Thursday, July 9, 2020

History (Frances, Rochelle, and Norman)

The Fourth of July has come and went, during a time when American history has been called into question. It feels awkward to celebrate America's independence from the British Empire when this Declaration of Independence only served the White man. I want to honor this past Fourth of July and the Black Lives Matter movement to post stories of our older buds calling our history, laws, and institutions into question, and inspiring us to do better:
Frances Bryce
08.08.2019
Does an Amendment Need an Amendment?

A study of the Constitution often left me unsettled with what was written in some articles and at least one of the Amendments, mainly the second. I often wondered about the decision rendered with the Superior Court of the meaning when it was written and their ruling that was to uphold the stature. I would like to think maybe it should be revisited. My problem with the right of the people to keep and bear arms, now that we have a standing Army, Navy, Marine and now the people do not need to bring their arms for the security of a free state as was necessary when the Amendment was made. Each state has its National Guard for security of its state. The use of Military weapons that have caused mass murders were not available when this Amendment was passed, how can he compare it to the weapons of that day. I am probably like the lovely little petunia in the onion patch. I cry and cry each day. Maybe one day the people will be willing to enforce laws that will protect the masses, since it is supposed to be a government of the people by the people.

Rochelle Tynes
06.04.2020
These Things Aren’t New

I assume you’re talking about these riots and all this stuff that’s going on. These things aren’t new. I met up with someone a couple of days ago who told me that, “I said I don’t see the sense of it. Really I don’t see the sense of it because people are robbing places,” and I said, “Suppose they have children and somebody says, ‘I want some cereal,’ well we don’t have no milk, where you gon’ get it? And then you’re sitting there looking at them and somebody in the crowd or maybe yourself wants a sandwich, tell me where you go and get it because you’ve destroyed these places.” So where do you go and do this if you don’t have this stuff at home? Okay, and then they’re stealing sneakers and they put a curfew out, so you’re home with your flip flops on looking at your sneakers sitting there because you can’t wear them out and show them off yet and you have these T.V.s that use electric when you want to see them, you’re watching these T.V.s and it’s running your electric bill up. And so when it gets so high you can’t watch the T.V., the T.V. gon’ be watching you. What sense does this make? This lady that I was talking to told me that when these things happen, changes come. Well, changes come because lazy people should get up and go vote. That’s my thought. Now it don’t make it right. But violence never settled anything and it only breeds more violence and more hate, and people are disgruntled. And some people are just fed up with all the looting and what does it solve? It means somebody has to clean this mess up. I don’t understand it because people who have businesses and have good sense have insurance that will cover this stuff. It might raise your insurance but they should have insurance to cover this. I think they should find all those people who did all this looting and make them clean it up, you know? And maybe that will do something for ‘em, give them something to do with theirself besides acting a fool. People don’t realize that all of these people who are doing all of this looting and rioters, they’re not all black. They are not all black! Black people have reasons to be disgruntled. I’ve heard stories since I was a kid about the injustices that have been perpetrated on black people. I’ve seen stuff, I’m almost 80, so I’ve seen a lot of stuff, I have lived through a lot of stuff, I know how rotten and nasty some policemen can be and that’s what needs to change, the police structure itself. I can tell you this, I had a grandson that got killed in Virginia for some wrongdoings that him and his friends were doing amongst themselves. The police didn’t do this, and when my son called me and told me, “They killed him, them killed him!” I thought it was the police. I tell you I packed a suitcase with my toothbrush, some junk stuff in it, and some clean underwear because I knew I was not coming back. I knew I could not go down there, have them tell me that some policeman shot my grandson who was laying on the ground with his hands cuffed in back of him and they shot him because he was resisting arrest. My response would be, “Then you need to resist this,” and I would have shot anything in sight and I knew I wouldn’t have came back that’s why I didn’t pack a suitcase because I knew I was either gonna be in jail or dead, ‘cause I think it is just that stuff should stop. How can you kill somebody, go home and go to sleep? How you do that? And them somebody that’s working with you that’s supposed to be your superior that’s supposed to have two cents more than you tell you, “Oh it’s okay,” and send you home? Not tonight. And I’m saying this happened between his peers and I said the Lord protects dummies because I know he was protecting me, ‘cause if I’d have went back there you all wouldn’t be talking to me now. You wouldn’t ‘cause I just couldn’t see the sense. Too many things have happened for too long and people have gotten away with it and that’s why we get this crap we get now. That’s why we get it. And if you live through it you understand it and if you’re not Black you don’t understand it and if you haven’t lived through it you don’t understand it. Some people that are Black have never had this stuff happen to them. Well, I’m saying that if you’re Black you maybe have gone through other things. There are things, a Black situation. When I was living in the projects, most of the people who live in the projects are Black. I had a little house down in Tasker and when they said that there’s a curfew and that the kids had to be in the house, okay. I don’t know how you do that in the projects. Everybody’s in and out of everybody’s house most of the time and kids socialize and whatever. Okay here come the police and they say, “Okay, everybody gotta go home.” Everybody starts walking home so I told my son “Come on and walk with me, let’s go over this way.” And so the police went up…

