Memorial Day Mention 1944 to 2014

Memorial Day Mention

According to the story in about 1944 my dad Ovie Akins left Little Rock Arkansas at about the age of 15.


My father Ovie Akins 1944-1948

He falsified his age as 18 and joined the Air Force.  With the hopes of being with The Great Tuskegee Airmen he was on his way.  He didn’t become an Airman. He did get the great opportunity to have his own bike and deliver mail on the post. He learned a lot of things that the City of Little Rock would have never provided. He traveled and learned to be a good soldier, very disciplined. He is always prompt, neat and orderly, and demands that you are the same among other things.  Even in his 80s he continues to rise early and is a stickler for being timely.

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Spring Time in Chicago – It’s All About Rose Magnolia’s For Me!!!

It’s finally beginning to feel a bit like Spring in Chicago to me! You may ask me why and I will reply, “It’s all about the Rose Magnolia Blossoms!”  I first noticed this tree when I was very young there was one house about three blocks north of my parents home that had this great and beautiful tree.  I would look at it and admire it every time I went to the store for my mother, yet my enthusiasm for this tree is nothing like it is today.

In this phase of my life, this tree is something that I actually find extreme joy in seeing.  I look for them when I travel through the city. I have found plenty from Roseland to Rosemoor to Beverly.  I think I actually know the location of every tree in my immediate vicinity. I think that these owners of these trees possibly find me peculiar because I stop to admire the trees.  I take pictures and just find myself in absolute wonder standing beneath this great tree.


Rose Magnolia Tree Not In Front of My House

Today, I found an abandon Rose Magnolia Tree and I was able to get a clipping.  Yes, I got a clipping! No, I will not tell you how I managed to do this! 🙂 I also will not share the location of “My” tree!  I am wondering if I can root it and Bonsai it.  I only know that Bonsai exist I don’t know how to Bonsai so I do not even know why the notion of Bonsai has entered my mind. Nevertheless, I will try to root this clipping and grow a little sapling.  I’ll keep you posted on my sapling Bonsai project.


My Rose Magnolia Clipping


Tepals of the Rose Magnolia

Magnolias don’t have petals they have Tepals. I learned from reading Dr. Bishop’s article that the rose magnolia flower meaning is associated with nobility, perseverance, dignity and a love of nature.  In art, specifically Chinese art, the magnolia is used as a symbol of feminine sweetness and beauty. In China, magnolia flowers are symbols of purity and nobility. In Japan, the magnolia is used as a medicinal and ornamental plant. Hanakotoba in Japanese means “The Language of flowers.” The flower is called Mokuren in the Japanese system of flower it means “Sublime, Love for Nature”. Magnolias are associated with the life force and are often presented at births.  You can learn more about the rose magnolia meaning from Dr. Kitty Bishop on All Things Healing. 

I was recently traveling along with a friend who was interested in the infamous “red light cameras and speed cameras” yet I was interested in rose magnolia trees.  My friend didn’t like my exclaiming, “there’s another one!!!” with great enthusiasm when he was looking for cameras he found my enthusiasm for these trees to be a bit annoying. Nevertheless, I will keep sighting rose magnolia’s while they are in wondrous bloom! Hey slow down and look for Rose Magnolias too and you won’t have to look for red light and speed cameras!

Enjoy the lovely blooming beauty of my favorite spring time bloom!

Asante Sana Mrs Macabee! – The person who taught me about Kwanzaa

I first celebrated Kwanzaa in Elementary School. I was introduced to Kwanzaa by Mrs. Macabee at John T. Pirie Elementary School. I think I was in second grade.


She prepared a book for us about Kwanzaa. She taught us songs. We had a Kinara and a cornucopia full of fruits and winter squash. She placed a candle every day. We flipped a page every day and learned the Nguzo Saba – The Seven Principles. I also remember coloring the pages.


We faced the East every morning and sang the Black (Negro)  National Anthem“Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson. I never forgot Mrs. Macabee and I often wonder where she may be.

Asante Sana Mrs. Macabee!!!

If you would like to learn more visit Dr. Maulana Karenga official site.
Kwanzaa has seven basic symbols and two supplemental ones. Each represents values and concepts reflective of African culture and contributive to community building and reinforcement.

Signage and Violence in Chicago

All of the signage and money in the world will not stop these killings in our neighborhoods.  We who are the people, the neighbors have to change our “Hoods” into “Neighborhoods” where we are neighborly to our fellow man.  It is us that must make a change in our mentality. We must began to love, care and respect one another the foundation of being “Neighborly”.