Tag Archives: family

The Fultz Quadruplets

This morning while listening to the TJMS (Tom Joyner Morning Show) I heard about the Fultz quadruplets. The Fultz quadruplets were the first identical African American quad babies born in the United States.

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They were born on May 23, 1946 at the Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville, North Carolina. The quads were Mary Louise, Mary Ann, Mary Alice and Mary Catherine. They were the daughters of Pete and Annie Mae Fultz. There were six other Fultz children.

The Fultz Quads – Mary Louise, Mary Ann, Mary Alice, and Mary Catherine – were born on May 3, 1946 at Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville, N.C. The Quads’ parents, sharecropper Pete and deaf-mute mother Annie Mae, lived on a farm with their six other children but were too poor to care for the babies. Multiple births were rare at the time and the equipment to care for underweight babies wasn’t as prevalent as it is in modern times.

The Fultz quads were delivered by a white doctor named Fred Klenner.

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The girls were delivered in what was known as “the Basement,” according to a 2002 report by journalist and educator Lorraine Ahearn. This “basement” was the Blacks-only wing of Annie Penn, and Klenner and Black nurse Margaret Ware helped Annie Mae give birth. Since the Fultz family couldn’t read or write, Dr. Klenner named the girls after his own family members.

After their birth they were used by the PET baby formula companies in order to sell their products to black families. A deal was set by Dr. Klenner with PET and the quads became very famous. As long as the family abided by the contract the Fultz family were taken care of. But it was Dr. Klenner who received a better financial deal from PET.

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According to Edna Saylor, the nurse who worked at the Annie Penn Hospital and who would eventually become the quads legal guardian, the farm that was given to the Fultz family really didn’t amount to much and PET could have done a better job when it came to helping the Fultz family. Ms. Saylor stated that PET took advantage of the Fultz family because they were considered backwoods type of people.

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As they got older the Fultz quads were accepted into Bethune Cookman College in Florida.

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They received a four year scholarship and were accepted as a unit. After two years of not being able to adjust to college life the Fultz quads dropped out of Bethune Cookman College and returned home to live with Edna Saylor and her husband.

The girls became the third set of quadruplets in America to survive until adulthood. But according to Lorraine Ahearn’s story, three of the sisters died of breast cancer before age 55, with Catherine Fultz Griffin believed to be the last surviving Fultz quadruplet.

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The November 1968 issue of Ebony magazine has a very good article about the Fultz quads. The only place I could find that issue is at Google Books. You can check out the article here.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!!

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Say what?

While reading the Washington Post today I saw a column in the A Section by columnist Jonathan Capehart.  The column was about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s neice Alveda King who participated in last Saturday’s Restoring America rally in D.C.  Jonathan started the column by talking about how some famous families have family members who embarrass the family name.

Every famous family has a member or three who do things that leave you in “oh no (s)he didn’t” disbelief. Usually it’s the Jackson family (Michael, not Jesse). Hello? Rebbie? LaToya? Jermaine? But they’re not in the cross hairs today. That honor goes to the King family (Rev. Dr. Martin, not Rodney). King’s niece, Alveda King, showed up at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring America” rally to frequently invoke the “I have a dream” speech that her “Uncle Martin” immortalized on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 47 years earlier to the day.

I know I should have been paying attention to the entire article but the part where he states Hello? Rebbie? I’m like say what?  Why in the hell is Jonathan Capehart mentioning Rebbie Jackson in an article as someone who has embarrassed her late brother Michael Jackson and the Jackson family.

LaToya, yes.  Jermaine, yes.  But Rebbie? In all the years I have been a Michael Jackson/Jackson 5/The Jacksons fan (and that goes wayyyyyyyy back in the day) I don’t ever remember hearing anything bad about Rebbie or saying she did what?  We all know LaToya has had her fair share of crazy situations and Jermaine has had his moments too.  But Rebbie?  What is Jonathan Capehart smoking?

Rebbie Jackson married at 18, moved to Kentucky with her husband and raised 3 children.  Yes she had a singing career and Michael even produced 2 of her albums including her most successful album Centipede.  But pulling any type of embarrassing stunt or being a famewhore?  I don’t think so Jonathan.

Michael Jackson is finally laid to rest

Michael Jackson was laid to rest last Thursday evening at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in Glendale, CA. The private funeral was attended by 200 family members and close friends.