Norman Cain
05.07.2020
Come Together

  I had an expensive cellphone that my son-in-law bought me several months ago when I was in Orlando, Florida, but it broke down and I got an inexpensive cellphone and it’s working better than the expensive cellphone. There are some problems, but the good thing about it is the fact that I played around with it which I didn’t do with the old cellphone, the expensive one, and I was able to get online and I was able to get to my Facebook, which allowed me to be into Zoom right now with Best Day. Now I’m having problems getting into Zoom with my church, but I don’t have any problems getting into Zoom with my writing group at Drexel University which meets about three times a week but I’m able to do it once a week on Fridays. Hopefully by this week or by the end of this month, I have a computer. It should be coming in any day now and it’s going to be a donation, what I understand, from my writing group at Drexel. But if that doesn’t come through, I’m definitely going to get one at the beginning of next month. Like previous presenters, I’m very thankful that during this dire time that we are getting text message and phone calls, etcetera from people. Now, I’ve been getting calls and I’ve been calling people that I haven’t really talked to for three or four years. Especially with Facebook and what not I’ve been reaching out to relatives across the country and also with the phone here, and it’s really coming in handy this technology, it can be bad and it can be good. Two folk Philadelphia icons in their mid-eighties, Bootsie Barnes who is a jazz saxophonist, very famous, he passed away and just as soon as he passed away, they had all of his, so many of his—on videos—his sessions and what not. And also, there’s a guy who’s about eighty-four who was a great social dancer who’s named Otis Givens, we could follow him ever since his teenage days and he died and they had so much on him. Also, several times I’ve been in the presence of Trapeta Mayson who is the poet laureate of Philadelphia, so I got a chance to see her on television. And I cannot think because of the senior moments are coming in, but there is a fella that was with, or he’s still with the MOVE organization, and he had just came out of prison, and he held on to his liberty for forty-five years I believe. And he gave the true story about the brutality and whatnot that they really had to endure- the true story. There was a first MOVE incident down in Powelton Village, the true story that they held up with this terrible system that we have in the United States, and that’s one of the things that’s disturbing me. We have all of this outpouring of love that’s going back and forth and I can feel it right now over the phone. All of this feeling of love and comforting words and then we have, I have to say it, our government really does not care. When you hear statements that some of us will have to die, you don’t have to say it that way but this is the way it is and this is what we have got to understand. One of the things that I’ve been doing during this pandemic is that I’ve been researching Zora Neale Hurston. Several weeks ago I came back from Orlando, Florida and I stayed with my daughter and her family and I attended the thirty-fourth year anniversary of her festival in the town that she grew up—Eatonville, an all-black town since about 1895 or earlier and it’s still incorporated. And the state of Florida wanted to put a highway through the town and they almost were successful in doing that but then the people rallied and said that the town was worth saving because of Zora Neale Hurston. So thirty-four years ago when they had the first festival you had I think 3,000 folks came. She is definitely a literary figure, a playwright, dance promoter, journalist, anthropologist, a singer, dancer, and you can go on and on and on and on. So the last several weeks I’ve been researching, by the phone again, her work. I knew that she was prolific but I did not know the depth of her genius. So basically that’s what I’ve been doing and I’m so happy that we have been able to come together at this point.



