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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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 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 11, 2020

Footnotes (Norman)

Telling stories on Zoom is very different than telling stories in person. That's why I'm so proud of our transcribers for being able to turn our Zoom sessions into typed stories for our website. They have to contend with different qualities of microphones, internet delays, Zoom's habit of cutting out the first second of a person's speech, and not being able to see some older buds' faces. The biggest challenge for our newest transcribers is that they've never met our storytellers in person. Depending on the Coronavirus' infection rates and our cities' regulations, they might not be able to meet them in person for months. 

When you work with people in person, you hear their voices and learn their prosody, and your brain can fill in the blanks on Zoom. I'm fortunate enough to have Norman's phone number, since one of the transcribers couldn't hear some of the names in his story. I texted him about the names and how to spell them, and I learned two things:
1. I hadn't even realized I'd spelled Zillie's wrong until I asked Norman how to spell something completely different.
2. There was a lot more to the story.

So this week's blog post is Norman's story about the restaurant he misses the most, and Gullah Geechee cooking culture, along with the extra notes he sent me via text:

Norman Cain
South Carolina Gullah Geechee Culinary Union in Philadelphia

Each year I would go to South Carolina as a child, and I would always enjoy having lunch and dinner at Miss Zillie’s Restaurant which was located in Pamplico, South Carolina, a tobacco warehouse town. And that particular restaurant was in “fresh grow season” the fresh slaughtered fowl and animals from the nearby farms; the workers from the nearby tobacco warehouses would come and eat.
And then on Saturdays when folks came in to enjoy the half-a-day that they would have off from their sharecropping activities, they would gather at Miss Zillie’s Restaurant. Miss Zillie was the sister of my father’s brother’s wife. And she would come down with her children and help in Miss Zillie’s restaurant.
Years later my aunt’s son Dan Junior, who was my first cousin, worked at a restaurant in Philadelphia that was the premier restaurant some 15 or 20 years ago, and had about a good 10-to-15 year run and it was called Mama Rosa’s Restaurant. They had several food trucks out, they were caterers and their main restaurant was very large, it was a very large parking lot was located in Broad and Huntington Park. The facility was large enough to have birthday parties, wedding receptions, etc, and at one time the Temple radio station would operate directly from there.
Now, each New Year’s for perhaps the last 50 to 55 years my aunt who was the sister of Miss Zillie down in Pamplico, South Carolina would have (and I just went to one this past New Year’s) she would always have a New Year’s dinner. And Mama Rosa’s, the premier soul food restaurant in Philadelphia, Mr and Mrs Ritter, that’s what their names were, would come to that New Year’s dinner, and I thought it was ironic that two culinary folk would gather together. It was like fate bringing them together.
Now, one of the things in my research that I found out was that there was a lady who died recently and her name was Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor. She was a culinary anthropologist, food writer and world traveler, and an actress. And she was best known for a cookbook that she wrote which was entitled “Vibration Cooking or The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl”. Now, ironically my aunt and Mama Rosa’s folks were considered anthropology as being of the Geechee folk that were brought as slaves from West Africa and settled on the islands and coast from Cape Fair, North Carolina throughout Jacksonville, Florida. And with them they kept the same kind of culinary skills, the foods and whatnot and the way of preparing the food.
So that’s my story, how the South Carolina Geechee Culinary Reunion always took place for a lot of years at my aunt’s annual New Year’s Eve dinner.

Norman Cain

Norman: At one point the MaMa Rosa restaurant Enterprise had several food trucks, and restaurants. The restaurant at Broad and Huntington Park was the largest. Their restaurant organization crease d to exist approximately 15 to 20 years ago. It was a Phila institution. 
I believe that I will have to expand the MaMa Rosa narrative. Initially, the father, whose name I have forgotten, was a pharmacist who had a drugstore in my neighbor. Long before the family went into the restaurant business I was friends with his daughter and two sons. One son made transition last year. I am still in contact with the two remaining siblings. When they started their restaurant endeavor, my first cousin, Dan, was hired. He was a great cook who received. his training at his aunts soul food restaurant in Pamplicio, South Carolina, when he spend his summers in that town. Dan became a great friend of the Ritter family. Once one of the sons accompanied Dan to Pamplicio S.C. , where he undoubtedly saw Zillies Restaurant.
Both families,the Cain's and the Ritter's trace those heritage to the South Carolina Lowlands,the area that encompass the Sea Islands and the coastal land adjacent the Atlantic Ocean. Slaves who were settled in the area maintained a large percentage of there African culture: religion, language, customs, food consumption and preparation.
Vertamae Smart Grosvenor, a close relative of the Ritter's, was an actress, lecturer, radio host and Culinary Anthropologist. She is best known for her cook book entitled: Vibration Cooking or, The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl. Gullah Geechee is the name synonymous with South Carolina Lowland Afro Americans.
(Caitlin: Thanks!)
Norman: Just got your message. I would like to have the story placed on the blog. I feel a deep connection to how the story started in a drug store and eventually connected two
families (Gullah Geechee) who happen to be restaurant people, and through a cook book keep a Culinary culture alive
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 And if you know older buds with stories, then you or they can submit them through our portal right here. 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.

Also, the photos of Norman and me in the great outdoors were taken years before COVID-19. We're being safe, wearing PPE, and staying six feet away.


Thanks for reading.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Because Black Lives Matter (Frances, Norman, and Delores)

My name is Caitlin Cieri, and I've been the Lead Facilitator the the Philadelphia Senior Center's Best Day workshop for three years. I'm going to get personal on this post and say Black lives matter. Black lives matter because many of PSC’s storytellers are Black. 

Black lives matter because Norman was targeted in the army for supporting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Black lives matter because Joan’s church did more to protect her from her husband than the actual police. 