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Michael Jackson is laid to rest

On a hot evening at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, friends and family say farewell to the pop singer.

By Carla Hall and Chris Lee

In a tree-lined clearing of Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in Glendale, about 200 of Michael Jackson’s family and friends gathered for the final leg of the pop singer’s odyssey from death to interment on a hot Thursday evening exactly 10 weeks after he was found dead.

The service, scheduled for sunset, became a nighttime gathering as guests awaited the late arrival of Jackson’s family. They were ferried through the park’s towering gates in a fleet of luxury cars and took their places in the front row of white folding chairs.

The Jackson brothers, in black suits and red ties, filed past a portrait of Michael, a confident smile on his face. His children made their way to their seats. A bespectacled Paris Jackson, his young daughter, wearing a dark dress and her long hair pulled back in a ponytail, watched soberly.

Jackson’s children placed a crown on their father’s coffin — a nod to his moniker, the King of Pop. Gladys Knight sang the gospel hymn “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and songwriter Clifton Davis sang a tune he penned for the Jackson 5 that became one of their signature songs — “Never Can Say Goodbye.”

Check out the entire article here.

They claimed that the funeral was gonna be private yet CNN had coverage of folks arriving at the funeral. The feed was eventually cut off before the funeral started.

Speaking of CNN, I found a transcript for LKL (Larry King Live) from Thursday’s show. Larry interviewed one of Michael’s long time friends Steve Manning.  Steve is featured in Ebony Magazine’s September 2009 issue with Michael on the cover.  According to Ebony Magazine Steve started out in 1970 as president of the Jackson 5 fan club and later became the group’s publicist at Epic Records.  The Jackson family consider him a member of the family and Michael called him “brother.”

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Larry asked Steve if he will be writing a book about Michael and Steve said yes:

KING: Are you going to write a book about him?

MANNING: Yes, I am, Larry. Yes.

KING: What angle?

MANNING: Well, the people don’t know him. I mean they’ve never — the real Michael Jackson — the Michael Jackson nobody knows. He was very misunderstood. He felt that people didn’t understand him. I’ve known him for 40 years.

KING: What was his biggest weakness?

MANNING: Being kind, being trusting to you…

KING: Too kind?

MANNING: Yes. Absolutely, yes. And I’ll tell you something, he also often wondered, he just had a great faith. That song there was influenced by Mahalia Jackson (ph), the late Robert Johnson and Bob Johnson — I mean, the Johnson publication people…

If there is anyone who knows the real Michael Jackson it’s probably Steve Manning. That should be one interesting book if he does write one.

RIP Michael.

Michael Jackson’s Memorial

I watched the Michael Jackson Memorial today on CNN.

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What a beautiful tribute to a very talented man.  I recorded the show on my vcr (yes I still own one) and my dvr.

I wasn’t brave enough to watch BET’s so called tribute last week but I heard and read that it was a disaster. So glad my eyes didn’t have to suffer through that fiasco.

Today’s memorial was a joy to watch.  I enjoyed every performance. Now that was some real talent. I had to grab my box of kleenex and boy did I use it. Many times during the show I cried like a baby.  Michael had quite an effect on everyone he met.  From Lionel Richie and Berry Gordy to Smokey Robinson and Brooke Shields.  Lionel Richie singing Jesus Is Love (haven’t heard that song in years), Jennifer Hudson singing You Will Be There and John Mayer performing Human Nature. I just sat there mesmerized by everyone that stepped on that stage. I lost it too. Listening to Jermaine Jackson singing Smile after Brooke spoke and seeing Michael’s daughter Paris speaking at the end had me in tears.

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I can’t remember the last time I cried so much watching something on television.

My prayers go out to the entire Jackson family.

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Thank you to Katherine and Joe Jackson for bringing Michael into the world so we could all enjoy his talent. He’s now resting in peace but his music will live on forever.

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Family, Fans Remember Michael Jackson in Tearful Memorial Service

By Lisa De Moraes and Ashley Surdin
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, July 7, 2009 7:14 PM

The world capital of excess said goodbye to the King of Pop in a public memorial service choked with celebrities and tear-welling moments that was broadcast live from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles and streamed around the globe.

Hollywood stars joined family, friends and fans from across the nation in bidding farewell to Jackson that featured emotional tributes to the man they hailed as the world’s greatest entertainer.

