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JUNE 2017    

Fingerprints on the Mirror

By Ma’at Seba
     While watching the news one evening, a story came on about a missing teenager and the mother was crying uncontrollably asking for her daughter’s safe return. As I watched her, my heart went out to her because as a mother I could feel her fear and pain. Even though I have never had that exact experience, emotionally I almost came close to it. 
     While shopping one day my oldest son who was a toddler at the time, had disappeared from out of the clothes isle where I was. I had only looked away for a few seconds because I could always see him in my peripheral vision. I looked down that aisle; I looked down the other isles calling for him with no response. The worst fear that I have ever had in my life came over me, my legs were becoming numb and my heart was racing as I tearfully called out for him. After a minute or so other shoppers began to help me look, and then I had a feeling to go back down the aisle that I was first in. As I called out for him again I heard a little snicker and I saw the clothes moving. He had crawled onto the beam of the rack with his legs crossed and was hidden under the clothes where I couldn’t see him. Needless to say, I was happy, mad, scared and relieved. I didn’t know whether to hug him or punish him.
  When my granddaughter comes over to visit she has a ritual of climbing onto the toilet and making a fingerprint mural all over my bathroom mirror. She knows I like my mirrors to be clean and that I will scold her in a joking way, which she gets a kick out of. So now it is her mission to sneak and leave her fingerprint calling card just so we can have that love interaction. One day she and my daughter came over but only stayed a minute. I hadn’t thought about the mirror because I didn’t see her go into the bathroom. After they left I discovered the mural was right back up there again and at first I had gotten a little peeved, but then I had a flashback about that mother on the news. I thought about how she would give anything to have her daughter back and all the things that her daughter might have done to anger her mother were at that moment insignificant. I reminisce about when my children were being baptized and after the reverend put the baptismal water on my youngest son’s head and was in the process of doing my daughter, my son turned to his brother and says in his little loud voice “Hey T, what da hell was dat?” Needless to say, his father and I were so embarrassed as the whole church snickered. Then I thought about my daughter who could win any amateur comedy night contest and my grandson who always gives a growl while in a Hulk Hogan stance. I smiled as I acknowledged how grateful I was for all the people in my life, regardless as to the interactions I had with them, pleasant or not.
  Life is a gift and so are all the people in it. We all know someone who we would rather not have in our personal circle of family or friends, but they are gifts as well. The old saying that “no one is promised tomorrow” is so true. The people in our personal world are not always going to act the way we would like for them to act, nor will they always do what we want them to do, for they have their own journey and lessons in life to learn. It would benefit us all to accept them where there are consciously at, and not where we want them to be. No one is “perfect” in our human eyes, and yet they are perfect if we look at them with Divine eyes. We all make the best choices that we know how to make with the circumstances surrounding the situation at that time. We all can look back in retrospect at situations and see where we might have made different choices, but we did the best that we could at that time. This is why we should not judge anyone because they are doing the best that they can with what they have to work with (especially mentally). People who know better, do better.
     When we arrive at a place within ourselves where we can respect people where they are and for who and what they are, this will be a better world. This includes those who are in what we would consider a toxic relationship, on drugs, alcoholic, homeless, jobless, have anger issues etc. Respecting where a person is mentally, emotionally or spiritually does not mean that you must accept certain behaviors from them and especially those that directly affect you, because you can choose not to be in their presence, or life. It means that you are allowing them to work their challenges and lessons out. Everyone needs encouragement and support at various times when they are struggling or going through something, and not to be talked about and ridiculed. One thing is pretty certain, when they get sick and tired of being in their situation, they will strive to change it.
     All life is a valuable gift and we all should begin to see each other as that. If you haven’t told your mate, children, family and friends that you love and value them, then maybe you should. Do not take them, or life for granted. Embrace the gifts that they bring you whether it is their laughter or their pain, for if you choose to assist them during and through their challenges it makes you both stronger. Stop and take the time to make a call, send a card, email or gift to your loved ones, you might be surprised at how powerful an impact it will have on them. When my granddaughter is grown and with children of her own I can reminisce on our special times together, until then, the next time my grand baby comes over maybe I’ll just let her fingerprints stay on the mirror.  
