Advertisements

A fun and prideful day

We walked in a sea of rainbows. There were rainbow flags and T-shirts and even rainbow socks.

I took my daughter Celine and her friend tall Grace to the Motor City Pride festival that celebrates the lives of the  LGBTQ community. She has always been a supporter because a number of her friends are Gay and she’s known a few high school kids that killed themselves because they did not get support from family or friends because they were Gay or transgender.

I also believe this was a test to see how tolerant dad was. Would I refuse to take her? Would I make excuses not to go? Would I make jokes about the people or the event?

None of that happened and I believe I passed with flying colors as a dad that afternoon. The original plan was to spend a sunny afternoon with Celine downtown. I thought we would hit a favorite Corktown restaurant, visit a friend who owns a T-shirt shop downtown and hit the new Avalon Bakery.

Celine threw in one more stop. And I was fine with it.

I learned something that day.

Celine wants to know a little bit about everybody. She has studied the LGBTQ community, joined a Muslim group and is up on the politics in England and France. Our next stop might be a Black Lives Matters rally.

During Motor City Pride we took photos with people, heard their stories and learned more about the LGBTQ community. There were no anti-Gay protests or gay slurs that I heard of. That shows how different the world that my daughter enjoys as a teenager than my world as a teenager.

“Have a prideful day,” people greeted.

There is no way an event like this could happen in the 1970s and be this peaceful. There remain people that want to do harm to the Gay community because they are “different.”. They want to murder and yell at these people. A part of me wondered if the $5 cover charge was to ensure that haters would not camp out in front of tables and disrupt things.

If you have to pay to attend an event you are less likely to act a fool.

Celine has asked me if I would still love her if she were a lesbian. The answer is easy. Absolutely yes. I am a parent for life and I’ve witnessed parents who abandoned their children because of race, religion and sexual preference.

It is no fun for either side. I have to believe there is a hole in your heart and your life if you don’t have your child in your life. Outside of my kids becoming murderers and really, really bad people I’m sticking by their sides.

I also don’t care who you love and who you lay down with at night. It is none of my business. You can do what you want just as long as it doesn’t harm me and harm my country.

I don’t care.

Celine brought her friend from high school, tall Grace, and we had an enjoyable afternoon.  Celine and Grace enjoyed their first hamburger at the Mercury Bar. We took photos by some of the art work in Corktown and by the Spirit of Detroit. We enjoyed cookies at Avalon Bakery and visited my friend James who runs DSE T-Shirts on Grand River near the YMCA.

We also hit Midtown before heading home.

“Father I want to thank you for bringing us downtown,” Celine said as we hit the Lodge for the ride home. “We really had a great time.”

So did I. It was a prideful day in more ways than one.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Hello. My name is Cookie

Freshly baked sugar cookies on a white backgroundNo one called me Terry at home while growing up on the west side of Detroit.

They called me Cookie. My grandmother and aunt, who raised me, said I had a big, round head that was shaped like a giant mall sugar cookie. So I became Cookie.

Could you imagine what my byline may have looked like in the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News all these years?

By Cookie Foster, Free Press Sports Writer

Or

By Cookie Foster, The Detroit News.

How about the Valenti and Cookie show?

None of my friends called me Cookie. I was plan old Terry to them, although a number of them tried to figure out if my real name was Terrance. It was not. I am just plain old Terry Foster. I am one of 10 percent of the nation without a middle name.

My family could not decide on a name. Some wanted to name me Ronald or Eugene after my father. They settled on Terry, the name of a great grand father I never met or knew about.

My grand mother, cousin and aunt must not have big fans because I remember being called Cookie when I could barely walk.

What if the name had stuck. Could you imagine meeting LeBron James or Michael Jordan, extending a hand, and saying “Hi. My name is Cookie from the Detroit News?”

 

 

 

 

JD Martinez a Tiger for life if Mike Ilitch were alive

The Tigers are telling people that they might not be able to afford slugger JD Martinez and may trade him before he becomes a free agent after the 2017 season.

If Mike Ilitch were alive we would not hear such silly talk. JD would be part of the Tigers long-term future. Whether the moves were right or wrong, Mike Ilitch made things happen as Tigers owner.

When Ilitch died earlier this year a part of the Tigers died along with him.

He did what he thought was best for the Detroit Tigers and their fans. He did not always do what was best for the bottom line. Now his son Chris Ilitch and wife Marian Ilitch are making the decisions. And no matter how many times Chris says things won’t be different you can bet things are going to be different for the Tigers.

The bottom line will play a bigger role which means General Manager Al Avila must make better baseball decisions with a budget engrained in the back of his mind if the Tigers are to remain contenders.

