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Maxine Beck: Thinking about holiday performances, traveling and limiting shopping

Maxine Beck column photo

From left to right, Teresa Swain, Kimora Hurst, and Maurice Dickerson (grandfather)

Hello all!

Holiday performances are wonderful.

Kimora Hurst, formerly of Talladega, was chosen to participate in her school's holiday performance of "Matilda."

About 100 students attended the casting call, but only about 50 were chosen. Kimora, and the rest of the cast, practiced wholeheartedly during the week and on weekends to present their stellar performance.

Matilda has previously aired on television, was recently featured as a musical and Netflix, too, gave the play a reboot in June 2022.

Further, according to Google, "Matilda" has been viewed on three continents and has received many coveted awards.

The plot of the 1988 children's novel by Roald Dahl is as follows: Matilda Wormwood lives with a very oppressive mother, and her family is poor. However, Matilda is very intelligent and has a vivid imagination. She believes that she was born to enjoy the finer things in life and dreams that she will be successful.

Matilda is different from her family and is not willing to just "settle for whatever."

She enjoys reading and even believes she has telekinetic powers.

Reading and her belief keeps Matilda content and able to survive the meanness of her mother, most adults around her and the school's principal, Miss Agatha Trunchbull.

Matilda becomes friends with Miss Honey and, to her surprise later on, her mother allows her to move in with Miss Honey. 

They can relate to each other because both feel mistreated and bullied. 

Miss Honey is Miss Trunchbull's sister and had enjoyed the finer things in life until their parents passed.

Here are five beliefs that Matilda used to change her life:

—"If it is not right, you have to put it right."

—"Nobody but me is going to change my story." 

—"The tiniest mite packs the mightiest sting."

—"Even if you are little, you can do a lots."

—"Every day starts with the tick of a clock."

Matilda also believes that nobody should be bullied or mistreated.

In conclusion, the Wormwood family moves away.

Miss Honey adopts Matilda and becomes the principal, and they both live happily ever after. 

The moral of the story is that young people should try to make a change, also.

The novel is intended for ages seven and above.

Now back to the topic, Kimora.

The sixth-grader is a good student, an avid reader, has several friends, participates in extracurricular activities, and loves shopping and Sunday dinner.

She lives in Nashville with "TiTi Girly," Teresa Swain. 

Her best friend is her cousin, Khloe Swain, and her favorite weekend-activity is a sleep-over with Khloe or/and Jade (also a friend and granddaughter of former Talladegan Janice Feaster Garrett).

Traveling is my favorite hobby

I enjoy meeting and watching travelers in airports. I have only had two or three flight delays that were nerve wrecking — overnight delay and getting-on and exiting the plane three times before the flight, due to inclement weather.

I consider a two-hour delay an opportunity to relax, read, or even meet another traveler from Alabama.

I really enjoy meeting people from Talladega. My favorite time was when I recognized the guest speaker at a church eight to 10 hours from Talladega.

I kept thinking, "I know him from somewhere." Finally, it came to me that he was the guest minister during revival, the year before, at my then home church (in Talladega). That was fun.

I, too, enjoy documentaries on travel. There is no safer or cheaper way to see/enjoy the many splendors of the world than through the lens of a documentary.

During Trevor Noah's last show, he mentioned that he'll now have time to travel to countries that he has always wanted to visit. He further advised us to not believe everything we hear, but find out for ourselves. I agree; broaden your scope of perspective and sensitivity.

And the rainbow of foods from different countries is amazing.

I would have loved to have talked with Anthony Bourdain (of the Travel Channel).

Bourdain must have had an iron gut. For the life of me, often I could not imagine how he digested, and kept down, some of the food choices (not ordinary foods) that he consumed. And he appeared to enjoy, well not-mind, the menu.

Bourdain probably found beauty, not disgust, in the differences. He simply "opened his mind to the differences.

Below are some quotes and some personal sayings that I associate with the beauty of our differences/ethnicity/culture.

"Food is a window into a culture."

"Whether than travel dumbing us down, it makes us smart."

The more you see, the more you learn.

Open your eyes and mind and see the wealth you are missing.

Whenever I see people who dislike others, especially without a reason, I see an extremely insecure person. 

Limiting trips to Walmart 

We all are "somewhat" being held hostage.

Last week, I was in Maryland and wanted to attend the highly publicized Christmas parade in Silver Spring. However, the anticipation quickly subsidized when I thought about the current level of gun violence throughout America. 

Our ancestors would be "jolted out of their pants" to see the current state of how adolescents, vastly, are holding us hostage.

All over America, the average citizen is apprehensive over shopping, going out for dinner, or even sitting in own home.

Why are we taking this?

Am I 100% looney?

Why hasn't a country-wide curfew been enforced for adolescents who are roaming after 11 p.m.?

Why aren't they home with their parents? Yes, you read it correctly — at home with their parents.

So many parents are "snug in bed" while their children roam.

What? This sounds like a children's book of the future.

Wait, this is the future and the adults in charge (parents, law enforcement, me, you) need to act accordingly!

We are the adults; what are we waiting on?

My goodness of gracious (remember hearing that from grandma)!

Can you imagine a teen entering Grandma's house around three or four in the morning?

What are we missing?

Be careful and continue to pray and work towards a better tomorrow. And don't forget James 2:26.

"As sure as the sun rises every morning, may the Son warm our hearts with love, joy, peace and hope." 

Maxine Beck is a contributing columnist for The Daily Home. She writes about the Black community in and around Talladega.