Budgeting to enjoy the 2021 Holiday Season

The holidays are fast approaching, which provides a primary reason to examine our monthly budget. We are looking for excess cash to spend on decorations, holiday foodstuffs, and funds to spend on presents for family and friends. Some of us are lucky enough to have a savings account specifically for these holidays. We always plan on not running up our credit card balances which may be at the max considering we are coming out of a pandemic. As soon as we determine our holiday budget, we can look for retail deals.

How far will your dollar go this holiday season? For years industry leaders have awarded large bonuses to their top executives every year. At the same time pushing for a need to lower labor rates. As a striking John Deer employee says, “We are tired of them taking our money.” 

One almost has to say they have lowered, slashed, and renegotiated labor fringe dollars to the bone. It’s as if they say the corporations’ executives deserve a big yearly bonus and the workers are on their own.

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers increased 5.0 percent from May 2020 to May 2021. That means we are paying $1.05 more for goods this year than the even $1.00 we paid last year. Laughable, isn’t it? From our perspective, we are paying $1.25 more, depending upon the consumer item, than the previous year. In other words, the Consumer Price Index is always lower than the reality in the retail outlet. Sometimes my budget tells me that I may be spending more than a twenty-five percent increase depending upon the consumer item.    

As labor proposes a couple of percentage points in the maximum pay increase, we may not realize the exact number—specifically, the 5% increase in consumer goods from last year to this particular year. The growth covers food, appliances, gasoline. You name the product. More than likely, the price has increased within the last year. Are you traveling this year? Reportedly rental car prices are 66% higher than last year.

How about the amount of product you get in packaging? You have to consider the shrinking product amount in the package. It’s a clever way for the industry to save money, thereby increasing profits by selling the public less product for the exact cost.

The economy of supply and demand still affects our budgets. The formula says when supplies are low and demand high, the result is an increase in pricing. However, that is still not the only reason for rising prices. For example, the pandemic was a primary reason for the demand for more supplies.

The issue is always the same. If you are aware of the rules, you can play the game. In this case, you can select foodstuffs that will feed your family until the first of the month rolls around in thirty of thirty-one days. Oh, you may have to substitute certain items for others. You may not be able to buy certain brands of foodstuffs you are used to serving your family. As the old folks say, a little money goes a long way if you pay attention to your spending budget. The price of gas rises every time the oil companies have extra expenditures. Say like a spill they must clean up or that old tried and true one. We must shut down certain oil-producing outlets for maintenance.  

But then, when does the average consumer get a break? That is the larger question. Along comes a Democrat that tries to help the average consumer. You’ve heard of the president’s infrastructure bill. He is practically run out of town on a rail car for mentioned helping the ordinary family. Media, owned and managed by rich folk, tear apart his program. Who’s going to pay for it? Why should they get free stuff? Tell the freeloaders to earn their keep and buy what they can afford as we all must do, the well-to-do advice. Yet, they don’t realize that providing a lesser-earning person a safety net that allows them to contribute to the tax structure or economy daily is better for everyone.

Some are too busy reading about conspiracies. Others are not listening to their voices, or they would hear them suggest processes that haven’t worked for ages. These are the extreme opinionators. Somehow the commonsense approach gets buried beneath the unworkable rhetoric pushed by the rich and powerful.      

Finally, Social Security is playing catchup by providing a 5.9% increase to seniors. You can expect to see that raise in January of 2022. It’s based upon the Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA). Put it this way, the COLA average for 2015 through 2020 was 1.33. So, an increase to 5.9% is a big deal. We won’t go into how that figure fits your budget, like increases in health plans to name one. Let’s say it is welcomed and leave it at that. Somehow, we have made it through the year. We always manage to buy a hamburger at Wendy’s or In and Out occasionally. Let us hope we can put more democrats in congress since they are the only ones willing to spend money on the little consumer.  

Meanwhile, we are determined to have a happy holiday season. We will adjust our spending accordingly. So, to one and all, happy holidays beginning with Thanksgiving from the Hampton’s. We are excited to be here to enjoy the season with you from afar.

Peace, blessings, stay healthy, vigilant for our American rights. Make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II                                                                                                   Author & Commentator

Our new book, “The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp, Vol II” has been published. Check our websites for details.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Join us for our live or Internet broadcast of bi-monthly BTR R&B or Smooth Jazz Musical at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica. Or play the broadcast at your leisure.

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo, Parent Company/Sponsor CHIIA Group at https://hcofa.net/

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

HRO Admin. and the Current Presidency

Most have heard of the Gabrielle Union dispute and ultimate firing from the voice. A smaller number of people may have heard that Afton Williamson quit ABC’s “The Rookie” series back in July. She noted the reason was after her complaints during the first season of racial bullying and sexual harassment simply ignored by the powers that be. The complaint covered behavior as far back as the spring of 2018 and throughout Season 1. She indicated in an August 4th TV Line article that she “experience racial discrimination, racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department, including sexual harassment from a recurring guest star.” The shows reaction, or “HR protocol was never adhered to,” nor was “an investigation” issued for any of the complaints.

I’ve worked in both environments as a government and private concern employee or manager. I know that most white people I’ve talked to about racism in the workplace didn’t want to hear about it. Never mind did it happen; they don’t want to discuss it. Pushed, you will get various views on the subject. Most will be opinions that are not conducive to a healthy HRO program. The difference between the government work environment and private concern is like night and day. Private companies have a Human Resource (HR) Office. Some often act as if it’s a wasted position. Most times, they immediately want to brand the complainer as just that, one who is a constant complainer. People who should feel lucky to have a job. 

Many times, the perpetrator in the complaint can’t understand the problem or don’t think they have done anything wrong. Some may go so far as to say; there isn’t a problem. Either the complainer is a screw-up, or they are thin-skinned. They can’t take it, act like an immature baby, or fire them as incompetent. In short, “sit down, shut up, go along to get along.” Why they are always surprised to see people of color not follow their short edict is beyond me. This practice is not a Donald Trump invention. It’s more of “thirties, forties, fifties” white male perceived masculinity imbalance of their interpretation.    

Presently we are in a place where up is down and down is up in this society. Trump perpetrates that state of “Tweet” mind. People who don’t like you for race alone are emboldened to act. They feel they have the political cover to act out their aggression. Previously suppressed dislike in some have come bubbling up to the forefront. They are edged on by white power websites or similar groups to commit some demonstrated act to show their racism.   

The media report that we are a divided country. They don’t call it what it is, instead offering an opinionated view that the divide is among political preference. When, in fact, the divide is between people of color or the white race. The current presidential administration, along with his political party are happy to exploit that divide to stay in power. Meanwhile, our country suffers from this new now. We not only suffer in worldly shame for not standing up for the ideals of Americans. But we also suffer in economic ways that we may not feel for a few years. An objective that’s was a consideration in the Trump tax bill passed by the Republicans.

The ideals, goals on which this country built are questioned, ignored, challenged by those who want to maintain their power structure hold despite their now being the minority. So those in a position of authority feel free to practice their hateful behavior toward people of color or Jews. It’s a perfect example of the effect any current presidential admiration has on the people of this country.

We, as sixty percent of regular citizens now, ask, what kind of governmental representative do we want to represent we the people? Where do our loyalties lie with Russia’s Putin or our entire USA legislative body, along with its checks and balances? I ask, have we ever looked to Russia as an example of anything except a tyrannical state.

For that forty percent of Americans who consistently back this Admiration no matter what horrendous act Trump perpetrates on American Society, shame on you. History will interpret your behavior is truly Un-American.  

All that’s needed for the entire USA to right itself and regard its neighbors as people of value is to remember whose birthday is on December 25th. That would be Jesus Christ. Follow his teachings, not Trump or Putin; you can’t go wrong.

Who do we place our trust in to run this country? Our decisions toward political matters are to ensure that our children and their children live in a country that helps them grow as people. They should be free to express themselves freely without fear of a dictator’s wrath because of certain topics.  

