Monday, September 7, 2015

Real School People® 2015-1



Who remembers the 5 year plan? Remember when someone asked you what your plan was for the next 5 years? That seems laughable now. I never believed in the 5 year plan. It seemed to me like a way for you to wait until the four and half year mark to start working on whatever goals you had. What a waste.

Making good use of time and attaining goals at present is more in the now. With that in mind, my motto is: I don’t have time to waste time.  Makes sense doesn't it? 

I don’t know about you, but my “to-do” list has gone from paper to post-it notes and the list is long. I'm excited about the things I have to do. My mind is busy thinking about up coming projects which includes a lot of writing, music and production.

As real schoolers we aren't just sitting around doing crosswords, but we may have a few games of Words with Friends going on. Some of us are retired and find that we have just as much to do as we did before.  The difference is that we are enjoying what we’re doing because we've done enough living to have the experience and wisdom to enjoy it.


My bestie Cheryl is the RSP cover girl. She and her husband Jerry have become my family. We had the fortune of being able to take a last picture with all of our moms together. Mother & Father issue 2014.  The couple recently celebrated their 32nd  anniversary! They have the absolute best throwback pic!


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S A R A V E S T I   R O S E   D E V I


This lady is the real deal. Yoga has always been a part of her life: heart, mind, spirit and body.  Her dedication in teaching comes from a truly authentic space.
Rose's dad Raghavan Dass 

"I was taught by a very advanced yogi and sage, (Raghavan Dass, my father ) that the more enlightened you think you might become through your practice the less you should talk and brag about it. It is a hard rule to follow because our ego tricks us. Some teachers are able to transmit information without that arrogance and ego, some cannot. Keeping your enlightenment between you and the Universe is always more potent.


And yoga is definitely not how high you can put your leg or
how well you can do a pose. Pose equals EGO. 

Yoga is an attitude. It is the ability of the practitioner to tap into their love source, and for the instructor to project their love source onto the student. Most of yoga practitioners today are just doing physical yoga, and though there is nothing wrong with just physical yoga it gives way to big business, the traditional way is for the master to hand pick his flock not just to certify anyone who has the money.


I notice myself becoming more and more loving and motherly toward everyone and everything as I get older...I like myself better than I ever did when I was younger. I hope all women feel as good into their 50s as I do today. I was born the same year as Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince, 1958. Wow, how the years fly! "









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R E G I N O L D   T.  D O R S E Y


Reginald T. Dorsey has quite the resume. The first time I saw the Dallas born actor and cowboy was in an episode of Good Times. Prior to that, Raymond St. Jacques had written a lead role for him after he went to an open call in Dallas as an extra in the film Book of Numbers and they saw his potential. He is a veteran in the business of entertainment as well as a seasoned cowboy. 

You’ve probably seen him in TV and films and to name a few 21 Jump Street (Pilot Episode), Hardcastle and McCormick, South Central (the film), The A Team, Cagney and Lacey, Knight Rider, Booker, Diff’frent Strokes, Return to Lonesome Dove and the Cherokee Kid. He also was the lead in Stevie Wonder’s music video You Will Know. There is much to be said about the seriousness with which he takes with his work. 




Through the many years that I’ve known him, Reggie is still working hard at his craft: whether it’s a presence in front of or behind the camera. He’s proof positive that our souls and who we are within is the secret to our fountain of youth. 






He's  an authentic Texas Cowboy and throughout his life keeps his passion for raising horses and competing in rodeos like the The Bill Pickett Invitational, He’s won Championships in Team Roping and Team Penning. Do you think he’ll ever get off that horse? Not likely. And with his latest masterpiece as actor and producer of the film Kings of the Evening, he dedicates himself to a part of quality storytelling in black film that is as authentic as he is a cowboy.


If you haven’t seen it, Kings of The Evening is an absolute gem. The film featuring an all star cast and eloquent portrayals, is a must see. Among the cast: Glynn Turman, Lynne Whitfield, Tyson Beckford, Steven Williams, James Russo, William E. Pugh and Lou Meyers...



My question is, with so much on his plate, how in the world did he produce this movie, act in it and promote it and still ride? It’s not a question. Reggie does it all seamlessly.


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G A I L       O L I V E R



Wow! I can’t believe I’ve known Gail Oliver for 33 years! And what I love about her is that she's always smiling, with a stellar sense of humor and an upbeat perspective on life and the world. She is the only one I know who can make the word “groovy” groovy!  Check out Gail Oliver Design on the web and you will see the depth of her versatility as an artist/ photographer/groovy "visualist".  Yes, I made that word just for Gail. Her work is breathtaking!



"After working as a graphic designer for years, I am grateful to be actualizing my dream! Creating groovy stuff to share… This has been a long time coming."


Westfield Mall USA, Culver City, CA   California Steak and Fries Restaurant Design

My art has never followed a particular theme or plan… I just create stuff and record things of beauty. As long as I can remember, I've been inspired by most everything seen, with things found in nature being my favorite. 



My love of all things creative began in my early childhood, and was nurtured by both of my parents who were creative in their own rite. Instead of buying the Barbie coloring books (that every little girl craved), they would buy a pad of paper, crayons, paint, and pens then tell me to “have at it” leaving me to create my own fantasies. 

My curiosity of photography started in 1976, and ever since, I am rarely ever seen without my camera hanging from my neck. I guess I have always taken pictures in my mind, but through abstract landscape photography I can use my camera to record the exquisite colors, patterns and shapes of the beauty I see. 


I always wanted one of these Subway Signs… Thought they were pretty cool. But as much as I searched for one with a familiar street, I never found one representing MY neighborhood. Now mind you, up until roughly two years ago, we had no Light Rail System in the neighborhood. But now we do! Soooo. I created one. At first I created the Sign for my own amusement, an homage to the neighborhood I grew up in… The original “Westside” of Los Angeles. I made my custom sign to fit my entryway. Something to hide the circa 1940’s doorbell chimes that greet you at the door. Viola! When I got the finished piece home, I proudly hung it in my entry."








Whether I am practicing my craft with old school techniques, or using digital media… I tell stories regardless of the medium, be it photography, paintings, graphic prints, home and business décor, wearable art (or anything else I can come up with) becomes an expression of what I have seen and experienced… 



So stay tuned, I’m just getting started!

I make it up as I go!"


"I Am Grateful"Thank you Card

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P A U L    G E R V A S I


Director, performer, writer, guitarist and actor Paul continues to expose his talents in audio visual media. So many interesting facets of creativity in one wonderful soul. It was great gigging with his band. 

Paul directed The Grover Jackson Story about the legendary guitar builder scheduled for release next year.

"I'm beyond honored I was chosen to direct this movie,We had our first production meeting in Sept I spent the day with Grover and Jon Gold we ended up going to a Keith Urban soundcheck and lunch etc. But more interesting when we got back to the GJ2 factory
there was this couple from Paris France ?!?!?...It was like they made this pilgrimage from across the world just wanting to meet and take photo's w/Grover.......Well word got out we were making this long over due film and almost every major gunslinger bad-ass guitarist on the planet has asked to be in this movie.(I even spoke to Jimmy Page) "







Big wow on his release of his film Cherri Future, the story of an LA based Hard Rock band and the pros of cons of working hard in the business.



I know how hard Paul works on his projects and the commitment that he puts into them having worked with him back in the day. He has always been tenacious with every project that he's a part of whether his own or working on other projects with artists in various genres.

I highly recommend Paul for your next video. He's the man. Message him on FB




Paul's been busy directing  music videos with other musical genres. Check it out.









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M O     B  E  E  K S


This guy right here is one of the best vocalists to ever hit a stage! He is an unbelievable talent. I met him back in the day at a studio session 33 years ago and he has become like family throughout the years.


Yep, that's MoBeeks singing on my latest single! "Let Me" which also features Marlo Henderson on guitar, Welton Gite on bass, Clarence Bell on keyboards, with  Wornell Jones, co-arranging. And the wonderful Reggie Dozier mastered the project.




Mo has been around a while. Hailing from the Chicago area. He was initially a drummer but transitioned to keyboards. And he's been playing ever since. I call him the busiest guy in the business.

Mo Beeks in '73
After subbing for a keyboardist for the group The Sound Masters, drumming became something he used to do. Mo was keyboard player for the funk group Southside Movement. 

The group debuted their first album in 1973, which hit the R & B top 20 with it's hit "I've Been Watching You". The song has a southern soul flavor and is still being played and enjoyed by listeners.

