Goodnight, Reeses

By Michael P Coleman

That headline is not an ode to a bygone candy bar binge. It’s how you say goodbye to a dog that was named by a nine year old. She was a black and brown German Shepherd mix whose coat was the colors of that little girl’s — and her dad’s — beloved peanut butter cup.

Reeses was also the best watch dog I ever had. And other than my current marriage, my relationship with her was the longest term relationship I’d ever had.

We had to put Reeses down just over a week ago. On a Saturday. At 4:41pm.

Sixteen years ago this September, my husband, Rob and youngest daughter, Kristina tricked me into an outing at the Detroit Zoo. What I’d thought would be a fairly innocuous Saturday would actually be an ambush: the Zoo was hosting an event sponsored by the Michigan Humane Society.

I knew I was doomed the moment I saw the event’s banner hanging over the side of the Zoo’s parking garage:

“Meet Your Best Friend At The Zoo”

For years, I’d resisted letting Kristina have a dog. I’d told her that she wasn’t ready to handle the responsibility, and that I certainly wasn’t going to take it on. Neither turned out to be true, but that was only a part of the story. I’d wanted to make sure that Kristina was old enough to to be ready to deal with the inevitable death of a pet. As dogs dig up your garden, they find a way of burrowing their way into your heart. They also live painfully short lives.

reesesKristina fell in love with six weeks old Reeses the minute they laid eyes on each other. Another family had planned to adopt Reeses, who’d been found with the rest of her litter in an abandoned house in Detroit. That adoption fell through — and I still don’t know how that happens! — and the Humane Society staffer who searched for and found us in the crowd knew it was a done deal when Kristina pleaded “Please, Daddy, let me take her home.”

Kristina held that puppy in her palmed hands in the back seat of our Jeep Wrangler, on our way to start our chapter together. Once home, I gave Kristina just one edict: Reeses was not to sleep in the bed with her.

But Kristina, much like her dad, was always fond of breaking rules. Rob and I found dog hair in her bed the next and every morning, even as that kid insisted that she had to have been the one who was shedding.

The stories I could tell you.

Click here to read MPC's tribute to the world's best watchdog.

Mike Coleman headshotonly nologo 300

Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or follow him on Instagram and Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP

impssible whopper 700

by Michael P Coleman

Burger King locations nationwide launched the fast food chain’s new plant-based Impossible Whopper today. I stopped in this afternoon for lunch so I could let you know how it is.

The last time I walked into a Burger King lobby that was that crowded was…

never. If that lobby’s any indication of what’s to come, Ronald McDonald is in DEEP trouble.

To be fair, I hadn’t been in a Burger King lobby in over seven years. I got a little healthier, lately, largely by avoiding restaurants with drive-thru windows. But the lure of the new lower fat, MUCH lower cholesterol Impossible Whopper drew me in.

Click here to read MPC’s full feature, including details on how the new Impossible Whopper crashed BK’s payment system! 

Mike Coleman headshotonly nologo 300

Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or follow him on Instagram and Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP

HUB Preview: The Wiz At Sacramento’s Wells Fargo Pavilion Aug 6-11

By Michael P Coleman

When Universal Pictures released a big budget adaption of Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical The Wiz in 1978, then 34-year-old superstar Diana Ross took a lot of flack for playing a 24-year-old Dorothy.

Over four decades later, 30 year old musical theatre phenom Adrianna Hicks has no problem playing a 15 year old Dorothy in Broadway At Music Circus’ production of the play, opening Tuesday, August 6 at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento and running through August 11.

And astonishingly, Hicks feels no pressure to fill Ross’ silver slippers. 

“Nobody is able to do what those legendary women did,” Hicks EXCLUSIVELY told me, of the challenge of following Ross and Stephanie Mills, who originated the role on Broadway.  “I have to do justice to this wonderful girl’s story.  Dorothy is growing up, and trying to understand what living is about — and trying to figure herself out.” 

"So the challenge isn’t filling Ross’ shoes or Mills’ shoes.  It’s doing justice to Dorothy and filling her shoes.”

Click here to read MPC’s full feature, with more from Adrianna Hicks...including why Psalm 23 is her “go-to” scripture! 

Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or click here to follow him on Twitter.  

 

http://www.sacculturalhub.com/images/whitney-walden-700.jpg

 

By Michael P Coleman

Whitney Houston fans got a surprise late last week when her estate released a cover of Steve Winwood’s & Chaka Khan’s “Higher Love,” featuring a new production bed by Norwegian DJ and producer Kygo.

That surprise was 30 years in the making. 

New Whitney Houston SingleThe new single’s original, transcendent vocal was recorded with legendary producer and longtime Houston collaborator Narada Michael Walden in 1989, as the pair was working on songs for what was to be Houston’s third album, I’m Your Baby Tonight. Walden had worked with Houston since her debut album’s “How Will I Know” and had produced several hits for the singer by that time, including “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “So Emotional,” “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” and “One Moment In Time.”

During our EXCLUSIVE conversation just after the new single’s release, Walden said he couldn’t be happier about Houston’s fans finally getting to experience the thrill he enjoyed when they recorded the song. 

“I always knew in my heart and mind that one day ‘Higher Love’ would resurface, because she sang it so great,” Walden enthused.  “Whitney and I were very close. We’d discuss music all of the time, we both loved ‘Higher Love,’ and we had a fun time discussing what we could do with it. So I decided to surprise her by cutting the track at my studio in San Rafael, with a full choir.” 

“When I played it for Whitney, she got so thrilled and excited,” Walden continued.  “She just sang like crazy! And the ending was super long. It just kept going and going and going, ‘cause she had so much spirit about it.” 

“When she heard the choir come in, she went to a whole new gear, man! That’s when it really exploded!  We were all elated in the studio. I’ll never forget it!”

Click here to read MPC’s full story.

Mike Coleman headshotonly nologo 300Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or click here to follow him on Twitter. 

 mustang
 
Do you think it’s possible to love an inanimate object? If you don’t , don’t try to convince MPC of that.  Check out his love letter... to his car. 
 

blackboysneedmentors

 

My purpose as a mentor is to focus not just on academics, but also on emotional support. I have a deep respect for the youth I mentor, and in return, they respect me. For most of the youth I work with, I am the only man they trust to open up to about their emotions, and it makes a difference.

For the full story, visit EducationPost.org.

President Donald Trump wants NASA to go to Mars, but his Treasury secretary can't figure out how to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill?

We recently learned that the planned Harriet Tubman currency — which was slated to replace the $20 Andrew Jackson bill in time for the 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment — can't be rolled out until 2028. This, even though the engraving plate for it was completed "as recently as May 2018" a Treasury Department employee told the New York Times. The employee also said the design "appeared to be far along in the process," according to the Times. Apparently so — as we all saw a picture of it leaked to the press.

For the full story, visit CNN.com/Opinions.

It took every fiber of my being to keep from going into the ugly cry as Vanzant and I chatted, hours before the tour’s Phoenix kick off.  During our talk, the legend reminded me that quite a lot has changed since Act Of Faith’s initial publication. 

Click here for the full MPC feature.

Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or click here to follow him on Twitter.