I last saw Tina Allen Dec. 5, 2007 downtown Los Angeles at the Cultural Affairs Department. Harold Hambrick and Tina had this idea to erect a life-sized statue of Mayor Tom Bradley right outside the convention center, here where Harold is standing.
It was a great meeting, a day punctuated with Tina's vision for what could be--how the late Mayor would stand, how he would be elevated, how she would make his face strong and determined. She was animated, and funny, yet serious and determined.
I was not in on subsequent meetings. The sheer load of raising over a million dollars for the project was daunting especially when there were so many more pressing things. Tina was a worker and there was no doubt she could make it happen. When she and Harold put their heads together for the bust of the highly revered Lillian Mobley, it was fun watching her energy in motion, the stages the finished bust went through: from the photos to the drawings to the clay to the bronze and finally the day of the presentation to a standing room only crowd out at King Hospital. Tina loved Ms. Mobley and her love was emblazoned on that bust.
Tina met Kwaku (my husband) I think it was in Costco and the two became great friends. She often invited us to her many social events out in her North Hills home. Always present were the Hollywood folks. She dug down deep to pull at least one who had fallen on hard times back to the middle. When I would run into her, she would look right into my soul to ask how I was doing. She always listened for the answer.
No, we weren't best friends or running buddies, but she had my back and I had hers. And she was good people. Tina Allen was good people.
It only stands to reason that it was her heart that gave out. She used it so freely. She had high standards and set her price but she was a lover and she loved us all hard.
There is a fitting tribute to her in the L.A. Times...the first link is the text article; the second is a group of photos of her work. I looked back through my digital albums of the last day we met--thinking I had taken her picture--but I did not break out my camera until after we left her and Harold and I drove by the intended location for the Bradley Statue.
First, when I received this animated picture from Lita Herron, I said "How did they do that?" It's an animated gif --we've seen them a zillion times--but this one makes Barack and Michelle, Hillary and Biden look like they were partying to beat the band!
But, that's a story for IsidraGadget.blogspot.com when I can explain how to make your own. It is not as hard as it looks.
The title of this blog post is "Palin' in comparison." You see, our Democratic friends are partying because they just learned that McCain chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as their VP choice.
They know that this woman pales in comparison to BarackObama's choice, Senator Joe Biden, from her plan to her lack of experience, to her family baggage, to her having led a tiny city before becoming governor--all of that pales in comparison.
The great thing about Barack's campaign is many of us thought that the coalition was complete. The so-called minorities or people of color, those of various sexual persuasions and forward thinking whites as well as the youth--were all working together for a common goal. Until...that is, Governor Palin was announced. Now, with all the research into the answers Americans are seeking, white women are jumping to Palin's side--dare I say it--because she is white?
It can't be because of her beliefs, we are just learning what those are. Just a few months ago emails were circulating taking Barack to task because Black people, Republicans charged, were voting for Barack just because he was Black. But we wanted our troops home, we wanted to stop killing innocent people in foreign lands...thousands of them...we wanted to get off this roller coaster with gas prices...and so much more. We had reasons to vote for Barack. His being black was just pleasant happenstance--would we see it in our lifetimes?
But these same people who agreed with Hillary similarly over similar issues have now jumped over to Gov. Palin??? Why? You can't possibly stand for all that the Democrats are for and then throw that all away to side with the Republicans, can you? You can't possibly be as gullible as to see a campaign for change be ripped off from the Democrats by the Republicans and you are going to believe that? Or could it be that you like her and are willing to risk the presidency with a candidate a heart beat away--virtually allowing McCain to possibly choose the next president of the United States after the months of wrangling we have been through?
I was actually proud of the white voters for stepping above prejudices, and passionately plastering Obama signs in sometimes conservative neighborhoods. It could not have been easy for them. They made me smile, practically skipping up to me in stores to compliment me on my Obama earrings--sharing a bond, a common mission for a few minutes of chat. Maybe those whites who pshaw'ed our Black protestations that racism had not yet been fully dealt with were right. Maybe these times are showing that.
But, throwing the self-proclaimed Hockey Mom into the mix ripped all that to shreds. Now the naysayers who sadly shook their heads and said Obama will never win because when whites go into those voting booths, 9 times out of 10 they will vote for the white candidate if there is a choice. With each passing day it seems more and more as if they will be right.
What gives me hope as of late are these interviews. The Governor was not prepared and it showed. Repeating herself three times shows that she is new at the spin, or doesn't really believe it. "Guilty feet have got no rhythm" or so the song goes.
I thought that the 20 years of Oprah had raised a more enlightened generation when I saw what happened in Iowa. I heard right wing talk show hosts grill white female callers about how Oprah turned her back on her gender when she didn't side with Hillary and I heard those women give them the business right back, defending her right to choose and singing Obama's praises. Now they are organizing against her because she wouldn't interview Gov. Palin, even after she stated that since she endorsed she would not be doing any interviews.
Only time will tell how it will all turn out, but if Americans have received no other lesson, I pray they are seeing through the media manipulation and will not fall for the OkieDoke. Again.