Review of events; the movie, the news paper and real life.

I went home to Detroit to visit, and saw the movie “Detroit” with my sister Diane. We are both old enough to remember, we were there when it happened 50 years ago. I was living with my dad and she was with mom and my other brother at the time. I was actually home alone when it happened because my dad was out of town that weekend.

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The numbers are still staggering; over 2,000 buildings were destroyed, over 7,000 people were arrested, 1,100 injuries and 43 people were killed. The vast majority of damaged buildings were never replaced. I left the city the next year by joining the military. I would come back to visit over the years, but it was never the same.

The riot began with the raid of a illegal bar ( it was called a blink pig) on the west side. Police had conducted other raids without incident, but this time they were surprised with the amount of people that were there. It was six times more than normal. The people there, were throwing a party for two returning veterans who has served in the Vietnam War according the details in the 8-Page Commemorative Section of the Detroit Sunday Free Press; Written by Bill McGraw, Detroit Free Press special writer, and others.

 

It was hot summer night, and many people were outside witnessing the long process of seeing people carried off in the paddy wagons. Bystanders joked with the bar patrons at first, but the crown grew angry and rowdy as the white cops kept carting off the Black bar patrons.

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A couple of people agitated, and someone in the crowd, threw a bottle. A line of police quickly moved toward the crowd, then backed away. That hesitation, and other missteps  caused a chain of events that resulted in 5 days of destruction of which the city has never really fully recovered.

From that point on, windows started breaking and people started looting.  The police were issued riot gear and loaded shotguns but “told not to shoot the looters”. Even during the first several hours after daylight, the police did not shoot anyone and they only made a few arrest. I always wondered how things got so far out of hand, now I have a good idea why.

Mayor Jerome Cavanagh and Police Commissioner Ray Girardin took a very controversial approach of using restraint, at first. Maybe, they were thinking about the recent (1967) Newark NJ riot in which 26 people were killed. Or maybe they were thinking about the (1943 Detroit two-day race riot) that happened at Belle Isle in which 34 people were killed. Or maybe they didn’t want to appear weak by losing control of a major city. They knew that the Detroit Police force, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan National Guard were also mostly White and most of the residents of Detroit were Black and the outcome would not look good in the news.

The first fire started in a 12th Street shoe store and the fire crew battled it with no harassment at 8:24 a.m. By early afternoon blazes raged out of control up and down 12th Street. At some fire scenes residents helped the firefighters and at other locations the crowd threw rocks and bottles. At one point, the fire department radio dispatcher relayed a command from the fire chief to withdraw from all areas that didn’t have police protection. That’s when things really got hot!

With the temperatures being in the high 80’s and winds in  15 m.p.h.range it whipped the growing flames and and spread the embers around the city.  Johnny Lee Hooker, the late blues singer, who lived in Detroit sang ” The Motor City is Burning” and it was. Many of the 34,000+ fans at Tiger Stadium saw the smoke, but were not told the cause of the smoke. The announcer just told the fans to avoid certain streets, when the doubleheader game was over.

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There was a media blackout at first because the Mayor and the Governor wanted to gain an upper hand first. When the story finally broke, people in the suburbs moved their cars up into the driveway and grabbed their guns. Police and residents in the suburbs like Grosse Pointe and Dearborn stood ready to defend their borders.

At the Fox Theater (in downtown Detroit) on Sunday, Martha and the Vandellas were the headliner for the “Swing Time Review”.  When Martha Reeves got the word she told the audience, and they all left calmly. In my mind, I will always remember the Fox Theater, as “the place for the Motown Review” where all the Motown stars performed in person. To me, the 1967 Detroit Riot was an incident that forever changed the city.

At 2:05 p,m, the police commissioner called for the State Police and at 4:10 the Governor called  for the Michigan National guard. But, by 4:30 p.m. firefighters had abandoned a 100 city block area along 12th Street area because they didn’t have police protection. Now Detroit was really out of control. At 9:07 the first sniper fire was reported, then other people started dying.

Governor Romney finally reached out to Vice President  Hubert Humphrey  Monday  morning and by the afternoon, President Lyndon Johnson ordered  4,700 Army Paratroopers into the Detroit area. As a young high school student, it seemed like a bad movie, seeing tanks and Army troops rolling down the streets I rode my bike on.

