“Serenity . . .”



Happy Friday, All!

Keepin’ it shakin’ like the bacon!!  Silly?!?  Certainly!

Yet, I have to T.G.I.F.!  It is an interesting time leading up to the Inauguration of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States . . .  There, I said it!  In many ways, I understand Trump’s approach to “reshaping” things in DC.  I have to say that I have had people NOT like me or not want to see me succeed or even survive.  Every now and then, I have to pat myself on the back!  I learned that from my father, too.  He used to try to alleviate my concerns when someone didn’t like me or accept me, when someone “judged” me … usually negatively and when someone tried to down right put me down!!  I loved my Dad’s ways because while he never graduated from high school, he would proudly and happily hold me in his lap as he read our home town newspaper, “The Reporter Dispatch”.  He never spoke about how much he knew and how much he “would do” or “could do”, he just lived his life … and an honorable one at that … as a father, a husband and an enthusiastic provider for our family.  He grew up in the “Old Dirty South” when lynchings of African Americans was like a festivity in some of the back woods roads of Florida.

Many of you may know the brief story of how he and his brother, my uncle David; and his wife … aunt Corlene; along with his wife, my mother – Marietta Dolores aka “Mary” … left the hostile and racist “Dirty South” for an unknown experience in New York’s “Harlem”.  Hey, no high school diploma … worked as an automobile mechanic and chauffeur after arriving in New York City with my mother and his brother and his wife.  How good do you think he had to be in order to “market” himself, along with my mother as a chauffeur/butler type role alongside his wife who worked as a “domestic engineer” to land jobs in Westchester County?!?  He never took a marketing course and they didn’t arrive with any children, which is often the “motivation” to make it by working hard in whatever capacity one could to provide for ones family.  He and my mother came to New York to START a family!  No ones “boot straps” to help pull themselves up with, no family business to inherit, but pure grit and hard work ethic to move with no resume and cover letter to present himself to potential employers!  He raised four children – we lost two along the way – and the youngest, that would be me, is a bi-lingual graduate of an Ivy League University – Princeton University, to be exact!  Do you think they were proud of me?!?  Shucks, I will FOREVER be proud of them!  Thank y’all … I love youse!

So, as I attempt to accept this “new style” running of our nation’s government, not to mention the hostility and mudslinging that went into  the shaping of the past 8 or 9 years of this nation’s recent history, I seek serenity … the kind my father had as he conquered tremendous odds just so that I could be here today, writing this e-mail and blog post!  Serenity is a good thing, which I learned most about from my personal trials and tribulations in a “12 Step Program”.  Today, I am proud of myself … I can accept and learn about nearly anybody and anything … as long as it is not hurting me.  I have learned to promote peace after being somewhat violent in my thinking and behaviour.  I have learned to believe in people when no one else would believe in them … I have a handful of friends whom are like that with me!  Thank you …  And I am still here to tell my story, should it matter to anyone other than myself!! “Ha!”, as my old college buddy, now NBA assistant coach, Armond Hill would often say.  I am going to embrace this change from POTUS Obama to a very different styled “president” – 45th President Donald J. Trump … with serenity!


John I. Cook, Director

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