I'm going to start deciphering this month from the beginning. Hang in there with me. It's really been something else. There's been dolls, a 40th Class reunion, Halloween, Gustav Myers Books and just a ton of processing. Processing what? My Absolutely Fortunate Life!!! How did I become so fortunate to know such wonderful people; to share such fantastic moments of sheer joy.
I can't believe how busy I was during the month of October. I said to wonderful David the other night that it was hard for me to believe how long it had been since I last posted. I just finished editing the pictures from Pop Lloyd Weekend. Ah, the memories. I've been trying to think of how to put that weekend into words. I can't. I thought maybe by posting the slide show, I could convey what it was like. It doesn't. But I will post it anyway. I'm going to put it on the side. Take a look. I've grouped the photos by activity.
It starts with the Educational Symposium that we do in partnership with The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Although this is technically the beginning of the weekend, it really starts for me on Thursday. This is when the players and speakers for Thursday arrive. My heart begins to pump harder when I see the first player, or weekend alumnus.
This is one of the first faces that I saw on Thursday night. His name is Herb Douglas. He makes me smile from the top of my head, to the very bottom of my feet. I love this picture because it really captures Herb. If you google Herb, this is some of what you will find out:
Herbert Paul "Herb" Douglas, Jr. (born 9 March 1922) was an American athlete who competed mainly in the long jump. He represented the U.S. in that event at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, where he won the bronze medal.
Competition in the long jump was particularly keen at the London Games. Willie Steel of the U.S. won the gold medal at 25' 8"; Australia's Theo Bruce came in second, taking the silver medal at 24' 9.5". Herb Douglas captured the bronze with a jump of 24' 9", and Lorenzo Wright of the United States ended up fourth at 24' 5.25".
Douglas served as Pabst's national special markets manager from 1965 to 1968. From 1977 to 1980, he worked as vice president of urban market development for Schieffelin and Somerset Co., where he helped popularize Hennessy Congac X.O, V.S.O.P, V.S and other brands in the African American community. Douglas has worked as an urban marketing consultant since 1987.
In 1980, Douglas founded the International Amateur Athletic Association, Inc. (IAAA), of which he is president. He has also served on the board of directors of the Jesse Owens Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh. Douglas, a member of the NAACP and Urban League, was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. Semi-retired, he lives with his wife in Philadelphia. He was selected by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 Most Successful Black Men.
But... what you will not find there is what a tremendous human being Herb Douglas is. And you won't find any reference to his generosity of spirit. And you probably won't find a picture of him as wonderful as this one. Herb was a Pop Lloyd Humanitarian Award winner a few years ago. He has returned every year since. I look forward to seeing him, being in his company and experiencing him and this wonderful smile.
This is "Red" Moore and his lady Mary. They come each year from Atlanta. Mary brings me little packages. The best sweet potatoes and fresh black eye peas in the world. She brings them on the plane and I look forward to them.
Red played with the Newark Eagles during the mid '30s to the mid '40s. You can google "Red" too. How many people do you know that were born in 1916. That's when my friend "Red" was born.
I asked Mary how she got those sweets and peas up here from Georgia. She says she just packs them up in a little bag and puts them in her lap. I think that there must be something in the soil that makes them taste so good. Or maybe it has something to do with the warmth and care of Miss Mary.
Another person I want you to know about is Ms B. Isn't she a cutie. Well my girl is now a sophomore in college. But... what you need to know is that there have been very few Pop Lloyd Weekends without she and her brother. They have sold more books and mugs for the Committee then the rest of us combined. As you can see, she's a daddy's girl. Really though, she belongs to all of us and she really has a special place in the circle of this weekend. It really feels like everyone does come home for Pop Lloyd Weekend. You should try it sometime. Her Dad, well that's Michael. My Dad used to call him the Hatchet Man. And, he used to say it with all the love and respect in the world. Micheal really makes the weekend happen. And he has already started working on next year. In between working at Boys and Girls Club, sideline counseling any kid, or adult that might need it. Did I tell you that he doesn't sleep? I think it's because he believes something won't get done. I like this picture too.
I'm going to share just a couple more that rock my world, make my heart sing and say more then I am capable of. I'll just give you a brief commentary.
These three pictures were taken on Saturday afternoon at Kathy (Michael's halfside), and Michael's house. Kathy and Michael graciously open their home for a luncheon for everyone. It's become a tradition. You know the song "Wind Beneath My Wings", well ask Micheal about Kathy. Heck, you could probably ask any of us. Well, there's Michael and Kathy. Next is Chef Ike. Ike has been cooking Pulled Pork sandwiches for this crew for the past 4 years. He's now a student of Culinary Arts at the Vocational Arts School. Ain't he handsome. And the pretty youngster with the glass in her hand is Joetta Clark Diggs daughter. She is the generation in grooming. And believe me, she will be just the one to continue the legacy. Ain't she just the prettiest little thing that you ever did see. I could just squeeze those little cheeks. Oh, Joetta was one of our award recipients this year. Congratulations Joetta!
I have to post this picture of Mahlon Duckett. I love this beautiful head of soft white hair. It is just so beautiful, and so is Mahlon. He looks really serious here doesn't he?
And you really don't post Mahlon without Stanley Glenn. They are usually together. Former Phila Stars, they both sill live in Philadelphia. This particular shot was taken when we toured the Civil Rights Garden in Atlantic City.
had her back to him leaning over the fountain in the middle of the garden, reading the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" This shot speaks volumes for me. Even though it is the back of Stanley, I remember taking it. He stood there for quite awhile reading those pillars. And Joettaspeech to her daughter. I saw a sticker somewhere recently that said: "Life is not measured by the breaths that you take, but by the moments that take your breath away." If that is true, then in these few days, I lived a lifetime. Thank you all for the moments.