GARDEN SPICES MAGAZINE: THIS ISSUE – WORK!

Loved Ones,

And so our work continues to bring you content that touches your soul. Many of you know about the perils of publishing, how much work goes into presenting something worthy of submission. Recently, Garden Spices Magazine has been significantly impacted by a hijack, which has brought forth a challenge – how to publish on time. However, this challenge has no wings for the mission of this magazine. We publish on time!

Currently, a sprinkle of Garden Spices is being presented through my blog, Spicy…a garden spices blog by Victorine. We release each article separately and with love. The full “garden gate” will open as soon as we recover from our hostage attempt. Stay tuned…

Thank you for your patience,

(Temporary) Gate, open!

Vicki Goldston aka Victorine
Founder, Editor-in-Chief
GARDEN SPICES MAGAZINE

GARDEN SPICES MAGAZINE: Art by Amita

I met Amita Bharak’s work at various events in the Florence, AL area. I would not meet her until we served on the board of the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art. Her art depicts the warmth, vibrance, and spiritual nature of her culture, and Garden Spices delights in exhibiting her work. Welcome, Amita Bharak – Victorine


About the Artist

When art (either visual, performing, or literal) is eliminated from people’s lives, civilized society would struggle to exist. It would stop breathing, flourishing, or renewing itself – it would become stale, stagnant, and eventually decay. An artist breathes freshness, growth, vitality, energy, and life into our social fabric. I am privileged to be part of this tribe. My community, my world, and the events in it motivate me to create the subjects of my work, this itself becomes my narrative.

To me, my paintings are like sonnets that tell stories with just a few colors, lines, and shapes. Along the way my senses are challenged, excited, and immersed.  As my paintings remind me of sonnets, my pottery is similar to haikus. Whether it is functional or nonfunctional, working with this modest medium, I can narrate the most interesting tales, reflective of my cultural background, and events around me. In any medium – I aim to please the eyes, seek challenges for my brain, and satisfaction for my soul. I have been privileged to experience and participate in many wonderful moments in my artistic career –Amita Bharak


My work is an offering to my creator. As a Hindu – offerings to Ganesh come naturally to me.  Lord Ganesh is also known as Lord Vinayak meaning Lord of Wisdom. I pray to him that may he grant me the wisdom to keep my ego in check and be humble.  These are the swarupa of Lord Ganesh, as I see him.
Ganesh

Bhramatava


“The Awakened One”, when one connects with the divinity-Bhramatava and becomes “One”, everything in the universe is drawn towards the One. Before humans with our ego and so-called intelligence are attracted nature feels is drawn toward this spiritual being. This painting is done using inks and acrylics on paper by me.


Krishna

Krishna, who has forever captivated my imagination, guides me, and catches me when I slip or fall.  Feel the covenant of His grace upon me and my family. I pray that my deeds (Karma) are good, beautiful enough to be offerings to him.


Oil and Acrylic

On a rooftop back in India, I remember at age six my cousin teaching me how to color in the same direction with my colored pencils in my coloring book. This was the beginning of my fascination with color, which has led me to create with two very different mediums in paints:  first acrylics and now oil – which is like painting with colored butter.


Functional Ware

I use clay as a sculpting material, meaning I hand build my functional potteries.  I make wares that amplify my narrative – using shapes that are carved and sculpted in clay – turning it into a utilitarian vessel to be used daily.  This series of clay work is my homage to production potters around the globe.

I love to sculpt in clay, as a homage to potters from ancient times to today, from around the globe who have devoted their lives to making beautiful vessels – it’s my desire to be part of that creed therefore I make bowls.

For me bowls represent a coming together, two hands form a bowl.  This I believe evokes kindness and empathy.  Metaphorically for me “bowl” holds lots of different meanings such as hunger, desire, anger, satisfaction, fulfillment, oppression, etc. In Mahabharat – Krishna gives Draupadi a bowl “Akshaya Patra” as they head toward 12 years of their stay in the forest, away from their life in the palace and kingdom.


