Sunday, June 23, 2019

SAINT GEORGE & THE POLITICIAN

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CHANCELLOR  -

BSC, CA – Saturday there was a first ever 'neighborhood fun day' at a church named St. George's Episcopal, located within walking distance of where I reside on the East Side of town. It had been a long time since I set foot inside an orthodox church, but I didn't know much about the Episcopal sect of Christianity. If I was there, it must be for a reason. I just needed to access the situation and wait for that small voice to elucidate.


Riverside is an interesting town. While very large, over 300K, it still isn't overly progressive in that suburban way which reflects its Ag roots. Magic is also fairly spread out and the influence of different groups exists for different locations. This influence is felt at St. George's since this is the most popular saint who ever fought a dragon. Most things of this nature are serpents; dragons are found more in knight or fable stories, aka, magic tales. I wasn't looking for something magical this time, I was hoping to speak to a politician.

Rusty Bailey is the current mayor and seems to have his head on straight, being local and a vet. I was hoping to ask the mayor if he was aware of the STEM high school plans for UCR? Follow-up question: did he know that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is being expanded with Art, making STEAM the latest thing in education circles? Also is Rusty a dad with a teenage daughter? 

Unfortunately Rusty was a no-show but he sent a stand-in, who stood in on the subject of the homeless.

File picture, Riverside
Magic sought seems to dissolve into something else so my questions about the dragon led to a labyrinth. The crowd was sparse but the booths were friendly and staffed by women, some of whom were knowledgeable about CBD, the non-reactive pain relief side of cannabis catching on in church circles of pain. Since my calling wasn't to spread the word of pot in the Bible, I looked around for another path, soon finding the Blessing of The Animals festival.

Pastor in charge





This Catholic festival based on Saint Francis of Assisi but observed by a Protestant church sect seems par for this section of town which is backed up against the tall foothills. You see, inside these foothills lies a group of donkeys, all related and that are descended from the originals that miners had around these parts were prospectors were prospecting.






We have these critters wondering around in search of some Shepherd and a church festival coming on October 4th. Is this a connection meant for the BSC to make? Stay tuned for updates on this story.

And now an Open Letter to UCR Chancellor, Kim Wilcox, via channels -


"Dear Provost Larive:

Please share this e-mail with Chancellor Wilcox, as it concerns him.

The June 6, noon to 1 pm meeting at the UCR Hub, Room 302, to discuss the STEM high school proposed to be built on the UCR campus, is obviously intentionally being held during finals and when the student government is otherwise occupied. That is undoubtedly because the UCR student body has clearly expressed its opposition to this project. And making empty and unenforceable promises that the soccer fields will be moved to the West Campus will not fool the now savvy students into welcoming this proposed project.

Furthermore, promising to move the soccer fields will not solve the primary problem with the proposed project: it is a completely illegal use of public funds and the government officials who persist in following this unlawful path when on notice of its illegality can be, and should be, "vigorously investigated and prosecuted" to use a phrase from the applicable state law about the misuse of school construction bond funds.

It is clear, without a doubt, that the use of Measure O funds to build this project is totally, completely, illegal under the Strict Accountability in Local School Construction Bond Act of 2000. That Act, which was how the Measure O bonds were passed, requires the measure on which people voted to provide voters with a list of the specific projects on which the bond money will be spent.

When RUSD put together Measure O, it made sure that the Measure gave voters such a list by incorporating, by reference, the RUSD 2016 Facilities Master Plan. That Facilities Master Plan does not have any reference to any new schools being constructed and certainly has no reference to a new STEM high school.

What that means is that Measure O funds cannot lawfully be used for any of these new projects that the RUSD Board now wants to build. That means that the proposed UCR STEM high school cannot lawfully be built using Measure O funds.

This is easy to understand. Anyone who can read -- including Chancellor Wilcox and the RUSD Board of Directors -- can read the applicable law, can read Measure O and its incorporation of the Facilities Master Plan of 2016, and can see that the UCR STEM high school is not listed. And once these people are put on notice that what they are doing violates the law, they have a fiduciary duty, as persons who control the expenditure of public funds, to look at the information and act on it.

So if UCR's Chancellor persists in trying to use Measure O funds for a STEM high school, he is aiding and abetting the intentional misuse of public funds by the RUSD Board. His attorneys should advise him to cease and desist from this unlawful plan.

Letitia E. Pepper, Esq.”

However it is this snippet from The Highlander that gives us the real skinny here in Riverdale.

“...means that the campus at large has no idea why he is acting the way he is, which is highly disturbing. In effect, not providing any semblance of transparency makes Wilcox’s decisions a total affront to the values of UCR as a community and to these figures in particular.

