My failures as a father

It is a few days after Father’s Day.

Today I have failed my son Brandon as a dad and I feel bad about it.

I took my son to the barber, because he wanted a different hair style. Yet, he stepped from the barbers chair with the same style he walked in with although it was a little neater. I should have been more assertive and told the barber what the boy wanted.

But I want the boy to fend for himself, to communicate what he wants in life on his own. That did not happen today and I stood by and watched it happen. The burden is on me. A dad needs to take charge.

The boy is 6-foot-3 and is 17 years old. He cannot play basketball or baseball. That’s on me also. I worked two jobs for most of my life and was never home for the prime time sports time between a son and his dad to learn how to hit through a baseball and not pop it up, how to do a drop step in basketball and how to block out.

I wasn’t even there many weekends. I was often out of town and sometimes exhausted on a Saturday morning or afternoon when I was in town. He instead played soccer, a sport that I never believed suited him well.

I always felt like I needed to chase the next big story or radio show. I put job ahead of family.

He should have been honing his skills in basketball or baseball.

I have not ignored the boy for 17 years. I am his writing coach and sometimes life coach. He has a big heart and treats people with respect. Brandon loves to work with those less fortunate and even coached developmentally challenged kids in soccer. He works hard in school and his goal is to attend Michigan State University. I wanted both of my children to have a better chance at making it in life than I did.

That part has been a success. He lives in a neighborhood where he is not chased by thugs trying to steal his money as I was. He does not have to mingle with drug dealers, numbers runners and just bad ass duded as I did.

He’s thought about college way before I did. Nobody went to college in my family when I was younger and I just thought that was the way life was for inner city kids. But good friends began to show me a path toward higher education and I graduated from Central Michigan University after four years.

My best gifts on Father’s Day were not the cards or lunch. It was the notes I received from my children Celine and Brandon.  Celine said she learned work ethic and how to write because of me.

Brandon said I have taught him a lot about how life works and he appreciates the time we spend together.

The words meant a lot. They were appreciated by the old man.

I just feel like I must do more.







A better plan for good health

surgery.jpgThe old me did not want to know what was going on inside my body.  I figured that if I were not feeling pain or discomfort that if something bad was brewing that it would eventually go away.

The new me wants to know everything that is going on in my body. If I am not feeling pain or discomfort today that it could eventually hit me.

Which is the smarter strategy for good long term health?

You guess it. Option two.

On Thursday I will be under the gas at Beaumont Hospital while doctors figure out why my stomach started leaking blood. I look forward to the procedure because obviously I want to know what the hell is wrong also.

My doctor said to pray that it is an early stage ulcer. I feel no pain. There is no blood in bowel movements. It’s as if everything is normal. If we decided to ignore it and let nature take care if things I would be doubled over in pain eventually and would face serious health risks.

Doc said we caught it “very, very early” which means it should be treated and I will be bugging you guys for a long time on twitter and which ever platform awaits in the future.

The procedure is called an Esophago Gastro Duodenosopy. In plain English it means they drop a camera with a flash light into my stomach and look for the tear..  Doctors will either fix the problem or prescribe medication to mend it.

That’s if it is an ulcer. If it is something else surgery down the road is possible. But I’m told that we caught the problem so early that surgery is not likely. I will be fine.

I will carry your thoughts and well wishes into the hospital. Thank you.

I write this blog for the many men and women who believe that if they are feeling fine then everything must be good inside. I felt really good the day my doctor said my blood work came back with a problem.

My numbers were really good, except my blood levels were lower than they should be. It was not a problem in December. It was a problem in May.

I had sprung a leak some where.

Now it is time to fix it and move on.

Now we patch it up and we move on.

Dan Gilbert illness hits close to home

gilbertWhen business man Dan Gilbert experienced stroke like symptoms it hit close to home.

I wondered what those symptoms were and how he felt at the time. I experienced similar symptoms nearly three years ago when my blood pressure hit the ceiling and I suffered what was considered a mild stroke. Although I lost my voice for a while and could not step or type I feel close to normal now.

