October 16th, 2015 | By Sonnie Johnson
Always love chatting with students at @YAF.
Once upon a time in a Fairy Tale land called Chicago, there lived a little boy named Tre. Tre lived with his mother in a two bedroom apartment in a run down housing complex. His father was a police officer killed in the line of duty.
Tre loved everything about seeing his father in a uniform. The pride he took in making sure his clothes were clean and pressed made Tre want to do the same. The time he spent talking to the every person he met on the street had opened Tre’s heart and allowed him to open his ears. But nothing compared to what Tre’s father gave him outside of his uniform.
Tre’s father loved Science. He was always in their little garage doing experiments with John, the boy next door. Tre was to small at the time to help with any of the experiments but he loved sitting and watching as his father tried, failed, and tried again. After his father died, John would often come over and continue the experiments.
As one year, then two passed, John stopped coming around as much and with his mother working two jobs and volunteering at the Church, Tre was often lonely. But he didn’t care, he had science and this year he planned on taking top place in the City’s Science Fair. Tre’s father experimented with weapons, so he took that science and applied it to race cars. He invented a new way to send his toys airborne.
His mother was so excited for him, she went and bought him a $200 toy race car. While she never would’ve spent that kind of money on a regular toy, she knew how important this was for his education and ever more, his confidence. Tre completed his project and invited John to see. John was amazed at Tre’s ability to infuse his father’s technology into something so cool. Tre knew his father would be proud.
Finally, it was time to turn in his project. That morning his mother prayed over him and kissed his head for good luck. Tre felt like he was on top of the world. He passed a group of neighborhood boys on the street who took and instant interest in his car. Tre wanted to be like his father, so he stopped and took the time to explain his project. Maybe he could get one of these guys interested in science.
Not so lucky. The boys began kicking and stomping the car until it was crushed into a myriad of pieces. Tre stood and watched with little reaction. The boys laughed and joked as Tre watched all his hard work destroyed. Tre wanted to cry but he knew his father wouldn’t cry. He wanted to fight back but he knew his father wouldn’t fight back. And as he was thinking about his father, he felt sorry for the boys. They probably never had a father to teach them right and wrong. So, he did nothing and continued on his way to school.
When the teacher asked for his project, he turned in all his research and explained about his car. The teacher wanted him to point out which boys wrecked the car but Tre refused. He had his father’s memory and the knowledge he had succeeded in an experiment, that was enough for him. The teacher, that one in a million teacher, decided it wasn’t enough for her. She called Tre’s mom and told her about the situation.
Tre took the long way home to avoid the boys and when he opened the door, there sat his Mom, his teacher, and John. Tre was confused.
“What happened today?” His mother’s tone struck fear in him.
“Some boys crashed my car.” Tre stated back, squaring his shoulders like his father taught him.
“What boys?” John shouted back.
Tre felt torn apart inside. His father would find a way to help those boys, not get them in trouble. What was he to do? “I’m not telling. My Dad…..”
“Your Dad was a police officer. His job was to make sure kids like you got to school safely and without being bullied. Do you think your father would’ve let this slide?” Tre’s mother tried to contain herself.
“I think my father would’ve thought of another way to deal with it. He would try, fail, and then he would try again. But he would never stop trying.” Tre started to tear up.
The three sat and watched as Tre grew up in front of their eyes. “We get it. We know what your father was and how he thought. We know that you miss him like crazy but your life can’t be based on the past. You are not helping those boys by forgiving their misbehaving. You are only giving them the confidence to escalate their attacks. You like the fact that your father tried and failed. They have to fail, too. Someone has to stand up to them. That’s what you’re father did every time he put on that blue suit.” That one in a Million teacher chimed in.
“And what about your dreams? You can’t spend your life tip toeing around these fools. I know them. I get hassled everyday because I joined the Science Club, but I have a job this summer in the burbs’ at a manufacturing plant. If they think they hate me now, just wait til I roll up next year in my new ride.” John inserted with a pop of his collar. “If you let them, they will suck all the drive and passion out of you.”
“Both of those are really good points. But while you’re remembering your past and your father and dreaming about your future, don’t look over lessons being learned right now. We could move to the burbs’. Hell, I work to two jobs, money isn’t the issue. Your father and I grew up in this neighbor. We remember when the playgrounds were clean and the people were nice. I stay because this is not what your father and I wished for this community.” His mother began to cry.
Tre’s mind wondered as he processed all the information. It was immensely important he make his father proud, equally important he make a better life for his future family, and even though he didn’t have memories of a clean playground, he wanted to one day see it come into existence.
“O.K. So what do I do next?” Tre asked.
“First, you come up with another car by the end of the week for your project. I got you an extension.” His now Favorite Teacher spoke first.
“I’ve cleared it with my school and some of the clubs are going to miss second period to walk you and your other classmates to school.” His Confidant John spoke next.
“And you are going to tell me which boys crushed the $200 toy I bought. Then you are going to trust your mother to do the right thing.” She wiped her tears and returned to her normal state.
The end of the week came and Tre had successfully turned a $25 thrift store car, bought with his own money, into a projectile sports car. His mother prayed over him and kissed his head for good luck. Tre’s heart was still a little heavy. When he exited his building, John and one of the boys who stomped his car were standing out front. Tre instantly hid his car behind his back.
“You ain’t gotta do that, lil man. I’m sorry I ruined your car. We were just having fun, we didn’t realize how important it was to you.” The boy stuck out his hand for a pound.
Tre was not feeling so gracious. He knew his father would accept and he knew accepting could prevent future incidents, but his mother’s word rang loud in his head. “It doesn’t matter if it was important or not. Wrong is wrong and you were Wrong. I love science. One day when you realize you’ve wasted the time you should’ve spent finding out what you love and you turn to selling drugs, you can come to my little garage and I’ll show you the science behind it. Including how your stomping my car is a direct result of its usage in our community.” Tre could feel his emotions rising.
“Whoa, little man. Calm down.” The boy could see Tre puffing out his chest.
“I’m serious. It took away my dad and I’m guessing it took away yours, in some shape, form, or fashion. If the only thing you can find in this world to love is bringing other people down, then I will make it hard for you to live in this community. I’m here now and my mother wants to see a clean playground and before I leave this Earth she will see a clean playground.” Tre stood proud with his car on display.
Tre finished first place in the Science Fair and was approached by John’s manufacturing company to put his cars into production. Tre made two requests. One, the plant had to be built on a bus line. It had to provide jobs for the people in his community. And second, the company had to build a park close to Tre’s run down housing complex. And Tre vowed to keep it clean.
My daughter is now into reading anything she can get her hands on. Her favorite books are: If you give a mouse a cookie…, If you give a moose a muffin….. You know the books I’m talking about. Well, I’ve decided to add my own to the title list. Hope you enjoy.
If you GIVE an underachiever a handout……
…..He’ll never ask where you got it
And if you attempt to tell him…….
……It won’t matter because he feels entitled
If you question his entitled status…….
…..Be prepared to get called out of your name
If you counter with facts…….
……Don’t be surprised they fall on deaf ears
Once you’re too mad to argue……
……Expect a nice session of BLAME GAME
Challange the rules of Blame Game……
……And all of a sudden the underachiever pulls Get Out Of Jail Free card
So, you question the difference…….
…….Pointing out Government Provides Both
The underachiever grows silent…….
