Monthly Archives: May 2010

FLASHBACK: Reflections From The Accidental Buddhist ~ The Road To Freedom… {5.30..2010}

Road To FreedomMany years ago, I coined myself the Accidental Buddhist because at the time, I considered my finding the spiritual path to Buddhism an “accident”, a “fluke”.

Of course once I began to follow the Path, I realized that my spiritual journey was no fluke at all — it was my destiny. Today, I see it as my rock.

Buddhism did for me what all spiritual paths are intended to do — it saved me from myself. Does it make me perfect? No. Does it make life trouble-free? No. However it does make me forever conscious of my impact to those around me and aware of my accountability to mankind in both large and small ways.

I am thankful. The Path is the only source capable of calming the fire of rage I’ve often felt in respect oppression, racism and suffering. The Path is the only comfort allowing me to rise each day as my heart is challenged with watching more and more of Mom transition away due to Alzheimer’s Disease.

After all these years, I am still working on accepting that I am, right now FREE. I am happy. There is much good in this season because Mom is still here, right now and there are lessons for me to learn in the present. I am working on accepting reality (or the illusion that looks like it) with grace, peace and ease.

So you should know, following the June 19th FreedomTweet event, I will be taking an indefinite hiatus from the genea-space to just… well, be.

There are other needs calling my name. I […]

FLASHBACK: CoAAG 4th Edition: FreedomTweet 2010 ~ What Does FREEDOM Mean To Me? {5.24.10}

FREEDOMTWEET 2010Oral history says that when Grandpa Phil thought to question his owner’s actions, he received a stern warning to “let things be”, being told he could choose another wife and make more babies.

Grandpa Phil did just that — “let things be” and in 1869 married my 4th Grandmother Annie FAVER CARTER and yes, they had many babies.

Fast-forward 20 years. In 1885 in Washington-Wilkes, my other 4th Grandfather, James WINGFIELD, an emancipated slave, returns from harvesting his land and heads to town to cash in his crops. Family history says that he purchased a pair of “brogans” and pick-up needed supplies for his pregnant Wife, Grandma Catie DICKEY WINGFIELD and their children, before heading to church to pray.

At some point between Downtown Washington-Wilkes, church and home something happened.

The details are unclear but it has been said my Grandpa James was accused of “talking back” to a white man. As a penalty, he was removed from his home on Whitehall Street, never to be seen again.

Grandma Catie was 7 months pregnant, with 4 small children at home at the time James disappeared. A year or so later, relatives found my Grandfather’s brogans and boots in the woods, at the bottom of a hanging tree.

Two Grandfathers and two instances that totally shifted my Family’s destiny. Both men defenseless; one a slave who dare not speak-up; one a free man, murdered because he dared to speak-up.

What Does FREEDOM Mean To Me?

Freedom means that not only do I have the RIGHT to advocate for fairness and justice ~ I have a RESPONSIBILITY to do so!

When I speak-up, my Grandfathers […]

FLASHBACK: They Served With Honor: Tuskegee Airman LeRoy Eley Sr. Offers Lessons For A Lifetime! {5.15.10}

LeRoy EleyOriginal Tuskegee Airman, Mr. LeRoy E. Eley Sr., is nothing short of amazing!

Born May 30, 1927 and the baby of the bunch at almost 83 years young, Mr. Eley is EVERYTHING you would expect a Tuskegee Airman to be — distinguished, proud and fast on his feet!:-) He is disarmingly charming and witty, and easily captivated the attention of some 60+ 4th grade students, teachers, parents and genea-guests.

For every 1 question answered — 10 more hands flew up! I was floored by Mr. Eley’s ability to recount even the most minute historical detail and surprised that right along with the students, I too received an history lesson! I’d never heard of the Red Tail Pilots!

Those blessed to be in the room were provided an insiders view of history, complete with stories and memories that only he and his elite Fraternity of Tuskegee Airmen Brothers can truly recount.

To Justis’ question of which was more challenging — fighting in the war or enduring racism in the military, he responded honestly — BOTH. Mr. Eley shared how when the servicemen traveled abroad to fight, they remained segregated — unable to fight together even in the face of a common enemy!

When asked by a young lady to describe the feeling of flying a plane, Mr. Eley just smiled, responding there was nothing in the world like it!

Indeed, aviation is Mr. Eley’s passion. Since volunteering for the USAAF at the age of 17 (assigned to Class 46-D at […]