Furthermore, Wilcox has, by essentially firing these important administrators, called into question whether his vision is the best for UCR. Any long-term plan that involves ousting both the dean who made BCOE a national competitor and the dean who started the school of medicine had better have major payoffs. Thus, without the campus community knowing what changes Wilcox intends to implement, his vision for the campus can only appear misguided and notin the best interest of UCR.”



Stay tuned as this campus drama unfolds amid calls of someone not in their right mind [kra-kra].


Thursday, June 13, 2019

LOCAL MAN MAKES GOOD

ROOTS, Vol. 2 -

BSC, CA – Usually only a super hero gets an origin story, but Wiley Y. Daniel came into Denver like a bolt out of the blue, SHAMAN! Not the creation of some lightning and chemicals, or a mad scientist, it was Ida B. Seymour, a young woman college student at the University of Northern Colorado, who first met Wiley in his second year of Howard Law School, and ultimately brought Wiley to Colorado. In the deal he changed her last name.


As I sat in the Park Hill UMC gym looking at the man in the gold suit pictured on the back of the memorial program and listening to friend, colleague, co-worker, and church member speak to the impact my cousin had on and in their lives, I decided it would behoove the people there to know why Wiley had such an impart. The audience deserved to know Wiley's roots, at least as much as I knew, because they had filled me in on what I didn't know about my first cousin, his Denver side.

Wiley was from Louisville, a different kind of Southern town. It has the country's oldest horse race, and even during the days of segregation and Jim Crow laws, the infield of the Kentucky Derby was never segregated, ever! It was the peoples area to watch the race, together. It was here that Wiley Daniel watched the Kentucky Derby as part of the Louisville Male High School Marching Band. I was there too, as part of the ROTC Drill Team.

The horses that run in the Derby are thoroughbreds. This type of horse has a body that looks larger as it sits on top of these spindly-looking legs, but the ground shakes when the race group thunders by you as you watch from the Infield. It's a thrill that you don't expect. The Kentucky bred horses are also very classy. Kentucky leaves a stamp on you, be you a person, place, or thing. Wiley was classy, thrilling at a party in ways you didn't expect, but his personable humility shook the ground of the church he went to because he was different. Wiley wasn't a black man, he was a man who was black.

Louisville, like New York City and other places, has a Central Park, but Louisville has the second oldest Shakespeare In The Park series of the country. NYC is first. The black culture in Louisville and in other old cities with sophistication, mirrored the dominant upper class white culture because they were a part of it. The Daniel bloodline goes back to a young black tobacco assayer, hired because his weights were accurate [for the white farmers] who sold tobacco at auctions. This man was self-taught in English grammar. I know because he showed me his mail order books and I remembered seeing the series name elsewhere. He was my [and Wiley's] common grandfather, the first Wiley Daniel.

The first Wiley moved to the big city of Louisville, a former riverboat town on the Ohio, and known as the Gateway To The South. He started working as a waiter, a black-only job at the Seelbach, the city's first luxury hotel. At some point in his employment there, when he had his second, bigger house since he had three kids by now, he found a rich patron's wallet stuffed with money [as there was no plastic], pun intended. This patron was J. Graham Brown and he wanted his own luxury hotel.

Marveled at getting his wallet back intact, he waited in the hotel alley for my grandfather's shift to end a few nights later. He called OG Wiley over and made him an offer he couldn't refuse. 'Take a $1000 to Indianapolis and hire 50 good men to form a hotel staff, and he would be their captain.' Wiley Daniel then became Captain, or Cap'n Dan, later given a left-handed compliment in this book, ISBN 0-8131-1674-0. Mr. Brown, the only name I ever remember hearing, didn't want to take staff away from his friend's hotel, so he was hiring all out of town help. He had seen the honor of Wiley Daniel, who was the youngest of five brothers, none of whom lived in Louisville. Wiley was dark-skinned, had fine features, with neatly cropped hair. The year was 1922, almost a hundred years ago.

The wife of Wiley Daniel had also moved to Louisville, but as a child. Her mom had worked as a hotel maid, been raped twice resulting in two pregnancies, and had married a barber who took her to Louisville. She had two daughters but no kids by the barber and died at 36, always working outside the home. She was declared 'black' by the One Drop rule though she did not look black. The Jewish salesman father of the oldest daughter, Mary Belle, came back wanting to marry the mother of his child but the family had moved to Louisville with the barber. One day as Wiley walked to work, he spotted Mary Belle in the front yard with her younger sister, Edna Mae [Aunt Nettie] and they began to court. The step-father barber was dark-skinned. Wiley and Mary were married; he was 27, she was 16. The Daniel Family of Louisville began.

