“When The Smoke Clears”

when the smoke clearsHappy Monday, All!

And, if you didn’t get your “blarney” on this past weekend, you’ll have to wait until next year to get your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration again! Last Friday’s e-mail had an error in terms of time and place for my friend “Zach’s” Life Celebration Event. Even though his sister, Andrea, had sent me a text with the date, time and address of the service, I jumped a week ahead. In other words, the service will be held THIS coming Sunday, same time, same place … peace be still.

Quite an eventful weekend with Pope Francis I taking office officially and giving his first Sunday Service there in The Vatican. It brought back memories of when my mother had come back from her trip to Italy, Rome in particular, with photographs and slides, which were common back then! She was thoroughly impressed with the energy found in the “streets of the Vatican”, and, while she was a professed Baptist, she was in awe at how “holy”, if you will, the Catholic Church’s rituals and ceremonies were! There is much to change, should he decide to take on major issues confronting the beleaguered church … when the smoke clears.

The two boys in Steubenville, OH have been found guilty as charged and both face time in a juvenile detention center and program. While we all want to have a “good time” when we are young and do things that might seem so much fun at the time, one really has to rethink the activities one may engage in as well as the location and people involved … when one takes such a chance. The saddest thing for me was to hear the young lady who was viciously attacked and raped while drunk was that all she remembers is leaving the party with one of the defendants holding his hand and then … she woke up nude, no cell phone and none of her clothes were nearby. While she at first was going to play the “I can’t remember …” game out of a desire to hide her embarrassment, she decided to go to the authorities and report what she did remember. I am glad that they were apprehended and found guilty.

Deon Davis, author and motivational speaker, held a book-signing for the release of her new book entitled, “Beanie and The Bully”, on Saturday afternoon at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center. There were approximately 20 kids and their parents who attended that received a “goody bag” as well as a copy of Ms. Davis’s book. It was a fun event which also included a skit. Ms. Davis will be doing another event soon at the Main Library in Broward County … will keep you posted. Saturday night I had the pleasure of meeting up with a boarding school chum, whom I just realized graduated one year after me, but was diligent and we stayed in touch over the past two years or so by the social network of Facebook. We met for dinner, including his lovely wife Liz and their teenaged daughter Emily, and enjoyed a pre-game meal at The Cheesecake Factory before going to watch the Florida Panther’s Hockey Team try to hold off the New York Islanders team. It was a great game, and it was very cool to meet up with Mr. Hodder, Esq. again since he travels between Toronto Canada and their home in Naples, FL. That’s what friends are for … Thanks, “Counselor”!

Yesterday was a lot of fun with St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations everywhere! Here in the FTL, festivities flowed over into the street both on the Beach at a pool club called “Exit 66” as well as downtown at the River Front where the street was closed off and celebrators were dressed in their green, enjoying the beer and music as a live band began to play around sundown! The Miami HEAT basketball team won their 22nd game in a row while my New York Knicks lost yet another game. Keep your eyes open, folks, for when the smoke clears.

“Oh, that one could learn to learn in time.” – Enrique Solari

May I acknowledge and let go of my griefs and regrets so I can attend to life here and now. (TOUCHSTONES, March 18th)


John I. Cook, Director

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