‘Funny thing about growing older; memories become more vivid.  Today, I turn 70, and I thought I would have some fun.  I’m Timelining, and I invite you to jump in when your memory meets mine.  You can comment either on the blog or on Facebook.  I’m doing a Watch Party on Facebook, 11AM CST.  Just holla with a thumbs up or a heart, or if you ain’t too lazy, you could say something.  After all, it’s my Birthday!

  • Chicago on 57th and Normal. Street games that never ended, kids from every street surrounding ours, convening for serious fun.
  • A 1/2 mile walk to St. Martin School, where I was preparing to become a nun. What?!!
  • Dorothy Robinson’s school of dance.
  • The Point, 53rd and Woodlawn, to  Hyde Park daily by bike for big fun.
  • Hyde Park High School, where I started, and St. Thomas Apostle, where I finished.
  • Klan Ko-eds, downtown parties, boat, roller skating, and bowling parties, not to forget the hotel dances and hayrides
  • 8 Track Recording Co. where I worked and met folks that hung stars on their doors.
  • Flack, Sly, ReRe, Dionne, Hugh Masekela, Kurt Vonnegut, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Spook who Sat by the Door, Nikki, Imari, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Can_ _ _ _ _ a plenty
  • Free Theater -Aesops, Havdalah
  • Columbia College where I started, Stillman College, University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, AL and finally Case Western Reserve University, where I finished
  • Cleveland – ahh, Cleveland.  Lee Scottsdale Bldg. (LSD), Art Museum, so much jazz, Annual Easter Egg Hunts, Kwanzaa Parties, Air Tunnels, Friends.  Keith Jarrett, Art Lande, Al Jareau.  Dali Parties. The Rapid, Corky and Lenny’s, Tiger Lily’s, Nighttown, Westside Market,  Home art exhibits, Clam bakes.
  • Fins and Feathers, “a most unusual seafood and poultry shoppe!” (with an intentional “e”) Business.
  • Pfizer – 8-year pain, as a sales rep.
  • St. Maarten – Divi Little Bay, Carnival, Grande Case Beach, Phillipsburg, Marigot Anguilla, Yvette’s, so many wonderful people/family by blood, but the ones more memorable by love
  • Virginia Beach – cultural void
  • The Shoals. in AL – WOWL TV, ATCO Manufacturing, Family Ford, Family Lincoln Mercury, Family Hyundai – Businesses,
  • Revelations, A Ministry of Transformation
  • Living Spirit Church – Centered in Spiritual Oneness, all churches where I have spoken
  • Abadiania, Brazil – John of God
  • POZA, The C.O.R.E. Drummers, The C.O.R.E. Center
  • Hospice of the Shoals
  • Facebook
  • Camp Goldston Publishing, LLC., published Be S.A.F.E., Garden Spices Magazine
  • Project Say Something
  • Legacy of Love
  • Liberal Ladies
  • UNA School of the Arts
  • Spicy…

Oh, when we were kids in Englewood. Now grown folks
Klan Ko-eds Christmas Card 60’s

From all over Chi, grown folks now, but part of Chicago crew
St. Maarten, with MAC uniforms on Margie’s porch. Deanna, My children, Miles and Camille
Legacy of love, 2018
The CORE Drummers
Liberal Ladies 2018
Garden Spices’ Managing Editor, Pratik Mamtora
St. Thomas Apostle reunion 2016, with Sis, Joy

Yes, I know; if you don’t know me, this is a little much.  But remember, it’s my party – I’m self-centered, spicy, and I’M 70!!!!! What?!

What a blessing it is to be in this moment, even with the conditions, as they are with Coronavirus.  You are within my reach, right in my heart, and I am grateful, fulfilled, and breathing! What?!!

Joy Juice

“…joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30: 5  We staying safe, and we voting for change!

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved


Author:  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware,Faithful,Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon

Where Can My Grandson Run?