The star-studded extravaganza at the Staples Center followed a private funeral service attended by Jackson’s family and friends at a Hollywood Hills cemetery this morning.

Pastor Lucious W. Smith of the Friendship Baptist Church in Pasadena gave the invocation, followed by Mariah Carey singing the opening number with a sweet rendition of the Jackson 5 ballad “I’ll Be There,” in a duet with Trey Lorenz.

Among those who feted Jackson were Motown founder Berry Gordy, the Rev. Al Sharpton and NBA greats Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. The memorial opened with Motown great Smokey Robinson stumbling through letters of condolence from singing legend Diana Ross and former South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Then, as a gospel choir began to sing and the golden casket containing Jackson’s body was brought into the arena and about 18,000 stood up and were silent No more crying, we are going to see the king A concert worker’s eyes filled with tears. “Oh my God, it’s him!” said a woman in the audience.

“We Love You, Michael!” another woman called out, to cheers and applause.

The Carey/Lorenz performance was followed by Stevie Wonder, who performed “I Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer.” “This is a moment that I wished I did not live to see come,” Wonder said.

Other musicians who participated included Lionel Richie, performed “Jesus Is Love,” a pregnant Jennifer Hudson singing “Will You Be There,” and Usher, who sang “Gone Too Soon” as he walked over to rest his hand on Jackson’s casket.

“He did have two personalities,” Gordy told the assemblage.

“Offstage, he was shy, soft-spoken and childlike,” Gordy continued. “But when he took the stage in front of his screaming fans, he turned into another person — a master, a take-no-prisoners showman. It was like kill or be killed. . . . King of Pop is not big enough for him; I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived.”

“I never thought I’d live to see him be gone,” said Robinson, returning to the stage to tell about how Jackson outsang him on his own tune “Who’s Lovin’ You.” After that, 12-year-old Shaheen Jafargholi — who finished seventh this past season on “Britain’s Got Talent” and sang “Who’s Lovin’ You” in the competition — came out to sing that tune. Jackson had invited Jafargholi to perform in his upcoming London concert series.

Check out the entire article about the memorial at the Washington Post.

RIP Michael Jackson

I’m late in posting this but as everyone around the world knows Michael Jackson passed away on Thursday June 25.

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Object of Acclaim, Curiosity, The ‘King of Pop’ Dies in L.A.

By Hank Stuever and Matt Schudel
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson, 50, died yesterday in Los Angeles as sensationally as he lived, as famous as a human being can get. He was a child Motown phenomenon who grew into a moonwalking megastar, the self-anointed King of Pop who sold 750 million records over his career and enjoyed worldwide adoration.

But with that came the world’s relentless curiosity, and Mr. Jackson was eventually regarded as one of show business’s legendary oddities, hopping from one public relations crisis to another.

In the end there were two sides to the record: The tabloid caricature and the provocative, genre-changing musical genius that his fans will always treasure. There were those whose devotion knew no bounds, who visited the gates of his private ranch north of Santa Barbara, Calif., arriving at Neverland on pilgrimages from Europe and Asia, and who were among the first to flock to UCLA Medical Center as news of his death spread yesterday afternoon. Those were the same kind of fans who camped out at the Santa Barbara Superior Courthouse, to show their support during his 2005 trial. They released doves and wept when he was acquitted.

Then there was the other kind of fan, who preferred to keep memories of the singer locked firmly in his 1980s prime: Today’s young adults all have memories of being toddlers and grade-schoolers who moonwalked across their mother’s just mopped kitchen floors. Even the hardest rockers will easily confess to the first album they ever bought: “Thriller.”

“I am just dev-as-tated,” said Bridgette Cooper, 44, of Mitchellville, who was driving her children to math tutoring when her 12-year-old got the news by text. “I don’t ever remember not loving him. I have been a fan forever. Even through the turmoil and the public spectacle, I still loved him and his music.”

Mr. Jackson’s death set off an instant media frenzy befitting the later chapters of his celebrityhood. The singer suffered an apparent heart attack at one of his residences in Bel-Air. Paramedics said Jackson was not breathing when they arrived at 12:26 p.m. Pacific time. The singer was brought to the UCLA Medical Center at 1:14 p.m. PDT and pronounced dead at 2:26 (5:26 Eastern).

