Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jasmine (Ms. Benita’s Summer Assistant’s Story)

Ready, set, go - get ready to melt! And I don't just mean the 80+ degree weather. 10-year-old Jasmine, whom you all met a few months ago Here on Youtube, is back as - yup - my lil' summer assistant! ;) No joke btw, she really does help me pass out pens, paper and snacks, and stays after to straighten out the classroom!

Well, last week she told me she wanted to try a story where reality meets fairy tale. I melted right then, then melted some more when she read her story out loud to the seniors.

Stay tuned as we hear from other not-so-little visitors… including our teens!! Yay - best part about summer break!

Jasmine Bright
Ms. Benita’s Summer Assistant’s Story

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Jasmine.  Jasmine would come to the Philadelphia Senior Center every Thursday because her dad works there, and she is Ms. Benita’s summer assistant.  Jasmine would give out snacks and write stories and get along with other people in her class.  Jasmine loves the Philadelphia Senior Center because there is so much to do there and she is a volunteer.  It’s almost like she works there for a part time job.  The last time Jasmine came to the Senior Center was because it was “Take Your Child to Work” day.  Maybe when Jasmine grows up, she can work at the Senior Center.  Jasmine’s father (Dominic) says this is a good experience for her because some kids just like to sit at home and watch TV.  Well, Jasmine is not that kind of girl. Jasmine is an intelligent girl who loves to help people.  This is the end of Benita’s summer assistant’s story.  See you next time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6 Year Anniv + Story Letter No. 1!

Friends - 6 years ago TODAY I made a call to my grandma that changed my life and inspired a global story movement. And today, our team rolled out the first issue of our Story Letter. The theme? Friendship! Please click Here to subscribe, share and celebrate with us!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Robert (Over the Years)

So… it is my birthday again, soon, in July! I am so glad I hang out with my senior buds because suddenly I am turning 32 and I know I should be feeling old-er, but my rowdy buds just say I am finally becoming a teenager, so that is how my personality will always be, I guess! And you know what, I do feel simultaneously 13, 32, and a “young senior” like one of them. Sort of feels like an entire lifetime in one instant. Which I know is because of being around them. And living and breathing their full spectrum of life stories. And I like it that way!

Click Here to remember the day they began calling me a young senior – to me it is the absolute highest honor.

Robert Mitchell
Over the Years

In the 1950s
As a toddler, adolescent, growing up being taught by my mother, respect, discipline, and responsibilities.

In the 1960s
Trying to find my identity in life as a teenager in to which direction my life will lead me, high school, college, the military, or trade school.

In the 1970s
Out of the Military, dating scene, courting, marriage, children, family, the years to grow up and be a man, father, role model, and to take responsibility of being a family guy, bread winner, provider, protector.

In the 1980s
Separated from family, out on my own, single, lonely, confused, looking for a new sense of direction-entertainment a gift, a talent, a people person – music led me to another world so I became an after hour club D.J. and later on I turned my musical talent into becoming a Party Jock for Hire – to perform my musical talent at parties, weddings, cabarets, house parties.

In the 1990s
To give back to my children for whom I wasn’t there for them when they were growing up, more time to spend with me while they become young adults. High school, proms, graduation, college, trade school, the work force, family of their own.

In the 2000s
Winding down the years of working to prepare myself for the future, the next level in which I will take in my life, in which direction I will go, to leave memories behind for people to always remember me by.

In the 2010s
Time on my hands now that I retire, a man of leisure, nowhere to go, what to do next, my life has changed 360 degrees since I joined the Philadelphia Senior Center and of all the days at the center Thursday is my favorite because it gives me the opportunity to be myself again.  I have to write and I have to remember the memories.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Isadora (The Best Day of My Life So Far)

There are so many different kinds of great parents out there in the world, but the ones that parent for entire lifetimes and beyond are the ones that take my breath away.

For those of you who are new to the blog, the fact that Isadora was the one who authored this story makes it that much more significant. Click Here and Here to see why.

Isadora Fields
The Best Day of My Life So Far

The best day of my life so far is today.  I just found out a friend of mine lost her second oldest son.  Because of him, she started a program called House of Umojia out on 1300 block of North Frazier St. in Philadelphia.  She and her husband tried to straighten young boys out, instead of joining a gang, to better themselves and make something out of their life.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Joe (The Big Show)

Amy, our lovely volunteer & self-described aspiring senior, writing down Joe's story
More weeks than not, when a story brings to mind a phrase in a certain song, Joe would ease into the song. You know, like in a musical, when talking slides right into singing, and you are swept away from real life into a musical world. I don’t know how it is humanly possible but I swear he knows the words of every song ever written. Those of us who know the words would join in, and the rest of us who don’t would just clap and laugh. It’s instant happy time. When I look at big Joe at the table, telling about little Joe on stage, I feel like in a way, I am in the audience with his parents too, clapping and clapping.

Joe Garrison
The Big Show

Every spring, high school boys put on variety show.  Musical with a little comedy.  When I was 10, an older boy thought it would be good for me to be the singer.  I jumped at the chance.  I always wanted to be on stage.  I performed two numbers. We rehearsed all evening every day.  I was anxious as the show came nearer.  I was looking forward to the show.  I sang my 2 songs and was overwhelmed and scared by the exuberant applause.  After the show I found my parents were in attendance and they loved my performance. This was one of my favorite childhood memories.