Moment of Truth

We’re in here! Yes I found a spot to spark the embryo for Old Skoolie 1863. I was able to secure a lot that is about a half hour away form me. It’s a good spot. The only rules and regulations of the spot is that I cannot work on the outside of the bus while it is there. Trust, there is enough internal work to be done. Though this is a major step in the journey (getting the school bus and securing a spot) it is not the end. It is only a step in the whole story which is unfolding. The danger of course is to become complacent as though this is the last page of the story. I am taking a small break yet still moving forward. A friend of mine’s came up with the term “momenting which is “pairing the mindfulness of living in the moment with focused moment towards one’s goals.” 
 
This is also a good time to really reflect on what the heaven am I doing? Rflmao. As the New England weather starts to flex I have come to the conclusion that I could be on the inside of that bus on the weekend with a small heater working on the inside yet is that the wisest course of action? At this point I have concluded that it isn’t. I will be visiting ole girl, make sure I turn her over every few weeks and move her slightly in order to make sure that the weight doesn’t warp the tires though beyond that I think she will be in hibernation during the winter. I realize that there are still many actionable steps to my full plan that I can use all of the rest of the Fall and Winter to implement. That way when the weather breaks I can get it on and popping. There are actually three areas that I am going to focus on during the colder weather.
 
The first area is to learn my damn bus. The allure of designing the bus into a mobile palace is of course what drew me to skoolies. The reality is that is only a portion of what needs to be done. I have to know how that bus works as a vehicle. I need to know that engine inside out. I need to know laws and such for the conversion and RV parks. I need to make sure thta that outside body is the best that it can be. I can use this time in doors to do all of that. I also need to draw up the perfect plans for redesign. I can also start to collect items that I know that I am going to install lie everything to the kitchen sink ;-). 
 
The second thing that I need to do is to continually refine the mobile community center and media center aspect of Old Soolie 1863. This will not just be an RV it will actually be a work center for me. The mobile center aspect will be dealing with HoodHealth while the media center aspect will be dealing with the Legacy Project. At this point I have been continually deciding if those aspects will be non profit, for profit, etc. Still weighing everything. I have been securing endorsements at this pint (not sponsorships yet) so that when it is time to see funding for those aspects no matter what the road I decide the avenue will be open. Already some leads on grants and funding have presented them selves. 
 
The third thing is for me to continue to become immersed in the skoolie community. I have learned so much since linking with like minded people who have been doing this for years, months and days. And also due to my diligence I have finally come across another Black person who is living in a skoolie. I have also connected with a Black woman who is into green living/tiny house movement and is working to transition into a mobile off the grid lifestyle. The network is necessary for me to not reinvent the wheel. So many simple questions get answered on the daily when I link with them. 
 
I’m loving this journey. Some days I have a “what the heaven did I get myself into” moment yet that always passes. I’m in it to win it and do what has never been done before in quite this form. Thank you to everyone who is along for the ride.
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Still looking for a parking spot y’all

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Man…..it’s been a challenge. I am still looking for a spot to store/park/work on the Skoolie throughout the Fall/Winter. At this point I am still searching for spots on Craigslist, using my network and seeing if I can get it registered as a pre-converted school bus which would allow me to park it anywhere and work on it. I have gotten some more time from the woman’s whose land it is now on to keep looking yet I know I’ll have to be moving it soon.

At times this is definitely weighty on the mental yet I’m not unbowed yet. Everyday someone in my circle or who just hears about the project reminds me how excited they are to see this being done. I know that this is just one of many hurdles yet why is this one so tall?! I know I’m built for it and I remind myself daily that I asked for it..ha.

At the same time I have to make sure  I am neglecting no other part of the project. The essential aspect of the Old Skoolie 1863 Project which makes it different from similar bus conversions is that it will be an RV/Mobile community center. So I have to make sure that I am reaching the people who are willing to add on to the Hood Health aspects of the project. Many have reached out to me wanting to know what ways that they can add on. I’m still processing all of it. It has been challenging since my mental is obsessed with find a spot for the school bus then I remind myself…dude…you bought a damn bus..lol.

So I bought a bus…

20151004_095830So I bought a bus. Through a great community on facebook, Skoolie Converters, I got in contact with Schlomy .He had bought a partially converted school bus which due to several reasons he couldn’t complete. While a door was closing for him it was opening for me. So I have a partially converted school bus sitting in Connecticut…who would’ve ever thought. It’s on. I have been talking and planning this whole adventure of Old Skoolie 1863 and now I’m at a major phase. I’m in a state of wonderment.

