Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oldest Son Moves Out... (AGAIN)

Almost two years ago, our eldest child came limping back home with a broken heart and an English bulldog in tow.

He left his girlfriend after she cheated on him...took the $3000 puppy she had given him for Christmas and headed back to the nest for some TLC.

He was almost as sad looking as the fat little "UGA" he had brought with him.

We took both of them back into our home and heart, and gave up the cozy den we had made in his former bedroom.

He said he just needed to be somewhere that he was loved. (He got me with THAT one).
He only needed a couple of months to regroup and he would be moving on again.

Two years later...He regrouped.

After the first year, we decided to get him a bed to sleep in, we were hoping that the uncomfortable couch he had been assigned to sleep on would encourage a quick move (it did NOT).

During this time, we began to get weary of his presence(when he DID decide to stop by for clean clothes, a free meal and to pat his dog on the head).

His room was always a wreck, and if he didn't have a sweetie at the time, he'd be home. If his love life was swinging...we wouldn't see him for days on end, all we had to remember him by was the total wreck of a room that he left with dirty clothes piled four feet high and empty soda cans and chip bags.

When he FINALLY found a place with some frat bros. we started to dread him taking the dog. We are all big dog lovers and although it was tough to make "Charlie" realize his pecking order with my two boxers...after he got his butt beat a few times from jumping on my dogs, they settled into a happy co existence. We came to call Charlie, and my male boxer, Ham... our own little "Sigfried and Roy". Their game was 'I'll hump on you for a while, and then I'll give you your turn'. Meanwhile, my female boxer Rosie...just lay in the yard and looked at them like they were idiots (which they are, but we love them anyway).

The big day arrived...THE MOVE OUT!!

I was just waking up for my Friday day shift, when my sixteen year old son came into my room and forlornly said "Well, TJ is all moved out".

I leaned over the side of my king size bed and looked underneath...the bulldog was snoring loudly, happy in the spot that we referred to as "his cave"...because my two boxers were too big to get under the bed. I got up to start a pot of coffee and looked into my son's room. All the furniture was still there, his computer, shoes,trophies, plaques, radio and all his books and such. I remarked to my younger son "You mean that your brother took some clothes and left".

My young son said "Oh, he'll be back for his stuff tomorrow".

I had already bought a couch from a co worker, two nice club chairs and had a butterfly table in the garage ready to re assemble my den.

When I got home from work, I told my two younger kids that we were going to help TJ by moving all of his things into the garage so it would be easier for him to pick them up the next day. We took apart his bed (that he wasn't taking, because it was my parent's and he had already gotten another) and I had Zach move it upstairs piece by piece to re assemble it in his room, where he had been sleeping the floor after out growing the futon he had had since he was nine.

We moved every bit of sports equipment, posters from the wall , trophies clothes and shoes out to the garage and dusted vacuumed and cleaned the entire room and began to move my couch, chairs and table into my new den.

After one hour, I had my den back , and if I can say so looked GREAT!!

The next night I got home from work, and TJ was sitting on my new sofa in my new den, watching TV (he came back to wash his four foot high pile of clothes while he still had access to free detergent and a washer and a dryer).

I could tell that he was a little miffed at how quickly I had changed things, but he had the good grace to say "the room looks nice".

My daughter told me later that when TJ first came back...he made the comment "It looks like an old lady's room".

Guess what? It is NOW !! and 'This' ole lady is LOVIN it!!

My only regret is that he took the bulldog... we miss him.

My son seems happy in his new digs...and I know that I am happy in mine..."My ole lady's room".

You never know with kids...he may be back...and we'll let him come back, but if he does, he will be sleeping in an 'ole lady's' room and it will stay that way.

I love him, and we do actually miss him now that he is gone, but it is nice to not look at a mess of a room; but be able to walk into my 'ole lady's paradise and feel comfortable and put my feet up, give myself a manicure and enjoy doing my laundry while I watch whatever channel I want on the TV.

But I still miss the dog...

Til next time... OLE LADY COTTON

Monday, October 27, 2008

Making My Rounds...

After I got off of work today, I picked up my daughter's friend and brought her to my house to work on their science project.

