.

And one final note. The officer was trying to arrest them for "J"-walking and in most cases that means a simple fine of $5 to about $15 dollars, just like a simple parking ticket. They should have gone peacefully to get their citations, paid their fines and moved on. Instead now both of them are in a heap of trouble.

Comment if you want, and/or dis-agree if you want. She got what she deserved!!!!, a punch in the mouth. And remember, years ago the police would have taken her into the back room of the police station and done a Rodney King on her and there would not have been any photos or reports of it.

Monday, June 14, 2010


When I first started blogging a few years ago on Yahoo-360 I had in mind “Bush bashing” since he was such a horrible President. But I soon discovered that I enjoyed even more just talking about “things” and “stuff”. My all time favorite topic is always travel, my travels, your travels, and/or anybody’s travel. Its such a wide open topic and there is so much to talk about. But I also blogged about life around the house as well as current events and issues. Some of my friends on Yahoo-360 said they got to 500 or more blogs. I didn’t do that many but did have about 300 or so. Fortunately when Yahoo-360 went away it allowed us to capture our blogs. So I do plan to re-post some of them, especially those related to my travels. When I blog about my travels its not intended as boasting but just enjoying myself sharing my travel experiences.

In that same vein, so many people say “I want to be just like you when I grow up” and travel a lot. Well you don’t really have to wait. All you need to do is prioritize what’s most important to you. If traveling is that important then move it up on the list of things you like to do.

I remember when I was growing up we, our family, NEVER went on a real vacation. Mom and dad took us to visit relatives when dad had time off from work. And it wasn’t really his fault that we did not vacation. He didn’t make a lot of money to have a big vacation but more importantly we couldn’t go to the places that White people went to for vacation. Hell we couldn’t even go to the good beaches; they didn’t want us in the same ocean. We couldn’t stay in motels or hotels except on the seedy parts of town. Heck, we couldn’t even stop in restaurants along the highways. We had to carry our own food from home.

So my first real vacation was in 1970, about 8 years after I started working. We went to Nassau in the Bahamas and found out what a real vacation was like. We almost got stuck in Nassau because I just about ran out of money with all of the tipping we had to do and back then there were no credit cards like we have these days. I actually had to call dad from Florida while we were waiting on our connecting flight to have him pick us up at the airport as I didn’t have enough money for a cab ride home.

See, there I go talking again about traveling. So I guess I’ll do a re-post, with some modifications, of my old Yahoo-360 post called “Tinkertoy’s Travels”. In the past a good deal of my travels were by car, all over the US to National Parks and other interesting places. Then I had a period when I did a few train trips across the country. Now days most of my travels are cruises, actually seeing the world by cruise ship.

I have decided to just cover a wide range of subjects in the blog as thoughts come to mind.