Wednesday, March 21st, 2007
Bishop G.E. Patterson: Living by Example
8:30 pm
Earth's loss is heaven's gain. Yesterday, the world lost a true man of God and a true friend to mankind. I have been honored to serve as Mistress of Ceremonies on programs that recognized and gave awards to Bishop Patterson. However, what comes to mind most is the times I have come upon him by chance. Last year, I saw him in a local restaurant. I was a bit apprehensive about greeting him. I didn't want to intrude. But, something said "you know he's a great man and would love to say hello." So, I walked over. Suddenly, I saw a big, beaming smile. He said "hi Dee." As a southern girl raised to respect her elders and treat everyone with courtesy, especially Ministers, I apologized for my appearance. I explained that I ran 6 miles that morning, went home to change and headed out to the restaurant with friends. Bishop Patterson was the most welcoming and paid no attention to my non-anchor woman clothes. He was so kind and wanted to know how I was doing.

That's the Bishop Patterson we will all remember. He was the same with everyone. I, like millions of others, grew up watching him on television. When I moved to Memphis, I couldn't wait to visit his church. It was an amazing experience.

The world has lost a true soldier for peace and love. He walked the walk and talked the talk. He was always interested in knowing more about people. My friend, and Link sister, Kathy Kirk told me tonight about how he prayed for her and ministered to her. She said, "he helped me pass the bar." He was always willing and able to pray for you in any situation. Nothing was too big or small.

I wasn't a member of his congregation. Nonetheless, I cherished Bishop Patterson and his teachings. What I learned most from Bishop Patterson is humility. He was a humble servant. Instead of beating and bashing people, he listened and prayed for them. He truly made the world a better place. He set an example for so many. He's gone. But, the person he was will never be forgotten. Rest on great servant.

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007
Banning the "N-Word?"
9:37 pm
Tonight on ABC24/CW30 Eyewitness News we told you about a small town in Texas that wants to ban the use of the "N-Word." There would be a $500 fine for anyone caught violating the ban. However, there is a loophole. People can use the word if it's used as a "friendly greeting."

Have I ever been called the "N-word?" Yes. Have I been publically called the "N-Word?" Yes. Have I been around conversation that uses the "N-word" in casual conversation? Yes. Is this a hurtful word? Yes, if used to degrade or put someone down. A public ban doesn't prevent people from privately using it. Nor, does a public ban prevent people from thinking it. Also, if you are banning the word why allow an "exception." When is the "N-word" friendly?

I was always taught that it's not what someone calls you; rather, it's what you respond to. Therefore, what's the basis of this ruling? Is the Mayor saying that the people who use the term are acting like the reference?

What are your thoughts on this? I am VERY interested in hearing what you have to say.

Friday, September 29th, 2006
Sex Strike!
9:47 pm
Girlfriends and Wives of Gang Members in Pereira, Colombia are refusing to have sex with their mates until the crime rate goes down. Colombia's most violent city had 550 murders last year. So far this year Memphis has had nearly 130 murders. Most of the crime in Memphis is committed by men. Not all, but most. Should women step in and try to curb the violence? Would it work?

One of my colleagues says it wouldn't work because the lack of sex could have a negative affect. He says the men may become more hostile.

Something must be done to stop the violence. I must add that Memphis isn't the only city feeling the murder mayhem. My friends in Houston, Texas and Philadelphia, PA are also amazed at the alarming crime rate. I am proud that Will and Jada Smith took to the streets of Philly in a rally to end crime. Will Smith is a proud product of Philly and tired of the murder madness taking over his hometown.

I think everyone shoulders the burden. If it takes wives, girlfriends and/or celebrities let's do it. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006
Would you turn in your child?
2:57 pm
Today, 4 teens were arraigned for their alleged involvement in a holdup at the Midtown Petco on Saturday night. According to witnesses, they forced customers and employees into a room and took their cellphones, cash and the store surveillance disk. This was quite the elaborate holdup. It turns out, one of the teens is a former Petco employee. Three of the suspects are boys. The forth is a girl.

