Harold Ickes News

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The Gospel Comes to Ickes

July 10, 2004 was not the first time Bishop Larry Trotter of Sweet Holy Spirit Church brought a true gospel program to the residents of Harold Ickes. In the all purpose social arena, we were treated to uplifting, soul stirring singers and gospel happy dancers.

Bishop Larry Trotter (second from right) pictured here with Ickes residents (from left) Rueben Howard, Shamarka Clark, Krystal Rice, Anthony Clinton, Kwanay Evans and Quentin Savado. Photo by Jacqueline Thompson

The program was planned to remind weary souls of the power of the spiritual side of life, the joy of seeking a new way of life and the proof of happiness found as confessed by members of the visiting congregation.

Trotter was born in Harold Ickes and answered the call to serve humanity when he was a young man. His sister Connie shared with us how excited she was at the promise of a new baby sister or brother when he was born.

Usually, at this point in a story you could say, and he never looked back. Well, not Trotter. He not only looked back, he comes back. He brings his strong convictions to life and makes a real impact on Ickes residents.

This year, he has initiated a Bible study class for adults to be held weekly. He made three young students and their families very happy by awarding them college scholarships. He turned around and adopted three boys to be his Godsons, to be mentored by himself and his church family.

Before the end of the program, Bishop Trotter introduced his brothers and sisters to the happily receptive audience. Those of us who knew his mother wished sincerely that she could celebrate life among us on this day. She died recently, and it is gratifying that she witnessed all the fruits of Trotters endeavors to serve and love his fellow man.

Knowledge of this well-planned Gospel Fest became a mini-reunion. Everywhere you looked, you saw someone you had not seen for many years. Both adults and children were a welcome sight. There were hugs, even kisses a plenty. Our new manager participated in the excitement of this special event as well.

After the benediction, close to 200 large paper bags full of food were given out to the residents. This was truly an exposure of the heart of a man of God.

Shortly after this inspiring event other groups of messengers for the Gospel invaded Ickes with their various methods of reaching the people.

The first group was a disappointing vanguard from a religious camp based somewhere in Texas. Their first invitation was rapidly taped to any door where children might see it. It said be sure to come to “Ickes Gardens” to find a big pink truck to get toys and a book. The flyer promised “Fun for Everybody!!!” and the appearance of a star from the movie “Friday.”

What actually happened once the residents and kids discovered our “Ickes Gardens” on the grass between 2240 and 2250 S. State Street was disappointing. The groups put on a vulgar and garish display of crowd control and displeasing scripture delivery. A handful of children received toys. All the others were sorely disappointed. The adults booed and booed. The rain came just in time for the group to rush to pack and speed away.

Perhaps the next time this group from Texas wants to visit South State Street, they should wait to be invited.

Health Benefits in a Pool
The National Teacher’s Academy Pool is the playground and health spa for many wise and faithful senior swimmers.

The pool is open between 9:00 a.m. and 10 a.m., Tuesday and Thursday, for individuals who want the enjoyment of participating in a regular aquatic exercise program while gaining health benefits without medicine. The rest of the week, the pool is open for laps and general swimming during that time.

When I paid a visit to the NTA Pool one morning recently, I found a most cheerful group of senior citizens thoroughly at ease moving in the water to a peppy tune while being gently coaxed into a spiffy routine by Dedrick May, the senior lifeguard and supervisor. Each person wore lightweight aquatic dumbbells on their upper arms as they floated on soothing ripples of warm water.

I asked Mr. May what were the benefits of aquatic exercise.

Dedrick May: It’s a good way to exercise, burn fat, calories and lose weight.

Residents’ Journal: Is it just for seniors?

DM: No, No matter what age, size or sex you are, it’s an easy way to lose weight.

RJ: Can you describe the dynamics Aqua-cising?

DM: Theyre doing water walking that gives them an upper body and lower body workout that adds up to the total body workout.

RJ: What else can you tell me about this program?

DM: There’s a friendly family environment here and most people come regularly. The same program is also offered at 6 pm to 7 pm on Tuesday and Thursday, however, most people come at 9 am to 10 am.

RJ: Are all the participants from this neighborhood?

DM: No, they come from different parts of the city. They find it a very enjoyable program.

RJ: Did you have a small group when you started the program?

DM: No, we started off strong and it’s getting stronger. We’re getting more and more people. It’s word of mouth that gets a lot of people coming.

There were both women and men in the pool at the time I was there. However, I was only allowed in the women’s locker room for interviews. Some of the senior swimmers were very eager to share their frequent pool experience.

Mamie Grady: It’s the best thing that ever happened to me and I’m so happy my friend Mattie J. Moore brought me here. I have spinal stynosis and it helps me greatly.

Mattie Moore: I had two heart attacks and my doctor advised that this is the best exercise to keep my heart accelerated.

Betty Kenny: It’s excellent! I come because my doctor said to come for my arthritis. It makes a big difference. I’ve been doing this for eight years. I had to change pools. I think the park should allocate more time in the summer time for seniors to take aquatics.

Annette Robinson: I’ve been taking aquatics for three years. I keep at it for health reasons. I have to keep the healthy regimen for life!

This fascinating group of women have shared some very valuable experiences. The hope is that the readers will think about them and if they could benefit from what has been shared, see their doctor and come to the Park @ NTA Pool , 2216 S. Federal. There is a parking lot and a team of lifeguards to support the safety of each participant. You will be welcome.

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