Unnecessary use of an Adjective

Do you ever notice many people who use words like Unconditional or Unapologetic are often making an obvious point?

For instance, I’ve noticed some like to use say “Unconditional Love.” Frequently they are putting another person on notice as to how they should behave in a relationship. To love, regardless of the relationship, doesn’t require an adjective to improve the intensity of the emotion. All that is needed are reasons to feel that way about something or someone.

Love is a given; one doesn’t have to describe it in some unique way.  We don’t wait for someone to fall in love with us before we, in turn, love them. If they are our offspring, siblings, or parents, we love them because of our relationship. There are no other qualifications they have to go through to earn our love. The emotion is not always mutual or shared between two people. The explanation could be for numerous reasons. Whatever the reason, placing such an adjective in front of the word, love is not going to enable the other person to love you.

Say, for instance, your sibling, son, or daughter is socially challenged. They don’t interact with other people. Their social ideas are out of whack. Don’t have or can’t keep a friend, immature; they depend upon others to keep them fed, clothed, housed in a place to exist. Attempting to motivate these individuals is an endless exercise with no end in sight.

No one wants to take care of a grown man or woman. Relatives want you to succeed, show improvement, or at least try to become independent. If there are no signs that you are trying, one might be confronted with another adjective. Your relatives may indicate “Tough Love” is what you need, in place of money, or providing other subsistence items.

Tough Love may not be what they envision as assistance, yet it is the best remedy for individuals requiring motivation. Sometimes people need a reason to achieve the basics of need. Don’t underestimate a swift shove in the rear to get a person headed in the right direction.

Then there is the boisterous individual. The one who feels they have to get in your face to facilitate some response. We as Americans tend to overstate the urgency of something or the other. For instance, a man trying to make a point by stating he is “Unapologetic Black.”

The individual places his picture on a poster advertising his business. Keep in mind he wants some cooperation from outside his company. First of all, they can tell his race by looking at his picture on the poster. Or if there is no poster, those who he approaches will know his skin color.         

“Unapologetic Black” is a way of puffing up, sticking your chest out, which can intimidate the very people you need to cooperate with your plan. If not intimidation, then think of it as a turnoff.

It’s like sending an email to someone, whereas the entire communication is in capital letters. In such cases, one cannot get to the message because the all-caps smothering the wording.

That may not be the person’s intention, but someone will conclude the senders’ personality as uneducated. Or in the case of the guy on the poster, an angry, uncooperative individual.

As the face of your business, you have to show you’re able to converse in a way to satisfy investors, customers, or your employees. Any correspondence that reaches those people before you do will reflect your personality. In other words, your ability to listen to other ideas may get you that contract, loan, or donation.

One may consider these ideas as you are preparing a resume. You don’t know the personality of the Human Resource person. You must be smart when you are listing your hobbies. Somebody might be impressed if you are a dog lover, musician, or love Rhythm and Blues. That might interest the employer to place you above another individual.

Another way to think about this entire thought process is pretty much self-explanatory words matter in all types of communication. Words express how one feels, what they are going to do, even explain what one has done.

In summation, an adjective is a word or phrase naming an attribute, added to, or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it. Think before using them carelessly. Make sure they help you rather than turn people away from you. It applies to business or life.    

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                                                                                          

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

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

We present the republication of the Authors’ tour of South Korea as a 17-year-old GI with Unchon-ni, South Korea; I Remember 1962-63. 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 are 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   

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

Why Should we care about our country?

Why should you care what happens in this country? The death of George Floyd, with countless others throughout the seventies, up through today. The election of a president who lacks the moral leadership of an average American. A consistent thirty to thirty-five percent following that can see no, I repeat, no flaws by this president as a representative of our country. A need to change the culture of police forces around this country from sometimes acting as an occupational force rather than to protect, serve all citizens. A partisan divide that is threatening to tear apart this country. Again, one might ask, why should we care what happens in our country? Because neglecting to pay attention to what is going on from our local political electors to the white house is how we got to our current situation.

Once there was a question, do our young folks care…? well, do you hear, see them now on your daily news outlet. With the absence of governmental leadership apparent during this COVID19 pandemic, we long for signs of any consistent leaders to step up, show themselves.  Meanwhile, we, as individuals, should do our part for our country. The long or short answer to why we should care is because it is your country. This is our house. Depending upon your ethnicity, some may say it does not belong to you, or you don’t belong in it. Other ethnicities try to take claim of the United States even though their forefathers arrived after others were already here.

During the civil rights era, marchers often heard the anti-demonstrators shout, “go back to Africa; we don’t want you here.” There is so much wrong with that phrase; I don’t have time to go through the thought process. Let me say, the blood, sweat, tears, and bones of my ancestors buried in grounds of America.  

However, you see some young, middle-aged, or older folks doing things that make light of the coronavirus warning. It’s as though they have some magic shield that prevents them from contacting COVID19. For the young, the thought may be that nothing could harm me at this age. For others, it’s just stupidity of the subject.   

So, they go on about their daily business, some not knowing if they already have the virus spreading it around like a “get sick” card. Others believing, they never get sick, so it doesn’t apply to them. It’s like that old Mad Comic Book character, Alfred E Neuman…” What me worry?”

The demonstrations against the shelter-in-place Governor orders in Michigan some weeks ago looked sick to me. They show up with rifles, pistols, a couple of confederate flags, signs that let you know they support Trump. What a joke. Those who are paying attention know this virus has no specific targets. Everybody encountering it is vulnerable. Asthmatics suffer more than others, but everybody can catch COVID19.   

Or we could look at it another way. Yes, this is my country. I was born here; I have put down my roots. And the utmost, in my opinion, my ancestors grew up, raised generations of children, helped build this country from the wilderness, desert. No one has more claim to this country than my people or me.

My fellow countrymen, generations that followed, let’s be honest with ourselves. We’ve seen developments, incidents, whatever you want to call them that we thought we would never see in our lifetime. Some thought our Baby Boomer generation went too far. Others felt we hit the right notes, pushed the correct agenda for societal change. We wonder why it didn’t last.

Music guided our thought process. Some of the most important, thoughtful, meaningful songs were written in the sixties, seventies decade. A talented artist from all genres of music was in bands or solo artists that added to the diaspora of the day. Groups marched to effect change by certain songs. They formed opinions, calculated life strategies that contributed to real changes in our society. Again, why didn’t the forced changes last?  

The hippy generation brought about the loved one and all attitude. Everybody was a valuable person. They felt that all had something to contribute to society. We all thought we counted for something. We became proud of our country as change for the better was seen, felt, practiced in our daily lives. By now, you may be asking the same question, why didn’t the attitude changes last up through today?

We saw the election of an African American President. President Obama had more patience with the right-wing Republican Party than he should have, then again, that’s just my opinion. We hoped in vain that we had turned a racial corner in this country. Only to be shocked back to reality before Mr. Obama served a day. Mitch McConnel, with the aid of other Republicans, felt that it was his job to see that President Obama didn’t have a second term. That did not work, so they did everything else under the sun to block his powers. Republican Lawmakers in charge of both houses of Congress controlled the agenda. Laws expired, were never addressed, politics became a partisan rule.

That is why the sixties implemented laws did not last up through today. The rise of the Tea Party, hidden racism, a lot of nervous people who saw their majority slide into a minority. That produced a changing attitude, once again pushed by the Republican Party.    

In the past, we saw wars, conflicts that began because some guy somewhere believes he is the chosen one. So, his fellow countrymen should be indebted to him. Now we see the same type of politician in our county of the United States of America. He thinks we should do what he says, do not fret the big decisions. He is all-knowing about all subjects. He alone will address issues. Yet we see different problems left unsolved, mismanaged, or not managed (COVID19) at all.     

The political parties drifted into partisan groups because the Americas stood by, did nothing. We watched as Washington DC politicians on the right seem to care less about all Americans, only catering to a very few.

The attitude now is ‘I’ve got or is going to get mine no matter who I have to step on to get it.’ The bottom line, this is not the America we once knew. Just because a third of the people follow this president, it does not make his policies right for all Americans. Sometimes people are not sure what is best for them if they do not have all the facts.

According to a political science Stony Brook professor Helmut Norpoth, who has correctly predicted five out of six elections since 1996, Trump will win in November. He  told Mediaite on Tuesday., “The Primary Model gives Trump a 91 percent chance of winning in November.” Let that resonate in your brain for a moment. Can this country stand another four years of Trump or his Republican Party?

The answer to stopping this weird merry go round is to vote during this presential election. As citizens, we are responsible for the direction taken by our country. Too many have died for the rights we currently have for us to check out or say to hell with America. Please vote for the restoration of our country’s core values. Let us take hold of our future, vote for representatives, folks running for the Senate, and a president that has Americans’ best interest at heart. Once installed in their job, you will see the beauty of being free and an American.   

Peace & Blessing, stay healthy, 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 significant 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/. 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

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

Will The Real Candidate Please Stand Up

I tried to lay low during the first part of the 2020 National Election. I didn’t want to comment too early about any candidate, especially the guy that sits in the White House as President. We are now in November of 2019. One year away, too early, but the Iowa Caucus set for February 3, 2020. So here we go, as I attempt to keep the focus on the process.

A couple, if not a few people, are contemplating entering an already crowded field. Why, because the Democratic leaders in the polls are vulnerable. It doesn’t matter why because the vulnerability seems uncorrectable.

Independent/Democratic/Democratic-leaning Republicans, many still undecided even if they have named one of the leading Poll individuals are worried about the outcome of next year’s November vote. That noise you hear is their teeth gnashing, the scratching of fingernails on their windowpanes, or bohemia like screams. In short, most Americans are sick and tired of seeing a Presidency run on the fly along with a Twitter run policy initiator.

Every day, this country goes through stops, starts, hour by hour changes in direction with a constant flow of unqualified people placed in a highly visible governmental position — many on a temporary status. It’s sad to think of all the necessary investigations surrounding the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. To think there could be four more years of this environment is just too much.

Therefore, we are looking for one person who can take charge, step up to the plate and hit one out of the ballpark. We need a candidate that can and will win in November of 2020. Most of us thought we had one. But we have found too many variables. There is just too much uncertainty for our nerves.

When we cast our vote next November, we want to feel that our choice has a chance to win. Our winner is going to be very busy mending fences with pretty much all our Allies and friends throughout the world. Not to think of all the correction/refocusing to just about everything you can think of at the Government level. I bet you the actual White House is in bad shape too.    

So please, for God’s sake, will the real candidate please sign up, step up or stand up and let themselves be known to an anxious public. Let the Democratic voting public know how you can fix problems and govern. Then and only then will the case be closed, with history set to record the how, why, when, and what the hell happened the previous four years.

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     

Look for our newly released book, Unchon-ni, South Korea, I Remember 1962-63. Keep us in mind when buying books for that avid reader in your family. Details of the must-read novels are located at  https://outskirtspress.com/Unchonni    

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

Our Parent Company’s sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://chiia.com/. Our Retail Site is https://www.frostyltd.com/

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

Unchon-ni, South Korea, I remember 1962-63

   Strike up a conversation with most people who were young, free, and enjoyed American life in the sixties. You will hear, maybe even feel their urgency to bring back the nostalgia of being young during that era. It was a time, whereas the overall feeling of most people in this country was to live life to its fullest, be what you wanted to be, above all else, be happy. We not only enjoyed it for ourselves but wanted our kinfolk, friends, and neighbors to discover a path to the American Dream. Flower Power, Hippies, Love Child, Soul Brother, names we used to describe certain groups, all while wishing them “Peace, Love, and Soul.”  Find your road to happiness my man, my brother, my sister. Frequently we gave them marijuana joints as fuel for the journey. Some use harder drugs to get there, but everyone was at least taking the trip. Today, most people feel the same but are not as overt with their feelings as back in the day.

It was tough climbing the mountain of change, even though we savored the rewards. Older, conservative folks despised this new attitude. Young black folks were especially having a though transition. Their more discipline parents advised them to act in a more servitude manner in the presence of the southern white man. Don’t stare, look down, don’t talk, don’t dare talk back or act as a smart mouth negro in front of white people. It was the way most of them survived the Jim Crow Era. Black people ought to feel damn proud of the way our ancestors survived thought-out the ages. Without their efforts, patience we wouldn’t be alive today.

In the forties-fifties, they migrated to northern, eastern, and western cities, looking to improve their livelihood with good-paying jobs. They still practiced the same habits; felt that was the best way to get along with white folks. Don’t take their jobs, move in their neighborhoods, take liberties with their kind offerings. And for God’s sake, don’t try to court any of their offspring. Otherwise, a telephone pole would work just as good as a hanging tree.

The problems came when their children grew up in these cities. Youngsters found out that all people were pretty much the same, and no race was better than the other. As a result, they were having none of that servitude behavior. We did not accept our lowly position without objection. In some cases, they were sneaking around with people outside their race, even kissing or doing that thang with them. They didn’t want to disappoint their parents, but then you know the mantra of young folk, “Ahhh…we’re just having fun.”

Let’s take this a step further; I’ve written a semi-autobiography book detailing a lot about my life as one of the black children of the sixties. I left high school and enlisted in the United States Army during the fall of 1961. I had to beg my father to let me join as a seventeen-year-old recruit by promising to finish high school in the Army.

That young black boy’s first assignment out of Ford Ord, California, was a foreign country. It was April of 1962. As ordered, he boarded a troop ship out of Oakland, CA. By that time, he’d gone through Basic; Advanced Infantry Training. Now on a troopship for a twenty-three-day trip with stops in Hawaii, and Tokyo. Upon his arrival in Pusan, Korea, the Army already proved to him that he had joined the ultimate men’s club. They had rules to govern the rules. It was going to be a long three years, he thought.

His assignment to Camp Kaiser, with a local village right outside the main gate called Unchon-ni, turned out to be the best thing to happen to him. First, daily training, practice with your brothers in arms, the American Soldier. It was a fourteen months indoctrination of a war-torn country. We had a very clear understanding of our mission; to stop any advancement into the south by Charlie (North Korean Soldiers). As it was small groups (four, five, or a few more), North Korean Soldiers crossed the DMZ to raise hell, spy, or whatever.

Black GI’s are confronted with duty, honor, confusing because of race issues, demonstrations, back home. Given the oath they swore to when entering the Army, they had no choice but to become exceptional soldiers as did any dog soldier, no matter their race or origin. They found ways to justify their obedience while not sacrificing their racial identities. A quick right cross to Jim Crow’s jaw normally resolved any outstanding issues. That attitude brought about the question, what about the non-violent demeanor as played out in the US of A Civil Rights demonstrations? Conflict of responsibility between race and Army obligations was a daily reminder for Uncle Sams black soldiers.

Unchon-ni camp-town girls made the entire tour assignment worth the experience. Without flaws, they expertly played the part of girlfriend, wife, next-door neighbor, sister, brother, psychologist, nursemaid; you name it. They allowed the American GI to mature, expand their knowledge of the opposite sex. They duplicated as close to a sense of home life as one could ever wish for daily.

Readers can examine the flashback events that the primary character (Author) remembered in his life. I call this book my semi-biography that culminates with my maturing as a person. They said at the time, the US Army would make a man out of you. One learns certain things by accident. From my perspective, given the help of South Korea assignment, mission accomplished.

Unchon-ni is not only a must-read for anybody interested in the life and times of our servicemen stationed overseas.  It’s an emotional exercise in men and women relationships from all walks of life. In other words, it’s a book for anyone interested in following the path of a seventeen-year-old GI discovering who he is, where he fits in then and later in society. The experience was so rich, so real; I just had to share it with you.  