Amita Bhakta with her Rangoli, a design made using loose colored powder. Every early morning, women will sweep their homes, front porches, their yards, and then make rangoli at the front steps to welcome a new day. By mid-day it will be gone – swept away by the wind, coming and going of people.  This used to be the daily routine of the lady of the house; due to urbanization, this art is disappearing from the daily lives of people – now it is only seen during cultural festivals, particularly Diwali. In the old days, rangoli was made using rice, flour, or kitchen spices mixed with limestone powder, gypsum powder, or color pigments. Today Rangoli powders come in pre-manufactured packets in a kaleidoscopic of colors.

Please check out my Proud Moments Gallery.

If you would like to inquire about any of the art featured on the site or upcoming projects, please reach out to me and visit my Contact Me Page. 

All proceeds from my work goes toward various charities that I support here in the USA and India. 

GARDEN SPICES MAGAZINE: Make Way For Joy by Dr. Joyce Brown

My first Garden Spices© article was a lament to the decision to place my mother in a nursing home. Since then, I have regaled you with my “Marbline Box” stories… or “Granny” as we have called her since her first grandchild was born in 1967. My grandmother was already Big Mama. I have shared stories of how a single parent raised four daughters; raised two grandsons when their mother died at age 26; how she became “Granny Box” to a generation of children (now adults with their own children) in the co-op where she lived from 1965 to 2013 before relocating to Chicago’s south suburbs. During her homegoing celebration, her great-grandson, Caleb, spoke laughingly about sharing his Granny with the neighborhood children as well as the children at church. The congregation chuckled knowingly. 

Our cousin, The Honorable Charles E. Box, the first and only black man elected mayor in our hometown of Rockford, Illinois, memorialized Granny with references from The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. He labeled her and that entire generation as miracle workers. They left home and family to create a life in a foreign place…a place they arrived at with nothing other than faith in God, a willingness to stick together, to work hard, to love family, and to educate children who have gone on to make a difference in this world. Lawyers, educators, principals, college professors, social workers, business owners, entrepreneurs, and solid citizens. 

My cousin’s remarks reminded me of how proud my mother was when I was awarded a scholarship to Bradley University. She never missed a campus parent’s weekend, although it meant missing a Saturday at work and a Sunday at church. She was proud of my academic success and that of my sisters. She was present for graduations and other commendations. One of the pictures I hold dear is me in my Ph.D. hood and hat wrapped in my mother’s arms following the ceremony. You cannot see either of our faces, only feel the love and pride of accomplishment. Another picture posted in Garden Spices was family surrounding my sister, Cheryl when she completed her Ed.D. 

Less than a month before that day, Cheryl had undergone her second colorectal cancer surgery. Watching her walk down that aisle with her head held high, and no indication of her recent ordeal was another of my mother’s greatest joys.

“Ancestor” “Granny Box” Marbline

Marbline demonstrated love through action. Another special photo was taken on my wedding day…a traditional mother-of-the-bride photo… her fixing my veil before the ceremony. There’s such love in her eyes that I lo it reflects how much mother cares for me throughout the years. When the marriage fractured, I went home for comfort. Marbline said my two children and I could return home. I could get a job, and we would move on together. While I did not accept her offer to move back to Rockford, I sent my children to her every summer. Extended family, the neighborhood children surrounded them and, as a result, they have delightful stories to share about their grandmother, church, and “The Terrace”.  

During the week leading up to her final services, her services, Granny Box’s village poured out its love by regaling us with funny, sad, and always memorable tales of how she was there through enjoyable times, difficulties, and what her life meant to them. My mother knew how to love people and to be gracious. Another Garden Spices article focused on my absentee father, who decided he wanted to be an active participant in his children and grandchildren’s lives later in life. My sisters and I laughed at the awkward silences or rolled our eyes at the various interactions between the two of them. Yet my mother’s actions allowed me to come to terms with my issues surrounding my ex-spouse because my children loved their father and wanted him included in their extraordinary events. I had a living example of putting the children first and not dwelling on the past.