After dropping her by her house, my daughter and my youngest son and I hit the highway to downtown Atlanta.

I am the trainer for the restaurant that I work at, and one of my most recent trainees is a girl of 18 or 19.

Her father (only a few years my senior) had a massive stroke on Saturday night. He was pronounced brain dead last night and is being kept alive to harvest his organs. I applaud this decision by the family and it is a wonderful thing that they are doing for so many others in their own time of despair and grief.

All the employees and regulars at the restaurant signed a card for this young girl, and my kids and I took it up to the hospital.

It brought back many memories for me of the time in the hospital with my own father in a very similar situation.

I was relieved to see a tremendous showing of friends and relatives. The family was being tended to by at least twenty people in the ICU waiting room.

She seems to be holding up well as can be expected when you are in total shock and despair AND losing your father.

I wrote her a rather lengthy note on the back of the card (all my notes seem to be lengthy) because I can identify with her situation so closely.

My heart just breaks for her and her entire family. Only time (a LONG LONG time) will eventually start to heal her pain.

We will all be there for her at work, and I have told her she can call on me day or night...either to talk or listen...what ever she wants or needs.

Then my little entourage headed to another hospital in Atlanta where a dear sweet customer has just had open heart surgery for six by passes.

I wouldn't dare guess her age, but she is retired and a fixture in our restaurant for lunch MANY days of the week.

She was sitting in a chair eating her dinner and looked absolutely marvelous for an older woman coming out of a major heart surgery.

She seemed in good spirits and loved my two kids coming to see her as well.

We chatted briefly and I told her I would come back on Wednesday when I didn't have to be at work til 4PM.

It makes me realize that I am an extremely lucky woman.

I have had many tragedies in my life, but I have had even more blessings and feel grateful to have teenagers that will tromp around the city with me to let others in need of company know that they have friends that are not only thinking of them, but take time to come visit, even if for a short time.

I am am firm believer in "What comes around goes around".

It saddened me to see a family watching their loved one being kept alive by machines, and it lifted me up to see an older woman improving so quickly after such a major trauma.

Life goes on, the pages turn...lessons are learned...battles are fought, won and lost.

Treat every day on this earth with the respect that it deserves.

Sometimes you will be let down and sometimes you will be uplifted.


Til next time.. A reflective feeling COTTON

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Weight Under My Wings Has Become Immense

I called my Republican best friend tonight to tell her that I was almost on the verge of changing party affiliations because I don't really know if I can take many more people under my "Left" wing.

It started at 7AM this morning, my daughter was on the phone with her science partner for a "plant" project they were doing. Her mother's car had been stolen overnight, and she didn't know how she would get to school.

They had to plant two plants at the same time , chart and monitor their growth.

After I got off of work, I drove to WalMart and bought two clay pots, potting soil and a Hyacinth bulb that is to be planted in the early fall.

On the way to the girl's house, Massey told me that her Mom had learned what had happened to her car.

She told me that in the middle of the night, the dealership had come and taken her mother's car.

I couldn't bring myself to tell Massey that it was a repossession.

When I pulled into the driveway, I immediately knew that this was a family that was doing much worse than my own. My daughter told me that her dad has never been in the picture...Thus, a single mom with three kids, trying to scratch out a living and provide her kids with a roof over their heads.

I casually introduced myself and said that I was always off on Mondays, and if it was okay with her , I would come over and bring her daughter to my house to chart the growth of their project and bring her back home.

She was extremely grateful for the gesture, and said that unfortunately her cell phone was dead because her charger was in her car...that had been taken.

I told her..."No problem".

I will pick up and deliver her daughter back home once a week, and hopefully the project will be a success.

And I thought that MY family was in need?

How ridiculous does that seem to me now?

This woman, trying to survive alone with her kids is struggling more than I could ever imagine having or wanting to do.

I told my daughter on the way home...

"You be a good friend to this girl".

But my daughter... "My little upcoming Democrat in a pretty package" ...said that everyone at school makes fun of this girl because she doesn't wear cool clothes and is a little chunky; commented that she liked this girl and wanted to be her friend.