One of the things about Best Day I love is hearing about history from the people who lived through it. It gives me so much more perspective than the same stories in the same textbooks or Wikipedia articles. You can help share our older buds stories by donating to Best Day, subscribing to our newsletter, sending a note to our older buds, or following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. If you want to volunteer yourself, then email us at info@bestdayofmylifesofar.org. And if you know older buds with stories, then you or they can submit them through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds, but we're always looking for stories from older buds of color, older buds with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ older buds, older buds of any gender or sex, older buds of any religion, and older buds who just plain break the mold.

And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.



Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Visibility (Norman)

One of the issues mentioned in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests and anti-racism movement is increasing the visibility of Black people in all sorts of fields. In some cases this means promoting the work of Black artists, in other cases it means consciously purchasing from Black owned businesses, in other cases it means electing Black board members. In the case of the PSC's Best Day workshop, visibility has taken a more literal meaning.





That's right! Norman has a brand new Chromebook, complete with a camera, microphone, speaker system, and Zoom app. And that means we can finally see his handsome face after weeks of just his melodious voice. During one of the first workshops, Norman mentioned that Drexel University's Writers Room would be giving him a new computer so that he could make video calls. Each week after that, I'd eagerly ask if his computer came in, but he kept waiting and waiting until last week. Everybody perked up when they saw him on Zoom for the first time, after some lighthearted jabs at his quarantine beard.

There are a few more Best Day regulars who only call in by phone, whether due to lack of internet, lack of funds, or lack of familiarity with conference calling or apps. Many of those regulars are Black, and I want to get everyone's faces visible on Zoom. If the only issue is lack of familiarity, then I take an hour and test out Zoom with an older bud and whatever device they have. That way, they're ready to go by the next Happy Hour. I don't want any older bud with the means to video chat to miss out on it because they had a bad first experience.

In celebration of Norman's new computer, I want to share a story about some lucky times in his life. Enjoy!

Norman Cain
03.05.2020
Pieces of Luck
 
Like any of the folk that preceded me in their stories, they did not believe in luck per se, and I feel the same way. I feel that God Almighty is the one that determines your destiny. When I was about twenty-eight years old, I was really, really, really broke and I found twenty-eight dollars on the ground. Last September, I really and truly needed some money, and that was the first time I had been broke in years and out of the clear blue sky a lady that comes here sometimes, a friend of mine’s, said, “Do you need some money?” How did that happen? Well, she offered a hundred dollars, I accepted seventy-five and paid her back the next week. So I think that that was a divine type of activity. Throughout my life I have been unlucky and lucky. Little boy, I won a cowboy hat at the Saturday movies. Years later, when I was about thirty-five I won a great big bunny rabbit during an Easter celebration in a disciplinary school where I worked in Camden, New Jersey. So, you have bad days and you had good days but again I say it depends to me upon the Creator. 
When I was a young man, I was all over the place, a rolling stone, so to speak, and I have been in situations where I should not be here today, but the Creator snatched me out of those situations. A piece of good luck at first and bad luck that I had when I was about twenty-two years old and I had just graduated from college and I got accepted by the Peace Corps. So I said, “Okay, good luck,” but my draft clerk had other ideas. She said, “No, you cannot go.” I had to go to the army, a place that I didn’t want to go, not because I was unpatriotic, but because I did not believe in the Vietnamese War. And I don’t think, I’m quite sure at the time Secretary McNamara who was Secretary of State at the time did not believe in it because twenty-five years later he wrote a book, attesting to that fact. 
At any rate, I was lucky when I went into the service because I was stationed as a military policeman at the 549th division in Fort Davis Panama, which is on the Atlantic side in the city Cologne. Now when I was there, unlike the regular infantry that had forty and the Bay Area, we had two to a room. We dressed up every day, we drove around in sedans, we didn’t have to go out in the jungle, we didn’t have to go what you call “bivouac” out in the field. 
Another good thing, another piece of good luck came was because the third of the time that I was in the service and I was old there in that particular time, I was able to make the basketball team, something that eluded me in college and in high school. It was a pretty great level, all we had to do was practice and play ball. Also, being in that military police, we did not have to get up at 6 in the morning to salute the flag, we did not have to have revelry which is at 6 o’clock in the evening, we did not have to be back on base at 12 o’ clock at night, we could stay out as long as until we had to go back to work. Here’s where the good luck comes in: when I first got to Panama I was told there was some kind of myth that if you went to the American section what you called the canal zone and you sat on the swing with a girl and you drank some water then you gonna get married. That came to be true because I did meet such a lady. The problem was that you had to go through the service to be accepted, something that I did not do. I went underground, and what happened was I had to go to a draft clerk, a botanist, and I think it was a medical doctor, and that cost me some money. And then when the wedding day came, it was raining, it wasn’t no secret, I could have been in a lot of trouble because the guy that was driving the bus “Ay Cain? Where you going? You going down to get married?” He knew, everybody knew. So the thing was when I got back to the base, it was raining and so this was the last day and so we had what was called retreat, you salute the flag etc., etc. When I got back, everybody was present except me. I had to come inside the back to go upside and get dressed but no officer or sergeant or anyone said anything because they already knew that I had gotten married. I could have been in the stockade for two or three months and my wife could not have ever come to the United States of America. Evidently, they liked me and they let me go so I think that was a piece of my good luck. Best luck I ever had.