……Until you bring up JOBS
Then the Underachiever stikes a mighty blow
……And while you’re tired from working two weeks with no day off
…..Gets another Handout
Mary had a loaded gun, loaded gun, loaded gun
Mary had a loaded gun, whose aim was straight and true
And everywhere that Mary went, Mary went, Mary went
And everywhere that Mary went, best believe her gun went to
She carried it shopping one day, shopping one day, shopping one day
She carried it shopping one day, which was against the rules
When the rapist came her way, came her way, came her way
When the rapist came her way, she knew just what to do
I’m I a fool
Turning nursery rhymes into preventing crimes
For overseers to chime/ in and so it begins
The release of my dormant thoughts
Jack and Jill went up the Hill to reach the American Dream
Jack got lazy, Jill got shady, what the perfect team
I mean, why climb the Hill for water
Instead of waiting for it to come down stream
What’s less intrusive, hard work or a broken dream
It would seem, the broken dream
Because with it comes a life time of what could have been
Buried in Jack and Jill’s dormant thoughts
Baa, Baa, Gold Sheep have you any wool
Yes, sir Yes, sir Three bags full
One for myself
One for government
One to help others when moneys’ finally spent
Or lent to other sheep so they can produce as well
You get more water when you build more wells
But the sheep clearly sees the writing on the wall
So instead he hibernated all through the fall
And when winter came, the sheep was nice and warm
While government ignores those freezing in the storm
In his dormant thoughts, the sheep wants to reach out to you
but he knows that means the government is coming too.
Pat-a-cake, Pat-a cake, Congressman
Make me a bill as fast as you can
Don’t read it
And stand with shoulders tall
Because the bigger we are
The harder we fall
And crawl/ back home
To hear the voters say
Our dormant thoughts lead us astray
Little Barack Obama/sat in the corner
Eating his budget pie
He stuck in his thumb
Doubled the sum
and said What a good boy am I.
And our dormant thoughts reply “WHAT”!?!?!?!?!?
They say, “He who slings mud, loses ground”
Seldom is a source found that replenishes itself
That makes up what was lost
Without extra cost or an undesired result
The mudslinger knows this well
He sees the dirt on his hands and under his nails
Dirty hands for a dirty job
A dirty job filled with dirty deeds
The mudslinger sees no problem with these
Or this, Mentality
Ground maybe lost
Dirty hands maybe the cost
But who looks at dirty hands
When someone else has a dirty face
Dirty face wins the race
To ridicule and laughter
The mudslinger would have to move faster
Than the speed of light to look past
The mud he slung at someone’s elses’ path
And we laugh
Sitting in our Glass Houses
They say, “the grass the always greener, on the other side”
Here we go again believing their lies
With scratched up knees and scraped up thighs
Why is there a fence?
Where is the gate?
If every thing is so great, why make us wait?
Maybe our shade of Green is seen
As a source of comfort
For those on the other side
Who would willing open wide
Their gate to get a glimpse inside
Our glass house
While we’re banging to find a way out
They say, “It’s better to have loved and lost
Than to have never loved at all”
Should I slip and fall
Into looking for lessons learned
With no true concern
To the eyes focusing back at me
Through invisible walls
That cause pause for every passerby
That can spot a broken heart
And when I start to cry
They pick up rocks
Just as the mudslinger knows
The weight of his deeds
And like the green grass
Hide things only yet to be seen
The interesting thing
Glass houses are portable
While ground is being lost
So is the shelter
And while dreams are being spent
Going after what could be
We are exposed to letting everyone see
Our dirty hands and our dirty deeds
And then on those days
When the sun is hot/ beating down upon your face
You hide and wait for the sun to fade
But so goes the day/ lost to the source of life
Never to be given back
And that day is a sad day
And then on those days
When the rain pours/ seeping into your hole ridden shoes
You refuse to move and let tears soothe a war torn soul
Like a broken heart in playback mode/ soaked and alone
Vowing never to love again
And that day is a sad day
And then on those days
When the winds blows/ forcing more effort into each step
You hide behind a tree to small to give you cover
While you look for another/ when a few steps get you to shelter
You find it better to not try
And that day is a sad day.
And then on those day
When the snow falls/ freezing your bones to their core
You search, and explore, and seek, but never find
The warmth you once thought hid in their lies
And you do it for yourself
And That, That Day Is A Great Day.
It’s late and I’m trying to write. My daughter has asked if she could write a story for everyone to read and I have obliged. (It counts as her bedtime story) I hope you like it.
The Unicorn and The Princess
Once upon a time a unicorn was crying for a princess. All the other unicorns had beautiful princesses to ride them around the kingdom. This made Butterscotch the unicorn very sad.
Walking in the woods one beautiful day, Butterscotch came across a house. She jumped over the fence and into the yard. She found the beautiful princess Sky gardening pink roses.
Out of nowhere, a ghost appeared and the princess got scared. Butterscotch the unicorn said “Jump on Princess.” Then she used her magical tippy top of her head to take them underground.
But the ghost used a magic spell to follow them. When the ghost finally caught up to them, Butterscotch hid the princess. Then he and the ghost started to fight. They both used magic until they fell to the floor.
The princess ran to Butterscotch and began crying for him to be O.K. Her tears awoke the unicorn and they became best friends. The ghost awoke and saw the special relationship between Princess Sky and Butterscotch. He felt really bad for chasing them.
They all became friends and lived happily ever after. The End
Now, I’ll pray and go to bed.
A little story for you.
Once upon a time, a family bought their dream home. Life was good. They had enough room to get a dog, the father had a putting green in the backyard, and the mother could host grand parties in the dining room. They loved their new home.
Over time, the family started living outside their means. The house was no longer enough. The father wanted a full 18 hole golf course, the mother needed classier china, and the kids decided they wanted a cat instead of a dog.
The families dream began to crumble eventually leading to a divorce. The mother fought for the house and won, but she soon discovered the financial situation was a lot worse than she thought. To escape her worries, she went out with the girls for a night on the town.
The mother meets a charming man. She tells him of her plight, and he man shows real interest. Then he offers his hand out to her and promised that he could help change the tide of her life. The woman, so desperate for change, took his hand with very little after thought.
She introduced him to the kids and after promising the boy a scooter and the girl a pony, they were instantly in love. So, she asked him to move in.
The very day he moves in, the man starts complaining about the financial situation. Your ex-husband didn’t know how to keep a balanced checkbook because of him, I’m going to have to hire some one to sort out the finances. My man spent 5 years in jail for laundering money, he’ll know how to clean up the accounts.
The mother had her reservations but the smooth, charming man was still there. And while he was there, she felt safe and secure. She gave her checkbook and statements to him.
The man found that both kids had trust funds. So he decided to borrow against the funds. The mother’s reservations got heavier from this move. The charming man stroked her hair and looked her dead in the eyes and told her to trust him. And she did.
When the money arrived, the woman was excited. She knew she could pay off her debt and start fresh with the charming man. But the man had other plans. He told the mother, you still have a lot of problems with this house. Your ex-husband didn’t properly maintain the gutters, so I’m going to have to hire someone to come and fix them. Your ex-husband didn’t buy energy saving appliances, that’s why the electric bill is so high. I’ve got to replace them all.
And the list continued on. Every problem blamed on her ex and every solution putting her further in debt. But the woman had put all her faith into the charming man, what could she do?
The next day, the man drove home in a brand new car. He had a scooter for the boy, a pony for the girl, and a new china set for the Mom. The mother was so happy, she didn’t even ask how he paid for it.
The man said, let’s throw a party and invite the most prominent people in the city. The mom insisted on keeping her closet friends on the list and the man decided to invite her ex-husbands rivals. The woman once again had her reservations but let his will be done.
The night of the party, the man gave a speech apologizing for the mother’s ex-husbands’ “arrogance” for not inviting many of the guest before now. The mother was shocked. She knew her ex-husband wasn’t perfect, but he had made a lot of good decision too.
But, she held her tongue. She couldn’t embarrass her man in front of everybody. Then they started making their rounds.
They met Sheriff Iran. The mother pointed out that he was planning on letting prisoners out of jail even though they were convicted of crimes. The man chatted him up anyways.
They met Mr. North. The mother pointed out he was planning to tear down the Orphanage, even though the entire city had raised enough money to keep it open. During the conversation, the man actually got the call that the building was being destroyed. He said nothing.
Then they met Mr. Saudi. The mother pointed out he owns the appliance store that sold them the inefficient appliances that cost so much to replace. The man actually bowed before him. Now, the woman was starting to get really pissed.
After the party, the man tells the woman he was talking to a few of the guest and they were trying to put together utopia. Where every household was governed by the exact same rules, since all of them were going through financial difficulties. Every household would pool their money together and decide how to distribute it out.
The woman said are you crazy. You and I are supposed to be the head of this household. No matter what the benefits, I refuse to relinquish that power. The woman was finally starting to get it. This man didn’t know what he was doing. He was paying everyone else to come up with ideas for him, which in the long run, only ended up costing them more.
So the mother started the conversation. The bills are due, how are we going to pay them? The man said, I’ll just open another credit account under each of the kids. It should tide us over until all the plans we’ve put into motion pan out.
“What in the hell you mean open another credit account for my kids?” the mother screamed.
“How do you think I got the boy the scooter, the girl the pony, and you the china set? You weren’t complaining while I was giving you gifts.”
“That’s because I didn’t know where you were getting the money.”
“Don’t blame me. Your ex-husband got you in this mess. I’m trying to get you out.”
“My ex-husband may have left me broke, but you’re leaving me AND MY CHILDREN destitute. I wanted something different, but not this.”
Sound familiar? I thought it might. It’s basically what I’ve missed over the last week of not blogging.
Now the story would be funny, if it weren’t true. If the American People weren’t the Mother, Barack Obama wasn’t the father, and the future of our country was focused on the children’s line of credit.
Back in the day, that was the most trifling thing to do in the Ghetto. I remember, on more than one occasion, the mothers of my neighborhood gathering to discourage damning children into a legacy of debt. They looked down upon gambling your child’s future.
Now we’ve got the U.S. government deciding their future is less important than our current pain. I mean we still have a house, even if it’s not perfect. Bush may have left the economy in shambles, though there is enough blame to go around, but where will the current economic plan leave us.
Yeah, we got the pony but long term can we afford to shelter and feed it. Yeah, we got the scooter but what good is it without the helmet, gloves, lessons, and the ability to maintain if an accident does occur. What about the hidden cost?
If while reading the story you thought the mother was stupid, don’t be so quick to judge. It was our reflection staring us in the face. Faith is amazing, when it is in God or yourself. It becomes something different when you put it in a charming man. Especially, if it goes against everything you believe in.
Sheriff Iran: While Obama was talking about nuclear disarmament, Iran was celebrating Nuke Day.
Mr. Saudi: Saudi Arabia is important for it’s oil. The same oil Obama wants to tax to the sky. Why the bow?
Mr. North: North Korea launched a missle even though the entire world was against it and even pulled together to help the North Korean people with aid for not testing missles. I’ve yet to hear Obama even mention this.
Each House Repair: Another Bail out for GM and Chrysler. This time to see if they should go into bankruptcy or not. Shouldn’t that have been the first question you asked before you started handing out the money.
The pony, the scooter, the china: All the things we were promised, that we thought we couldn’t live without. OR All the smoke a mirrors the government is putting up focusing on Rush Limbaugh and other conservative radio show host and journalist. You pick.
They say she’s special
And I am!
But not for the reasons they think
They see breast and eyes
Ass and thighs
Playboy pin-up up live
They say she is flexable
And I am!
To a Point, but don’t push it
Willing to see your side
Willing to compromise
Damn right I can make head touch thigh
But realize compromise is a two way street
Or ass and foot can meet
They say she’s mean
And I am!
What’s the excuse you use?
I’m a product of my envirnoment
I’m used to violence
I’m worried in silence
Emotion is an unexperienced pilot
So Yes, I refuse to get on the plane
They say she’s complicated
And I am!
I’m worth it, so work for it
My cook game on point
Massage game on track
Work your feet to your back
Then ESPN and a snack
They say she’s perfect
Have you lost your damn mind?!?