Thursday, May 26, 2005


Copyright LJM 2005
Buy the auctioned items at ebay sometime in the near future:
Upon first look, there was nothing exceptional about Melnic's.
A brief glance at the rows of candles, oils and incence inside the store at 3700 Arthur Street, may be lead customers to believe that they were just a mixture of colorful dyes,some oil and wax.

However, for George Christ, owner of Melnic Corporaton, the preparations he sold for the past 12
years were unique religious items. His customers came from near and far through the years
and most of those who attended an auction at Melnic's Tuesday came to buy the incence and

religious candles--although everything was on auction.Inside, there were bundled stacks of dream and lucky number books. Erby Tucker of Gary was
a faithful customer. He said the lucky numbers really work and credits the books for
winning a state lottery."If you have a certain number, stick with it," he said.There were shelves of candles and incense up for sale in the mix of items for auction. An
entire shelve of religious candles sold for as little as $5 to $8.Those candles may be
found for as much as $12 elsewhere.Amy Spencer bought some of the candles and said she planned to donate them to a social
organization.Some of the candles were labled,"Love Drawing Power Candles" and one read, "evil woman be
gone." Some had Spanish words on them. One candle was called a Tobacco candle and said to
aid in a person's release from jail or winning a court case.There were bottles of colored
powder called sachets, used to ward off evil spells, jinxes or confusion.Some of the chubby vials were labled "Stay Home" and "Do As I Say" but no one in the store
at the time wanted to discuss their purpose, in depth. Regular customers said they knew how
the more obscure items like, Mandrake root, could be used.An older gentleman, bidder number 50, bought some red and black "reverse" candles, that the
owner said customers used to reverse bad luck and spells. Highland resident, Tim McKenny bought two boxes and said he would give his candles to friends.Carey Andrews bought a display case and a pallet of products. He said he would share his
find with friends too.Some who were there made a habit of going to auctions and reselling
items.Margot Alfaro said she planned to sell the stacks of incense she bought at a flea
market."It's hard to watch your business being sold piece by piece," Hebron resident
Danielle Torkleson said.She figured, many of the items were specialty and not marketable to
a wide audience.Many of Melnic's customers were said to be appreciative of the advice they'd get from the Christ and the high-quality products. Christ said his father made all of the potions, oils, incense and candles himself.

Friday, May 13, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Remember what Bill Cosby said last year?

Copyright LJM 2005

Vincent Lavar is 22-years-old and lives with his girlfriend Nicole Gordon, 19 in the Dixie Manner Apartments—which is subsidized housing in Boca Raton, FL. Neither had heard about the comments made last month by actor and comedian Bill Cosby.
When Cosby gave impromptu comments on the state of the African American community--he could not have realized the whole world was listening.
During a speech last month in Washington D. C. Cosby criticized poorer African Americans for reportedly, “not holding up their end of the bargain.”
Cosby made his infamous comments in front of a mostly well to do, well heeled, crowd at a gala commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.
Reportedly the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Kweisi Mfume and Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert were present.
Essentially, Cosby validated the perception that African-Americans who are economically disadvantaged have bad work ethics, low morals, misplaced priorities and distasteful lifestyle choices.
And they have no one to blame for their predicament but themselves.
Cosby, in effect, validated a stereotypical African American image that is hard to shake.
However, Levar and Gordon might not have heard of the unfortunate comments because they are too busy raising their two children.
Gordon has a 3-year-old son James Swain and the couple has a 9-month-old son who is named after his dad, Vincent.
Lavar is caring for his girlfriend’s oldest son as any stepfather would—accept that the couple is not married and epitomize some of the negative images in the black community that Bill Cosby spoke about last month.
But the pair feels as if they are good parents.
“I don’t care because I handle my business,” Lavar said.
Gordon said she doesn’t mind that Cosby made the statements because it’s not important to her and it doesn’t apply to her.
“It will probably make Black people look bad,” she said.
Locally, prominent and working class Palm Beach County African Americans gave comment on Cosby’s views. Many had only heard very little about the statements but enough to know that they were unvarnished comments.
Wayne Barton, founder and Chief Economic Officer for the Wayne Barton Study Center in Boca Raton said he agrees with what Cosby meant to say—that the disintegration of the Black family has taken its toll.
“We’re getting away from the original way African American families were raised years ago. Everything we did center on the church. Now, we just go there to die,” he said.
“Bill Cosby didn’t candy coat the issue. We need to really stop and think about what is going on in our households,” Barton said.
Barton said Cosby might have made the comments to, “wake up the black community,” because African-Americans are living in liberal times and youth are, at times, encouraged to be disrespectful when parents withhold discipline.
Dixie Mannor resident, Pollie Shivers, is a single mom and she agreed with what Cosby meant to say but not how he said it.
“What he said is true some of us are giving excuses for not getting a job—I don’t think his comments should have been broadcast. It’s bad enough we have (people outside of the African-American race) saying those things let alone some one of our own color,” she said.
But it's not as if Cosby's life has not been touched by tragedy.
The actor's late son, Ennis Cosby was killed in 1997. That same year he was accused of having a child out-of-wedlock. A woman named Autumn Jackson allegedly tried to blackmail the comedian. Cosby admitted he helped her financially.
At the height of "The Cosby Show" popularity, he was heavily criticized for not realistically portraying African-American family life.
He defended his characterizations of upper class blacks and so did the rest of America.
“He has more leeway to say it because he was talking about African-Americans and he is African-American--but Cosby now has the burden,” Nelson Hall, a Professor of music at Florida Memorial College in Miami said. Hall is Cuban-American. He is also the Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Boca Raton. He said many of his friends are African-American and they seemed to agree with Cosby when he charged that some blacks don’t take responsibility for their actions and like to blame others for their bad decisions.
Rivera Beach City Manager, Bill Wilkins said that Cosby has the right to express his opinion and that the furor surrounding the comments is counter productive.
“Criticism will minimize the ongoing struggle for equal rights…everyone knows the strides we've made. Sometimes controversial comments wake up the consciousness in people,” Wilkins said.
Delray resident H. Ruth Pompey, widow of the late local civil rights activist Spencer Pompey, said she agrees with Cosby’s comments.
“I think people should think more about education. If it were me, Id’ be putting that money in a bond or something so my child could go to school. We don’t like to hear things like that--sometimes because we think that people like that don’t care--Cosby wasn’t born rich, he made sacrifices,” she said.
Pompey’s husband helped to bring an end to racial pay disparities between white and black teacher’s salaries in Delray during the 1940s.
Cosby’s comments at least have inspired spirited debate among members of the African American community.
Two friends talked about it after leaving work Tuesday in Boca Raton.
“I don’t think he should have said those things in public,” Paul Rollins said. He was dropping off a friend from work--a man who identified himself as Johnnie R.
Johnnie R said Cosby spoke out loud what is often only whispered within the African-American community.
“There are certain things you don’t say in public--but what he said is true,” he said, stating that the family unit is no longer a priority among some—even when children are involved.
However, he cautioned, “no man should judge another.”
Joe Smith, of Delray is 45 years old and says he didn’t marry the mother of his children until the youngest was 3 or 4 and he doesn’t see anything wrong with it. Cosby’s comments about lifestyle choices offended him.
“That’s why he made those comments—he doesn’t know and he is on the outside looking in,” he said.
In fairness, Cosby is familiar with certain lifestyle choices. He has had struggles of his own but a boot-strap mentality isn’t always reserved for the born-rich. Sometimes, we just forget from where we come.