Finally, my mother chose to live her life through service to others. The Missionary Society reminded us that her greatest loves after “extended” family were her AME church activities, Winnebago County Jail Ministry, and volunteering at various community-based soup kitchens. She spent seventeen years as Director of the Julia Wade Soup Kitchen operated by Allen Chapel AME Church until it closed in 2000. Her basic premise was all participants would receive a welcoming greeting, kindness, and a hot meal. She acknowledged the humanity of every person who walked through the church’s doors by cooking a home-cooked meal weekly; she never served soup. During holidays, the attendees’ received a special meal befitting the season.

During this phase of my life, I have decided to make way for joy. Ninety-five years of abundant living and loving is a cause for celebration. Yes, I am shedding tears as I type this because I miss my mother, because of the wonderful examples she demonstrated in every season of her life, and because I am choosing to honor her by making way for joy! 

Copyright 2021 ©Campgoldston Publishing. All rights reserved.

Joyce A. Brown

Joyce A. Brown is a motivational speaker and author who uses her creative energy to give voice and meaning to the challenges women face in all walks of life. She grew up in Rockford, Illinois in a household of strong women, but her professional career expanded her reach into Peoria and Battle Creek, Michigan. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and has served as a direct services worker, executive director, program director for a major foundation, and entrepreneur. Joyce has experienced many uplifting moments as a professional and as a dedicated parent and strives to bring those events and lessons to life through her characters in the contemporary fiction novels she pens. Visit her Author’s Page

It’s Not Really Work…I Think

I’m struggling with an interesting dichotomy these days, a situation I could not have foreseen or imagined; my work has become my passion, and my passions have created a multilayered “job” where happiness and contentment are the most important benefits.

Dig, I have had a career that I stumbled into back in 1998 as a professional truck driver. No, it wasn’t the job I’d ever envisioned for myself, but it suited me more than I realized. I never wanted to wear a suit and tie to work, nor did I want to sit in a cubicle. Standing in a classroom and teaching was my other thought, but there are too many rules and too much politics involved in being an urban schoolteacher. I like the solitude involved when I’m rolling down the highway, alone with my thoughts, listening to music or a book, the captain of my ship. Sure, there have been bad days, but good ones far outweigh them. I’ve met people with whom I’ve formed lasting friendships, and it’s been rewarding. Yet, there’s another side to my soul, which was unnurtured, and opening the door and letting my creativity out has given me another job, one which doesn’t feel like work, but it is.

I think everyone has things about themselves which they might not show or share with the world. Maybe it’s a talent for culinary arts, painting landscapes, playing guitar, or the unique talent of using words to create new worlds and epic stories. We’re not so quick to display our alter egos and our art because the rejection from the world can be heartbreaking and soul-crushing. We keep our secret skills in closets and cupboards until the day finally comes when the creativity refuses to be locked away any longer.

A few years ago, I finally started chasing what has become my life’s work, a dream realized after deferring it for too long. In 2013, I became a professional writer. Let me break that simple declaration down a bit for the multitudes and the masses. I found a way to make a few pesos from the creative force I kept hidden for so long. I didn’t start along this path with a clear-cut vision of how this journey would go, but I’m enjoying the ride tremendously. So buckle up, and let me show you the rollercoaster ride I’ve been on the last eight years.

Poetry was my first love and forever loved, and we could discuss Frost, Maya, Langston, Sonia, etc., for hours. Once upon a time, I’d write my poems and show them to potential romantic interests to impress them. Did it work, you ask? Ha! I plead the Fifth Amendment. Anyhow, the advent of social media offered new opportunities and news outlets, and I created a page for my poetry called ‘Marlon’s Writings’ on Facebook. I’d post poems and short essays, and it was invigorating to interact with ‘fans’ while pushing further with my poetry. It was beautiful… in the beginning, but my creative energy was undergoing evolution.


When a feeds consistently, its appetite grows, and it can no longer be content with what once satisfied it. So yeah, I wrote poetry constantly, but many of my poems had other ambitions; they wanted to become stories. I had only written a couple of short stories back then, but for me, they were the next stage in my evolution.


