Sidewalk Ghosts / Interview 347: “Shall We Follow, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali and Countdown to the Ping Pong Council””

No secrets anymore… the new friends I hid from you last night take center stage today, Young family, Anthony, Kristen and son Israel.

At under twenty-four, both Anthony and Kristen want with a peace that is beyond their years. I made quick reference to it in my writing yesterday. But tonight In sitting with them, nothing has changed.

Recently relocated to Los Angeles from Rhode Island, they say, “It is a miracle we even made it here, we both come from backgrounds of being very poor.”

Perhaps that is what matured them, but the light that they invisibly shine is deeper than the humility learned through the school of hard knocks. Not knocking the wisdom that is to be learned through trials. But still, I can’t exactly put my hand on it… and even as I write, I continue to review of the feeling that I felt emitting from both Anthony and Kristen, a peace that can even be seen in the loving attitude of Israel as he plays with my girl.

I forgot to tell you, I have brought my daughter with me tonight, so with our kids playing in the background, we take time to chill as friends.

“Things are going better now that we are here, but it is still hard to stay positive,” Anthony notes while Kristen listens intently.

Our conversation ranges from talking of the cultural differences of the West coast as compared to the East coast, faith, parenting, and some sharing of our life histories. Another one of those we don’t know each other, but we are now family moments.

And per all those feeling I expressed in my last entry as I pre-introduced the special qualities I sensed in first meeting of Anthony and Kristen? I’ll turn to page to them in allowing their responses. I hope you will be able to fully absorb the character they carry.

Anthony, Kristen… If you had any words of wisdom, advice or counsel for the world, and they were listening, what would you say?

“There’s no one single perfect thing I could say to an imperfect world. There’s such a wide spectrum of complex issues from one end of the earth to the other. From the slums in southeast Asia to the hustlers in inner-city America, to the billionaire corporate owners…I can only give one bit of my own imperfect advice; Seek God… Above, within… or around us… seek God.

“Protect our children at all costs. Hold utmost responsibility for the wellbeing of the children we bring into this world. Preserve their innocence during their youth and nurture their minds. Be proactive in their development and encourage their imagination. While you complain about the minds of the younger generations remind yourselves who raised them. Instill good values and spirituality, and never be afraid to speak out against worldly traditions of today’s society to your children.

Be your son’s and daughter’s role model instead of celebrities and reality show actors. Let your child be the difference, the diamond in the rough, the gem among hundreds. That is the most important thing you can do in this life as a parent.”

Anthony, Kristen… Looking towards the future, as close or as far as you want to. Where do you think we will be, or how do you advise us to approach the future?

“Looking towards the future I advise that individually and collectively we look to the example of two great men who defined a portion of our past, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali (Did not tell you that Anthony is an amateur boxer).

Learning from them, let’s be ambassadors of our cultures, express our arts, stand up against our oppressors, exude confidence, and always remember that sometimes we must FIGHT and fight hard. So float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.


“Tie strong bonds with the good people you meet through the guidance of spirituality. There are fun times to be had, places to see, goals to accomplish, but even the most successful man is empty without spirituality. At the end of every hard day, find time to reflect and include prayer and meditation. Discuss with people topics of substance and share good values. Don’t ever think someone may not understand where you come from or who you are. Revive the sense of community we are gradually losing. This is how we have to approach our future as a people.”

I can’t top what Anthony and Kristen have encapsulated in their early found fountains of life wisdom.

Wisdom that is inspiring to hear… and wisdom that I am certain was the genesis to drawing us together last night.

Like Kristen says, “Tie strong bonds with the good people you meet through the guidance of spirituality.”

Not saying that I am any great spiritualist, or guru in any form, but one thing is undeniable… The more I simply keep my chin up and eyes to the world, dropping my fears in greeting all who lock eyes with me, and, the more I notice, or hear what I see at a heart level. It is proven to me again and again in meeting so many uniquely different people.

And this evening I am definitely blessed in being able to spend time with a special and loving family.

Anthony, Kristen and Israel, thank you for letting my daughter and I into your hearts. You are good people. Hope to see you at the park again!


On Saturday, August 25 (that’s two days from today), between the hours of 3:00pm and 7:00pm, let’s get as many Angeleno’s as we can to play a few rounds of Table Tennis at Vahid’s club. It’s not the expensive, $7 each and I’m sure will prove to be a lot of fun.

I see two things that can come from it. One: A great opportunity to share thoughts and witness just how in common we all are, and Two: to help a deserving dude get his business off the ground. And in either I see no downside.

So friends within commuting distance of Vahid’s “Table Tennis Club” we look forward to seeing you at the tables.

Table Tennis Club
21911 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, California 91303

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