I will try to help this family as much as I can without possibly being noticed (and I am pretty good at that).

With the help of friends ...right wing and left... we will help this family and make them feel like it is just a GOD send...not charity or pity.

It makes me realize how extremely lucky and blessed that my family is...and only makes me want to help others more.

My daughter has another friend who's mother has Leukemia and a terminal heart condition, and is on so may meds that I know her family of six is holding on by a string. Talking to her is an ordeal that I endure...but her endurance is much, much greater, and a fate that I wouldn't wish on my greatest enemy.

But I talk to her, listen to her and bring her daughter over to my house for a breath of fresh air and a feeling of normalcy.

Her mother doesn't WANT to be sick...but is trying to make it another day, another week, another month.

It makes me realize how TRULY lucky we have been in the "Grand Scheme" of things.

My husband DID lose his job..

But at least I HAVE a husband.

I do not have terminal Cancer.

It makes me realize that I am SO extremely lucky, so blessed that I need to get down on my knees and thank GOD that he has blessed me with good health and the ability to help the other people that I can... in ANY kind of way or capacity.

It is not my burden ; but my destiny and privilege. To be able to help others less fortunate than me... and that some people gain from my tiny offering of caring, my sincere offer of not only ... friendship, but a concern for their well being and ANYTHING else that they can possibly think of.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Finally...AN American !!!

Still having computer problems.

I called back to my internet provider, this time using the automated service (the fake voice).

I fixed my problem, being led through the process with the help of prompting by a voice that is on every other message machine.

I faltered once, when the voice asked me to say "continue" and I said something to my daughter in the background.

I was at once sent to a "live" operator who magically answered the line saying "This is Bob, can I help you"?

I was just thrilled even hearing the name "Bob".

I asked him if he was in the United States, and was just giddy with his answer of "YES".

This man solved all of my problems in under five minutes, gave me more practical and usable advice than I had been given on my last five calls to my internet server.

He apologized for the "out sourcing" and gave me more help than I thought that I could ever get from anyone .

I have called my husband's best friend, who is a "Big Wig" with Charter, and he said that he could access my account and find out who I talked to.

I want to give this guy not only a big kiss, but a letter in his file that shows how much customer satisfaction and help he gave to me...I hope that someone at least gives him a slap on the back, and tells him how GREAT of a job he is doing.

He solved my internet problems, taught me many proactive things that I can do to prevent further obstacles and in essence... saved me from "Crashing" on my computer and websites ( God forbid I lose my blog).


I asked him what his extension number was (just for future reference) and he did not have one.

But I have put out a call to his superior so that I can give him a glowing and heartfelt commendation.

In today's world of internet technology and razzle dazzle, that I am too old to know, this man helped me more than I have been helped since I learned how to send an email.

At least my big mouth is "BACK ON LINE" and expect the spewing to keep on coming.

That may be a good thing , or it may be a bad thing.... YOU decide!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Hoke" and "Miz Daisy"

When at my restaurant...there is a couple that come in at least twice a week.

A young African American, guiding his eighty something year old charge. An elderly white woman, who always looks as sharp as a tack...shuffling one foot after another, taking forever to get to her table. She takes an eternity to just get to the women's room and another eternity to get out. The nurse stands by the door patiently, and we have started to joke with him about hanging outside of the restroom door trying to pick up women.

Last week, I stopped to talk with him. I told him how I admired how he treated this woman. He is so respectful and thoughtful with her. He never rolls his eyes or gets agitated with her slow walk or demeanor.

I remarked to him the other day, that when they walk in, I say "Here comes Hoke with Miss Daisy".

He said that he has heard it all.

He said that he has been with this woman for ten years, moved down here from the north with her. Her husband had died, leaving her with a 300 acre Arabian horse farm out on Smoky Road. (An exclusive...still rural area that I would LOVE to live in).

It just strikes a cord in my heart that she is left with nothing now but money and an African American nurse that seems to genuinely and compassionately care for this tottering, feeble and fragile person.

The horses and farmland are gone, she has moved into a condo with her "Hoke".

She acknowledges my comments to her, but it is obvious that she is in her last years.