The novel is available in all formats, including paperback, B&N Nook, Amazon Kindle, or download a PDF copy. Check out the novel’s details located at the Author/Publishers site at https://outskirtspress.com/Unchonni

Peace, Love, & Blessings

Codis Hampton II, Unchon-ni Author

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

Soulbeat TV’s Chaka Khan-Barry White Tribute

Saturday night, April 27, my wife and I sat in a front row seat at the Soulbeat’s TV produced Chaka Khan & Barry White Tribute. I usually don’t get into imitators of musical stars. Not because I don’t think it can be accomplished; I hate to listen to someone screw up a classic R&B song. Well, that was not a problem for all those who took the stage at Pittsburg’s California Theater. Warren Foster Sr., Chief Executive at the Bay Area’s Soulbeat Television, via Spotlight on the Bay produces quality programming. That is what assured me that the show would be real as real could get…and it was a showstopping jam that night. 

Folks there was a band name Obama. I’ve got to tell you; the Obama Band practically tore the roof off the sucker. That six-member R&B Band left an indelible impression on me. They opened up the show and played a driving R&B tuned that had me shaking my head and tapping my feet. An opening performance relayed the fact that they came to play some music. Rephrase that into the street talk, meaning…they’re gonna be jamming up in here tonight.  They could lay down the sounds of a professional band. They played the funk from a few Chaka Khan’s Band, Rufus. It was as if Rufus was performing in the house. The Obama’s never missed a beat.

They played that classic melodic cut from Luther Vandross’s and his band; A House is not a Home. Adding a few more of Luther’s hits while multi-talented vocalist Greg Ballard sang the lyrics. If you had not been at the California Theater at that particular time, you would have sworn that Luther had risen from the dead to grace the stage. 

Ballard was also the main vocalist during the Barry White song tribute. Again, if you closed your eyes, you would have thought Barry White was singing on the California Theaters stage.

Niecey Living Single graced the stage while declaring she is not Chaka Khan. She belted out in a clear voice her version of Chaka Khans and Rufus songs. Tell Me Something Good, Once you Get Started, to name a couple. I do agree with Niecey. Who will told the audience, she is not Chaka Khan. But she sang Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khans hits with extraordinary ease of talent. And the Obamas played on.

The proof in the pudding. My wife was entertained at this show and evidenced by the patting of her feet and movement of her head during the entire show. She, along with an enthusiastic audience was well into the show and its stars.

As the Obama’s kept the beats, with the drums, percussions, guitars, synthesizers live, three background singers carried out their assignments. They chimed in at the appropriate time with blended humming or lyrics required of the songs.

And least of all, let me not forget the three shapely women dancers. They were on stage to add to the variety of the show. Their main job was to shake their rumps to the funk. Mission accomplished in my view. They certainly got my attention. That despite the presence of my lovely wife sitting in the seat beside me. Hey, …she knows where my heart lies. What can I say; I was just into the show.

An assortment of ladies from the audience joined Niecey and the cast for a vociferous version of Chaka Khans, I’m Every Woman. At that point, they all did a fantastic job. With the reason being, they were into the show.

All in all, a great time was had by all involved. Please allow me to be redundant. I want to make a point. The Thirty Dollar ticket price was money well spent.

They have numerous shows coming up. Comedies take the stage on May 3. After which, they’re bringing another Tribute Show to the California Theatre in Pittsburg.  This time for the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. I’ll also be there for that one.

I, and if you talk to Warren, realize this is not only great entertainment. It speaks to our culture. If you don’t know where you came from, you will never figure out where you are going. Hip Hop commands the scene these days. It was Blues, Jazz, and R&B that shaped the musical and overall culture in the United States. That is why shoes like these, original R&B artist touring, movies, television, speak to who we are in society. It will do you good to read up on the history of black music.  Soulbeat TV may not be the first to put on these imitation shows, but they certainly have put themselves out there as a major player of quality programming.          

Let me be another who adds a mountain of respect for Soulbeat TV’s productions. Go to the following link to see for yourself, http://www.soulbeat.tv/show-your-soul Yes, I bend the knee at productions that showcase the soul of our culture in which music is primary but only one aspect of Black History.

