An open letter to the 2016 World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans.

IMAG3944_1My name is James. I’m 36 years old and I live in Canton, Ohio. The first time I saw the Cleveland Cavaliers play in an NBA game was some time around 1988 when they played the Miami Heat during what must have been the Heat debut season at the old Richfield Coliseum. I went to the game because I was a top seller of popcorn in my local Boy Scout council and attending the game was a reward for this. We were treated to a loge and I’ll bet I only actually watched a few minutes of the entire game. I think I was too occupied and excited about the luxuries that came with the suite: Endless pizza and a big screen television in the room with a bunch of other kids to goof off with. I couldn’t tell you what the score was, but I do remember that it went into overtime and I got home super-late on a school night. We probably lost. I didn’t care. I had no interest in basketball.

The second time I watched a Cleveland Cavaliers game must have been around 2009 0r 2010. I can’t exactly remember. I had bought my girlfriend tickets to see them play against the Pistons sometime. We sat up in Loudville and I can’t remember if we won or lost. We probably lost. I didn’t care. I had no real interest in basketball.

At some point after I watched that second game, LeBron decided to move his talents elsewhere. I remember that this stirred up a lot of controversy and emotion  across northeast Ohio and beyond. While many people were angry, I wasn’t among them. This was probably because I had little interest in basketball. I hadn’t invested myself in the goings on of the Cavaliers, and frankly I really didn’t care. I knew enough from the highlight reels and the chatter of my closest friend to acknowledge that LeBron was a tremendous athlete, but the LeBron James that I was ever a true fan of was the Akron kid turned mentor, humanitarian and Philanthropist. I didn’t care if the player left.

Although I admit to having formed a couple of less than positive opinions about LeBron’s leaving, they had nothing to do with the fact that he left, but more so the manner in which he left. I felt it was a bit disrespectful but that was only a minor passing opinion that I never had to dwell on. LeBron, like probably anybody reading this, had chosen to make a life changing decision and live with and accept the consequences, whether good or bad, like an adult. Therefore, who would I be to ever judge?

For what would be four years, LeBron was gone. The Cavaliers, as far as I can recall, didn’t even make the playoffs. Or maybe they did? I’m not sure. I don’t remember. I didn’t care. I would see the finals games on television and would mildly root for the underdog in every instance. But whatever the outcome, it was never personal to me.

Jump ahead to 2014. Lebron is coming back! I remember all the hype, hope and speculation prior to the announcement. I was annoyed by all the talk and I had announced publicly on several occasions that everybody was crazy and that they were grabbing at straws. NO WAY WAS LEBRON GOING TO COME BACK! Well, I was obviously wrong about all of that negative BS. When LeBron penned his letter to officially announce his return, I was intrigued. Here was a man whom was humbly and honestly pouring his heart out to northeast Ohio as he explained his past and present decisions, apologized for his wrongdoings and admitted that he was merely human. He was home and he was going to do everything in his power to bring Cleveland a championship. To me, that letter solidified my positive opinion of him in that he seems to exemplify every endearing quality that earns him the distinction of Professional Athlete.

When the 2014 Basketball season began, I still wasn’t anything close to what I would even attempt to pass off to anybody as a “true fan” of basketball or the Cleveland Cavaliers, but none the less, I began paying a little closer attention to the scores and the standings. I didn’t (and still don’t) have cable television, and so I wasn’t able to catch many of the regular season games through the week. Occasionally, I would go over to a friends house who was watching the games and I began paying a little more attention to the games. And asking questions. “Why is that a foul?”, “why are they called field goals?”.”What the hell is meant by ‘pick and roll’?”  While I’m still not sure if even today I can give a solid answer for all of those things, the fact remains that I was interested and I was learning. By the time the playoffs came around last year, I had very recently gotten a new job which, for the first time in my life, afforded me with the luxury of having every evening and weekend off. So, on most playoff game nights, I would go over to my girlfriend’s to watch the games. I had begun to cheer the team. I had begun to learn players’ names. I had begun to pick favorites. I had begun to cheer and groan. I became invested. I cringed when Love hurt his shoulder. I remember the frustration when Kyrie went down in game one of the finals. I despised Curry and his cocky attitude–that godforsaken mouthpiece that he can’t keep in his mouth. You made it to game 6 of the finals. Cleveland was SO CLOSE to a championship

Before I move on to the present day, I’d like to segue for a moment and explain something: Throughout my entire lifetime, the only sport that I ever watched avidly was football and the only professional sports team that I had ever been a die hard fan of, is the Oakland Raiders. I bleed silver and black, period. I’m a Raiders fan because I played flag football for the “Raiders” in the first grade and that’s when my love of football began. I didn’t grow up in a family full of sports fans and so I had to grow into my own in that regard. Cleveland sports were never a part of my DNA. Yet, despite that fact, I’m still a northeast Ohioan. The Cleveland Browns are my second football team and as long as they aren’t playing the Raiders, you can catch me cheering them on just as loud and as proud as the rest them, as my family and friends can attest. Most of my closest friends are lifelong fans of Cleveland sport teams and so it’s suffice to say that I GET IT! I have witnessed the highs and lows for the local teams and I have shared in the disappointment with my friends when their luck ran out and when all the odds were against them. One need not be a sports fan to be empathetic for the city and the fans. I know how important a championship is for everybody and I’ve always prayed and hoped for the best for them. There is no question that Cleveland sports teams have the most dedicated and loyal fans in all the world and so I’ve always had respect for the fans.

So, moving on again, let me jump to the present season. I still wasn’t able to watch most of the regular season games due to my lack of cable television, but every time I picked up the paper or logged onto the internet, I was checking the scores and standings. On the occasions in which I was able to catch a game, I continued to ask questions and gain more and more interest, understanding and enthusiasm. When the Cavaliers officially made the playoffs, I was honestly excited and I went out of my way to make sure that I watched every single game. While I would normally stay at my girlfriends house only on the weekends, I made several guest appearances on game nights throughout the week. Each new series brought forth new excitement and deep dislike for so many  of the opposing teams and players when they would lay down a dirty foul or simply act unprofessional in a number of ways (To say that I have a dislike for Draymond Green, would be an understatement.)

The ease in which you sped through the first two rounds of the playoffs proved only how elite the team was in comparison to most of the league. While the Toronto series proved a bit more challenging, it was clear that they were a very tough team to beat and I suspect that they will be giving you continued pressure throughout the next years. Obviously, the team did what needed to be done to adjust and you made it to the Finals again! The two number 1’s again! Vs.The defending champions! And you were healthy!. To be the best, you have to beat the best–and that’s exactly what you did much to skepticism of analysts, odds-makers, believers of “the curse” and people like myself: Those who always begin with high hope but then fretfully submitting to defeat once all has seemed lost. When you went down 3-1 in the finals, I thought that was it. I went so far as to create and image of your logo with a fork superimposed over the sword; That was an awful thing for me to do and when you won game five, I deleted all traces of it from social media and my hard drive. I was certain and had stated that if you would win game five that the series would go to seven games. When you forced a game seven, I was thrilled! However, I didn’t have a lot of optimism. Not that I wasn’t trying to be All In, but that I just thought all of the conditions were against you between their home court advantage, their “dirty” style of play (in my opinion), the officiating and the analysts.Hell! Even the newspapers and television articles had begun posting the schedule for the Warriors victory parade. We were going to lose. Time for “next year”.

You didn’t lose! You’re the 2016 NBA Champions! You fought tooth and nail through some of the most extreme cases of adversity and you did it with heart, determination and ,most of all, Class. Through injury and defeat you plowed  on. You didn’t let the naysayers and the disbelievers bring you down mentally. You trusted yourselves, your hard work, and each other–and nothing else mattered. You remained poised and for 7o seconds, time stopped in northeast Ohio as you pounded the final nail into the coffin and made me eat my words from game 4.

Myself, my girlfriend, her mother and fans around the world were thrilled and speechless when in that single instant the clock hit 0.0 and the glass ceiling of doubt, shame, heartache and lost hope alike came crashing down from over Cleveland like the backboards of yester-year.  Not only did you win the title, but you made NBA history while doing it. There is no doubt in my mind that the 2016 NBA finals will stand the test of time as being one of the greatest championship series’ in all of sports and I shall be forever grateful that I bore witness to it.

