The year was 1967 and the Vietnam War was in full swing. It was the beginning of the wonder years, and I was attending Lincoln Jr. High School. It was a new school for me. As a matter of fact, it was a new school for all seventh graders who were called greenies by the eighth and ninth graders. The color green was not to be part of our wardrobe. If a seventh grader wore green, they would suffer the consequences of being embarrassed by the upper classmen. Today, I guess they would call it bullying. Somehow we got through it.
We had something called freedom of choice, but in reality, segregated schools were still in existence. As a result, all my classmates and teachers were black like me.
It was Mrs. Dalton’s science class that I took noticed of a boy named Rachon Fulton. He sat in front of Gregory Baldwin whom I had known since the first grade. Gregory lived up the street from me. Gregory and Rachon became good friends and eventually I was introduced to him. They both sat in the next column of seats. Rachon sat beside me to my left.
Rachon was a smart kid. We teamed together in a science project. We dissected a fish. I didn’t know much about him except that he went by the name of Scrappy.
Scrappy’s absence was noticed in the eighth grade. Gregory now known by the name Butterball thanks to Scrappy stayed in touch with him. Butterball told me that he was attending a different junior high school. Gillespie was the name of the school. Butterball and I would find ourselves attending Gillespie in the ninth grade.
Scrappy was not much of an athlete, but he was the starting quarterback on the football team. Both he and his cousin, Donald “Duck” Wright were quite popular and they dated the head cheerleaders. It turned out that Coach Raymond Johnson, the boys P.E. teacher as well as the football and basketball coach was their cousin by marriage. Needless to say, they both started on the basketball team. Chances are, had they not been related to Coach Johnson, they probably still would have started. Gillespie was a small school in comparison to Lincoln where they would have been penalized for their lack of athleticism. The boys were big fish in a little pond at Gillespie.
The peach fuzz boys made a fashion statement by rocking their white turtle necks with an orange alpaca, Vneck pullover sweater and green workmans’ khakis from Blumenthals. To complete their cool assemble, they wore Chuck Taylors with tube socks. It was the wonder years, and Duck and Scrappy were the mighty Warriors of Gillespie Park junior high school.
After the ninth grade, Scrappy joined his mother who had remarried ,in Iowa City Iowa. Scrappy returned to Greensboro in the eleventh grade. It was 1971, and to comply with the 1954 Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education, we were now in the first year of force busing. Scrappy lived with his maternal grandmother who lived in Smith High School district. Because he was coming in from another state, Scrappy was sent to Grimsley where Butterball and I were bused.
Scrappy graduated from Grimsley in 1973 and entered NC Central that fall. Scrappy would eventually drop out and join the Navy. After the Navy, Scrappy attended NC A&T where he received his degree in biology.
Scrappy and I would reconnect in Washington D.C. at Howard University. Scrappy was attending dental school and I was in law school. I learned of Scrappy’s presence through a classmate who had gone over to have some dental work done. Scrappy sent his contact information to me through Jake. I called him to catch up. During our conversation I mentioned that I suspected that now he was grown man and in professional school he no longer wanted to be called Scrappy. In reply, he said “I’m still Scrappy”. Indeed he was. We stayed in touch even after graduation. One day Scrappy came to my office and told me he was going back into the Navy. We hugged and I didn’t see him or hear from him. I had no idea as to what happened to him until I received a phone call informing me of his untimely death at the age of 58.
Scrappy and Crystal
To prepare this Blog, I had the opportunity to talk to Crystal Nightpipe, the love of his life.
I learned from Crystal that Scrappy had unselfishly practiced Dentistry on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. Like Scrappy’s mother, Ms. Nightpipe was an educator and had navigated her way to becoming a middle school principal on the reservation in Mission South Dakota. Scrappy often volunteered his services at her school.
Money and material wealth was not an interest of Scrappy. Doing a good deed for his fellow citizen was on the top of his list. He enjoyed camping and family fun during the Holidays.
As a child, Scrappy always wanted a dog. Scrappy made that possible when he adopted a puppy he named Chuck. Chuck predeceded Scrappy in death. In addition to paling around with Chuck, he enjoyed camping and family fun during the Holidays.
In addition to Crystal, he also left behind his mother, Mrs. Jean Turner of Iowa City; uncle, Mr. Alvin Lewis; Mrs. Georgia Wright and family, Greensboro, N.C., Mr. Roy Lewis and family, Mr. Ray Lewis and family, all of North Carolina; and many other relatives in North Carolina and friends and patients everywhere he lived and worked for he knew no strangers.
With hot dogs on the grill, and people dressed in shorts and short sleeved shirts in 80 degrees weather, it appeared that the residents surrounding the Town & Country public library were celebrating the Yuletide in July. Not so. Last night the residents gathered for the tree lighting festivities signaling the start of the Yuletide spirit in December. This particular Town & Country community is located in Tampa, Florida.
Davis Elementary School Choir
The Davis Elementary school entertained the crowd with jazzed up Christmas tunes like Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad”. Thanks to the Town & Country Garden Center there were plenty of hotdogs and home baked cookies. The Garden Center sponsored the event which is now in its’ fourth year.
Members of Town & Country Garden Center Preparing Hot dogs
Santa paid the mostly Latino crowd a visit, and brought snowflakes with him. Yes, for the northern transplants there was a snow machine blowing out snowflakes.
