School threat worries family

school shootings.jpgFor two days we debated whether to send my son to school on Monday.

Two months ago someone posted that blood will shed June 4 at West Bloomfield High School. That worried my son Brandon so much that he wanted to stay home for school. A number of his classmates wanted to do the same. But if somebody wanted to do carnage why would they telegraph it?

Monday morning I received the assurances that I needed. Our superintendent Gerald Hill sent out an email saying that the school remembered the treat and that they were on top of things. So were the West Bloomfield Police Department and the FBI.

They said they investigated the threat and found it not to be credible. All was safe.

 

I trusted the authorities and sent my son to school.

My son reported a reassuring police presence, but a number of his class mates did not attend school. I bet it was the safest day of the year to be a Laker.

Last April marked the 10-year anniversary of the deadliest school shooting in American history when 32 people were killed at Virginia Tech. More than a dozen were injured. In the last five years there have been more than 100 mass shootings at schools, including the Parkland High School shooting where an expelled student shot and killed 19 students and faculty a few weeks ago.

I love my son Brandon very much and do not want him shot. I don’t even want to see the horror of him running from school as class mates are shot inside.

No parent wants that.

After Parkland every high school in our area received at least one threat and kids were sent to jail. I lectured my son not to even joke about making a threat.

He looked at me as if I were crazy and said: “I know that. I would never think of doing that.”

I know he would not do something that stupid but part of being a parent is to cover all areas and concerns no matter how far fetched.

 

 

 

 

 

The hot wire kid gets caught

Deveron was a fast talking, street smart kid with a ready smile and a mop of curly hair.

He was also one of my best friends while growing up on Detroit’s west side. He was a great kid with one tiny vice. He stole cars.

An older cousin taught him how to hot wire cars and Deveron became an expert at it. One day we sat in a rusted out hoop tee in his back yard talking. This car did not run, but he’d get behind the wheel and we were driving down Lakeshore Drive in Grosse Pointe or taking an impromptu spin down I-94 to Chicago.

I asked Deveron why he stole cars. He basically said because he was good at it and that he believed he could not get caught.

“You should come with me sometimes and see how easy it is,” he said.

I thought about it, but ultimately fear won out. I was not afraid of getting caught by the police. I was afraid of the old ladies who raised me and pounded into me that if ain’t mine I don’t touch it. They’d kill me if I started stealing cars.

I didn’t even tell them of my friendship with Deveron. That would freak them out.

They stressed education to me. That is why I was the nerdy kid reading books on the front porch, pretending I was inside the pages of adventure novels.

One of the main reasons I bring this story up is because I was ripped by some people a few weeks ago when I said on twitter that America needs more schools and fewer prisons.

If education wasn’t stressed to me I might have taken Deveron up on his offer and became a car thief instead of a journalist. Maybe America would need one more prison cell for me after I got caught.

Often people become criminals because there is no hope in their lives. They are more street smart than book smart and that leads you down a dark path.

One day I was walking down the street when I heard a police siren screaming a few blocks away. Soon a car came shooting toward me going at break neck speed. Deveron was behind the wheel. He shot a quick glance my way before making a violent right turn. He was going so fast that two hub caps fell off the car and rolled past me.

A few seconds later a police cruiser made the same violent right turn.

Deveron, the hotwire kid, was caught.

It was the last time I ever saw my childhood friend. They threw him into juvenile detention and when he got out his family shipped him down south to try to turn his life around.

I am glad I said no to a life of crime and yes to a life of writing and reporting.

Car-Theft-iStock.jpg

The seniors take over the gym

Senior-FitnessWe call ourselves the old people.

We are gym members between the ages of 55 and 75 who show up every morning at Planet Fitness to work out and gab. We are all very different people. We are white and black, blue and red, male and female.

The only things we have in common are ailments.

If you put our medical records together we’ve had hip and knee replacements, heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure and Vertigo. But we keep on ticking and hope the exercise improves our health. We worry about one another so much that if somebody doesn’t show up for three days we fear the worst and give that person a phone call.

“Have you seen Bill,’ someone asked last week.

“Oh he is in Arizona playing golf,” someone else replied.

“Oh thank God. I thought he was dead.”

Sometimes we get together for dinner. A few weeks ago eight of us ate dinner at a place that turns into a dance club at 9 o’clock. We were all out of there by 8:30. No one wanted to be called grand pa or geezer.

The old men crack me up. Sometimes they believe the cute 25 year old in Lulu Lemon tights is looking past all the 25 year old pumped up studs at their wrinkled 60 year old ass.

“I think that cutie is checking me out,” one of the old people said.

I spoiled the day for him.

“Yeah she is looking over here, but you must have missed the “when are these old farts going to get off the weight machine so I can use it” look.”

A woman did ask for my phone number. However, I spent the next two weeks trying to figure out if she wore false teeth. Obviously she was not one of the young cuties I was talking about.

We are the cool old people. There are other groups of old people we don’t associate with. For instance, watch out when you enter the men’s locker room. You might walk in on a 70 year old who is running a hair drying between his legs to dry off his balls after a shower.

How sick. Don’t they have towels for that?

Women complain about other old people that stare at their breasts while working out. I swear I am not one of those people. I am a leg and butt man.

There is an old guy that wears short shorts and when he stretches his private parts burst loose and his duffle bags are squeezed against the floor. I am reporting this guy next time.