There's lots of ways to increase the visibility of your older buds, both in and outside of Best Day. You can donate to Best Day, subscribe to our newsletter, send a note to our older buds, or follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. If you want to volunteer yourself, then email us at info@bestdayofmylifesofar.org. And if you know older buds with stories, then you or they can submit them through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds (In honor of the Black Lives Matter Movement) and LGBTQIA+ older buds (in honor of Pride Month.) And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.

Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Father's Day in Lockdown (Elliott, Michael, Ann, Joyce, Norman, José)

Having a global pandemic, to say nothing of global Black Lives Matter protests, puts Father's Day in a different perspective. Many older buds have children of their own, but not all older buds live with their children. Some of their children live in different houses. They can go to their parents' house to drop off groceries, but they can't stay with them for fear of infection. Some of their children live in other states entirely. They can send their parents care packages and Zoom chat with them, but crossing state lines could cause more harm than good. Some of the children lived with their parents before the lockdown and can't afford to move them into a safer environment. They do their filial duty and wonder if that will cause their parents' death. Some of the children set up separate suites for their parents, minimizing contact while maximizing proximity. They know what their parents are up to and how long they were gone, and catch up with them through windows and sliding glass doors. Or they diligently monitor their own symptoms and isolate themselves so they can hug each other without risk.

Every Father's Day is different, especially during an epidemic. This post's devoted to the fathers and grandfathers of Best Day:



Elliott Doomes
10.17.2019
Pop-Pop
I'm thinking of going to Wildwood, NJ for Thanksgiving. I have some family there. I have my daughter, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, three grand daughters, a grandson, and two great-grandsons.. The two youngest ones, they may recognize me, but they really don't know who I am. I mean, they hear me called "Pop-Pop" but I really don't think that they understand the significance of that title.They think its just my name. It's not who I am. I want them to know who I am while there's still time. I neer met or knew my grandpa and I had very little time with my father. I knew him, but I never got to know him. He passed when I as just about eight years of age. And I often wondered about who he was and what kind of man was he? I was liked by all my grandchildren and both of my grandchildren for who "Pop-Pop" really is. When I visit them, I very seldom hear my name mentioned by them. Although my grandson has my first name s his middle name, and so does his son. Although they know where the name comes from, they really don't know who that person is. And that's what I want them to know. So this holiday visit provides me with the opportunity to spend some me-time with them and perhaps I can create some memories that they can think back on and relate to. I had no such memories in my life and I didn't have much time with my paw. Although we lived in the same apartment, I only saw him at dinner time. After dinner, hew as preparing at bed for the net workday and the next workday.
Michael Tsuei
5.25.2017
After All


My best friend, her parents, recently passed away , both descended at twenty minutes from each other. They are both in the late eighties, both healthy and happy couple, always together, meant for at parts to each other, dearly in love, every time. We had a family get together for the holidays with good friends. They were always holding hands, taking care of each other dearly. When the wife was feeling ill, he stayed in the hospital. They husband stayed with her day and night. Then suddenly the wife’s condition get rose, passed away while in their sleep. The husband’s heart broken, everyone felt his pain. At that night, he came home from the hospital, before that, he said goodbye to his children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, the next morning at his bed, the daughter found out he also passed away, never woke up.


I still remember these two so in love, around themselves or in the public. So the even grandchildren, sometimes get embraced said (OMG, old people do that, grosses us out).


But the daughters grown up with her parents once made it common, have a different explanation (don’t forget everyone one was once young, once crazy in love with someone or two…)


In our eastern tradition, most of us, very very open to expressing the personal feelings in public or around friends. We’ve been told “you needs acting according to your age).


So lots relatives talk about their behavior, may made bad example and erupt the young people.


Now they are all gone, children start to miss their company so much, so deeply.


Just not too long ago the  famous movie star Debbie Reynolds and her younger daughter (Princess Leia) both passed away in two days, then are no questions in my mind, when someone so in love with each other, may be that just want to go with it and never wanting to waken up!


Ann von Dehsen
3.28.2019
Deer Spotting


During each summer of my childhood, my family went to the Poconos for a few weeks vacation. On the ride up, my father and I would start our weeklong game of deer spotting. Simply, if you saw a deer and called out “deer!” first, you scored a point & the one with the most points at the end of the week won. Being 5 years older than me, I guess my sophisticated sister thought the game was dumb & did not join us. My mother, being from the Bronx and never entirely comfortable in the woods was far too busy looking out for life threatening bears to join us. So it was just a game between the 2 of us that eventually became a tradition. Even years later when riding in the car with him in the suburbs we’d still shout “deer” during a very rare sighting. After suffering a stroke towards the end of his life, my father spent some time at a rehab center. On golden autumn day as I was pushing his wheelchair thru the gardens, I noticed a deer in the distant woods. I decided not to yell “deer!”, as I was afraid it might scare & confuse him, just as my father yelled “Deer!” and we shared a laugh & a hug. It was also on this walk that he told me he was ready to die & for me to remember happy times together instead of being sad. Within a few weeks he was back in the hospital and we knew he did not have much time left, yet he continued to have some good days so my sister & I took turns being at the hospital. I had returned home for a day or two to be w/ my children. On the first day home I received a phone call that Drs. Did not think he would make it thru the night so I immediately started the 2 hr. ride back to the hospital. Now it was not uncommon to see deer on my route through N.J. Pine Barrens to the hospital. But, on this particular night as I approached the last circle on Rt. 70, 3 very large deer walked calmly out of the woods, stopped & appear to look right at me. As they slowly moved on I looked at the car’s clock & saw it was 8:10. A few minutes later I got to the hospital and ran towards my fathers room but was stopped by the nurse & my crying sister. “I’m sorry,” the nurse told me, “but your father did just a few minutes ago, at 8:10.” So, it may have been a coincidence, but I believe those deer represented my father’s final, loving goodbye.

Joyce Woods
03.05.2020
I Wanted a Large Family

I don’t even know what I’m going to say. Okay, I’ll talk about me. Back in 1967, that’s when I decided to leave home and get married, I was 19. So a lot of people didn’t think that was quite a good idea. “Do you think you should finish school first?” or “don’t you think you should just wait a while? Maybe you should save more money.” My mother had a lot of older friends and my parents were elderly when I was 19. They were married 21 years when I was born. So they’re elderly and I came up by myself so I had a nice calm life. I didn’t even know I lived in the ghetto. This is on our block, I knew everybody, the same people when I left, and even the grandparents I would go back and take care of my mother. They and all the children would live on that block, the same parents lived there at that time. So, as far as luck is concerned, I believe in luck, because I know what people mean when they say that. I know what their idea of luck is, and I understand your meaning of it too. I have very diverse life, so I think we have every religion in it from Judaism to Islam to African Methodist, Baptist and I’ve experienced it all. And what I’ve found, most people want good things to happen for their families. They want good honest life. Well I had decided since we didn’t have many children in our family at a very early age I think I was about seventeen that I wanted a large family. Eight to be exact. I would draw my little stick figures. The school I went to I got tired of blue and white uniforms, they were gonna have brown and beige, and I would draw that and it was it in my mind how I wanted these children. Because I was a woman, my father had died when I was nine, and I couldn’t understand why you would carry the father’s name, but I didn’t have a brother. So I said if I biologically have children, well they’ll still be a part of my father, and a part of me, and my mother. So I think I was a very mature child for my age by them being so old. All my friends were old. Even my mother would tell me sometimes, she showed me a picture after I was a teenager, she said, “you see all these people in here?” They were all seniors that had been my friends and passed away. She said, “There’s something wrong with this picture. Everybody’s on here’s dead but you.” So I didn’t have hardly any friends when I got older too much but I did have a large wedding. It wasn’t intended to be large, it was supposed to be fifty people and I think the way I thought I wanted my mother to be happy because if I had lived with my boyfriend she would have died so I decided to go ahead and have a wedding. But it was supposed to be small. We ended up with nine children. The reason why we had nine was because, and they were all full-term natural births, I didn’t have any medication, nothing to put me to sleep, not that I was a hero but we were trying to eat right. During the first time that I first got pregnant we started reading books and started going to Lamaze classes, everything that we could get our hands on was trying to find out and it was a very nice experience. So a lot of times, and you see I’m not really lucky, I don’t gamble. A couple of times I did try to play a number I never win. I’m talking about street numbers back in the day, right? So anyway I did it a couple of times but I don’t like to lose money, I like the shows if you go to Atlantic City. I used to be a lifeguard out there as a teenager. Okay, sorry. Okay, one more thing. So, after having nine children, a lot of people look at me like, “oh my God,” you know, they look at you like you’re a piece of meat or something, they have a bad idea. But I thought out how I was having children, and that’s what I wanted to do too, and I think that I have some pretty good children. Not everybody has the same type of experience but I think several of them have gone on to college and finished. One works at NASA and that gives me an opportunity to travel. I met a lot of the astronauts there. When they go different places I can go as long as I pay for my plane ride, everything else, I’m there, I could be anywhere else in the country. So they’ll send me tickets, and I can’t afford all of these things but having a lot of children in my family worked out nice for me.


Norman Cain
8.29.2013
Baseball, My Father and Action Speaks Louder than Words


My father was a quiet reserved man who never missed a days work. Before we awoke in the morning he would be at his job. He was a custodian at 30th Street Station. He would return in the evening, eat and immediately go to bed. While there was definitely love between us there was little interaction.


Sometimes actions speak louder than words. There were two small events that occurred between myself and my father that I will forever contain within my mind.


The first event occurred when I was around twelve. My father came home with two baseball gloves and took me to a nearby lot where we engaged in an extended lively game of catch. I never knew my father could play baseball. He was good. Each time the ball thudded against our glove it echoed love.


The second action between my father and I that spoke louder than words also had to do with baseball. This event took place when I was around 14 years old. One day we were both practicing with our respective teams at Belmont Plateau in Fairmont Park. I was with a youth baseball team and he played for a Penna Railroad  Team.


We did not know that our practices were at the same time. When we noticed each other we left our teams, walked towards one another and shook hands without uttering a word. Two events involving baseball between us spoke a multitude of words.


So actions do speak louder than words, especially when love is involved.


José Dominiguez
04.18.2019
Walking in the Streets of Philadelphia By 11th St

[I was] walking to take Sofia, my granddaughter, to school in the crossing to Bainbridge. Nearby us a parent with his 5-year-old son interrupted our way. Slowing down our speed, I heard part of the conversation. “My son,” he said, “All people of that country hate us, so what can you expect from them?” I was astonished. The dialog was short, simple, and with huge consequences.
The first part of the statement implied not that some of the people hate us, or a few, or the majority — but ALL the people of that country. I imagined millions and millions of that country hating. It was a gross generalization because is impossible to survey the hate feelings of so many people. The second part of the statement “hate us” was equally disturbing. Who is “us?” The white people? The United States population? Was I included as an immigrant that I am? If I become a US citizen do all those millions will hate me? Obviously it’s not possible to do a mathematical and a statistical correction. I was witnessing the generalization of a parent’s point of view used as an educational experience. In that educational chat, the parent is defining who is hating who. And in a way, according to my pessimistic perspective, he is also giving the argument so the child can rationalize eventually his own and personal hate.
I did not hear nothing near to “love your enemy” as the New Testament states, but instead I heard “Beware that they hate us.” So, whatever you do or feel has to take into account that all those millions hate you and hate also all the rest of the United States’ population. The sad conclusion of that parent son educational interaction is that love is restricted to those of our own status because they are the ones who accept us.
Where is the love lesson? The child is innocent. He does not hate by nature, but we as parents can prepare our children to have arguments [or] to rationalize hate feelings when the time comes. May we as parents stop the intolerance preparing loving, mature, and responsible children.





There's lots of ways to support older buds, both in and outside of Best Day. You can donate to Best Day, subscribe to our newsletter, send a note to our older buds, or follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. If you want to volunteer yourself, then email us at info@bestdayofmylifesofar.org. And if you know older buds with stories, then you or they can submit them through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds (In honor of the Black Lives Matter Movement) and LGBTQIA+ older buds (in honor of Pride Month.) And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.



Curated by Caitlin Cieri

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Living Life (Delores, Carolyn, and Sallie)

The other day, I read an article about how the anti-racist reading lists shared on social media are a good start, but we should also be reading stories by Black authors about Black people. And not just stories about racism or slavery or The Struggle, but stories about Black people living. And to quote Nic Stone, the author of that article "Because the more we see Black people living—loving and doing and being and feeling and going on adventures and solving mysteries and being the heroes—the more we come to recognize our shared humanity."
Nic's article was about the need for more YA novels written by Black authors for Black readers, but that message applies to non-fiction too.


It's way too easy to think that Black culture is just fighting against racism and prejudice and institutions that are stacked against them, but it's also eating, nine-to-five jobs, lazy Sunday afternoons, trying to find a Netflix show the whole family wants to watch, falling in love, catching up on their reading, making sure they didn't forget their keys, reminiscing about their childhoods, arguing over the best athletes of all time, phone conversations from people they hadn't seen in years, and just living life.

So I've collected a list of stories about our Black older buds living their lives. You can rad three of them below. We've got plenty more in the archives too, so take five minutes to read through a few pages of our posts.


Delores Wilson
07.25.2019
Breakfast Club

Before I retired, I would take care of my business for the week on a Friday morning. Afterwards, I would go to the Reading Terminal for breakfast. I ate at the same lunch counter for breakfast for ten years. Every Friday morning, that is. I soon became acquainted with one of the city officials. We ate breakfast together for ten years at the Reading Terminal. He was very subject-oriented and I caught much insight into different things that were going on behind the scenes of the city. When he told me that he was retiring in two weeks, I was glad for him and sad for myself because, for me, I was going to miss his insight and conversation. He had such a wonderful attitude. I thought that had concluded the Breakfast Club.
However, that was just the beginning of a new breakfast club. I moved from the Dutch counter to the crepe counter for breakfast. There I met Craig. He voiced interesting topics and one of our discussions I learned that he was a photographer. We continue to converse and I learned he was a city crime photographer. He worked for the city, photographing crime scenes. After several weeks he told me he would be retiring. Now, when I turn the corner and look in the direction, the other city official along with him are no longer there. I learned from the server she too missed them. And she named them the Breakfast Club.



Carolyn Boston
05.14.2020
The Restaurant I Miss the Most

I miss going to the Imperial Inn for dim sum.  Imperial Inn was on north 10th street in Chinatown.  The Imperial Inn unfortunately closed after 45 years, and the owner retired, and his son was no longer interested in taking the business over.  For those who don’t, or haven’t had an experience with dim sum, dim sum is comprised of small Cantonese dishes served with tea.  It consists of a collection of pleasing and sweet tastes from a variety of steamed and fried buns, dumplings and rolls.  My favorite dishes were the fried calamari, the pork buns, the pork shu mai, and they were the most delicious ever. 
Dim sum means “from the heart” in Chinese and it originated from small Chinese houses, were made for merchants that were traveling. And they added small dishes of snacks and provided tea for them as they went on their way.
I was introduced to dim sum when I was living in northern California, and my friends and I would plan to partake in dim sum at least a couple times a month.  When I returned to Philadelphia I tried to find a restaurant that had dim sum. Fortunately, a coworker of mine loved dim sum, so we ventured out to the Imperial Inn. And a friend of hers had told her that the Imperial Inn was really good and that they served savory dim sum dishes.  When we went we enjoyed the dishes, and were hooked! 
So throughout the years we had gone to the Imperial Inn and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  I truly miss that wonderful establishment.


Sallie-Elizabeth Clayton
05.07.2020
The Card Party


 
I was having a very, very rough time trying to find out a good day within this quarantine period as people were speaking, but fortunately I found the place. It was more than three weeks ago before the pandemic became “panic-demic” and ,y daughter called me to come over. She always wants me to come over and stay a couple days and she wants me to stay longer than I really want to stay, but she’s a momma’s girl and she is the only child so I came! When I got there, everybody had a mask including myself but we were not social distancing. Everybody, when I say everybody it included my daughter, her husband, their son, my niece who they adopted, both out of college now, she just graduated, my godson who is a fully grown man has no children of his own and he went to his sister’s which is my daughter because he was moving from one state to the other and he didn’t have an apartment. And my niece brought a pal from college with her.
So this night, my daughter said “We’re having a card party,” and she knows that I do not how to play any card games except “I Declare War” and “Pitty Pat” from the 1950’s, so they were gonna teach me. But I looked around this table as we were playing the cards and I brought hummus and pretzels and everybody was getting their own dip from the hummus and getting their own pretzel place. So we began to have this, we had a beverage, I think it was lemonade and I think some of them had more in the lemonade than just the lemonade. But they were having a good old time, so I said, “Look at this guys! How is it that through this awful, awful time that everybody that I love the most be sitting around this table?” We took our places, I don’t want you to think we were careless, while we stayed there for three days. Everybody had a place in the house that was different from somebody else’s place. They only two people who stayed together was my daughter and her husband. I just felt so grateful that I really get that, that we’re all together at one time, and this place and this time was chosen out of all places and times for us to be together. And in the last two months, that’s maybe been the only real happy time I have had because I have had an awful time adjusting to this. I need people, I want people, I’m definitely am a homo sapien because it means a lot to me, and so God gave me what I asked for. I needed it in perilous times, I need it in regular and good times, so this is a comment of thankfulness that I did have a wonderful feeling during an awful time in my life, something I have never experienced in my entire life. I am now seventy-one and I have seen a lot of things, but I have never seen this, but how good is this gratefulness?


There's lots of ways to support older buds, both in and outside of Best Day. You can donate to Best Day, subscribe to our newsletter, send a note to our older buds, or follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. If you want to volunteer yourself, then email us at info@bestdayofmylifesofar.org. And if you know older buds with stories, then you or they can submit them through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds (In honor of the Black Lives Matter Movement) and LGBTQIA+ older buds (in honor of Pride Month.) And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.

Curated by Caitlin Cieri