A Study in Tenacity: My Son, the Graduate

With degree
My Son with his Degree from Emory University in Atlanta Georgia
When he left for college…

We prayed for him.

We encouraged him.

We guided him.

We supported him.

We cheered for him.

We consoled him.

We pushed him.

We pulled him.

We LOVED him…

But the one thing that we could not do was go to school for him.

 

Nevertheless, we did all that we could.

And now…

After enduring any number of set backs, this young man soldiered on and did the DAMN thang!

He NEVER gave up!

And we expected nothing less.

So, please join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of my beloved son.

First, a word about his alma mater, Emory University.

Emory is a private university, nestled within the tony Druid Hills neighborhood of Atlanta, GA–actually it’s more so Decatur but anyway….. ūüôā

The University was ranked by The Wall Street Journal as number 17 of 500 US national private and public universities.

It is the only University in Georgia to make the top 20.

Some notable alumni include, Robert W. Woodruff of Coca-Cola fame.  In fact, Mr. Woodruff’s family and charitable foundation remain huge supporters of the University.

Other notable alumni include:

Dr. Bernice King (Daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Robert Jones (Professional Golfer and Father of The Masters Golf Tournament)

Kenneth Cole (Famous Designer)

Notable Faculty include:

39th U.S. President, James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr.

19th U.S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama

It is also important to note that Emory University Hospital accepted and cared for American physician and Ebola patient, Dr. Kent Brantly back in 2014.

So….

I’d say, this kid was in good company huh?

But seriously, I am so proud of my sweet boy—now young man!

That said, we don’t get to celebrate the accomplishments of African-American men very often, so please indulge me as I do that here.

Here is a short video and a collage of pics.

First, a 30 second video of the Graduation Processional.

The music was provided by Atlanta Pipe Band.

Bag Pipes!  YAAAAAYYY!!!

 

Additional program music was provided by The Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet.

 

 

Mama loves you Rod!  And in the words of the great Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss, “Oh the places you’ll go!”

Oh the places

Thanks for allowing me to share this with you.  Please be sure to comment and offer any words of advice to my son as he starts a new chapter in his life!

Love and light to you all!

Lady G

ūüėėūüíč

 

 

 

 

The Flowering Vine: More To The Story

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Our Grandparents: ¬†Leroy and Annie aka ‘Mother’ with Lady G’s Son

 

I thought I’d take a second to thank all of the readers who have supported “The Flowering Vine Series.”

Both Ron and I really appreciate your kind comments about our family.

I inserted this picture of our Grandparents, Leroy (Daddy) and Annie (Mother) so that you can see them as they were in later years.

This picture was taken ONE MONTH prior to our Grandfather’s death.

Here’s the story behind the photo.

Basically, my son had just been born a few months prior and something urged me to go visit my Grandparents and take pictures.

While I can’t say that I had a premonition, I can say that I clearly¬†remember my Grandfather saying to me, as he struggled with his cane to rise from his seat, “Whew Bay, Granddaddy can’t haaaardly get around no more.”

 

His¬†rich baritone voice wrapped itself so closely around my heart and I tearfully responded, “I know Granddaddy….I know.”

The next month, he was gone.

Friends, I can’t tell you how much we all miss him. ¬†He was one of the kindest people I have EVER known and he sincerely loved us all so much.

I distinctly remember how he would wait until EVERYBODY, including all of his children, their spouses and his grandchildren had eaten before he would eat.

He’d say, “Did everybody eat? Did everybody have enough?”

Then, he’d pile the¬†leftovers along with some home grown tomatoes and peppers¬†into his favorite bowl.

Boy let me tell you! That bowl of food looked so GOOOOOD!

God knows they don’t make them like our Granddaddy anymore.

Frankly, there¬†is so much more that can be said about both of our Grandparents, and, as long as you’re interested, we hope to continue sharing those stories here.

Anyway, below is a family tree that includes some of the people that you all have come to know and love.

Because our story includes so much information about our biracial heritage, I decided to include a bit of a descriptor under each person’s name.

Note: ¬†The term “mixed race” applies where there is some interracial heritage¬†but the specifics are unknown. ¬†“Recent mixed race” indicates¬†that this person had at least one confirmed white parent.

On a related note, both Ron and I would like to offer a special thanks to two Caucasian cousins who were kind enough to share DNA and Family records in order to help us to confirm information on our Grandfather’s side. ¬†Had they not been willing to step forward a few more of these boxes would have been marked “unknown.”

