In the Bronx of New York, Saturday mornings provide an opportunity for young people to learn how to be musicians. We need a similar conservatory, institute or school in our area. Having none is an opportunity lost in the Pasadena, Altadena and San Gabriel Valley communities. I am sure that someone will call or write back that something already exists and can be found online. If there is one in our neighborhood, too bad it’s not widely publicized. If not, that is another opportunity lost because no one took the opportunity to invest in and teach another their talent.
This article presents an opportunity to pass down something of value on to someone else, like the old saying, “Each one teach one.” I recently watched a talented performer named Sheléa singing on PBS. She is from my home town of Bakersﬁeld. She was discovered by Quincy Jones who sponsored her in concert.
I know there is someone with a talent to be passed down and a school to be started. My plumber is a guy who hired his brother, his cousin and other relatives to create a company and service a number of jobs. I see gardeners who create jobs and companies then train young workers, while other guys hire guys and no training is going on. In fact, the young guys learning on the job go into houses to work, while other young guys go sleep late and stay in their houses to play computer games all day. Or they hang out with their boys or fool around with girls. They will be behind or left out of opportunities they’ve missed.
An institute could produce a number of carpenters, plumbers, or even musicians. With so many jobs at stake, more and more training is necessary to ﬁll a growing need. I get excited when I see the possibilities of people being trained with new skills. College and trade schools are great, but the price limits a number of people who can take advantage, so this type of institute is needed where talented centers ﬁll a need at affordable costs.
Within twenty years as a musician, an artist, a janitor or gardener can pass the skills along to someone who needs the skills. On Father’s Day,
I saw Black men using their opportunity to share their life‘s story with young people. One man was a concert baritone singing opera who tells of when he ﬁrst walked in a classroom, took up a chair, and threw it at his white female teacher. He had a very bad attitude which learned at home. The teacher didn’t kick him out of class. She taught him how not to act. This was just one moment in time. After the chair episode he saw an opera and decided he could be an opera singer also. Then they told him the price was to get a college degree. He got three. He got the training he needed, and he learned a foreign language, he dedicated himself to years of personal discipline and good behavior. He got it! Whatever it took, he got it. Now he’s a successful opera singer.
On Father’s Day I was treated to calls and visits from my sons and their families to wish me a Happy Father’s Day. That included my youngest who surprisingly ﬂew in from Texas to spend Father’s Day with me. Teachable moments always extend to and throughout my family with words of wisdom, exchange of ideas and sharing family memories. My son with barbering skills treated me and my grandson to a much needed haircut. It was a beautiful sight watching him cutting his son’s hair.
These opportunities provide moments in time. I like the phrase, “One moment in time” because our young need to understand not to let one moment in time deﬁne their whole life unless it’s an inspirational teaching moment, like deciding to become a baritone, start a conservatory of music, or an institute
and passing a talent or skill forward.