Then, yesterday, my girlfriend and I were fortunate enough to join the ranks of the 1.3 million who managed to make their way into downtown Cleveland to join in the celebration of your accomplishments as we stood near the corner of Ontario and Carnegie as we enjoyed the camaraderie and joy of so many strangers united. Aside from an excessive amount of garbage (Which,  let’s all please give some great props to the cleanup crew!), some minor injuries, very few cases of somewhat rude behavior and one clear instance of an immature juvenile whom clearly was NOT downtown to celebrate the victory, everybody in  downtown Cleveland was truly one.(which is also something that I never expected could happen). While getting home proved to be a bit more difficult and time-consuming for me, it was absolutely worth it. Not only did we get to witness history but we also became a part of it.

Therefore, I hope it goes without saying (though I’ll say it anyway) that you left me in awe and inspired. You gave me an understanding, a love and respect for the game of basketball that I never thought I would have. Furthermore , and for an as-yet-to-be-determined amount if time, you’ve brought together not only your community, but countless others beyond the City’s borders TOGETHER. And that, my friends, must mean so much more than a shiny trophy–or a title! (But damn, it sure is great!)

So, in closing, allow me to say to say to you once more:

Thank you! And Congratulations to the 2016 World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers!


James Richardson #AllIn317





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“Ideas” : My latest Idea.

I’m full of ideas. I’m always thinking about the way things work and why. I’m curious and observant and my mind frequently wanders. Even now, I’m often that guy who sounds like a four year old whom is always asking “why”. Because of that, thoughts and ideas come and go before I am able to find the opportunity to act upon them. Let me give you some examples:

  • Television goggles: My idea! I thought of it while I was sitting at my grandmother’s house in the fall of 1987.
  • Shopping carts that scan your items as you place them into the cart: My idea! It occurred to me on a dreaded grocery shopping trip with my mother that was taking even longer than usual some time about 20 years ago.

Okay. So, obviously I can’t prove that any of those were my ideas first, but I assure you that I had thought about them well before I was aware of the their reality. And, so just as it was then, so too is it now.  Currently, as I type this, I think I may quite possibly have an idea to greatly improve an existing product that could earn me hundreds of thousands of dollars if I could ever market it. I’ve thought about it off an on for about the past week. I also have an idea for the next great geocaching adventure. I would like to write a petition suggesting that every political debate should be aired on a free over-the-airwaves network. I have an idea to give college graduates alternate options to pay off their student debt.  That’s about a two minute ramble and that Therefore, does mention  the countless things I’ve thought about prior to this, nor what may come to mind by the time I’m done writing this post.

What I’m saying then, is t that I think I am a fountain of ideas.  Maybe I’m not always “spewing”, with ideas but they seem to be constantly flowing from me and I say that with no ego. One always has to wonder though: “what if?”. What if I had written an email to the executive of said company with an idea and I had become the inventor of the latest silly infomercial gadget? what if I could become the president of the United states? How would I fix things?

I hope one day that I will take one or more of my ideas and run far with it, but with all of the ideas and possible business and personal endeavors I’ve though about, they are much too diverse for me to delve into all of them. And so why should any or all of my discarded and dusty ideas sit at the wayside only to be lost to eternity? Perhaps my great idea can benefit someone whom already has their foot into the door of one of the tech giant companies, for example. Perhaps a struggling restaurateur needs something “fresh” for their place of business. Ideas all in which are “good” if not great, and ideas in which I could perhaps profit greatly from;  but they just involve things that aren’t entirely suited for me.

They say that you should write your ideas down so they’re not forgotten anyway, but I rarely do. They often come when I’m driving or otherwise occupied and I don’t always get a chance to write them down. Some idea linger and I remember them, but I am certain that several more are lost.

Therefore, this is what I would like to do: I’d like to start writing everything down on a mini notepad. One idea per page. I’m then going to stuff each one into separate individual envelopes and sell them for $5 on fiverr. A “grab bag” of an idea. I can sell them one at a time or 5 for $20. And then, who knows? Maybe someone will have made the best $5 investment of their lives. Perhaps they will read it and laugh at the absurdity behind it before wadding it up and sending it straight to the landfill. Or maybe, they will know someone else entirely to give or sell the idea to.

And there you have it: My latest idea. Maybe it sounds absurd to you but it could possible be something great for the greater good in the end. Either way, It would be free for me to try and it would only be a very small gamble with great odds acquired with minimal investment for my customers.

So, what say you? Does this sound feasible? Would you buy one? Act now, because I’ll be stuffing them envelopes soon. But first….. I just thought of something!


