It is with sadness and condolence that I mention the passing of Kenneth Williamson. In his younger days, “Eggman,” as he was known, lived around the 122nd Street area and grew up with such good friends as Stanley Tarrant, Joe Hammond, Brother Rowe, Buck, Stevie, Al and Ted Hunter, just to name a few. Always a sportsman, he made a career out of doing what he loved best, coaching the youngsters in a variety of sports. Over the years, he moved south, finally settling in Tennessee. As so often happens, we lose touch with our childhood friends and fail to learn the important details of their lives, like how their children are doing and basically “What’s new?”
It is sad to realize that people we once knew so well had lives full of interesting accomplishments, but we only find out about those when we read about them in their obituary. During this holiday season, let’s make it a point to reach out to someone we haven’t spoken to in some time, just to say hello. Everyone will feel so much better.
In the wake of the recent hurricane and subsequent nor’easter, the question arises once again: Do you have your survival kit in order? I for one don’t, I am sorry to say, but I can assure you I am making a conscious effort to begin putting one together right now. Besides purchasing a few plastic canisters to store essential supplies, it is recommended that each family member have a backpack with some warm and waterproof clothing ready to go at a moment’s notice. Your emergency supplies should include basics such as rice, beans, canned tuna, peanut butter, dry milk, Sterno cans, matches, a small metal coffeepot, water, candles, nuts, canned olive oil, surgical masks, hot chocolate, pasta, vinegar (good for a lot of things including medicinal purposes) and first aid kit. Here in New York City, it’s easy to feel insulated from the devastating effects of Mother Nature, but as Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “It is a reality that we are vulnerable.” With Sandy comes an awareness that the way of life we have become so accustomed to may be changing, so it’s better to be prepared and safe than sorry.
Other items you may find useful in an emergency:
* The Duracell Powerpack 600. This is a rechargeable unit that can provide power for items like lamps, cellphones and televisions for hours on a full charge. The Powerpack also has jumper cables to start a car, and a radio, clock and a light; $130 from stormprepare.com, 321-549-7321.
* The battery-powered High Tech Personal Head Lamp. This item fits like a construction helmet, thereby giving a hands-free light and variable-focus lens that changes the beam from narrow to wide for full room illumination; $34.75 from Garrett Wade, garrettwade.com.
* The Portable Power Supply is a compact power source, shaped like a lantern, that comes with an AC adapter and can be recharged with a hand crank; it operates for up to seven hours and powers phones, laptops and small appliances. It comes with jumper cables for a car and can be recharged in a car. The power source includes an LED light; $239.99 at Brookstone, brookstone.com, 866-576-7337.
* The FRX3 Eton Emergency Radio is solar-powered or may be hand-cranked to recharge. It broadcasts emergency weather alerts and has an LED and a flashing red light. It can also play music from an external MP3 player; $60 from the Red Cross Store, redcrossstore.org, 877-400-2286.
* A 7-inch battery-operated color television keeps you connected, informed and entertained; $99.99 from stormprepare.com, 321-549-7321.
* The Battery Organizer with Tester is a compact way to store up to 66 batteries, either in a drawer or on a wall; $14.99 from the Improvements Catalog, improvementscatalog.com, 800-634-9484; add to this gift by filling it with batteries of all sizes.
All very good buys.
Happy birthday to Tarrah Manley Smallwood, Jemel Crumbs, Naomi Diane Brown, Krishna Tarter Tabor, Rita Butler and Dr. Marcella Maxwell. Happy 41st anniversary to Cyril and Delores Poindexter. Looking for a new place to celebrate? Yes, there always seems to be a new place and, most def, always a reason to celebrate. Working our way just a little further uptown are the Harlem Social and Tonalli, both located on Broadway, between 148th and 150th streets. Both are very trendy, comfy and offer a change of scenery.
Are you one of the lucky ones–lucky to be a client of Citymeals on Wheels, the nonprofit organization that provides a meal daily to thousands of the city’s homebound? If you are, you will be glad to know that the Citymeals on Wheels 26th annual Power Lunch for Women raised $1.1 million, enough to provide over 150,000 meals to the elderly; just in time for Christmas.
Neither rain nor wind kept Citymeals workers from delivering over 60,000 meals to senior citizens affected by the storm. It was not unusual for volunteers to hike up to the top floor of buildings that had lost power to reach the recipients, only to find other seniors not on the charity’s roster weeping and hungry. Determined to serve, the volunteers not only went back down to get more meals but climbed the stairs once again to make sure everyone had something to eat. It cost Citymeals about an extra $500,000, but after all, it was all in the true spirit of Thanksgiving.
Totally enthused by it all, revelers at the luncheon, which included men who paid a whopping $10,000 to be there, placed high bids and dug down deep into their pockets for the auction items that included a seven-course meal for a party of eight, prepared by a chef extraordinaire, in the bidder’s home, with a private performance by songstress Roberta Flack. Oh, I would have loved that, but with the two final bids coming in at $20,000, it was just a tad out of my reach this year. But I’m trying.
Until next week … kisses.