There was also a line waiting for Santa upon his arrival. Alexander who was first in line was having nothing to do with the white bearded man dress in red. He did not however refuse the stuff animal Santa gave him. Alexander quickly leaped off Santa’s lap with stuff animal in one hand and his mother’s hand in the other.
It was just a fun night at this family oriented event.
An ill wind blew into Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012 leaving 20 kindergarten/elementary school students dead. Six brave teachers and school administrators were also killed while trying to save the children.
That ill wind was a mentally ill young man who took the registered assault riffles of his mother after killing her.
As we find ourselves in a fight between gun control lobbyist National Riffle Association (“NRA”) and the legislatures who want to ban such weapons and the ammunition clips, a beacon of light has surfaced. This light penetrates through the ugly ads picturing the children of President Barack Obama, and the violent assault weapons app aimed at children
Last evening during the Super Bowl, the choir from Sandy Hook Elementary School joined Grammy and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson in a beautifully inspiring rendition of “America The Beautiful”.
Even Whining Joe Scarborough of Morning Joe loved it.
Take look at their performance by clicking the video above.
Ann Romney exclaims in the interview above that she hear the voices of women. Maybe so, but is she listening? If she is listening, it’s selective. How else can it be explain that Mrs. Romney who has survived breast cancer and is now living with Multiple Sclerosis thinks that the election for women is about the economy and jobs.
Has Ann Romney heard the voice of Stacy Lihn whose daughter was born with a congenital heart effect.
Stacy Lihn from Phoenix, Arizona doesn’t quite agree with Mrs. Romney. Stacy’s precious daughter Zoe was born with a congenital heart defect. Zoe has had several surgeries starting at the age of 15 months and was about to approach the health care insurer’s lifetime cap when The Affordable Care Act came into existence. The act eliminates lifetime caps.
Obamacare is the name given to the Affordable Care Act passed in President Obama’s first term by some republican opponents of the act. Portraying themselves as Good Fellas, the Romney/Ryan team claims that the act which was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court is bad for America’s economy.According to the Goodfellas, the act which mandates t companies to provide health care has a negative impact on small businesses ability to hire employees. They further claim that instead of reducing premiums, the act actually has driven them higher, thus adding to the multi-trillion dollars national debt.
Other than a claim from Papa John’s Pizza, there exist no evidence to the negative impact allegations as well as the other allegations that can be considered as credible. As a matter of fact, the Papa John scenerio highlights the absurdity of the Goodfellas campaign contentions.
John Schnatter, the founder and CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, and also a supporter and fundraiser for Mitt Romney announced that the Affordable Care Act will raise the cost of his pizza 11 to 14 cents each, or 15 to 20 cents per order.
Companies employing more than 50 employees are required to provide affordable health insurance.
Papa John’s which is the third-largest pizza takeout and delivery chain in the United States, will have to offer health care coverage to its 16,500 total employees or pay a penalty to the government.
“We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry,” Schnatter was quoted as saying in Politico. “But our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare.” In other words, the pizza company can and will pass this cost down to it’s customers.
However, One Papa John’s franchise owner in Texas, Judy Nichols, appears to not know or understand this business concept. Nichols says the law could not would but could interfere with her ability to open more restaurants.
“I have two options, I can stop offering coverage and pay the $2,000 fine, or I could keep my number of staff under 50 so the mandate doesn’t apply,” she told Legal Newsline. Nichols added that the law may, not will but may, cost her between $20,000 to $30,000 extra in taxes. “Obamacare is making me think about cutting jobs instead,” she said. Hey Judy, your other option is to pass the cost down to the customer.
As a result of such rhetorical speculation the Goodfellas are promising the following: “On Day One, Mitt Romney will issue an executive order that will allow states to opt out Obamacare’s onerous requirements. He will then work to completely repeal Obamacare and replace it with real reform that strengthens the health-care system and gives states the flexibility to develop the right solutions for the challenges they face.”
The Goodfellas bottom line approach to governing when it comes to healthcare will not have a negative impact on them. They have resources to cover any healthcare crisis and will not he hampered with a lifetime cap. In the case of Paul Ryan, the tax payer picks up his Cadillac healthcare plan. It will however have a negative impact on others without the financial means to cover health cost.
Like many others the Lihns don’t possess the financial wealth of the Goodfellas. All they know is that Obamacare has eliminated the lifetime cap, allowing the Lihn’s to continue to
afford the care for Zoe.
The Lihns know that they can count on Obama because he not only hears their voices, but he is listening. President Obama cares.
Romney’s promise to repeal the act makes it certain that many Americans will not receive health care that may save either their lives or life of a love one. Therefore. repealing The Affordable Care Act is something that the Lihn’s and many other similarly situated Americans can’t afford.
If it means increasing the life expectancy as well as the quality of life for Zoe and others who are similarly situated, I don’t think many would object to paying 20 cents more for a Papa John’s pizza.
Ann Romney may hear women’s voices, but is she listening to Stacy Lihn’s story?
Take a listen to Stacy story below and let us know if you think Ann Romney and the Goodfellas are really listening.
Also make sure you’re registered and ready to vote on November 6, 2012. Reach out to register someone and get them to the polls. Your vote, your voice may save a life.