What will Pasadena do with the miracle in our midst?

Last night I witnessed what I can only describe as a miraculous event. People were using the terms great, fantastic, incredible and other phrases that did not come near describing the miracle that has been in occurring at Pasadena’s Wilson Middle School.

For the last 30 years a campus security guard has worked with the youngsters at Wilson to develop a performing arts program, the likes of which I have never seen. And he has done so after school, assisted by volunteers and working for free. This by itself is a miracle.

As a program director, I’m aware of most of the issues that come with running music programs. I live in Pasadena and was not familiar with this performing arts program that most would consider one of the best in the country. How could that be? Could it be this program has not been presented as a Pasadena treasure because it goes against all conventional wisdom that requires certified experts and huge budgets for performing arts programs? Could it be that we are faced with a security guard who has dedicated his life to giving and has been able to inspire students, parents and volunteers for over 30 years for free? How could that possibly work?

What I witnessed last night defies comprehension on so many levels. The first was the passion and dedication that has been instilled in these students. This security guard has organized middle school youngsters to perform at a high school level. The drum corps that performed the finale had a majority of girls who performed with the discipline and precision of a college drum corp. But that was only one component of a program that has developed performance in music, theater, dance and all the other aspects of theater. This may be a little too much for the educational establishment to accept; a successful program that is inspiring youngsters by the hundreds, developed and administered by a security guard. It just makes no sense!

Wilson Middle School is scheduled to be closed. This security guard is out of a job. And one of the greatest performing arts programs in the country is about to end. As various organizations presented certificates of thanks to the security guard for over 30 years of dedication, and the incalculable positive impact he has had on thousands of families, there was not one mention of plans to continue this miracle. I was moved by this humble security guard’s final farewell, thanking God and the school for the opportunity to serve and give back.

I am very interested to see how the Pasadena arts and educational communities respond to the threat of losing this humble, African-American security guard who has created a miracle in our midst.

By the way, his name is Marvin Hatchett. 






The entire list of Democratic candidates for president is discouraging if not outright depressing.

Joe Biden will always be Mr. Touchy Feely.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren remind me of two ivory tower college professors way overdue for retirement.

Pete Buttigieg is actually running for governor of Indiana.

Amy Klobuchar needs to stay in the Senate since the legislative branch was her choice for representing Minnesota.

As for the rest of the candidates in the private sector, they need to run for city council first and then proceed from there.

On the other hand California recently lost the best four-term governor and Oakland the best two-term mayor in their entire history. I am referring of course to Jerry Brown. He is a man of utmost integrity with an honest zeal to promote excellent quality of life for all Americans not just those aligned with the Democratic Party. And just as with former President Obama, he can add a vice presidential candidate who specializes in foreign affairs.

Jerry, it’s time to throw your hat into the ring and declare your candidacy for president of the United States.The world and the country desperately need you to put an end to Trumpism and lead us back to a time of peace and prosperity.





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