Web sites began reporting that the singer had been taken to the hospital. Soon, streets in the Westwood neighborhoods around the hospital were clogged with traffic as crowds of onlookers formed, much as they did wherever the singer had appeared. Soon enough, they were dancing and playing Mr. Jackson’s music, as a helicopter flew away with his body, en route to the coroner. All around the world, from Los Angeles to Adams Morgan to Times Square to Tokyo and beyond, people cued up Mr. Jackson’s songs — some digging out cassettes and LPs.

Mr. Jackson’s brother, Jermaine, told reporters that “it is believed [Mr. Jackson] suffered cardiac arrest” and that the star’s personal physician had tried to revive him. Jermaine Jackson then asked for something his family is unlikely to get in the next several days: privacy. “And may Allah be with you, Michael, always,” he said.

I’m still in shock. When I first heard about it I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was some internet rumor cause you know rumors about folks dying can easily get started on the internet.  But I found out on a legit news site so I had to accept the truth.

Despite Michael’s odd ways you can’t take away the fact that the man was one of the most gifted and talented music artists to ever grace this earth. I’ve been a fan since his days in the Jackson 5. Yesterday I finally had time to go through my album and cd collection and pulled out all my Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 music. I own a lot. I popped in a few cds and had a Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 marathon going on yesterday. That includes playing the Jackson 5 Anthology cd which really brought back some memories.

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Some of the songs from that cd that I love include Never Can Say Goodbye, Lookin’ Through The Window, I Am Love, I Wanna Be Where You Are and Forever Came Today. Check out I Am Love. This song is fantastic.  It’s from the Jackson Five Dancing Machine album.  Yes I still have that album 🙂

Another song I really enjoy is from the Jackson album/cd Triumph.  I read that the song Heartbreak Hotel, another all time favorite, is now titled This Place Hotel.  Well I still have the Triumph album and thankfully the original title still stands on that album.

It’s difficult to pinpoint my favorite Michael Jackson solo song. He had so many good ones. But some favorites include Billie Jean, Rock With You, I Can’t Help It, Man In The Mirror and Thriller. Check out Michael’s Billie Jean performance from the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever television special. Yes, I own the video.

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Motown 25 was one of the first videos I bought after I started my video collection back in the 80’s.

Quite a number of sites have tributes and recollections of  Michael.  Check out Rolling Stone’s Essential Michael Jackson coverage, People Magazine’s Appreciation and CNN’s Special Report on Michael Jackson.

I’ve been watching The Jacksons: An American Family on TV One.  Now I see why I prefer watching movies on non-commerical tv or dvd.  Way too many commercials.  I’m gonna order the movie through Amazon.com later next month.  Hopefully they’ll have it back in stock by then.

My prayers go out to the Jackson family.

RIP Michael.

How years of friendship turned into marriage

The Washington Post has launched a new weekly Sunday feature called OnLove which focuses on couples and weddings.  This week features four couples including White House Chief Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes who recently wed Marland Buckner Jr.  Melody and Marland  were married on June 13 at the Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.

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At Last, Ever After
It Took Years of Friendship Before Melody Barnes and Marland Buckner Forged the Bonds of a Relationship That ‘Felt Like Home’

By Ellen McCarthy
The Washington Post

We swing our eyes around
as well as side to side
to see the world.
To choose, renounce,
this, or that —
call it a council between equals
call it love.
— Alice Walker, “Beyond What”

The time for conforming, if there ever was one, had passed. Melody Barnes, at 40, had become too much herself to engage in shape-shifting for the sake of romance.

Besides, she was doing just fine. More than that — she was a revered political staffer who spent nearly a decade as senior counsel to Sen. Edward Kennedy, a woman who painted watercolors and took acting classes in her spare time, whose curiosity about the world had only grown over the years. She was a woman who would come to serve as President Obama’s domestic policy adviser, who never married but had a life rich with family and friends.

Among those many friends was Marland Buckner. They met in the late 1990s, when Buckner worked as chief of staff to Rep. Harold Ford Jr., and within a few years wound up in the same tightknit social circle of political types who’d often gather for barbecues, weekend trips and movie nights.

“I always remember thinking, when we got together, ‘What a nice person,’ ” Barnes says of the man she married June 13 in front of a crowd that included Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett. “He was always the one who made sure everything was organized, and would make sure no one was stuck in the kitchen doing dishes.”

But at the time, she didn’t think much more than that. Nice guy. Just a friend.

When the group met in Annapolis for crabs by the bay on Labor Day weekend in 2007, Buckner was seated by Barnes, whom he’d known well for three years by then. Then he reached for a crab out of her pile.

