This very handsome man is a brother to 6 siblings, born 24 Nov 1924 in Ft. Wayne, uncle to several nieces and nephews, and grandfather and great grandfather. Some know him as “Cool Cal” back in the neighborhood. He and his brother Harold attended Wilberforce College until the war began, they were drafted. He was a proud WW2 Veteran, a Golden Glove boxer, owned his own accounting business and become a Real Estate Broker. He was also a father to 5 children (4 sons and 1 daughter). He was an avid advocate for Civil Rights, and obsessed with the news. He sued the city, because he over heard a manager say, one N’ down, one N’ to go. I am sure you can image this was back in the 60s and was one of two that worked at the city. As a real estate broker, he used to loan the $200 down to folks to help get their first house, that didn’t have the downpayment. He believe everyone should own their own home especially people of color. This meant, food off our table to help others own a home. He used to say, land was something that would never change, so it is good to investment.
As a boxer, he and his brother both boxed, also very successful. Both went to the championship and had to fight each other for the title, well if you know my dad, that was not going to happen and it didn’t.
He loved to eat meat, taught me to cook steak, 60 seconds on each side on high heat and keep stabbing it with a fork, adding a pat of butter. (yuk). He is also was the one to tell me I had to “stay two steps ahead of my brothers, just because I was little and a girl didn’t mean I couldn’t do things”.
I miss him, he had a beautiful voice, sang to me often, and back in the day sang in the First Community AME Church–Grand Rapids, MI choir. When the Choir traveled to other churches, he was always requested to sing a song called “Today”. I have yet to hear this one. I have searched for years to hear this. He was a solid tenor. He loved Sarah Vaughn and any type of music. I know he would of loved to live in Virginia. Things just haven’t been totally right since he passed in 1995. I think about him often, even after all these years. I was the apple in his eyes.
I remember the day he passed, I knew I had to get home by 3:30p, since he was going to pass, I told my boss I had to go because, my daddy was dying that day and I had to be home by 3:30p. I called my friend, Brenda Scaffidi, and told her the same, she said okay, I will be there, I said, by 3:30. The A/C had went out, it was August in Tallahassee. I called the A/C guy, Jesse, told him also, my daddy was dying and need the A/C on. We had set up fans in his bedroom and they were blasting on him. I sat at his side while he was taking his last breaths, he stuttered out, asking if I had the money to pay the AC guy, I said yes I had it. He also ask that I make sure I helped Mother (my mom). A few more breaths and he was gone. I had not seen the “death throws”, but did that day. Something I won’t forget. Once he was gone, I waited a couple of minutes before I yelled out to the others in the house to let them know he was gone. I have passion for real estate and affordable housing opportunities and became a real estate broker myself.
I think he would be proud of me and for what I have accomplished. I still have my private conversations with him, and he still helps me make good decisions. I value the teaching and the wisdom. He nieces, nephews and grandchildren will remember him as being fun. Wishing you and all Father’s a Happy Father’s Day, whether you are here in physical form or in heaven watching over us. Love you. xoxo
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