YoTrip-Words and Thoughts

A place and space for me to express my thoughts

Archive for the month “April, 2011”

Thursday Thinking by YoTrip for April 28,2011-Salute to the Poet (Vol.4,Iss.4)

The 2006 State Champions of the Poetry Out Lou...

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Salute to the Poet

As the month of April and the celebration of National Poetry Month comes to an end. I feel it is fitting to celebrate the POET, the genius behind the mixology of words.

Salute to the Poet




















POET so many words to describe you, yet not enough words to really truly speak to the essence of who you really are inside and out. Keep thinking, keep creating, keep writing, keep reciting, keep sharing with the world.



Thursday Thinking by YoTrip for April 21, 2011-Are You Sharing Your Wealth? (Vol.2,Iss.3)

Fountain of Wealth, Suntec City – Singapore

Image by williamcho via Flickr

Are you sharing your wealth?

wealthhttp://img.tfd.com/m/sound.swf (wlth)

n.1. a. An abundance of valuable material possessions or resources; riches.

b. The state of being rich; affluence.

2. All goods and resources having value in terms of exchange or use.

3. A great amount; a profusion: a wealth of advice.

According to Forbes and Fortune magazines the wealthiest people in the world are Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim Helu, Software guru Bill Gates,  investments innovator Warren Buffett, and database dynamo Lawrence Ellison. These men have accumulated billions of dollars as a result of their business savvy and ability to create an abundance of wealth. If you you research and study the journey of these billionaires the path for reaching their journey was different, their goals were different,  their lives are different but the common bond between them is that they have not only gained a great deal of wealth they have shared their wealth through charitable giving. Sharing their wealth through established foundations displays that the wealthiest men in the world understand about giving back.

In today’s society so much emphasis has been placed on how much a person has in terms of material gains and how rich they are according to some listing, poll or report. Is the real value of things in this life really about where you rank in Forbes or Fortune magazines? Most people would agree that placing so much focus and value on financial wealth and greed is a primary reason this world is currently experiencing an economic depression. When people live beyond their means and are forced to “rob Peter in order to pay Paul”, and are now caught in financial distress. Maybe now more than ever it is time to do some personal inventory and introspective thinking on where you are in regards to wealth. A real question to ask yourself:  Am I you sharing your wealth?

You are thinking to yourself, I am not Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or Carlos Slim Helu and I certainly do not have enough money to be considered wealthy. It is time to get pass thinking of wealth only as it relates to MONEY. According to one of the definitions of wealth, “All goods and resources having value in terms of exchange or use” is wealth but not monetary in its value. What goods or services can you provide for others? Can you shake, bake, or make a product? Are you resourceful and have the ability to help people? What is your expertise and how can you use that knowledge to reach or teach others? Do you have an idea on how to make a process more effective and efficient? If you answered “yes” to one or all of these questions then you are wealthy.

 If you the question of sharing your wealth has turned on a light bulb of inspiration, influence and innovation, go out and put your wealth to work. This is a great time to think beyond what society has been deemed as wealth and a door of opportunity for you to share your wealth. Remember to tell yourself that you are wealthy. The wealth you have is something to give, to share, or to teach and make a difference in the world around you. Are you sharing your wealth with others? If not why, not start sharing your wealth today! ~~YoTrip

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Tuesday Thoughts by YoTrip for April 19, 2011, A Lesson Serving with Excellence

Have you ever had an opportunity to experience service delivered in an excellent way? Most people come from all over the planet to the “Mouse House” and the land of Disney to experience the magic of service delivered in an excellent way. A master in the arena of making dreams come true for its visitors, Disney is the bearer of the gold standard in service. Happy employees generate an infectious environment that boils over with smiles, joy and good feelings. Disney has perfected serving with excellence in the theme parks area, but fast-food gentle giant Chick-fil-A  has set the bar for serving  its customers with excellence.

Chick-fil-A has been around for over 40 years serving up excellence and chicken sandwiches from it beginnings in Atlanta, Georgia‘s Greenbrier Mall. Founder and owner S. Truett Cathy has strong beliefs and work ethic that is instilled in the people who are employed by Chick-fil-A. Serving with excellence is not just a passing phrase it is apart of the business philosophy, that Truett Cathy has also passed along to his son Dan Cathy, the current President and Chief Operating Officer.

On a recent visit to Chick-fil-A, I walked into the doors about 15 minutes before closing. The cashier was hard at work mopping the floors in his area. When I approached the counter, Dixon gave me a big smile and said “Good evening mama, it is my pleasure to take your order.” I was pleasantly surprised and asked for a vanilla shake without whip cream or the cherry. Dixon, when over to his co-worker and asked if she would make the shake and she smiled at me and proceed to make one shake for me and another for the person in the drive-thur. There was a young lady standing counting money at one of the side registers, and she smiled and also greeted me. Once his co-worker finished making the shake, Dixon took it and passed it over the counter to me along with my cup of water. 

I proceeded out to my car with shake and water in tow, I placed the shake on the roof of the car to open the door and the filled cup was spilling over. I decided to return to the restaurant and get another cup. When I opened the door I was greeted with a happy hello and a look of concerned. Dixon asked if I dropped the shake and I explained that it was spilling over and I needed a larger cup. Dixon gladly took the cup and said “it is my pleasure, to change out that cup.” The young lady who was counting money smiled and I asked if she was the manager, she said yes. I could see the youthfulness in her face and I joked that she needed a work permit. The young lady then offered “I have been working her since I was 15 years old and I am 19, soon to turn 20.” I chuckled and said that, “Chick-fil-A is a place where people stay forever.” I smiled and both Dixon and the young lady warmly offered me a good night. This was great to see that up until the doors closed the staff at Chick-fil-A were serving with excellence.

Today I visited the Orange Ave. Chick-fil-A and the  staff really displayed excellence in service. There were two ladies working in the lobby carrying a tray filled with mints and items for clearing tables. Armed with smiles, Katherine and Cathy, buzzed around speaking to customers dining in the lobby, “would you like a refill on your drink? It is my pleasure”, “may I take and empty this tray for you, my pleasure”, “would you like some ice cream? A cone or cup.” These two retirees from BellSouth, loves being around and working with people. 

Sitting and observing both Katherine and Cathy interact with visitors to Chick-fil-A, it made me smile and taught me a valuable lesson in serving with excellence. When you genuinely enjoy the work you do, it shows in how you provide for those who enter in your presence seeking service in excellence.

“Soaring Towards Heaven in 2011″
The sky is limitless…
Posted from WordPress for Android

Tuesday Thoughts by YoTrip for April 12,2011-Ode to William Henry Clay, Sr. (Vol.2, Iss.2)

My Daddy

Tuesday Thoughts were a bit scattered today

It seems so many things were coming my way

As much as I tried to focus, thoughts would not stay

Each time I felt I had captured it  did quickly decay

I know what really has me all caught up in disarray

You are running rampant in my mind keeping my thoughts at bay

I think back on the memories of you and smile at the sky in heaven where you lay

Happy birthday  Daddy William Henry Clay

Daddy you were and therefore I am, thanks for life, for love, and  for a wonderful legacy!

Thursday Thinking by YoTrip for April 14,2011-The Poet In You (Vol.4,Iss.2)

Cover of "The Poet in You"

Cover of The Poet in You


The Poet In You

April is National Poetry Month. Since 1996, this country has tipped its hat and took a month to recognize the artistic expression of poetry. Born out of the success of  Black History and Women’s History month, National Poetry month has comfortably taken its place among the celebrated with ease and has been embraced by lovers of  words.

During National Poetry month, not only is the craft honored by the Acadmey of American Poets, but those who have become known as masters of the craft. The master poet, is an individual who embodies the way words intertwine and makes them come alive on the pages.

The master poet has always risen to the occasion throughout time. At each interval, you see the poet expressing themselves and sharing with the world around them. In conjunction with National Poetry Month, there is the The 30/30 Challenge which requires each participating poet to write at least one poem EVERY DAY in the month of April.

Poets like Phyllis Wheatley, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Wordsworth and William Shakespeare all shaped my love for poetry from a young age as I was prompted to read their work for class assignments. I love the old language and how these poets wrapped themselves in their poems. As I grow older and I moved from a reader to a writer of poetry, I expanded my list of poets to include the contemporary poets. My favorite contemporary poets included Maya Angelou, Rita Dove, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Ntozake Shange liberated my poetic thinking.

The new age of poetic expressions celebrate poets who are performance artist is poetry that is specifically composed for or during a performance before an audience. During the 1980s, the term came into popular usage to describe poetry written or composed for performance rather than print distribution. The multi-talented Jill Scott was birthed out of the performance art movement in the ’90’s. Ms. Scott opened the door for the likes of Erykah Badu, India Arie, and others who blended powerful words with music.