“I was hungry . . . so I figured, ‘I’ll help myself,’ ” recalls Buckner, 42, who worked as a lobbyist for Microsoft before opening his own firm in February 2008. “And she — well, there’s really no other way to put this — she threatened to stab me. With her knife.”

“And I meant it,” Barnes chimes in during a rare afternoon off from the White House.

Congrats to Melody and Marland.

You can read the rest here at the Washington Post and check out the wedding photo gallery. The New York Times also has an article about Melody and Marland.

Another couple featured in today’s OnLove section is Betty and Edgar Glick.

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Betty and Edgar have been married for 65 years and have one son.

‘Even if You’re Angry, You Still Kiss Each Other’
A Few Dates and a Few Simple Rules Formed the Glicks’ Firm Foundation

By Ellen McCarthy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 21, 2009

65 Years In

Sure, Betty Glick’s been married, rather delightedly, to the same fellow for 6 1/2 decades. There’s a strategy behind the longevity, and she’s happy to share it: “Be nice.”

You expected something more elaborate? Well, maybe that’s the problem. It’s a relationship, not advanced astrophysics, and you just stick with it, day after day after 23,876th day, trying, at least, to be nice to each other.

Because “if you’re going to be cruel, unkind, say mean things,” she explains, “it spoils it immediately.”

Of course things haven’t always been perfect in the lives of Edgar and Betty Glick. Really, it’s amazing that things worked out as well as they have. They got married the fourth time they saw each other, in February 1944, and three weeks later Edgar shipped off to Italy.

“Here’s two kids, 19 and 20. It’s a war. They’ve seen each other three times over a year-and-a-half. They get married. And I wouldn’t give you 20 cents for the chances of that marriage lasting,” says Edgar, now 85, from an armchair in their Reston home.

The two met on a blind date in 1942. He was a Pittsburgh boy who drove up to Erie after a friend told him to “date Betty Shapiro — she’s fun!” They went out twice before he left for Army duty. And that was it, until a friend told Betty that Edgar was in Sioux Falls, S.D., sick with pneumonia doctors thought would kill him.

Congrats to Betty and Edgar on their 65 years of marriage.  It’s nice to read about couples who’ve been married for more than 50 years.

Check out the entire about Betty and Edgar Glick at the Washington Post.

President Barack Obama and fatherhood

President Barack Obama graces the cover of today’s edition of Parade Magazine with his daughters Malia and Sasha.

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President Obama talks about how much fatherhood is important to him when it comes to his two daughters and how many fathers need to step up to the plate and spend more time in their childrens lives.

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‘We Need Fathers To Step Up’
by President Barack Obama

Two days before the inauguration, PARADE published a letter from Barack Obama to his daughters about what he hoped for them and all the children of America. The letter attracted international attention. On this Father’s Day, we asked the President to reflect on what fatherhood means to him.

[Get the story behind the story from PARADE Editor Janice Kaplan.]

As the father of two young girls who have shown such poise, humor, and patience in the unconventional life into which they have been thrust, I mark this Father’s Day—our first in the White House—with a deep sense of gratitude. One of the greatest benefits of being President is that I now live right above the office. I see my girls off to school nearly every morning and have dinner with them nearly every night. It is a welcome change after so many years out on the campaign trail and commuting between Chicago and Capitol Hill.

But I observe this Father’s Day not just as a father grateful to be present in my daughters’ lives but also as a son who grew up without a father in my own life. My father left my family when I was 2 years old, and I knew him mainly from the letters he wrote and the stories my family told. And while I was lucky to have two wonderful grandparents who poured everything they had into helping my mother raise my sister and me, I still felt the weight of his absence throughout my childhood.

As an adult, working as a community organizer and later as a legislator, I would often walk through the streets of Chicago’s South Side and see boys marked by that same absence—boys without supervision or direction or anyone to help them as they struggled to grow into men. I identified with their frustration and disengagement—with their sense of having been let down.

In many ways, I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence—both in my life and in the lives of others. I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference.

That is why we need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.

Read the entire article at Parade Magazine.com and check out the Obama family photo album.

Jada Pinkett Smith’s new role

Jada Pinkett Smith stars in the upcoming TNT series Hawthorne.

