Though it’s been decades – not a single days goes by when I don’t think of or miss my Dad -Rev.John Watley Jr.
I’m glad I was able to know him, many kids don’t have relationships with their Dads unfortunately. My father the first one to claim my destiny as a music star. He was always bragging about me his “Princess” his “Superstar.” He didn’t live to see all of it but his prophecy for me came true. My Dad instilled in me many pearls of wisdom and character that continue to inspire and keep me strong ..my Dad was also charismatic in and out of the pulpit, a showman, first stylish male figure I saw, never wore jeans, always read the newspaper paper, made sure I read the encyclopedia, and so many strict rules that I grew to appreciate once I grew up. He had a great smile (I have his smile and forehead, and cheekbones) was a visionary in the COGIC a fact that also got him excommunicated because he openly accepted gay people and spoke on it. This is a subject I learned about later growing up through my Mom. He had love for all; embraced and created the concept “Christmas In August” (don’t wait to be charitable or giving, and don’t wait to use your nice things or to celebrate life). Seeing how the church people did him made me not religious or one of organized religion – but more of a spiritual person. I cover this in my in progress memoir.
I’m an Aquarian like him – his birthday is the day before mine. He was outside the box – I got that from him. My Dad loved fresh salads and spicy foods-I do too!
His sudden passing in 1982 changed how I live my life – cherish each day and those you love-never take either for granted. I can always hear him saying “It’s not what other people think of you -it’s what you think of yourself “ “.. only the strong survive” “always have your own money..” endless gems.
Continue to Rest In Peace Dad. Happy Father’s Day.
Note: I have no pictures of my father and I together- at one one our family lost everything in storage when we went through a tough time. I have only a couple of him. He would have loved seeing Tiger Woods success I’m sure.
I love this one of him as a young man-making history in golf, he endured racism coming up of course and wanting to be a pro golfer at the time.
My Dad would give up his passion for the sport to follow his own fathers path into the ministry.
Anyone who really knows me is aware of my love of the NBA and sports in general one of the many special things I share with my son Arie.
Post from January 26, 2020
I’m at a loss for words Rest In Peace international basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at only 13 rest with angels .. I just can’t believe it – one of my favorite NBA players and my sons as well always leaving it out of the court, my son attended many of his camps, Kobe was great with the kids and so personable, having opportunity to meet him, going to games, my son being so excited about his first pair of Kobe sneakers .. the list goes on – so many fond memories, was excited to see what he’d do with his Mamba academy, teaching the Mamba mentality of excellence, championing women’s athletics and with his children books so much ahead .. such a tragic day for all of the two families, and millions of fans around the world. I have no words .. this is surreal shedding tears over this. Prayers and strength to his wife Vanessa and family as well as condolences to the families of Christina Mauser, Sarah and Payton Chester; Keri and Alyssa Altobelli ; Ara Zobayan John Altobeli. This is just a devastating tragedy.
Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to 5.7 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in 172 countries.
I was honored to be a part of a charity gala benefitting Special Olympics with over 6000 athletes in Miami alone, and honoring their achievements.
After a good diner and nights sleep, morning coffee and jog.
Selfie .. trying out my Fenty Pro Filter foundation (great line) angles, natural light and the dream filter.
Soundcheck- received a beautiful flower arrangement-as you know I love flowers and candles.
Camera Ready. Keeping it classy-
The custom graffiti biker jacket adds a touch of edge to the classic black dress.
Red Carpet. Miami Special Olympics Gala, Miami.
With PR and event organizer Eric Sanders.
Such a beautiful event and it was nice to get everyone up and dancing to cap off the evening and awards ceremony. Congratulations to all of the Special Olympians who were honored and in general to all the children and young adults going for their dreams no matter what and to the parents, family and friends who support them.
I’ve been fortunate and blessed to meet many awesome people – famous and not famous along the way, and still on the musical and life journey. Muhammad Ali “The Greatest” was one. He lived a remarkable life and inspiration so many with his courage and convictions far beyond the ring.
“I don’t have to be what you want me to be, I’m free to be who I want..” – Muhammad Ali
Humbly waiting to be introduced to Muhammad Ali at an event at his home in Windsor Square Hancock Park Los Angeles in 1982.
“..I don’t have to be who you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” “I said I was the greatest before I knew I was.” “Impossible is nothing.” “We become heroes when we stand up for what we believe.” “Don’t count the days -make the days count.” “Age is whatever you think it is, you’re as old as you think you are.” “..if I have changed one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain..”the man who has no imagination has no wings”….so many pearls of wisdom and inspiration.
Some favorite quotes I’ve shared over the years from The Greatest. Such an inspiring life, never afraid to speak his mind and evolve-did it his way.
Rest peace Muhammad Ali. A great champion, ambassador, humanitarian beloved around the world. My condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him best. 🙏🏽✨