I wonder if she even knows or grasps what gracious and capable hands she has been lucky enough to fall into?

He never seems to waver in his devotion or care of this woman. He never acts exhausted by his role or short in his temper with her slowness or lack of awareness.

She , in my mind is as lucky as "Miss Daisy" was in the movie. This man genuinely cares about this woman, doesn't care if she realizes his compassion or attentiveness, but just does his job.

He treats this woman like royalty, gives her the respect that I am sure she deserves and is giving her the quality of life that she has earned...right up to the end!

I do not know who I admire more...HIM or HER?

I just know that it makes me smile to see them walk through our doors, see that "Miss DAISY" is still with us, and has this awesome companion to not only take care of her , but to make her waning days as important and meaningful as all the other years that have come her way.

If I am as lucky as our "Miss Daisy"... I will truly be a blessed person.

"GODSPEED" Miss Daisy...and thank you "HOKE".

Monday, October 13, 2008

Won't You Meet My Neighbor !!

I have a neighbor that I met over ten years ago when we first moved into our neighborhood.

She is a feisty woman... a hard worker and a wonderful person.

She has fallen ill. She has been sick since January but I did not learn of her misfortune until her boss came into my restaurant over a month ago.

She is not the type to send out an email or call neighbors.

She has raised two kids... not always to a happy note. But when is raising kids ever a breeze?

I have three kids of my own and they have tormented me from the time every one of them reached middle school.

She has always been a rock.
She has always been the most lucid and focused person in her house hold.

She has five dogs in residence (don't let the county know) and loves them as her kids... at least they have always behaved, and don't talk back much.

She is someone that would not ask for help, even if she was in dire straits or incapacitated totally.

I have been trying to cook for her a couple of times a week...tromping over with my meager offerings.

I wish she would let me do more, but she won't.

I have always admired this woman that I feel lucky to call my friend. She lost her parents early on, and after marrying her husband ...moved on to "raising" him.

She is a devout christian, and I often wonder why God has chosen for her recent life to be so stressful?

We talk on the phone, while I try my best to bring her over to the Democratic side... she shares her Republican views with me as well.

It is a friendship that I treasure dearly and I pray that all the tons of doctors she currently sees , figure out EXACTLY what she is facing and bring her health back to her.

Her family is like mine... without us women...they would be SCREWED!! She is a superwoman like I am and every one of her family members rely on her for support, encouragement and discipline.

It is truly a tough job being a woman.

But being a woman facing uncertainty about her health, future and prognosis is almost too much for me to think about.

I have faith in God that everything will turn out okay for my dear friend.

I have faith that her family will rise to the occasion and help her through this trying and draining time.

I have faith that I can be the friend to her that she needs, and the friend that she can count on.

I have faith that she will let me help her in ANY way that I can, and that she will know that it is TOTALLY my honor to do the small things that I can to make her journey back to a healthy life easier.

As a request to all my faithful readers... PRAY for this wonderful woman and pray for a rapid and full recovery.

I know that it will happen...but extra prayers going up to the big "GUY" won't hurt and will let her know how much she is loved and thought of by friends... even ones she has never met.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Over seas Chat With Lu Tong

I am currently having problems with my email.

I am getting fifty spam messages every time that I open up my email.

"How to enlarge Your Penis"


"How to Make Millions From Your Home"

I am sick to death of it, so tonight, I decided to call my Internet provider (who will remain nameless for a day or two).

I reached a girl who was in Indonesia.

I know this because I asked.


Just let someone answer the phone for ONCE...and say "This is Sally" from Kentucky...How can I hep ya"??

Once I told her my email name "The clampetts"...I could right away realize that she had NEVER seen or heard of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Her pronunciation was at BEST..Clampeets.

I tried to small talk while she led me through a myriad of functions and clicking that did no good at all.

I thought about saying "Can you transfer me to "Bob" in Missouri"??

I know that we are shipping more jobs than we could ever imagine out of the country, but it is tiring to me to not only be upset with my computer, but be pressed to decipher what in the world she is trying to tell me.

I will give her this one.

I am NOT computer savvy.

But when I sit at my computer in Newnan Georgia... I want someone that I can chat with, someone that I can identify with...and someone that understands my language and my dialect.

