The column that says we know if we all teamed up to make young children realize that substance abuse is not the way to go, we could wipe out an epidemic because we saw unity happen on 92.1 FM today as Steered Straight founder Michael DeLeon, and Holly City Midget Football’s JT Burks and Quan Bowleg exchanged thoughts on what each is doing to help at-risk kids before they get hooked, and now DeLeon will have both on his TV show on SNJ Today on a Tuesday at 7:340 p.m. and they will join his team.
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.
U.S. Army: RA13815980
Google all columns at jackhummelblog
When Michael DeLeon’s efforts become as well known as Geico in Cumberland County, when he is able to address crowds in every project in Bridgeton, Millville and Vineland, when his name is on the lips of every child in Cumberland County, then we have a shot.
As it is, if Steered Straight teammate John Fuqua will arrange a throng in Bridgeton, Bowleg and Burks will do the same in Millville when DeLeon has a weekend on non-globe-hopping in late September.
Have you ever read the effects of being mis-diagnosed for Lyme Disease just for five years?
We were mis-diagnosed for 14 years. We suffered weak legs one morning in 2001 and wound up going to the Hospital of Salem County ER.
With a limited diagnosis, they suspected Lyme disease and started us on pills, telling us to go see a specialist as soon as possible. That specialist stuck a needle in each elbow and declared we had rheumatoid arthritis.
We were on Motrin at the time, but he switched us to Celebrex and over the decade, we developed neuropathy in both legs, thus every doctor asking us if we had diabetes. No, we didn’t.
The doctor who finally found the Lyme disease was a urologist we had to go get a blood test to check our PSA count after prostate cancer. He sent us to Lyme disease specialist who gave us those green pills you get when you first get the disease, and then they said there was nothing else they could do.
Really? Yes, because the effects of Lyme disease are so like the effects of arthritis.
Fourteen years, even though a Millville doctor told us we didn’t have rheumatoid arthritis when we needed his diagnosis to qualify for a $250,000 life insurance policy.
He said it was just old age.
Call us a cry baby, but we don’t like the way everything turned out, and we’re going to try to do something about it.
“Lyme disease is transmitted by bites from ticks. The small blood-sucking arachnids infect victims with bacteria that, under a microscope, look like corkscrew worms.
“The disease can cause a wide variety of neurological problems, as well as arthritis, weight gain, and weight loss. (Debbie Gibson, an American singer popular in the 1980s, also lost weight after getting the disease).”
— People and Places
“Furt, Bodacious, Preach Griffin Ryan Nakai, Summer 1987 Jr Olympics Qualifier somewhere in Maryland! Ryan might have been a Colt, but always practiced with Furt!”
— Rich Bodine,
Bulldog Track Alumni Association
Who’s that in the background?
Another take on Bridgeton …
“It’s sad to see you hometown look like Chicago or better yet a baby Watts, Cali, and the sad part is everyone knows each other family after families losing love ones in my Spike Lee voice wake up hold on to your memories of your childhood this new generation needs prayer and help from God.”
— her hometown
You want to know about Chicago? Have you seen the documentary on Watts?
A little history
April 29, 2013
When the students get on the bus to go home at the end of the day from the Geraldyne O. Foster Early Childhood Learning Center at Buckshutem Road School, each has a bus pass.
When they get off the bus at home, a person must meet them with the same identical bus pass, or the child doesn’t get off the bus.
“They’re brought right back to the school,’’ assured Assistant Principal E. Deionne ThrBak after the last bus had left, “until the parent gets here with a photo ID.’’
ThrBak has taught at Quarter Mile Lane, Cherry Street and what is now Broad Street School.
Last year was his first in administration, assistant principal at Broad Street.
Along the way, as a member of the National Guard, he was called up after Sept. 11 to guard bridges and tunnels in New York City.
“We covered that mission for about a year,’’ he said.
Then he was sent overseas to Iraqi Freedom for nine months.
The Bridgeton School District never forgot him.
“The students and staff sent cards to my unit and care packages were sent,’’ he said. “I received great support from the community and Glory Tabernacle Church.’’
He met his wife, Tiffanie Thomas, of Gouldtown, at a Sixers game after growing up in the projects on the worst side of Chicago.
“I’ve been blessed,’’ he said from his office at Buckshutem Road School, a job he started this school year.
Living in Chicago meant gangs.
