The Albany City School District 2016 Hall of Fame Class

A few months ago, I was pleased to share with all of you that my beloved high school principal, Lillian Tillman-DeWitt, was named to the Albany City School District Class of 2016.  The induction ceremony will take place on the weekend of September 16-17, as part of Albany High School’s Homecoming weekend. Mrs. T, however,…

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A star for Lillian Tillman-DeWitt

This is a commitment.  And I undertake it every year. The commitment is to find a way to nominate – and hopefully achieve induction of – various students and faculty from my high school, Street Academy of Albany (later Harriet Gibbons High School). So far, besides myself (Hall of Fame Class of 2011), I’m pleased…

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I won’t vote for Dan Egan because…

One thing you will always know about me.  Do the right thing by me, treat me with respect, and I will be as loyal as a puppy.  But if you ever do me wrong – if you hurt me, if you swindle me, if I still have knife marks in my back – then you…

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Celebrating Eileen Kawola

Today is Eileen Kawola’s birthday.  But that’s not the main reason why I’m writing today’s blog. Later next month, Eileen Kawola is going to receive a very special award.  And once again, it’s another triumph for my old high school, Street Academy / Harriet Gibbons High School. Background. When I arrived at Street Academy in…

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A prayer for “Gingo La Tresh”

Ahmed Naqi taught science and mathematics and almost every other subject at the Street Academy of Albany.  He was there when Harriet Gibbons was the principal (the school was renamed Harriet Gibbons High School after Ms. Gibbons’ passing), and he helped change and inspire young minds at the alternative high school for decades. And he…

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Lillian, Jennifer, Freda and me

It seems strange – the passing of three and a half decades of time. Three and a half decades.  Thirty-five years. Time that passed almost like thirty-five seconds. And our lives in thirty-five years all went in thirty-five different directions. And last night, some of our lives returned from our journeys throughout the diaspora.  We…

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“I have that Answers Please episode on videotape…”

Nearly 35 years to the day of its first – and only – broadcast, a rare and treasured piece of my history has resurfaced. The tape’s recovery and its contents… make for one of my most reflective blog posts of all time.

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Rated “G” for “Great” – a new parenting / family blog

Last March, I was contacted by one of my blog readers, Wendy Diefendorf.  She enjoyed reading my blog, and wanted some tips on how to get her own Times Union blog.  She had already contacted the TU’s blogging majordomo, Michael Huber, and hoped to join the TU family of community bloggers with her prospective blogging idea…

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The day Ken Screven and I met

I realize that new Times Union community blogger Ken Screven has reported on maybe fifty thousand stories during his stint as a WRGB reporter.  And I can’t ask him to remember all fifty thousand of them as if they were baseball statistics. But I do remember this one instance.  And it’s the time when one…

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Meeting Walt Frazier for the first time

Today, Walt Frazier will be signing autographs at the new Ollie’s Discount Warehouse in Crossgates Commons.  That’s cool. Especially since Walt Frazier was the first professional basketball player I ever met in person. EVER. True story. It’s the spring of 1980, and I was a high school student at the Street Academy of Albany.  I…

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