Peace & Blessing, stay vigilant for our American rights. Make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                         Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Join us for the live broadcast of our bi-monthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

We present the republication of the Authors’ tour of South Korea as a 17-year-old GI with Unchon-ni. Check out the details at https://outskirtspress.com/Unchonni

We are in a continuing effort to publicize, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953. Based on the life of the Authors Grandmother. The Novel examines an era of Jim Crow that many in our society may have forgotten occurred against people of color. Meanwhile, we celebrate the publication of his fifth book, Misguided Intentions. A book where family relationships questioned to the core. Read MI’s review at https://redheadedbooklover.com/gracie-hall-hampton-codis-hampton-ii/  Click on the publisher-Authors page at https://outskirtspress.com/MisguidedIntentions   

Get any of his books by visiting my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

Look for new books, updates of current titles, and submission of short articles to major magazines upcoming in 2020. We love to pass on our written word. – Hamp

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at http://hcoa.net/ and http://www.chiia.com/home.html. Our Retail Site is https://frostyltd.com/frosty-ltd-com

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Celebrating Our 50th Wedding Anniversary

My wife and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary on Saturday at the Pittsburg Senior Center. Our actual anniversary was on August 31st. We choose to celebrate it on Saturday, September 1st to get the venue for the party. Family, friends were in attendance on a holiday weekend. Relatives from our hometown, friends from near and far made it even more of an extraordinary celebration.

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Our son, Richie “Tycoon” Hampton acted as the Master of Ceremony. He also performed his releases, “Family,” and “Ain’t Goin Nowhere.”

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The “Called-2-Praise” Dancers performed to the Fantasia & Tye Tribbett collaboration of “I Made It.” They did an encore dance to “Your Spirit” by  Tasha Cobbs Leonard.  All were excellent at their craft.

Our Guest brought gifts, cards, although please believe me when I say, we were not expecting that type of support. Maybe we were just naïve in thinking people would not show their support with beautiful gifts. To us it was about sharing a special milestone in our lives with some of the people we treasure as friends and family. There were those who could not be there for a multitude of reasons and was kind enough to let us know. Just know that by being invited, Sandra and I consider you to be an essential part of our walk of life.

All in attendance will get a heartfelt “Thank You” package via the US mail or personally delivered to you. We will add pictures of the event, and a personal note of our gratitude. Please be patient for that. Again, it was so amazing to look out over the audience and see people who we have met at one time or another and try to keep as friends in our lives. It took us a while to learn to associate with individuals who share common goals and beliefs yet remain special in their own way. For the most part, they and we are people who shy away from the drama of living but hone in on the joy along with rewards that God has planned for us. Just know that friends and family in that hall plus some that were not in attendance have a special place reserved in our hearts. After all, you are real people.

Some may wonder how do you end up staying together for so long much less fifty years? One answer is we never thought about it with each passing year. There was never a shortage of love and respect from either one of us. I would say that is one of the major components that helped us through the trying times. The big one for me is communication between the two of us.

We started out as friends, lovers and running buddies. I thought I knew all about life and she let me feel so. No doubt I have good common sense but not as much as I might think I have at times. She challenged me at every turn which kept me on my toes. I was and still are under enormous pressure not to fail or disappoint her. She amazed me with her patience with family, people, and events. A trait that I sometimes struggle with today. We always had each other best interest at heart, no matter the situation.

A Leo man and Aries woman, two fiery combatable yet compatible signs. Some had reservations about us staying together for a week much less than a year. And here we have surpassed fifty years? Wow! What a trip. In short, we don’t really know how we did it. We do know that we come from families that had histories of staying together through thick and thin. I do remember telling her in the very beginning. She didn’t marry any member of my family. Nor did I marry any member of hers. It was going to me and her from then on out, no matter what anybody thought or how they would advise either of us. Having said that our parents and many others thought we were a cute couple. They cheered for a successful long union. Those who have passed would be proud.

I should add we made up our mind to not have a big wedding. One reason is that we didn’t have big money. Besides, we didn’t think a big wedding was necessary at the time. We made an appointment to be at City Hall on a specific date and time. We got married in front of a justice of the peace. One of my best friends, Jr. Ballentine was there as a witness. That morning of August 31, 1968, we walked down to City Hall as neither of us had a car. After the short but tender ceremony, we walked eight or nine blocks to a tavern.  Where I got into a pool game. Eventually, my new wife got tired of waiting for me. She walked back to her mothers’ house while Jr and I stayed at the tavern shooting pool. We hooked up again later that evening.

Now let me explain how it was with my buddies and me back in the day. There were no traditions that we hip folk followed at the time. If one were to traditionally zig, just to be different, we would zag. Our generation felt the old people had screwed up society so bad, the only option we had was to tear it up and rebuild it. So, to ensure your understanding of the point, the type of tradition didn’t matter. We realized we were following our parent’s example of getting married when they were young. Funny how some of life’s historical patterns repeats itself.

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Our love and appreciation to Gloria Jones (Event Planner) along with her crew in providing logistical support for the entire affair. Thanks to the attendees love and support shown…

Peace & Blessing…stay vigilant for our American rights. Make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at https://wp.me/p65rCa-kA

Join us for the live broadcast of our bi-monthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

We are in a continuing effort to publicize my book, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953. It’s based upon the life of my Grandmother. The Novel examines an era of Jim Crow that many in our society may have forgotten occurred against people of color. Meanwhile, we celebrate the publication of my latest and fifth book, Misguided Intentions. A book where family relationships are questioned to the core. Click on the publisher-Authors page at https://outskirtspress.com/MisguidedIntentions   

Get any of my books by visiting my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at http://hcoa.net/ and http://www.chiia.com/home.html. Our Retail Site is https://frostyltd.com/frosty-ltd-com

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

I Remember The Old Christmas Seasons

Tis the season when I become nostalgic and remember Christmas time at my parents and an assortment of relatives’ houses. Being raised in Milwaukee, I understood what the late Bing Crosby meant by a White Christmas. We wished for light snow instead of a snowstorm. If that be the case, I would grab my snow shovel and go around the neighborhood knocking on old people doors. They would pay a reasonable price for me shoveling out the walkway to their house. If you knew my father, you would understand where I got the idea. Like Codis the first I would take every opportunity to earn a dollar. Mind you I performed those tasks early in the morning. So I could be back in time to enjoy Christmas Day with my family.
Oh, what Christmas Days those were; it seemed longer back in the day. My stepsister and I had to wait for momma and daddy to get up before opening any presents. They would usually come out of their room around nine o’clock. It was a long agonizing wait because we were up as early as five o’clock. The big day always seemed to fall on a day after our parents spent Christmas eve playing cards, nipping at beer or alcohol and entertaining guest.
In time, Mama Rosalie would begin to cook breakfast. Another long agonizing time as we had to wait until she finished cooking. She would not open her presents until after breakfast. Daddy followed suit which would make me and my stepsister so anxious. Then after waiting so long, we wouldn’t get a lot of the toys we wanted. We mostly received school clothes, things we needed and books. Over the years we got used to it. We didn’t have a chimney, so Santa Clause didn’t stop by our house. My daddy would joke about shooting Santa if he came through our Third-floor window. That’s when we realize there was no Santa. Because daddy would never shoot Santa, would he? We found other ways to amuse ourselves by collecting or earning money to buy ourselves a toy or two.
By early afternoon, the visitors would start to stop by and wish us a Merry Christmas. If an Uncle or someone didn’t come to our house, my father would allow me to ride with him to their home. It must have been a golden rule established in my relatives’ southern hometowns of Arkansas. Go by and visit the sick and shut-in. Always check on your family members. Somehow between Christmas Eve and the big day, we would see all our relatives for a minute or two. At one time, I thought every black person in Milwaukee was related to me in some form or fashion. Daddy seemed to know everybody in the city.
Yes, I do remember Grandma Gracie who had her own little apartment within walking distance of our house. Cousin Buddy, his wife Ruby and their three kids (Louis, Larry and Ruby Jean) who lived on the first floor of our three-story building. From other places in the city, there was Uncles Monroe, Aunts Mittie Lue, Calvin & Marjorie, Peach & Vernese, Abe & Rose, Curtis & Verdia, Clarence & Gertherene. Aunt Lacireen & Uncle RT, Aunt Lena & Uncle Colrolus still lived in Arkansas. Of course, they all had kids, some were the same age as me. While others were older and younger, there were cousins Roy Lee, Johnny Lee and Vernell to name a few. This was to name just a few whereas we all managed to see one another during the holiday season. Our parents would look to that ritual.
It is that foundation from which I was raised I find comfort in being myself. One always found themselves protected from all the outside ills of society. If somehow, we encountered a problem we always knew how to handle it. Or our parents and that assortment of relatives would come to the aide of those who needed it; anytime and anyplace. They were people who worked hard, played hard and worship God on Sundays and other occasions.
I can’t tell you how many times my Grandma Gracie said she was going to pray for me. Especially during my teen years. When I was finally allowed to go around the corner from my house. Or that old warning, “Boy you are getting a little big for your britches, aren’t you?” With that, she meant I was beginning to act outside my age. They never wanted you to grow up so fast.
I think about those people today. I missed the conversations we had about family, history, life and the current state of the black race. Now you may understand why I write books and articles about those people. How I do miss my mother, father, stepmother, mother-in-law, uncles, aunts and a host of other goodwill people of their ages. Around Ninety-Eight Percent of those old Southern Souls have passed on and left a legacy of people like their children and me. I, my siblings and cousins who are left are now the older generation of migrates from Bradley County, Banks, Arkansas and the surrounding area. With pride, we say we are chips off the old blocks.
Don’t get me wrong, I love and enjoy the family my wife and I have brought into this world. I am always happy to see or talk to my sisters, brothers, and countless cousins spread throughout the United States. My wife and I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy the career success we had before retiring from the rat race. But we also know that success is a credit to those old Southern Souls and God. We love and enjoy the new friends and acquaintances we’ve made and can claim today. Yet, there is no denying the value of having come from those Southern Souls of the past. God broke the mold with many of those people. I know that many of you know exactly what I am talking about from members of your own family. May they rest in peace knowing they did a very credible job at life.
thLI6B9S9TPeace, stay vigilant for our American Rights, Blessings and Merry Christmas to you all…from the Hampton Family.
Codis Hampton II
Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo
Subscribe to this blog at https://wp.me/p65rCa-j8

 

Join us for the live broadcast of our bi-monthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica
We are in a continuing effort to publicize my book, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953. It examines an era of Jim Crow that many in our society may have forgotten occurred against people of color. Meanwhile, we celebrate the publication of my latest and fifth book, Misguided Intentions. Click on the publisher-Authors page at https://outskirtspress.com/MisguidedIntentions
Enjoy the book I wrote honoring my father, entitled Remembering Moz. Get a copy at https://outskirtspress.com/rememberingmoz
Get any of my books by visiting my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at http://hcoa.net/ and http://www.chiia.com/home.html. Our Retail Site is https://frostyltd.com/frosty-ltd-com

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

 

Meaningful Change On The Horizon

Another year has passed giving us time to reflect on what occurred during the last twelve months. I don’t know about you, but I can say it was a good year. No, I didn’t strike it rich, purchase a new mansion of a home, buy an expensive luxury car or lose a large lot of weight. Although I did appreciate the loss of fifteen pounds.

I didn’t become a media personality for whatever reason. Nor did anyone in my family become any more famous than they already are at the moment.  No there were no spectacular changes in my life last year. But then, there were no major losses of any kind either. Oh, there were deaths or people who we like to think transition on to a better afterlife. There are family and friends that we will miss and for which we are better off for having known in the first place.  All in all, 2015 was a very ordinary year for my family and me. Oh yes…there was one significant discovery but I will tell you about that later on in January.

Now 2016…where do I start? Let me say right off the top, I do expect big things to happen during this particular year. I feel it coming for our country on a national scale. I envision subtle but effective changes in our black communities, both morally and economically. I’ve sensed and noticed a real change in entrepreneurial mood with optimism from the guests on my Blog Talk Radio Show. There is a renewed sense of community responsibility from all the different people I’ve talked to over the last year.

People are tired of the status quo and are willing to put themselves out there for the common good of all. Just check out the news, pay close attention to the conversation and actions taken by the small groups in various cities across the country. Black people are becoming more and more aware of the real black power that is green power. We have begun to realize the value in using economic means to facilitate change within this country.

There are political voices out there that have people recoiling from the idea that we are a nation of people who think like Donald Trump.  Not to think of the real silent majority that despises the rhetoric and ideas pushed by the far right wing of the Republican Party and other extremists. Despite all the money spent by those organizations and their supporters in local political races; they are not directing the thought process of the American public.

Regardless of the fact that ultra-conservative white men own most of the largest national media. They who see the future USA population shift of white folks as no longer the majority a threat to their power base. Thus, a lot of the narrative you see and hear in our morning and evening news, national print media and oddly opinionated conversation from our political talk shows is downright self-serving to the status quo. You will note that the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Police Unions are part of that status quo mentality.

It’s as if we ask the police unions to undertake new training, stop and detain techniques, wear body cams, or simply not shoot someone sixteen times because they felt threaten by a knife-wielding mentally ill suspect. Then we are wrong? Where is it in our constitution or other laws that say Americans cannot ask and demand better service from our organizations formed to protect the public? I don’t think the country is going to stand for people telling us not to trust our own eyes or what we see in a video. Changes for the better are required and coming people.

People are tired of seeing or hearing all the tragic and criminal stories on our broadcast news. Especially since there are so many good stories happening on a daily basis. American’s are doing wonderful things, without selfish motivation, because we are good human beings.  Check out HuffPost Good News at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/good-news/ or Sunny Skyz at http://www.sunnyskyz.com/ and the Good News Network at http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/ In fact, some of the same organizations who bring you one-sided conservatively opinionated news have their website links touting good or inspiring news. That very fact itself should validate what I’ve been saying throughout this article.

You can and will play an important part in how 2016 will eventually turn out to you and your family. Join me in promising to be a better person, a better man, a better citizen, better father and spouse, and a better friend. In other words, I intend to be better at each and everything I do during all of 2016. And I will reward myself for achieving these goals by enjoying a movie, concert or other entertainment along the way. I intend to travel to more places than I did last year. In other words, I am going to enjoy life too. I also know if I do all of these things, God will take care of the rest along with providing the necessary means for my family and me.

So it’s full speed ahead for 2016. But don’t forget now, we should promise to keep in touch over the year and share our special thoughts and experiences. Hey, Happy New Year, my people.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-6Z

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment.

 

An International Thanksgiving

As is the Hampton family custom on Thanksgiving, my wife Sandra and I visited our son, Richie and his wife Endeliza for dinner at their house. Our wives agreed on a menu beforehand as well as who will prepare what for our little get-together.

Keep in mind that although Rich and Liza have been married going on twenty years, and together for five more, they don’t have any kids. My wife, always the one to crack a joke, makes reference to the absence of a possible grandchild by them in this way. Referring to Rich’s younger days when he was in the streets, she always asks, “Well, when is little snub-nose going to join our little family?”  Liza always laughs, plays it off and reminds her mother-in-law of that Christmas long ago when she gave her a stuffed doll and told her she could pick any name for it. Anyway, the couple is happy in their life with each other, and that’s all that counts.

They live a block from Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland so that you can imagine the size of their apartment. It is perfect for them, with a small kitchen, small living room, small office space and a bedroom with a nice queen size bed. Although small, you did get that didn’t you? It reminds me and my wife of some of the little love nests we rented back in the day. The point is although small, it’s designed to accommodate the two people who inhabit it.

