Nadiyah, Aaron, Stacy

Blended with Love (guest article)

I hardly ever post anything by my kids on this site, but I’m making an exception for this essay by my youngest, Nadiyah. The essay deals with how our blended family has shaped Nadiyah’s identity and awareness. I didn’t know Nadiyah had written this until she brought it home from school, along with a certificate from some national organization that recognized the work as “excellent.” Congrats Nadiyah, and thanks for sharing your insights.

family reunion folks

Family Reunion Time!

This past weekend, the ABC clan headed to Camilla Georgia, seat of Mitchell County, for a family reunion. ABC stands for Alexander-Brown-Catchings. My mother’s side of the family is descended from our earliest known family matriarch, Cassie Alexander, and her grandson Timothy Titus Catchings.

The Good People

My favorite uncle, William Wise Hayden, died in 2004. Uncle Bill was a factory worker at Ford Motor Company and a proud United Auto Workers member, and in his off hours he was a man about town and an avid photographer. I visited Uncle Bill at his Detroit home a few months before he died, and during that visit he gave me one of his most prized photo albums. I felt as if he was bequeathing the album to me, and that feeling was reinforced when I read the words on the cover. The words, typed on a blue plastic label affixed to the green vinyl album cover, were: ”BETWEEN THESE COVERS ARE THE GOOD PEOPLE.”

Still Struggling

I try to publish an e-mail newsletter regularly as a means of sharing and discussing current events with friends and colleagues. I haven’t published one lately because I haven’t known where to begin. As soon as I decide to write about one travesty occurring in our world, an even greater one seems to rear its ugly head. Viral pandemic. Economic collapse. Police brutality. Climate destruction. Racial subjugation. Military misapplication. Voter suppression. Tribal politics. Failing alliances. Following the rate of real and potential disasters is like drinking from a fire hose – it’s just too much.

Back to Africa

Nine years ago (May 2011), just after Aaron’s graduation from University of Michigan School of Business, he and I took a father/son trip to Africa. Aaron and I learned and experienced a lot on this trip. Now, in the midst of the Covid-19 timeout, I have finally found the time to share a bit of our adventure.