After their arraignment today the girl's mother, Sharon Ceason, talked with reporters about her daughter's involvement. Ms. Ceason says the teens were all raised together and grew up in the church. She says they knew right from wrong. And so does she. That's why she turned her daughter in to police. Ms. Ceason says she loves her daughter, however, she says "I told her if she does the crime she has to do the time."

Way to go Ms. Ceason! It's time for parents to stop turning their heads to a son, or daughter's, misdeeds. Perhaps if there was more accountablity in families we wouldn't have so much crime. Too often, families provide a safe haven for criminal conduct. Their love of that child, or relative, eclipses their responsibility to report fugitives and conduct themselves as law abiding citizens. My mother would have done what Ms. Ceason did. Of course, she would have prayed and cried first. :-)

What would you do if your child committed a crime? Do you turn her/him over to suffer the consequences and hopefully learn from their mistakes? Or, do you hide the fugitive, in the name of love, although you know that person is wrong?

Friday, August 25th, 2006
Working Women Unite!
4:38 pm
Tonight, on Eyewitness News at 5, we take a closer look at the latest fight in the battle of the sexes. An article on Forbes.com cautions men about marrying working women. The article suggests we make lousy wives. Of course, I couldn't just sit on my hands and take this.
The article is written by Michael Noer, the executive editor of forbes.com. He references some studies that show "professional women are more likely to get divorced.. more likely to cheat.. less likely to have children.. and if they do have children, they (the women) are more likely to be unhappy about it." Who did he interview? Cave Dwellers? Noer also says, "the more successful she is the more likely she is to grow dissatisfied with you."
In the words of rap group Public Enemy "don't believe the hype." I am proud to be surrounded by professional women with successful careers and marriages. Unlike some arcaic study, I like naming names. For example, one of my closest two friends just celebrated 10 years of marriage. Dawne Westbrook is a successful Civil Rights Attorney with her own private practice, a successful husband and four great children. Shannon Buggs Harrison is a successful business reporter and columnist for the Houston Chronicle. She has a successful husband and two beautiful children. Stacie Martin Waddell is a successful business woman here in Memphis with a great husband and two lovely children. Kim Newton is a successful marketing executive with a successful husband and an adorable baby girl. Must I continue?
Perhaps the women in the study divorced more often because they refuse to put themselves, or their children, through sub-standard conditions and less than humane treatment. Perhaps, those women were being abused and realized they could survive better alone than with an abuser. Their education and success pathed the way out. I can't make excuses for the women Noer interviewed. Thankfully, I am surrounded by positive women who eclipse the negative images that are portrayed in the forbes.com story.
Working women unite! Don't sit by and allow yourself, or another woman, to be placed in a box. Stand up and stand out. Set the standard. Be true to yourself. Be positive.

Monday, June 5th, 2006
Step-a-thon 2006 Off and Running/Walking...
10:40 pm
Nearly 1,000 MidSoutherners have registered for the Step-a-thon. Thanks for joining the effort to jump start, or walk, your way to a healthier lifestyle. Saturday I ran 10 miles which registered nearly 20,000 steps. So, I cheated and took at break on Sunday. Monday, I didn't have time to walk before work. Instead of sitting around during my dinner break I changed into my workout gear, strapped on my IPOD and headed for the track. I ran 3 miles and walked 1 mile. By the end of the night I have 10,674 steps.

There are fun ways, aside from walking, to get your 10,000 steps. Our Meterologist Nicondra Norwood says she logged more than 15,000 steps Saturday night while out dancing with friends. So, you can mix it up.

Get to steppin'

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006
Where's the Outrage?
8:41 pm
Saturday a mother gave her 6 month old son to two women she didn't know. Some say the mother was on drugs at the time. I consider her a carrier because she carried him in her wound. No mother would ever do that to her infant. Where's the outrage? Little Kimmarta Lawrence is out there somewhere hopefully with someone who values his little life. When did a child become so disposable? When did an infant become like a trading card? "I don't want this one.. I'll trade ya."

Tuesday Evening a 12 year old is shot. He's caught in the crossfire of a domestic dispute. Where's the outrage? When does it become so commonplace to pull out a gun within feet of children? Will he make it through this without too many mental or physical scars? Why must today's children grow up in war zones? This is America, right? It takes a village to raise a child, says the African proverb. So, America, where did WE go wrong?

Tonight, I'll be thinking about these two before going to sleep. I can only pray that like Kimmarta makes it home to his father safely. I can only pray that the 12 year has a healthy, speedy recovery. While politicians battle it out for district and state seats, when will they come forward and stand up for the people they are supposed to serve? Our leaders are constantly fighting over footing and heirarchy in the community. Wealthy business owners are sitting high on their corporate throwns. Where are they now? WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE??????

Monday, May 22nd, 2006
Happy Trails...
4:26 pm



The Marathon training is coming along. I haven't quite begun the countdown. However, Oct. 22 is fast approaching. So, how do you prepare for a Marathon? Lots of practice and preparation. Each Saturday morning at 5am I reluctantly rise to prepare for my "long runs" at Shelby Farms. At 6am I join fellow members of "Memphis in Motion" to take on the trails and passages at Shelby Farms. Thanks to Coach Mark Higginbotham, I'm on my feet and logging lots of miles. Saturday we did 10 miles. It was an adventure through the woods, across streets, up hills, through more woods, along a dirt path and even a pit stop at a gas station. Along the way, there's great conversation. I've learned so much about people each Saturday. It's never a dull run. You have met so many great people during the runs. I also get great tips on anything from what helps you stay hydrated, thanks Terri, to where to get the best buy on more memory for my camera, thanks Janine. Also, one member welcomed a new baby boy, Congrats Andy! Thanks Patrick for the witty humor. Just when I'm thinking "Are we there, yet?" Patrick screams it out. We always get some kind of inspiration from Mark! I typically hate trails. I'm getting better. I only tripped two times Saturday. That's down from about five trips and near falls. It's hard to look cute in big, baggy running attire, falling all over the place. The picture above is after 8 miles.
I felt great Saturday afternoon. However, leg cramps set in during the "Da Vinci Code" movie. YIKES! Sitting for 2 and a half hours felt like about 6 hours. I limped to the car. Made it home. Actually, laid on the floor, with jeans and 3 1/2" stilletto heels, and STRETCHED! Felt good. My puppy, Winston, thought I was nuts!
I actually ran 4 and a half miles today. MARATHON BOUND!
I have uploaded pictures of "Memphis In Motion" on the Trails Saturday.
Remember, I'm posting weekly updates on my Marathon Training, as well as the Step-a-thon June 1, so keep checking back.
Happy Running!!

Thursday, May 18th, 2006
Back in the Saddle
4:40 pm
Change of plans. I'm no longer running the San Diego Half. Instead, I'm going for the gusto and have committed to running a FULL Marathon in San Fransisco, California. I'm now training for the NIKE Women's Marathon (26.2 miles). I missed the cutoff for the Half Marathon (13.1 miles). I desperately emailed the event Director trying to beg my way in. However, no luck! I could only register for the Full which is now closed.
If you are not into running, I have another challenge that may be right up, or down, your alley. On June 1st, the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis is kicking off its "Step-a-thon." The kickoff is at Laurelwood Shopping Center on Poplar between Perkins & Grove Park. The registration starts at 4:30pm. The goal is to get you to walk 10,000 steps per day during the month of June. You will be given a pledge form, a pedometer, a step log, and a "stepping it up" t-shirt. It's going to be FUN!!
This is not about walking one day for a good cause. Rather, it's about taking steps everyday for yourself and challenging yourself to do more. Right now, you probably walk about 3,000 steps a day. Okay, that's a good start. Now step it up! Get your friends, your family, your co-workers, your neighbors to come on out on June 1st and take the first steps.
My mom is 60 years old (don't kill me, Mom) and she walks an hour a day. She's been doing this since I was a little girl. She's looks FABULOUS! Although she has heart issues she's in great shape. Her walking is keeping her young and alive. Join the journey. I'm not asking you to run a Marathon. Although you should consider it. I'm asking that you take control of your life and health by taking extra steps.
It's a date... See ya June 1st! Spread the word.

Monday, March 13th, 2006
Are Runners in their right minds??
3:47 pm
Four years ago, I got bored. I had considered myself a "runner" because I would do 2-3 miles on the treadmill then participate in 5k runs. In 2002 I was living in Kansas City, Mo trying to figure out my next challenge in life. I decided to train for a Marathon. Crazy right? Right. My good friend Kim Newton decided to join me. While most normal people enjoyed sleeping in on Saturday mornings, Kim and I joined about 200 other runners for "long runs" at 6am. This after I got off the air at 10:30 pm the night before.
Kim and I each completed a half marathon (13.1 miles). Then, in Oct. 2002 we participated in and completed the Chicago Marathon (26.2 miles). We had run 22 miles on Saturdays. However, during the Marathon I got caught up in the excitement, ran too fast too soon, and hit a wall at about mile 16. I asked "tell me again, why are we doing this?" Kim replied, "it was YOUR idea, remember?"
Fastforward three and a half years. I recently got bored again. I decided a half marathon would be cool. So, I've set my sights on the San Diego Marathon in June.
I have joined a wonderful running group led by Runner Extraordinaire Mark Higginbotham. Once again, while normal people are sleeping on Saturday morning, I am up at 5am and running at 6am in Shelby Farms. I jumped right in and completed 6 miles the first Saturday and 7 miles last Saturday. Crazy right? Right.
Today, I embarked upon a run thru downtown Memphis. The rain had come and gone. At least, that's what I thought. I was armed with my handy dandy Garmin Odometer and my IPod. I was about 3.5 miles into the run/walk. I reached the Pyramid and suddenly the sky opened. I was DRENCHED! I focused on getting home. I dodged into building doorways when it was too bad to even see thru the rain. After a half a mile into the run my focused changed. I targeted 526 S. Main.. Station Square Salon. I ran as fast as I could in the rain right into the beauty salon. I was so glad to see my stylist, Kim Williams. My knees may suffer, my legs may hurt. However, my hair will not be sacrificed! :-)
If any of you out there are embarking on a similar journey toward a Marathon or Half Marathon I would love to hear from you. Misery loves company:-) Let me know of your journeys and your motivation.
I will blog weekly about my journey.
Also, thanks to those drivers who honked horns and shouted "Go Dee."

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006
"Take Care of Your Heart"
7:03 pm
"Take Care of Your Heart," that was the instruction my Aunt Lula Williams gave her daughter Gwen last weekend. Tonight, Aunt Lula is in the ICU in an Augusta, Georgia hospital fighting for her life. Her heart isn't strong enough to give energy to the organs in her body. Aunt Lula suffered a bad heart attack about 10 years ago. I was Anchoring the News in Augusta at the time. I would get through the 6pm Newscast and race to the hospital to spend time with her. It pains me that I can't do that right now. However, I did ask Gwen to put the cellphone to her ear this afternoon. I told her how much I love her and she's an inspiration.

Talk about a strong woman. Aunt Lula and my Uncle TJ have five boys and one girl. She is the glue that keeps everyone together. Despite whatever she's going thru, Aunt Lula would have something to laugh about. I can remember countless days sitting on their sofa talking and laughing. My cousin Jack telling many jokes. Jack always has a joke. Things weren't so funny a couple of years ago when he had heart problems. He's only in his 40s.

This morning I got up to workout despite suffering from Sinus problems, like many people this time of year. I drug myself to the gym not because I want to look good this summer. Rather, because I want to take heed to Aunt Lula's advice, "take care of your heart." An hour a day can do the body a lifetime of difference. I have been contemplating running a half marathon to raise money for the American Stroke Association, a branch of the American Heart Association. Today, someone emailed me about joining "Train to end Stroke." Today, I made the decision to do it for the women in my family who have been robbed of their lives by Heart Disease. I will run for those who can run no longer.

For those of you who refuse to exercise, just a simple walk a day, please think of my family. Think of my Aunt Lula.. Take care of your heart!

