Seasoned, Gifted and Black
June 6, 2016
WHAT THE HOOKAH . . . ?
“What is that?” my sixty-something-year-old sister asked during one of our tri-weekly early morning telephone chats. I was sitting in my home office and I had just remarked how I could still smell the yecchy fragrance of hookah pipes a week after I had accompanied my daughter to a hookah bar on one of her entrepreneurial pursuits. Continue Reading
June 20, 2016
THE NEW MATH
My neighborhood is being Gentrified. Is this related to Mummified? Petrified? Absolutely!
For the past 33 years, I have lived in a federal style house – a simple red-brick box, two stories above ground, one below, three bedrooms, one and a half baths. It is semi-detached, attached to one other identical house. For more than five square miles, similar houses make up a moderate-income neighborhood. Until recently! Oh, the boxes look the same. It’s the income numbers that have changed. Continue Reading
July 27, 2016
If I Knew at 60 What I Know Now
I recently attended my Aunt Pearlie’s 94th birthday celebration. Also in attendance were her 88-year-old sister, Geneva, and her other sister who happens to be my 87-year-old mother, Lucille. It was a glorious event. It goes without saying they have marvelous and intriguing stories to tell. Continue reading
August 11, 2016
Dated -- Game Room Celebrations
Do you remember the “game room” of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s? Located in the basement of most houses, teenagers would entertain their friends there and slow drag to the six minutes and 13 seconds of “Stay in My Corner” at red-light-bulb parties. I recently saw a rerun of the television show Roc where Roc’s father called it the “rumpus room”; another antiquated term. Continue reading
September 5, 2016
Lillian Durodola -The New 90
Some say 40 is the new 20, and 60 is the new 40. What is 90? More specifically, what is 92? In the case of Lillian Durodola, it is well-coifed, lucid, alluring, chic and ethereal. These are only a few of her many pleasant attributes I encountered during a recent visit with her. I am not speaking of “visit” in the nursing home/hospital sense. I stopped by her apartment where she lives independently. I hadn’t seen her for a while, but she looked exactly the same as when I met her some 30 years earlier.
September 25, 2016
Dated: The Platform Shoe
Who will ever forget the scene in the movie I’m Gonna Get You Sucka when Doodlebug, sharp as a razor blade, descends a staircase wearing shoes that house aquariums in the platforms? Of course, the platforms burst before he got halfway down the block, spewing fish tank gravel and plastic aquarium plants all over the sidewalk. Those shoes have been replicated but never duplicated since the release of that movie and that scene is a classic. Continue reading
November 25, 2016
It wasn’t often, but when I was growing up, occasionally my mother allowed me to spend the night with her mother who lived across town from us. Those times spent with Grandma are among my most fondest and exquisite memories, beginning with her four poster bed. Grandma had two mattresses on top of a box spring appropriately adorned with a dust ruffle, sheets, quilt and a luxurious fruity smell. I always felt like a princess when I mounted the stepstool to get in it. Continue Reading
October 14, 2016
Wendy Denise Bridges: Walking in a New Season
I first saw Wendy about three years ago when I became a part of a water aerobics class for senior citizens. My initial thought was she must have been allowed in the class through some sort of waiver because there was no way this woman was over 60; she looked way too young and sprightly. “Perhaps she’s a veteran,” I thought. “Or, maybe a relative or friend of someone who had influence.”
May 28, 2017
On Being A Lady
To say my first encounters with being a “lady” were horrific is an understatement. They involved learning to sit with my knees closed and my ankles crossed in church and keeping my white crinoline slip dress clean. The former seemed an exercise in futility and the latter practically impossible in the soot laden and sulphur smelling air of the 20th century active steel mill town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, master them I was forced to do -- first to avoid the fiery switches of a mighty taskmaster, my mother; and second to avoid acquiring the label of being “fast,” code for a “loose woman”. Continue Reading
July 14, 2016
What Happened to Happy Endings?
I love happy endings. Which is why I want Olivia to forget about Fitz and run off with Jake to live on the beach. Which is why I wanted Cookie to fall madly in love with the security guy in season one and run off to Las Vegas. Which is why I want Jerrod to marry Maxine and give Loretta Divine and David Alan Grier chubby adorable grandkids. Continue reading
August 8, 2017
Tools for the Next Generation
“We brought you some KCF,” my 7-year-old granddaughter proudly announced as she entered my bedroom.
I had used the time she had been away shopping with my daughter to catch up on a couple of my DVR-ed soaps.* Continue Reading
March 23, 2017
If I Knew at 60 What I Know Now (2)
I recently attended a Black History Month celebration honoring nine octogenarians, five of whom were African American females. It took some effort tracking the ladies down as their schedules left little time for them to talk to me. But eventually, I was able to speak with three of them about their journeys and to ask them the perennial question, “What do you wish you had known at 60 years of age that you know now?” Continue Reading
The most fabulous women I know are African American and over the age of 60. We are feisty, sassy, and our shoes and purses match. We drive the latest model cars, and have well-manicured lawns in front of homes that we own. Some of us are globetrotting and others are still slaying in the corporate world everyday! Whatever the case, we are Seasoned, Gifted and Black! This blog is for and about us! Interested in a specific topic? Email me at email@example.com
January 7, 2018
More Than A Number
I recently realized I have lived through major events that occurred before a lot of people today were even born. Kind of eerie! Actually, it was the second Twilight Zone* moment of my life having to do with aging. The first occurred about 30 years ago when a clerk at a Sears catalogue order pickup desk called me “Ma’am.” Not in a being polite to a customer sense, but in an “You’re old enough to be my mother” sense. I wanted to say, “I’m not that old.” But, I was thrown off when I looked at him. He looked barely old enough to be eligible for a Work Permit. Neither did any of the clerks in the department. They looked 12 or 13 years old at the most; but here they were working at Sears delivering my telephone order. (Always the online shopper!) Continue Reading
August 2, 2018
Advice for Your First Kiss
I kissed a dolphin. (Almost!)
Actually, I was the last in a line of about 20 other landlubbers, young and old, each having the goal of kissing a dolphin. But after donning a life jacket, walking down a long pier, entering the water, and trying to defy gravity by remaining still while wearing a life jacket, my excitement waned. I clung to a gate as we watched the well-choreographed jumps, dives, and claps of the sea creature at the behest of the trainer. However, upon viewing the pointy teeth of the mammal (the dolphin, not the trainer) and learning she was pregnant, my enthusiasm further diminished. The trainer also warned not to approach the animal but to let her come to you. I was the last person in line to kiss the slimy lips. When the person before me passed, it made it easier for me to say, “That’s okay. I’m good!” Continue Reading
October 23, 2018
Sunday Morning Shine
When I was a child, my father would cook breakfast for the family every Sunday morning. Canned salmon sauteed in liquid, eggs, green peppers and onions served over rice. Toast with blobs of butter melted and browned under the broiler of the oven. Milk for me and my three sisters and coffee for him and my mother. (Sometime around the time I turned 16, there was a coffee cup set for me at the table when I came down for breakfast.) It was the same breakfast every Sunday morning which was both beautiful and monotonous. Unfortunately as a child, I didn’t appreciate the beauty of it. But I certainly enjoyed the taste of it. Continue Reading
May 29, 2019
I was invited to a wedding recently. It’s been a while. Currently, my friends who aren’t happily married are either widowed, divorced, and/or blissfully single. And almost all of them and their kids are grandparents. So, it was with great delight and gleeful anticipation that I quickly RSVP’d that I would attend. Next consideration – the gift. Well, these days that’s pretty simple, money or gift cards. Easy enough! But that didn’t stop me from reminiscing about when I first started receiving wedding invitations shortly after completing high school in my newly independent days.
The invitations were fast and furious, arriving every six months or so. We were young!! And, we were broke!! However, I quickly came up with the perfect routine for securing an acceptable gift even though my funds were invariably limited. I would reach into my “junk” drawer and take out enough S&H Green Stamps, Top Value Stamps, or Plaid Stamps to fill a redemption book and head to the nearest redemption center.
It was pretty easy to accumulate stamps in those days. They were routinely distributed at grocery stores, drug stores, and gas stations. I can remember cashiers pulling their pads of stamps out of the bottom of the cash register drawer to give customers the number of stamps that corresponded to the amount of money they were spending.
My favorite gift to trade my stamps in for at the time was a Lazy Susan which required one book or 1200 stamps.The Lazy Susan was a staple. It was a ceramic hostess tray with three small dishes surrounding a center bowl. The whole thing revolved on a wooden stand. It was used for chips, dips, and relishes and was quite the entertainment centerpiece. Practically everyone had one on the coffee table in the living room or in the middle of the dining room table. The ones I would get from the trading stamp redemption centers were particularly colorful and ornamental.
I haven’t seen a Lazy Susan in anyone’s house for years. Today, entertainment foods are commonly served up on aluminum or biodegradable trays. They are easily disposable. Much like today’s marriages. But that’s a topic for another blog!
November 6, 2017
Tribute to "Church Ladies"
Last Sunday morning, I was helping my 88-year-old mother pick out jewelry to match the suit, hat, and shoes she would be wearing to church. The band on her hat perfectly matched the color of her blouse which perfectly matched her shoes. Aches and pains aside, when she walked into church, she and her outfit were a testament to the elegance of black women in general and the elegance of black “church ladies” specifically. Pass by most black churches on Sunday morning and you will see outfits that rival those of New York Fashion Week and those of the current potentates of today’s fashion world. Continue Reading