Thursday, May 21, 2020

Zoom 2: Zoom's Harder (Philip and Carolyn)

Last week, we had our second Best Day on Zoom. It’s one thing to run a successful and exciting workshop on Zoom for the very first time. It’s quite another to do it regularly. Especially Zoom doesn’t know that meeting’s supposed to be weekly, so you send out an expired meeting ID. Also, some of our older buds transitioned from phones to Zoom accounts for this workshop. And the first time anyone uses Zoom, there’s always at least five minutes of microphone trouble and people making sure their camera works. Nonetheless we had several amazing stories, some of them about local restaurants, and we kept the best day spirit going throughout all the glitches and dropped calls.

In honor of our budding oral storytelling tradition, here’s some stories from the story slam we did back in March:

Philip Pai
If I Were Young

I remember you know when I were young. I attended the college, and the high school, and the primary school. When I was nine years old I had the older brother who graduated from the high school or college who got good degree at graduate school. And that day I always dreamed– if I was in that age, I’m really happy – I would graduate from college, I would graduate from high school- I really admired him. But right now, my age was more than 30 or 50 years old. But I saw a lot of people- they didn’t go to college, or they didn’t get high school degree, but they still have successful in a lot of field. Such as the people who played the basketball and such as maybe a few weeks ago the guy called Kobe Bryant- they didn’t go to college. They’re very successful in the sport field. And other people—Mr. Edison—he successful at electric field. And another guy they called Vincent—he made the locomotives run during the war. And Mr. Bill Gates, I think he didn’t graduate from Harvard University. They still have really great successful at their field. In my mind, if I were young, I don’t want to go to high school, or I don’t want go to college, or I don’t want get a special degree—I just want to try my best at something, at that field. Maybe just do one subject like science or sports or another field—I think it’s better and successful for me. But right now I am older, I don’t have so many chance, I don’t have so many opportunity to today. If someday I were offered a children—but now my children are grown up, I don’t have a chance to teach them—if I have young children, I will tell them to do something you like, to do something you do, you don’t do everything. You think you are successful at your field, so I say that gives you a good chance to successful.

Carolyn Boston
I Have Been Blessed

I don’t believe in luck. And I Googled it, to see if there was a purified definition of what luck is and there really isn’t – luck is an adjective that describes something else. But I know that I have been blessed. And I had an awesome experience back in the 90s with my girlfriend and I. We were both working hard, we hardly had any money and we wanted to go to the very first TD Jakes conference in Atlanta. We talked on the phone and she said “I really want to go!” And I said “I do too but I don’t have a dime, I don’t have a plane ticket, I don’t have lodging money…” And she said “Look, we’ll just pray about it.”
So I put it in the back burner. I said, “That’s not gonna happen,” with all that’s involved and the money that’s involved with the conference. Well about a couple days later she called me and she said “We’ve got tickets!” I said “What do you mean we’ve got tickets?” She said “We’ve got airplane tickets!” I said, “But I didn’t…Wh- How did you get them?!” Turns out that her son works for the airlines, and he got tickets for both of us. And we weren’t flying coach- we flew first class. I had never flown first class! So I was like, “what in the world!” And she said “I told you- I told you – I told you, if we wanted to go we’d be able to go!”
So we got ourselves together, packed and headed out to Atlanta. Before that- her cousin lives on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. And her cousin stays in a trailer home (which you can’t even tell the difference between a trailer home and a regular home; they’re gorgeous). So we get out there and I was concerned about paying for a hotel and she said to me “Oh no, we’re going to stay with my cousin.” And I said “What, she’s got a trailer home…” She said “We can have the whole trailer while we’re there for the conference.” And I was really kind of freaked out. So I said “Okay..”  
When we got to Atlanta we went to the conference which was absolutely awesome and we just could not believe how things flowed. I believe there’s a purpose and a plan for everything, and I do know that what was in our hearts- those prayers were answered. 
So we missed our bus on the first night of the conference and we were staying outside of Atlanta. But here comes this lady, and we’re sitting on the steps saying “How are we gonna get back?” And this lady says to us, “I’ll take you!” I never saw her before, my girlfriend never saw her... she said, “I’ll take you back to where you live.” Okay! Second night something happened and we couldn’t get back where we were supposed to go and we stopped being fearful and thinking nothing was going to work out because after all these things happened we figured it was in the hands of God and he was going to take care of us. 
So what happened is, I hear this lady’s voice and she says “Carolyn?” And I turned around and I said “Yes?” And she said “What are you doing here?” And I said “Carol, what are you doing here?” She said “Well I’m here with my church for the conference.” This is a dear friend of mine, I’ve known her for years and I never knew she was going to the conference and she was right behind me. So she said “Come and stay with us.” We stayed with her in her hotel room with all these ladies, they had plenty of space. So we had free accommodations that night.
Anyway to make a long story short we never got to spend any money on the trip- we didn’t spend a dime. I’m not kidding you. So we took each other to McDonald’s and said look, “Let me treat you” and she said, “No let me treat you.” We couldn’t spend a dime.
I get back to Philly – we just had an awesome time. And I thought “OK Lord I need to spend some money,” because I had all his money saved up. It was Appreciation Day for SEPTA so I got to ride home for free. So I’m telling you, that was an empowering, challenging, awesome experience. And it’s that thing that I believe that really gives you the strength to move forward, and not to be afraid. And in terms of lucky, I say that I feel blessed.

You can share your older buds' stories through our portal right here, and you can volunteer as a transcriber (completely remotely) by emailing us at If you're an older bud yourself, you can share your story through this portal right here. And if you're just plain passionate about supporting older buds and ending senior isolation, then like us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, and share links to your favorite stories. And check us out on 6ABC news, too.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri