Category Archives: We Remember

Evidently, the People In Your (Sesame Street) Neighborhood Were Too Old

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*Sesame Street is being brought to you today by the number 3 and the letters F, I, R, E, and D.

Three longtime, beloved human characters — including Gordon! –were released today from the longstanding children’s program.  

The actor who played Gordon since 1974 is 72 years old.  Others released include Emilio Delgado, 76, who played Luis, and Bob McGrath, 84, who had played Bob since the show premiered in 1969.

I was a part of Sesame Street’s original “class” in ’69, and my kids loved the second Gordon.  I reached out to Orman by phone for a comment.  His rep said he had none.

We all know how to read between the lines of “No comment.”

McGrath confirmed the cast members’ release earlier this week. “I have completed my 45th season this year,” he said. “And the show has gone under a major turnaround, going from an hour to a half hour. HBO has gotten involved also. And they let all of the original cast members go, with the exception of Alan Muraoka — who is probably 20 years younger than the rest of us — and Chris Knowings, who is also young.” Continue reading

I Remember Supporting Hillary Clinton for President…in 1992

Hillary Rodham Clinton, circa 1992
Hillary Rodham Clinton, circa 1992

*I remember when I first crossed paths with Hillary Clinton.

She was Hillary Rodham Clinton at the time, and was campaigning for her husband in 1992. One of their campaign stops was the University of Michigan, where I was studying and raising a family.

I’d anticipated going to see Bill for weeks, but the night of the event, a chilly October drizzle descended on Ann Arbor, and I started to talk myself out of going.

“You have to go, Mike,” my then wife implored. “If you don’t, and he gets elected, you’ll always regret it.”

I know good advice when I hear it.  I’ve always been a political / news junkie, so I bundled up and hopped on the bus for the University of Michigan’s main campus, leaving my wife at home with our five-year-old daughter, Janet.

As I approached U-M’s Rackham Graduate School, I joined thousands who’d gathered to hear Bill Clinton speak. We had to wait through the well-meaning speeches of dozens of university officials and local “celebrities” who I didn’t envy. I mean, who would want to be on a platform with the dynamic governor from Arkansas who could charm anyone — in or out of a blue dress? 

As it turned out, one person was up to the challenge:  Bill Clinton was introduced by his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Continue reading

My Boy Bobby Brown Slept With A Ghost: His New Memoir

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*If you are looking for a heartfelt, scintillating, well-written celebrity memoir, you can find it in Bobby Brown‘s new Every Little Step. In fact, the book is so well-written that after reading just one chapter, I initially questioned whether Brown had actually written it.

Then, it occurred to me that I had never had a conversation with Brown, and that I may have been judging him based on very little direct data. Brown deserved a chance to speak for himself, I realized, so I decided to give the book a shot. And while I was unable to connect with Brown, I did chat with his co-writer, Nick Chiles, who confirmed that, perhaps, many of us have judged Brown too harshly.

“In the African American community, we need to be careful how we conceptualize our opinions of these so called ‘controversial’ black male figures,” Chiles told me by phone. “Often, our opinions are derived by the way white mainstream media covers them and these are people who may make the white mainstream media uncomfortable. Because they’re uncomfortable, the artists are covered in a way that makes us uncomfortable.”

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“Bobby Brown was presented to the world as this overtly hyper sexual figure,” Chiles continued. “In the 1980s, the white media was not going to be comfortable with this person presented as a sex symbol to young girls, many of whom were young white girls. So the way he was covered was reflective of the media’s discomfort with his image. We need to search our own souls and memories and think about where we got our negative views from, and if they were from tabloid media reports, we need to think about what the point of those reports was.” Continue reading

Jody Watley & Shalamar Reloaded Sub For Chaka, Shut It Down!

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*What does a woman do when she gets a last-minute call to sub for a recovering Chaka Khan at the California State Fair?

If you’re the legendary Jody Watley, you do what legends do: you take the stage and shut it down…in a black catsuit, no less!

Watley started with a declaration wrapped in one of the original Shalamar’s earliest hits: “I Can Make You Feel Good.” She and her new bandmates Nate Allen Smith and Rosero McCoy, who formed Shalamar Reloaded last year, more than kept that promise with a first set that included a few other late 70s anthems including “In The Socket,” “Take That To The Bank,” and the group’s first smash, “The Second Time Around.”

Watley paused for a moment to offer a “prayer for healing” for Khan, who had to cancel her scheduled performance at the fair as she battles substance addiction. Afterward, Watley and Shalamar Reloaded eased into a subdued, sultry version of the classic “Full Of Fire” before treating the crowd to two original tunes, “Slow Dance” and “O.R.I.G.In.A.L.,” both of which hold up to anything that Watley or any incarnation of Shalamar has ever done. Continue reading

When 911 Doesn’t Take Your Call Seriously…And Then You Die

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*A Virginia native is dead today because 911 thought his call was a “butt dial.” Robert Paulus died hours later from heart disease, after he made the call and attempted to let the emergency service know that he was having what may have been a heart attack.

The 18-second call to Fredericksburg City Dispatch revealed that when the dispatcher heard nothing from the caller, after three attempts to make contact with him only presented an “unidentifiable sound,” the call was labeled a pocket call, which means no call back is required.

Hours later, Robert Paulus was found dead, presumably by his son. Continue reading

Woman Takes Breathtaking Grand Canyon Pic, Then Falls off Cliff (Video)

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*My god. We continue to hear stories about people placing themselves in danger in an attempt to get that one great photo. People have fallen off of bridges trying to take selfies; they have been electrocuted; a pilot lost control of his plane when he got distracted taking selfies, and in India, a young boy is said to have been hit by a train as he posed on the tracks.

Each time we hear these stories we are shocked. This story is no different, and just as sad. A Florida woman wanted to capture the beauty of the Grand Canyon by taking a photo. She did. But slipped and fell off the cliff to her death a day later.

Colleen Burns, 35, had been hiking with family and friends when she attempted to move out of the way so that another hiker could pass, according to the Associated Press. The move cost the woman her life, as she accidentally stepped off the ledge at Ooh Aah Point, about a mile down the South Kaibab Trail.

She was found 400-feet below. One of the friends who was with Burns, who worked as a marketing director for Yelp, describes the horrible accident. Continue reading

Mother Buried By 11-Year-Old Daughter Was Killed By Her Boyfriend

Stephanie Goodloe and her daughter, Simaya
Stephanie Goodloe and her daughter, Simaya

*Not even a temporary restraining order and three phone calls to the police could save Stephanie Goodloe, who was killed by her boyfriend last week — while her brave 11-year-old daughter, Simaya, slept nearby. That same brave girl displayed a selfless poise and used her big girl voice as she thanked mourners, and consoled her family members at the church where her mother’s funeral service took place.

The family says although it has been three weeks since Simaya’s mother died, the little girl has yet to cry.

Goodloe was the director of youth ministry at Mount Gilead Baptist Church, in Northwest Washington. And it is where the funeral took place; while police cars waited outside to ensure the funeral procession’s safe passage to Maryland National Memorial Park cemetery.

Simaya must be terribly confused at the showing of police cars outside of the church where he dead mother lays. Why, after all, would she need their protection now?

Stephanie Goodloe called the police THREE TIMES…including THE DAY BEFORE SHE WAS KILLED! Continue reading

Young Black Woman Found Dead (at Home) on Her Birthday

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*When the family of Aisha Bearden didn’t hear from her over a couple of days, they decided to go looking for her. After reaching her home they didn’t expect what they found. The young Chattanooga, Tenn. woman, who would have turned 23 on the 4th of July — was found dead.

According to Chattanooga police, Bearden’s family members called 911 after they found her body in her apartment. They told officers they went looking for her after they hadn’t heard from her in a couple of days.

Bearden’s cousin, Coco, sounds understandably overwhelmed.  Continue reading