The Grands

The Grands
"Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children".
--- from the writings of Roots author Alex Haley

Saturday, October 29, 2016

In My Life: Dry Cleaning Days

I think one of the most important jobs a grandparent can do is provide links for their grandchildren to the past, both the past of their family and the historical past of their world.
Another vital task is to help their grandchildren grow to become contented, successful people who want to make their community, their country, and their world a better place.
         That's two of the main reasons I started this blog in 2016.
While I hope any reader will find something of interest in what I write here, I actually have 2 readers foremost in my mind. One is named Audrey. She was 8 when I started this blog. The other is her brother, Owen, who was 6 then.
This new ongoing series, which I am calling It's My Life, is primarily for my grandchildren. It will be able to still speak for me when I am gone. 
Since I will be writing about me, it may appear to be an exercise in vanity. But that is not my intent. I want to tell Audrey and Owen about my life so they can have a better understanding of their own lives. Maybe it might help some of you in your lives, too. 

My Dad operated dry cleaning plants throughout South Jersey so I spent a lot of my time hanging out there.

Because our main plant was in Salem, and my Mom helped out when she wasn't teaching, I spent most of my Saturdays and summer days until I started high school in that city. In fact, I had many more friends in Salem than I did in Bridgeton. I played hours and hours of sandlot football, pickup basketball, and school yard baseball in Salem, as well as wander the city in search of adventures.

I learned a valuable lesson watching how hard my Dad worked to own and operate his own business. I realized early on that I would always rather work for someone than be my own boss.

Since almost all my friends in Salem were black, I also learned 3 valuable early life lessons:
  1. Racism is real.
  2. Black people were just like me. 
  3. Since that was true, racism is not only stupid and restricting, but also unjust.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

From Me to You - Using Triple A to Solve Problems

When you have problems with your car, you can call AAA for help.

When you have problems in your life, you can use a different type of Triple A approach.  Simply put you can:
  1. Acknowledge it. A problem can't be a real problem for you unless you agree that you have it. While you should always listen to your own thoughts, we can be blind to many problems that are keeping us from being all we can be. It pays to listen to others. If most everyone you and know and trust says you have a problem, you probably do.
  2. Analyze it. Think about how you got into the problem. Talk to others. Seek advise. Then consider ways you can alleviate this specific problem. Weigh your options. Come up with a realistic plan. And then ...
  3. Act on It. As difficult as acknowledging and analyzing a problem can be, acting on it can be even more demanding. Chances are you didn't fall into the problem rapidly. Fixing it will require persistence and time. You will probably have to change your thoughts, behavior, and actions. You may need outside help. That doesn't mean you are weak; it means you are wise. Don't worry if you suffer setbacks. Just resume proceeding the right way to your goal. You can always change for the better and you definitely owe that change to yourself and those you care for.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

In My Life: We Move Again, But Stay in Seabrook

I think one of the most important jobs a grandparent can do is provide links for their grandchildren to the past, both the past of their family and the historical past of their world.
Another vital task is to help their grandchildren grow to become contented, successful people who want to make their community, their country, and their world a better place.
         That's two of the main reasons I started this blog in 2016.
While I hope any reader will find something of interest in what I write here, I actually have 2 readers foremost in my mind. One is named Audrey. She was 8 when I started this blog. The other is her brother, Owen, who was 6 then.
This new ongoing series, which I am calling It's My Life, is primarily for my grandchildren. It will be able to still speak for me when I am gone. 
Since I will be writing about me, it may appear to be an exercise in vanity. But that is not my intent. I want to tell Audrey and Owen about my life so they can have a better understanding of their own lives. Maybe it might help some of you in your lives, too. 

After a few years in the village, while we stayed in the community of Seabrook we moved again to a single home in front of of Seabrook School.

My two most vivid memories of my life there were:
  • on Halloween trick or treaters kept coming to our house until almost midnight. Some came from Camden, which was more than a half hour away on Highway 77.
  • also, one night a man was killed by a hit-and-run driver right in front of the house. We heard the commotion and rushed outside, my Dad tried to keep the victim alive, but he died before before emergency help could arrive.
I was not yet 9 and already we had relocated 5 times.

After we finally moved out of this home, the residence became the Board of Education office for the Upper Deerfield School system. I ended up interviewing the superintendent Bill Morris several times in what used to be my bedroom and I covered the board of education meetings in what used to be our living room.