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Love: A Father’s Legacy

black-fatherBy Ruth L. Stevens

The words I was hearing rang familiar, I listened in awe: The words were flowing, he was saying, “I was so confused, my life seemed to have turned upside down. Where could I turn for direction? To Daddy! I had to see him! He could make things right for me”. Arriving home, I packed a few things and got into my car for the eight hundred mile drive. I drove all night and when I arrived home the following morning, mother met me at the door. She did not know I was coming and was clearly surprised. Almost at once I asked, “Where is he Daddy?” She said, “He is over in the back field doing some planting”. I headed for the back, he saw me coming and headed toward me and instantly I knew he would know the solution! (This was brother Bo-Jay).

On another occasion, I heard words from another’s voice saying, “I could do anything if he were there”. “I remember him teaching us boys to dive, and he would say ‘Jump’ and I would sail through the air like a bird without fear or doubt because I knew there was no way anything could happen to me with him there”. (Brother Ruben we call Jabow).

He fathered twelve children and he has twelve separate rooms in his heart. Each child left a love so deep and binding that he/she thought, “I am the special one”.

Only once did I see him in real pain, when he lost his first-born son John Charley! He was like the old oak tree with all its leaves stripped from it, standing stark and bare against a stark and cold sky. He dwelled in a space only the two of them could shard! HIS GRIEF WAS SO INWARD NO ONE DARED TRESPASS! The only time I can remember him leaving us totally!

Then one day the word came, someone saying to me, “Ruth, I have to tell you something, be strong, your father has made his transition”. I could not contemplate it. No! No! I felt myself falling, it seemed into a dark bottomless pit of nothingness—I hear another voice speaking, “I had only two friends and Daddy was number one. I look out the kitchen window and I see him and he’s gone”. (Brother T. Warren G.). The voices go on and on, all eleven of them. “Daddy said this, Daddy said that. Daddy did this, Daddy did that”. Every experience uniquely different, yet so similar.

I hear his voice early mornings, “Baby Ruth, rise and shine, the early bird gets the worm”. The joy in his voice, the sparkles in his eyes watching a new day break forth. I certainly thought I was his favorite, the special one of his brood that is until I started to listen.

My buddy, my buddy, so kind and true, My buddy, your buddy misses you.

Oh, mine papa, you were so wonderful. Oh mine papa, you were so grand!

Community lays Riverside Community Leader, Dorella Anderson, to Rest

Dorella Anderson

Dorella Anderson

By Naomi K. Bonman

Family members, extended family, friends, and community residents came together on Friday, May 29 to celebrate the life of Riverside community trailblazer, Dorella Anderson, better known as Dorie to most, or Mrs. And Sis. Anderson to others. The homegoing services were all that the late community leader would have wanted. The sanctuary of Park Avenue Baptist Church in Riverside was overflowing to capacity, filled with those that loved and cherished Dorella, Godmother Dorie (as I called her).

Mrs. Anderson, 79, served has a champion and advocate for families and youth on the Eastside of Riverside for the past 35 years at the Community Settlement House, just minutes away from Downtown Riverside. She played a pivotal role in assisting immigrants adapt and settle into life in the States by helping them obtain citizenship and addressing issues that assited them to remain in the country legally. Her work with families on the Eastside spans two generations.

“She led a life that supported the Eastside children for more than 50 years. She was talented, beautiful, athletic, and had a confidence that drew people towards her. The events at Lincoln Park and the Community Settlement Association continued the work of a prior generation of local families who truly made the area a community,” Dorella’s cousin, Craig Goodwin stated.

Anderson was the founder and lifetime member of the Riverside African American Historical Society and will be remembered for bringing “Toys for Tots” to Riverside, teaching crafts, dancing, and for her involvement in numerous community affairs.

As a personal extended family and church member of Anderson’s I will miss her gentle and sweet spirit and her willingness of speaking her mind to anyone and saying how she felt, and because she was not afraid to speak her mind and speak out you felt even more comfortable around her.

She will definitely be missed among Riverside and surrounding cities, but she lives on in our hearts forever until we all meet again.

District Attorney’s Gang Resistance Intervention Partnership (GRIP) celebrates first graduation ceremony in San Bernardino City Unified School District

GRIP-(HUNT)---7 (2nd GRADE)

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Gang Resistance Intervention Partnership (GRIP), in partnership with the San Bernardino City Unified School District, hosted a graduation ceremony for second and fifth grade students from Hunt Elementary School in San Bernardino today.

“This is a proactive partnership between our educators and students that allows us to make a positive impact in the lives our children,” District Attorney Ramos said. “By effectively using time and resources today to teach our students, we can steer them away from the dangers and influences of gangs tomorrow.”

During the graduation celebration, 200 students received certificates and a GRIP backpack filled with supplies. After the graduation, students were treated to a surprise visit and photo session with Inland Empire 66ers mascot Bernie. Each graduating student received two complimentary baseball tickets donated by the Inland Empire 66ers organization.

The second grade students who participated in the program successfully completed a 7-week course, while the fifth grade students completed a 9-week course. Both curriculums—which focus on the dangers of gangs and drugs, positive choices and respect for others and property—were instructed by school security officers with the San Bernardino Unified School District.

“We are pleased to partner with the San Bernardino County District Attorney and San Bernardino City Unified School District in preventive efforts that focus students on positive behaviors and keep them engaged in school and their communities,” County Superintendent Ted Alejandre said. “The GRIP program has had great success and is making a positive impact in the lives of students and families.”

The GRIP Program is now in its fifth year and has graduated over 4,500 students.

“We need to be proactive, and intervention and prevention is the best way to get the job done,” District Attorney Ramos said.

GRIP-(HUNT)---1 GRIP-(HUNT)---3 GRIP-(HUNT)---4 GRIP-(HUNT)---5 (5th GRADE) GRIP-(HUNT)---6