The words below were written by my son, Garrett Able, and shared on his Facebook page. I like what he had to say. I believe he’s a wise young man.
The words below were written by my son, Garrett Able, and shared on his Facebook page. I like what he had to say. I believe he’s a wise young man.
The Dawgs had an unseen assist in the Rose Bowl.
I met Pam Bowman when I was a Delta Delta Delta pledge, a hundred or more lifetimes ago. Bowman, as the Sisters called her, was to be feared. According to the Sisters, she would rip you to shreds if you messed up, and no infraction went unseen: failed a test, partied too much, didn’t party enough, went out with the wrong guy, behaved in ways unbecoming to the Sisterhood. Whatever it was, Bowman would know, she would deal with you, and it would not be pretty.
Each pledge was granted a meeting with her, I don’t remember it being an optional encounter, but maybe it was. Either way, the meeting was to learn more about what was expected of us, academically and socially, as Tri Delta pledges. I had heard of her before I met her, and what I heard would make Scarlet O’Hara quake in her riding boots. I was expecting to meet Cinderella’s evil stepmother’s younger sister. Or Snow White’s evil Queen.
My appointed time arrived, and I braced myself before entering the meeting room. To my surprise, there was no evil queen in there. What I found was a beautiful, statuesque blonde, a bright, friendly smile, and Southern grace. She was a straight shooter, no doubt. But I respected and appreciated that about her, immediately.
My second year, I transferred to an out of state school, and I never came across Pam again. Not until Social Media became a thing. There are some good things about facebook, and reconnecting with old friends is one of the good things.
Pam and I became “Facebook Friends” five or six years ago. I have loved catching up with her, I had thought of her often over the years and wondered how she had fared in life. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her family through her stories and photos. I especially loved hearing about her husband’s love of the Georgia Bulldogs. She has some good stories. Funny stories. But last year, Chip, Pam’s husband, suddenly, without warning, passed away.
This past fall, Pam mentioned him often, during Georgia’s march to the West Coast and the Rose Bowl. On New Year’s Eve, the eve of the Rose Bowl, she posted something that is worthy of print.
From Pam, December 31, 2017 / 10:52AM
“As many of you know my husband, Chip passed away this year from a heart attack and UGA Dawg cancer. He lived his entire life with a severe case of stage four Dawg cancer. One good thing, even though there was not a cure for Dawg cancer, there was treatment. He knew EVERYTHING there was to know about the Dawg football program from way back in the day until the day he died. One of the worst cases of Dawg cancer I have ever seen. Plus he knew every stat about every UGA sports team. He even watched old games. He saved those games. That’s bad. If they’d had a poker team, he would have even known about that program and stats as well. It was incredible. An extremely bright man. For the family, the aftereffects of a Dawg chemo treatment was either real nasty or real good. If they won, he was ecstatic. If they lost, he would not speak to anyone for almost a week. No kidding. If they played so so or not up to their potential, he didn’t have very much enthusiasm. He hung in there whether the Dawgs had a good or bad season for 59 years. Anyone that knew Chip, was well aware of the fact he did not talk much. To know him was to love him. He was a very quiet and introspective person. One of those type of people, that when he did talk, you’d jerk your head around in disbelief and listen. I spoke more than enough for the both of us anyway. One thing he always said was that the year he died, the Dawgs would win the National Championship. Just to make him mad. Me, Matthew and Kathleen knew when the season started, this would be the year. Come on DAWGS. #godawgs #UGAgrad #forchopper #forchipprengaman ”
By the way, the University of Georgia won the Rose Bowl. #GoDawgs
Do it one more time, on January 8, 2018. #forChipPrengaman
Cooper is four years old, and she loves looking at old photos. She asks questions about the people in the photographs, sometimes she makes a statement about the photo. She’s done this since she was three, at least.
“That’s you and Lindsey when she got married”, Cooper, age 3.
“That’s you when you were a baby. With your grandma?), age 3.
Me: “Yes, and she’s your great-great grandma”.
Thanksgiving week, my nephew and his family once more made the
journey to North Georgia, out of Florida. As usual, sweet Cooper showed interest in several photos. But not the ones she had studied last time she visited. Once she’s learned a lesson, she moves onto the next.
“Who’s this, Diffy?”
Me: “That’s your dad when he was a senior in high school.”
Cooper, as she shows the photo to her dad, “Look at you, Daddy. Look at you”.
She brought more photos for inquiry. Her blonde curls fell around her shoulders as she moved about. After a while, she started toward me with another old photo, one in a shiny silver frame. Before reaching me, she stopped in the middle of the dining room, intently studying the picture. I could see her wheels turning, trying to figure out the identity of the people in the frame. Finally, she asks pointedly, “Who are they?”
Me: “Oh, that’s Garrett when he was two years old. And me”.
She stood in place, but raised her face toward mine, and let her eyes move slowly across it, coming to a rest on my hair. She looked down at the photo again, studied it a while longer, then looked up and locked eyes with me. And in a very sympathetic, but matter of fact voice, she said, “You weren’t old back then”.
Her mom may have wanted to cringe, but I laughed! I’m smiling now, thinking about her innocence. Cooper wasn’t being mean or insensitive, there was no malice in her words. She was simply stating a fact.
It’s a real life fact, that if we are fortunate, we live to be old. I remember when I was four, Cooper’s age, when 57 sounded like it might be the age of Moses. Now it seems so young.
The hardest thing for me isn’t age, though. It is realizing how I wasted time in the 53 years between 4 and fifty-seven.
Too many wasted years spent in a bad relationship…. years sitting in Atlanta traffic two-three hours per day… years wishing I had gone to law school, telling myself it was too late… years thinking I was not as gifted or talented as everyone else. Years of bulls$&¥.
So this is for you, if you’re living a life not exactly doing what you want to be doing… Get up and get going, change. It’s not too late. Do the hard work that it takes to make the change, and see it through. Reconnect with old friends. Tell yourself you are talented, gifted and something special. Because you are.
And then go do what you want to do. If the people in your life don’t support your goals, surround yourself with those who do. If you can’t find anyone to cheer you on, be your own cheerleader. Leave the self-centered, negative people behind. Because #aintnobodygottimeforthat .
Live your life fully. Live it now. For one day, sooner than you know… you’ll be on the other side of an old photograph.
He snuck in quietly, unseen. No one in the house was aware of his presence. He hid behind familiar things, in plain sight, and stole from us. He took art and music, stories. He stole a little everyday, yet we didn’t notice.
We were all so busy with our own lives, seldom taking time to stop by the familiar white house. So busy. When we managed to find time… Christmas, Thanksgiving…. we were in the holiday hustle, and didn’t notice what was missing. We didn’t see the thief, even while he sat down at the table, and ate Christmas cake. We didn’t see him.
But she…. she had become aware of the thief. She tried to hide him, cover his tracks. She hoped he would leave, without taking more, for his sake…for hers. Ours. She didn’t want us to know he was there. She wanted him to go away, the thief. But he refused to leave. He stayed. He has moved in.
And it’s heartbreaking.
“My brain doesn’t work right anymore “, he told her.
It’s as close as he’s come to acknowledging the thief.
Alzheimer’s, dementia…. may be the cruelest of all diseases. The body can remain healthy, muscle memory still remembers how to mow the lawn and split firewood. Drive a car. The face looks the same, but the brain has changed, memories shifted. The person no longer fully there. He has been stolen. Both people in the house… robbed of their golden years.
My dad had not played his guitar for many years. But on Thanksgiving, this year, he agreed to play and sing for us. And in a short span of time, mere minutes, he began to resemble the music man I grew up with. I was amazed at the transformation made by music, and I want to share the video here for you to see. I want to preserve it, so I can watch again, and remember.
Cindy Harter Sims took this photo of my parents a few years ago, as The Thief was moving in. At the time, my dad told Cindy, speaking of my mom, “I just feel better when I’m with her”. She is his comfort zone.
Photo taken by Garrett Able, Thanksgiving 2017
Photo courtesy of Garrett Able, Thanksgiving 2017
Rodan + Fields is a Pyramid Scheme.
I hear that from time to time. And I do get it….I understand why your knee-jerk reaction is to believe RF is a scheme. Believe me, I’m aware of all the snake oil sales companies out there. They rope you into their lair with hype and then require you to lug their merchandise around to home parties…. and then you learn you have to make deliveries to those friends who felt sorry for you and purchased what you were hocking. And the incurred cost they forgot to tell you about…. It’s shocking to learn that you are required to go into debt every month buying junk you’ll never use. That isn’t a sustainable way to operate a business. One month you’re loaded up with new goods, displayed like a shrine on your dining room table. Six months later, the same shrine is set up on the back wall of your hometown Goodwill store. And your Visa is maxed out. No thanks.
Rodan+Fields isn’t like that. First of all, Pyramid Schemes are illegal and I would never be involved in any sort of illegal activity. So if we are family or friends, and you call my business a Pyramid Scheme, I will assume one of two things.
Rodan+Fields is a legitimate company and RF Consultants are legitimate, home based business owners. In truth, most companies actually are structured like “pyramids”, right? If you’re looking at a company’s payroll by levels of income, it’s probably going to resemble a pyramid. The owner is at the top and earns the highest salary, everyone else trickles down.
Right out of the gate, we are different.
Rodan+Fields is the namesake, legacy business of Drs. Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields…. I’ve been told they don’t take a salary from RF. (They probably earned a few dollars with the other company they created. You may have heard of Proactiv?). Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields are intelligent women who saw a need and set about finding a solution. They are generous with their time and company rewards. They reinvest RF profits into their consultant’s businesses, they fund quality product development, and they give to charity.
They change lives.
In regard to earnings, the playing field is level in Rodan+Fields. For instance, a Harvard trained attorney and a high school drop-out can earn the same income with RF… the drop out can actually earn more than the attorney if she/he is teachable. With Rodan+Fields, empires are being built and legacies are being created. They are being created by teachers, stay at home moms, doctors, dentists, chefs, hair stylists, scientists, baby sitters, maids, and lawyers…the diverse list goes on. It’s a wonderful work from home company, one empowering men and women from all backgrounds. You know, you could actually become my business partner tomorrow, and if you’re willing to do the work, you can build an empire with RF. If you work, you will see success. By work, I’m not talking about pushing out 40-60 hours of labor each week. Work, in RF, means you are willing to talk about our clinically proven products. Work means you aren’t worried about what someone thinks of you for sharing before and after photos of our customers. (May I add….those people you’re worried about don’t pay your bills?). It’s easy work, but it takes a commitment of more than a few minutes here and there to build a lasting legacy (did I mention our RF businesses can be willed to our family). However, if building an empire isn’t your dream and you simply want to earn a few hundred dollars a month, that can easily happen with very little time invested.
No, we aren’t a Pyramid Scheme. We aren’t even like other Direct Marketing companies. We are beautifully unique.
Here’s a link to my personal RF product journey: https://redclayponderings.com/2015/04/14/scarface-undone
I would be happy to tell you more.
OJ: “I’ve always tried to be a good soldier.”▪️Hush your mouth, OJ. You don’t have the honor of calling yourself a soldier.
OJ: “Basically I’ve lived a conflict free life. I mean, I never got in fights on the street.”
▪️That’s right, Juice. No street fighting for you…not where men might get the better of you… where your public image would be tarnished. You were having none of that. The Narcissist knows when, where and with whom to wear his mask, and he chooses when he’ll remove it.
You removed your mask for few.
You saved the ‘beat the hell out of you fights’ for women, for wives and girlfriends…behind closed doors. Until the night Nicole took it to the street and revealed the monster behind the mask.
I watched the woman in the courtroom yesterday, the one who misspoke your age…she was charmed by you. Fooled by you. But those who have dealt with the likes of you were sickened by your false display of humility.
I can’t imagine what the families of your victims felt when they saw you sitting there…the blubbery thug who hijacked their lives. I can imagine, for the brief time that you were incarcerated, they felt their loved ones were seeing a bit of Justice, though the sentence was never on their behalf. Still, it must have provided…something.
But now, here you are, forced upon all of us again.
Relentless news coverage of your life. We are sick of you.
Just Go Away Orenthal.
Have you ever met someone who, without even trying, changed the way you perceived yourself? Until today, I’ve never had such an encounter, not in this profound and positive manner. And to be frank, I’m astounded by the emotional growth I’ve experienced in a mere six hours. I know, I know…such things are bursts of energy, not a lasting, change.
But I’ve had a mindshift, and it’s everlasting.
I met Aimee Copeland this afternoon. But can I tell you, I felt her presence before she introduced herself? We had an appointment to meet at the Chattahoochee Nature Center near Atlanta. She was already there, waiting outside, when I arrived. It was as I first walked toward her, that I felt it. “You must be Danita”, she said. Think what you will, but I promise you, a very confident, strong, warm, sincere and sweet spirit greeted me in the space between she and I…in advance of that verbal greeting. My friend Dani was with me, and she experienced the same.
Perhaps her name is familiar to you. Aimee had a zip-line accident about five years ago, and as a result, lost limbs, and nearly lost her life. Given the same situation, most of us would have succumbed to defeat. But something didn’t allow Aimee to give up. I believe it was that spirit I witnessed today. Inner strength. Faith. Hope. Love of life.
Aimee has started a foundation, the Aimee Copeland Foundation. She has a plan to create a nature park accessible to people with disabilities. She understands how difficult, if not impossible, public parks and gyms are for people with disabilities. As a psychologist and athlete, she also understands how detrimental a life lived solely indoors is to our emotional well-being. (Maybe someone will be able to help her out…She’s looking for land on which to build her dream. Donated land would be awesome!).
What was the purpose of my meeting with Aimee? Yoga.
For several years, I’ve been losing the ability to walk unassisted…the residual effects of a battle I had with Goliath. I’ve tried to hide it. It feels like another assault, it feels personal. I’ve been embarrassed by the falls and stumbles. I’ve felt the red hot sting of humiliation in asking a stranger for help out of a chair, or an arm for steadiness…otherwise risk losing my balance and falling like a skidrow drunk. I’ve sat in my car at Dellinger Park, praying, trying to will my legs to have the balance and strength they used to have, to walk the hills and trails. Or make laps around the track. I’ve cried privately to God, knowing that barring a miracle from Him, I’m going to eventually be in a chair. I’ve been able to maintain hope for improvement, but lately I’ve felt a bit defeated. Believing it was time to accept my destiny and give up unrealistic expectations.
Then today happened. I met this beautiful young woman…Aimee. Beforehand, I knew she was in a chair. But upon meeting her, I did not see her chair. I didn’t see her prosthetics. I saw life. I saw and felt a vibrantly beautiful life. Hope.
I did yoga with her. Outside. In a public place. On video. And I wasn’t embarrassed. I wasn’t hyper aware of my imperfections. I did not feel inferior. It felt good to be outside, moving my body again. I left there today feeling like I can conquer the world, as long as I do it in small portions, consistently.
Thank you, Aimee. That giant has not defeated me after all.
The girl in the photo, on the right, is one strong sister. The strongest sister I’ve ever known.
“There’s a chip on your shoulder, girl
And by God it’ll make you fall
If you let it take a part of your soul”. M&S
Sisters, help me understand what’s happening here.
We told the world we would not judge Hillary Clinton by her husband’s behavior…his documented and proven, philandering ways. We told women….young girls, mothers and dads, to give HRC and daughter Chelsea a break, because they were not responsible for Bill’s objectification of women…his rape of women or the abuse of his title. We know Hillary threatened and paid some of the women Bill abused, but we asked the world to look the other way and give her a shot at becoming president….President…Even though we know HRC ignored the pleas of Patriots while they died on enemy land.
You, some of you….fought like the devil for Hillary. You claimed you were fighting for all women. You said you wanted to see the glass ceiling shattered and you cried when Hillary wasn’t the one to break it.
For reasons I don’t understand, you marched with a stuffed pillow strapped to your head, and called it a vagina. You claimed you were marching for my rights, the rights of women around the world. You said you represented all women. The Sisterhood. Really now? I’m sorry, Sugah… but no. Don’t take to the streets behaving that classless and distasteful, and claim you are representing me. You called yourselves Nasty Women and proved it to be true, because you left mountains of trash on the streets of our cities. You made a mess with your trash…you left it on the sidewalks, the streets and in the doorways of businesses….and you left it for your sisters to clean up….the women who make their living in public sanitation. That doesn’t sound like a sisterhood to me. It sounds more like a pack of spoiled, overindulged, ill-mannered, selfish younger girls, not sisters.
And now, you’re attacking Ivanka, the First Daughter. You’ve created a campaign to destroy her businesses. You’re playing a schoolyard game of “I don’t like her so you can’t like her either”. You are bullying her, why? Because you don’t like her dad? Grow up, girls. The First Daughter, a successful, intelligent advocate for Women’s Rights, a woman who will break many glass ceilings, is being bullied by the women who “marched for the rights of all women around the world”. Hypocrisy oozes from that proclamation. Your actions expose your sham. For the record: Hypocrisy is the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretense, sham.
If you are truly supportive of all women, prove it by supporting all women.
Enter gracefully, leave peacefully.
Danita Clark Able, Author, Letters From A Whoremonger’s Wife
We didn’t know his name.
Most had never given a moment’s thought to who might be the Chief of Police in one of America’s most historically tragic cities; 1963 was a long time ago, after all. But in less than a week, we’ve become familiar with Chief David Brown. Fate and tragedy pulled him from obscurity and forced him on us.
He gained our respect immediately. We could sense his goodness, his integrity. Clearly, a man who prefers a quiet life. We didn’t know the man though. We’re getting to know him, daily. And as we do, our respect grows.
Every life has a story, and this one is something else.
The Washington Post /July 8
Few people understand loss better than David Brown, the Dallas police chief who stood before television cameras Friday morning and said, “We are heartbroken.”
Even before five police officers were killed Thursday at the site of a Black Lives Matter protest where seven other people were wounded, Brown had become all-too familiar with grief, pummeled by it again and again in his career and personal life.
Before this week, violence had already taken from him a former partner, a brother, a son.
“There are some people who would just shut down, and they would have others conducting the interviews,” said Keith Humphrey, the police chief of Norman, Okla. “But that is not David. He realized the community wants to hear from him. The nation wants to hear from him.”
It wasn’t the first time Humphrey, who was once the police chief in Lancaster, a suburb of Dallas, had seen Brown step up under painful circumstances. In June 2010, Brown was only seven weeks into his new position as chief when the son who bore his name killed a Lancaster police officer and another man before being fatally shot more than a dozen times.
It was Father’s Day, Humphrey recalled.
But even as Brown mourned his 27-year-old son, a young man who struggled with mental illness, Brown asked Humphrey for help. He asked if he could reach out to his son’s victims and arrange a meeting. On the two consecutive evenings Brown walked into their homes, Humphrey recalled, he did so not as a police chief but as a father who was hurting, too.
“He approached those families as David Brown, the father of a young man that caused so much hurt in both of these families lives,” he said. After Humphrey made the introductions and hugs were exchanged, Humphrey walked outside to give the families and Brown privacy. “As I was walking out the door, I heard David say, ‘First of all, I’m sorry,’ and ‘My son was not raised this way.’ ”
When Brown was named police chief in 2010 after climbing the ranks of the Dallas police department, he entered the position with a reputation of being an intense and introspective leader, according to those who knew him. A Dallas Morning News profile at the time quoted him as telling a friend, “You know I’m a loner, man.”
But for a private man, his personal pain has been excruciatingly public — and those who know him say it places him in a unique position to lead an anguished Dallas police force.