Thursday, October 25, 2012

Loretta Reunites with Her Family!!

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In the last couple blog posts, we peeked and laughed about our seniors' childhoods; now let's look and smile at the miracle that is present-tense real life. Here is a story whose beginning I shared Here a few weeks ago – but it turns out that the story’s twists and turns, and what is looking like a happy ending, are still unfolding right before our eyes…

On September 18, Loretta's daughter surprised me with a note. It read:

My name is Michelle Gaither and I'm looking for my mother, I think the woman may be her, if this is my mother can you please let her know that her daughters are looking for her and we love her very much!!!! P.S. The stories are wonderful, I love how you guys are helping our seniors.

I wanted to tell Loretta in person and in private – I told her before class on September 27. She told me God sent Michelle to the internet. The last time she had seen Michelle was when her daughter visited her at the homeless shelter, where Loretta returns to whenever her housing situations fall through. How long ago was that? I asked Loretta. She said she doesn’t remember.

Loretta told our senior buds in class. Everyone tells her it is a miracle.

Loretta borrowed my phone to make this video for Michelle:

Then, the week afterwards, a terrible coincidence happened -

Loretta got so sick (from previous colon cancer treatments) that she got rushed to the ER and had to stay for days, but then -  her family showed up! So a terrible thing became a blessing in disguise.

My senior buds and I were so overjoyed to see her back in class the next week. Guess what the title of her story is? That's right. Family Reunion.

Last week Loretta told me that she may be moving in with her daughter Michelle.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Norman (The Lousy Baseball Star)

And now, a story that just makes me so happy to read and reread. I hope it does the same for you too. A story about friendship, teamwork, baseball, a blaring sun and a few lucky stars.

Norman Cain
The Lousy Baseball Start

When I was around 14 years old I joined a baseball team, the name of which I’ve long since forgotten.

The majority of the guys on the team were a few years older than I, and almost to the man played either varsity or junior varsity baseball at their respective high schools.  That meant that the team was phenomenal… as baseball was the king of sports in 1957.

While the guys on the team were good, I was NOT.  Actually, I was terrible.  I couldn’t throw, field, or hit.  Most times during our games (at Belmont Plateau, off of 52nd Parkside in West Philadelphia), I kept the scorebook and handled the equipment.

I was terrible, but the guys did not tease or distance themselves from me.  They wanted me to be good.  Two incidents proved that to me.  Once when I was playing center field, a ball was hit in my direction.  When I looked into the sky at the ball, I was blinded by a blaring sun.  I placed my glove over my eyes.  And guess what?  The ball miraculously fell into my glove.  The guys were jumping, screaming, and hollering like we had won the world series.  They were happy for me.  I did not tell them that I was shielding myself from the sun.

The next incident—concerning me—that led to the team’s hysteria had to do with my hitting a home run, after having struck out each time that I was at bat during the season.  I may have been a lousy baseball player, but I received the cheers reserved for superstars.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mo (Payphones)

HEY READERS! Got a payphone story to share? Or just a good old phone story? Tell us about it on Facebook.

Check out the sunny, breezy Philly skies – ok that calls for a daydreamy story for today! Hey, so let’s talk payphones… remember those? Yeah, rock bands write metaphorical songs about them these days and our seniors write real-life stories about them too. It’s practically impossible, you know, not to imagine Adam Levine hanging out with our senior buds (yes I wish! Is that ok to say that here? Adam if you are reading this yes this is your official invite to our class…) and singing his hit song in our classroom, when Mo read his story out loud. I mean, payphones aren’t around anymore but boys calling girls – and all the hopes and dreams and emotions that go along with that – are here to stay ;)

Just in case you want some background music for Mo’s story, HERE is a link to Adam/Maroon 5’s playlist.

Mo McCooper

Some of us, like me, did not have telephones at home.  Others just did not want to be heard.  And so, there were pay telephones in most neighborhoods.  Some, mostly in drug stores, had a door you could close behind you.

Mostly grownups used the pay phones.  I don’t think I used one until I was in 11th grade.  They only cost 5 cents but most of us were too shy to call girls on the phone.

Most of the ladies were at the playgrounds or going on group walks in to the woods or little farms nearby and at the Saturday matinees at the movies.  There were also weekend parties without dates.  Sometimes friends came to family dinners.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

From a Mom to a Long Lost Daughter

HEY READERS! If our seniors have inspired you to reconnect with YOUR family, tell us about it Here or on Facebook. We’d love to hear your story.

. . . .

Two weeks ago, Loretta's long lost daughter found her through this blog. They hadn't seen each other for years, so many that Loretta had lost count. Michelle, this is a Youtube video that Loretta made for you ;)

To make this reunion extra special, I thought it'd be fun to remember some of Loretta’s stories here...

... and also to celebrate a few other families who have reconnected through our seniors' voices: