Showing posts from November, 2013

Lana Felton-Ghee: Rest in Peace

I read with sadness about the passing of Lana Felton-Ghee.  I met Lana while I was Director of MBE/WBE Development at the Redevelopment Authority.  She had been involved in contracts at the airport and was trying to get work on a printing contract.  She was savvy and intent on being part of the myriad of work that we oversaw.  She was also a very sharp dresser.  She was interested in working on Convention Center contracts also and had attended opportunity meetings when I was part of an oversight committee for the expansion.

She was also credited with running the election campaign of W. Wilson Goode.  He was the first African American Mayor of Philadelphia.  She won a 1976 Bicentennial contract and worked with John Street and Ed Rendell.  Any of us who had an interest in minority participation on city contracts knew who Lana was.  For her husband, children and grand-children, I wish you Godspeed on the healing process after the transition of Ms. Felton-Ghee.  She left a legacy of achi…

St. Barnabas and South Philadelphia EPIC: A Great Match for Thanksgiving!

Yesterday was a pretty exhausting day.  I started delivering products to the Church at 8:00 AM.  I then went to pick up Terry Carpenter and Earl Boyd to begin the process of preparing Thanksgiving meals for Seniors and shut ins in the South Philadelphia area.  After dropping the products off, Terry and I went to Dunkin Donuts and Pathmark.  My organization was also sponsoring a Thanksgiving dinner at Vare Recreation Center with the Young Chances Foundation.  Thanks to Tracy Montgomery, an ELITE representative, for assisting with the meal preparation also.

By the time that we returned to the Church, Earl had it smelling like heaven.  My running around was to continue.  I had to pick up Kim Smith and go to Esposito's to pick up additional chicken leg quarters.  Kim made sweet potatoes and donated carrots and peppers.  I found out that Terry and Earl had an orange glaze for the carrots up their sleeves.  It was a heavenly taste.  One issue that we had was how to turn a project that o…

Boardwalk Empire Season 4 Finale: Why Maybelle?

The finale of Boardwalk Empire addressed a couple of story lines last night.  I wanted to see Dr. Narcisse meet his maker but it didn't happen.  He was holding Chalky's daughter Maybelle hostage after a chance meeting at the Club Onyx and she unfortunately did not make it out of the club alive.  Chalky's bargaining chip was that he knew where Daughter was hiding and Narcisse had to have her back.  This was a twisted relationship because he had killed her mother during an encounter for hire in the story line.

Last night's episode was also the end for Richard Harrow.  He was a killer extraordinaire.  The scene where he rescued little Jimmy from the brothel will go down in cinematic lore for me.  He needed closure regarding the whereabouts of Jimmy Darmody's body.  The episode began with him testifying to the fact that the person Gillian claimed to be Jimmy was actually the soldier that she drugged and killed.  Harrow went to Nucky and volunteered to do whatever it …

Best Man Holiday: WOW!!

I went to see what I would call the Movie of the Year yesterday.  It was a matinee date with my Wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The quality of the film making and the visual effects were awesome.  I have never seen a house as fabulous as the one in which the Sullivan family lived in.  A couple of aerial shots showed me that I need to revisit my decision not to become a pro athlete.  Also, Nia Long is one of the most beautiful actresses in the world!

The movie is based around a gathering of friends for the Christmas holiday.It made me think of This Christmas, which was one of my favorite holiday movies until this one.  The tension was evident with the arrival of the first guests.  If one of my friends was an author, I would definitely ask them to refrain from recording personal experiences and secrets.  If an author is lucky enough to write a best seller, then most people will want to know the basis for the story.  Taye Diggs is suffering writer's block and after almost being …

Demetry Presley: Rest In Peace

I know that some people would fault me for reading the Philadelphia Daily News.  Many would say that it has a reading level meant for a 5th grader.  After an Eagles win, I find it much easier to review sports and then I glance through the front of the paper.  In a way, I am keeping sports writers, editors and copy wrights employed.  The first article in the paper referred to two young soldiers who killed themselves as a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Sgt. Timothy Gill and Sgt. Matthew Cooey could not defeat the demons which affect so many soldiers that return to civilian life apparently unscathed physically by exposure to warfare.  The holidays will be a sad time of remembrance in their respective households.

Demetry Presley had just turned twenty-one in the past year.  He was from Sicklerville, NJ and had decided to come to a party on South Street at the Mixed Plate restaurant.  After a brawl inside the club, he was shot several times in the head and chest by a suspect n…

African Burial Site in Philadelphia: Besides the famous????

There was an article published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on November 10th, 2013 about a cemetery that was located in the Queen Village neighborhood of South Philadelphia.  The remains of at leas 5,000 people of African descent are interred there.  It is located in Weccacoe Playground and my interest is in the untold stories of the people whose final resting place this park represents.  How many of these citizens were born here?  How many struggled to find a way during this oppressive time for people of color?  I will try to dissect this into a couple of paragraphs but it might take two posts to complete this process.