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A proposal to the NFL to modify their officiating policies

NFL officiating is a joke. It has been a joke for quite some time, but they seem to be getting worse and worse as time goes on. It seems to me that this year alone I have seen more “bad calls” than I’ve ever seen in any previous season. I could go into detail, but if you’re any true football who has watched a minimum of a few games this year, then you can surely recall at least one instance of a complete and utter botched call (to put it nicely).

More and more, the NFL changes and adapts the rules and add so many “clauses” that it’s really no wonder that the referees are having such complications and facing so much scrutiny from both fans and players alike. It’s time to try to correct and alleviate these problems in the NFL.

Therefore, I would like to suggest to the NFL that we implement a system of (public) “fan challenges” that can be used twice (perhaps?) during any game- much like the coaches have.

The way this could work is thus: The NFL will create a “panel” of 160 NFL fans throughout the country of whom have all been randomly selected anew at the beginning of each season. Football fans could “register” during the off-season to be selected to this group. Part of this registration process would require one to pass a series of test questions relating to the general concept and rules of football  in order to to weed out anybody  whom may be even more stupid than any of the existing refs. Additionally,  the question: “What is your NFL team of loyalty?” would be a required field in the registration form.

On the day following the NFL draft, a “lottery”  will take place in which five  (5) “loyal fans” of each team will be selected in order to form this 160 member “pool”( 32 x 5 = 160).  Additionally, two (2) “reserves” will we chosen in case of any unforeseen circumstances should arise with any of the first selected five (5)

This would create a fair and “unbiased” pool of fans whose job it will be  to “oversee” any and all penalties called in every game throughout the league.

This could be made possible by supplying the household of every selected participant a “Redzone” type of program or technology for each member to view these penalties in real time.  Each member would then equipped with an app, (Or “B.S Button”, if you will…) which will enable them to alert the NFL Headquarters if they witness any call that they would personally consider to be a poor one. Then, if at any point, a selected size majority deems that a penalty is wrong, then the penalty would be nullified.

Selected participants each year would be compensated with a pair of season tickets for their choice of teams valid for the following season.

The NFL is consistently attempting (or expressing the desire) to better engage and please the fans. Often time, the viewers at home have views that are alternate, and on many occasions, better, than the views of the on-field referees (due to overhead cameras and etc.). I think such a system would not only help selected fans to to actually “engage” in ways that they never thought possible but that it will also create new and renewed interest in the game knowing that the fans truly have a “voice” and with the increased knowledge that: “No!. It’s Not ‘F&#@$ Rigged!'”


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National Football Entertainment

            On Sunday, January 19th , 2014, The Seattle Seahawks battled the Defending National Champion San Francisco 49ers in the National Football Conference Championship game. While this was happening, I was in a movie theater watching the Wolf of Wall Street with my girlfriend. So, I didn’t see the game. But I sure heard about it; just as you certainly have, as well.

            What I’m obviously referring to here is the ongoing conversation among television and social media regarding the post-game rantings of Richard Sherman in his interview with Erin Andrews.  Richard Sherman clearly had some words for Michael Crabtree. To summarize, in case you missed this, Richard Sherman is “the best corner in football” and that “Michael Crabtree aint’ got nothin’” (My words, not his), on Richard Sherman.

            Now, hundreds of thousands of people are in an uproar about the comments that he made. Many defend the comments. Many think Sherman is now just an arrogant thug. My initial thoughts on the matter were leaning toward the latter. Both teams played their hearts out and it was an absolute battle to the finish. For any one player to single out another player who clearly fought just as much as you is absolutely disrespectful. Arrogance bothers me. This was a team effort for the win.  But in hindsight, all this may be a good thing.

            I don’t know what kinds of thing may or may not have been said on or off the field between these two, but it’s obvious that the two are at odds.  Now, whatever their personal feud actually is between one another is their problem and not mine- nor yours. I personally think this feud is/was a wonderful wonderful thing and that “everybody wins” here.

            I have no doubt that the  public comments that Richard Sherman made had relevance to a situation between himself and Michael Crabtree. I’m sure the two were “calling each other out” at many points in the game. If indeed Crabtree was “talking trash” at any point, then I feel that Sherman had every right to defend himself and to be excited over win. I agree that, perhaps, he could have worded things a bit differently, but I believe and understand that he was “in the moment” and that what he said was simply just what came out.  In honesty, I have no interest in breaking down any of the actions of the game and it’s not my intent to support or defend or to even understand exactly what their “issue” was and/or who was right or wrong.

            In the end, what this all boils down to is a little bit of “trash talk” between two great athletes. Probably no more different than the sorts of bantering chatter that could be heard around a kitchen table during an intense game of Monopoly. “Trash talk” is common and maybe even sometimes healthy (helpful, anyway). It’s can sometimes be referred to as “being competitive” and it often brings out the best in people. I have no doubt then, that Crabtree and Sherman brought out the best in each other during their matchup. This was a close game that came down to a final play.  Any true sports fan should agree that blowout games suck. It’s great to get the win, but not much entertainment in the end. So now, everybody either directly involved or personally/emotionally invested in the situation needs to look back and be thankful for the great entertainment that was the end result. Sherman and Crabtree need to shake hands and remain competitive.

            With that being said, we can now look ahead to Superbowl 48. What we have is a matchup that, at least in this modern era, is unparalleled.  We have two 13-3 teams who have fought tooth and nail all year and whom have risen up significantly in a short time.  Both teams are clearly energized, excited and focused. Although I do have a favorite to win, I really cannot and will not be upset for any outcome this year. I know it’s going to be a great game and if I had to put my money on anything, it would be that superbowl 48 is going to be the most watched football game in history.  So, let’s all shut the hell up for a while. Congratulate all the loyal Broncos and Seahawks fans, stop calling Manning fans “fake”, respect the opposing players and fans, prepare to play (and watch) hard and enjoy some damn football!  Except, of course, for Tom Brady, whom won’t be watching this year.

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I think I might be racist

Okay, so before you start immediately hating or racking your brain so hard, please hear me out. (and note also that I’m writing this from my mobile device)

A couple of months ago, I was helping my sister move. A friend of hers, (ill call him Joe) also came to help. Joe is of course an African-American male and I would guess his age to be anywhere between 21 and 25 years old. He was dressed in very loose (saggy) fitting jeans, a red hoodie with some sort of tribal design on the front and wore a black 59fifty Yankees ball cap (the ones with the flat bill and the big round gold sticker).

When he spoke, he used a lot of slang and terminology that for the most part for the sake of this argument, could probably be considered as ebonics .

Joe was a really nice guy and was a great help to both my sister and I. We got along just great and shared some laughs and treated each other respectfully as any two mature strangers would.

After we finished for the day , we were all taking a break at the kitchen table and as I enjoyed a cup of coffee with my sister and as my sister smoked a cigarette and as Joe smoked a black and mild cigar we began to engage in “normal” conversation. And here is where things get tricky…

Somehow our conversation segued  into various things such as government wiretapping,  Guantanamo bay, questions about the official 9-11 investigation, weather modification, fluoridated water,autism, RFID chips, and etc.

All in all, it was a very interesting, insightful, thought-provoking and engaging conversation that I enjoyed. But I was also very surprised!

I was surprised because I didn’t expect him to be knowledgeable about many of those things. Had we talked about sports, or music, or told jokes and shared “gossip” I wouldn’t have thought anything was strange.

It wasn’t until a day or two later when I thought back to the situation that I realized the major error that I made. The whole reason why I was surprised about how “well-informed” he was about so many (taboo/conservative/conspiratorial/?) Issues was because I had judged him.

Only at the time, I wasn’t aware of the fact and rather, at the time, I thought I was merely making observations about his looks and personality at that first moment I met him.

Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t find any offense in his outward appearance nor was I bothered by the words and way in which he spoke. I’m a friendly person and I truly believe that I have the ability to get along and find some sort of connection with anybody I encounter.

But when I think even further into the situation I feel worse and worse because had Joe been a white man my age, or an older white woman, or had been wearing something from American eagle or been generally different in appearance in any way, I don’t believe that I would not have had the same sense of “surprise” that I felt that day.

Clearly, I don’t truly believe myself to be racist in any way. Now while I won’t go so far as to say that I have NEVER used derogatory terms or told slanderous jokes, well… that was stupid and I guess I was young and immature at the time.  And so,  while I may have said  those things I don’t sincerely believe that I felt and/or believed those things.

So, while ill end this by saying that I’m NOT racist and that I believe in equal rights for all humans and that I truly love all people and that I don’t believe myself to be above anybody, I still have to wonder: am I just in denial?   I hope not!

Your thoughts??

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Someone stole the “Enter” key!

I just navigated away from the Google homepage in order to start writing this post immediately. Or perhaps I should rephrase that by saying that I was scared away and that my wordpress blog just became my “safe zone”.

What brought me here is this:  I was obviously attempting to enter a search term for  something when I made the observation that the “predictive text?” field of websites below was giving immediate up- to-the-second results. For example, if I enter my name into the search bar, I get the following top results as I type: J.C. Penny, Java, James Franco, James Franco, James Franco, James Renner, James Ritty, and finally I get “me” (James “AC Jimbo” Richardson– A television presenter and journalist).

Then suddenly, I had a realization…the realization that my keystrokes are being monitored in some form and that someone or at least something which at least someone could probably get access to, is “watching” everything that I now type into the search box.

WHY I just made this observation is beyond me. Nor do I  know how long Google has had this particular feature. (I suspect that it has been some time) I do know however,  that it wasn’t ALWAYS like this.

Now, am I really all that concerned by what I make of this feature? Yes and No.

Think of spyware. We all know that it’s bad. Therefore we run programs to detect and remove all forms of it. Many forms of which, are of the keystroke reading variety. And so essentially, what is NOT OKAY over here, is accepted as the “norm” over here because it’s understood to be more convenient and user-friendly

Say for instance, that I get into an altercation with the neighbor next door. An explicit shouting match about the “mess” that his dog  had left on my neatly manicured lawn. I’m angry and upset (and not being a fan of physical altercations) I storm away, red-faced with rage,  seeking the comfort of my home and the solace of the internet. I open internet explorer to the default Google homepage and pose the question,”How can i hire a hit-man?” Clearly, I know that it’s a totally unethical and irrational thought and that I would NEVER so much as even wish someone were dead. But I “throw it out there” anyway and I now feel a whole lot better.  I never press “enter”, and instead, I navigate to Facebook ,change my status to “NEIGHBORS SUCK!” and spend the next two hours giving 30 word fragments of the “official story” in my comments section.  Finally, I eat some dinner, watch the newest episodes of South park and Tosh.0 and call it a night.

Then, five hours and forty-two minutes later, the phone rings. It’s the F.B.I.. They want to ask me a few questions…

Okay, so perhaps that’s really stretching things. I pray that I truly am, but it is possible and that’s a scary thought. More and more we are being tracked and monitored in all aspects of our lives. Our Cell Phones are equipped with G.P.S. and know where we are at all times. Even when it’s turned off, triangulation could be used to locate you. I’ve recently read articles which make the claim that, supposedly, there lies embedded in the “code” of pictures sent from your phone information which can give out your specific coordinates. Websites, especially from social networks, as most people are well aware of, use your hobbies, interests, key words and etc. in order to give you “selective” advertising.  Smart phones with predictive text replace your actual words with the words that it thinks you actually meant to say; Half the time with humorous, embarrassing, or unwanted results.

Point in case though, I don’t like it. I know it’s a minor thing and chances are good that after I post this I won’t even think about these things anymore. But that also just goes to show how much a part of our everyday lives that these sorts of things are becoming and/or how accepting we are of the technologies that are both invasive, unnecessary. I mean, just how lazy do they think people are that they can’t so much as press one extra button in order to “enter”?

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My Life’s greatest memories have been memories lost

Inspired by the Memory of Lonnie P. Brady *

* Before I begin this post, I’d like to begin with a brief explanation of what I suspect will become my writing approach now and throughout the future: While I understand the importance of proper grammar and English when writing what I intend to be serious subject matters, I feel that what is MOST important, is to simply get the idea out there in its rawest form before any details can be lost. As an English major and former tutor, I hold the belief that writing is a process and that due to that fact I will NOT (short of obvious HUGE mistakes)be concerned with grammar or spelling for the first writing of a post. However, at any point AFTER the writing of an originial post, I will then re-edit my entry to make things gramatically correct and error free

     As the title suggests, I am writing this entry because an acquaintance of mine has recently and suddendly passed away.  I say “acquaintance” because I don’t want to pretend that we were the best of friends that were ever always in touch, but he IS someone who I’ve known for as long as I can remember. It’s suffice to say that he was family of friends who are “family” to me.  Specificilly speaking, I’m pretty sure the first time that I ever threw a football,I was throwing it to him.

     I don’t have a LOT of memories about Lonnie and (even though I would LOVE to share some ) my blog is not ABOUT  Lonnie. Rather, it’s the idea of death and the means in which we cope with death and the loss of a loved one.