“Out of my eighth-grade class, two of us are alive today,’’ said ThrBak of the mid-’80s. “Another classmate is in prison for life.’’
That was then; Bridgeton is now.
“I made mistakes. I made bad decisions. I was angry because of where I was born. I fought in the gangs. I was looking for somebody who cared.
“I had to learn the hard way. One evening, I was stabbed twice in a gang fight at age 14.’’
His teacher, Mr. Frost, came to the hospital.
“You think you’re tough,’’ Frost told him. “Fighting in a gang is not tough. Solving all the problems in this algebra book is tough. Make somebody of yourself. You will not get an A in my class.’’
ThrBak’s gang members in the room wanted to know, “Who is this guy?’’
“We were on Chapter 6 out of 12 chapters. I solved every problem from Chapter 6 on. I didn’t get an A because it was the third quarter and two A’s didn’t make up for a C and D earlier.’’
He ended the year with a B+ average. His family sent him to school on the other north side of town. It meant crossing gang territories during the eight-block walk to catch the bus.
“To avoid the gang there, I would run the last few blocks and the bus driver had it timed perfectly for me to jump on the bus and he’d close the doors.’’
When he got off the bus at the new school, there were skinheads.
“People wouldn’t believe it,’’ he laughed.
ThrBak, growing up named Baker and later combining his last name with his wife’s, always had potential.
“I knew Jesus was looking out for me after I got stabbed,’’ he said. “While I was fighting one guy, his brother came up and stabbed me in the back.’’
He never mentions the names of the gangs. ThrBak can be found at Bridgeton Little League because he didn’t have that growing up.
“I know the rich heritage Bridgeton has,’’ he said. “We have to invest in each other. We have to support the businesses in Bridgeton and ensure we meet the needs of each other. Nobody wants to bring business here if they feel we’re not taking care of our city.’’
The Bridgeton Ministerial Alliance, forged from different races and cultures, is working in conjunction with the mayor to be visible, to be more vocal.
“This city is rich in faith,’’ he said. “I’m a witness. I had a speech impediment and I didn’t learn to read until the third grade.’’
“For me, Mrs. Redwood was the difference. She believed in me. By eighth grade, I was valedictorian of my class. We have to learn to use what we have to make our lives better. We have a community college. Our school district is putting things in place for better learning.
“If you have pre-school, you can be two grades ahead of what you achieve without it. We have that in Bridgeton.’’
There is a waiting list, but no one has been turned away.
Was it bad in Bridgeton when he arrived?
“No, I’ve seen bad. All these students needed was guidance. I’ve seen them go on to college. I’ve seen them get master’s degrees.
“Through our youth ministry and school district, we’ve gone into the projects. I’ve seen students who were suspended and just needed a chance.’’
ThrBak said, “We have to go get them and that’s what we’re doing, showing them the opportunities.’’
The effort may not be seen by everybody.
“We’re not here to be recognized. We’re here to reach. Our youth join gangs because they want to be needed. We minister to them. We let them know it’s not how you start, but how you finish.
“We need to show them there’s a better way. We have to love them through it. Call if you want to talk. And we can’t give up.’’
Where were you, “another take on Bridgeton?”
“I will be making a run for Bridgeton City Council and We Will Take Our City Back!
“I will be moving back there to fix the corruption and bring a voice back to the Average Joe!”
— Darwin Cooper
Better hurry. You have to be a resident for a year.
Why is it after you turn on Nabb Avenue off Route 49, it looks like everybody finds it’s the place to throw their trash along the roadway?
Pure pigs! Is it the broken window theory that if one person does it, it’s OK for others to do it? Go through the Bridgeton Dunkin’ and look at the catch basin or whatever it is on the right.
It’s nothing but litter everywhere in the water. Who does that? It has to be hundreds of people. Where do we need the drive-up-to trash can, at Dunkin’ or McDonald’s, or both?
Has to be a drive-up-to trash can because these people are not going to get out of their cars.
How do you like this kind of response at the Cedarville Fire Co. BBQ Sunday starting at 11:30 a.m….?
“As long as you get there before 3 p.m. We have roughly 1,200 to sell at the door, but they go fast!”
— Brian Scarlato
Twelve hundred tickets go fast? Where do they hold it, in the Astrodome?
And they deliver!
Sign up the coordinator full time all over the county!
YOU CAN BOOK IT: If you weren’t part of the solution, why are you commenting now?