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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 10.27.2023

“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder

It Ain’t Over… - The illustrious life and career of the baseball great, Yogi Berra

“I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.”

Last week, I wrote about Eunice talking about Elliot-ism’s and this week not only did a few new ones appear out of the blue on my latest podcasts but as usual, when I say something, something follows. In this case, I hopped on an early plane from Seattle to DC on my way to Providence and there it was, a wonderful documentary film on Yogi Berra produced by his granddaughter. There were many things the film shed light on that I did and didn’t know about Yogi. A few that I knew about were his close friendship with and early support of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line as well as his friendships with Al Downing, Elston Howard and Hector Lopez. As a kid, I went to a community summer day camp with Hector’s son. What a difference in where ballplayers lived, could live and their salaries back then. What the film also revealed was his history around gender equality. Yogi joined Athlete Ally, an organization dedicated to ending homophobia and transphobia in sports. Also, the film takes on his own trials and tribulations with how he was treated in the press and by his own profession for his looks, background and at the same time, how they mostly ignored his incredible performance as a player, manager, coach, community and family member. “So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face.”

All that said, there’s quite a few of his sayings to guide this week’s TGIF.

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

I had a great meeting with Bo from the LEGO Foundation. We talked about Learning Through Play and how our work has always been about making play a large part of how we learn. When you Learn Through Play, you Learn Through Relationships, Learn Through Practice and Learn Through Your Interests. Andrea’s workshop developed with LEGO Master Paul and his son Max using LEGO bricks to explain how someone is smart and how schools miss the boat is one of many places to start. Over the years, we’ve used paperclips, paracord, clay, fabric, reeds, PVC pipe and all sorts of other materials to show how we are smart to the touch and all our senses. Bo wants us to continue this work while continuing to expand the IBPLC, B-U and BPLiving.

“No matter where you go, there you are,”

Every time I go to Providence, I inevitably meet people on the street I haven’t seen for years and the funny thing is they don’t even realize that I haven’t lived there in 21 years. This time it didn’t take long. As soon as I got off the plane I ran into Bill Daugherty. Bill helped us start Math Hoops and Entrepreneurship 360. Then, right after the Inauguration Ceremony of Adam Bush, College Unbound’s second president, Dennis and I headed for a meal at Chef Ho’s. As we were coming out about 2 blocks away Juan Huertas, one of our graduates from The Met’s first class, was waving at us. It was great to see him. He’s now starting his own carpentry business that will recruit and develop carpenters of color.

“You can observe a lot by just watching.”

On Monday, I had meetings with Brian and Nancy about the start of B-Unbound at The Met. We had part of the meeting outside just talking to students as they passed by. We really know students so differently than most schools. This was the way I like to have meetings - outside in the community on school grounds that are a park, just the way we intended it to be way over twenty years ago.

“We have deep depth.”

Last night, this year’s cohort of Equity Fellows came over for dinner and more. It was great to see everyone in one place and watch this work grow from its inception. Like I stated last week, I can’t go anywhere without meeting Equity Fellows at meetings.

My trip to the DMV – “How can you think and hit at the same time?”

From the time I was 21 till now at 72, I didn’t feel the age thing but renewing my driver’s license put me in my place. Because I was over 70 in California, I had to take a written test in order to get my driver’s license renewed. Hmm??? So, I got curious as to why and read the CA Driver’s Handbook. It was here that I found out that there can be no discrimination.

“You have a right to be free from discrimination based on your actual or perceived race, sex, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, medical condition, or citizenship status.”

And many pages later….

“If you are 70 years old or older at the time your driver’s license expires, you are required to renew your driver’s license in person, unless otherwise instructed by DMV. Knowledge and vision tests are required.”

If that ain’t doubletalk, what is? Welcome to California!

Yogi, step aside.


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