     Typically, when a person dies, there is a calling hours in which everyone gathers to offer their support to those most affected while also sharing stories and appreciating the “life” that someone had. Often always, these stories bring back strong memories in which people may have long since forgotten (or forgotten to remember) in a very long time. What I’m really referring to then, is our MEMORY.

     When I think of the past and some of the strongest memories, it’s almost always as an “outside observer” to said event in my life. For example,when I was 10 years old,I visited Niagara Falls for the first time in my life. While I remember being there, and looking over the falls for the first time, I was thrilled and amazed. I can imagine my sweating palms as I stood on my tiptoes and wondered what would happen if I were to fall. I think about these thigs but no matter how hard I try, I cannot recall the actual “feeling” that this created.

      I remember when I was a child, how excited I would get when the teacher on Romper Room would see “me” through her magic mirror. I remember Sesame Street and the Yep Yep’s. I remember being a young teenager and staying up “late” on Saturday’s to watch SNICK. I remember these things, and then I remember NOT doing them anymore. What I don’t remember however, was why I stopped doing these things. I mean, essentially speaking, one day a routine in my life suddenly ended and that was that. I didn’t “miss” it and for the most part, I forgot that whatever “thing” was once a part of me, ever was a part of me.

       I wonder then, what it ever was inside of my head that made me “decide” (though obviously subconsiously) to change my habit. It’s as if I had a sudden “epiphany” and that overnight, I grew up mentally–and for the life of me, I can’t remember what that “spark of knowledge” was, or where it went to from there.

     Memories are like people. They come and they go. Sometimes you run into these people and time is spent together and other memories are made and shared. A majority of these people that you meet in life though, are forgotten.  A moment or two shared which forever link you to a person, place, thing or idea. Something that you experienced which gave you some sort of knowledge to the world around you and taught you something whether you realize it or not in order to make you the person that you are now.

     Memories forgotten are like pieces of yourself dying. As the saying (sort of goes.. I can’t remember exactly) “the mistakes of the past are doomed to be repeated if we don’t learn from them.” Just then, the lessons that you learned, the moments that you experienced are gone when in fact, they should be considered and reconsidered often.

     With the ever increasing pace of the life that we live in and with the ever decreasing “time” that we spend truly paying attention to the world away from our computers, cell phones, jobs, therefore too, are we spending less and less time in self reflection and sooner or later I think a lot of people in this world lose the ability to experience life in the way in which it should be experienced because they’ve lost all sense of the “self” that has made them who they are.

      So, in closing, I think that the “message” (if you might call it one ) that I am trying to convey is that, while it’s important to love and remember everybody who is important to you, it’s equally (if not more)important that you remember YOU.  Because the memories that you have of a person, really are just memories of an extension of yourselves… in the essence that your experience with that person and the memory that you SHARE has shaped you in one form or another.

      With that being said, I’m going to end this blog by trying something– something that I think would be AWESOME if it could become the newest “trend” to sweep across all of the social networks in cyberspace.  I’m going to spend the next five minutes (in free thought and form) simply “remembering” things.  A list which, aside from spelling mistakes, will NOT undergo any sort of further revision.

I remember learning what a “nightcrawler” was when my Dad’s answer to what one was, was “because they come out at noon, you goof!”

I remember the first time I drove a car. It was in a cornfiend and I was trying to run over (not really) my brother.

I remember how fun Thanksgiving at my Grandma Miller’s was when i grew up. When the whole family came over and stayed ALL DAY.

I remember the book that my cousin Krysta had about the popcorn that goes out of control and filled up the whole house!

I remember my first winter campout and the story about “red eyes” which had me a little worried.

I remember doing somersaults for my Grandma Aggie to make her laugh.

I remember sneaking off to the Minerva “street fair” and almost getting caught by Dad.

I remember the first time I learned the song that goes “did you ever think when a hearse goes by….”. Thanks Judy!

I remember rolling down the hill in a barrel and ending UPRIGHT in the middle of a briar patch, and how ,in hindsight, I should have ROLLED out instead of crawling through.

I remember how bad I felt after I threw a handful of rocks at a group of swimming ducks.

(and time is up)

I didn’t stop and I didn’t think about those things which I would say next, I just started listing them. Those are vivid memories and they bring back many many more. Memories in which I’ll further consider while I go to sleep.  Goodnight all!

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