I don’t feel like the old guy that used to dance around and act a fool. That guy died and was replaced by a calmer, less aggressive and not quite as sharp version of the old guy.

I am still Terry Foster. But perhaps it would be more accurate to call me Terry Foster lite.

I am not the same old guy, but at least my family can still hug and love a version of me. I can still love and feel love. And that’s not all bad.

Every time somebody I know of gets a stroke I relive the anguish of my two strokes.  It troubled me to learn of the death of film maker John Sngleton who died in April at age 51 of a stroke. I cried when my childhood friend Lamont died of a stroke about four months after mine.

I feel fortunate that I am still here to kick it with friends, watch my children grow and to bug and hug my wife. I can still do a lot of things, but at a slower pace and in more moderation.

One of my doctors said that I have done a wonderful job in eating correctly and working the body. But he said I needed to exercise the brain more. He recommended that I do similar things that I loved prior to the stroke. So I blogged more and did podcasts and posted videos on face book and twitter.

I did too much. My blood pressure shot up again and I began feeling sluggish and feeble. I had plans to go out with friends for the holidays. But I called everybody up to post pone our dates and hoped they understood.

I must do something to keep the brain sharp or doctors feel that depression could set in. I must still live my life, but not at break neck speed.

When I go out with my pals Melissa,  Trevor, Wojo and my new pals at the gym I do it for more than having a good time. It is part of my new therapy to engage and keep sharp. My first inclination most days is to stay to myself and not interact with society.

That is not good for me.

Dan Gilbert is a very important man with a plate full of projects and ideas. Here is my advice to him. Do not do too much, but you still must remain active and keep moving Detroit forward at a pace you feel comfortable with.

Take your blood pressure daily and monitor your numbers like never before.

A stroke is a deadly disease, but there is life after stroke for some of us. There is a second chance and a second life for some of us.

Let’s take advantage of it.



Trying to sound right, not white

fresh nation3My Saturday mornings are spent at the old Tiger Stadium site where the Detroit Police Athletic League holds shop.

PAL hosts baseball, soccer and football games which provides entertainment outside the windows during our morning sessions. I am not there for the games. Rather I help out with PAL’s Fresh Nation project designed to expose  middle school and high school kids to broadcasting and journalism.

I am a mentor along with Stephanie Davis of WWJ 950 AM. The two hours there are easily the highlight of my week. Some of the students are so good that we nicknamed them “The Dream Team” and I am hoping some of them break into the mass media in Detroit or nationwide.

One boy said he has switched his career goals from being a scientist to a sports journalist.

I have a disturbing story however. We asked students to record a news cast and all went well until we got to one of the eighth graders. She covered her ears when we played her tape back.

I was taken back because I thought her opening was pretty solid. I asked why she didn’t want to hear the recording.

“Kids make fun of me because they say I talk proper,” she said. “They say that I am trying to sound white.”

I identified with the girl. It was the same crap I heard as a child growing up on Detroit’s west side. Has nothing changed in the last 50 years?

This girl was not trying to sound white. She wanted to sound right. She has potential and she is not going to get a broadcast job splitting her verbs or trying to be street.

As Don King would say. Only in America.

Black kids. We must do better. Those who try to better themselves are not trying to be white. They are trying to make it in the world and you do a disservice by making fun of them and trying to discourage them from greatness.

I used to catch all kinds of crap for reading books on the front porch in the summer. Books were my escape from my neighborhood and the noise that filled it. I read because I wanted to know what was outside my tiny world on Vancouver street.

Even some adults teased me and accused me of wanting to be a white boy.

So are you telling me that being black in the hood means being stupid and less than? I don’t buy that.

When I was a kid I did not want a job. I wanted a career. That is what I fought for in the class room and by reading books. I talked the way I did because the old women that raised me demanded that I not butcher the English language.

They made demands of me and I tried to meet them. There are so many ridiculous demands that some black people put on blacks who are trying to escape poverty and the hood.

A few years ago I wrote a story on black boys that loved to play baseball on Detroit’s east ide. But they kept their passion on the down low from friends, who made fun of them for liking baseball.

And do you know what they were accused of? You guessed it.

Trying to be white.

Terry Foster Podcast 36

Welcome back!

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

Who is the Detroit athlete of the year for 2018? It’s not a name you’d think of. E.Lund gives some cooking tips that are now legal. What are you drinking on NYE? And what’s a good word to describe the Michigan football season? Plus lots more in this newest Terry Foster Podcast.

Terry Foster Podcast s35 Monday

Welcome back!

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

Smak tells us the tale of going to the Dan Gilbert family of companies Christmas mega-party downtown. Terry has some words for the people in charge of District Detroit. Are on line reviews useful? Terry isn’t so sure. Smak though is sure about sauce on his ribs and much more on the freshest new Terry Foster podcast.

Terry Foster Podcast s34

Welcome back!

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

Terry’s washing machine decided to disrespect his house and flood. We talk about home disasters we’ve encountered.

The college football playoffs are all set. We break it down including how the format should be changed. Another upcoming event is the Autoshow. Terry likes that it’s moving to June. We don’t all agree.

Pistons are not totally awful, so we give them some airtime. An NFL coach is fired 30 minutes after losing a game. We talk about going downtown, and so much more on this fresh Terry Foster Podcast.

The clock is ticking on Harbaugh

goofy harbaughThe The clock never strikes zero on some games.

Michigan’s 62-39 loss to Ohio State is one of them. In other words Wolverine nation, the world and our entire community will live that game for years to come. It was a statement game that we won’t soon forget.

It still runs in our minds which means the clock has yet to strike zero.

Michigan seems to have a lot of those games because the program is so well established and followed and does not live up to expectations.

One game that never struck zero was the stunning loss to Appalachian State in 2007.

Who was like me and believed Michigan had a decent chance to win the OSU game? Who was like me wondering what the heck is going on as the points kept rolling for the Buckeyes?

You can’t blame the refs or bad weather or bad luck for this one. This was a bullet between the eyes.

This is not just another loss to Ohio State. This is a black eye. This is a dagger and this opens up debates that will haunt the program.

For instance, if the losses to OSU continue Michigan must fire the man the administration and most of its fan base believed was the savior. Harbaugh received a pass that no other coach in the nation would receive in Ann Arbor. He kept losing to the States (Ohio State and Michigan State) and folks kept believing he’d turn this around.

He was beyond criticism in Wolverine nation.

For instance Harbaugh made a huge tactical error in 2015 against MSU when he sent two gunners out to defend the last punt of the game instead of using maximum protection. The play resulted in a bobbled snap, muffed punt and a last second touchdown by the Spartans Jalen Watts-Jackson.

Most Michigan fans called the play a fluke and refused to lay blame on Harbaugh.

Now the honeymoon is officially over for Harbaugh. He must realize that winning 10 games without beating Ohio State or at least winning a Big Ten title is not good enough. There are different expectations at UM.

This is supposed to be a football power, not Iowa with better uniforms.

You must beat your rival now and then. Bo Schembechler was a hero for going 5-4-1 against Woody Hayes in the 10-year war. Bo, by the way, was a heavy underdog in his first game against Ohio State but found a way to win.

Harbaugh is now being compared to former Ohio State Coach John Cooper — except Cooper accomplished more. Cooper was 111-43-1 at Ohio State, won three Big Ten titles, a Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. But his 2-10-1 record against Michigan got him fired. Three times Michigan beat unbeaten Buckeye teams under Cooper.

Michigan fans clamored for Ohio State to keep Cooper just like Buckeyes are screaming for Michigan to keep Harbaugh.

While Harbaugh prepares his team like he is Bo Jr. current OSU coach Urban Meyer has turned up the heat in Columbus with speedy and strong players that can compete with and beat anyone in the country outside of Alabama. And he long ago abandoned the three yards and a cloud of turf offense Harbaugh imposes.

Michigan can never beat Ohio State with this current style. OSU is 11-1 but played terrible football this season until it faced Michigan. The Buckeyes got run off the field at Purdue and were in dog fights with Maryland, Penn State and Nebraska.

Michigan was playing better football until it was on the same field with Ohio State.

The clock is now ticking on a game that will never end and on Harbaugh.





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