I don't want my nails done, I just want to fix my computer.

She was gracious and nice...but I am no closer to an answer than I was when I placed the call.

It is no different when I call about my son's XBOX.

It is like I have called Mars.

They confuse me so much (which is usually MY forte) that I almost feel like saying

"You make this more difficult than the game my son was playing, when your piece of crap game unit stopped working after I paid $450 for him to have three months of playing it".

Are all of these people sitting in a back room somewhere, laughing at us, or are we not taking them to task?

When you make a phone call these could be calling across the street or calling across the planet.

I remember when ANOTHER of my son's game systems broke down right before Christmas.

I had bought him three games to give him on Christmas morning.

When Rasheed answered the phone, he was very polite, but told me that there was nothing they could do for me before Christmas.

I explained it like this:

You wake up on the morning of Hanukkah , and you have a cool toy, but no AA batteries to operate it , THAT AIN'T MUCH FUN!!

He was wonderful in supplying me the the customer satisfaction that I not only wanted, but deserved.

My point is...

Used to (a million years ago when I was young)

You were calling someone across town to complain.

Now you don't know who you are talking to , or where in the world they are (LITERALLY).

I guess that I am turning into an old "FOGEY" ... if they EVEN use that word anymore.

The only point that I want to make, is that it no longer a small world that we live in...

It is a tremendous, expansive universe that we ultimately are forced to join.

To keep up with the technology, the phrases, the jargon keeps a person of my age SO on their toes...that you would think that I am a ballet dancer .

But I am just a Mother, Wife , server and aspiring writer.

I just like it so much that you all let me talk to you, and that sometimes some of you feel like you need to respond.

This world that we know is changing.

This world that we know is turning into something that I would have never imagined as a child .

But what are we going to do?


Am I just thinking too much, ranting too much, or bitching too much?

Or could I possibly be right...or close to it?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Just Can't Seem to Help Myself...

I am SOOO glad that the election is getting closer.

I am getting worn out.

Defending my beliefs, defending my choices, defending a man that I believe in.

Even my husband, who is a Republican told me just yesterday morning that he thought "my man" was going to win.

One of the many reasons that I love my husband is what he said to me after I said that Obama will be a great president.

He said "I really hope so".

Not that "The country will be ruined" or "This is the beginning of the end".

So many Republicans believe that if they don't have an elephant tromping through the white house... the country will fall apart.

In my opinion, the country has already fallen apart.

We may be donkeys...but we aren't asses!

WE have our downfalls, we make our mistakes, but we try more to take care of the people that need it the most.

My sister recently retired from her job after thirty years of service.

When signing her retirement package a few months ago.. she had $25,000 in her 401 K.

She checked it yesterday and she had $1.43.

A friend at work has lost $150,000.

After thirty years of service to a sister is WIPED OUT!

My friends say "Leave it in there".


If it took her thirty years to acquire $25,000... it will take HOW long to build back up to at LEAST that minimum? And does she really have THAT long to wait for the money that she is deserved and entitled to?

SOMEONE dropped the ball.

Let's see...

Who has been in charge for the last eight years and what in the hell have they been doing?

I stand by my belief that the (republican) American people are terrified of a BLACK man being in the highest office in the land and think that it will be the down fall of the nation. That almost seems racist , if not ridiculous. If you feel this way, you should check yourself for not only racism, but for bigotry as well. If you don't believe me, just let it all play out... and condemn me in six months when he has taken control of the situation and made all of our lives better. YOU CAN QUOTE ME ON THIS ONE... because it is going to happen and the country had better get used to the fact that the "BOY" is going to end up being the "MAN" that makes the difference and makes the changes that help us all.

My vote has already been cast.

My HOPE is that he swings into the white house with a vengeance and does what I know he can do...FIX THIS COUNTRY !!

I hope that in 2009.. my friends that were against and opposed to him will realize that all the talk and rhetoric were wrong.

We need a new start, we need a new government, we need a new leader.

I personally feel that it is Barrack Obama...I feel that it is time to give someone else a chance...a time to let us begin to take back the title of being the "Greatest Country In The World".