Mike Ilitch’s mentality was I am a billionaire. I can take a few financial risks because this is best for fans.

Bringing in Prince Fielder did not make sense or dollars and cents, but it happened under Ilitch. There’d be no JV and Miguel Cabrera on the same team and under the same payroll without Ilitch.

There would not even be the added expense of Tiger statues at Comerica Park if not for Mike Ilitch.

And soon it looks like a 29 year old slugger is going to get away because times are different. The Tigers don’t want to hit the luxury tax. I get it. But with Anibal Sanchez ($16.5 million), Ian Kinsler ($11 million) and Francisco Rodriguez ($6 million) coming off the books, the Tigers could make JD a priority.

Of that group Kinsler is the only guy you want to keep.

That’s if this was just about getting under the luxury tax. However, I believe the Tigers want to turn a profit in this age of declining attendance and revenue. The best way to do that is to set a payroll budget, which they do every year, and stick to it, something Mike Ilitch did not always do.

I’d hate for Tiger fans to see JD Martinez in a San Francisco Giants or New York Yankees uniform saying they wish they had a guy like this on their roster.

That’s what they say in Houston. You don’t want to be like those people.

 

 

 

 

Drive time

yellowstoneMy sister in-law Denise will drive to Michigan for the weekend and think nothing of it. Then she will repeat the process the following weekend.

She lives in Charlotte and has arrived on a Friday night and is back on the road for home by 4 in the morning Sunday. I am the exact opposite. If I don’t see the word Delta on the side of my ship I’m not going.

My longest road trips are to Traverse City and Mackinaw Island. So quite naturally when we take my daughter Celine to Stanford in Palo Alto, Ca. I want to drive instead of fly. I want to go to Jackson Hole, Wy, see Yellowstone National Park and swing over to Seattle before heading down to the Bay area.

My family thinks I’m nuts and quickly nixed the idea. They want to fly into the Bay area, head to Target, set the dorm room up and leave. That makes more sense but is not as fun.

Yellowstone is the only major national park I have not seen and Seattle is one of my favorite cities. I want to see more of the country. One of my favorite family vacations was a driving trip.

We drove to Indianapolis, St. Louis, Memphis, Louisville, the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky and home in 10 days. We were within 4-5 hours of our next destination and I did not get worn down by the trip.

Driving from Michigan to Wyoming is a haul but I’m willing to do it once. My family is not. I’ve always been interested in Yellowstone and the cowboy towns that surround it. I might even wear cowboy boots and a hat.

You can just call me Quick Draw Terry.

Seattle is a great walking town, has great restaurants and natural beauty. And I’m willing to bet it has a Target too.

Let’s do it.

 

Black pride

celine graduates
Celine Foster shows off her diploma with mom and dad

Football player/ scholar Garrett Winn and my daughter Celine Foster were named Most Representative Students during the West Bloomfield Honors Convocation which is sort of like being named seniors of the year.

Both were Summa Cum Laude, which means you had a 4.0 grade point average and above and they drew the praise of black parents and grand parents. Both are black and for the older generation it gave them a sense of pride because it chipped away at an annoying stereotype that black people are not smart.

One lady approached Celine and said: “I was clapping for you as if you were my own daughter. This was huge.”

Sadly this is an issue. If you are black in America you have been told at some point that you are not smart enough and that you don’t belong. And some of that comes from other black people.

In a diverse school like West Bloomfield this was a big deal to some people. Winn is going to play football at the Naval Academy and Celine is going to study at Stanford.

Celine finished her high school career with a 4.39 grade point average, scored high in the ACT, wrote a brilliant essay that the Stanford admissions director praised, but she still was told by some folks the only reason she got into Stanford, Michigan and three Ivy League schools was because she is black.

Celine is a clown because she is sometimes messy but she works her ass off and is smart and personable. She is also the best writer in the family.

According to some folks I’ve never earned a job in sports journalism. I had to hear the same thing even when I got a prep job at The Detroit Free Press when I was 25 years old.

I heard the same when I was paired with Mike Valenti at 97.1 FM. I am not the only one. I have swapped stories with ESPN’s Mike Wilbon, the late Bryan Burwell and Drew Sharp. We were all told the same as we worked our way up from preps, to the NBA and later as columnists.

“You only got this job because you are black. You are taking away from a more qualified candidate.”

Would that better candidate have identified that the Freep was covering preps in its zone edition the wrong way and fight to change it? Would that better candidate had covered the Bad Boy Pistons better and earned their trust?

And would that better candidate been able to break a number of stories over the years because he or she earned the trust of athletes and coaches? I doubt it.

