Some voices reach further back than you can imagine

The Legacy Poem originated from a trip back home to Detroit Michigan. James Marshall a friend of mine for over fifty years, and I had gone to the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise, to witness thousands of vehicles and millions of people celebrating “Detroit being the King of the Auto World”. Detroit had the title of “The Motor City” before MOTOWN ever came around. Having worked in an auto plant back in the day, I know first hand, that it was all work and no play.

I suggested that we visit the place with the history where it all started, the Henry Ford Museum. Henry Ford didn’t invent the first car, but he was the one who brought mass production into the auto manufacturing process.


A lot of the writers of the Voices book wrote about mass migration to the North. Black people were looking to escape the Jim Crow laws and a better way of live. The auto industry was a very good draw. All you needed was a strong back and a good work attitude (don’t miss no time and do you job no matter how hard the task).

I read a lot, and I remember some of the history of our past. So, when I saw the bus, I got excited. Rosa Parks simple act of defiance in refusing to obey an unfair law changed the course of American history.


A few weeks later when I returned to Philadelphia PA. I attended a “Locks Hair Convention”. As I was walking around the auditorium before the event started, I spotted a little book with Rosa Parks on the cover. It was titled “Courageous Citizen” by Ruth Ashby.


It had great photos and it was an easy read because it fell under “Juvenile Literature”. However it was a power packed, 124 pages and I highly recommend you add a couple of copies to your personal library today (one copy for yourself and one copy for the kids).


According to the Courageous Citizen book, two Montgomery Alabama bus employees disobeyed orders to dump the old bus into the river. It had been retired from active service since 1971. Instead, they sold the old bus to a State Patrolman named Roy H. Summerford who wanted some old buses for extra storage space.

After Summerford’s death in 2001 the family sold the bus in an auction. The Henry Ford Museum snapped it up and restored it to its 1955 mint condition. When I saw it, it looked brand new. How ironic is it that that one man’s trash, can become a people’s treasure. I asked my friend James why wasn’t the bus in the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit Michigan since this is where Rosa finally settled. He said that it was in the right place. Her act was so powerful that it changed AMERICAN history.

When I returned back to Philadelphia and the program opened, the key note speaker at the convention said, “The reason we are all here is because of one woman’s defiance, her name Rosa Parks. I looked at his remarks as a message from the Ancestors. His name – Dick Gregory.


They are both gone on to be with the ancestors but they live on in American History.

Earl E. Hackett

Writer, blogger, author

Practice what you preach

The late great Wayne Dryer (May 10, 1940 – Aug. 29,2015) was a man who practiced what he preached. He quit his college job lecturing on positive thinking and motivational thinking techniques and went on the road lecturing and  selling his first book Erroneous Zones.

He sold so many books out of the back of his station wagon and showed up to so many book stores and made so many media appearances that he made the best-selling list before book publishers even notice what was happening.


Dyer was born in Detroit and spent much of his first ten years in an orphanage on the East side or town. His father walked out on his mom, leaving her to raise three young boys. I was also born in Detroit and spent the first nine years of my life with my mom.

My mom was starting over after having left her first five kids with their dad, her husband  in Mississippi. He was so abusive that the last time he beat her, he said next time he would kill her,  she believed him, so she left in the middle of the night and headed North. She never got remarried but kept having kids. I was the ninth of 14.  

Dyer built his success with lecture tours, a series of audio tapes, a PBS program and regularly publishing new books. He would recount anecdotes from his family life and use his own personal experiences. The fact that he was a Navy veteran just added another level of experience.  As another military veteran (Air Force & Army) I could identify with him also.

Dyer worked as a high school guidance counselor before he became a Professor of Counseling Psychology at St. John’s University in New York City. His focus was on positive thinking and motivational techniques. He took a trip to his fathers grave and was changed. When he returned  to his teaching job he turned down a tenured position to follow his new intuition.

I started blogging because I was taking early retirement. I chose personal development because it kept me straight during tough times. My mom sent me to stay with my dad while she went into the hospital. When she came out they decided to let me stay with him, so I spent the next nine years with him. That was a changing point for my life. 

I fought to get a job on the auto assembly line in Detroit Michigan while in my last year of high school, but found out I wanted more. The money was find but the work was a grind. I had passed the 90 day probation period and was set to work until retirement but I decided to join the Air Force during the Vietnam War. I missed the battle in the jungles of South East Asia but went to the hot sands of  Libya North Africa then joined the cold war in Europe.

My mom was an independent woman who never learned how to drive but never let it stop her. She raised her kids and grand kids until she was in her sixties. Then she went to work and took public transportation to work until she was in her mid eighties.

I came back home to take care of my dad then went off to college where I went back into the military, but in another branch as an Officer. I would come home to visit and always wondered how she could wait on the bus, during the cold Detroit winters. Most of the seniors would be sitting around talking about the old times but she was getting out. When she passed at the age of 90 I learned the rest of her story.

I dedicate my first book to my mom. Standing in the Shadows, Listening to the Greats!!!  A blog novel of true stories of ordinary people who overcame all kinds of odds to become extraordinary, who then turned around to help others. If you don’t write your own story, nobody else will.


Green Turns to Gold

Green turns to gold, as the story is told about “The Green Traveling Book”. CBS Sunday Morning top story was about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association just awarding ‘The Green Book’ the Best Movie of the Year, in the comedy or musical category.

green book

The movie is about a working class Italian American bouncer, who becomes the driver for a classic pianist, who happens to be an African American. They take a tour of the Jim Crow South in the 1960’s and learn something about themselves and the country.

The ‘Golden Globe’ recognizes excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign and is awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The ‘Oscar Award’ is presented by the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences (AMPAS). The ‘SAG Award’ is presented by the Screen Actors Guild. It is only awarded to the actors.


Mahershala Ali, the African American, won the Best performance by an actor in the supporting role in a motion picture. The movie also won best screenplay for a motion picture.

9th Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards - Arrivals

The CBS story started off with Mary Wilson of the MOTOWN Supremes reminiscing about the early times she was a member of Motown’s traveling Bus Review. On the tour bus was Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells, and the Temptations and some other folks from Detroit. As a Detroit native I still remember going to the Motown Review at the Fox Theater when I was young. When I go older, I remember seeing the ‘Temptation Movie’ and the quick scene where  bus was shot at, while stopped on the road.

The real reason behind the ‘Negro Motorist Green Book’ being published, was African Americans need safe places to stop as they traveled around the country. The first book was published in 1936 because of Jim Crow Laws. It was a guide for businesses that welcomed African American travelers.

In it heyday, ‘the Green Book’  sold two million copies. In the 1948 edition, Victor Green, the publisher wrote that someday in the future it would not be required. He didn’t live to see that day, but the last publication was in 1967 a few years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

History is not a mystery, it’s a story of what happened. But we should be able to learn from the past.  I didn’t travel until I enlisted in the US Air Force in 1968. My first plane ride was to Lackland AFB in San Antonio Texas.  Basic training is a shock to the system, the first problem I had was understanding that southern dialect but I learned real fast.

Being in the military exposed the world to me. I was always adventurous and never wanted to just stay on base. When I was stationed overseas I traveled when I could. Now when I reminisce, I count the countries, the continents, and the branches of the service: I’ve been to eight countries on three continents in two branches of the military.  I traveled as an Air Force Sergeant and as an Army Officer. Both get a chance to travel but one has a little more money to spend.


What is a good balance?


What is a good balance between a work and a good family life? Everyone seems to have a strong opinion on the subject. Everyone has a unique situation and there are no easy answers. A good time to think about this subject is the beginning of the year.

A woman married to a baseball player realizes that he will be gone most of the time. It may not be the idea marriage, but some couples work it out. Should a man follow his unique talents and skills.

The woman says yes, he should follow his dreams, but sometimes I sometimes I wish he was a banker instead. I like the lifestyle, but I wish I had more of his time. We chose to sacrifice some values for others but both parties pay the price. It’s difficult for two people to grow at the same rate.

One becomes ambitious and one decides to stay a home to take care of the kids. Now that women are in the workplace as much as the men it becomes a balancing act. Who does what is split, with the woman doing most of the domestic stuff. Someone must run the household or things fall apart.

Single parents must really balance. Men manage but women do a better job because nurturing is a major part of their natural make-up. Men were historically the protector and providers. One of the toughest jobs in the world is that on a single mother. Single mothers and teacher must have the patience to teach and reach the kids with the values they will need further in life, and keep them out of trouble NOW, so they can have a brighter future later.

It almost seems impossible, but human beings have the unique ability to do the impossible. They make it work no matter what. We’ve all heard stories about the mother who scrubbed floors to put her kids through college. Or the woman working two or three jobs to make ends meet.

A woman wants her husband to be hero, and good provider, so she says go conquer the world and be home by five o’clock. With all the stress that is in today’s world, most people don’t work a 40-hour week. The spouse who makes the most income, usually works the most while the other takes up the slack with the kids.

It is a challenge to do it all. We have books and people who have been through it all. We can read and we can listen to others or we can go through the school of hard knocks. With the power of the internet we can google almost anything.


What’s really important?

Morgan Freeman once said money was never enough. But he speaks as one the tops in his profession. Him and George Burns even played GOD.


You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When they close the lid on the box, will you have served your greater purpose.

Simon Sinek went out to discover his why, will you? You go to work for the money because nothing comes free. But if you hate your job and you stay for the paycheck how happy will you be. Making a lot of money can buy you a bigger house, but will it make you content at home? It can buy you a fast car, but you can’t outrun time.

There are some people who want financial wealth at all cost. Is ill gotten gains and living lavishly a way to heaven on earth and a one-way ticket to hell? Thirty pieces of silver was a fortune at the time, but Judas was his name.  He had the money, but he was so unhappy he hung himself. When we chase money at all cost, we betray ourselves by not discovering our true purpose.

Don’t be afraid to step out and follow your dreams. Be aware that when you step out to do something different, there will be some who won’t understand. Some will be family, and some will be friends. Don’t let their fear keep you from doing what’s deep within. Your destiny is in your own hands.

You may not have the money or the support but don’t let that stop you. Your past does not dictate your future. You don’t have to settle for ordinary. It takes a strong mind and a lot of grind to leave the past behind. Some won’t understand because they have never ventured out beyond making a steady buck. To them working on something beyond a job is wishful thinking or just poor luck.

We all have gifts and talents waiting for us to bring them into the world. The world is full of delayed dreams and silent screams as people get so busy trying to earn a living, they forget to design a good life. Or they look around and realize that they have run out of time.

You will grow through, what you go through.  If you can keep your focus you will be able to see what others can’t imagine. You will develop such an insight that you will be able to see the invisible, and do the impossible. You become the one-eyed man, in the land of the blind.  Every one else is trying to feel their way around but you can see. You learn to do what’s necessary and when you have done all that you can you do what’s required.


What a remarkable life.

Usually when one reaches the highest office in the land, that is the ultimate height of their success. For George H.W. Bush, I think it will be his “lifetime of public service”. At the young age of 19, he became the youngest Navy Bomber pilot in World War II and at 94 he was the longest living President in American history. Him and his wife Barbara were together for 74 years.

This photo of his service dog in front of his flag draped casket is very fitting for such a long serving public servant.


George H.W. Bush’s public service included: U.S. Congressman, United Nations Ambassador, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Chairman of the Republican National Committee and Envoy to China. CBS Sunday Morning did an outstanding job of covering Number 41.

When he ran for President he lost to Ronald Reagan but he serviced as his Vice President for two terms. When he got elected he said, “I want a kinder and gentler Nation.” When the Soviet Nation collapsed he didn’t spike the ball and dance on the Berlin Wall. His way of thinking, we still got to deal with a lot of Russian people.

When he lost his bid for re-election many felt that he had broke his promise. “No new taxes” was his downfall. As a by-partisan politician working across the isle raising taxes and reducing spending was a good idea for the country but spending didn’t end.

When he joined forces with the President from the other party many an eyebrow was raised but the union was for a good cause. the Points of Light Foundation raised millions of dollars for victims of national disaster and promoted volunteer service.

For those who said he was too weak and too nice to be President he proved them wrong. It takes a strong man to jump out of airplanes at 75, 80, 85, and 90 years of age. And it take a supportive woman to let him.

Real heroes don’t fuss, they fight for what’s right.  And history, remembers it all.


Gold is money

What do you do when you go to the bank and they issue your retirement funds with worthless paper?  Quantitative easing is the formal name for the introduction of new money into the money supply. But another way of ‘telling it like it is’;  really simple – printing money out of thin air, because the government owns the presses.


When President Richard Nixon took the US off the gold standard in 1971 the country went into commercial paper,(IOUs) “fiat currency”. Because when the money supply was disconnected from the gold, and it became more plentiful to those in control. For the whole story see The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin – A second look at the Federal Reserve.

In the HBO Movie “To Big To Fail” the bankers got greedy and the lenders got lacks. And when it failed Wall Street was bailed out while Main Street suffered. Now that the White House wants even less regulations, the government regulators (employees not politicians) are not looking at the foxes who control the hen house.

So now the question is what are you going to do to protect your nest egg? In the last go round, many not only lost their eggs (their money, IRAs) but they lost their nest, their biggest investment, their  homes. If you could save pure gold 999.9 % 24 karat certified by the London Bullion Association,  but in small amounts would you do it?  JP Morgan is the Banker who said, “Gold is money, everything else is credit”.

Saving $300 per month starting in 1990 would be worth $72,000 in 20 years. But due to inflation your $72,000 would only be worth $56,000.  Saving $300 per month in 24 karat 999.9 % physical gold over a 20 year period would be  worth $236,000. Because it’s an appreciating asset. It’s not a gold certificate but actual gold (1 gram, 2.5 gram and 5 gram increments only). They will store it of you or you can have it shipped directly to you. Money is important but so is peace of mind.

You can get a FREE account and start savings today.