Quote your arguments about his past life, spout out your differences with his minister... WHO is trying to lead this country... Barrack or his "FORMER" minister?

Who are we voting into office... Barrack, or his preacher? Who is McCain's minister?

Haven't heard that much about McCain's church or affiliation.

Give this man a chance... and he can make this America a brighter and more prosperous place!!!.

I am NOT misinformed.

I am a very literate and informed person. I have done my research and I have evaluated my economic and political positions.

I watch the news and political shows .

My country, as well as my own family are in DIRE need of help and I as one American can stand up and say...

Get off your high right wing elephant butt and let the donkey kick some ASS.

Trust me in two years you and your 401 K will be grateful.

If not... you will regret it more than you could ever imagine.

And you can quote me on that!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy Birthday, "MAMA" !!!

With thirty minutes to go... I could not let this day pass without telling my MOTHER that even after thirty one years...she is still on my mind and still totally in my heart.

She left my life WAY too early, yet she has remained in my heart constantly.

I have a daughter that is her name sake. A daughter that was due on this very day. Complications caused her to be born on August 19... the date that my Mother died.

Eighteen years to the day that my Mother died, my daughter fought her way into this world.

I miss my Mother every single day.

I wish that she was still with us.

But God has plans that sometimes we can't understand .

I have come to believe that God sent me a present to make up for Him taking my Mother.

I have a daughter.

She is a best friend to me...has calves as thick as my Mother (a Leach girl trait) and fills me with joy.

I still miss my Mother, wish she were here every day.

But I have been blessed beyond belief with two of the greatest parents a girl could ever hope for, an upbringing that was extraordinarily wonderful and enlightening.

My Mother was a person that could do anything , could wrap people around her little finger...and they would feel grateful to be there.

She was taken from me too soon ... in my opinion... but has left me with the comforting fact that I was "ANN LEACH'S" daughter... and in retrospect... I was very lucky to have not only had her for a Mother, but for an example of what a GOOD person should be... not only how to live my life, but how to raise my own kids.

They flounder and wander, but my kids know ALL about their "GRAND MA" and I have no hesitation in saying that they will ALL find their way....

My Mother would NOT have it any other way.

I still dream of her.. and my Father.

In my dreams, they come to me...I know they have passed, but just seeing them in my dreams...I can smell them, I can almost touch them. It seems so vivid that it almost seems like a vacation... and it is ALWAYS so welcoming to me.

I may sound crazy... but if you have ever had parents as great as mine...I think that you could understand me.

They pop up in my dreams, and they are as real and as comforting as God can allow them to be.

I hope that I can make my Mother proud...My Diddy too.

I know that I lost them both too early... but what kind of person would I have turned out to be if I hadn't had THEM???

Happy Birthday, MAMA... I Love You, and I thank you for not only bringing me into this world, but making me the person that I am, and making me want to be the person, wife and mother that I know I CAN be!!


I will see you in my dreams... and you will be forever in my heart!!

Your daughter, KELLY


One of my favorite co workers is a cook at the restaurant.

When he is not in the line of fire (AKA) off the clock, he is a mild mannered and soft spoken man.

When he is "on the clock" he is a mad man...a seemingly possessed human that feels the weight of his position commands him to be "ON" at all times.

It rattles him if you speak to him directly, rather than going through the expo..(the person in the window that expedites the food and should be the only one talking to the cooks).

He has more quips, quotes and euphemisms for his job than I have ever heard in my thirty years of being a server.

Sometimes, even I have a hard time making a connection with the point he is trying to make, while flipping 30 steaks on the grill, as the orders keep ticking through on the computer that is spitting out tickets by the second .

Two of his favorite sayings are "No Jokes" and "All kidding aside".

He came out of the kitchen tonight to clock out from his shift.

His back, which I patted as he walked by was soaked with sweat ( it is usually about 94 degrees in the kitchen).

I told him as he walked by..."Let me tell you just an observation that I have made (all kidding aside)."

When he is on the line...he is ALL business.


I told him that it isn't like he is standing in the back of the kitchen making funny hats out of newspaper or saying "pull my thumb" or "watch THIS trick"!!!

