Archive for April, 2017


It’s been a hot minute since the scratching my head blog has been unleashed. I know it’s been a couple of weeks since my father passed and still dealing with the fact he’s gone.

But I still have something to say about the not so happy current affairs of the country and the world. So here it is.

Why do certain folks have an issue of Angela Rye’s shirt: “We built this joint for free!” Knowing it’s the truth when it concerns African Americans? 

Why do certain folks (Church Minded) have to get attacked knowing that they have to go harder every single time in and out of the four walls?

Is going after North Korea really all that? 

What’s this? Bill O’Reilly got fired from Fox News? And the station is under fire of racial discrimination of it’s black employees. Why hasn’t no one seem to realize that racism still rears its ugly head in America’s DNA? Especially at Fox News!

Stop hating on the Milwaukee Streetcar, Milwaukee. You know folks need jobs right?

Who was so glad to hear Former President Obama’s voice after all this mess of 45?

Men, when the women had Women’s History Month in March, we realize that every “Movember” is our International Men’s Month, right? Why trip?

The Republicans failed to sign away the Affordable Care Act. Why didn’t they say something to change it then 7 years ago? Oh, they were still hating on Obama.

Was Shea Moisture really that marketable to black women? 

For the Serena Williams haters worldwide: she’s beating you. Why hate her and her choice of marriage, and her soon to be child? And Black Kings(and queens): let it go.

Is anyone feeling the Milwaukee Bucks lately? #FearTheDeer #DeerRun

Yo, this Eric Thames “talk” about him doing roids or juicing is nothing but a distraction. Dude was tested three times and nothing came out bad. So what is the real problem? Where are the test results?!! We speculte too much, Americans.

Can African American Men be relaunchers for Adult Internships too? 

If moving out of Milwaukee is a solution to get away from violence, why do the suburban areas have issues of drug problems? And some violence issues too? My father once said, “it’s bad everywhere.”

In 2018: the midterms are coming. Midterm Elections. Can Wisco get rid of Scott Walker and David Clarke for real? 

Introvert folks, are we still good? 

So the State of Wisconsin has this problem of 80,000 plus jobs that need to be filled. As well as Milwaukee. And the companies all say “we need to find people.” Well what is the real problem with hiring, matching, education, training and transportation, in getting that job? 

Was the “Mother of all Bombs” really that necessary in Syria?

So the Nintendo Switch is out. Who is really waiting to see if us “grownfolks” gamers can try it? 

Milwaukee: you realize our 2nd MPS Alumni Reunion is coming in May, right? 

I need to ask this question: and it’s for those who wished reunions. Why do many get mad about a so so class reunion that tried to happen but didn’t work? Also why get mad at all class reunions? You know you can use that to generate your class reunions right?

Why is there not enough representation for African Americans when it comes to groups like The American Legion and it’s subgroups? Note: some of them might have been or are American Legion members.

Why is Wisconsin “the state so far” doesn’t do expungements?

Really Ivanka Trump? Your father is a champion when it comes to women? You know what he said to Billy Bush, right?

Question: is it a check up, or a physical? Make up your minds when going to the doctors, folks. Jeez.

Should TJ Watt be a Green Bay Packer?

In May, Military Appreciation Month is approaching. Why do we get “Veterans Day” and “Memorial Day” mixed up? 

I need to ask: why did we sent our kids back to school the DAY AFTER EASTER?! Back in my day, we started our spring break on Good Friday, then the week was nothing but a break. And the week after, it was back in the classrooms. Explain!

Do folks really believe the fake news on Social Media that folks display? 

Why do folks have to test the Bible in what the folks who want to say that the people are right and the Good Book is bad? Seriously.

If you are a single man with no kids and not married (Especially if you’re Black) why the barrage of assumptions from women who wanted them to have kids and a wife? Um….Last I checked: kids cost money! And many women today have gone “Independent”. Society does suck.

And the last question to ask: Is the truth dead? Or just opinionated? 

I’m back, folks. Get woke! Stay empowered.

Breaking News.

Posted: April 25, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS!

Today, another sharing link is added to my stories. Stephen’s Spot is being upgraded to a second sharing link. That sharing link is part of Facebook. Already, a Stephen’s Spot Facebook Page is under construction right now. And it will be used as an extension yet again for my blogs that is written here. Of course this might generate more traffic. More than Tumblr. 

So with any rate. Stephen’s Spot will probably get more traffic due to the FB thing. 

Get ready and get woke! 


 

This post will be a regular post after my father’s unexpected passing in February. But like the old saying goes, the show must go on. And even thought writing this might be hard, but I am reminded that the quote stands of “It’s time to go to work” is a necessary thought. So I’m declaring this blog as is: It’s time to get back to work.

Now I’ve been reading about internships lately. Really I have. I was approached by this by my pastor about networks and the connections we have with the colleges in Wisconsin. Specifically Milwaukee. My pastor would offer me a chance to see this network of jobs and internships to see what is the happenings around the employment world for a man like me at 40 years old to get back on track in getting that particular job in my long search of Industrial Management that I earn the degree from UW-Stout back in 2006.

When I looked at the Google Search results about Internships, it’s related to college kids. We know. But further examination, there was something else: ADULT INTERNSHIPS! Yes you read that right. Adult Internships. So in all of my mysterious search and I’m calling out Milwaukee/Wisconsin Employers here and my Schools, and my community connections this one question: “WHY DIDN’T NO ONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS?!” All that searching I’ve been doing have been squat. Nothing. Ok some have been well. But the thought and the issue of Adult Internships should be on the mind here in Milwaukee the most due to the fact that there are folks here with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees years back that had the papers, but not the jobs to show for it. Even President Obama said this exact same thing about graduating and getting the jobs afterwards. And the Universities have to show proof that their job placement departments have to back up their information. They have to, but the question is, will #45 do the same? Answer: NO.

So I did a research about Adult Interships on the site called IRelaunch.com, a site that is geared toward those who have been away from their previous careers and are interested in getting back to something new or different. And even if they were to take care of their families, or kids or whatever, but the thought of them getting back to the workplace under these relaunch programs is an idea to get back to. Now as I scrolled through the webpage, I was amazed that this was actually a good deal. And yes younger workers, the older folks aren’t dead yet. They still have a chance to start over and rebuild. And I was looking at the site, yes it was fully of those whom are women, based on the fact that it has a female connection. Even the SWE or the Society of Women Engineers have this connection to IRelaunch.

But have to ask this question and no disrespect to the CEO of the company in all, but why don’t I see African-American Men on this page? I see the African-American Women, but I don’t see any Black Men on here. Can someone explain that to me please?

The reason why I bring this up that many of us in the African-American Male population are right now have this hard time looking for work. Many of us do have Degrees, but having the hard time to plug in the degrees with the jobs out there. Why hasn’t IRelaunch or any Adult Internship Program has NOT reached out to the African-American men population like the women? Many of us got to work in security or janitorial work which is not a problem. But many of us want to have those jobs that we earned those degrees in while in college. Yes, I know that many of us are in jail more than in college. And that has to be addressed.

Oh yes, we do play ball. We have been told to go to school, graduate with your degree, and get that job. That’s it. But no where it was mentioned that you can apply for a Adult Internship along the way to get the extra step to your part of employment. Or should I say “better employment”.

I want to put on notice, that these companies need to come to the black communities that have a high sense of unemployment in which African-American Men must be examined. For example, here in Milwaukee. We got this high unemployment rate that is in the fifties. The city has a negative track record of being the “most segregated city in America” due to racial tensions that the city harbored in the last 50 plus years. The State of Wisconsin in a recent report that has over 80,000 jobs available but has a hard time to fill them up. And all I hear is that “we need to find people.”

I have to question: WHO IS WISCONSIN IS FOOLING?

What do you mean we have to find people? Are you kidding? You got all these unemployed/underemployed folks here in the Badger State that need work. And what I hear out of these companies is more like matching and competition. So when I go to a job fair or a “CAREER FAIR”, I’m hearing almost the exact same thing. Who is running the show? Man, I posted my resumes on LinkedIn, MilwaukeeJobs.com, CareerBuilder, my Alumni Websites, and others and I’m getting little results of jobs like Lab Cleaners and such. No disrespect to the lab cleaners, but I want to see better results. I didn’t go to school nor got my Bachelor’s almost 11 years next month to earn this. I’m sorry!

And now, I’m hearing that these relaunchers or the still ready for work folks seminars are popping up, where does Wisconsin fit in? Where does Milwaukee (especially Black Milwaukee) fit in all this that has never heard this? Where does the Wisconsin Colleges and Universities fit in? That is sad. I think as a resident, I want to see these relaunching, second chance working programs that works for the women folk need to come to places here to relaunch these jobs for those of us here that got all that educational fire power and operate the goods.