When I was a young teenager my father moved us out of the hood and bought a house. This house was a wreck! The grass was five feet high in the yard. An old lady had owned the house who had dementia and set the house on fire. It had been unoccupied for eight years. She had used the backporch as a garbage can. Nothing had been moved out of the house. There was food in the fridge and cabinents. Her clothes and furniture still in the house. My father cleaned out two rooms and we moved in. That whole year we cleaned it up. I remember scrubing walls, tearing up moldy rugs, and hauling trash into a big bin. My father was a jack of all trades. He fixed up the plumbing, electicity, carpentry, etc with the house. Where others saw a run down house my father saw a palace that he could make for his family. Now here we are years later where others see a run down school bus I see Old Skoolie 1863. If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would be on this path I would’ve laughed at you and thought you were delerious.

The Old Skoolie 1863 project is about transforming a school bus into a RV/living space and community center for the promotion of urban (hood)health and Black media

Old Skoolie 1863 will distribute, educate and implement solutions to issues involving HoodHealth and the Legacy Project. HoodHealth acknowledges that there is a current crisis involving Black and Brown people centered around health disparity. The Legacy Porject highlights the place of Blacks in American history by visiting historical sites reintroducing them to a modern audience. Old Skoolie 1863 will not just my home; it will be the natural extension of my work and an effort in furtherance of the HoodHealth movement and the Legacy Project.  You can learn more about the whole idea (that is coming into existence) of the the Old Skoolie 1863 proejct in the FAQ section. If you want to know more about why I’m qualified to “do this crazy thing” you can check more out about my background here.

One thing that I learned from my father is it is all about your skill set (that you can always increase) plus your network of family and friends. With those two elements you can (and if you are diligent will) do anything. It is not about what can be done, it is about what does it take to get it done.

There are challenges and problems each step of the way (right now I’m working on finding a permanent spot to keep it while I do the initial conversions so that I can register it). The key is to rise to each challenge and to solve each problem. Please keep in touch with me as in a few weeks I will be launching a crowd fundraiser. If you want to add on in any other ways check out my link here. I have been slacking on the posts yet now that its officially on expect more frequent post that detail each step of my journey, each hurdle, each insight and probably a healthy dose of me ranting.IMG_20151005_075629

It’s Been a Long Time…Since I’ve Left You…..

cropped-skoolie-fb-brushedgold.jpgIt has been a while yet Old Skoolie 1863 is still full steam underway. Some big advances have been made behind the scenes and I’ll work to catch everyone up in due time. I must say though that several skoolie groups on FB have been invaluable in terms of knowledge about the subject. This blog will be active again also so that y’all can continue to walk step by step with me through this amazing journey that has already transformed my life on so many levels. So as this is the renewal of the blog let me just drop off a few bullet points of somethings that have been percolating.

-I was worried about a space to park and work on the bus. A friend of mine’s have offered their property for the skoolie when purchased. Looking at others who had to rent commercial space and the prices they were paying….let’s just say I’m loving this development

-Still planning to execute my kickstarter/Indiegogo crowd fund raiser before the end of Fall.

-Got scouts looking for me a fully or partially converted skoolie in Florida, California and Colorado. If you by any chance know of one near you please HIT ME UP!

-Old Skoolie 1863 has been blessed with a log done by Merirei Media Group. Check it out above!

-If you don’t know part of skill set is as a free lance writer. You can check out a couple of places where I write online at the Source magazine in the Hood Health 101 section and with All Real Radio in my God in the Ghetto column.

-Also there I run the SolPower podcast which you can check out on Soundcloud. It is also available on Stitcher and Itunes. In the future once the skoolie is on the road it will be officially documenting the inaugural journey across the states.

-The feedback from everyone has been love. From seasoned skoolie occupants to people who just want to donate $5 towards the cause. I love every one of y’all.

Stay tuned as I work to give y’all the weekly insight into what I’m doing, what i’m having problems with, walking with me as i get closer and closer to the goal.

HistoryPin

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Historypin.com is a global community collaborating around history. Being the steward of my family’s history it is a great site for curating this history. I have started to do so creating collections for the paternal side of my family and the maternal side of my family. I am also documenting some of the history of Martin Luther King Elementary School in New Haven, Ct which no longer exists. My mother was a teacher there from the mid 70’s into 2000. I inherited all of the flicks that she took.

The site is nicely streamlined perfectly for such curating. Nicely designed for the casual or serious documenting. In the long run it is the site I will be utilizing to document the HoodHealth history of Black America during Old Skoolie 1863’s inaugural run. It also has avnice compatible app. Look forward to lost Black towns, hidden maroon colonies, inner city enclaves and more to be documented by me via historypin when the journey begins.l

Fleeing the South

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Many things have been happening in regards to Old Skoolie 1863. In due time I will catch everyone up. I will say that it has been a journey of hit and miss with many things yet I have the fortitude to make sure that I reach all essential goals the first quarter of this year. I have also been involved in a host of events and projects for this #BlackHistory #BlackPresence #BlackFuture month. As we move through the rest of this month into next month I will be dropping a few links to articles that highlight the connection between travel and the Black experience as I work myself back to being consistent the blog.

For Black Americans, Fleeing the Segregated South Was Deadly-colorlines