Black lives matter because Elliot wants to know why he has no home country. 

Black lives matter because even after the doctors' offices took down the "Colored" and "White" signs Frances’ father always stayed in the "Colored" waiting room.

There's a lot of people who don't think Black lives matter. They also think José should be kicked out of his home, that Nouria should never come back to the United States of America, and that COVID-19 is all Philip's fault. 

These are just a few reasons why I say Black lives matter, but this blog is full of hundreds more.
But you know the older buds of Best Day's lives matter, and you know their families' and friends' lives matter. They're great storytellers, parents, spouses, volunteers, veterans, friends and pillars of the community. But most importantly, they're human beings who have the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and a life free from prejudice.

The Best Day of My Life So Far is a nonprofit that supports older buds, many of whom are People of Color, and I'm proud of what it's done. But I want to do more, and I hope you do too. If you're in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Senior Center has always supported older People of Color through all sorts of activities, including free and discounted meals, grocery delivery, and housing. Also, check on the People of Color in your life, whether they're younger or older buds. These are hard times, and they need your support. Share these stories on your social media page, and put the older POC buds in the spotlight. There's plenty more resources out there for people who believe Black lives matter, and some of you have already found them through Google.

And finally, click the links above if you haven't already. There's some great stories in there. If you're looking for more stories to read, I've posted a few below for you:

Frances Bryce
Joy Confused, Sad

The involvement in my daughter’s wedding was a period of happiness, that brought me great day. She met a young man at work and they became friends, he was from St. Louis and finally returned to his hometown after a couple of years. They kept in touch by phone, she related to me after he had been away that he was returning to Calif. They again begin to renew their time they had before he left Calif. which grew into an engagement and then planning to get married.

I accompanied her when she selected her flowers, wedding dress and the site for her wedding (on a boat) it was a small wedding with her intimate friend, and my best friend that all attended college which made the event even special, since she (my friend) was my daughter’s godmother.

A wonderful memories that still bring joy to my heart when I look at the picture, from her wedding and remember what fun it was for me to be involved in her marriage event. I have said if I could invent a son in law he would be my model.

This date they have a very loving relationship for more than eight years.

Norman Cain


Proper Addressing

Yesterday a fortyish aged man who resides on my street called me “old man” and then “Pops.” 
I immediately informed him that I found both terms unacceptable. He apologized and asked me if I was interested in buying some shoes. I declined.
When I was growing up my parents emphasized that me and my siblings embrace the concept of respect to everyone, especially the elderly, who we addressed as ma’am and sir.
Fortunately, not all youth utilize the terms “old head,” “old school,” “uncle,” and “pops” etc. when addressing me. At best 60 will use the terms: mister and sir- when I visit southern states, I notice that the youth in general, use the terms mister, miss, ma’am, and sir when addressing seniors.
All people- no matter their age should be addressed in the proper manner.

Delores Wilson
I'm Alive

I want to share a story that actually happened to me in ’75, in the delivery room.  And what happened was that originally I was told that I was gonna have twins, but when it came time to deliver, they found out that the baby was breach. So ok, they’re going along with all this medical jargon, which- I understood what they were saying.  And the doctor said “We’re gonna have to turn him around.”  OK.  And as they’re doing what they’re doing, I hear some more medical terms and I discerned that complications had set in.  Either I’m going to have a hysterectomy, or I’m gonna die.  This is how serious it was. 

So what happened was, they turned the baby around- he was fine.  And the hospital that I went to, Germantown, they didn’t give you anything, they just gave you a spinal.  So I was awake, as I thought.  But in between the time before they transferred me to the gurney, I happened to look down and I saw red.  And I said to the doctor, I said, “I’m bleeding.”  They hadn’t noticed, and they looked, and she said “Yes she is!”  So they transferred me back on the table.  So in the meantime apparently I went out.  And what I saw was- I was going through a tunnel.  And I saw this blue light and this white light at the end of it, and there I saw Jesus.  And he said to me- he said “Go back.”  Because I said “I want to come!” He said “Go back.”  He showed me my son who I had not seen.  He never opened his mouth, but I understood what he was saying telegraphically.  And, I understood what he did.

Ok, so, in the meantime they had taken me to my room, and when I woke up I thought, this nurse who looked like one of the flying nuns, (that’s the kind of hat she had on) – I asked for water, she gave me water.  I asked for the bedpan, she gave me the bedpan.  And I went back to sleep, or so I thought.  So when I wok up again, for REAL for real, I looked- I saw I had an I.V. in my right arm and I had a coudé catheter.  So I looked around in the room and I noticed I was just the only one in the room, and two more beds.  So I discerned that I was in intensive care. 

So I’m still discombobulated because I feel fine, I’m thinking it’s something wrong with the baby.  So in the meantime at Germantown at that time they had the chart at the end of the bed so I scooted down and I read the chart.  When I read the chart, that was life changing for me.  It was life changing. 

What had happened…when I read the chart, I realized the baby was fine.  But it was me.  It changed the whole way that I thought about God. I was raised up in the church, I was baptized, and I wanted to return to the Lord.  It just changed my whole outlook on life.  And what happened- when the nurse came in, I asked her, “How was the baby?” She said “The baby was fine.”  But she had a look in her face, that- it isn’t the baby.  They never said “It was you”..

So, long story short – I rested that night- I went to get up, she said no, you stay in the bed.  She said just stay in the bed.  So I stayed in the bed, and that next day they took me to see the baby.  And from that point on what the Lord had said to me concerning that baby, he enabled me to follow through with it.  And I‘m thankful for that, because that was one of the most blessed days of my life.  I’m alive.

Thanks for reading.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri