Peaceful Assembly

I am proudly from Oklahoma; I don’t believe I have ever hidden that fact. I preface what I am about to say with that for good reason.
I follow several news outlets from my home state, a few days ago there was a news article regarding some students at OU staging a protest.
Now, before I continue, this is not about what they were protesting, I don’t believe that is the important issue at hand at this point. What this is about is their right to protest.
With so many people protesting the wrong way, rioting, looting, harming people, beating them, shooting them and burning neighborhoods down, this group exercised their First Amendment Right, the correct way.
They stage a peaceful protest, let me say it again, peaceful. They followed the rules of not only the Constitution of the United States of America, they behaved the way we are supposed to in a civilized society.
At the moment I read the article, I was proud of this group of young people, once again, not for what they were protesting, but in the manner they went about it. The correct way, the legal way, the civilized way, the Oklahoma way.
I scrolled down to the comments, because, well, let’s face it, these days that is the best part of the internet. Best/worst, take your pick.
People were vicious in their attack upon these protesters. I thought, what! Are you kidding me? They are literally rioting in the streets in some states. Being destructive, unproductive, unlawful, and these young people exercised their First Amendment Rights the correct way and you want to vilify them for that?
Of course I could not contain myself, perhaps I should have, but I would not be me if I had. I commented on how I didn’t understand the name calling in the comments and how the students had been within their rights to protest. It doesn’t matter what they were protesting they were within their rights to do so. As long as they obey the rules of the land I am going to defend their right to protest.
Of course at that point I opened myself up to attack, and did they. I was called names; I was called a Hillary supporter (which to me is the worst) I was vilified.
I find it shocking, that we, as Americans, don’t recognize civility and law-abiding people when we are told about them.
How are people so completely ignorant of the law? How are people so completely ignorant of our constitution? I hear it misquoted all the time. I hear people quoting the preamble as the actual constitution. Where did all of the civics classes go? Did people not attend them? Mind you the people spouting these things are roughly my age. No excuses. I grew up in Oklahoma, I was taught what it means to be an American. I was taught that all people were created equal. I was taught the First Amendment is our most important one, as it opens the door to the rest of them.
If we didn’t have Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, the right to peaceful assembly, we wouldn’t have any of the others.
Freedom comes with a price, it is the price of obeying the laws, of knowing your rights and exercising them.
I commend this group of students at OU for exercising their First Amendment right to peaceful assembly.
There it is, peaceful, non-violent, they didn’t incite a riot, they didn’t scream obscenities, they didn’t beat innocent bystanders, they didn’t loot Norman, they didn’t start fires. They peacefully assembled.
If you have any comments that are vicious in nature, I will delete them. As this is AngieWorld and I write the constitution of that world. However, my email address is angie@angieworld.

Officer Tommy M Norman

I love Snoop Dogg, there I said it, judge me if you will, but I have this deep love of Snoop. Not his music so much, as I am not in his demographic, not a race thing (before anyone can get started on that) it’s an age thing. I think I have well established I am incredibly old. I still love all things Motown and Disco, not to mention CCR, Foreigner, Kiss, John Williams and anything Christian Kane. If anyone took a good look at my playlist they would probably think three of four people listen to what is in there. I am very eclectic. Did I mention TSO? I love classical music as well.
So, having said all of that, I love Snoop Dogg due to the interviews I have seen. He is thoughtful, respectful, thought-provoking and refreshingly honest. He also seems to have a desire to make his community better, he coached his son’s football team. He does a lot more than just rap.
Of course I follow him on Facebook and that is where I saw the video of him and a fellow rapper name The Game. They led a march to the police station in Los Angeles. It was not an anti-police march; it was a let’s work together march. He and The Game proceeded to meet with officials to find out what not only the police could do better, but what the community could do better as well.
Which brings me to the point of all of this, I was curious about The Game, having never heard of him, because once again, not in his demographic.
I stalked his Facebook page and happened upon a post he wrote regarding his son. His son was discouraged with all that was going on in the world and asked his dad if there was anything positive happening. He encouraged his son to really look for something positive, for someone doing positive things.
His son stumbled upon Officer Tommy M Norman out of North Little Rock, Arkansas. He was so amazed by what this police officer was doing in his community he set up a Go Fund Me page to raise funds so the officer could continue to do what he does.
What he does is patrol his assigned community with humility, humor and heart. So much heart. I instantly took myself over to Instagram to look this man up. His handle @tnorman23, on Instagram is filled with his daily adventures.
I have become a huge fan, I watch these videos daily, my favorites are Davey, Lois, Officer Aaron and Wilbur. I highly encourage anyone who is having a tough time in life to check him out. If his posts and videos do not bring a smile to your face and warm your heart you are not human.
The Game’s son asked his dad if this man was rich, is that how he is able to bring things to the people in the community.
Officer Norman passes out snacks and juices to the children and even the adults on his beat. The Game told his son that when someone is so poor a little goes a long way.
The community that Officer Norman patrols is not a rich area by any means. It is a lower-income area, and it is one he knows well as he grew up in the very neighborhood he now watches over.
I am in awe of this man and the way the people love him, children run up to his patrol car when they see him. They shower him with hugs and affection, in return he treats them like they matter. And they do.
He has been there so long he is actually getting to see the harvest of the seeds he has sown. Children going to college now, attributing it in part, to Officer Norman’s encouragement of them.
From his trips through the drive-thru at the local McDonald’s, where he jokingly gives Mariah No Carey a hard time, to checking on Officer Aaron and the gang, to taking time out to actually attempt the slip-n-slide in a child’s front yard. He is there, he is present, he is approachable.
Please take a minute out of your day to find him on Facebook and Instagram, I promise you it will renew your faith in humanity.
As always, you can reach me at angie@angieworld.com

Weddings and Funerals

I have often said I like funerals better than weddings, it’s not because I am morbid or have a particular interest in the macabre. It is due to the fact that I was exposed to funerals way before I ever attended a wedding.
I was raised not only by old people, but I was surrounded by them as well. I was born the youngest in a family that was well established and had an inordinate amount of members that were born in the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s.
My parents pre-payed and planned their funerals in the early 1970’s. Every funeral we went to my mom would say oh don’t do that at mine or oh that’s a really good idea, I want that.
I fully admit I inherited that trait, I have been planning my funeral way before I planned a wedding for myself. To me a funeral is for the living, a way to say goodbye, to honor a life well lived. It is typically when someone is older and has had a full life. I have only been to two who were not old and I felt it was way before their time to go.
Yesterday was for one of those people, it was a shocking piece of news. Hearing that someone we had just spent time with two days prior had passed away.
He was young, my age, and to our knowledge had no health issues. So to get the news that he was gone was indeed jarring.
I admit I didn’t know him well, I met him and his wife through the Irishman. He was a big sports fan and was a fan of the soccer team the Irishman loves. They have a huge fan club here in North Texas and that is where they met and formed a friendship.
I would come to know them as just really good people, nice, funny, caring and sweet. They were very much in love with each other, devoted to each other. He was very simply a really nice man, that is the highest compliment I can give someone, he was genuinely nice. Kind of quiet, I could tell he was one of those people who has a gentle soul. His wife, definitely complimented his personality as she is outgoing, friendly and devoted to him and her family.
I was privileged to attend the wedding of this man and his wife, not even a year ago. It was a wedding I have often said was the perfect wedding. In a beautiful, older church, the minister was sweet, funny and spoke eloquently and knew the couple. Then the reception was punch, cake and a few appetizers. All done by the couple’s families.
The funeral was as perfect as the wedding, the song Layla by Eric Clapton, the live version, was played. I had to smile as it struck me that I wish I had known him better. This is something I often plan, my funeral, with not typical songs played.
People spoke, my original assessment of him was not changed, kind, genuine, funny, devoted to his family and friends were words that were said often.
My heart breaks for his wife; this was a funeral I truly wish had never happened.
I will be praying for his wife, mother, daughters and step-sons in the coming days, weeks, months and years they have to spend apart from this man.
I wish I had known him better, I am sorry that everyone had to say goodbye for a little while to this man. I am grateful to have had the privilege of attending their wedding and his send-off.
As usual you can send any feed-back to angie@angieworld.com