We all know that he is STRICTLY professional and strictly there to do HIS job.

I worry that we may kill him with out petty requests (usually trying to cover up our OWN mistakes) or that he may burst open at the seams with our demands (from the customers).

Maybe he is just trying to rein all of us servers in, to remind us of what a hard and challenging job he has... or maybe he is just trying to save his own sanity in a brutally hard and fast paced job.

But whichever it is ...I feel proud to have him as a fellow employee, and feel lucky that he takes my observations with the intent that they are given.


He is a person that takes his job seriously, does his job deliberately and conscientiously...and without his crazy, manic and wild demeanor... my job would just be a PURE hell.

All kidding aside.... THANK YOU RANDY !!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Racism...It Totally Sickens me

As we plow through this election and I hear all the screams from terrified, nervous amazes me that we have come so far to learn so little.

My first memory of racial bias came at the age of about six.

My mother shopped at the local A&P. A grocery store that everyone in the town of East Point shopped at. Located next door to the Methodist church and across the street from Zesto's....that great fast food store that I think still remains (along with the Methodist Church) in a town that is on the cusp of Atlanta...a mere fifteen minutes from downtown...yet far enough away to have a small town feel.

My mother grocery shopped every Thursday. She bought all of the groceries that would feed our family of five for a week, wrote the check for $25 over to have spending money and I can vividly remember that her check was usually for $65.

Does that show my age or WHAT?

There was a "bag boy".

He was to my best recollection (and I just conferred with my sister on the phone) in his early fifties. Although this man was a bag boy...he was a beloved man by most all of the people that shopped there. He was always peppy, upbeat and eager to please. My mother may have given him a quarter when he stowed our groceries away in our trunk, but the next week he was smiling when he saw us and always more than happy to help us to our car.

On one of our weekly visits...Walt was putting our groceries away in our car. He slammed our trunk shut...then noticed a Pontiac Firebird parked next to our car with the windows down.

It was a nice summer day, and he whistled aloud at the car. He leaned in the driver's window and tooted the horn. TOOT TOOT!!

A white man emerging from the store, said the best of my recollection..."Nigger, get away from my car"!!

Walt stumbled back, rebuffed, seemed ashamed and for the first time in my young life I experienced some one's humiliation and embarrassment for being a different color.

My mother was embarrassed, and I was taught an early lesson.

This affable, friendly and generous man was being targeted because the color of his skin was different.

He was treated as if he were a criminal, he was treated as if his feelings didn't matter.

If this racist didn't want his horn to be "tooted" by someone on a beautiful summer day...DON'T leave both the windows down.

I wonder if I had leaned over and "tooted" his horn...would he have called me out just the same?

I can say almost for certain that he would have not.

At the tender age of six...

I think that I became a Democrat.

I became a person that cares about humanity, I care about the minorities, I care about taking care of other people and I care about the world that I will leave behind for my grand kids.

Big business will always take care of their own.

Some people will try to sponge off of the government and get something for nothing.

My party will try to take care of everyone, and may fail in some of their attempts, or make some mistakes.

But we will always try to improve not only the economy, but the world and environment that we live in...and the way that we that we use the planet and explore options and opportunities that make us freer to live a longer time on this planet with a lot less repercussions and have a lot more benefits.

As I look at the Nation, as I look at the world... Doesn't the Democratic view seem much more realistic?

Take a good look at your life, take a look at the current condition of the economy.

Could we do THAT much worse with a "DEM" in the White House?

I say, Let's give it a shot....What more do we have to lose?

Blacks, Whites, Asians, Hispanics.... We are a melting pot.

Let's not let racial bias keep us from recovering and growing. That is EXACTLY what America is all about.

I think that my old friend "Walt" from the A&P would be happy with what is happening in America today.

It is time that the REAL people take over...and that the caring and concern come back to the forefront.

Stand Up!!! America...Go to the Polls!!!!!

P.S. Webster's defines racism as :

"The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others".

We are all AMERICANS... wake up and smell the roses...KNOW what you need to do and do NOT be scared of making the RIGHT choice . I know that I am NOT!!!