Today’s poets are an eclectic blend of traditional, contemporary,modern and  the Spoken Word artist. The poet who hones the craft in the spoken word world, is free-thinking, unconventional,  and speaks to their life experiences in their mastery of words. This art of spoken word takes you to the intimate thoughts of the artist.

Recently I was introduced to an impassioned, influential, and inspiring spoken word artist, Autumn Blaze. I was so caught up in her delivery and presence.  Autumn Blaze is the epitome of her name: the season of cool, crisp air, the trees bloom the earth tones of honey mustard, carmel browns, rustic reds, and grand greens the backdrop of the surroundings is Autumn. Warm, swift, overarching she ignites like a Blaze, and burns onto your spirit.

When Autumn Blaze is at the mic she takes you on a journey that is raw, real, and relevant. “I had to snap today, excuse me y’all I had to snap today” or “Why does he keep making a fool out of me without telling me why?” and my favorite, “caught up in this exasperating cycle with you and all I can say is whew!” These phrases were a few I was able to scribble on a napkin while listening to the host of SOUL FOOD on Wednesday’s at Chef Eddie’s in Orlando. Along with Autumn Blaze there are a group of  talented artist and musicians who are doing their part to entertain and empower those who see the  beauty of poetic expression.

Is there a poet in you?

“Soaring Towards Heaven in 2011”
The sky is limitless…
Posted from WordPress for Android

Thursday Thinking by YoTrip for April 7, 2011-Making History at the Masters (Vol.4, Iss.1)

 Carl Jackson, who will caddie in his 50th Masters, has carried Ben Crenshaw’s bag since 1976. (Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff)


Making History at the Masters

In LA (Lovely Augusta) the first week in April signifies the start of Spring Break for students in Richmond county public schools and the commencement of the Professional Golf Association (PGA)’s premier event, the Masters tournament. For seventy-five years, the greens owned and created by Bobby Jones has set the course for golf majors. An international tournament, the Masters brings players and people from all around the world to see the well-manicured greens, blooming azaleas, colorful dogwoods and woodsy pines. The Masters golf tournament is  an event steeped in tradition and fanfare, and brings a large amount of revenue to the “Garden City”. Augusta is Georgia’s second largest city and  is located on the Savannah river and borders the state of South Carolina, when the Masters comes to town it puts the city on the world stage to see which golfer will reign victorious.

This year’s Masters has a wonderful back story of a person,Mr. Carl Jackson who has walked the course for 50 years and played a pivotal role in the career of golfer Ben Crenshaw. Mr. Jackson is a caddie that grow up peeking through the chain link fence of the Augusta Country club watching the happenings on the golf course. At the young age of 14, Mr. Jackson began a career as a caddie and was able to work at the Masters at the invitation of caddiemaster Freddie Bennett.

Since 1961, Mr. Jackson has worked on the “big course” and caddie the Masters tournament, he is easily the most recognized caddie in the game. In 1995, Mr. Jackson surpassed the late Willie Peterson, who spent 25 years as Jack Nicklaus‘ caddie (1959-83), with 34 trips, according to research by Golf Digest ‘s Ron Whitten. Mike Cowan, former caddie of Tiger Woods ,is a current caddie who has gained 27 trips to the Masters.

Mr. Jackson is humbled by the feat and has been planning for this milestone for a decade. Having such a wide margin between himself and the Mike Cowan means Mr. Jackson can rest assure it will be a record that will stand for years to come. Carrying the bag and walking the greens of the Augusta National has been Mr. Jackson’s calling card and it is with pride he carries this banner of longevity.

In the course of Mr. Jackson’s fifty years at the Masters, he has been with golf legend, Ben Crenshaw for thirty-five years and two Masters tournament wins (1984 and 1995). The two men were introduced to each other by Jack Stephens, a member of the Augusta National that saw the potential in Carl Jackson in his younger years. It was Jack Stephens at urging of President Dwight Eisenhower and others who help Mr. Jackson maintain his position as a caddie after dropping out of school to make money to help support his family.  Jack Stephens convinced Mr. Jackson to get a GED so he could remain employed by the Augusta National. Mr. Jackson would later move to Little Rock, Arkansas and work as a caddie, caddiemaster and business manager for Jack Stephens and his family.

Larger than being the caddie of a great golfer Mr. Jackson is proud of the Augusta National Caddies (a group of black men) that he worked with from 1961-1983, during this time period no outside caddies were allowed to work at the tournament. Willie “Pappy” Stokes, Nathaniel “Ironman” Avery and Willie “Cemetery” Perteet, were apart of the Augusta National Caddies and have died. Stokes, who caddied for five Masters winners, was a mentor to Jackson.