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

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. Based on 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 questioned to the core. Read the books 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 my 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 2019. 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

Here’s 2018, or…

…Down is up, up is down and sideways is running around in circles

We are approaching or in a brand-new year. Yet we are still dragging along a bunch of crap from the old year. Stuff that hasn’t been worked out or a federal investigation that hasn’t reached a conclusion. Everybody knows the Russians interfered in our elections except the President of our country. My guess is he knows but just doesn’t want most Americans to delegitimize the December 2016, Electoral College declaration of the November 8 official winner. If you are not careful, you will become dizzy from the twist and turns of the daily behavior from the current occupants of the White House.
Words like conspiracy and obstruction of justice are flying around Washington DC like a noose tightening around the Grand Marshall of the KKK’s neck. The current administration is ducking, dogging while trying to counter punch as if boxing was in their DNA. No one knows where the real buck is going to land or if an indictment is just around the corner. Yes, these are tense times at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Stay tuned for more fallout reported daily by the very institutions designated by the president as Fake News Outlets.
Stay tuned for more sexual harassments charges from men who can’t seem to keep it in their pants when it comes to business associates or woman they casually meet at some affair or another. For that matter, I bet you some relationship that we never dreamed would occur is about to come to light in 2018. But then…yes…women have found their voice and its about time.
Look out for more saber-rattling from North Korea and the like. They all know now that as America continues to isolate itself against the rest of the world. That provides cover for their inhuman acts. Our allies now trust us less as they don’t know if their discussions with the US will be in the next tweet from the Donald. Senate and House Republicans will continue to act as if they don’t know why they were sent to Washington in the first place.
Look for Democrats to pin a lot of hopes in the 2018 elections. The problem is they better put in the work, or the November-December headlines will be how the Democrats blew it.
All that is just a distraction from how we as individuals can make it an outstanding New Year. First loose as many pounds as you can, which is my goal. You will note I didn’t say how many. That guarantees I will be successful in that venture. Do something you and your main squeeze like to do at least twice a month in 2018. Do something that may be costly during the year but save for it. Or you can still do something that is not pricey. Realize it doesn’t cost anything to be helpful to one another. Or for that matter to people, you meet during your daily rounds.
Take an interest in your children’s world, including play and school. Ensure that they know the values of life and not just the commercial entities. Make an example of yourself by reading books, magazines, or computer blogs. But let them know that your family is a reader of words from many different but trusted sources. Along with your religious preference which should be practiced on a daily schedule. Another fascinating subject that I believe should be discussed within the family is the theory of Maslow Hierarchy of Needs. In short, it’s Abraham Maslow’s psychology theory dating back to his 1943 paper entitled “A Theory of Human Motivation.” It is the ideal vehicle in which to show others why we crave specific needs. Look it up on the internet for details. Having taken the subject of Psychology in school. I found it to be a roadmap for life’s achievements.
Take steps in planning for your independence from your job one day. Whether that is in retirement, resigning or being downsized. Be aware of your peak earning timeframe and always plan on moving on to something else. It will keep you financially stable and able to pivot to another direction. Don’t ever think you are going to work until you are old and gray in any employment.
Finally, as you know, this is a time when we take note of where we are at, going, and how to get there. Some of us select the person we want to ride with us to wherever we’re headed. Nevertheless, it is a time for reflection. If it isn’t, then make it such a time as it should be for your own best interest. Happy New Year from my little corner of the world and enjoy the coming seasons. As you know time moves on with or without you so hang on and enjoy the ride.
If you are thinking of what’s next in Washington DC, don’t get confused or buy into the rhetoric. Heed the words of my Grandma Gracie, “One monkey don’t stop the show.” She may have not been grammatically correct, but you get the point.
Peace & Blessings…stay vigilant for our American rights. Make it a 2018 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-jf

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
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

 