The US Army troopers diversity, skill, no-nonsense demeanor and strict discipline quickly gained control of the East Side. About 40% of the paratroopers were Vietnam veterans and 25% were African American. At that time the National Guard was know as weekend warriors and were trigger happy back in the day. They got paid to drill, “one weekend” a month, and attended a “two week training” each year. They became “real warriors” during the Gulf War. How did I know? I learned the difference, when I was active duty Army, stationed at Fort Bragg NC. many years later.

As I read the newspaper article about how the Federal Troops gained control of the “East Side” I realized that the streets named ( Kercheval, Van Dyke, Vernor, Chalevoix, East Grand Boulevard and Mack Street)  were some of the areas I traveled on with my bike. I was walking distance to Belle Isle Park (but I didn’t know the history of it). My friends  James M. , Greg H. and Bugs and I  were always on the go. I was discovering the world as I knew it, a few blocks at a time. I didn’t get a car until I got a job on the assembly line later that year.

“Detroit –  the movie” centered on incidents at the Algiers Motel on Woodward Ave. By the end of that incident, three young Black men – Carl Cooper, 17; Fred Temple, 18 and Auburey Pollard 19 were dead, and several of their friends, plus two White women from Ohio had been assaulted during a brutal lobby interrogation …. all evidence pointed to an execution and not a shootout with police.

The catastrophe was an economic disaster; 2,509 stores were looted or burned including 611 food markets, 537 cleaners and 285 liquor stores and 27% took place in Black-owned businesses. About 388 families were displaced near the stores and shopping areas when the fire department was instructed not to do anything without police protection.  The fire department responded to a total of 3,034 calls.  The vast majority of damaged buildings were never rebuilt.

I may come back to settle down, but it won’t be in the city. The downtown area is going through gentrification but I like the open spaces of the suburbs. Will there another riot as bad at the 1967 event? I don’t know. Many things have changed and yet many things remain the same.

H.G.M.

Salute to Military Veterans

Military service is a unique experience.

Once you go through it, you never forget. The training, the travel, and the time away from family and friends affect the service member and their family. As a two-time military veteran (Air Force & Army), I have first-hand experience.

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I was in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. I missed the combat but I had friends that didn’t. Some came home and some didn’t (R.I.P.) Freedom is not free – many paid the price. During this time period in America most of my class mates were being drafted into military service. If you are a Vietnam Era veteran I’m sure you remember the mood of the country in the 1960′s and early 70′s.

I still remember basic training, AIT, and my assignments. At age 19, I took my first air plane ride from Detroit Michigan to San Antonio, Texas. I also spent time in Nevada, followed by 90 days at Wheeler AFB in Tripoli, Libya during the US base closure there. Then I spent almost two years at Sembach AFB, in Southern Germany.

During this time, Detroit was really the MOTOR CITY – Home of the big four – Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, and American Motors. While in my senior year of high school, I started working on the second shift at the assembly line at Chrysler. The money was good but the work was hard – basic level manual labor. Always observant, I looked around and noticed too many, worn out old workers stuck on the line in support of their families. My way out was to join the Air Force, to use the GI Bill.

I remember the separations from family and friends while in the service – years overseas and other parts of the country. But I learned to make friends and I always wrote home. Think about all the friends you made from different parts of the world. It’s been many years for me, but I have photos to refresh my memory. Some of you still keep in touch with people you met while in the military.

I received a hardship discharge from the Air Force to take care of my dad who suffered a stroke while I was in Germany. After a year, a friend of his took over and I went off to college in Philadelphia under the GI Bill. While there, I ended up going through the Army R.O.T.C. Program there.

While in the Army, I spent time at Ft. Lee VA, Ft. Bragg N.C. and three years on Army posts in Germany. I even took the Border tour between East and West Germany and saw miles and miles of two story fences, land mined areas, kill zones and guard towers.

Things have changed, but I still remember. I saw first-hand why everyone wants to come to the land of opportunity and freedom. I did 10 years in the Army along with 3 years in the Air force that’s 13 years total – no 20-year retirement, but I gained a wealth of priceless experience.​

Do you still have a military mindset? Accomplish the mission and take care of your men (family). Do you have kids over 18 that are looking for a job but spending hours and hours on the internet, or their smart phone with mobile internet access? Do you need additional funds to send them to college? Do you still need additional funds to pay off your own student loans?​

Communication has advanced so much in the last twenty years. How much time do you spend online? Do you have a Face Book, and LinkedIn account, Twitter, Instagram, etc.? More importantly, are YOU getting paid off all this technology?​

Are you up to the challenge? Can you take that “can do attitude” to help someone in your circle of family and friends who needs additional income? Do you personally know a disabled vet that can use a computer key board. There is a way for them to generate income off the internet?​

Are you a military spouse, holding down the home front while your other half is off fighting somewhere? Information is power, use it to your advantage. Get the info. Having served as an Air Force Sergeant and an Army Captain request you take your time – recon the material. If you accept the mission, the Team is ready. This has been straight talk, beast mode.

H.G.M.

                                                           Internet comments

Sheena

Awesome stuff Earl, Thank you for everything you have done.

Sue Price

Hi Earl, I have never been in the military but I know people who have. I get Vietnam was very tough. We had Australians there supporting the US as I’m sure you know. I do have a “can do” attitude. Thank you for sharing some of your journey Earl.

Deirdre Powell

Great post Earl, thank you for your service to our country. A can-do attitude is so important. Thanks for sharing your story.

Sherry Starnes

Great post Earl and thank you for serving our country. You asked some very great questions that will really get people thinking. What is it that we really want? People don’t know what they want. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome story.

Earl Hackett

Thanks for your comments. I joined the military for an opportunity to escape the assembly line. What I discover was The Thin Red Line that changes the ordinary Joe into the GI Joe. That “can-do attitude” gets drilled into the heart and the brain. We train to maintain in any type of weather or terrain. And even as I age, I will always remember the stage, where duty and honor always stand, against the rage.

 

 

 

His name was Sam, and he widened my view

Sam is the name that showed me more of the world, than I ever knew.

In case you haven’t figured it out, that’s “Uncle Sam”. Sam opened my eyes and my mind, so much that I had to take a second look. I was born and raised in Detroit Michigan during the time it was the Motor City. If it rolled off an assembly line, it came from the Detroit area. It was also the home of Motown, the newest hippest urban sound.

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In my last year in high school, I decided that I was going to get a job on the assembly line. I had worked my first summer job, at a Howard Johnson Restaurant and liked the idea of having earned my own money. I was now living with my dad, and was on my second childhood. I didn’t know it then, but I was co-parented. My first nine years, was with my mom and my brothers and sisters. Mom went into the hospital and we were sent to live with our different fathers. Mine decided to keep me with him, and I felt like I was raised as an only child for the next nine years.

 

Before Sam appeared, my world was limited to there I lived, and the people I knew. I was working on the assembly line and felt like a human machine. This was before automation and the work was pure manual labor. At the beginning of the model year, things seemed OK because there were gaps in the line. But when they got to full production, with NO gaps, that was sixty cars rolling off the assembly line every hour. That was about 400 cars per shift. And I worked the second shift. That meant about 800 cars a day were produced for the plant, I worked in.

 

We only had two 15 minute “relief breaks” and a half hour lunch break. The only time the line stopped was when there was a production problem and during the 30-minute lunch break. Some workers would even sabotage things to get the line to stop. You had one minute (60 seconds) to finish whatever your task was, before you had to do it again. You learned to work efficient so you could have a little time before the next vehicle arrived.

 

I didn’t want to condition myself, to continue, to do that. The older guys around me started off with the hard tasks then with seniority, transitioned into the easier positions. They then became locked into debt, and family responsibilities. But I wanted more, so I figured that if I wanted more, I had to do more, and going to college was my way off the assembly line. My problem was how do I pay for it! So, I decided to join the United States Air force. It wasn’t until many years later that I found out how fortunate I was to be accepted in the Air Force instead of the Army or the Marine Corp, especially during the Vietnam War.
Sam introduced me to different people, in different parts of the world. My first ever plane ride, was to basic training, in Lackland AFB in Texas. To the new-recruit basic training is a shock to the system. I now realize it was designed that way, to break all the old habits and build unity. In reality, it’s a quick weeding out process, to find out fast, who won’t fit. The worst thing and biggest fear in basic training is being faced with being “recycled” (doing basic training all over again).
My first assignment was to a radar site, in Tonopah Nevada which was in the middle of nowhere. It’s the mid-way point between Reno in the North and Las Vegas in the South. To me, coming from Detroit and landing there, was like landing on the moon. Once you get away from the city, it’s all desert.
I did a 90-day tour in Tripoli Libya, North Africa, where the United States was closing the air base there? I continued to develop a world view when I was then sent to Germany, as I became a product of the cold war in Europe. Years later I returned to Germany, but this time as an Army Officer. I was now a part of the Seventh Army Training Command, the place where the Army came to train in Europe.
When I blog, it brings back memories of times pass. It’s my record that I was here on this earth. I didn’t retire with 20 years of service but I did do 13 – three as a NCO and ten as a commissioned officer. I traveled and met a lot of people. What I learned is that no matter where you go, people want to raise their families in peace, whether in America or the Middle East. Yes, I studied war, now it’s time for peace. This had been straight talk, beast mode. H.G.M.

 

Internet comments

Dr. Steve Sheiner
Great story Earl. I think a lot of people share the same story. Different journey, but the same story. Congratulations for getting home safe and for finding a new path. Thanks for sharing this.

Rodney
Thank you for your service Earl. I grew up in a military town with an Air Force Base called McClellan Air Force. It’s now shut down and everything is different. I also appreciate you sharing some of your story with us.

Rory Singh
I been reading your blogs for a while now. Thank you for your stories. When I was a teenager I almost joined the Air Force but one of my cousins thought that I wouldn’t like it because I had to follow orders all day. I thought about what he said, and realized that was true. The only reason why I wanted to go there was to be able to get my pilots license (and experience) on their dime. My 19-year-old son attended cadet (Army and Air force) for years and now is looking to enlist in the Canadian Armed Forces, but not now, because he has epilepsy. He thinks he is a tank guy. Thank you for your post about how Uncle Sam influenced your life.

Tara Woodruff
Earl I love this!! Thank you for sharing your experience and this aspect of your life. I am laughing at myself for not having a hint, who Sam was. When I saw your post title, I was expecting a sweet old man that took you under his wing. What I found, was a 200 year or so old man, that gave you his wings 🙂 Love it and thank you again Earl!

Daphne Dobson
Great post Earl! Thank God for Sam! I absolutely love your stories! I too was wondering who was this Sam fellow you were talking about. I love what you say about, no matter where you go, people want to raise their families in peace. Thanks for sharing!

Earl Hackett                                                                                                                                Thanks for comments. I have learned that discipline can be taught, but respect must be earned.

Why I got involved with the Empower Network

In the movie “Matrix”, ‘Neo’ was offered a choice of two pills. One would put him back to sleep in the Matrix, where he could continue to do what he always did, or the other would wake him up to a world in which he would have to face, a different reality.

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I chose the different reality which was to leave my job with 15 plus years seniority and take “early retirement at 63“. Retirement is great if you live long enough to get there, but not so good if your money is not right. I’ve been blessed with good health and a burning desire to do more and to leave an impact. I have had many jobs over my 40+ years in the work force, but I was always looking for other ways of creating income.

The late great Jim Rohn said it like this.” Profits are better than wages. Wages give you a living. Profits make you rich.” Wages will put food on the table while profits will allow you to buy the table or the whole tree farm. If you make $60,000 a year, you probably have a life style of $80,000 a year which means that every year you go $20,000 a year deeper in debt. Over a ten-year period, that’s $200,000 worth of debt!

Little did I know, that my mom, Beulah Hackett, with a limited education, who never learned how to drive, would have as much an impact on me, at this stage of my life? She passed away in 2010 at the age of 90. She was a very independent woman, who took the bus to work, even in the bitter cold in Detroit MI winters, into her late 80′s.

Mom was a “southern gal from Mississippi” who had final numbers that would impress anyone: She gave birth to 14 children. I was the 9th of her 14 children. Her mother died when she was only eight years old. She was raised by her aunt and uncle who did’t treat her right. She only “knew” of her father. As a Native American he kept count of all his children during his lifetime, and when she was born in 1919 she was the last of 33. That always reminds me of that old TV show titled “Last of the Mohegan s”. 

I was the first Hackett, to graduate from college. I have traveled somewhat (seven countries on three separate continents), as a two-time military veteran (US Air Force and US Army). I was married twice and father (not baby daddy) to three. I now have more time than money. I am part of the baby boomer generation, that lived and played, but didn’t save enough. I still want to travel, but on my own dime and own time. The best thing that I can do now is to be a good example to my children.

A job may help you take care of your family, but these are uncertain times who knows how long you will stay on your job. If you help a lot of people to create income, you change the name of the game for the next generation. I believe that if you give someone a fish, they have a meal (a hand out). But, teaching that person how to fish (now, they have a skill) is the real deal. Zig Ziglar said it best “If you help enough people get what they want then you can have whatever you want.” If I touched a chord for you, share this post or leave a comment.

H.G.M

Internet comments

Mary Barnett

You’re such a great inspiration Earl 🙂

Dan Norman

Great advise Earl, Zig Ziglar is one of my favorites.

Earl Hackett

Thank you for your comments

 

This is an after-thought.

As I write blog this, it reminds me of a Farmers Insurance commercial I saw recently on TV. The young girl calls her car “Brad” and she recalls all the things she went through with her car Brad. I called my Empire Blog “my blog beast”. It’s where I cut my teeth in the blogging experience. Ten trips in four and a half years to varies parts of the country, and amassing over 600 blogs is a learning experience. Glad I got to meet some of the people who commented on my blogs.

 

The Introduction continues – Pt.2

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Why does the introduction continue? A collection of blogs on a computer screen may build your audience if written well,  filling a need and you have traffic, but to build a book requires setting the stage. If I can build a book from a collection of blogs, so can you. We all have a story to tell, but we must start somewhere.

Life happens to us all. It’s how you handle the bumps in the road that makes the difference. I lost a library of information (500+ blogs) when the Empower Network folded, but I learned a skill in the process or discover my gift. Donna Krech who was know as the “Belief Builder”, had a tough childhood and a rough married life. But she overcame a serial entrepreneur.

David Cook, a sports psychologist talked about mental toughness. Wither it’s a good day or a bad day, what matters most is how we respond. Donna Krech called it the “Motivation Assassinators”   that take us off our game.

Every now and then, we all get stuck. What do need to do, to move forward? Under stand  the basic laws for success and develop the discipline to see things through. When you don’t understand, be prepare to learn to learn the hard way. Napoleon Hill and Jim Rohn talked about the things we need to be concerned with internally. It’s not what happens outside, but what happens inside, that determine our success in business and in life.

There is a certain magic about mentors. Fortunate is the person who has a least one very good friend (James Marshall we go back over 50 years).  He went to Vietnam and I went to Germany back in the day, and we have been separated for years but we always stayed in touch.

 I’m in Philadelphia PA, and he’s in Southfield MI,  near Detroit  MI where we both grew up.  Napoleon Hill always talked about Andrew Carnegie, and Jim Rohn always talked about Earl Shoff. Darren Hardy, Publisher of Success Magazine and Chris Widener of Made for Success, and a host of others, still talk about Jim Rohn.  John Stanton, former CEO and Chairman of the Board for T-Mobile talked about Baker Ferguson who was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Whitman College.

Sometimes there are people who wear special rings that everybody don’t know about. We know about the Super Bowl ring and the World Series ring but, did you know about the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame ring or the Empire Network Millionaire Club ring.

Don Hutson wears the Speakers Hall of Fame ring. I blogged about him because he reminded me Empower Network first ring ceremony I attended in Denver CO. I blogged about Tracy Walker, because I saw it coming. The Empire Network team re-blogged an interview with her , so you get an inside peek.

There are special times that we fondly remember. The Empire Network may have folded, but I still remember the leadership council. Long time ago there was the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the round table. I’m old enough to remember the time of John Kennedy and his young family in the White House. In due time, the history will record the time of Barrack Obama and his family as the last Camelot.

There is still more to come, so stay tuned.

H.G.M.

The Introduction continues

I was influenced by many people, we are are. Because of my military experience I wrote about military hero’s who survived, and lived to tell their story. Rob “Waldo” Waldman survived a real live missile attack and lived to talk about it. I met Vernice  “Fly Girl” Armour in person to hear her amazing story of actual combat. We even took a quick photo together. We all have a unique story to tell and if you don’t write your own, nobody else will. And if they did would they get it right.

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 I could have settled down and fell in line but, I didn’t want to settle, so why should you?   I could have easily became a clog in the assembly line, but I wanted more. I listened to the late great Jim Rohn who said if I changed, then everything would change for me. Dr. Tony Alessandra fought his way out of the projects in New York city to leave a mark on society. Albert Mensah who was born in a little village, in Ghana West Africa struggled just to make it to America. When he finally made it, he took advantage of every opportunity and became the “Ambassador of Opportunity.”

We all start from somewhere. But our start is not our finish.  When Denis Waitley was talking with Chris Widener in the “Made for Success series”, he talked about his early childhood where he went to school with a chicken sandwich without chicken. It reminded me of the times I went to school with my fired bologna sandwiches. And when the bologna was gone it was just a mayo sandwich. Robert Helms didn’t want to get in the family real estate business because he wanted to rock the rock the airwaves in a rock and roll band. He ended up rocking the airwaves anyway with the most downloaded show on iTunes talking about real estate.

Mike McGavick talked about the time his skateboard went through a neighbor’s base- ment window  when he was young. What he got from his mom was a lesson in responsibility, that stayed with him. As a result he was able to bring a major corporation back from the a financial brink, later in life. Ellie Drake was the little Iranian girl that escaped from Iran, who promised her parents that she would become a medical doctor , but never practiced, after she finished medical school. She chose to follow her dreams and founded BreaveHeartWomen.com for women. Dino Rossi was told that he couldn’t do this or that, because of his poor background. But when he got elected into politics he balanced the State budget without raising taxes.

Why go though the trouble of reading books and listening to audio tapes? Because you might miss getting inspiration from others. Inspiration comes in many forms. Napoleon Hill wrote classics ; Law of Success and Think and Grow Rich. Sometimes you can get inspiration from a song, or the dialogue from a movie. Oliver Napoleon Hill had more setbacks than most, yet he persevered and he wrote about it. Maybe that is why there is a mastermind that still studies his major works after all these years. If you were fortune enough maybe you got inspiration from a wise grand parent like Denis Waitley.

John Conners was the middle child out of seven but he went on to do great things. As the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Microsoft he was very busy. I was close to the middle of 14 and I stayed gone a lot; military service keeps you away for long periods of time. Dr. Napoleon Hill wrote about the “Golden Rule” while Dr. Alessandra updated the concept with the “Platinum Rule”. Now we need to reach people at their level; that’s treating people as they want to be treated taking everything into consideration (political correction).

There is more to the intro, so stay tuned.

H.G.M.

This is my road back

Having created a library of material, but saving a small part, for a book is my way back. The name of the physical book will be “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 turned around to help others. 

Dedication Page
To Edward, Nicole, and Matthew. This is Dad doing “that blog thing”! Let your purpose carry you through, whatever your next level is. It’s as much about the journey, as the final destination. Paula, I think we did a pretty decent job.

This is a tribute to your grandmother who I considered to be the country girl from Mississippi, who had so many kids she barely knew what to do. Beulah S. Hackett had 14 children and never learned how to drive, but never let it stop her. As a independent woman she took the bus to work, even in the cold Detroit winters, until her mid-eighties.

Mom had it rough growing up, but she always tried to keep it light. She called the bus the “Iron Pimp”. It didn’t arrive on schedule, but it always came, just in time. At the age of 90 she passed on to glory, I write to continue her story.

Her mother died when she was only eight, and she barely knew her father. What he left her, was his legacy. As a Native American from the Mississippi Delta, he kept count of all his children during his life time. When mom was born in 1919 she was the last of 33.

Are we related, are you part of this tribe? James Hackett, Vera Hackett-Williams, Henry Ray Hackett, Hilton Ray Hackett, Leroy Hackett, Beulah Marie Smith-Lathers, Willie James Arnold, Gwendolia Knight-Mims, Richard Jackson Jr., Diane Hackett, Eugene Hackett, Teresa (Hackett) Fields, Nathaniel Hackett.

The back cover has a picture of me sitting in a high back wicker chair with a kufi ( a cap worn by many populations in Africa and men throughout the African Diaspora.)  Many grandfathers and older men wear kufi’s  to symbolize their status as a wise elder. When worn in America, it  primarily identifies the person as one who takes pride in the West African history. It’s a sign of peace, morning, renewal and protection of the mind.

I have in my hands two symbols of American pride: a US Air Force cap and a US Army cap. While do one and they are done, I did two before I was through. Those stories will be revealed over time.

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This blog novel evolved from a series of blogs ( an on-line commentary) about personal development and memories from my past. It’s autobiographic, inspirational, and motivational. What’s unique about this novel is some of the readers took the time and talked back (italicized). I just happen to have had a very unique past and lay it all on the line. Why? Because I know there are those who laid it all on the line, and didn’t return.

Through the discipline of blogging. I built a library of ideas that could be life changing, by listening to some of the best motivational speakers and thinkers of today and yesterday. I will  miss the easy reference to all the material but what’s important is who I became. It’s now what you do, but who you become in the process.

The greatest stories will never be told.

They are buried in the graveyards

Along with all the people who never told their story.

Oscar, Tony, and Emmy Award winner – Viola Davis.

This is my story and my legacy. What will be yours?

H.G.M.