     Ma’at Seba is a motivational speaker and writer. Email her at Maatseba@yahoo.com or call (313) 861-1118.  

JUNE 2017    
Mom on the Rebound
By D. L. Gibson
     “Code Blue” was called and doctors and nurses came running out of the woodwork into a small room in the emergency room. We peeped through the glass doors trying to figure out what was happening. 
     The staff had rolled her bed into another room. All we could see was her silver pumps hanging out from beneath a white sheet.
  Then, one of the queens, who was also looking through the door, screamed out, “Oh no...It’s Miss Hazel Nutts.”
    We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry...Miss Hazel Nutts? Come on now.
     We could see them performing CPR on her, while rolling her into a room. 
     Apparently, she was the victim of friendly fire. She had been hit on the side of her head by a flying high heel pump. It had punchered her temple. Her head hit the floor, when she fell and knocked her out cold.
     I overheard one of the queens say that she had an asthma attack from all of the excitement and couldn’t catch her breath. This was turning into a hospital brawl. 
    Meanwhile Pastor Thug Life was hauled off to jail to join the crazy deacon.
     His brother yelled out, “I’ve got your back bro. Don’t worry. I’ll bail you out.”
     At least that’s one person that we know the congregation wouldn’t be gathering contributions for to get out. They were waiting for the crazy deacon’s court date, before they put up funds to get him out. I could only pray that the judge would deny him bail. Afterall, when he gets out, I’m sure that I will be the first person he visits. 
    Thanks to the nice officer, who helped me out, I did file a personal protection order against him. But, what good is a piece of paper, if the person you filed it against can’t or refuses to read it. 
     You would think that his wife would be his main concern, but he wasn’t thinking about her when he was hugging up with one of the queens at the gay club. 
     Reinforcements came in and ordered everyone to sit down. We had to move from in front of the glass door and leave the building or get into a seat. 
     Bishop gained entry into the back to check up on the crazy deacon’s wife, before she was moved into a room. She was in stable condition. Apparently, the picture I had of her husband and a drag queen was all that was on her mind. She kept asking the Bishop to get the picture from Sister Dee. She must have forgotten about the picture of her son dressed as a queen. Did she already know? She didn’t seem too concerned about him.
    As I started thinking about him, he walked into the emergency room lobby. He was dressed in a suit in tie, but the queens seemed to know him personally.
     “Where’s my mother,” he asked. “Is she okay?”
  One of the queens took him to the side and filled him in on the excitement that he had just missed. 
     “Tootsie...pumps and fists were flying everywhere. Miss Hazel Nutt was injured during the commotion,” he said.
     Now, I’m tripping over all of these names. Little brother deacon is now Tootsie. There was no shame in his game, as he hugged and greeted some off the queens in the lobby.
  Then, he looked over at me. “Sister Dee...it’s because of you that all of this mess is going on,” he screamed. “I heard about your pictures.”
  I just looked at him as though I didn’t know what he was talking about. I turned to sister girl and said, “he’s not talking to me. Is he?”
     Before she could answer Little brother deacon walked over to us and raised his hand. Oh no he didn’t! Is round two about to get underway? Security!
     Mom on the Rebound is based on actual events.  