Mr. Jackson is not only a history making caddie but he is a husband, father, brother and son but also a cancer survivor. In 2000, Mr. Jackson was diagnosed with colon cancer, with multiple tumors he was told he would need a costly operation. Giving up and not wanting to be a burden to his family, Mr. Jackson decided he would just let the cancer take its course.  Mr. Jackson’s wife contacted Ben and Julie Crenshaw and let them know that her husband chose to not fight the cancer. The Crenshaw’s along with Jack Stephens convinced Mr. Jackson that he could have any needed treatment for his cancer and not to worry about the cost. The time Mr. Jackson was battling cancer was the only time he missed a Masters in fifty-three years.

The Masters golf tournament will not formally acknowledge the accomplishments of Mr. Carl Jackson. It is the belief of members of the Augusta National to focus on the game and not those playing or assisting with play. The laid back demeanor of Mr. Jackson will gain more from the crowds of fans who will show their support and celebration at each hole on the journey that he and Ben Crenshaw take as they seek to grab hold of the victory once more at the Masters.


14: Age Jackson caddied his first Masters Tournament

39: Number of consecutive Masters appearances

30: Cuts made by golfers Jackson caddied for at the Masters

34: Number of Masters Jackson has caddied for Ben Crenshaw

1: Masters Jackson has missed in the past 50 years

1961: Year Jackson Caddied his first Masters Tournament

2: Bags carried to Masters wins, both with Crenshaw.

To read more about the life and times of Mr. Carl Jackson check out http://www.augusta.com/stories/2011/04/01/mas_610932.shtml

Tuesday Thoughts by YoTrip for April 5, 2011-A Champion’s Moment To Shine (Vol.2, Iss.1)

University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies athl...

Image via Wikipedia

A Champion’s Moment To Shine

The 2011 NCAA Men’s championship game was played in the Houston, Texas at the Reliant Stadium on Monday evening with the University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies taking on the Butler University Bulldogs. The 2011 NCAA Men’s championship is the culmination of the college basketball’s “March Madness” featuring a former champion in the UCONN Huskies and the former cinderella team that may it to the finals just a year ago, the Butler Bulldogs. In the end UCONN lead by the heart of two champions, Coach Jim Calhoun and shooting sensation junior guard, Kemba Walker were victorious over Butler with a score of 53-41.

This championship game was a defensive battle  that saw as many as 88 missed field goal attempts between both teams.  In the first half the teams were tied at 19 when Butler hit a long-range three pointer to go up 22-19 going into halftime. Most commentators and sports fans will say this championship game was not full of excitement and a nail-biter that would come down to a final shot but, played more like a defensive scuffle. UCONN took Butler to task and they were unable to find the basket during the second half only making a few shots. This championship game was the lowest scoring in the history of the NCAA 62 year existence.

For all the hype behind getting to the Final Four and then being the last two teams standing, this game proved to provide some surprises  and made history. UCONN’s coach Jim Calhoun, who won his third national title with what he says is the most resilient team he has ever coached. He joined John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight and Adolph Rupp as the only coaches with more than two titles. Calhoun, 68, also became the oldest coach ever to win the championship. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/u-conn-huskies-defeat-butler-bulldogs-53-41-for-ncaa-basketball-championship/2011/04/04/AFEFfXgC_story.html Joining the ranks of true champion coaches, Coach Calhoun did not focus on the history he made but the ability of his team to rise to occasion and become champions. For Coach Calhoun this win was a shining moment  worthy of champion status after surviving three bouts with cancer and sitting out a portion of the season last year due to medical concerns.

The  2011 Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship closes out the season for teams, players, coaches, colleges, students, families and fans that had an opportunity to participate in a trip to the “big dance”. All of the training, trials, and triumph are over for this time and this season. Some teams and players will take this time to reflect on the journey of the season and how they can improve for next year, some will make decisions about continuing their college years or venture to throw their names in the hats for the upcoming National Basketball Association (NBA) draft in June.  No matter what path a team or a player chooses beyond this season, they can be proud to be a part of the game of basketball and have the talent to compete to become a champion.

Congratulations to the Butler Bulldogs, though they came up short of victory, they have found there team in this place back to back years which will make them strive harder to gain the reigns of being called a champion. The UCONN Huskies played in the 2011 NCAA tournament with heart and determination throughout the games to show the world how to celebrate and have a champions moment to shine.

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