We had no idea as to who was joining us but was very surprised when four more people arrived a half hour after my wife and I. Richie answered the knock on the door. “This is Paivi. She is from Finland. This is Nicoletta. She is from Italy. And then there is George, he is African but has been living in the US forever. And last but not least, this is Carol, she is from Ohio,” Richie stated as we shook hands and acknowledge each other.

Me, who cannot ever seem to remember names when first introduced, remembered the homeland of each person. After setting down, my wife who received a cell phone call from one or our friend wishing us a happy Thanksgiving quickly summed up the affair. “Oh yeah, we are having an international Thanksgiving with Richie and Liza.”  I, never wanting to offend anyone looked at Sandra, who asked me “What’s wrong with that?” On second thought nothing, I reasoned as she had perfectly described the gathering.

My son, looking at his parents questionable expressions went on to say the group (the three ladies excluding George) had just arrived in California to attend a concert in Santa Cruz and took the time to visit him in Oakland. They were leaving the day after the concert. They all met on Facebook and were seeing each other for the first time on this trip. At least that is what I got out of the conversations.

It was fun watching my daughter-in-law work it. Liza, always the make do with whatever you have, efficiently did her thing. She made everyone comfortable by placing the dinner table in the middle of where everyone was already seated in chairs or on the sofa.

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As you can imagine the before, during and after dinner conversation was interesting, especially while listening to the newcomers’ impressions of the United States. Nicoletta was told to bring a bikini as it would be bikini weather. She chided George, who was the one who gave her such a tropical weather report. His report caused her to pack clothing as though she was headed for beach weather. Sunshine and blue skies were dancing in her head. Needless to say, she had to buy a warm coat to deal with the Northern California cold weather.

It was her description of differences in the US driving requirements versus Italy that brought about an almost universal agreement. For those who have driven in Italy or know that the speed limits are, well let’s just say, a driver is practically on their own in gauging how fast they should drive in certain areas. She felt a speed limit of 25 miles per hour was “just too slow.”  And the fact that you had to stop at a stop sign whether anyone or a vehicle was around was as she described it “Stupid.”  Ummm…are you reading this DMV?

Paivi was a little shy, except when asked a question. She smiled a lot as others dominated the conversation. I was trying to get in a question regarding the social aspects of Finland, but it never happened. Finally, she responded to another subject question directed at her.  It turned out she was not as shy as I thought. So she felt comfortable enough to express herself in perfect English. It was Nicolette that was having problems with translating her thoughts into English. In the end, she got her point across where as everybody understood her.

George was the talker, and who seem like the main guide for the ladies. He played the role well. No hanky-panky here as all had left mates back home. It was a just a genuine friendship between them that allowed each to be themselves.

And of course, we learned that Carol was a nurse from Canton Ohio, home of the NFL Hall of Fame. She stated her family lived a few blocks from the old stadium where they played the game.  Adding her kids played high school ball in the stadium. They’ve torn the old stadium down making way for a brand new one. The NFL is also building a new four-star hotel to house the dignitaries, guest, NFL personnel and the new honorees as well as the old inductees. She says the event is more like a two-week celebration up to the Hall of Fame Game and shortly after that.

All in all, we had a very nice Thanksgiving meal with interesting conversations from nice people. We also got to visit with our son and daughter-in-law.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p679Jy-cA

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

 

 

What Am I Thankful For In 2015?

What am I thankful for on this Thanksgiving? Where do I start? First of all, I am thankful for being the child of Doreatha (Childs) and Codis Hampton. Two people whom I dearly loved and will miss through eternity. And my heavenly father for placing me in their care and guidance in the first place.

I am thankful for having such wonderful siblings as my sisters, Delores, Carol, and stepsister, the late Johnny Mae. And let me not forget my little brother James Edward. I was the oldest and should have been the most responsible, but forgive me when I strayed to the dark side in my late teenage and young adult age.