My first book ‘The Colors of My Mind,’ was a collage of poetry and short stories written and produced by me, with no experience, advice, or editor. Lol. I refuse to remove it from Lulu because it’s a testimonial to how far I’ve come as a writer. Oh, and I still get a yearly check or two from that book because people are curious about me, like to investigate and buy my catalog. It’s a pretty cool thing, and I used to think I’d go back and rewrite that first book, but I don’t know if I’ll ever have the time.

The second book, ‘View from the Sidelines,’ was a book of poetry, and it’s good, but my creative mind was already moving on to new things. What if I had pictures of regular people and printed my poetry on those portraits, creating a different sort of art? Yeah, I did it in an attempt to make a coffee table book. It wasn’t the right time, and I didn’t have the right team, but ‘Perceptions of Beauty’ was a great attempt at my vision. I’ll try it again one day.

See what I mean? Each thing has led to another thing, and the repertoire and expertise keep growing. For example, I learned back in 2015 there are magazines and anthologies and contests, which not only accept poems and short stories, they’re willing to pay for them. But the submissions have to be original, unique, edited, etc. Yet, if enough acceptances occur, then those checks, PayPal deposits, and money orders add up, becoming residual income… and thus, the passion becomes a job.

One of Marlon’s publications

These days, I submit the occasional short story to a publication. If it’s a long one, almost a novella, I create an e-story with my team, which we publish with our company Voices From the Bleachers Publications. If it’s an erotic short story, my company ‘Delicious Escape Publications’ is the home for it, where I might use it in various ways. The novels I write are shopped to publishers by my agent, and it’s a new thrill-ride, where I consider offers, companies, personalities, and other criteria to make sure a company is a good fit for me. Experience has taught me not to be swayed by bombastic promises, and I am not easily persuaded.


It’s funny and amazing how this is going. I have a home office with a bulletin board and a calendar reminding me of goals, conferences, meetings, and deadlines. Two laptops, a printer, a desk, art, and a couch complete the picture, and I spend at least two hours a day in my office, even more on weekends. The guy who only wrote poetry has daily business calls regarding novels, contracts, films, collections, negotiations, new ideas, and new implementations. I have a team of partners and employees, and I swear, it may sound like work or a job, but to me, it really isn’t. It’s a gift that keeps giving, and my endeavors don’t feel much like work. It feels more like… a blessing, not work at all.

Copyright © Camp Goldston Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved

Marlon S. Hayes

Marlon S. Hayes is a poet, writer, author, and essayist from Chicago, Illinois. Find his work on Amazon, and follow his journey at Marlon’s Writings, Voices from the Bleachers, and Delicious Escape Publications all on Facebook.

GARDEN SPICES MAGAZINE: Dilip Kumar, Man, Actor, Legend by Monita Soni

The Indian film industry recently lost Mohammed Yusuf Khan(11 December 1922 – 7 July 2021), known to his fans as Dilip Kumar. Kumar was an actor who worked in the Indian cinema before it was called Bollywood. He was born to a Pathan family in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar. His father was a fruit merchant. His home was close to Prithviraj Kapoor’s home, who may have influenced the young Yusuf Khan into acting. Very soon Dilip Kumar gained immense prestige and adoration as a highly versatile actor. Fluidly emotive, exceptionally charismatic, and intensely passionate in a nonchalant way.  He is often remembered as the “Tragedy King” for playing the role of an unrequited romantic hero in films like Andaz(1949)  and Devdas(1955) but his rustic style in Naya Daur(1957), love the song “ Maang ke saath tumhara, maine maang liya sansaar…” And the sparkling  role play in Saudagar(1991) are equally memorable. 

I was introduced to the songs from his movies at a very young age by my dad before I saw him on the silver screen. Dad used to sing the uplifting song, “ Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen” from the movie Madhumati and the emotional song “Hue hum jinke liye barbad, woh hum ko chahe kare na yaad” from Deedaar. It was much later that I saw Dilip Kumar in a movie theater. I think the first movie was the comedy “Ram Aur Shyam( 1967)”. This was a blockbuster and a  trendsetter for movies with twin roles. I was young and impressionable at that time, when I came out bleary eyed from the movie theater in blistering heat, I was convinced that Ram and Shyam were two people instead of one!  The next movie I saw was Mughal-e-Azam(1960) in Mumbai after it was colorized and played for over a decade in theaters. I was enchanted by the elaborate sets, musical numbers and costumes. I must have watched the epic film many times with my mother, sister and now with my daughter. Jab pyar kiya to darna kya… and mohe panghat pe nandlal chhed gayo re… would play over and over on vividh bharati. I appreciated Kumar in Gunga Jumna (1961) too, a  dacoit crime film.

The First Khan” of Bollywood, the most successful actor, famous for bringing method acting to the cinema. This style incorporates a range of rehearsals that bring out a sincere and expressive performance. This Khan could immerse himself into the character’s emotions and motivation in such a way that his own individual personality dissolved. If you watch Dilip as Shyam in Naya Daur or Shyam in Ram aur Shyam, both roles are poles apart. Yet the actor has made both roles distinctly memorable! Whereas the current Khans in the film industry try to emulate the master’s style, but they lack his flair. My dad used to say that Shah Rukh is blessed with incredible magnetism but he can’t help slipping in a bit of Shah Rukh into every role. Aamir Khan on the other hand tries very hard to become invisible.  When I examine Dilip’s striking looks, I am reminded of Elvis Presley with a lock of hair on his broad forehead. His cheeks are reminiscent of Marlon Brando and Humphrey Bogart rolled into one. His hooded enigmatic eyes quickened the heartbeats of many fans, when he looked up. Just as his dazzling smile disarmed millions. 

But his now gentle, now anguished, at times enraged voice was his greatest gift. He was also blessed with an  impeccable command of the languages, Urdu, Hindi and local dialects, with effortless dialogue delivery that touched the hearts of Indians, Pakistanis, and desi diaspora around the globe. Everyone knows his tormented dialogue from Devdas by heart “Kaun kambakht hai jo bardaasht karne ke liye peeta.. Mein to peeta hoon ke bas saans ke sakun. His carefully selected roles portraying humble, yet righteous young men brought truckloads of villagers from across the country to catch a glimpse of the superstar. I think that kind of fan craze is enjoyed by Shah Rukh Khan today. Kumar won the first and highest number of  Filmfare Awards for Best Actor. He completed over 65 films. He debuted in Jwar Bhata (1944).. His first box office hits were Jugnu (1947) and the romantic Andaz (1949). The Government of India awarded him with the Padma Bhushan( 1991) and the Padma Vibhushan( 2015). He received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994. Even the Government of Pakistan conferred Kumar with Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 1998.

But after adjusting for inflation, the name Dilip Kumar will be immortalized as Saleem/Jehangir by the  period film Mughal-e-Azam, the highest-grossing film in India. But the success for this Magnum Opus also goes to his amore Madhubala, who plays the dazzlingly beautiful courtesan Anarkali. His romantic duets with co-star Madhubala and their mellifluous on-screen presence are absolutely enchanting. 

Dilip Kumar led a simple and long family life after his marriage to his film star wife Saira Banu. He loved to read and write in  his home in Bandra, Bombay. He dressed simply but was fond of silk ties and dress shoes. His favorite foods were biryani and dahi vada. He loved shayari and music. He was very close to the singer and actress Suraiya and loved her songs Tu mera chand main teri chandni.., Afsana likh rahi hoon and invited her to India from Pakistan for a live performance. His unassuming nature and benevolent aura disarmed many friends and family members.  I remember Dilip Kumar through the roles and songs he portrayed. Yeh hawa yeh raat yeh chandni from the 1952 movie Sangdil, sung by Talat Mahmood is my all-time favorite. My heart sings when I think of Dilip Kumar and Madhubala in this romantic number. It is an ethereal epitome of affection. When I am at a live performance, I always request the male artist to sing this song, and every time it casts a fairy spell. In his later years, my dad used to sing the song from his film Saudagar(1991) to his grandchildren Imli ka buta, beri ka ped, Imli khatti , meethe ber… Is jungle mein hum do sher, … perhaps it reminded him of his childhood. That’s the magic of good films. That was the magic of legendary Dilip Kumar. May his soul rest in peace. 

