I do not feel too good this morning. My voice is gone. My eyes hurt. I believe I have a little fever. However, I had to come to Chrysalis. I have to speak to someone here today but not now. I have not showered. I fit right in thisk morning. I shall return later when I freshen up a bit.
I had to see my blog. I wanted to get a feel for it a day after the changes were made to it. I liked the changes. It symbolizes growth. I have all but abandoned my first blog site, blogomonster.com.
I visited my first site this morning. I remember starting it on September 23,2007. It was a great feeling. I posted four blogs that day. Each time I checked the site I looked at the upper right hand corner and it told me how many people looked at it. I remember when it said 1 view. I was excited. After four blogs, I had one view. I was excited on one hand and depressed on the other. I had no following.
Sure, I wrote for myself but i am human. I wanted people to read my blog. I stated the mission of the blog. I wanted people to know what it was like to undergo recovery. I do not mean thee NA, CA, AA system of recovery. I am talking about your everyday feelings, doubts,
frustrations, triumphs, fears, and never ending discoveries. I felt it would help those that had a friend or relative who quit drugs or alcohol. It would let them no what it was like for them.
Eric Richardson, of Blogdowntown, told me that he would find it interesting to read about my story. He believed that everyone talks about recovery or rehab but really nobody knows what it is about. Hell, I did not know what it was about. AND GET THIS. I DID NOT KNOW WHAT BEING ADDICTED WAS ABOUT UNTIL I STOPPED USING DRUGS. Figure that.
If a person does not know what addiction is until he stops, then how could someone know what it is about who has not use drugs. They may know how they feel when a loved one is using drugs but they do not know how the love one feels. The loved one is frustrated, scared, suffers from low self esteem and wonders if it will ever end.
I wondered if I could make my story interesting. I believed that I grew up at an interesting time, the 1960's, the time of the Vietnam War, The Civil Rights era, Free Speech, The birth
of Women's rights. All of these things were happening. I grew up in Los Angeles and went to a little school that wielded alot of power in the world. I mention the alumni who are public figures because I figured everybody likes to read about celebrities. However, they were not celebrities to me. They were my friends. I thought that when the time was right the stories I told of people who the world knows in one way would be of interest to them. I do not do it to name drop. Some of the people came from families that built the City of Los Angeles. I believed a little history would be in order.
When I first started, I was experiencing much change in my life. I moved from the facility where I lived to a SRO building. It had a computer. Great. I used it. Now that computer is down. It has been down since shortly after I started blogging. I have had to be creative and
determined to make sure I keep my blog up to date. The job classes that I took at Chrysalis
paid off because I can at least use their computers to blog. I can not upload pictures or video but I can type. My blogging is a production line. I go here to type and somewhere else to upload photos, and I go somewhere else to finish it.
I remember when I saw I had 10 viewers, then 2o viewers. Wow, I thought I had a packed stadium. Of course, they may not have read my blog. I have also learned that the viewers could be computer spam hits. None the less I was encouraged. I looked at one of the blogs on my former site, blogomonster and it has 70 hits. Whoa. Of course that could mean anything.
What it means more than anything is that I am building and not just in the world of blogging.
I am building a life and I am putting in place brick after brick. At moments the bricks are light and at others the bricks are quite overwhelming.
I noticed that most of my blogs had a minimum viewership of 20 and as many as 70.
All of that and I just started a month ago. Then, one day, after fiddling around on that site I noticed I had a comment. In fact it was the only comment in all of those blogs.
It was from a man in Kansas City. He told me he quit doing crack a decade ago and that people did not think he could stop. He said that people did not understand the nature of the beast and that I would help people if I continue to write. I needed to hear that.
I went back and forth from my old site to this one. I wanted to create a blog page that was stable. I read an interview with Molly of Molly.com. Molly is a website designer and author that lives in Arizona. If she used blogger. I could. I saw where Brady Westwater used blogger. If Brady could use it, I could. Of course, I did not know I could blog free. I thought I needed my own sight. I talked with Garza on the street about that. I talked to him several times before I started at blogomonster.com. Don gave me an advanced education, yesterday.
Keep this in mind, I had a website, waltermelton,com. I wanted to do alot with it. This was several years ago. I never got it going other than a couple of photos of me and a narration of my purpose.
This time I am starting out with a clear mind. I am not using drugs. I have made hundreds of pages of copies to teach me the internet, of networking, of podcasting, etc. I look forward to putting videos on my site and reporting. I want to do interviews of people on Skid Row and put the videos on the site just like they do on the websites of television news stations. Learning Html and CSS is vital to that growth. I have studied a few channels on youtube where the users post videos that are in a sense tv shows. I told Eric Richarson of an idea and since then I have developed it further. My experiencing blogging has given me another perspective that makes that dream closer. I just need help and others to see the vision.
It is a vision that would interest downtowners and the City of Los Angeles. No question.
