A Night’s Welcome

My Wife and I chaperoning at “A Night’s Welcome”.

Prior to the pandemic, most churches in Hampton hosted “A Night’s Welcome” for one week during the cold months and then circulate. Because of COVID-19, the homeless are being fed for dinner and kept for the night at “The Central United Methodist Church”.

Each day of the month, church’s parishioners greet, prepare dinner, breakfast and chaperone for the homeless. This will continue to March, perhaps April if the weather stays cold.

If you wish to participate, please check with your place of worship if they are part of “HELP”. If they are not or if you do not have a place of worship, here is their website for more information.

https://www.helphampton.org/

Thank you!

Reflections On a Late Christmas Eve/Morn

I love “It’s a Wonderful Life” for so many reasons. There is so much wisdom in it. It shows us even though we may have not reached all our goals yet, we can still have a meaningful, purposeful life. And our lives are exemplified when we show kindness, charity and compassion for others. This is how we achieve God’s grace and live forever.

About 30 plus years ago, I had a George Bailey moment. I just began teaching in one of the toughest schools in Brooklyn. I had one class that was particularly bad and uncontrollable. It was so bad that after one class I went into an empty room and prayed to God, like George at Martini’s bar, asking if I should stay in the teaching profession, please show me a sign.

I left the room and went to speak to a teacher about a subject matter, and when I entered his classroom, there were students that I had taught in an earlier semester and they greeted me with big smiles and warm, “Hi Mr. G”. At that moment, my fears were relieved and I had my sign.

Now, I’m not saying all my classes were perfect after that, but I had the confidence to teach for another 21 years, until I moved down to Hampton, VA. I did some substitute teaching here until the end of 2018.

My only hope is, like George Bailey, I have helped them in some way, not just in my subject matter (business), but with their difficulties, their choices and aspirations. And I pray I have enriched their lives as much as they have enriched mine.

It’s a wonderful life. Merry Christmas.

DEAD END (1937)

Watched this movie tonight on Amazon. I’ve seen it before, it has Humphrey Bogart in it and first film appearance of the East Side Kids which started their long 20+ movie career.

The tale is timeless and has as much meaning now as when the film was first produced. It’s about the rich gentrification of a lower east side tenement area, dreams of getting out of the old neighborhood and bettering yourself and then the bad influences of those who left their upbringing by taking the road of crime.

Originally a successful Broadway Play in the 1930’s, the movie holds on that feel by having limited scenery which gives more emphasis on the dialogue. And to add, a great film score by the great Alfred Newman.

Though their block may be on a Dead End, so are their lives, but the ones who abide here are the most purest of them all.

“Because I love her too much to make her unhappy.”

On the morning of the 24th, the 37th Anniversary of our Wedding, I was watching CBS Morning News. There is a segment where each reporter relates their favorite story of the day. Gayle King chose the death of Juliette Greco, a French renown singer and actress. (See article below)

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-44230634

While the famous Jazz musician, Miles Davis, was performing in Paris, Greco met Davis and formed a love relationship that lasted till Miles Davis death. When asked whey he never married Greco, Miles said “Because I love her too much to make her unhappy.” Gayle King as well as many others thought that maybe Miles was not any easy person to live with, but that wasn’t the reason. Miles knew that in America, a white woman who was married to a black man would be scorned and hated, and he did not want that for her.

I also have an interracial marriage and though my wife and I did not meet in the 1950’s when some states did not allow marriages between the races, there were still some people that did not approve of our marriage, one actually being a clergy member, and once discovered, my soon-to-be wife (at that time) never attended his church again.

With the current political and social climate of our country, I am more than concerned that we may lead back to that direction as those who mistakenly deem themselves as Christians somehow believe that miscegenation, or the marriage/cohabitations between two people from different racial groups, is not allowed in the Bible. Sounds farfetched? Perhaps not. And this does not even involve those who ridicule “Black Lives Matter” or praise the police officers who unjustifiably beat, restrain, and kill black folk, not to mention our justice system where these officers are not charged for their wrongful acts.

I am deeply worried about our country. Have freedom of religion, practice whatever religion or non-religion you want, but let us not have a religiously-run government for the simple reason that Christ taught us to love one another with unbridled compassion, but surprisingly that perfectly clear message gets misconstrued.

Whoever you wish to be the next President, whatever the turnout of the election, we must spread only Christ’s message of love, redemption, forgiveness, tolerance and hope. Everything else, leave to the side. Let us not feel that loving someone may lead to regrets.

Why Trump May Win

Looking at these photos of Zimmerman, I got a chill up my spine, and the chill is that Trump will most likely win.

After the state attorney proved that Zimmerman was not law enforcement and he had failed at being one, he was found not guilty because the people on the jury, and if I remember correctly, mostly women, felt Zimmerman was not guilty because he feared for his life.

And Trump is playing on those exact fears. Fear is much stronger than hope or reconciliation or even healing social wrongs. Suburban whites don’t want integration of their neighborhoods or schools, they don’t want public transportation to their beaches or recreational areas. This goes from Robert Moses building beaches in Long Island, NY that could not be accessed by city buses because of low underpasses and narrow roads to the Light Rail not connecting Norfolk with Virginia Beach. It’s an understated, covert racisim but it does its job.

I never thought after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that we would ever slip back into Jim Crow Laws. But in reality, it never left.

STORM OVER BROOKLYN

The wife and I watched this documentary below last night. We are from Brooklyn and were both teaching in predominantly black high schools back then.

The reason why I mentioned that is because one of big protests/boycotts that Reverend Al Sharpton spearheaded was near my first high school I taught at, Erasmus Hall HS. It was the Korean Grocery store boycott where allegedly (and most likely) one of the owners slapped a Black customer in the face. One of the teachers from Erasmus brought his class to the Korean Grocery to shop because Reverend Al boycotted it. He got in trouble with the Board of Ed but landed on the morning Joan Rivers show.

Nonetheless, what I am going to say will piss off alot of people, but I like Reverend Al. He did what he had to do to bring social justice to the city. And all of his protests were peaceful following the wishes of Reverend Martin Luther King. Back then Rev Al was very heavy set and had long, rock star hair which besides being Black, aggravated white people even more.

If you watch the documentary, you will see that America has turned into that Bensonhurst angry mob once again upon viewing the news sources and social media, having a President supported by the KKK and white nationalists, who calls predominantly Black countries shithole ones, who calls Neo-Nazi protestors good people, who calls Mexicans rapists. And the list goes on.

Jim Crow wasn’t really that long ago, it is part of my and my wife’s timeline and I am not sure if it is completely gone. No, I take that back, it still exists. It’s not as blatant as separate rest rooms and water fountains, it is much more subtle.

And to be honest, I don’t know which one is worse.

https://www.hbo.com/documentaries/yusuf-hawkins-storm-over-brooklyn

Another Wrong To Be Made Right!

Black and Gay Military receiving Blue Discharge

Per the video I saw this morning, link below, Sunday July 5th on the Today Show with Willie Giest; this segment brought tears to my eyes. Even when Black Men served their country in WWII, they were given a “Blue Discharge”, which is neither a honorable or dishonorable discharged. (Also given to gay servicemen).

However this discharged did NOT allow them to receive any veterans benefits.

How wrong is that?

Part of the ” Black Lives Matters”protests should be giving all these soldiers who have received this “blue discharge” an honorable one, even if it is posthumously.

Please click link below to see video.

https://www.today.com/video/nelson-henry-jr-honorably-discharged-after-nearly-75-years-dies-of-coronavirus-at-96-87051845603

Trump and Russian bounties on American Soldiers

It is believed that ignorance of the law does not make you “not guilty” if you committed a crime.

Trump says he did not know about Russia putting bounties on American soldiers’ heads.

Because he fails to attend daily briefings ton current affairs, Trump claims he didn’t know.

But he is suppose to know. That’s why he was elected by the electoral college.

But I believe he did know. Trump is somehow indebted to Russia and I believe he owes a great deal of money to them. I believe they have financed a multiple of his developments. This is why Trump hasn’t shown his tax returns.

And think about it, would American banks lend money to a man who has had so many bankruptcies and thousands of lawsuits from contractors who he has not paid?

Wake up, folks. Trump is willing to sacrifice American lives so his loans won’t get called in!