Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Blog 132: Contending for mental alertness

By Vernon M. Herron

     This blog is slightly embellished for the purpose of illustration and good humor. 
     Recently, I said to my primary health care doctor, “I take 14 medications a day. Each one has a description on ‘side effects.’ In fact, of one medication, the following warning was given, “… is a very potent medication which may cause serious water loss, thirst or confusion.” 
     Now, I really wonder if the consumed medication is affecting my mental alertness. I continued this revelation with my doctor: 
     “I cannot recall as I once did. I cannot remember my date of birth, address, social security number, phone number or my wife’s first name!” 
     The doctor said, “Oh yea? How long have you had that condition?” “What  condition?,” I asked.
     My good friend and care giver continued his proposition, “Let me ask of you a profound question, which will be a good indicator of your alertness.” I agreed to the strategy, whereupon the physician stated the following premise, then, asked his question.
     “You are the bus driver with 15 passengers headed for Asheville, NC. The bus stopped along the way when three persons got off. It later stopped again and two persons got on. How old is the bus driver?” 
     For some reason, I could not remember that I was the bus driver, thus my age! Well, that got me! Never again would I be caught!
     The next Sunday, the first lady of our church said to me, “I have six questions for the ‘retired theologian.’” This time, I was not to be outdone. “Say on, madam,” I demanded, “ask your six questions.”

Q. Who was the greatest comedian in the O.T.?
A. Let me see. It was Sampson, who brought the house down.

Q. That’s good! Now try this one. What car was used by the disciples?
A.  Honda, because the disciples were on one accord.

Q. My! You are alert. Number three: Who was the greatest female financier in O.T.?
A.  Pharaoh’s daughter, who went to the Bank of the Nile and pulled a little profit/prophet.

Q. Why did the people not play cards on the ark?
A.  Noah was standing on the deck.

Q. You are good! Now tell me, who did not have parents in O.T.?
A. Joshua, son of nun.

Q,  Did you know that it’s a sin for a woman to make coffee?
A.  Yup, it is in the Bible. It says He-brews.

     “My, you have answered all six questions correctly. 100 for you!” said the first lady.
     I discussed all six questions and answers with my care giver who said, “You are a long way from Alzheimer or dementia. Your recall memory is good. What I do find is the problem of age, which causes us all to forget at times.” “Whoa! that is good news to hear,” I said.
     Now, I reread the warning and restriction given on the potent medication bottle. It said, “Take for 14 days only.” I have discontinued taking that medication. Now, my recall is instant and better. 
     I remember well that my date of birth is 5-6-40; my address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; the last four digits of my social security are 7607; my phone number is 704-333-4444; my wife’s first name is Michelle. So you see, I am doing OK. What about you? Do you remember everything that I have told you?
     Have a good day!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Blog 131: Meet Patricia Albritton

By Vernon M. Herron

     There are many good people in the world doing great things for the common good; Patricia Albritton is one of those persons. She serves as the Chair of The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee which works to foster relationships and to improve human relations in the communities of Charlotte-Mecklenburg.    So today, I want you to meet Pat and include her in your circle of friends.
     Patricia A. Albritton was born and raised in Washington, D.C, and currently resides in Charlotte, NC.  She attended The George Washington University and completed her studies for a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Patricia is a certified Product Manager specializing in business operations and development.  Patricia received the Wells Fargo Bank award for service manager of the year.
     She has organized and led business and educational training mission trips in South Africa and Jamaica.  She completed additional mission work in the United Kingdom, the Hawaiian Islands, and throughout the continental United States.
     Pat Albritton is a consistent supporter of programs promoting education, diversity, harmony, and social justice.  She works extensively with neighborhood associations, women’s groups, seniors, and K-12 school children. She participates as a teacher, project manager, coordinator, planner, tutor, mentor, and adviser.   She composes and delivers financial literacy programs to K-12 students and is a financial literacy consultant for the U.S. Department of the Treasury. She is a graduate of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Citizens Academy. 
     For the past twelve years, Patricia has been a dedicated member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.  Patricia’s service and mission work include serving as a Sunday School teacher, choir member, vacation bible school coordinator, security volunteer, women’s retreat coordinator, women’s ministry secretary, volunteer ministry secretary, and stage manager for audio, visual, and lighting.  She is the project manager for the upcoming National Baptist Convention/USA, Inc. to be hosted in Charlotte, NC September 2-6, 2013.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blog 130: Important People

By Vernon M. Herron 

     This blog is designed and written to recognize, with thanks, our technical staff and the nine or ten persons who guest-write appealing articles for the Herron Speaks blog during its lifetime. 
     Producing unique blogs can be stimulating and fun. Many yell as they go along, “I love your blogs.” I cannot take total credit for this project. A technical staff is always on hand to check, redefine and post each published blog while many guest-writers constantly bring new thought to our attention. 

The following persons comprise our technical staff:  

The following persons have appeared as guest writers at one point: 


     Judge Shirley Fulton was our first guest-writer. In Blog 55 she shares with us the distinction and significance of the Wadsworth House. She informs us that it is a “symbol of eloquence and distinction.”
      Mrs. Barbara Hendricks is a prolific writer. She writes with imagination and creativity which are beyond measure. Those techniques can be seen in Blog 57, which is “I Remember Winky.” In Blog 99, she writes about “The Power of Suffixes.” Here, her educational abilities come into play.
      Donald Jones refuses to be impeded by his handicapped status. In Blogs 73 and 97, he enlightens us all of his “Christian Faith Which is Tested and Accepted.”
      Mrs. Arlene McCorkle writes as a former High School Class Advisor. In Blog 68, she talks about her keen mind; in Blog 69, she talks about life after 90; and finally in Blog 70, she gives us her final words.
      Even though Deborah Nance did not submit a picture of herself or a biographical sketch, she still can be my Attorney any day. In Blog 94, she pays tribute to her late mother. In Blog 111, she demonstrates her writing skills in “Time, Hope, Changes, Forward, President Obama and Some Black Lawyers.”
      Nicole Roper once lived in Charlotte which led her to write “Life’s Lessons in Charlotte.” See Blog 119.
      Ken Simmons has written three articles: Blog 101, “Why We Can’t Fix Public Education”; Blog 120, “Curtailing Bullying”; and Blog 125, “When the Pied Piper Comes to Town.” In each instance, he speaks as one who knows!
      Mrs. Constance Thornton writes in Blog 92 on “The Memory of Tricky and Kate.” This writing takes us into the animal’s world which we all love.      Finally, Mark Woodson sums it all up with Blog 63: “Be successful, Be Independent, Be Employed.” He said it all. 
     These are important people. We honor them with our thanks and remembrance.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog 129: Man and Wife

By Vernon M. Herron
Photography by William Youngblood

     This is the third and final blog article on the rediscovery of the Black family. Mrs. Cox so eloquently describes the love of her life in the following manner.

Dr. and Mrs. Robert Cox

     My mate is my life's partner because of his many wonderful innate characteristics and ideologies.  He is respectful, considerate, loving, kind, unselfish and thoughtful--all characteristics that are key in developing a lasting relationship.  He is responsible, dependable, resourceful, has a great  work ethic, and has always provided for our family. 
     My mate believes that God should come first in a relationship and then all else develops around Him.  We have been married forty seven (47) wonderful years.  We discovered each other in high school and maintained our relationship through college which resulted in marriage upon completion of college. 
     We both realize that one has to work at building a relationship instead of "throwing in the towel" when the least problem arises.  We also realize that a degree of individuality is needed in a relationship and that each partner has to accept the other for what he/she is and whatever changes they undergo.    
Beatrice A. Cox

Mr. and Mrs. Lonnie Newsom

     After 47 years of marriage, I can truly say that Lonnie is my life partner. Those years have been filled with many memorable experiences from the birth of our two children, successfully melting two extended families into one, and sharing all the special moments that give you your “life’s road map.”.
     Our faith in God has kept us grounded; we both love the Lord and try to treat everyone with courtesy and respect.  Lonnie has always encouraged me to be the best I can be and I love that about him.  I am unabashedly impressed by his honesty and level headedness and his lack of “crazy.”
     One of my biggest fears was that we would grow old and dull together, but that is so not us!  We enjoy each other and have fun; and more, importantly, he makes me laugh.
Juanita Newsom

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Massey

     My mate is my life partner because he has always loved, protected and provided for our family. The dictionary lists several definitions for the word partner: companion, ally and a person who shares with another. All of these describe what our relationship has been and continues to be. I am grateful and thankful to God for it.
Willie May Massey

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Blog 128: Like Mother, Like Daughter

By Vernon M. Herron
Photography by William Youngblood

     This is the second in a series of articles on rediscovery of the Black family. It is good to see a healthy relationship between mother and daughter. Today, three young ladies share inner life with “mother.”

     “My mother has always been straightforward about the ways of life; whether I wanted to hear it or not. Yet today, as a 27-year-old adult, I continue to walk by her side to church, the grocery store, at the shopping mall and even celebratory gatherings. I am not ashamed or shy to be accompanied with my mother.
     “Why? Because she is my 'best friend.' She has instilled in me precious life values that I only hope to be able to teach my children one day. She is a strong woman who stands on her own two feet and possesses so many qualities I admire every day. Others may compliment our bond, but to me it's natural. I thank God for it every day and for her; Wendy Ladd, my 'best friend.'”
Amanda Ladd

Rosemary Lawrence and Kamaria

     Friends come and go but, my Mother’s love is forever. I think of the many conversations we have shared, during many of which she was teaching me things about life. Only a mother would remain in my life the many times I forgot I was the child and spoke out of turn. Only a mother would love me enough to drive four hours after work to pick me up in another state when I felt sick. Only a mother would take off from her very demanding job to stay with me in my hospital room for nearly two weeks when I learned I had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
     I go out of my way to show her how much I love her because since my birth she has gone above and beyond to let me know how important I am to her. Only she and I know why we are so special to one another. She fusses when I spend my last few dollars to take her dinner, or purchase something she may need. She is in no way in need of my financial help but, if I could I would pay everything for my Mother. She rarely if ever takes time for herself and has way more energy than I ever did.
     We enjoy a great deal together. I cried when she pinned my membership pin on me. We laughed after getting unlocked from a train in France. We sang when we traveled to two different cities to follow one of our favorite singers. We cried when my father passed and held each other close.
     When it was her turn to rest after having major surgery, many of our family members were unsure of what to do because she does everything near perfect. Even when placed on temporary bed rest she was still working a mile a minute. If I could be anything, it would wish to be like my Mother. She is love. She is grace. She is beauty. She is my Mother!
Kamaria Lawrence

Linda Youngblood and Meaghan

     The definition of a friend is one that is attached to another by affection.  My mother is my best friend because we share the same affection for each other as well as common interest.  I can share anything with my mom and she is able to give me advice when I need it the most.
     My mom and I are able to spend the day sharing ideas and enjoying each other’s company.  One day she may teach me something and the next I may help her with a project.  Having similarities and differences helps us to keep a balance that allows us to have an amazing mother/daughter relationship as well as a friendship that will last a lifetime.
Meaghan Michelle Youngblood

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blog 127: Like Father, Like Daughter: A Rediscovery of the Black Family

By Vernon M. Herron
Photography by William Youngblood

     Much fan mail was received when we published blogs 116 and 117 on “Like Father, Like Son.” Now this is a first in a series of three blog articles on a rediscovery of the Black family. Much negative news is often written about the Black family life, but this is positive news.   
     I remember the first definition for “family” learned many years ago. “Family is at least two generations of persons bound by blood or adoption and living under one roof.” That definition would not be valid today as any combination of adults may be living together and without children. We are delighted to note that children are an integral part of family. 
     Regardless of the definition, we note that the Black family is under attack. In this series, we will see through the eyes of children the positive side of the family in relation to:
            Like Father, Like Daughter
            Like Mother, Like Daughter and
            Husband and Wife teams
     It is intriguing to note the daughter’s role in relationship to her father. Here she learns through experience the role of being a partner to men, her father and even the role her mother plays.
     Today, three beautiful young ladies describe in simple terms, “My father is my hero”. Read their words.

Tommie Scott and Jamey

     My father is my hero because whenever I need help on my homework, he is always the one who is there to help. When I grow up, I want to be a Marine just like he was. My father has taught me important things in life and I try not to forget them. I love my father and I look up to him.
Jamey Scott

                                     Tim Atwell and Joy

     My Dad is my hero because he is the nicest dad in the whole world.  He takes really good care of me.  He finds me when I am lost.  When I am sad, he lets me tackle him on the couch and gives me the biggest hug.  My Dad always looks out for me.  He protects us when we get hurt.   My Daddy will always be in my heart.  I love you daddy hugs and kiss.

Randall Willie and Christin

     My daddy is the greatest. He is my friend, protector, provider and buddy. I feel secure with him. I even thank God for this blessing. I study hard to show my appreciation for his love and support. We are partners in purpose and structure.
“Thank you Lord, for my dad.”