I know markets and the more I am in this one the more I am convinced of what I see and believe. whether in the field of real estate or communications, I see partitions and overlapping very clearly.
I struggled with obligations and requirements during the past month. Somehow I kept up my blog. I received more encouragement in comments. I met more people outside of the world of misery and frustration. I almost had a job but fate stepped in and that was that.
At the end of last week, I had no possibilities. I still have nothing concrete but I have activity and that leads to possibilities. I have met city officials and they respect me. I have met bloggers and they have embraced me. Someone who graduated from my school emailed me and wants to meet me.
I wanted to do a documentary. I studied books on how to film and interview, when to speak and when to be quiet and let the film do the talking. All of my previous production experience and exposure to production , that I discounted, came back to me and I realized I knew a hell of alot more than I gave myself credit. Still, there is work to do. During all of this time, I still had to keep up with real estate in case I can return to that world.
With time and maturity, my documentary goal has become more comprehensive in my understanding of what it needs to be a stand out. I have access to various aspects of the subject matter to make it a standout. I no longer need to have something financed. I could just put all the segments on my little video camera and upload it., put it them on my blog page and go from there. Tom Green.com has a set up exactly like I would want mine.
I had to change the title of my blog. It was Recovery Road when I first started out. I realized I needed something that was not going to limit me or my exposure to readers. All of a sudden I had marketing problems and management problems that I previously did not have. They were frustrating problems and yet they were exciting problems to have. Hell, I did not have a blog a couple of months ago. Now I have one. I did not post pictures a while ago, now I have pictures. I did not have a video cam, now I have one.
Maybe a lot of what I am saying sounds repetitive. However, this is my blog and I need to do this to gain clarity. It is like an unorthodox review of a business plan in the conceptual making.
I changed a couple of things. I decided to keep the Scribeskidrow but discontinue the title of Recovery Road. this blog will always be about recovery, instead I want the thrust to be about an adventure, an adventure in life that it new and refreshing. I need to blend video of downtown Los Angeles with photos and smoothly tell the story of the photos with crafted prose and simple, clear explanations.
At times I will talk about the personal family stuff and that gives context to macro matters that are of interest to the public in general. I hope that the previous blogs have given creedence to the statement that I have seen alot of different things in my life. I have done a variety of things in my life. I have transcended socioeconomic and cultural boundaries sometimes many times a day in my life. The purpose of saying all of that is that perhaps I can shed light on topics from different points of view from a variety of historical perspectives. This writing, itself, is an updated review of a previous review of the last month. A shift in perspective has come from recognition of new events and how they could impact my life, how they have impacted my life.
People are helping me. People are helping me keep my spirits up. People write me and tell me that they love my blog.
Someone came up to me and said something. They said they knew what I was hoping. They said I hoped someone would really get to know me and hire me because I believe it would be a shrewed move. Most people would think it is a risk. However, that is on the surface. Look at my background. Look at my dealings with a wide variety of people and industries. I speak
Portuguese and read and write Spanish as well as understand it. I just do not practice enough speaking it to think in the language.
I know the people whose families played a large part in buildking Los Angeles. Black families, White families, Asian families and Latino families. My experiences in life will be a benefit to a firm, not a risk. I bring alot of resourcefulness to the team and a great deal of energy. My friend realized that I was counting on somebody seeing that and using that. Even if someone could use my skills and talents to be an assistant it would be great.
I told you about Waltermelton.com. Let me tell you why I started that years ago. I had a friend. His name was Charles Grantham. I met Charles at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the Director of Admissions of the Wharton School of Business, Graduate School.
I was a senior at Penn. He was trying to get into professional sports. He contacted every baseball team owner and they agreed to meet with him on matters concerning labor. Charles got his MBA at Wharton and did his Phd work in Labor relations.
All of the owners responded to him except for the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They would not return Charlie's calls. He thought that was strange because the O'Malleys, both Walter and Peter graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and both were trustees of the university. Yet, he could not get in contact with them.
Someone at Penn told Charlie about this black tennis player from Los Angeles that worked for the Dodgers and worked directly for Walter and Peter. I was that black tennis player. They told him to get in touch with me and maybe he could contact Peter O'Malley.
Well, Charlie could not believe that I could do that. he could not find me but I got word that he was looking for me. One day, I wondered into his office and told his secretary that Charlie was looking for me. I had a camera in my hand and I looked shabby as most Penn students did at that time. In fact we prided ourselves in our shabby dress. Most students across the country did at that time. Charlie looked me over and began to tell me his purpose. He told me what he wanted to accomplish. While he told me this, I could see that he thought it was going to be a big waste of time. So he finally told me that he wanted to get in touch with Peter O'Malley because he needed his support. He was wondering if I would try to get in touch with Peter O'Malley within the next to weeks. I said sure. I was anxious to get back to my camera. I was learning alot about photography.
"Mr. Grantham, would you like to speak to Mr. O'Malley now?" I asked. He looked at me as if he was trying not to burst out laughing. he was thinking how could this kid do that when I am the director of admissions at THE Wharton School, where Peter AND Walter went and they have more screens to get through than he could believe.
"Sure I do. " He did not show emotion. I knew I was going to have a friend for life in a few minutes.
"Can I use that telephone right there." I pointed at a phone on his desk. Charlie handed me the phone and accessed an outside line. I dialed a phone number. I had Peter O'Malley's private phone number. I always remember phone numbers. The only time I could not was when I was in jail. My father was always amazed that I could remember phone numbers from 30 years ago as well as figures. I still can. I can multiply three digit by three digits in my head.
Peter O'Malley picked up the phone on the second ring. I told him about Charlie and what he wanted to do. Charlie sat there with his mouth wide open. He was shocked. He could not believe it. Finally I aske Peter if he would speak to Charlie and he said yes. I handed Charlie the phone. We were best of friends from that moment on. I worry because I heard he had been in town several times over the last couple of years and never called me. Maybe he is mad at me as well. I do not know.
Anyway Charlie became a mentor of mine. At first he saw me at a couple of night clubs where people of his age were. Plus there were not too many blacks at these places as well. He saw me at these places and that peaked his curiosity. Plus I was not falling all over him like most people. Most people were all over Charlie trying to get favors from him. I did not do that. If I was going to know Charlie. It was going to be as a friend, not because he is a director of admissions.
Charlie was a pioneer in a sense. I know what it is like to be a pioneer. He was older than I and he could teach me somethings. He took me under his wing. Judge Higgonbotham was another mentor. I had the best.
I took Charlie under my wing as well. Charlie went to school at Cheney State. Cheney was
a teaching college in Pennsylvania. Charlie was a great baseball player and basketball player.
Lots of star pro ball players went to those black colleges. The late Ed Bradley of "60minutes"
went to college with Charlie. I was thrilled when I met him at Madison Square Garden. I went to school with president's sons and movie stars sons etc. and I was not impressed with things like that. But I was a news fanatic and a 60 minutes fanatic. I was excited.
I told Charlie he had develop a social sport. I told him he had to learn tennis. If he wanted to move up in the world, he needed to play tennis. I taught him. I taught him in Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles. He loved it. He had his personal coach.
You see, Charlie became the executive director of the NBA Players Association. I went to games with Charlie all over the country. I sat in on many meetings and he would ask me my opinion on them. He said to me" I know what you know. You taught me tennis and I a=taught you everything you know so I need to have your opinion." Plus I looked at things from a different generation. Charlie and I were exposed to the same things but in some areas I was exposed to them at a younger age. That has it benefits and its detriments. We were able to discuss all factors.
Whenever I was with Charlie I stayed at his apartment in Manhattan. I had my own key. I never, ever had drugs on me when I was with him. Never. He knew I wouldnt as well.
He would leave and I would take messages. Sometimes he would have me read contracts and take notes. I was used to reading contracts from real estate. He asked me about real estate contracts alot when Kareem Abdul Jabaar lost alot of money. I explained to him about recourse and non recourse loans.
We went everywhere in Manhattan together. I was traveling alot and we would meet in cities where he had to be. I would teach him tennis like I taught Judge Higgonbotham. Then he and I would have dinner.
When I moved back home to Los Angeles, Charlie was out here alot. I spent alot of time at hotels waiting for him to return. Charlie would leave and tell me to answer the phones etc.
Many times he would have me read contracts and make notes. Many times he would have me do financial analysis on important aspects of negotiations. In effect, he had his own personal assistant who he knew he could count on to be discreet, quiet, knew how to perform specific financial analysis and who understood all aspects of the sports business because of his own experience and because he taught me. Plus he had a friend with whom he could talk and play high level tennis.
That is what I hope someone sees beneath it all. That. Plus Charlie knew I had a wealth of contacts and after what I did with respect to Peter O 'Malley, he never forgot to ask me if I may know this person and that person because he needed access to them. Most times I did. It never ceased to amaze him.
That is why I started waltermelton.com. I was going to be that type of assistant for anyone who needed that high level of talent and skill in someone across many playing fields and who also had tremendous contacts that he could access when needed. I hope people can see that I can contribute immmediately to their company.
I have a few people who I have been following. I hope they see it. I believe they could if they sat down and thought about it. We will see.
As you can see, dropping Recovery Road, opens it up to discuss a wider range of things. I felt talking about the O'Malleys was apropos in light of the recent addition of Joe Torre to the Dodger family.
I was able to blend my life with the city today. It is not difficult to do at all, everyday. I must do it in an appropriate fashion. Thank you Kevin. You enabled this timely event.
talk later people, It is time for me to go. Chrysalis is closing early today.
This is where I am at today. Or rather, this is where I am at this morning. Things change quickly in the emotional area while in this environment and dealing with different things.
I am dealing with them. I am beginning to get some help on matters that are dear to me.
I am finding out information each day that I should have been told a year ago. It is amazing.