He's also played with Leroy Hutson on the Love Oh Love album

He tells me he "hates the way his voice sounds." I'm incredulous-- are you kidding me? Evidently, everybody agrees with me. He was nominated for a Grammy with the group Blind Dog Smokin'.


Blind Dog is currently on a promotional tour that includes over 85 cities for their soon to be album, "High Steppin' ". Certainly, Mo can share how he spent his summer vacation!



 Mo  back in the day with the group Himalaya.



MoBeeks with Blind Dog Smokin' Featuring Bobby Rush and Dr. John.


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V I V I A N   K E L L Y



I met Vivian Kelly on the boomer site Eons  about 7 years ago and we met up in Vegas about a year later.

She has an awesome online presence with social media. She is the admin on the Real School People
®  on Facebook page, keeping it alive with music, media and memories.


The now retired, RN has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share about her work in the health and medical field. She can certainly impart useful knowledge to those embarking on a career in the ever changing field of nursing.

Her words of wisdom:


"May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying."
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W E L T O N   G I T E




I've known Welton since about 1980 BC (before children). I met him through a friend who thought he would be a great person to work with musically. That was true, but it wouldn't happen for another 35 years with the release of my current single, "Let Me."

He seriously is all about that bass. This composer and arranger has a musical resume about 100 miles, long.  If you want to know EVERYBODY he's played with, go to WeltonGite.com. The list really doesn't end and he totally tells you who he is and bass-ically his evolution as bassist.

"I've always wanted to be a bass player. I was never one of those guys that started out on guitar, sucked, and switched to bass. Something about those low tones.
I loved how if everyone else was playing a C major chord, I could play a C, A, F, G and change the chord that everyone else was playing. I was master of the music Universe,
in my mind  anyway..

To me, the most important members of any musical group, regardless of genre, is the Bass and Drums. They are the Heart and Soul of a group. I’ve played with some of the finest musicians in the world, but the most enjoyable gigs were because of the fantastic drummers that were on those engagements. Drums & Bass.

The Groove Makers!




I’ve never turned down a gig, because of the style of music
that was being played.

You can learn so much from playing everything. Rock, Jazz, Pop, Country & Western, Blues, Gospel, Latin and everything in between.

I've loved it all. Learning all the little  nuances of each style of music, and what makes it special and different from other genres.

Most people think playing music is just about having fun, but no.. It is hard work and discipline, hours and hours of practice and learning. If you grew up playing music in the late 60’s like I did, there was no YouTube, where you could see what the musicians were doing. Or computers and software, that could slow down the music so you could learn the cool lick that the guy on the record was playing. You would sit for hours, with your turntable, playing that song over and over, till you got it.

Even then, it wasn’t exact, but close enough to get through it. Loved every minute of it.
Well, I could go on for hours about my experiences playing bass, but to wrap this up let me finish by saying, I’ve had a Ball in my music career and wouldn’t change one thing about it.

Music is my Sanctuary."






He sure makes it look easy. This certainly should be an inspiration to all the real school pre-schoolers out there.

Welton's serious Throw Back: Straight Outta Compton

Welton aka Playza Bass shares some interesting words to live by:


"I love sharing these words of wisdom with everyone who has an ear to hear, and eyes to see.. Enjoy..



1. Give thanks that life is... just as it is (and that it's been... just as it's been). Because of it, you're now "READY."



2. Define what you want in terms of the end result. Don't worry about the hows, or even the course. KNOW that what you want is ALREADY yours in spirit, by divine LAW, just focus on the certainty of this ownership, understand it, claim it, and "it will be on earth, as it is in heaven (spirit)."



3. LET THE UNIVERSE show you the way via your impulses and instincts that appear as you take inspired action. Don't worry that your first steps seem silly or futile. And if you don't know what to do, do anything! Go! Get busy! Do not insist on intermediary successes, only upon the end result."




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D O N   M E N T Z E R

Don dining with Ponti

He's my big brother from another mother. He starts off each year celebrating his birthday on January 1st, which means his birthday is always a celebration.   His birth bracelet, an awesome keepsake, not plastic, but beaded, was given to him 80 years ago! 

What an amazing keepsake! Don's birth bracelet.

He travels extensively, dines well and enjoys the peaceful bliss that is his home, "Wellington Farms." 

