It may not be the best video–no sound, really dark–but watch it.
Every Sunday, the Caribbean-themed TikiMarket at the Marina in Riviera Beach happens from 4 to 7 p.m. Last week, we were there at the end of the evening, as vendors were shutting down, carrying their stuff to their cars, and the DJ played a last few songs. That’s when we saw her: the little dancing lady! Nine-year-old Daneeka Howard, who lives in Lake Park, was jooking! Not twerking, not dropping it like it’s hot—but turning, twisting, bouncing, shaking…in a really skilled way. Yet she’s never taken a dance class, according to her mother, Sonia Stone, who owns Simply Stunning Organic and was selling paraffin/soy candles at the TikiMarket. “But she’s always loved dancing, since she was little, like, age 3,” Ms. Stone said, “and she’s always been very confident in herself. If someone said to her ‘oh, you’re so pretty, so nice,’ she’ll be like ‘thank you; I know.’” And when she overheard our conversation, Daneeka said, “Did you know I sing, too?” That’s what we liked about her: her confidence. Even though she’s only in the fourth grade. Even though she’s one of five kids. Even though she never took a dance class. Still. Confident.
Roosevelt High School in West Palm Beach was segregated until 1970–even though the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed school segregation in 1954 with its Brown v. Board of Education decision. This past weekend, the Class of 1959 celebrated its 60th anniversary at Benvenuto Restaurant in Boynton Beach. And they were different. In a good way. They were healthy, lucid, hardworking and respectful. Strong. They told stories about their teachers, those who cussed—not cursed; cussed—at them, or grabbed them by their shirts, or bossed them around with frowns on their faces. But those same teachers also supported them to the extreme, these students said, ensured they understood what to expect as they aged and led them to success. Consider the two men in the picture: Nelson Dozier and Samuel McDonald. Mr. Dozier, a classmate, is founder and owner of Dozier Electric, now in its 55th year of success as a small, family-owned business that provided work for his brothers, his son, his nephews, ex-felons–and college degrees for his three daughters. He was keynote speaker. He and #Team1959 also recognized the 64 classmates who’d passed away of the total 116 who graduated, and one of their teachers, Mr. McDonald. The now-92-year-old Mr. McDonald walked to the microphone on his own. He spoke; they applauded. The respect could be felt in the room. His main point: I sure miss what we had. The response? A standing ovation.
As we drove in West Palm Beach recently down a
certain street in the ‘hood, we saw a
young man sitting on a bench outside an apartment building. With gold teeth.
And dreadlocks. But as he turned his head, his hair moved. It was beautiful. We
slowed. He noticed and walked toward the car. Omg. Is he selling …
‘You need any mattresses? I’ve got all
sizes, and they brand new” he said to me, before I could catch my breath. Um, you’re
selling mattresses?, I asked. “Honestly,
I thought you were…” I began, and he looked at me. He began to nod his head. And
roll his eyes. I know, he said; I know. He started talking. Told a couple of
stories. Like, one time, he applied for a job. Talked over the phone, got an
interview. Then, he showed up. Um, sorry, he was told; the job is no longer
“This is who I am,” said Jatory Smith,
30, as his strong, confident hair swung. “If somebody can’t accept that, then
they can go on.”
Then, he went back to the pitch. “We
have mattresses, pillows…and they’re way lower than what they cost in the
store,” he said. “And I deliver for free. Just get my number and call me.”
So, why did he impress us? Because he
is not what was assumed. And it held him back not one bit.
As the young man walked to the doorway of our office building, the first thing I noticed was the flowered plant he was carrying—uh oh, I thought; somebody bought me a flower! Um, no. But then I noticed his very fit, very slim height, then his really cool hair. The plant wasn’t for me, it turned out, but I bought two others. He was selling for his Boynton Beach-based employer, Tropical Troy, driving from one business to another, knocking on doors, pitching in a very calm, smooth way. This particular day, he was in West Palm Beach, but he says he drives all over; wherever his boss says. Steven Reynolds is his name and he is a recent graduate of Santaluces High School in Lantana. He was nice, professional and told me how to best take care of my new plants: Gold Star and Anthurium. But the main thing: his spirit—and his hair. Loved them both! —by Marian Dozierof cocowire.
Walter Follins of West Palm Beach had worked at Florida Power & Light (FPL) for nearly 40 years when he retired about three years ago. One of the first people he met when he joined the company in 1980 was Jeff Cavney, who was his first trainer and taught Walt how to be a great lineman. Which he was. For two decades. Even after they both retired–Walt in 2016 and Jeff about a decade before–they remained friends. This picture was taken in December when the two old friends spent a weekend together in a really cool cabin sitting on 200 acres in the Georgia backwoods. Imagine the beer consumed! “The beauty of coco is that it crosses all lines,” wrote Walt’s girlfriend, who sent in the picture. “We need to see more pictures of relationships amongst the human race.” Especially nowadays.
West Palm Beach resident Renee Stanley attended the ‘2018 Winter Showcase: An evening of Theatre and Dance’ at U.B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School of the Arts on December 13–and, from her seat, saw something just as interesting as the talented students acting and dancing on the stage. She saw love. “I was sitting behind this couple and, at first, with the lights off, all I really noticed was that I had to keep looking around his head to see the show,” she said. “But when intermission started and the lights came on, I saw a man and woman in love.” Ms. Stanley said the entire time, he kept his arm around her. They would bend their heads close when they spoke. They smiled at each other. Unfortunately, she didn’t get their names, but she got their love. And their beauty of coco.
The cocowire team was at JAY Outreach Ministries on November 10 for a different reason–to show a visitor the fellowship hall to consider for an event–when we say these two ladies. Valmoria and Jailyse Ambose, mother and daughter who live in West Palm Beach, were onsite for a different reason, an upcoming event. We noticed them because not only were they dressed alike, but the love between them could be seen and felt. Daughter kept following Mommy, reaching for her hand, hugging her. And what about Mommy? Same. Very cute, very nice!
This picture was taken on the first day Skyler Foster, age 5, attended the SoulMovement dance class for students ages 3 to 7, held at the Florida Dance Conservatory in West Palm Beach. She was nervous, a bit unsure, but nevertheless she stayed and, according to her caretaker who sent us the picture, she loved it! Isn’t she lovely?! Watch a video of her performance with her classmates that day, beow. And for more information on SoulMovement, visit its website here .
From what we understand, this picture of Andre Cammock, 27, and his daughter, three-year-old Jazmine, are typical: they’re always together, always happy, always, well, cute. They are shown hanging out at the Hope Botanical Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica. The picture was sent in by Jada Brown of West Palm Beach, who is friends with the young Dad and his young daughter and sees them on her visits to the Caribbean Island. “He always talks about how much he loves his daughter,” Ms. Brown said. “Her mother died when she was born and, ever since, it’s been just the two of them.”