JUNE 2017
Telford Telescope: 
Track stars lauded at June 23 dinner
By Dr. John Telford
    Former old Miller High and U-M star Aaron Gordon and I founded the Detroit Track & Field Old-Timers, Inc. in 1991. Since then, the group has honored many old-time area track & field athletes at its annual dinners and donated thousands of dollars to interscholastic and age-group track programs in DPS and in and around the city. International and All-American speedsters the organization has lauded over the years include Kettering's Deon Hogan, Pershing's Darnell Hall, old Eastern's Lou Scott, Northern's Marshall Dill, Pershing's Wendy Truvillion, Pontiac's Hayes Jones, Downtown Judy Brown, River Rouge's Jim Bibbs, Northwestern's great "Gray Ghost" Henry Carr, Central's Cliff Hatcher, old Chadsey's Karen Dennis, and Denby Tars Ronnie Phillips and Yours Truly. This year's dinner will take place on Friday, June 25, at 6:00 p.m.in the Barth Hall of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul at the corner of Woodward and Warren Avenue. The ticket price is $25 ($45 for two), which includes dinner, dessert, and a complementary wine table. There will be free and ample parking, and tickets will be available at the door.  
    Honorees this year are Martin Crane, Eliot Tabron, Dennis Holland, Frank McBride, Jill Washburn, Allan Tellis, and Bruce Waha. In addition, there will be a special tribute to Ella Willis, the first African-American woman to ever win a marathon. Local high school stars will be special guests.  
  Marty Crane coached 83 All-State athletes at Flint Beecher High School, where his teams won 10 state, 13 conference, and 19 regional titles. Detroit Murray-Wright alumnus Eliot Tabron was Wayne State's last track All-American, and he was threatening my quarter-mile mark there when he transferred to MSU and attained world ranking in the 400 meters with a MSU mark of 45 seconds flat. At the time of his transfer, WSU had de-emphasized its historic and celebrated track program, which the Old-Timers organization has been trying to get restored and get a track fieldhouse built on the campus. (I'm on that WSU committee with Darnell Hall, WSU athletic director Rob Fournier, Lisa Howze from the Mayor's office, Elliott Hall, Coleman Young, and Old-Timers president Randy Williams.) Holland was a star quarter-miler and long jumper at Redford High, and his 26'3" college jump for WMU remains the longest in state history--only five inches short of the immortal Jesse Owens' world-record leap. A fond memory I have of Dennis was taking him and another Detroit high school star to a big all-comers meet in Dayton. I was teaching and coaching at Southeastern High School that year, and I was attempting a brief comeback. I won the open quarter-mile and then took the two kids and another local runner onto a relay team with me. Representing the Detroit Track Club, we beat all the college and club teams in the last race of the meet--the mile relay--in a huge upset, and brought home four gold medals. Frank McBride, who coached me in that brief comeback, succeeded legendary Coach David L. Holmes at WSU in 1958 and did him proud. An Olympic Trial finalist at 1,500 meters in 1952, McBride--who was a superb motivator--piloted WSU teams to seven conference titles. Jill Washburn, a state cross-country champion, has held the mile and two-mile marks at Rochester High for thirty years and is in the school's hall of fame. She was an All-American at Michigan State. Northwestern High School alum Al Tellis, a past Old-Timers president, ran with me at the Penn Relays for WSU in 1954 and succeeded me coaching champions at Pershing High. He was also instrumental to bringing girls' track to DPS. Old Detroit Cooley High School alumnus Bruce Waha--in his nineties now--coached Redford High School track and cross-country teams to championships fourteen times. Then he went to Howell High and his teams there won five more titles. His 54-year track-coaching record is 404 wins and only 13 losses, and his 22-year cross-country record is 397-17.
     Detroit has many old and many up-and-coming new young track & field stars who are yet to be honored by the Detroit Track & Field Old-Timers. Come to the DTFOT Dinner on June 23 to support the grand old All-American and Olympic sport of track & field here in our town--and enjoy a very good meal. .  
     Dr. John Telford was an NCAA and NAAU All-American quarter-miler in 1957, his senior year at WSU, when he went unbeaten representing the U.S. team in Europe. Hear him Sundays at 3:00 on NewsTalk1200, and get his five Detroit-oriented books at Barnes & Noble or at amazon.com. A recent pro bono Superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools under state-imposed emergency financial management, he can be contacted at (313) 460-8272 or at DrJohnTelfordEdD@aol.com. His website is www.AlifeontheRUN.com.