Florence, AL, May 9, 2020

There is no rhetoric in this question. My grandson is a runner. Every day he dons his running shoes and takes off to a place where he can stretch, place earphones in his ears, and jog. He loves nature, and chooses to run where he can see the trees, but feel the pulse of neighborhoods, houses, in which people are “staying safe.” During this coronavirus quarantine, he cannot meet with his friends, plan for his graduation, or play soccer with his team, but he can affirm his vitality by jogging. Not anymore.

Today, we are armed with the knowledge that a young Black man…yet, another young Black man, named Ahmaud Arbrey, was jogging in a neighborhood in which his profile was not acceptable for two white men, the McMichaels. They saw him as a violation, a possible threat to their well-being, as prey. Unarmed, followed, then shot dead, Ahmad now serves as another poster child/man – child, because he was his family’s child; man, because he went down fighting his perpetrators. I must point to his poster and exclaim, “Christian, you can no longer run in neighborhoods; you may be killed!”

Christian Raleigh Bennett

My words were preempted by strict warnings from my grandsons’ parents. Their father, all Black men, heed this warning. It is an extension of their former precautions about being stopped by policemen while Black. This warning is an extension of; you cannot take part in teenage pranks while being Black. This warning is an extension of “do better, be better, know better” to survive while being Black. I am aware that our safety is compromised by subversive elements within the Black community, elements designed to find us dead, and violence is undisturbed to this end. However, I will not deflect from the truth about the lynching of Ahmaud; this assignment is about overt racism and injustice.

A lynching committed two months ago by a former policeman and his son find an unjust system ready to sweep this murder under the rug. If not for the video that surfaced, evidence of the crime, the murderers would never have been arrested. They would have been home for Mother’s Day, the day Ahmaud was born. A Citizen’s Arrest was their defense, but the video was ours. We were the family of Ahmaud, defending him, jogging for him, posting, making our voices heard until these criminals were apprehended and charged.

Today, I am charged with asking the question, “Where can my grandson run?”  In the park, where someone may find him offensive, and call the authorities? In his neighborhood, where the Sons of the Confederate Veterans take up camp? In my neighborhood, where an older woman questioned me about why my grandsons, and I were walking? In 2020, should he be restricted to running on the silent AstroTurf that aborts the nature that fuels his passion for jogging?

My grandson must run the course of safety, as taught by his elders, but he must never lose sight of the strength demonstrated by Ahmaud, who turned to fight off his perpetrators. He died fighting, and our fight for Ahmaud is not over.  As Black men, my grandson(s) must run with the power of mind, body, and spirit, claiming what they deserve in the country built by their Ancestors.


Happy Mother’s Day Epilogue: Joy Juice

I wrote a piece, which received so many of your precious words, “Where Can My Grandson Run?” I discussed the dream I had prior to writing it.

I was taking a baby out to walk. I was told to put his shoes on, but I said, “No. I will carry him.” We walked out into a beautiful day. I thought twice about the shoes and decided to continue carrying him. We saw a beautiful Magnolia tree in our path, and I stopped for a lesson on nature, “What is this,” I asked. “Tree,” the baby answered. I asked him to touch the leaf of the tree, which he did, and I awakened from the dream.

Remembering our nature walks, I knew the baby in my dream was my grandson, Christian, the runner. I would not let him walk in his tiny gym shoes and carried him for protection. Camille researched Magnolia Trees and found they symbolize independence. I told Christian to touch the tree, which I am discerning symbolized my blessing him, for the independence I knew had to be his. Anyway…

I imparted this dream during our Sunday discussion, and later, my doorbell rang. Part of the discussion, David was at my door and this is what he gave to me. Happy Mother’s Day!!

Thank you, David Walto for the beautiful magnolias.


Victorine/”Grammy” with Christian and Morgan

Featured image:  Top, Brother, Bernie Basley, Grandsons, Christian, and Morgan Bennett. Left, Son-in-Love, Taurus Bennett Nephew, Imanuel Basley, Right, Son, Miles