All posts tagged Philly:
Philadelphia is home to a new national champion!
The Cowtown/Work to Ride polo team, which is based in Fairmount Park, won the 42d annual USPA National Interscholastic Championship tournament Sunday in Charlottesville, Va.“It was awesome,” Cowtown/WTR coach Lezlie Hiner said of her team’s 24-17 victory over Baltimore in the title game at the University of Virginia’s indoor polo facility.
Cowtown/WTR became the first all-black team to win the national championship. The team, which entered the tournament as the second seed, includes brothers Kareem Rosser, 18, and Daymar Rosser, 16, of West Philadelphia, and Brandon Rease, 15, of North Philadelphia. Hiner said Cowtown/WTR broke to an early lead against Baltimore. The team did the same thing in a 24-8 victory over Midland (Texas) in Saturday’s semifinals.
About WTR: Created in 1994 by Lezlie Hiner, Work to Ride is a non-profit, providing disadvantaged urban youth from Philadelphia with constructive activities centered around horsemanship, equine sports, and education. Located in Fairmount Park, the setting provides a unique opportunity to bring 7-to 19-year-old youth in contact with animals and nature. While most participants are trained in several sports, polo has proven to be the perennial favorite of Work to Ride youth.
I’m honored to say that I’ve been a “true believer” in the amazing work that Lezlie is doing with the young people from Philly who participate in her program - read more HERE...see more HERE
Couple that with a 10 year Philly, Friday Night, family, childhood ritual that started at the age of 4years old - a drive to my aunt’s house on 63rd & Felton Street for a “fade” haircut. With clippers oiled and ready, a towel to dry off our sweaty heads, along with her loving and oh-so-stern hands poised to keep us as still as possible, we would get a “mandatory” haircut every single week - whether we wanted it or not. According to my Aunt Sandy, how our haircut’s looked would be determined by the amount of wigglin’ & squirmin’ we chose to do. Well, I got some really bad haircuts on more than a few Friday nights!
My Aunt Sandy was clever at using this time in the “barber chair” (in between fussing at us to keep still & stop squirmin’) to check-in on how we were doing and have a personal conversation with each of us. Her queries would range from: How’s school? What’s happenin’ around the neighborhood? Are you getting your studies done? How’s sports going this season? Is there anything your ‘Aunt Sandy’ should know that your grandfather might get real upset to find out?!
She always knew that those few minutes she had us seated and “still” were precious and could be truly enlightening, informative and most of all…always serve as a way to show us how much she loved us and took an interest in our lives. We also knew that if we could endure these “torturous” minutes with Aunt Sandy, her Wahl clippers and keep our wigglin’ to a minimum…there was a great chance that we may get treated to an ice cream cone from Mister Softee!) - JOY!!
(Note: I have a really special relationship with my Aunt + Uncle because my older brother and I were the first children in their home. My Uncle was 23 and my Aunt was 21 years old when we arrived at their home in West Philly - I was 18 months old and my brother was almost 3 years old. The story goes that my Mom asked her sister, Aunt Sandy, and husband, Uncle Bobby, to watch us for a “few” days. The few days turned into a year and half of us being raised by my Aunt + Uncle. They nurtured, cared, and loved me as though we were their own children—they didn’t have any children at this point in their very young marriage. I’ve always enjoyed a special closeness with my aunt & uncle that dates back to those 18 months together.)
I hadn’t laid eyes on my baby brother, Kyle, in 12 years. We talked often and exchanged family pics but, we didn’t have an opportunity to literally give each other a brotherly hug in over a decade. A speaking event thru the Public Library Association was scheduled to be held in Kyle’s hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota - what wonderful serendipity!
I wondered how we might have a good, meaningful convo and not simply exchange niceties and hows-the-weather talk. I happen to be traveling with my clippers for the week-long road trip - what can I say…growing up in Philly+Aunt Sandy+all that time spent in Aunt Sandy’s barber chair = KC can cut a nice “fade” too! So, after another fitful night of sleep in a hotel bed, I had a reconnection epiphany - I’ll offer to give Kyle a haircut! I called my brother at 730am and asked if he wanted a haircut - with absolutely, NO hesitation in his voice he simply replied, “Sure!”