Monita Soni

With one foot in Huntsville, Alabama, the other in her birth home India and a heart steeped in humanity, writing is a contemplative practice for Monita Soni. Monita has published many poems, essays and two books, My Light Reflections and Flow through My Heart. You can hear her commentaries on Sundial Writers Corner WLRH 89.3FM.

GARDEN SPICES MAGAZINE: Goin’ In: Return to Center

By Susan D. Peters                

Recently my eldest daughter held a trunk party for the second grandchild we will send to a Big Ten College campus. A “trunk party, is a celebration that brings together the Village to assist a college-bound student with well wishes and dorm necessities. As the grandmother of thirteen, with an investment in the success of each, I’m learning their interests as they near adulthood and realizing that college is not for everyone, and that is okay. In discussing this with my friend and fellow author Joyce Brown, she advised that “Black folks need to Return to Center.” A lightbulb moment! 

Center is a position where we, the descendants of the formerly enslaved, show an appreciation for all the wisdom, intelligence, and occupations that value our needs and life-lived experiences. The work of household servants, pastors, factory workers, farmers, bus drivers, hairstylists, home builders; all have facilitated our climb on the road to freedom.

We need know-ers, and we need do-ers.

W.E.B. Dubois

There has long been a debate over the best strategy for elevation Black folks exiting chattel slavery. Some followed the views of W.E.B. Dubois, the first Black man to graduate from Harvard University and founding member of the NAACP, who asserted that the best strategy for the upliftment of African Americans was through attaining the highest level of knowledge-based education possible. Another route was advanced by Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee Institute, grounded in the idea that African Americans needed to be equipped with practical skills and trades; and strive to become financially independent. One man valued knowledge, advancing the idea that the most talented 10th should assume leadership; another man thought the ability to do the work necessary to build and maintain our communities was the priority. 

Booker T. Washington

Somehow we have lost sight of the inherent balance of these two ideas. We are indiscriminately pushing all our youth into four- or five-year college programs. I’d like us to reconsider how we nurture our youthful resources.

We need workers that KNOW things and workers that DO things!

When in physical danger, we call the police for protection. When a pipe bursts, we look for a licensed plumber; it’s a licensed electrician when the electrical panel needs replacement. When one falls into despair, our mood is often elevated by a work of art, a song, a superb dance. Conversely, when a country needs defending, we don’t call out the intelligentsia. Instead, we deploy the military, those soldiers who receive and execute on concrete, unpleasant, and often perilous directives. All are honorable occupations that make the world a place where we can live comfortably. And yet, we are not enticing our children toward these occupations. We have undervalued the people who perform these and other essential jobs. 

When did this shift occur? Where are the trade schools, the marketing of careers other than those requiring four, six, or more years and outstanding debt to accomplish? Scanning social media, most congratulatory posts are for youth pursuing “higher education.”

We seem to be leaning toward the “talented tenth” concept. Yes, many youths will flourish and hone their academic and social gifts on college campuses. However, not all our youth want or need college to make a good living and provide a foundation for upward mobility. 

The sooner we realize that the sooner we can return to a point of realization that we need to provide tangible, fulfilling options for all our youth, four-year college-bound or not

We are leaving behind youths that are not college interested, creating a situation whereas, The Last Poets chanted in their 1970 release “When the Revolution Comes,” a hefty segment of our youth are left behind to “party and bullshit.”  

What should we be doing? 

We need to restructure our educational systems in ways that prepare our children for the jobs that we urgently need filling. We do need more Black doctors, and we also need more Black people in the building trades. As a recent article points out, “Of the 9.2 million unfilled jobs in the economy, nearly 300,000 are in the construction sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” We need to embark upon providing more vocational training as well as political and financial literacy. We need development work that does not require an advanced degree; work that will help us return to center. 

Copyright 2021 © Camp Goldston Publishing. All rights reserved.

Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu on Unsplash

Susan D. Peters

Susan D. Peters

 visit my author page

Award winning best selling author 

GARDEN SPICES MAGAZINE: Above & Beyond by Aletha Metcalf Evans

Leave no stone unturned
Nor…Nary a corner cut
Get to the bottom of things
When others give up

Put yourself in the place
Of those you’re sworn to serve
Delivering star treatment
Not only VIPs deserve

Going the extra mile
Isn’t just a saying
It’s doing all that can be done
Including and up to praying

Have a plan A through G to start
Be who they look for first and last to leave
Give more than you get in return
For the public trust you receive

©Camp Goldston Publishing. All rights reserved.

Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Aletha Metcalf Evans
Retired California Police Officer



GARDEN SPICES MAGAZINE CUISINE: Soul: Wingery and Records

When your mom and dad have a Black business as florists for the Shoals area in Alabama; when your brother is in real estate, and when the family gives back to the community in service, it is no surprise that Thaddeus Rowell follows suit and forays into entrepreneurship.

The tiny building in Florence stayed vacant for several years before Rowell decided to place his whimsical business there. Soul: Wingery and Records boasts delicious cook-to-order wings cooked with favorable seasonings. Along with sides like fried green tomatoes, Kool-Aid, and old-school jams playing in the tiny space, the ambiance for soulful dining and musing is served. Take-out and catering are also available.


Don’t forget their loaded fries.
Waffles and Chicken, anyone?
You already know…fried green tomatoes!
If they are catering, run to the food…those wings are so delectable, they can disappear!
Customer, William Leroy Kennedy chowing down.
Garden Spices caught owner, Thaddeus Rowell, at Soul.

When catching up with Rowell, Garden Spices learned that he loves to travel and has been all over Europe. He also intimated that his entrepreneurial ventures are not finished. If they are anything like Soul: Wingery and Records, we welcome them.


Copyright © Camp Goldston Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

Thad’s parents’ business
Brother * sister-in-law, Theus, and Deleisha Rowell,
Entint Property Management

GARDEN SPICES MAGAZINE: “WORK” Is it a four-letter word? by George Greczylo

Or,

Is it a gateway to a life filled with purpose and joy?

For you, “work” may be the time spent away from home, which you, unfortunately, may dread. A grind, often repeated, by arriving at the designated time, to begin the tasks required, to provide funds which you spend on living? But, for others, work provides purpose and meaning to their lives. 

You and I, we all have friends who complain, with fervor, about this essential “evil” they must endure. More often than not, such beings tend to be unhappy and unmotivated in life. As leisure activities, they may be prey to self-destructive and addictive distractions when not at work. 

Now, let’s add a disability. You are an adult with a physical, perhaps mental, or even an emotional challenge? You now have an obstacle—one which seriously limits your employment opportunities. You are now in the 80 percentile of adults with disabilities who are unemployed in the United States today. With a slim chance to have the gift of a job opportunity.

In the past, there existed supportive work programs. Daily programs which benevolent parents and professionals created to provide meaningful employment for adults with disabilities. Meaningful employment, which we all long for, simply stated, is a job where you work with others. You have social interactions as you accomplish your required tasks. You receive support and encouragement. Best of all, you get paid for doing so! You rejoice in receiving the weekly envelope with your pay. 

You are providing a service for others.

As Aristotle once said: 

“Where you’re talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation.”

It is sad to report that these supportive employment centers have shut their doors in New York State and many others over the past few years. Someone had the impression that sheltered supportive work programs were demeaning. “We need to provide adults with disabilities opportunities to earn a competitive wage in competitive employment, not have them in sheltered work programs.”

Let’s ask a simple question; How does a wheelchair-bound, blind adult find competitive employment? They, like thousands of others, need a supportive work environment. Closer to home, let’s look at my son EJ, who happens to have Down syndrome; where does he find a competitive job? Without an employer with experience working with this population, it is almost impossible. Especially since Covid, many of the mainstream jobs are disappearing. 

EJ was fortunate; an excellent facility opened in our region seven years ago. – The Prospector Theater! EJ, who loves to work, was blessed to be accepted as an employee. To be an employee, one must want to work and be open to attempting all the different available jobs. You become part of a team, working side by side with supervisors. All jobs make a difference, and none are demeaning.

EJ on the job at Prospector Theater

The Prospector Theater is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing competitive and integrated employment to people with disabilities through operating a premium, first-run movie theater in Ridgefield, CT. 

Employees of the Theater are known as Prospects. Approximately 75% of the workforce self-identify with a disability. As a result, they provide a wide range of opportunities to find the “sparkle,” their passion, and transform their “sparkle” into professions while earning paychecks with competitive wages.  

Through education, engagement, and entertainment, they showcase the incredible talents and employability of the Prospects. Prospects work every job at the Theater – selling tickets, popping popcorn, filming, hosting events, editing, programming, landscaping, embroidery, service learning, marketing, information technology, strategic planning, graphic design, ICT, game design, grant writing, baking, research, web design, data analytics, costume-making, and so much more! This broad opportunity of different experiences exposes the Prospects to the community, many of who have never interacted with adults with disabilities. Through such interactions, local employers have provided jobs at their businesses.

More than 82% of Americans with disabilities are unemployed. In addition, over 1,000,000 more Americans with disabilities have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Prospector Theater is a solution to the unemployment crisis. 

Meaningful employment is vital to a person’s mental, social, financial, and emotional health. The Prospector model improves the quality of life for countless people with disabilities, their families, and communities. 

Through the operation of a movie theater, Prospects pair with jobs that highlight their strengths and passions – or, as we call it, “sparkle.” 

 Perhaps your “sparkle” is to provide an opportunity for someone to have meaningful employment.

Meaningful employment is vital to a person’s mental, social, financial, and emotional health. The best job is one where you are in an environment consisting of coworkers who support you, inspire you, and motivate you. Most importantly, they accept you for “who” you are. Not what you are or what you do!

For more information on the Mission of the Prospector Theater, go to prospectortheater.org

George Greczylo and EJ

George Greczylo is an Emmy Award-winning veteran of lighting design for Theatre, Dance, Opera, Concert, and Broadcast venues. His broadcast experience ranges from presidential town meetings to live Studio shows for the NY Yankees, Bleacher Report, Turner Sports, and NY Giants. 

George is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Prospector Theater actively supporting their mission to provide meaningful employment opportunities for adults with disabilities.

©Camp Goldston Publishing All rights reserved.

GARDEN SPICES MAGAZINE: Behind The Scenes at the Black Women’s Expo

By D. Gray-Young

The theme of this issue of Garden Spices Magazine is work.  When we think of work, it is mainly about our work, the work we don’t want to do.  But how often do we consider the amount of work that has to happen to produce our favorite products or the events we enjoy.  We watch television with every expectation that the tv will turn on immediately.  If we want to access the internet or watch a program on a streaming platform like Netflix, we get annoyed if it takes too long to load. Suspending events in 2020, due to COVID-19, a tremendous amount of work goes into bringing a live in-person event to life. But not just work, a huge amount of cooperation and collaboration between dozens of companies, professionals, services, and resources.  By the time we show up at the gate, we only see the result of months of planning and coordination.  

Here is a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Black Women’s Expo as it prepares for an expected throng of visitors over the weekend.  The Expo is their first in-person event since 2019.  The expectation and excitement are high. 

The venue: McCormick Place North building, filling two hundred thousand square feet with over 300 exhibitors spaced to be socially distant.  The design and construction of the show floor layout are by Show Strategy, Inc., headed by Glenn Charles, Jr.  The hundreds of people expected to attend will have no clue or curiosity about how it all came together. 

Everything we enjoy takes some work to make it happen.  Thank you to Editor and Publisher Vicki Goldston for corralling the Garden Spices writers and putting out an issue. 

Until next time.


             The BWe Next marketing flyer

Readying for the event

  Black Women’s Expo 2021 at McCormick Place.  The space looks different with hundreds of people.

Featured Photo: Chelsea Whittington, C Whitt PR


Deborah Gray Young

Deborah is an ICF accredited coach working primarily with professional women of color to help them better manage their personal and professional brands to achieve their next levels of success. She is also the author of three books.