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Funeral etiquette

Recently, I attended the funeral service for a very good friend. My friend that passed was of the “baby boomer”generation. “Boomers” being that generation of people born circa, the end of the second world war through the early nineteen-sixties. As I began the walk from my car to the church, the other mourners quickly came into view. I have to admit, I felt a bit of relief and comfort upon seeing those arriving men and women dressed in their “Sunday best” attire. Men dressed in suits and cashmere overcoats, trench coats and a wide assortment of dress hats. It brought back many memories seeing the “old school” hats: porkpies, fedoras, and homburgs many made from beaver skin. The women of my generation were not to be out dressed by the men on this day. They too were raised with full understanding of how to present themselves in paying respect to those who have “transitioned” and their families. The proper coats, suits and “church hats” were on full display. Let me tell you - it looked dignified and in my opinion highly appropriate.

The Smartest People on Earth

Let’s put the fictitious people of the film Black Panther’s country of “Wakanda” on the back burner for a while. Last week, I read about a real life village where, what may be, the smartest people on earth reside. The people of the North Sentinel Islands live in isolation from the outside world. Located in India on the Bay of Bengal, they are one of the few tribes left on earth living untouched and uninfluenced by the outside world. Contrary to what we have all been taught to believe, people can exist without the so-called “advances” that make up our current way of life. Known as the Sentinelese, the people of this remote island keep to themselves. There is no “welcome mat” out front as you approach this land. As a matter fact, it would be accurate to say the exact opposite is true. Visitors, snoops, interlopers, scientists, adventurers and the proverbial missionaries are all greeted the same way-with arrows and spears.   

Read more... check on the December 7th edition of Scoop USA Media

Remembering David Fattah

“Be nice!” That was David Fattah’s catch phrase, as well as, his walking away words to everyone he met. Meeting people is what David Fattah did. His business card modestly said he was the Director of Community Outreach for the House of Umoja. Anyone familiar with David and his work for young people, knows he was much more. He was a community leader, educator, counselor, a provider of food, information, jobs, network building and much more than I can list in this space. Most important, he was the “wise old head” for decades to whom anyone in the community could turn to for help. H.O.U., the legendary “Boys Town” of Philadelphia where many of the city’s young soldiers of the “gang war” era for the first time in their lives found the love and nurturing of family was his home. David was the patriarch of that family. Using a combination of tough love and intellect, he would educate “hard guys” about the history of whom they are and the power they possess. He strongly believed that “knowledge of self” is the launching pad for all anyone can become. 

To Read more, go to Scoop USA Media, December 14, 2018

Resolutions for the New Year

In a couple of days we will all be faced with that age old decision, of whether or not, to make a new year resolution. The idea of using the beginning of a year as motivation to put a stake in the ground and commit ourselves to doing better in the days to come, is noble and commendable. Or, they would be, if only we actually did any of the things we pledged. Research has concluded that eighty percent of new year resolutions made are broken by the end of February. 

Read more, Scoop USA Newspaper, December 28, 2018

Memories and dreams in the New Year

“What are you doing Near Year’s Eve?” This popular query was the unofficial theme for the big night when we would annually put an entire year of life into our memories. This saying, was something, of a phrase of a question, that for decades ruled as the post Christmas Day greeting or ice breaker. Maybe it’s my overactive imagination, but it seems to me, that for many years everyone I knew was doing something on New Year’s Eve. People of all ages seemed to have activities planned. The night of December 31 was rife with parties big and small. In the era when ballrooms, remember when Ballrooms thrived around the city, it seemed they were all booked on the biggest party night of the year. During my young adult years which occurred during the “disco” revolution, the dance clubs did brisk business on this night. Many of you will remember; Club Serendipity, The International Astro Disc, The Sex Machine, Whispers, and the legendary,  Impulse Disco.

Read more, Scoop USA Newspaper, January 4, 2019

The equal fights movement

With each passing week, it seems to me the difference in behavior between boys and girls or young men and young women becomes increasingly blurred. As a youngster growing up in West Philly, my recollection was of boys and girls conducting themselves very differently. I have memories of the young ladies speaking with what my curious ears grasped as a better command of the language. They spoke with words and sentence structure that chimed in a pattern much closer to what the teachers used in school. What I perceived as the sweet words coming from their mouths was far removed from the slang-filled corrupted English that was muttered as the boys huddled in the playground or on the front steps. 

Read more Community News with Jim Scott,  Scoop USA Newspaper, January 18, 2019



Weather or not?

Maybe it’s me, but am I the only one who’s getting confused by the weather forecasts?

It seems to me that not so long ago, the reporting of the weather report was simply a couple of minutes of straight forward information that you and your family could use. This was in the day when a fellow named Jim O’Brien delivered the forecast as part of a young Action News team. On the other channel, a youthful weatherman named Herb Clarke told us how we needed to dress tomorrow.

Read more, Scoop USA Newspaper, January 25, 2019

Pass the popcorn

For the past month we have all been inundated with the partial Federal Government shutdown. With each passing day, we were told of the personal tragedy of federal workers across the country, going without pay, and the hardships facing their families. We watched in horror as working people with quote “good” jobs were being forced to secure their groceries from food banks and charity drives. It was a daily reminder of “there but for the grace of God, go I.”

Read more, Scoop USA Newspaper, February 1, 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day A Philly Love

How do I begin to express the love I have for the city of my birth? As Valentine’s Day approaches let me offer the following 10 piece box of chocolates to the city of Philadelphia. To borrow from Victorian era poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, let me count the ways..

10. Philadelphia is a city where everyone can reach out and touch the Mayor. It may seem like a small thing, but in the previously fourth now fifth largest city in the country, the ability of the average citizen to have their 15 seconds with the city’s head honcho makes Philly a giant of a town offering small town access. Without any real effort, I have had at least an elevator length conversation with each mayor going back to my teen years and Frank Rizzo. Try to meet the mayor of New York, Los Angeles or Chi-Town walking through the neighborhood - it won’t happen.

Read More , Scoop USA Media, February 8, 2019

A Philly Love

6. Living in Philadelphia, I always felt blessed that we had our own media outlets. Black owned radio stations and newspapers. I would turn on the radio every morning and hear those rich voices telling me what was going on in the world and what we could do about it. The Tribune, Scoop, Leader and other papers kept us informed, aware and fore-warned. WHAT, WDAS and now WURD featuring broadcast legends like; Georgie Woods, Jocko, Louise Williams, W. Cody Anderson, E. Steven Collins, Ed Bradley, Brahin Ahmaddiya, Lady B, Patty Jackson and many others... make Philly a mecca of urban communications.

5. Growing up in Philadelphia, I had some of the best teachers. Many were the reason for today’s oft-quoted phrase “Old School.” I have great love for Commodore John Barry Elementary school where I was taught by neighborhood legends: Mr. Hampton, Mr. Witherspoon, Mrs. Hall and Vice Principal Huntsberger. I remember Mrs. Hall, a little old lady who was physically bent over, her picture had to be in the dictionary next to the word strict. 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, February 15, 2019

Is the Democrat “D” for desperate

In a little over a year, we Americans will be going to the polls again to elect the next President of the United States. If you haven’t figured it out already, hate to break the news to you, but it looks like the next President is going to be one Donald J. Trump. Yes. That Donald Trump. As much as I don’t like admitting it, we have to admit, he is the master of playing the dozens. Think about it, he nicknamed and joked his campaign rivals right out of the race. Who can forget his calling his opponents: “low-energy Jeb” “little Marco” “lying Ted” and still in circulation two and a half years later; “Crooked Hillary” and “Pocahontas.”

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 15, 2019