Reaching Judgment without all the Facts

How many people you know can look at a disagreement at the mall or some public place and tell you who is wrong? Hearing a few words from the participants will provide enough background to convince them they were right with their first evaluation of the scene. They will not agree with most people. But we call it the act of jumping to conclusions without any sustainable facts.
I know, we are in an era of not wanting to get involved because we don’t know what is about to jump off. We are very familiar with that stance in the hood. A little-known secret is most people are of the same mind outside the hood. But then let me stay on subject.
People entering snap judgments are evident in the following example. I saw a Facebook Post the other day that read: Got the job at Walmart $11.00/hr. Thank you, Jesus…
The poster noted “This guy is 32 and has 4 kids. Is this an accomplishment he should be proud enough to post about? At what age is this pay rate unacceptable? Could this be YOUR man??? Would you stay down?”
To be clear, one would note there is no mention of the jobs location or local area in the country. Believe it or not that hourly rate will work, for a start, in some rural areas of the US. Places that grow their own food. Areas a resident can hunt or pull a chicken out of their front yard for the main course in a meal. But that also assumes a lot.
As you might have imagined, there were never ending comments from young ladies and men. There was not a time during the day that I looked back at the quote whereas someone was not writing a response at that moment. A lot of women literally hated the hourly rate. Stating that it was an insult to black men everywhere, they noted that they would not date or be in a relationship with a broke Ni_ _ _.
One woman would post a similar comment. Other women, while co-signing that particular sentiment would add to it or make an entirely different comment. Most meaning the hourly rate was ridiculous and somehow made the worker less than a man for accepting the position. Of course, this would be followed by numerous post, some very descriptive and using profanity which in itself told you a lot about the attitude of the responder. A reader could understand that most of the responders were writing from personal experience.
That should not come as a surprise. Getting a job is an emotional challenge in many ways. Economics, self-worth, community status, and mostly relief (outward and inward) of pressure to get a job and take care of you and yours are the first benefit. But then as we take into account where the job is located and in working for whom. How much you will earn is of vital importance. If there a path for growth, raises, and promotion must be calculated in accepting a job.
But there is no doubt as most men of color have experience, including me, you may have to start your working career at some low rung on the working food chain. Education can help you avoid these dead end jobs. But then there is the rub, most young blacks were not trying to be a good student in high school. They follow the temptations of their environment. And yes that also included the way I choose in spite of being warned by my parents and others. That is still happening in our public school systems today. God bless those students who have the proper guidance in the right direction. And are disciplining enough to stay on the right path to a formal education.
But make no mistake about it, when it comes right down to it. The direction to go is made by the student. For me, wrongly I thought I had the intelligence to catch up with my school mates. So I took a few years off to party. I left high school and joined the Army with my father’s permission and signature. Don’t think that God wasn’t watching over me when I made that decision. Again the point being it is up to the individual high school student to choose the correct path to graduating from high school and attending college even if it’s a junior college. That is why you have to take into account that some black men are going to be behind after finally deciding to join the working crowd. I ended up leaving my hometown to begin a career in the western part of the country. It should be noted that the catch-up game is almost impossible to do in today’s job market.
Most young men, apparently upset at some of the female response, posted that is what is wrong with the dating world today. Noting some of the women responses, a few used it as an excuse to justify their chase of women outside their race. Yes…They went there and often. That brought about a barrage of new comments and others who were already involved in the conversation. The word “B_ _ _ h” was thrown around to describe some of the posters. Some pointed out they too would not date a woman who had four kids. It made me wonder how many of these women commentators actually realized the men have their principles too. Most men, and keep in mind I am talking about men take their marching orders from the head on their shoulders, not the other way around.

Apparently, some of the comments hit an emotional nerve with some guys.
Of course, the more hopeful and realist from both sexes overall comment was at least, it’s a job. The young man was trying to take care of his family and could get other help. A lot of posts stated at least the man wasn’t trying to sell dime bags or involved in some other illegal activities to make ends meet. They advise patience to see where this job leads in the near or distant future. Given the brief background, it was the right choice to make in my opinion.
Peace, 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 http://wp.me/p65rCa-ib

 

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
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.

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