It used to annoy me but now I find it comical. I thought that issue was dead until Celine told me several people have told her the color of her skin rather than the quality of her work got her into key schools.

One girl caught Celine in one of those moods when she told her she s not quality enough for Cornell, Brown and Dartmouth and the only reason she got in was because she was black.

“I don’t see you going to any of the Jewish kids, the white kids or the Asian kids when you don’t understand your school work,” Celine told her. “You come to me.”

Case closed.

I was told not to go into journalism because it is not what blacks do. That came from my high school mentor who was black. Thankfully I ignored her and had a pretty good career at the Free Press, News and two radio stations.

The bottom line is if you believe in yourself and know you are qualified, you belong no matter what people say.

I am proud of my career just as I am proud of Celine. I got my job because I was the right person. She got into Stanford because she is smart and the right fit for the school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running man — again

The whiffle game between the parents and the kids was tied 11-11 in the bottom of the seventh. I was standing on first when teammate Bart Hodge sent a screamer into right field.

It looked like a double and I was determined to score from first and win the ball game. I rounded second and felt a slight bit of weakness in my legs but they kept on churning. Then I rounded third and was headed for home as parents screamed for me to score.

Just as I was about to touch home plate I saw the ball secured by one of the kids and I was tagged out about three feet from home. The screaming stopped and I sat on the bench, waiting for us to finish hitting.

I felt good and bad at the same time. Let me explain.

I did not score the game-winning run. I did not round the bases as quickly as I used to, but this was a big moment. I was running. I was not Forest Gump fast but a shade quicker than lumbering Victor Martinez.

However, it felt great to feel the wind blowing in my face again. I can run again, which I could not do a few weeks ago. That was one of the deficits that remained as I recover from a stroke in the fall.

My run ended up in failure but it was probably my most satisfying run since winning the 100-yard dash during a track meet in middle school. I was initially disappointed but my wife Abs was jumping up and down for joy. I am returning to 100 percent, I hope.

In October I was a fall risk at Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield. Now I do three miles of brisk walking on the tread mill daily at Planet Fitness. When I tried to run my legs got all rubbery and shut down.

You take things in life for granted. Running was one of them for me. I was one of the fastest guys in my soft ball league last year when a stroke slowed me down in more ways than one.

I am determined to be completely healthy through diet, exercise and these vitamins I have been taking. I went from 227 pounds to 185 pounds. Some people do not recognize me. I continue to get better every day.

I feel good, but not great. Greatness will have to wait but I know it is coming, just like my ability to run.

I am just going to take it one step at a time.

Welcome to my new blog and pod cast

Hello again.

My name is Terry Foster and I am the guy that used to write for the news paper in Detroit and did sports talk radio.

My life was on a roll until I suffered a stroke last year and my life has changed. I blame myself for not monitoring my blood pressure better. A doctor has since told me that I may have been dealt a bad set of veins inside my brain and they were ticking time bombs ready to clog up.

I was lucky. The veins became sluggish, but not clogged. So I lived another day.

I am a new man and I want to share my thoughts with old friends in this blog and through podcasting. I will talk about my new life, my old life, Detroit sports, or whatever else crosses my mind. It will be personal at times. And I will rap on real life and real issues.

In other words I want to be a voice, no matter how small it may be now.

I also need your help. I want to pay the people helping me and donate to charities I’ve worked with.  Heart to Hart passes out food, blankets, clothing and personal items to the homeless while the Enchanted Barn saves and houses mistreated animals and has inner city kids come out and  learn to take care of them.

My pal Melissa runs the Enchanted Barn and needs our help.

I got involved with Heart to Hart after seeing people huddle near steam pipes on cold winter days after leaving Lion games at night. My heart sank seeing this.

Selfishly I still want to get my word out and entertain even though I am retired. And why not tryet to help those that help others?

I will continue my blog also. I plan to peck out a few words that I hope entertain you, and move you to action, tears or laughter. If you don’t care what I have to say I won’t be offended. Move on. Nothing to see here.

I will try to help you lose weight.

I will try to help you get healthy.

And I will do the impossible. I will try to get you to understand the Detroit Lions.

And I will eventually pick up a note pad and try to break a story or two. I need to talk to my league people first.

I hope you enjoy. I do believe there is room to praise me or rip me. Go ahead. We are friends.

I will not comment about Donald Trump because pro Trump and anti Trump people are like roaches. They never go away and they keep barking the same nonsense for weeks at a time.

How am I feeling since quitting radio? Good but not great. Doctors say I won’t fully recover until the fall. But I no longer get evening headaches and am not exhausted at the end of the day.

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you return again.