That was a period when all five feet four of me thought to be cold blooded, hardcore and tuff was a prescription for survival in this country. The streets of Milwaukee called for guile, cunning, a bad attitude and short fuse. At least that is what I thought at the time. The first words out of my mouth to anyone who disagreed with me on any subject was F_ _ _ you, followed by I will kick your M-F A_ _. It made no difference if the guy was 5’4” 140lbs or 6’4” 250 lbs. My only suggestion to the person was to bring a lunch because it’s going to be an all-day fight to the finish. I won some and lost others. In fact, have you ever seen a group of different size dogs on the street or in a yard? The smallest runt of the pack is always barking the loudest, jumping up and down. The others may not even bark, but that runt is lunging at you as you walk by and seems to want to tear one of your limbs off your body. I was that runt.

I was mad at the world, didn’t care who knew it and was not planning on passing the age of twenty-one. And if that was to come to pass, I was going down swinging at my foe.  Along the way, I found out a simple truth. It didn’t matter who won, my body still felt the pain from being in a fight. ThanksgivingAll praise is to God; I got over and lived through that phase. I also give thanks to a three-year service in the US Army which helped me mature in a manner I never knew existed for a black man in this country.

I’ll tell you some other people who knew what I was  learning the hard way. And that is my mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, uncles, Aunts and adult cousins. If I had listened to them in the first place, well…that phase in my life could have been spent more productive maybe resulting in a master degree in something or the other. I have no regrets. That is what it took for me to get to 2015. Now it’s just another reason for me to be thankful today.

I am grateful for having met my wife, Sandra along the way. For our children, Shawn Lynn, Richie and Brandon, now grown and finding their way in life, I am all so proud of their accomplishments. They are down to earth people who are real and see life as it is not through rose colored glasses. My wife and I tried to raise them in the way we were raised hoping they would be better and avoid some of our mistakes. The fact that they are alive and well is a blessing in itself.

Today, I can say; I have family and friends that I keep in contact with, some daily, weekly, others monthly, and yearly. There are friends and family I haven’t touched bases with in a while who know me well enough to know I still care and think about them. As in life, there have been disagreements with family and friends causing them to fall out of touch for whatever reason. They should know; I’m not a person who holds a grudge or harbor some dislike for them because of some incident between us. Thank God, I can say, I’m not that kind of person today. I have evolved and continue to do so. I am a better person than I was years ago, last year and several months ago, as I continue to work on me every day. I am certainly thankful for that.

Make no mistake about it. I go through what you all go through on a daily basis. We have to deal with rude and obnoxious people in the grocery store or other retail outlets. Making a phone call to a vendor while trying to correct their billing error can be challenging. Is it me, or am I correct in concluding that customer service is lacking at too many of our service industry companies these days?  Sometimes it’s as though the Human Resource Office in these companies have hired a staff of incompetent, uncaring, and impatient individuals to answer their phones and yet call themselves a customer service representative. Most of time, I feel I should send them an invoice for helping them do their job. You feel me? But then, over the years I’ve learned not to let a person or persons put me in a bad mood for the day. I deal with it at that time with that person and move on; it’s that simple. And for that change in my personality, I am thankful to Jesus Christ.

I am oh so thankful for the new people I am meeting in my life. Some of which, I have never personally met or seen, but often communicate by phone as if we’ve known each other for a lifetime. I’ve met most of these new friends and contacts in connection with my church, BTR Show, publication of books or my role as their tax preparer.

Every day many of these people or colleagues give me hope there is a better day coming for our people of color and communities across this nation. We share a common goal for the human race and specifically for the black race. These are people of all colors who demonstrate on a daily basis that they are community driven first rather than only seeking profit for their endeavors. It is these people, along with my upbringing that keeps me going and selfishly giving of my time for my community.

I am so thankful to my Savior for guiding me as I take the actions required to give and contribute in my way to our community.  To say that I’ve evolved into a good husband, father, citizen and black man in 2015 is an understatement in my view. I’ve found peace with myself, my God, my family, friends and everyone else. And for that, I am eternally thankful this Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all, may you find the same type of contentment in your life.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-6t

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment