Columbus, Ohio 1957. Graduated from East High School and ready to seek fame and fortune. The problem? Did not have a clue what I wanted. Education? Or indoctrination? Depends on your attitude.
Went to the Ohio Department of Employment to be tested to see what I was qualified to do for the rest of my life? This is where it gets interesting. The counselor at the office (H.N.I.C.) tells me I have an extremely high IQ and qualified for a new program for minorities. Wish my teachers told me that in school. All I did was hang out at the pool hall, and keep a C average so I could stay eligible for sports.
Then the H.N.I.C. tells me he is going to get me a job until the class opens. He opens a folder and says he pulled some strings, and can get me a job as a janitor at Glicks Furniture Store in Columbus. My first reality check.
At 17 I knew this was total bullshit and this Mo Fo is trying to take me out of the job market. You will run into a lot of people in life who will lead you down the wrong path. Decided I did not want to be a janitor at Glicks Furniture Store.
Tylers Drug Store was the jump off point for all the kids at East after we got out of school. There are a lot of nice people you meet in your lifetime who try to help you pursue your dreams. Mr. Peirce was a photographer in Columbus and use to come by Tylers and give kids instruction on photography. He was very supportive and told me I had talent.
Told him about my bad experience at the employment office, and he asked me if I knew about Gordon Parks? Mr. Parks was a photographer for Life Magazine and documented the black experience. The photograph that changed my life? A lady holding a bucket and mop, standing in front of an American flag. That’s when I decided I wanted to be part of the creative process.
Gordon Parks was my hero and anything I accomplished in life I owe to him. BTW, don’t know if kids in the new world order still read books, but I suggest you check out his bio “Choice of Weapons”.
Here are some videos I produced of people I admired and respected, and Gordon Parks is on top of the list.
R.I.P. Gordon Parks
Donna Summer-International Disco Diva
We Love you Etta James 1938-2012
I knew Janis Joplin before she became “Janis Joplin”. Had the opportunity to be in the eye of the hurricane. San Francisco in the 60s. It was fun hanging with Janis in North Beach.
We would all chip in to get a gallon of Red Mountain Wine (I think it cost about $3,00) get something to smoke, and do what we had to do!
Since I was there, hate to break your bubble, but Haight Ashbury was a tourist trap and North Beach was the creative melting pot of the now generation. The epicenter? Grant and Green street. The Bagel Shop, Hot Dog Palace, and the Coffee Gallery.
One night Janis decided to perform at the open mike at the Coffee Gallery, and as they say in show-biz? The rest was history. You never know what fate has in store. A few years later I was a DJ in Seattle and Janis was performing at the Eagles Auditorium. We got a chance to hook up on the phone and never believed we would get to the next level. But I guess life is predestined?
R.I.P. Janis Joplin
R.I.P. Black Moses
R.I.P Teddy Pendergrass
R.I.P Tenna Marie
Roy DeCarava 1919-2009 was an African American painter and photographer who
influenced me by his ability to capture the black experience.
R.I.P. JOHNNIE TAYLOR
Bud Shank is the reason I moved to Port Townsend, WA
Maya Angelou R.I.P.
R.I.P Jon Lucien
Tribute to Alvin Ailey Dancers
R.I.P Natalie Cole