A month ago I visited my friend Larry Bird in the hospital after he had knee replacement surgery.

He got misty eyed and said: “Thank you for visiting. I feel kind of special.”

You are special. Besides I knew the surgery would keep you out of the gym for more than three days and I had to tell the other old people that you were not dead.

 

 

 

 

Terry Foster Podcast s26 Thursday

Welcome back!

Terry is joined by JD “The Smak” and E.Lund

Terry asks us Wolverine slaps who we hate more the Golden Domers or that school to the south(OSU) and why. We delve into the recently uncovered news regarding Matt Patricia. We also talk NHL and possibility of Stevie Y returning to Hockeytown. This and more on a newly minted Terry Foster Podcast.

Terry Foster Podcast s26 Monday

Welcome Back!

Terry is joined by JD “The Smak” and E.Lund

Big News! The Supreme Court has ruled that banning sports books is unconstitutional. We go in depth on what that means and how that might play out in Detroit, including at some point will the casino let you bet on the Lions at “4:20”?

Terry becomes upset with Smak for not including someone on the worst owners of all time list.All this, how bad the Detroit Incinerator smells ,and so much more on this Terry Foster Podcast.

Could Stan Heath return home for UDM job?

stan heathThe head men’s basketball job at UDM remains vacant as we get deeper into Tigers baseball season and begin focusing on who will replace Stan Van Gundy as Pistons head coach and president.

Detroit Mercy Athletic Director Robert Vowels must decide if he should fill the job that was vacated after he fired Bacari Alexander after an 8-24 season, with a name coach or a coach who really wants the job and believes he can make a name for himself by turning the program around.

That man is former Saginaw High coach Lou Dawkins who won a couple of state titles at Saginaw with Golden State Warriors and former Michigan State stand out Draymond Green.

Dawkins, now an assistant at Cleveland State, wants this job more than anybody. The Titans job is not considered a plum assignment but Dawkins believes he will make Detroit great again. His former coach Tubby Smith and Green have gone to bat for him. He believes he can corner the recruiting base in Michigan after Michigan State and Michigan decide who they want.

Lou’s biggest downfall is that his son Christian, a young sports agent, was caught up in the federal investigation of college basketball corruption that brought down Louisville coach Rick Pitino and tarnished a number of other programs, including Arizona.

Lou said he knows nothing about his son’s activities and would be happy to talk to UDM officials about it.

The Titans could also look at former head coaches Stan Heath, who served as an assistant under Tom Izzo at Michigan State, and Mike Davis who took over for Bob Knight at the University of Indiana. Davis has led Texas Southern to a SWAC tournament or regular season championship the last six years.

He’d be a splashy name for the Titans but lacks strong Michigan ties for recruiting.

Heath was head coach at Arkansas, Kent State and South Florida and is currently head coach of the Lakeland Thunder of the NBA’s G league.  He attended Detroit Catholic Central High School and played at Eastern Michigan before becoming an assistant at Hillsdale, Albion, Wayne State and MSU.

 

 

Melvin Monkey

bully bully.jpgMelvin was a childhood friend who was severely mentally handicapped.

Back in the day we called people like this retarded. Melvin made a bunch of noises and we never knew what he was saying. He was loud and our parents never wanted him in the house because of it. But he was our boy and he was part of a group of eight to 10 of us 12-14 year olds who played tag, baseball, football and basketball.

I’m not proud of this today but we called him Melvin Monkey and I even used my creative writing skills to create the Melvin Monkey song. It was a harsh nickname but it came with our friendship and protection from other neighborhood kids that picked on him because of his limitations.

No one else was allowed to pick on him around us.

One day Melvin was playing in the alley between Vancouver and Oregon Streets when two bullies confronted him. They pushed him and called him “retard.” I told the boys to stop and they immediately turned their attacks on me.

“You friends with this animal?”

“You must be retarded too.”

I said I was if that meant being his friend. I told them one more time to leave Melvin alone.

By now Melvin was in a highly agitated state. He was yelling and jumping up and down.

Meanwhile one of my girls stopped by to see what was going on.

“This fool is defending this retard,” one of the boys said. “We should kick his ass.”

The girl was part of my crew.

“Well I guess you got to kick my ass too,” she said.

We both stood between the boys and Melvin until they finally backed down and left.

Melvin screamed “thank you.”

It was one of the few times that I understood what he said.

It was the only time I understood him.

Terry Foster Podcast s25 Thursday

Welcome Back!

Terry is joined by JD “The Smak” , Chauncey, and E.Lund

How coaches interact with athletes in college is changing. We discuss coaches who engage in abusive practices, or are they just real strict? Do student athletes have valid concerns or is it much ado about nothing? This and more on a Thursday edition of the Terry Foster Podcast.

Terry Foster Podcast s25 Monday

Welcome Back!

Terry is joined by JD ‘The Smak”, Chauncey, and E.Lund

Who are the people Terry does this podcast? We introduce our selves properly. We talk NBA and the future of the Pistons. The Lions always are up to something and we break it down. And what is ham?

There is a hot new show coming to town, you going? Detroit Sports are on a downswing for sure, and their relationship with the media isn’t all that great either. You don’t want to leave you sad. So we gush over the new Avengers movie.SPOILERS you’ve been warned.

All that and more on a new Terry Foster Podcast

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