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I blogged about this early last month. But before she accepted the role she talked to her husband actor Will Smith and their children about the tv show. Accepting the role meant that Will would become Mr. Mom which I’m sure the kids are enjoying.

Will Smith takes on ‘extra’ duties to support wife’s new TV show

By Alan Duke
CNN

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — Before Jada Pinkett Smith took the role of producer and star of TNT’s “HawthoRNe,” she made sure her family was fine with her being away from her mother and wife duties during filming.

Pinkett Smith plays a single mom and a hospital’s chief nurse on the medical show, which debuts Tuesday night on cable’s TNT Network, which is owned by the parent company of CNN.

“I sat down with kids and my husband and I really asked their permission,” she said. “I said ‘Listen, there was this show I’d love to do and it will be three months that you might not see Mommy a lot.’ And they’re looking at me like ‘Really? What does that mean?'”

It meant that on weekdays Will would get Willow, 8, and Jaden, 11, out of bed each morning, tuck them in at night and take care of them in-between.

“So they get to eat chocolate for breakfast and go to bed whenever they feel like it for those three months while I’m working,” Pinkett Smith said. “So, it works out, and they know that the rest of the year, I’m off.”

While the show is based on a Richmond, Virginia, hospital, it’s produced in a recently closed Inglewood, California, hospital just a few miles from the Smiths’ home.

The article also mentions that Will will be an extra on Hawthorne so if you blink you might miss him. Check out the entire article here.  While you’re reading check out another article about Jada over at the Los Angeles Times titled Jada Pinkett Smith steps out on Hawthorne.  That article mentions that word of mouth about Hawthorne isn’t that great.  Washington Post critic Tom Shales reviewed both Hawthorne and another new show about a nurse, Nurse Jackie on Showtime last Monday.   Shales had rave reviews for Nurse Jackie and he didn’t like Hawthorne.  I’m still gonna watch Hawthorne since I prefer being my own critic.

Hawthorne premieres on TNT Tuesday, June 16 at 9:00pm ET.

Down home with the Neelys

USA Today has an interesting article about the Food Network’s Gina and Pat Neely.

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Down Home With the Neelys appears on the Food Network at 11:00am Saturdays and repeated throughout the week.  The Neelys are currently on a book tour promoting their new book Down Home with the Neelys:  A Southern Family Cookbook, which you can find at Amazon.com.

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Family is a key ingredient in the Neelys’ BBQ success

By Dennis Moore, USA TODAY

Grandma Jean’s potato salad. Grandma Rena’s deep-fried pork chops and quick vegetable soup. Aunt Faye’s chicken with scallion dumplings. Momma Daisy’s peach and blackberry cobbler. Mamma Neely’s Sock-It-to-Me Cake. And Memphis-style barbecue ribs.

Those family recipes have been passed down to the Food Network’s saucy stars Patrick and Gina Neely and are included in a new book they’re touring the country to promote, Down Home With the Neelys (Knopf, $27.95). More than 120 recipes, leading off with their famous barbecue seasoning and sauce, are introduced with a bit of family history, photos and humor.

“We’re no different from the typical family from the South,” says Pat, 44. “There, everybody can tell you about a dish that their grandmother, mother and aunt made.

“We were home-schooled in cooking,” he says.

The Neelys are best known for their barbecue, prepared “dry,” with a mixture of spices rubbed onto the meat, or “wet,” basted with a sweet and tangy sauce — and sometimes both — in their three restaurants in Memphis and Nashville.

Tony Neely, Pat’s brother, offers tips in the book for backyard barbecuing this summer. Most important: Go low and slow, cooking away from the fire using indirect heat. When seasoning meat, earlier is better, he says, even the night before. And if you throw a slab of ribs on the grill, cook them curl-side up to allow juices to gather in the center of the curl. Flip once, halfway or three-quarters of the way through cooking.

Pat and Tony’s ribs won a contest for the best in Memphis in 1997, which led to their appearance on the Today show. But the Neelys’ barbecuing isn’t limited to traditional ribs, chicken and another Memphis favorite, pulled-pork sandwiches. Pat and Gina have shared recipes for barbecue spaghetti on CBS’ The Early Show and barbecue nachos on ABC’s Good Morning America.

The article also mentions their family including their two children, how they got into the barbecue business and how they landed their Food Network series. You can click here to read the entire USA Today article and check out their Neelys Bar_B_Que website.

I got a serious craving for barbecue after reading this article. 🙂

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