Safety First

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Whether you live in the south, the east, the midwest or somewhere else in the country, one thing you want to do during the upcoming summer is keep your children safe. The world is violent, especially in urban cities, and as it gets hotter and summer quickly approaches, the violence only increases which often leads to death. For parents who work full time and need their children to be occupied, there are a number of things you can do to keep your child active and out of the streets.

The Boys & Girls Club is located in cities all across world. The club  provides assistance and support to kids in youth program development, resource development, marketing and communications, and more. The facilities offer several different programs. For these programs the age usually varies depending on the program you choose.

In cities such as South Bend, which is known and popular because of Notre Dame, they offer different camps and events for children to do, whether the kids are local or if they’re coming from miles away. So check out local universities, or even community colleges near you and see what they offer.

Big Brothers Big Sister (BBBS) programs are located all across the word and it gives your child that big sibling they’ve always wanted. Personally experiencing the BBBS myself, I was a Big Sister for a couple years and I’d pick my sister up, we’d have picnics, go skating. If your child is involved with this program, they will probably get picked up once or twice a week and go on an outing. They also offer different camp activities.

The YMCA  offers different programs and activities for youth with the hopes of building “human community of justice with love, peace and reconciliation for the fullness of life for all creation.” There’s numerous ways to keep your children off the street and into something productive. Check your city’s website and see what all there is to offer. It isn’t impossible to keep your child safe during the summer, you just have to search, seek and find.

Only Cowards Run

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I can’t even begin to count how many friends, peers, neighbors and strangers I’ve seen die due to violence in South Bend. It only seems to get worse as time goes by. The first thing I hear people say or see people type is ‘South Bend is a dead end, South Bend isn’t safe, I have to get me and my kids out of here.” This comes from the same people who talks crazy on Facebook and act tough in public, but one of your friends die and the first thing you want to do is run? What is running going to do for you? Where will it lead you to?  I suggest you help prevent things like this from happening to other innocent people again. Its true it is the police duty to protect us, but they can’t do that with our help.  I know that not all cops are good cops, but you never know until you. Right?  Violence is a public health issue, because it affects not only the victims, but their family & friends and their community as well. It’s already obvious that gun laws won’t decrease violence because there always seem to be away around them, and if a person wants a gun, they’ll get one- whether they steal it or pay an extremely high price for it. So, the question is where to begin? Those who have pull in the city  and is popular can begin it all. They can speak to people, inform them that isn’t route to go. Maybe we can look into a crisis hotline, a number people can call 24/7 when they’re going to something, which may be contemplating murder. Talk to your loved ones, remind them how important life is. There is so much we can do as city to decrease the violence, but we need a place to start, we need a person who wouldn’t mind taking a stand. When it comes to parties and music, everyone is quick to volunteer to make moves, but who can we call on it our time of need? Especially when a lot officers haven’t gained the trust of the public. If no one else will tell you, I will running is for cowards. You can’t run from your past. So stand up and take a chance, you never know, you just may save a life which  will save millions of tears and hundreds of broken hearts.

Happy Birthday Einstein!

 

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Today (March 14) would have been Albert Einstein’s 135th year of life, but as most people know his life ended in 1955 when he was 76. Born in Germany, Einstein was the scientist who created the Theory of Relativity (1905) and the mass-energy equivalence formula. So let’s wish the man who created difficult formulas and equations such as E=mc(2) a happy birthday!

Let’s end on this quote: 

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” 

Age Stipulation on Clothes?

Age Stipulation on Clothes?

Fashion is popular, always has been and always will be. We’ve seen clothes come in style, leave and return, sometimes even less than a decade a later. That’s the fashion life, but how is too old for older men and women (especially the women) to wear a certain attire.

Recently I was doing shopping with my friends and a woman who was probably close to 50 (maybe older) was trying on an outfit at the same time as one my friends. She stared at herself for several minutes in the mirror before turning around asking for my opinion. “How does this look?” Inside I was talking to myself as Mo’Nique did in Phat Girlz when she didn’t want to say the truth aloud. I said nice, but in my head I added if you were celebrating your 21st birthday. She wore daisy dukes, with fishnets and a top exposing almost all of her breast. She also had a tattoo on her cleavage. Is this appropriate? Maybe to her it is, but to others it may not be.