Also, a BIG thanks to Ron’s Mom (Jet) and my Dad (Jim)¬†for sharing their memories.

Now, let me stop rambling!

Here’s the Tree!

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The Flowering Vine: Notice that there should be a Mr. H and a Mrs. H (LOL!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clocks, Bells, Villagers and Watchmen

 

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                               ***This post is a follow up to  First of the Fall

In “First of the Fall,” I shared that Lady J and I were planning to enjoy the¬†first day of fall.

And we did!

First, we went to the Hamlet of Subway in order to secure provisions for a leisurely lunch in the park.

After examining their menu, we decided to purchase¬†a portion of roasted beast atop flattened bread-replete with any number and kind of¬†vegetables from the farmer’s harvest.

Best believe we added a tankard of sweet tea and a bag of chips ūüėČ

I’m¬†partial to salt and vinegar! Lady J opted for BBQ¬†kettle chips.

YAAASSS!

After leaving the good people at Subway, Lady J and I began a journey that ended at a local park.

There we commenced to enjoy our meal and take in the day.

 

But, alas, a bell began to toll!

autumn-here

Lady J was immediately startled-yet intrigued!

What, pray tell, was that ruckus?

Naturally, I told¬†her that it was the town’s bell informing the villagers that the time was, indeed, 12:00!

After the 12th stroke, Lady J queried, “Aren’t you glad that it’s 12:00 in the day and NOT 12:00 midnight?”

To which I immediately responded, “I know right?!”

But, then, a strange thing happened.

Another bell in the village began to strike 12.

Then, shortly after that one stopped, yet another!

Methinks the bells are out of sync!

What to do?

Oh well!  We decided that it might be best to consult with The Lord of I-Phone.

Problem solved!

Okaaaaaay?

And, to Lady J’s point, we were able to happily confirm that it was 12:00 midday ¬†and NOT 12:00 midnight.

At any rate, the conversation took a slight shift to the days of yore when nightfall was, indeed, a very scary time. In fact, we rode that train of thought right into tales of the nightwatchmen who were tasked with walking about the town in order to insure the safety of the community.

No street lights.

No cell phones.

No cars.

Say whaaa????

Just a man with a candle or lantern and maybe some sort of primitive contraption for¬†self defense–or as Lady J said, “A stick!”

Predecessors to law enforcement!

After giving it some thought, we both concluded that neither of us were cut out for such a task.

Apparently neither are some of them dirty police out there shooting innocent Black men¬†dead for no reason…

But I digress.

Anyway…

The ladies agreed that the time had come to take leave of the park.

And thus ended a wonderful conversation and a lovely lunch.

______________________

owl-163574_1280

Have you guys ever heard of the Nightwatchman of Rothenburg in Germany?  I saw Rick Steves raving about it.

Has anybody been on that tour or a similar one?

I am definitely going to put a nightwatchman tour on my bucket list!  I love stuff like that!

I told y’all I was a geek! ¬†LOL!

 

 

 

 

 

…Black…Black…

 

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A real life dialogue from 1990 between two young co-workers.  

One Black and One White.

 

Me: ¬†“Hey Teri! ¬†How are your classes coming this quarter?”

Teri: ¬†“Hey Gwin! ¬†They’re coming along OK.”

Me: ¬†“Are you making any new friends?”

Teri: ¬†“Well, yes…but, to be honest, ¬†I’ve noticed that the Black students in my¬†classes aren’t really friendly and they only talk to¬†each other.”

Me: ¬†“Well have you tried starting a conversation with any of ’em?”

Teri: ¬†“Well, no… I mean, I’m not used to being around Black people so I wouldn’t know what to say.”

Me: ¬†“Teri, you’re forgetting something…in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m Black and we talk all the time.”

Teri: ¬†“Gwin, that’s different, you’re Black but you’re not Black Black.

Me:¬† What?¬† What do you mean I’m not Black Black?”

Teri: ¬†“See… now you’re trying to make me feel bad, I’m just saying that you’re not like most Black¬†people.”

Me: ¬†“Come on Teri didn’t¬†you just say¬†that you’re not used to being around Black people? ¬†So how do you know how most Black people are?”

Teri: ¬†“Gwin, please don’t get mad. ¬†You’ve been a very good friend to me and the last thing I would want to do is offend you so let’s just drop the subject, I’m sorry.”

Me: ¬†“I accept Teri and I agree; we probably need to move on and start talking about something else.”