May 24, 2016 is a day that I will never forget. It was the day that my life really began.
I can remember standing in the halls of the Dunn-Oliver Acadome on the campus of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama, anxiously awaiting my name to be called.
But there was something about graduation that wasn’t right. So many of my friends that were supposed to be graduating high school with me that night, weren’t able to do so because they had been called home to be with God.
Dressed in a black and gold cap and gown, mostly black, I can clearly remember being soaked in sweat by the time my name was called.
When my name was finally called, it seemed like everything went in slow motion.
As I walked across the stage with tear-filled eyes because I knew that so many of my friends were looking down on me from Heaven, I hit my chest twice and point towards the sky as if to say, “This one’s for you.”
Unlike so many others in my graduating class, I clearly knew what I wanted to do one day.
When I sat back down in my seat, I remember feeling a sense of relief.
That fall, I went off to college. I was only there for a semester before I realized that I just wasn’t meant to go college. I already had what it took.
So I decided to take the long way around it.
Three years removed from college, I have come further than I ever thought was possible, especially without a college degree.
But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Clearly God knew far before I did, that I wouldn’t be in college more than a semester.
The point of this piece is to serve as a sense of inspiration. Some are meant to go to college, others aren’t. But as long as you keep a clear mind and full heart, you will be successful in any aspect of life.
Often times, we don’t realize that at any moment in our lives, it could be the last time we will our loved ones alive.
This was the case for Aryeh Gaspard on Sunday. The 10-year-old son of the retired WWE superstar and his dad, Shad Gaspard, who is best-known for his time in the WWE tag team Cryme Tyme in the mid-2000s.
Aryeh and Shad were going for a midday swim in Venice Beach, California, when both of them went missing. In an effort to help swimmers find Gaspard’s 10-year-old son, Shad shouted “Save my son!”
The swimmers did just that, but little did Aryeh know that was going to be the last time he saw his dad alive.
Shad was last seen alive around 3:40 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, May 17, 2020.
On Wednesday morning, May 20, 2020, a passerby located Shad’s body that had washed ashore.
The passerby then notified local authorities, who called the Los Angeles County Coroner to the scene.
The coroner was later able to positively identify the body as that of former WWE star, Shad Gaspard.
The point of this story is, hold your loved ones tight, you never know when all of that could come to an end.
God Bless Aryeh, you’re in my thoughts and prayers buddy.
I haven’t written in a while, but recently, I made a post on Facebook about a 1930’s outlaw couple.
Perhaps you’ve heard of them, unless you’ve lived under a rock your entire life. Their names? Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow.
Yes, Clyde’s real middle name was Chestnut.
As I made the post, a friend of mine, who is from a Louisiana town/city not far from where the couple that ran all the through Louisiana and parts of East Texas, were ambushed and killed on May 23, 1934 in Gibsland, Louisiana.
The day after I made the post, she visited the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum there in Gibsland and sent me pictures of some of the content. She was also kind enough to allow me to use them in this piece.
Later, that night, she made a comment on the post about a book entitled, “Ambush: The Real Story ofBonnie and Clyde” by Ted Hinton. I believe Mr. Hinton is no longer living, but I decided that since I have always had an interest in the two outlaws’ tragic love story, why not purchase the book?
So, I went to the Books app on my phone, typed the title in, and purchased the book. I’m currently only in the second chapter, but I will say, I’ve been hooked from the first page.
While I have an interest in their story, I don’t condone what they did back in the 1930’s, but it’s history and I’ve always had a great love for history, especially stories like this one.
Stay safe, I’ll talk to y’all soon, I’m going to go back to reading more of this incredible story.
Ever since this pandemic started several months ago, I haven’t watched the news, I’ve avoided watching tv as much as possible.
Every night before drifting off to sleep, I try to read the Bible. Recently, I read Isiah 41:10 and it got me thinking, you know, we may act like sports need to hurry up and resume, but they can wait.
Just yesterday, a friend of mine posted on Snapchat a picture that read “Sometimes, you are delayed because God knows that there is a storm headed right in your direction.” I can’t think of a more fitting picture to post during times like these.
There is light at the end of this pitch black tunnel that we are all in right now. Someday, we will be giving hugs again to the ones that we love and shaking hands with friends.
There will be a day when we don’t have to be six feet apart. There will be a day when we go back to work.
Concerts will return, sports will return, and everything will return to normal, but it won’t happen on our timing, it will happen on God’s timing. Be patient and trust Him.
ttended my last game at Turner Field on July 13, 2012, when the Braves took on their National League East division-rival, New York Mets, out of Flushing, New York, a suburb of New York City.
The starting pitchers that night were Dillon Gee from the New York Mets and the Braves handed the ball to Auburn, Alabama’s Tim Hudson. Hudson is a 1997 graduate of Auburn University, where he was teammates with that night’s starting catcher, David Ross. Together in college, those two won the College World Series during Hudson and Ross’ Senior year of 1997.
When I was heading to Turner Field that afternoon, I could feel my chest getting tighter the closer we got to the field.
I knew that this would most-likely be the very last time I ever stepped foot into the place where I fell in love with the game of baseball.
That night it rained for three hours before the game ever got started and it was 12:30 before the game got started.
We started until the end of the sixth inning. Fittingly, Chipper Jones had the last at-bat I ever witnessed at Turner Field.
But this was much different than the first time I ever saw him at the plate in person, he didn’t get out.
In fact, he sent a ball deep into the Atlanta night, over the right-center field wall. He must’ve known I was in the stands, because otherwise, he would’ve probably gotten out as was often the case.
The Braves ended up winning the game 8-5.
Meeting Tim Hudson Five Years Later:
On April 7, 2017, my uncle, who coached my cousin’s travel ball team, called me to tell me that they would be playing a team out of Auburn, Alabama, called the Colt 45’s, and it was coached by Tim Hudson.
When he told me this, I knew immediately that I would be in attendance just to see the game.
But, I didn’t know it would result in me meeting the last pitcher I ever saw start at Turner Field face-to-face and having a conversation with him.
On April 8, 2017, I woke up early, my uncle picked me up and we headed to Lagoon Park in Montgomery, Alabama.
As I approached the field, I could see Tim was carrying his San Francisco Giants warmup bag, for those of you that aren’t familiar with him, he won a World Series title in San Francisco in 2014.
He was busy when I approached, so I waited until he wasn’t busy to get his attention. After his team had taken the field for pregame warmups, he approached the dugout that I was standing beside, I took this opportunity to yell “Tim!” And then motioned for him to come over to me. He did so politely.
I mentioned to him that my goal was to become a Major League Baseball broadcaster one day and then he and I talked a few more minutes, I asked him “Would you mind if I got a picture with you?” He responded “Absolutely brother, come on.” Afterwards I told him that he was the last pitcher a game at Turner Field that I attended, he said “Is that the game when it rained forever?” I said “It was, y’all didn’t start playing until 12:30 a.m., he responded “That’s it.” He and I both shared a laugh because we both knew how that turned out for the New York Mets, whom both of us hated. The last thing I asked him was “Who gave you the nickname ‘The Bulldog’ he smiled and said, “Two people are responsible for that nickname, Chipper and Bobby Cox, Chipper started it first because he said I went after hitters like a bulldog and after a few weeks, the skipper only called me “Bulldog”. I thanked him and before I sat down I said “Go Braves!” He said “Chop on, my brother.”