What is the history of the present site of Weccacoe Playground?  An initial google search indicates that this
land was purchased by Rev. Richard Allen and his congregation in what was a major accomplishment at the
time.  If this effort was made in a Southern state, all hell would have broken loose:

 Now known as Weccacoe Playground, the plot was purchased by Reverend …

Melissa Bachman: Keep It to Yourself

I have never been hunting in my life.  I do not even own a gun.  I am a carnivore so somewhere along the line things that I eat have been living and breathing.  I just think that Melissa Bachman should tone it down a little.  She created a furor recently in South Africa when she posted a picture of a lion that she had killed.  Someone helped her pose the lion so it looked like it had died a peaceful death.  The high powered rifle and her smiling face would seem to indicate that the lion faced a painful demise.

Melissa also posed on front of an alligator that had subsequently been hung from a tree like it had been lynched.  A large bear, an antelope and a wild boar were also among her countless victims.  How is if fair when an animal is going about its day in a native environment and hot lead tears through a vital artery.  Also, Melissa just exhibits this same strange smile like she really just accomplished something besides killing a defenseless animal.

I do like to fish.  Maybe som…

Sam Hurd's Sentencing: A Cautionary Tale and A Talent Wasted

Sam Hurd was raised in a tough section of San Antonio.  He is presently 29 years old and facing a life sentence when he comes before a judge this month.  While awaiting his sentence he was busy doing community work in Texas and doing his 'Father's' work.  I would assume that this would mean the work of the Lord.  It is a common refrain when we get in trouble and have to atone for what otherwise could have been a more well ordered life.

Sam Hurd was an exceptional athlete who had a solid career at Northern Illinois University.  In spite of solid numbers, he went undrafted in the 2006 draft.  That year, Mario Williams and Reggie Bush went 1 - 2 in the draft.  Reggie Bush faced his own form of scrutiny for taking funds from a booster.  His records from a stellar career at USC were erased and he had to return the Heisman trophy that he won in 2005.  He was sued by a sports agent who claimed to have given Bush and his family almost $300,000.00 in undisclosed payments.  The lur…

For the untold killed in Typhoon Haiyan: Rest in Peace

I have now been witness to a number of major natural disasters in my life time.  Hurricane Katrina exposed many social ills in the United States.  New Orleans was devastated and many people blamed a slow U.S. response on the fact that it was a poor city.  New Orleans was not the only area to sustain damage from the Hurricane:

However, the worst property damage occurred in coastal areas, such as all Mississippi beachfront towns, which were flooded over 90% in hours, as boats and casino barges rammed buildings, pushing cars and houses inland, with waters reaching 6–12 miles (10–19 km) from the beach.

I can just remember images of people stranded in the New Orleans Super Dome and wondering why the government had forsaken them.  It was a costly storm and it took a long time for the area to recover.  President Bush was excoriated in some circles for failing to provide more timely assistance.  This hurricane tested the resolve of the American people and caused us to look inward for strength.


Head Trauma is Ruining the Lives of My Former NFL Heroes

I was saddened by a television news report this morning concerning the struggles of Tony Dorsett.  Tony Dorsett won the Heisman Trophy in 1976.  He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.  He was a Four Time Pro Bowl player and a Super Bowl winner.  Even though he was a Dallas Cowboy, I respected him for the way he played the game and the class with which he carried himself.  He recounted to Outside the Lines that he is experiencing memory loss and has thoughts of suicide.  He is only 59 years old.

One of my favorite Philadelphia Eagles committed suicide in 2010.  Andre Waters was a punishing defender and along with Wes Hopkins they made the Eagles a feared defense.  A study completed upon his brain after his death indicated that he had the brain of an 80 - 90 year old man.  Junior Seau and Dave Duerson committed suicide also.  They attribute the early demise of these gentlemen to a disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).  I derived a lot of satisf…

The Memphis Grizzlies did Lionel Hollins Wrong

The NBA Basketball season  is just beginning.  I am a fan of the Philadelphia 76ers but I don't think we are playoff material.  In successive seasons, we traded our only All Stars: Andre Iguadala and Jrue Holiday.  I am writing this post in support of a former 76er, Lionel Hollins.  I remember when Lionel Hollins won a championship with the Portland Trail Blazers.  He was an effective guard who could shoot an effective jump shot.

I liked Mr. Hollins style as a head coach.  He was smooth and seemed to get along well with his players. Although it took awhile for the Grizzlies to have playoff success, his team finished with 56 wins in the 2012 - 2013 season and lost to the Spurs in the Western Conference finals in a sweep.  I was a little surprised by the trade of Rudy Gay during the season last year.  He seemed to be an effective scorer during the buildup of the team.  I just read this morning that he is also the subject of trad talks by the Toronto Raptors.  During this season the…

Law and Order: SVU: Sobering Look at Reality

I have a limited number of television series that I watch these days.  I never saw an episode of Breaking Bad even though there was a much talked about finale recently.  I refuse to watch Scandal.  I hear enough chatter about it on Facebook.  I love the attention that Kerry Washington is getting but I am not a fan of the show.  My time is focused on HBO series now.  Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and True Blood.  Based on how True Blood ended, I will find another outlet.  Fairies, werewolves and now zombie vampires are supposed to make me watch.  After Billith, I am on to new things.

Law and Order, Special Victims Units has my full attention now.  I even watched an episode on line yesterday.  That is why I think it is a sobering look at reality.  The episode I watched recently was a direct reflection of the travails of Anthony Weiner.  It featured what could have been the first Hispanic mayor of New York City.  He had a gorgeous wife and family and polling was placing him on pace…