If those want to know about Irelaunch and the Paid Internships they offer, check out the site here.

 


Here is the final part of my experience of losing my father in “Losing Dad.”

The week of March 5th was indeed approaching. And with the coming days of the funeral, it was going to get tough to declare my father heaven bound.

Most of that was of me looking at movies like Higher Learning when Malik (played by Omar Epps) and Professor Phibbs (played by Laurence Fishburne) were talking about the recent shooting on campus, and Malik perservered throughout the madness. Nearly at the end of the conversation, Professor shouted, MALIK! And quoted this from a famous African American: “Without struggle there can be no longer progress.” And Malik responded, “Frederick Douglass.” Final word from the Professor: “Right.” Later on the scene of Any Given Sunday when the coach talked about the inches pep talk. But most of that was gearing towards Rocky V when Rocky himself visited Mick’s old gym and hearing him and Mick going over the boxing moves before the title fight. Mick’s advice (played by Burgess Meredith whom was Penguin from the old Batman Shows) telling Rocky about being prepared for the fight, and his words of when we losing our friends and family members, and Mick didn’t have a reason to go on. But when he looked at Rocky, he had a reason to move forward. It was a scene I played about three times and getting a “wave of emotion” dealing with the loss of Dad. That felt real. And it has.

March 9th, 2017 was the hurdle of that. Before many of the public was open to the viewing of Dad at the Williamson Funeral Home, myself along with my mother and Aunt had our private moment. It was very sad. Seeing my 69 year old father lying in the casket. Heartbreaking. Tough. No matter what you call it, it wasn’t felt right at all. I said that day that I got his back. And plus he still inspires me. He helped me out, my sister out, he served this country and many others. I said, “thank you, Dad. THANK YOU!” Too bad my sister couldn’t make it to the visitation due to her health concerns, but being the representative that I am, I had to pinch hit. Dad was decorated well. Including the suit he wore along with him being in the silver diplomatic casket with the Stars and Stripes of the flag being displayed. The flowers with the themed red, white, and blue were on each side with the US Army Flag in the background. The American Flag was draped slightly towards the right by not touching the floor. After we had our moment, our guests and family members visited us as they offered condolences and sympathies. We also had guests from his old high school of North Division to come out to visit us. Old neighbors, friends, my pastor, relatives on both sides to come for a visit. Even current and former members of my church, my mother’s Alumni and Sorority came along. They came to show the support of us.

Later on in the visit, my pastor asked for prayer, and then I was given a chance to speak on my Dad’s behalf. I address the family and guests as a way to kick off the sharing of the memories. Most of the references that I summarized was from the funeral bulletin in which I highlighted the graduations, special events, and others. It was called “Final Salute to my Father.” Even also he matched my church salary in which to him to help me out to support. Even about if the Packers played, being the victors or losers. And the lasting thing I summarized the statement as a “Veteran’s Son” in which I am. I said to my family that he, was the last one. But I also said to my 1st Cousins espeicially that we have to step up. It’s our turn now. We have to be there for our children. If we don’t tell the stories, then who will? After that, I thanked the guests coming out and thakning them for their support.

Other neighbors and friends summarized my father in similar ways after I spoke. And the end of that, and exiting out of the funeral, I told my father that “I’ll see you tomorrow” with tapping the casket.

Then came the day. March 10th, 2017. This was the day of my father’s funeral. Hard to swallow on this. When my family arrived at the church, we had to set up some pictures and a portrait of him when he was in the military. Also displayed a booklet of some of his best projects he done over the years. We had a short visitation when the guests were coming in as well as my cousins and aunts from my Dad’s side came in to greet my mother and I. My former pastor, a Vietnam Veteran himself came along with his wife for support. Before the last 10 minutes were up, my mother got emotional knowing that this was the last time we see Dad. And as we approached the casket for the last time at the church, we said our goodbyes, our thank yous,  and I promised to make sure that my mother and sister will be safe. And I have his back. My final promise to him is my solemn vow that I had to be that next person to support.

As the service continued, there had been many references that were summarized. A representative from the North Shore Post Office, was the first to speak and remininced about my father’s work, involvement with food drives, his relationship among workers, and of course his Corvette. My former pastor talked about his viewpoint in terms of war stories, and similar issues dealing with knee problems! My younger cousin (a millennial mind you) was the next to summarize our family and the sympathies to support. Finally my Aunt had to pitch in for my sister, but the poem she read, was titled: “My Daddy”.

My Daddy
I sit and look back to how far I can remember,
And you are always there next to me.
Each and Everyday you were helping me to grow up,
And making me be the best that I can be.

Your love was forever strong,
Your cuddles forever tight.
Everyday since I was born,
Your love was always in sight.

I will always be your Baby Girl,
And you will always be My Daddy.
I know I will always be the luckiest,
To have the best Dad any girl could have had.

My Daddy I love you with all my heart,
Much more than I could ever say.
You are my world, my everything,
Each and Everyday.
Written by Ranja Kujala July, 2009

The similarity with the poem, also resonates the feeling that my sister got word of losing Dad. We know the connections between Fathers and Daughters are inseparable. Very different from my father and son talks. No matter the pain or feeling, it was all around. And love for my father was deeply felt.

The eulogy of my father talked about forgiveness, love for one another, and a subject called “unfinished business.” The pastor highlighted the room that he saw my father that featured his easel of an oil drawing from 1991, and of course his video collections on the wall with a Wide Screen TV (BIG) in the center. The pastor also commented about a staircase, in which his spirit and Jesus would meet. At the end of the service, we gathered our things as we exited the church. But here was the shocker. When we were in the line to leave, we saw more folks packing the church as if it was like, how this happened?! First it was small, then it was large. And yes, there were members of the clergy mostly ministers who knew my Dad came out for the support. Talk about leaving a mark.

We headed to the limos and made a hour trek to the cemetery in Union Grove, Wisconsin. As we gathered in the area to meet up, we were greeted by the cemetery staff and leaders to go over my Dad’s gravemarker, featuring quotes and a symbol of the United Methodist Church. Then after we (my mother and I) went over the committal portion to summarize how it will go in the almost 6 minute session. From the music of the Army Song, the honor guard saluting the casket on both sides, the Marine Veterans on the outside in formation of the 21 gun salute and the Folding of the flag. Plus the bullets and coin were handed to my mother.

For The Committal portion, review the entire video below courtesy of my recording.

 

I had to say that the Committal was the highlight of my Dad’s service. This made me realize I am even more proud to be a Veteran’s Son! Being a Veteran’s Son is not some made up badge overnight. It’s a way of life to actively say that I salute his service, and will continue to tell the stories that will live on in me. It’s not just a catch-phrase, that is a promise! Nevermind all the negative hoopla about war, viewpoints and politics. Even bold consciousness. I’m proud of the fact that my father did that by serving. I respect him for that and yes there will  be more my Veteran support in my house! No I didn’t serve, (don’t hate me on that), but I’m just darn proud that his decorated standard was just that: Good! Mostly with family members that had indeed served! Yes, my father served in an unpopular war in Vietnam, and mentioning to my mother way back that when we came back home to the States, he said “that the world turned dark.” I remember him saying that there was no recognition for Vietnam Vets like him that never got the welcome thing like the military has now. Of course NOW, they are getting their respect years later. But why not then! One of job duties was a Helicopter Gunner, and one of his accommodations was the Bronze Star Medal.

As the service ended, we exited the chapel with the honor guards saluting us. Plus one of the Marine Veterans whom did the 21 gun salute, greeted my mother and I. Even though the Marine Veteran didn’t knew my father, he commented that “It was an honor for me to this.” That was real talk. Even though, he was an older caucasian man, but he did that for a black Vietnam Veteran that was honored for his service as a SP5. On the way back to the church for the repast, I had to put on my music on my cell phone. I chose the music to play of “Nighshift” by The Commordores in which was one of my Dad’s favorites.  Another was “I’ll Be Rested” by Mavis Staples, and plus a Nina Simone favorite, of “I Shall Be Released.” That song of course was a highlight favorite from watching Scandal.

The Lessons and Aftermath

In the later days, we still had our ups and downs, some things have become a little harder with now the three of us running the show. And I’m the man of the house now. But knowing the supporting cast has been uplfifted, and new standards have been updated with new accountabilty. Make no mistake, my family, my McClinton Family is still alive. We are still here. And yes that even though that our 10 members that are no longer here, wtih my father being the last one, we (the next era in the family) must do is what I said to my mother: we have to stay in the fight. And like in scripture: So it was written. So it shall be done.

Were holding on and still in the struggle.


Here is the second part of the blog, “Losing Dad.”

2017.03.08.07.52.53

For a few days, the pain of losing my father was surreal. It was emotional, hard, and also didn’t felt right. But before all that began, I got my mother to come back to my sister’s house. She first wanted to water her plants, and we both went to bed after enduring a hard situation. But before I went to bed, I had to post the hardest Facebook post of losing my father. It was about 3:30am in the morning and then I went to sleep. When I woke up the next couple of hours, I got dressed to take my mother back to St. Luke’s Hospital to be with my sister. Then later on I went back to the north side to set up an appointment with the funeral home for the start of my father’s service. I also went to my parents house in starting to clean up my Father’s entertainment room to take out the rug that he heavily bleed on. And also I clean up the room that he had his last remaining days before dying so soon.

I went up stairs where I had my fun where later on he took over the room after 2000. Nothing but memories growing up. I also had the thought of taking his CD’s that he listened to while working or going to work just to try to ease some of the pain.

My dad was more of a blues fan. Listening to his music collection of John Lee Hooker, Magic Slim, and the Legendary Mavis Staples to name a few. Speaking of that, before he died, we were talking about a song that he was reminded of Mississippi and the south. The name of the song was called, “I’ll be rested”, in which I had a thought of listening myself during Black History Month. But that was then. I began to grab more of his mixtapes on CD’s that he often listen to while working in the house or his days at the Post Office. Thinking about also making a playlist in honor of him when Father’s Day comes as well as his August 18th Birthday.

Plus at the house I had to find some necessary pictures of him and us on our vacations, events, earlier times before he was married, school, the military, and others. Collectively, we had a collection of pics gallore! Later on in the week, I’ve done more cleaning, plus gathering more material that would be beneficial for the Funeral arrangements that was upcoming. Ranging from marriage certificates, to forms of military honorary discharge papers. And in my mind, this whole thing was just surreal gathering the stuff was just that. Surreal.

In church on Sunday after my Dad’s passing, my pastor preached a sermon called “Don’t Be Afraid.” In which he used me as an example of what I went through on the night when I discovered Dad dead in his Entertainment Room. It paled in comparison of what I talked about previously about that even though the situation was hard to swallow, I had to do something in general. In maintaining control of the ship to maintain order. In a spiritual effect, I think that Dad would approve it very well. Plus I highlighted the things that I summarized:

He was a member of my church for 47 years. – In December of 1969, he married my mother. Which also made him a member of the church since.

He wasn’t an “every Sunday” church member, but he was a member.

He was around for my graduations, my sister’s graduations, church events, even the Veterans Day Celebrations at my church.

Always known to fix things around the house, home modelings, woodworkings and others.

He also matched my church salary to make sure I was financially well. He knew I wasn’t making enough as a Church Secretary, but he wanted to help out. And he did. Plus with that, he supported my sister’s needs as well.

And as far as a lessons learned. They spoke for itself. Even the hard lessons!  Plus I thanked the church for the support.

February 27th was the meeting at the Williamson Funeral Home, which is black owned. And plus in history it was mostly that they buried more of my folks. Even my father talked about the owner all the time. We were at the office getting the service for Dad prepared. We chose the date Friday, March 10th 2017 as the day with a visitation date of March 9th. The site of the burial we chose was the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove. Plus, I have an Aunt that is buried out there since 1997. Plus two of my church members are buried and entombed at the cemetery.

Along the way we had to get the additional information of his insurance to cover the costs of the funeral including picking out his casket. And for the Committal portion of the funeral, my mother would receive the folded flag, and there was a mention of the 21 Gun Salute that was added as part of the service.

After the service was set up, I immediately went to my Facebook Page to inform my followers, phones convos, text messages and others on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google plus to give the official rundown of my father’s funeral. The dates, places and etc. And likewise, more condolences poured in.

In the remaining days, I also got my Dad’s dark blue suit jacket and light gray trousers. The very same set he wore to my uncle’s funeral in early September. And there was additional shopping to conquer to get shirts, ties, socks and for me, I had to purchase a dark blue jacket, a light gray pants to have an idea (via my mother) to dress like Dad for the funeral.

The notices in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Williamson Funeral Home Website were set to view on the Wednesday before the visitation. And the booklets had to be printed for the funeral as well. Thanks to Great Impressions here in Milwaukee, they were excellent later on.

Part three of “Losing Dad” will continue with the Heartbreaking visitation, the funeral, and the Committal Service.