Beautiful flowers and succulent fruit trees fill the yard. Nature surrounds. It's great energy to be surrounded and especially great to have Ponti as a sidekick. Between the two, it's hard to tell who's got the bigger personality.  

Last visit, was just before everything started to bloom, but each summer brings with it abundant gifts from lush plants and awesome fruits. I got to get a sample from the lemon tree.




L U C I U S   P A R R




Talk about someone who's got it like that. My friend Lucius is an awesome guitarist, who is blues-country-soul and hails from Yokum Texas. His style is everything that's earthy and grounded. His dad gave him a guitar when he was 10 and he's been playing ever since. 

I love working with him. He's gigging a lot with his band Street Life. And when he's not doing that, he's recording or playing with Charlie Daniels. 




He's played with everyone from Betty Swan, Mary Wells, DeBarge, Rudy Ray Moore, Bobby Womack. The most incredible thing about Lucious' style? He makes it seem so easy.

Go Lucius!

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M E D I A


How the times have changed.  It used to be called a television set.
Now it's just called TV.  Our impressions of TV have certainly changed throughout the years. This 1950 Motorola ad credited television with better behavior and better grades in school!



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DUNGAREES FOREVER



Before they came to be known as jeans, denim  was around since the 1700s and came to be known as a "lower status" coarse fabric worn born laborers, slaves, miners and agricultural workers. The fabric came from India near Mombai in a town called Dungari (Dungri). Eventually, they came to be known as "dungarees". Back in the early days the dyes would run when washed and needed to be washed separately. The fabric was course and line drying took forever, not to mention how stiff they used to be once they were dry.




The word "dungarees" was around until about the middle of the 20th century and then they came to be known as "blue jeans". Around the 70s decorating with denim was the rage. 

 Jacob Davis teamed up with Levi Strauss to gain a patent for their work pants. Copper rivets where the pocket joined, made the work pants even sturdier. It led to the most worn fabric in fashion history. 1873 the blue jeans were born. By 19th century, Strauss' jeans became known as "Levi's". And the 501s with the double stitched patched pockets which were born in 1890 held the market for pants for ranchers, farmers, miners and people whose worked involved physical labor. Levi's lasted for well over 100 years and by the end of the 19th century, Osh Kosh, Blue Bell (later Wrangler) and Lee Mercantile got into the jean and overall market. Lee's Union Alls  would become  the standard issue trouser for war workers.




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REAL TV

The TV watching experience has grown wings and thanks to Netflix we don't have to wait week after week for the next episode. Now we can "binge watch", a new term that's been added to the dictionary and gives us the benefit of having it our way.  There are so many great shows with real schoolers and they are really putting it down.



Grace and Frankie was an instant hit on Netflix. The roles
of the two friends, played by Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda are "frenemies" who literally have to reboot their lives late in the game. I certainly hope that Tomlin wins an award for her role as Frankie in this comedy, because she really goes there. I enjoyed binge watching this one, but now I have to wait for season 2. That's the only downside!





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American Crime 
premiered its first season in March of this year. What makes this show top flight is how it's presented. John Ridley is masterful in how he presented this show to the viewer.

You start out thinking that this is a typical show about race and crime, but it's far deeper than anything that you could ever have imagined. Once you're done viewing, you think of all of the probabilities of how you thought the story line was slated down a typical plot path. But then, you deal with and fathom how the story line ended and it takes the wind out of you.
 





This cast is the most brilliant ensemble cast I have witnessed thus far as a viewer. Every actor was on point and delivered. Felicity Huffman was too believable in her quest to accept what she believed to be her truth. Everyone who worked on this series deserves nothing but accolades.



The series has already  been nominated for a total of 10 Primetime Emmys (September 2015)
  • Outstanding Limited Series
  • Felicity Huffman for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series
  • Timothy Hutton for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series
  • Regina King for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series
  • Richard Cabral for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series
  • John Ridley for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series.
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Real school "pre" Johnny Ortiz is the breakout star in my

opinion. He played his role with passionate precision. He gave so much reality and so much depth to his role and played the anger, fear and uncertainly with a gift far older than his years. If he's this brilliant this early in his career, imagine the roles in his future. I'm a total fan.



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Real Commercial Memories
Can we say this is one of the first commercials using rap? I still know every word.



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Thanks for sharing the journey...

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