As I worked the clippers, in the early morning hours in the basement of my brother’s house, trimming, fading, and edging his hair & ‘stache, the “real” magic could be heard in our convo. It was as if we were back in Philly, on Felton Street, on a Friday night, laughing, talking and sharing but, with considerably less wigglin’ & squirmin’!
Me & my Baby Brother!!
More Sioux Falls pics - HERE
I recently had the honor of talking with 2008 CNN Hero and founder of Back On My Feet, Anne Mahlum. We were connected by my old partner-in-crime, high school teammate and fellow human catalyst, Steve Brown (aka Brownie/Remission Man) - BIG thanks for connecting us, my man!
Anne’s story is affirmation once again that the power of ONE can truly impact MANY souls - it makes me even more proud that she’s makin’ it happen in my hometown!
In this episode of The Katalyst, Kevin is joined by his friend and colleague Meg Daly, who has worked with Kevin as an editor on several books and a creative collaborator on projects. Kevin will allow the listener to “eavesdrop” on his thoughts and conversations about inspiration, life and his work as an author, speaker and human catalyst.Download Podcast
My Aunt Sandy + Uncle Bobby celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past weekend—50 years! They’ve been married for as long as I’ve been alive. That’s a crazy thing to fathom. I have a really special relationship with my Aunt + Uncle because I was the first baby in their home. My Uncle was 23 and my Aunt was 21 years old when I arrived at their home in West Philly in my Mom’s arms at the age of 18 months old. The story goes that my Mom asked her sister, Aunt Sandy, and husband, Uncle Bobby, to watch me for a “few” days. The few days turned into a year and half of me being raised by my Aunt + Uncle. They nurtured, cared, and loved me as though I was their own child—they didn’t have any children at this point in their very young marriage. We have always enjoyed an unusual closeness that dates back to those 18 months together. So, when I received the invitation about their 50th anniversary celebration, I made every possible effort to go to the gathering. My travel schedule is always hectic and other family commitments would only allow me to be visit with my Aunt + Uncle for 3 hours at their home in Rialto, CA. It was important enough for me to attend this monumental nuptial moment so, I made the necessary travel arrangements to surprise both of them, their 4 children, and my Aunt Louise. I took a 2 hour flight at 6am from PDX to LAX. An hour and 30 minute drive from LAX to Rialto. My Aunt Sandy’s squeal of delight, loving embrace, her tears running down her cheeks, seeing that BIG smile crease her face, and hearing my uncle’s uproarious laughter were a VISA moment for sureâ?¦Priceless!
I cherished ALL 180 minutes spent with my 2nd set of parents and marveled at their relationship milestone. CONGRATS, Aunt Sandy + Uncle Bobby!
What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!
This urgent appeal from A. J. Thomson from my hometown news source is a must read. Future generations of youth are depending on us to act quickly and decisively…
Mon, Jul. 28, 2008
By A.J. THOMSON
‘PRACTICE! Practice! Not a game, practice!”
Six years later, Allen Iverson’s career-defining quote still pops up on Sportscenter or in daily cultural references.
And, like AI, yes, I’m talking about practice, but not as an evil to be avoided, but as an opportunity. I’m talking about practice because, for thousands of kids, the word has little significance.
Though they see sports on TV, listen to music on the radio or play games at home, they have no chance to practice with their peers. To them, practice is something suburban moms on a television show take their kids to via minivan. To them, practice is something Brian Westbrook sits out so he can be ready to dominate on Sundays.
Practice. It’s time to talk about practice and where it went.
Philadelphia once had a thriving youth-sports and cultural-organization network. Those of us who preceded the present practice-less generation remember games played at our local rec centers with hopes of taking on teams from Feltonville or West Philly. We remember practice and the time spent with our friends and teammates under the direction of volunteer coaches, usually a few our parents.
Thankfully, some parts of the city still have good organizations. We are lucky in my community of Fishtown to be one of them. Across the city, thousands of kids are currently involved in sports, arts and drama and other community-based cultural organizations thanks to the dedicated volunteers who help bring them this opportunity.
Unfortunately, a disproportionately larger number of kids don’t have the chance to participate. For them, practice is limited to rumor and a dream that one day they too can experience the thrill of being part of a team or performing in a play.
Follow the link below to read the rest of this important article…
What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!