Monday, February 6th, 2006
Mrs. Coretta Scott King- A True Virtuous Woman
6:56 pm
Most of my life I have been mystified by the biblical scripture Psalms 31:10. It's about the Virtuous Woman. The scripture reads "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies." I have listened to countless sermons about the virtuous woman, always looking around to see an example of my interpretation of this virtuous woman. One day in 1997 I met her. She was Mrs. Coretta Scott King. I was at the retirement dinner for Dr. Joseph Lowery. After the dinner, I was leaving the building when I found myself standing next to Mrs. King. I was rendered speechless by her beauty, elegance and style. I introduced myself and expressed my admiration of her work and mission. She asked about my occupation. I told her that I was moving to Connecticut for a job. I clearly remember her words of encouragement and a piece of advise that she offered.
Mrs. King wasn't a flashly woman who bragged about her accomplishments. She wasn't a woman who demanded to be the center of attention. She was not a woman who put others down to raise her own self worth. She was a virtuous woman. She walked into a room with her head held high. But, she didn't look down upon anyone. I am so grateful for her life and the legacy she leaves.
It still baffles me when looking at young women today. It seems many have lost their way and have given up hope. They forget about the struggles of people who came before them. Those warriors sacrificed their time, their lives and their families to fight for equality. Yet, many in this younger generation have forgotten the struggle. Or, did they know about it in the first place? Is it a time that must be read in a book and memorized for test. Only to be forgotten once the test is over? Do they think about the struggle for 28 days in February, then its back to a less than shining life in March? The struggle continues. It has not stopped. It's far from over. Mrs. Coretta Scott King represents how we have to fight the good fight and keep our heads about us. She personifies strength and courage. Life dealt her disappointments, however, she never gave up.
I am so honored that I was blessed to shake her hand. I am blessed to have been given advice by Mrs. Coretta Scott King. I am so honored that God gave this world Mrs. Coretta Scott King.

Friday, February 3rd, 2006
Go Red for Women
9:49 pm
Right now, 8 million women are living with Heart Disease. Nearly half a million will die from Heart Disease this year. According to the American Heart Association, Heart Disease is the Number One killer of women. That means it kills more women than Breast Cancer or Lung Cancer. Stroke is actually the Number Three killer of women. So, what do these numbers mean to you? They mean you or someone you know will probably die from a Coronary problem. By wearing something red today, millions of Americans are acknowledging their part in raising awareness of the disease.
I am honored to be the Memphis Chapter of the American Heart Association's Spokesperson for the Go Red for Women Campaign. It's a disease that is near and dear to my heart. During the month of February, I am one of four women featured on the cover, and inside, "Memphis Woman" Magazine. This has been an emotional time for me. Heart Disease has stripped my family of some dear and wonderful people. Namely, my Grandmother Annie Beatrice Williams. In the "Memphis Woman" Magazine I talk about her life and death. She died from a massive heart attack at the age of 55 years. Her life ended in her 16 year old daughter's arms. That daughter is my mother, Helen Griffin.
Unlike when my Grandmother died in 1963, there are organizations giving a voice to a cause that was once silent. One such outstanding organization with a wealth of information is WomenHeart. You can access information at WomenHeart.org . Also, the American Heart Assocation provides a lot a wealth of information locally and nationally. Be sure to check out goredforwomen.org

Friday, July 15th, 2005
Save the Babies!!
10:48 pm
I try really hard to keep my private feelings just that, private. I like to discuss issues with people. However, my true, innermost feelings don't pass my mind or my lips. Over the past few years, I have learned valuable lessons about privacy. However, there is one area in which I refuse to remain silent. That's when helpless little children are hurt or killed. Tonight, I was outraged at two stories. In one case, a mother admitted to drinking a case of beer prior to going into into labor. Her baby girl was born DRUNK! Then, another mother is charged for injecting her child with human feces. That baby is 22 months old. I actually became enraged while reading the stories on air. Am I the only person angered over these incidents? Just think, these are only the cases that make it to the news. Thousands of children around the world are being mistreated, daily. Perhaps hourly. We must stop the madness and protect our babies!!

My Aunt Sandy calls them "little people." Our little people can't defend themselves. Too many people find themselves with little people and they don't take it seriously or responsibly. You are probably thinking "it's easy for her to say, she doesn't have a child." Maybe that's so. However, my mother raised me and my sister alone for a number of years. I think she did an AMAZING job! Then, a wonderful man, SGM Albert Griffin, Junior, married my mother and took in two helpless little people. Together they made sure we had everything we needed and much of what we wanted. They enrolled me and my sister in the best private schools in Augusta, Georgia. We were both studied piano. We were both Debutantes and achieved College and Graduate Degrees. They made sure we were diverse girls well versed not only in books but also life. We were taught to respect ourselves and others. We became students of life. Always looking to learn not only from books but from others. We learned just as many subjects as we did songs. My mother could have given up. My dad could have turned his back on us. But they didn't. They didn't have wealth in money, they had a wealth of Love! If they had the fortitude, and what I like to call "staying power", why can't others?

Couldn't that mother resist alcohol for 9 months? Could the other mother look at her son with love, not distain? Why can't we save the babies? Who's at fault? Why won't more people stand up for the little people?

It's important to make money. It's awesome to make a lot of money! As humans, we tend to worship and admire people who make money. Just look at the magazines and t-v shows that praise millionaires. However, where is the praise for those who successfully raise children? The mothers and fathers who can make something out of nothing. We admire the men and women who wear thousand dollars suits and shoes. You know, the celebrities. We tend to forget the men and women who aren't featured on the silver screen or the television. The men and women who choose to feed and cloth their children. Those are the true heroes. The real celebrities, in my eyes. So often, we don't place the necessary importance on good parenting. Therefore, it's often taken for granted. Thus, we see more situations of little people being abused.

I am the first to admit, I love my shoes and clothes! I can't deny that. However, I love, value and respect the people who take on the mammoth responsibility of raising a family responsibly.

Thanks to the great men and women in my life who didn't poison me or do harm to me when I was a "little person." Trust me, I was a handful! Thanks Mom and Dad. Thanks ReRe. Thanks Auntie. Thanks Aunt Maggie (who turns 102 on July 16th). Thanks Grandmother Brown. Thanks Uncle Sam and Aunt Sandy. Thanks Granny and Grandpa Martin. Thanks to my sister Dawn.

Also, thanks to my friends who are currently (or about to) raise wonderful little people: Dawne and Tory (CT), Kim and Nik (KC), Shannon and James (TX), Lisa and Hershel(MN), Michelle and Jason (KC), Vonda and Doug (GA), Kim Riley (KC), and Jim and Jan (TN). You are America's real heroes!

Friday, July 1st, 2005
6:44 pm
Today, the world lost a legend. A man who had the ability to make you cry and smile all in the span of two minutes. I'm talking about Singer/Songwriter Luther Vandross. We broke the News to viewers during our 5pm Newscast then had a complete story on his life during the 6pm Newscast. Luther Vandross crossed all kinds of lines whether race or gender and brought everyone together through his masterful manipulation of his vocal cords.

Luther Vandross was like a friend. I, like so many of his diehard fans, dropped his last name. I remember the exchange with friends when he would release a new single or album. "Did you hear Luther's new song?" "Can you believe Luther lost all that weight?" My girlfriends and I couldn't wait to see his videos and watch the many music awards ceremonies that featured performances by Luther Vandross. Today, I close my eyes and reminisce about the Luther concerts. He had the ability to lull me into a trance. I would hold onto his every note, of course, butchering them in my own voice. Despite attending his concert numerous times, I always anxiously anticipated his performance of "Creepin." As he crept down each step a light would illuminate that step. I still sing his songs, louder than ever. Of course, in my shower, in the privacy of my home.:-)

It's hard to find performers like "Luther" anymore. Often me and my friends would turn to Luther to mend our broken hearts. I've spend many nights as a teenager embracing a pillow with Luther helping me work through my pain. I, like most Luther fans, still get chills listening to "A House is Not a Home." Remember, "If this World Were Mine" with Cheryl Lynn? How many tears did you cry while singing along to "Since I Lost my Baby?"

Today, the world lost a true music legend, however we have all gained so much through Luther Vandross. Fortunately, his legacy will continue through our vast CD collections. For many years to come, Luther will still heal our hearts and put a song in our voices. Rest in Peace, Luther.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005
Hello!!!
6:35 pm
Hi,
I'm Dee Griffin and I'm so excited that you have found my Blog with Eyewitness News. This is a new adventure for me, and hopefully for you. This blog is a way for me to interact with our faithful viewers. I am new to the world of "blogging." Hopefully this will allow you to learn more about me and my thoughts on daily occurances in this world in which we live and learn.

Until next time, have a wonderful day!
Dee Griffin


 
  Dee Griffin

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