Leimert Park: Do you have a story for KPCC's First Person?

What does it take to lead a healthy life? How do we build a healthy community? We know we need good clinics and hospitals staffed by skilled professionals to keep us healthy and and treat us when we're not. But it takes a lot more than that. A healthy community has good schools, plentiful park space, healthy food options, minimal pollution, few or no gangs.

Sharing experiences is one way to build a healthier community. First Person is KPCC's contribution to that effort: a storytelling project that lets Southern Californians tell their stories about their health – and their community's health.

Do you have a story for First Person?

Everything you share will be read by journalists only, and your responses are confidential unless you tell us we may publish them.

First Person is funded by a grant from The California Endowment.

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Comment by Nathaniel J. Shaw, artist BeBop on February 25, 2014 at 11:57am

I have too among so many have a story to add to the rest of what may indeed be a growing healing power. I now have a book I will work to get out to the people. It expresses my addition to the many stories of life in our lives:



It is recommended you do not even touch this kind of truth about life on the down side if you are the ole’ fashion, with its philosophy thinking, very religious individual living with the rest on these lands. It is believed this may be too much for you to try and endure. If indeed you are strong enough in whatever faith you live and you seek to know the thinking pattern and life style of the many suffering the negatives of life then by all means endure this one depiction of a brother in its diary kind of format. It will allow you the truth about life lived by just one unique individual among the many under the guidelines of the negative life so many live. This one life gives reference to many other lives encountered in the same wilderness and the suffering that gets so involved and intense. Be aware that what you are about to endure is a true encounter of only one individual having made it to hopeful safe grounds after the storm; that we as humans make mistakes on levels many would think could never happen. And for you who may be looking for a story of life similar to your own this may be what you seek; especially if you may be thinking of taking your own dirty laundry to the wash house. Many in this category could use some real inspiration to help make that one final and as well real decision to make that change. The truth about making that turnaround a reality will hopefully be endured in this story. For educators, doctors and others wanting more of the scope or picture of life in such a negative world and its thinking process as well, this story may pinpoint a more complete and overall view thus giving those in the mental, medical, counseling and other related fields a better focus on dealing more successfully in this area of life. It is especially noted in this story how those in the study field could maybe look more deeply into the desire for change and how so many years of such a pattern of life has its effects on making such a change. It is known how there continues to be the successful work to date in this area taken from expressed and open such stories and its experiences and I am sure more unique experiences are wanted in this area of study. Pay particular attention to the education sought allowing for depiction of the negatives and even positives in life that lead to decision making. For the one looking for entertainment this just may get you some satisfaction but may leave you with questions if indeed you make it all the way through without the excitement turning into the boredom of not really finding the  continuous nasty plot sought after. This continues to be my way of making sure I stay alert and on top of a new world free of the past – a past I term “Yesterday”:

My Stop Message


If more under the power and insanity of addiction cold stop long enough to focus on beginning of a fresh new day without the plague of a bottle of wine, a balloon, spoon and its outfit, a hit and its accompanying glass pipe or anything that must be ingested in some way to relieve the pressure and pain felt by addiction.


If such could stop long enough to watch the sun rise and endure its soothing warmth and tremendous energy instead of what has become a pest in the sky burning and getting in the way of another beautiful day that can never be seen.


Stop and try to remember what your teeth were like before this monster called addiction took over the direction of your hygiene.  Remember what your bathroom was like around this same time and if you showered or bathed on a regular basis.


Stop long enough to hear an ole jam mastered by one of the greatest of strings being played on a distant radio.  Remember those days and how life was indeed BREEZIN'.


Stop and reflect on the last night's peaceful and most comfortable slumber.  As well reflect on that significant other you cherish to this day and how the two of you awoke to that beautiful dawn.  And in such waking, after experiencing a night never to forget, the two of you put a seal on your love aided even more by the dawn and its rising sun.


Recall if you will the times on a regular basis when breakfast, lunch and dinner were hot and tasty meals.  Remember if such was the reason for all those diets.  Remember the service you were treated with at the local supermarket due to the checks that were always honored because not one of them ever bounced.  Recall, if you will, how your identification to verify checks had been replaced by your wide smile.


Compare your domestic quality today to yesterday.  I mean; when was the last time you were complimented for your domestication for a bright and cheerful home?

Stop and calculate the last most consistent lot of paid: rent, gas, electric, newspaper, ebony, jet, playboy, phone, internet and cable bills - not to forget housenotes for those of you.  And by consistent I refer to that lot of paid bills years old now.  And while your calculating find those receipts for that wide screen television set with DVR, that stereo system with its thousand plus collection of your favorite music, that gold watch with the diamond midnight mount, other jewelry shared out of love and the late model car.


Maybe after just some of this reflecting one may begin to do more wanting, desiring and yearning other than those times we can get backed up against a wall.  As long as that need does not arise those of us who keep saying, "hey; maybe I need to", may have a shot at recalling to light that missing sun and all its fresh glory.


You may even find that a rainy day has certain freshness to it for all its intended purposes.


Like the rain after some polluted problem in a downtown or ghetto alley you think of that monster you are polluted by as the very same.  And a good hard rain can be thought of as those tears and flow of snot all pouring without the thought of a man crying or a woman giving in both to surrender.  And like the rain there is something fresh and clean throughout that is seen and felt as strength, courage and especially humbleness. 


On the first sun shinny day after the cleansing rain can be seen and felt the very same intensity after one's own shower -OH YES !  It's alright to cry to !  At least for me it was and is still today.  As well there are those I walk with in this fresh new world who feel the very same.  There are those witnessed on a regular basis who feel the beginning of this brand new world free of the chains of insanity.


And if pride should stand in the way of so much pain suffered by addiction than it is only my suggestion that maybe you wait for one of Seattle's many rainy days or New York, Chicago or Atlanta's many buckets of rain and walk in it.  No one except our Higher Power will notice you in the midst of a wet crowded downtown or lonely ghetto street CLEANING HOUSE. . .





Comment by Ashley Alvarado on February 25, 2014 at 9:36am

Hi, you can share story by clicking on that blue link in the post or by going to—> http://www.scpr.org/network/questions/firstperson.


Comment by Katherine Nilbrink on February 24, 2014 at 7:04pm

If someone has a story, how do they share it?

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