On a separate occasion, I was in kids aisle and there were lace and netted shirts for the young girls. The shirts, in my opinion are too sexy for anyone who haven’t even reached puberty yet – and even then it’s still questionable as to whether it’s appropriate or not. The same thing with leggings, I feel like little girls shouldn’t wear them, in these days, kids bodies mature a lot quicker than they did back in in the day and leggings shows it all and bars none.

I also began questioning my own appearance at one point of time, when I was 20 and a junior in college, I became a substitute teacher. I enjoyed it and I felt like I dressed appropriately until students would walk up to me and talk about they have the same outfit as I do. When this was happening my students thought that they could have friendship with me, not only because I was young, but also because our dressing styles were very similar. As the time went by I completely changed the way I looked when it going into work and I learned the students actually have more respect for you when you look like a teacher instead of their peer.

The way a person dress not only says a lot about your character, but it also plays a role in respect. For example, the woman I seen with the daisy dukes on would most likely get less respect than a woman of her same ethnicity and age with nice slacks and a blouse on. This issue is also big with celebrities who wear skimpy clothes and still dress as if they’re in their early 20s. So, we’re back at the same question again, should certain clothes have an age stipulation? Should we dress a certain way after we hit a certain age?

Yes, I feel In Love- But Its Not What You Think

Yes, I feel In Love- But Its Not What You Think

I usually eschew topics focused on sex, men, women and their “instruments.” Communicating with my friends of different sexes, I’ve realized that men and women are no longer falling in love with the person because of who they are and what they stand for. They’re falling in love with their partners baby making tools instead. A man can make a woman very obsequious ( and vice verse) if he puts ‘it’ down- the right way of course. Women cut of their friends, men will flaunt, flash and spend all of their money on these women, and it isn’t because they’re in love with one another, but because the person knows how to work what the Lord blessed him or her with.
As you’ve seen me say before sex is popular and it gets people going- literally. It’s not like it’s a esoteric topic, all adults and most kids knows what it is, but not everyone allows themselves to fall in love with it. Women and Men alike, probably go through a whole slew of people before they find what they’re looking for. Falling in love with penises and vagina’s is easy to avoid. Don’t have sex with them until after you know them. If you have sex first and get to know them later you’ll be in a mess of trouble- all kind of secrets and skeletons are probably overflowing their closet. Just think, how amazing would it be if people fell in love, not in sex? Think about it.

“Lets Talk About Sex Baby”

Sex, sexo, sexe, cekc- no matter what country or language you say it in sex still means one thing. Sex is a sexually motivated phenomena or behavior. These days people take advantage of their vaginas and penises and use sex as a game instead of a way to show their love and affection for one another. There are so many things that reference sex in todays society, everything from movies, to music to games and even commercials.

Media portrays sex as something fun and exciting. When it seen in music videos done by celebrities and sexy backup dancers it wheels kids in. When it’s seen on shows such as Secret Life of a American Teenager, it wheels teenagers in. They see these adults portraying teenagers living young, wild and free and they want glimpse of that life- until they learn that everything that glitters isn’t gold and TV glitters up everything. Most of these characters that were featured in this series had sex drives that were intractable.

Dancing is one of the most provocative actions that leads to sex-juking, twerking, grinding, bumping- all these involves the thrusting of body parts against one another. The issue with our society is everyone is so against teen pregnancy, yet they promote it any and every time they can. Celebrities want to tell teens to do the right thing- go to college, get a education, sex can wait, yet in their music, videos and performances everything they preach to kids goes out the window.

Kids in middle school are even have sex now, the fact that 5th graders are mixed with 8th graders introduces kids to sex earlier than they usually would be introduced to the topic. The bad thing about sex is that’ll it will alway be around effecting on your youth and making it tempting for them to test the waters.

Sex sales and with all devices and social networks kids has access to makes it difficult to monitor their every move. Trying to keep them away from these things is like trying to stick to diet- it’s easier said than done.

SBCSC: Why Are We Failing?

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Being a substitute teacher, I interact with hundreds of kids a week. I work at schools like Navarre Intermediate Center, Harrison Primary Center and Riley High School. In each of these schools I always noticed different things about each of these students. I’ve subbed for a teacher at Harrison on three or four different occasions, there is the cutest child in the class who we’ll call Amber- she’s 6-years old and repeating Kindergarten for the second time and it’s not because she doesn’t have the skills and knowledge to move on, but because she only learns at school. Her mother doesn’t work with her at home and Amber told me how she can never do homework because her mother always throws her books and homework and her library books in the trash. This girl head was infested with lice and her appearance was always unkempt. Amber was always shy and quiet each time I was her teacher and seen her in the hall.

When I first began working for SBCSC I was a paraprofessional. I worked at Brown and Riley with children who either had a learning disability or who were diagnosed MR. While at Riley, I learned that the kids weren’t being pushed to their  full capabilities. They were doing second grade level work, the teachers didn’t seem to care about them and they weren’t treated equally. Even while at specials the students spent each day walking around the track, they didn’t do anything else just walk; sometimes they would stop to watch the kids downstairs play basketball, volleyball, kickball, redrover or whatever activity the teacher had planned for the day. Even then when they stopped they were yelled at.

I didn’t do paraprofessional for long, I soon became a substitute and worked with the students who the schools considered “normal.” Even then, I noticed issues with both the way schools were ran and how the teachers methods were failing. There are teachers who give students tons of work to, but don’t always explain how each assignment should be completed. So when I’d go in a classroom I’d have to refresh memory to understand what they were doing in order to help them. Even then It’d sometimes take me one class period to get through the  reading so I can explain to the students the assignment in simpler terms meaning my first period students grades would suffer because of lack of understanding.

Then there are teachers who give their students more busy work then brain work. Students will do coloring activities, crosswords, word searches, etc all day instead of things that can actually challenge their mental.

South Bend Community School Corporation was given a overall grade of D. Although I primarily work only at Riley, Navarre and Harrison, prior to remaining at these schools I’ve worked at all of the others at least once, sometime even more. I’ve seen how each school operate and the challenges they give the kids, so I wasn’t surprised to see that our school corporation is failing. Besides the traditionals (Tarkington, Hamilton, LaSalle and Kennedy) who all received A’s, (Tarkington B+) every other school in South Bend received grades of D’s.

Teachers, Principals and other school officials try to blame the students and their parents for these issues. The fact is the problem is deeper than parents not wanting to helping their child, because if that was so every school in South Bend wouldn’t be failing as whole. The issue is also due to the teachers not giving their all to students, a child can tell when a teacher doesn’t like them and gets frustrated with them. This causes children to get frustrated in return and maybe even feeling embarrassed  to speak up in class or ask a question. Some teachers inadvertently makes children feel this way some don’t.

Parents and school officials alike need to hearken, when it comes to students. Focus on what they need help on and help them. If their issues with school aren’t solved, it may impair them and their future.

SBCSC is inchoate and they can’t seem to do what it takes control their students and teach them. Our school system is in jeopardy and we all must take a stand and do something to improve our school system as a whole and each student grade individually. Some students are categorized as intractable, but they’re innocuous. This is not just one person fault, it’s everyone who’s involved with the schools and not doing as they should fault. To see what each school received and a closer look at the school system follow the link below.

http://k12.niche.com/d/south-bend-community-school-corporation-in/

 

WBQ: Life

Life is hard and there’s no doubt it can be stressful and complicated at times. People are fighting illness, homelessness, rape, abuse and this is just some of the more complicated things faced on a everyday basis for these individuals. Then we have families fighting to stay to together, men and women struggling to get not a job but a career. These are the minimum amount issues people have to face.  Through each day you struggle, each fight you fight, or anything else you may go through, you must remember never give up on what you want you believe in. It’s easier to call it quits when life doesn’t go your way and you don’t get what you want than it is to continue to work hard for something that may or may not pay off in the end. It’s important to never give and work for what you want, make your dreams  reality and don’t let anyone hinder you.

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Family: Words By Q

Despite what you and your family go through, you should always try to make amends and forgive one another. There is no telling when God will invite one of us home. You don’t want someone to die and the two of you end on bad terms. So take time to say “I love you” “I forgive you” or whatever it is you need to say. Our time here is not forever- don’t wait until it’s to late.

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Traditions & Culture in the African American Community

Traditions & Culture in the African American Community

“Me and Mrs, Mrs Jenkins, Mrs Jenkins, Mrs Jenkins
Mrs. Jenkins, we’ve got a thing going on
We both know that it’s wrong
But it’s much too strong to let it cool down now.”
My aunt is belting out the lyrics to Billy Paul’s; ‘Me and Mrs. Jones.’ Instead of using the last name Jones, she uses her own last name. We are at my parents’ house, and this has become a tradition of ours. Every Saturday, or whenever possible both sides of my parent’s families come to our house to eat and sing Karaoke. This is one of the many traditions that we have, some are things that we just started doing regularly, like our annual Christmas parties and BINGO day. Others are the things we’ve picked up from our ancestors, and they’ve just been passed along from generation to generation.
Growing up in my family, we experienced different traditions. We celebrate holiday dinners together, Sunday dinners, family reunions, family vacations, and so much more. There are so many traditions in the African American community, and some of us don’t know why these traditions exist, which is a shame because it’s our culture and we should know everything about it.
When I sit and think about it, I realize that I never knew why certain things had to be done and how or where did they originate from.
Jumping the Broom
Jumping the Broom; it’s not only a popular tradition in the African American community, but it’s been made into the theme of a movie. Last year a movie entitled; ‘Jumping the Broom’ hit theatres. The movie was about a young black couple who hadn’t known each other for long, and deciding to get married. These two people were from two different worlds, the bride’s family was high-class and wanted a traditional American wedding, the groom’s family, was middle class and wanted to relive the traditions of our great ancestors. Angela Basset, an actress in the movie, who was the bride’s mother said in an interview; “A lot of young people don’t know the strains and struggles that people have made so that we have opportunity today… Jumping the broom signifies a time when slaves weren’t allowed to marry. Families were broken up; children were being snatched away from their parents. ” This is significant because it lets those of us who know nothing at all about this tradition, know why it’s so important in our culture. It wasn’t until after I seen the movie, that I wanted to learn more about jumping the broom, the real meaning of it. Basset was right, a lot ‘us’ don’t know anything about the tradition.
According to Larry James article about ‘jumping the broom,’ he states; “Jumping the broom is a ceremony dating back to the 1600s and derived from Africa. Dating back to slavery days, jumping the broom together has been part of weddings for couples who want to honor the tradition. It also has roots in the Celtic culture and including but not limited to Welsh, Celtics, Druids, and Gypsies and some aboriginal or shamanistic cultures. ” Unlike Basset’s statement, this goes into more details about the history of this tradition, which is important because it’s vital to know why our great or great-great grandparents care so much about doing this at weddings. Although I’ve never seen this personally done at weddings, I’d love to restart to tradition within my family at my own wedding.
When a couple jumps over the broom, it’s their way of leaving their past behind, and walking into a new life as one. Each part of the broom represents something different; the straws of the broom represent family; the handle represents the Almighty, and the ribbon represents the tie that binds the couple together.
Something that’s just as important as weddings is the holidays, it’s another time when we all come together and celebrate.
African-American culture is rooted in Africa. According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, “It is a blend of chiefly sub-Saharan African and Sahelean cultures. Although slavery greatly restricted the ability of Americans of African descent to practice their cultural traditions, many practices, values, and beliefs survived and over time have modified or blended with white culture. There are some facets of African-American culture that were accentuated by the slavery period. The result is a unique and dynamic culture that has had and continues to have a profound impact on mainstream American culture, as well as the culture of the broader world.” This defines exactly what African American culture is and what nations, and/or cultures are involved in black culture as a whole.
Christmas
“Now it’s time to get funky
To the right now, to the left
Take it back now y’all
1 hop this time, 1 hop this time
Right foot 2 stomps, left foot 2 stomps
Slide to the left, slide to the right
Crisscross, crisscross
Cha-Cha real smooth.”
DJ Casper’s lyrics are loud in the party hall of Holiday Inn Express. I’m surrounded by family, we’re celebrating Christmas. Everyone is on the dance floor doing the newer version of the electric slide, “the cha-cha.” It’s now at the part where he says;
“Freeze, Everybody Clap yo hands
Come on y’all, check it out
how low can you go?
Can you go down low?
All the way to da floor?
How low can you go?”
My cousin is grooving, and she trying to go low, but apparently her jeans is a bit too tight, before she makes it back up her jeans rip right down the middle. The funny thing is she doesn’t really seem embarrassed, and if she is, she’s doing a fantastic job at hiding it.
This tradition is done at every family get together, the cha-cha, the cupid shuffle and any other slide that is popular at the time. Although my family and I have our own set of traditions for Christmas parties, we ignore the traditions that came from the roots of our African American culture.
A tradition I’ve never heard of, but is no longer recognized, is Jonkankus; it was a celebration which honored an ancient African chief. Jonkankus was a dance done on Christmas and Easter. In her article about the roots of African American Christmas tradition, Irene Smalls said; “In celebrating the Johnkankus, the community members were continuing an African folkway and also creating one of the first African-American traditions. ” Instead of waking up to ask about presents on Christmas, kids would ask about Johnkankus. This tradition lasted for nearly 300 years. This made kids back then a lot less dependent on toys and gifts, and more on the spirit of Christmas, the holiday itself.
Although this is a tradition that hasn’t been done in years it still interest me, because it shows me how much myself and the others in my community don’t know about our history. Johnkankus isn’t the only tradition that I was surprised by.
Kwanzaa was actually to my surprised originated in Africa, never has my family celebrated this holiday, nor did any other black families I knew. I grew up believing that white Americans celebrated this holiday. On the ‘Christmas in America’ website they talked about different holiday traditions including kwanza. “The holiday originated in 1960s, during the civil rights movement to commemorate African heritage of African Americans who use Swahili language. ” As many may know, the holiday lasts for a week. There are family events, gifts are exchanged and black, red and green candles are lit to symbolize the seven basic values defined for the African American family life. The meaning behind kwanza, I’ve always known about, and I thought I knew the meaning behind it all but apparently not as much I thought.

Soul Food
We all usually arrive at the same time; me, my parents, and everyone else in our family. Today is no different. It’s 1998, I’m nine years old. I’m surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, my parents, siblings and of course my paternal grandparents. It’s Sunday evening, and we’re getting ready for the usual dinner we have. I look at the huge green house on the Southside of South Bend. I hate the color, and it reminds me of puke. I walk in with my parents, and the aroma hits me; Greens, dressing, sweet potatoes, chicken, and so many other foods and of course desserts. The big oak table, which seats maybe 12-14 people, is almost set. Since it isn’t ready, I play in the living room with my cousins until Granny Barbara calls us for dinner. The living room wall is filled with pictures; cute and embarrassing ones. We never get to play long because several minutes after we start, we’re called to dinner.
Food is something that brings all American families together. Every year on Christmas and Thanksgiving, my family sits around a huge dinner table filled with a variety of different soul foods; dressing, sweet potatoes, collard greens, turkey and/or ham, and so much more. No matter what is going on, if you put a plate of soul food on the table and surround yourself with family the problems are temporarily resolved.
My great grandmother, who was born and raised in Arkansas, taught myself, my siblings, and my cousin about the different types of foods. Most of the foods originated from down South, such as southern fried chicken, which is chicken, seasoned, floured and battered and then fried. I use to think that only African Americans had this meal, but now the meal is outside of the African American culture. Along with chicken, watermelon and chitterlings also known as chittlin’s are also popular within the Black Culture and originated from down South. I knew that fried chicken and chittlin’s were stereotyped around blacks, but I never knew that watermelon was stereotyped around black people as well.
We all hate black eyed peas, but our granny won’t let us be dismissed until we finish them. I stuff my mouth, go to the bathroom and spit them out. I’m sure they know what I did.
Music
Ironically two, of the three topics I have begun with thus far, started with some type of song; it makes me realize that music really is an important factor in my life. I love all genres of music, from R&B to country. My family also listens to it; while at work, while doing homework, while showering or any other activity, music is most likely involved.
While sitting in my magazine writing class, (there are usually four in the class, but one student is absent.) Heather Augustyne is the guest speaker; she is talking about Ska music. This is a genre no one in my class, me included has ever heard of. Augustyne smiles as she says, “I figured this crowd is too young, for that.”
In her book, An Oral History, Augustyne says; “Ska is a music genre that originated in Jamaica during the late 1950s, and was the precursor to rock steady and reggae. Ska was combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. It is characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the upbeat. ” This just lets us all know more about the history of culture.
Wikipedia talks about music and African Americans, the encyclopedia states; “African American music is rooted in the typically polyrhythmic music of the ethnic groups of Africa. African oral traditions, nurtured in slavery, encouraged the use of music to pass on history, teach lessons, ease suffering, and relay messages. During slavery, Africans in America blended traditional European hymns with African elements to create spirituals. Music was used to pass by time, and give slaves the Holy Spirit. ” Back then and in this day in age, music was comforting, and relaxing, it puts you in another world.
Rap and R&B is popular now in the Black culture. R&B is usually mellow and soft tunes. For the majority of the time, its lyrics are about; love, lust and/or sex, but using so many words. Rap; which I’m not a huge fan of, can be offensive, there is usually a lot of cursing and degrading women in the songs. I’m sure our ancestors would be spinning in their graves, if they heard half the words that are said by rappers.
Hair
Hair is very important to Black American women. Some like me don’t mind wearing weaves. I don’t like to get perms though. Others like one of my best friends; Len likes to wear natural styles. She’ll wear hers wild, natural curly, twist, braids, or corn rolls, etc. In the slavery days black people we’re always referred to as ‘nappy headed’, this means their hair is curled up, and dry, brittle and tangled. I prefer not to walk around with my hair like that so I depend on chemicals. Just as the movie was made about; jumping the broom and soul food, a movie has been made about hair as well. It’s called ‘Good Hair,’ comedian Chris Rock discovers the curiosities of African-American hairstyles, after his 7 or 8 year old daughter asked him why her hair wasn’t straight like a girl who was in her class, who was mixed with White and Black.
In Noliwe Rooks book; ‘Hair Raising’ this is what she had to say about African Americans and their hair; “since the beginning of African civilization, hairstyles have been used to convey messages to greater society. As early as the 15th century, different styles could indicate a person’s marital status, age, religion, ethnic identity, wealth and rank within the community. Unkempt hair in nearly every West African culture was considered unattractive to the opposite sex and a sign that one was dirty, had bad morals or was even insane. Hair maintenance in traditional Africa was aimed at creating a sense of beauty. ”
As the years go by, more and more styles are incorporated into the Black community, some I’m not too fond of and others I like. Hair no longer identifies your age, religion, or marital status. People can now choose how to wear their hair. When I see people both old and young wear afros or just natural hairstyles, I always wondered why they do so. I learned it’s a way for those individuals to express themselves as well as show their roots. Since the end of 2010 the natural hair styles are becoming extremely popular amongst college students and young adults. I respect the people for wearing their hair natural, because it shows they’re not afraid to show where they come from. I don’t want to get things confused though, because I’m not ashamed of where my ancestors came from, I just prefer different hairstyles.
Maintaining facial hair is more prevalent among African American men than in other male populations in our society. “The soul patch is so named because African American men, particularly jazz musicians, popularized the style. The preference for facial hair among African American men is due partly to personal taste, but also because they are more prone than other ethnic groups to develop a condition known as pseudo folliculitis barbae, commonly referred to as razor bumps, many prefer not to shave. ”
In Good Hair, Chris Rock interviews Reverend Al Sharpton who asserts, “My relaxed hair is just as African-based as an afro because it all came out of black culture. ” By this he means that even if you do get perms or relaxers you’re still representing your community because both perms and relaxers come from Black Culture.
African American cultures and traditions have come so far over the years and it will continue to grow in the future. Traditions in my own family are improved and added every year; one that I love is our family reunions. Every year we have song that’s played for our coming together and celebrate our lives as families, as well as our grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, who aren’t there to celebrate with us. The song is ‘Family Reunion’, by the O’jays.
“It’s so nice to see
All the folks you love together
Sittin’ and talkin’ ’bout
All the things that’s been goin’ down
It’s been a long, long time
Since we had a chance to get together
Nobody knows the next time we see each other
Maybe years and years from now
Family reunion (Got to have)
A family reunion
Family reunion
(It’s so nice to come together) To come together
(To get together)
I wish grandma could see
The whole family
I sure miss her face
And her warm and tender embrace
And if grandpa was here
I know he’d be smiling for me a tear…”
To see what he has done
all the offspring’s from his daughters and sons

As the song comes on, I sit and think about how true the lyrics are. We all wish that Granny Barb and Papa Kenny were in the picture, but they’re not and we know it so we keep their spirits alive in our traditions.