Wiley Y's father was the first born, and the only one noted in the aforementioned book, though the book was written after all four children had graduated college and had professional jobs. Mary Belle never worked outside the home and ran the house like Darth Vader, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Mary Belle developed a life long friendship with another 'one drop' woman named Anna Mae Hayden, and together they went places that 'blacks' [coloreds] couldn't go, starting with beauty salons since 'black places' couldn't properly do non-black hair. I remember seeing a picture [B&W] of Granny [as I called her] in her days as a flapper. She was hot. Anna Mae, who had grey eyes, became my god-mother after I was born and had a clear mind right up to the end. I saw her two weeks before she crossed over and we talked. I grew up in what looked like an interracial environment, grandparents-wise.

Living in the South during my time, I had questions to ask as I got older. My grandfather Wiley, always the peacemaker in the family, told me that when he and Granny were young, they had to carry papers [marriage license] to prove Mary Belle wasn't 'a white woman'. He also told me of the time before the Jim Crow laws were enacted by the city council. Whites and blacks went to the same places with no problems at all. Even before the flapper picture, Granny became cool when she told me of seeing a UFO in a marsh with her sister as they went to church one Sunday morning. This happened in Maude, Kentucky, a place that no longer exists, thanks to Southern white chicanery.

But that all changed with The Brown Hotel and Cap'n Dan, the name most people outside the family called my grandfather. It was 1923, the hotel was built and everything was in place, every thing but one final piece, a signature food dish. You couldn't have a grand hotel without one. A [white] French chef had been hired but he couldn't create anything Mr. Brown liked and the hotel would be open in a week. Then Cap'n Dan went to Mr. Brown, like the head guard to Nebuchadnezzar, and said [paraphrased], “I know a guy who can help you.” Daniel 2:25

Photo credit, Derek Cashman
The guy Cap'n Dan knew was one of the crew hired in Indianapolis who sometimes cooked for the waiter staff. No one would hire a black chef, not even in Indy, so the cook hired on as a waiter. My grandfather knew this so he had this guy make the first 'Hot Brown' to taste test and the hotel owner loved it. This happened in the last week leading to the Grand Opening. For that 'thorn in the paw removal' moment, coupled with everything else, Captain Dan was granted Carte Blanche within the white business class by J. Graham Brown. The dining/waiter class is still renown today and the hotel was voted #1 in Kentucky as late as 2019, Southern Living. The unnamed black chef, actual creator of the world famous sandwich, was rewarded also by Mr. Brown. Today the sandwich credit is given both the wrong year and credited to a German. This mindset is why all the cousins of my generation left Kentucky and the Louisville hood. Given the flap over the Lincoln Statue, commissioned to a black artist but officially photographed with 3 white kids and not the artist's grand kids, this mindset seems to be alive and well.

In the book Two Centuries of Black Louisville, ISBN 978-1-935497-36-3, page 141, there is a picture of the waiter/cook staff that was headed by Capt Dan grouped in the grand ballroom. The picture was commissioned by Mr. Brown in 1945 and one in the original size used to hang on our front room wall in a museum quality frame. If you look in the row of black-tuxes and search for the most diminutive person, that's Capt Dan [#11]. They list Wiley Y. as 5'6” though I never remember Wiley being shorter than me, and I am 5'11”. Also if you go down the row another 3 people to #14, that man is my father, probably the biggest guy in the picture. My father didn't know about the picture taking because my grandfather didn't tell him on purpose, as a joke. My father did work there occasionally for extra pocket money, but he was stationed at Fort Knox because the war was on. The reason for the picture was the staff keeping the hotel open in 1937 during Louisville's great flood. My father hadn't worked there then since the war and Fort Knox brought him to Louisville.

In 1923 the Brown Hotel opened, the Hot Brown became a reality, my grandfather bought his third house on the corner of 22nd and Magazine with $5 in his pocket, thanks to Mr. Brown. This impressed his wife Mary Belle and my mother was born nine months later, in December. She became the youngest sister to Wiley B. Daniel, her oldest brother. The 'B' originally came to Cap'n Dan because the official employment form required a middle name initial. In my grandfather's day, middle names weren't given to rural people, so Mary Belle suggested 'B' when Cap'n Dan asked his wife what to put in that spot. Evidently the Seelbach Hotel didn't require that on their waiter forms. The 'B' was for Bowman, Mary Belle's maiden name. Wiley's first son was the one to actually use the full name, but his father, Cap'n Dan, never used the middle name, only the initial. Wiley Y. or Wiley Young Daniel's middle name is his mother's maiden name, Lavinia Young.

Wiley Y's other grandfather, the parent of Lavinia or, Aunt Beanie, also bought a large house. 'Papa', as we called Wiley's other grandfather, worked as a red cap. A redcap loaded cargo and helped passengers get their belongings, such as baggage, onto a train for tips. A Pullman porter assists the passengers once they are on the train and are paid by the railroad. Both Papa and 'Miss Sterling', his wife, were good-natured people. I don't recall anyone ever saying something bad or gossiping about them. Since Louisville natives, black and white, don't carry that hillbilly dialect from the rest of the state or have a deep Southern drawl, at dinner parties, if you closed your eyes, you would swear it was a Republican gathering with the subjects covered, especially sports. I learned to shoot pool in Wiley's parents basement along with ping pong in the game room.

Of the four male cousins born, three from Cap'n Dan and Mary Belle, and one from Mary Belle's sister, Edna Mae, Wiley and I were the most like brothers. Our two families saw each other several times a week and always on a Friday. The two of us collected football and baseball cards, with football Wiley's fav and baseball mine. We mirrored each other in other ways, like being in the Boy Scouts, though not the same troop. We also collected comics.

In other ways we were completely different. I never went to a school where my relatives taught but Wiley did. One Christmas when we both got a Schwinn, it was two different models for us. We both loved music but Wiley got the talent to play from his dad, Wiley Bowman, who everyone called WB or [Uncle] Dub, a collective sound formed by both initials. We attended different churches; Wiley and his parents went to Quinn Chapel, my folks went to Plymouth Congregation. And we both danced at parties. If you have seen Wiley move on the dance floor, then you have seen me dance also because Wiley and I have the same rhythm to music. We also cracked jokes, usually off the top of our heads, but mine were more satirical. Wiley could also rock a bow tie. His fashion sense came from his mother, who could have been a home decorator rather than a teacher, had the opportunity been made available to her.

Wiley and the remainder of the four cousins, Kenny, Reginald, and myself were born when there were two separate cultures, mirrors of each other. You had a pecking order in both, but in our homes we didn't speak of how 'the man' was holding us back. We spoke of Biblical history, as in every people had been a slave group to someone else, as well as every group had their day in the sun. The present time is the final age because these are the last days. “When you leave this home and go out into the world, remember you are the sole representative of your race to everyone who sees you. I love you right or wrong, but I hope that you are always right.” - Cap'n Dan

By the time that Wiley and I graduated high school, perceived racial differences had begun to disappear and general questions like, what color dandruff do you have [?], had been answered. Jim Crow was also on the decline. Notions like 'no black man could ever be a quarterback or a jet pilot' were disproved, but the youth of today know nothing about the real history of America unless they have seen Green Book or The Best of Enemies. Even then, how many people would know that blacks drove GM products because that's where blacks worked (Motown =s motor town), and whites drove Ford products because they knew no blacks built their cars since Ford didn't hire black people. This factual quirk is seen in both films.


However, as I sat in the packed church in the morning and later in the gym that evening, listening to person after person touting Wiley's impact on their life and why, there was and is a question of how Wiley did what he did. I asked our common grandfather, Wiley Daniel/Cap'n Dan, the same question decades ago, but I had already reached a conclusion at this point. “Granddaddy, does your Daniel bloodline go all the way back to the Biblical Daniel?” He looked at me and just smiled, then he left the room. Another time I questioned him about losing the pictorial record of the family. His response, “Look for us in history. We're in print.”

My entire family seemed to have an air of mystery about them. In fact, within the same Black Louisville history book, on page 189 at the gate to Fountain Ferry, a segregated amusement park, you can find me as a kid holding a picket sign and walking last in line at the protest. This was the only demonstration that my mother blessed me in going to, being the only one she knew about.

Wiley Y. Daniel was smart, witty, and personable, but a lot of people are. What made Wiley different was his bloodline, which is unique by being ancient. It's hard to know of the circus when you are born under the big top. There is one other important source contribution to the man and judge you know as Wiley Young Daniel which made him special. It is J.Graham Brown and the Brown Hotel because the Daniel family of Louisville, Kentucky, gained emancipation through Fated moments like in a fable.

This is the history that made Wiley Y. Daniel a man who was black, rather than a black man, and a Judge people will long remember in Colorado civic circles, all thanks to Ida Seymour, the Denver girl who married a Louisville man, and brought him home.


End of Part 1. For the trip to and fro, including city impressions beyond the memorial services, see Part 2, Night of The Body Snatcher, coming soon.