Monday, May 09, 2005

If You Get Me

If You Get Me
Sometimes it's good to stop and think--do a little reflecting.
Measure what you're doing by reviewing your value structure. But
make sure you've established one.
A good value structure can keep you on the right track and out of
a lot of hot water.
Let's start with relationships. I don't have one.
I decided that I can only have a relationship with a man who gets
me. This is why I am alone.
But it's okay. I can do alone. I can't do nagging, worrying and
sour disposition.
Women who display these characteristics are often with men who
don't get them. Being in these relationships is better than being
alone to them or they've just given up and too tired to get out of
Alone is better for me than just putting up, shutting up and
putting out. But it's not just because I think I'm a better woman
but because I really just don't know how. I'll
stay on track with the quiet woman routine but then I'll lose my
concentration and forget who I'm supposed to be and before you
know it, I've opened my mouth, closed my legs and grabbed an
Then there goes the relationship.
But, I guess in the long run, it wasn't really a relationship but
just sex. A bit of passion.
Several men expected me even to carry out a pregnancy under the
quiet woman routine. But because I was playing a role and not
being myself, they thought that I would make a good baby's momma.
None had given me a ring and proposed marriage. Just wanted a baby's
momma on the side 'cause that seemed to be the thing to do.
And these men aren't slouches--by any means.
They'd have much more to lose than I if their potential love child
would have come to light.
Because I'm not a teenage girl and know the difference between
love and lust and passion and loved them enough in my own way to
do what was best--even when it was painful to do--I remained
chaste. No extra babies for me--as cute as they could be. (In my
own mind of course)
These guys, I love, figured I wasn't doing anything better (in their
mind) than to add to my responsibilities. And that they would be a
good catch for me and that I should be grateful men of their status
would even bother with the little match girl (see French
children's fable Allumette who froze to death outside of a French
bakery dreaming about food as she tried to sell matches to
passersby on Christmas Eve)
But that they wanted a piece of me forever, laying claim to me to be their
baby momma (not mama).
In a really immature way, I appreciate d
the sentiment.
It's a good stroke for the ego.
But that's all that stroke should be--good for the ego. It doesn't
need to be a life long commitment to a permanent situation where
I would be looked upon to explain how it all came about--as soon as the
potential love child grew up.
They're not always infants, babies and little kids. They become
12-year-olds with a high intellect (I told you none of the men I
know are slouches) and they would want to know why my ex-husband
isn't their father too, like their brother and sister.
Why would I want to put myself through that? Or them? Or that
potential baby daddy. He'd only be mad at me in the end when the thrill was gone and then there would still be the baby to raise, with or without a dad.
I now know the love for a child demonstrated by
their father only may go as far as the love they demonstrate for
the child's mom--whether they stay together or not.
Upon reviewing my value structure today, I figure I'm doing the
best I can with what I have. And it's nice to know you have some
value in the world--even if it is as a baby momma.
However, I have one question: how did this phenomena of baby mommas come about?
Why not marry and have a whole and complete family unit?

Monday, May 02, 2005

Oh my eye

My contact lense slipped into the back of my eyeball Sunday while in Sunday school. I put another in so I can't tell if I have two in my right eye or not. When it slips into the back, it's hard to notice it's there.
I've started going to Sunday school. My son expressed an interest in church, so we started to go. He's seven. However, we have age appropriate classes so I'm in the Adult class. We discuss world events as it relates to religion and hold all sorts of interesting conversations. They don't make judgements--or at least they don't voice them to me. It would be difficult for me to explain why I'm out dancing and stuff way past 10 p.m. sometimes.
I guess they too were once young and in the world.

Friday, April 29, 2005

three days for a pic

why did it take me three days to post pics to my blog using Picasa and Hello? it would have been nice to just use the "browse" button to upload from my computer.

anyway, enjoy.

self-portrait 2003
Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello