Alan Spivey: Shadow Warrior

Almost two years ago, I made an appointment to interview a young man in anticipation of one day writing a book about him. Not for the things he had accomplished, but for what he would. He was the sort of man that radiates purpose and destiny. That he would do great things was certain, my interview was preparation for what is sure to come.

I’ve known this man all his life, so I was able to bring up some items to discuss that he may have forgotten. I reminded him of the lesson he taught me about perseverance. We were watching Ryder Cup Tournament that covered two days. After the first day, the European team had a commanding lead. I had conceded the American’s defeat. He told me, “It’s not over!” On the next day, the US team roared back and claimed victory against incredible odds. He raised his fist and said, “Persevere!”

He knew two years ago he wanted to start his own business, he was still working out exactly what. His full-time job was with a Chapter Thirteen Bankruptcy Office where he reviewed all the files before submission. He had become excited about a Mortage Modification Program which only whetted his appetite to do more. He’d seen what had befallen homeowners and investors. He said, “I want to help.” I reminded him that while he was still in high school, he wanted to train service dogs which would then partner with humans after 1-2 years of training. While he didn’t ever train service animals, his desire to help others never left him.

During the interview, I asked him what had prepared him for the next step and how was he feeling? He said he was, “nervous and confident.” Being part of the FAMU Business Program made him fearless in his ability to network. He said, “that training prepared me to be able to talk to anyone” regarding his business. He discussed partnerships, traveled from coast to coast meeting potential investors in New Jersey and California. There were setbacks to be sure but he never stopped pressing on. He didn’t even have to use the word, “persevere,” he’d just raise his fist and the meaning was clear.

As exciting as it has been to watch him pursue his goals with a laser-like focus. I’ve been more impressed watching him mature as a man and as a father. He never forgets the why of it all and the trust his family has in him is a joy to watch. His oldest daughter might be playing behind him while he’s seated and suddenly launch herself over his head saying, “catch me, Daddy!” He says, “you have to warn me first,” but he has never failed to catch her. His youngest daughter calls to him to save her when captured by the evil grandfather. He never lets her down.

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He recognizes the work his wife, Jessica, puts in being a stay at home mom, who has completed her MBA since their marriage and runs her own business, Jessica’s Cookie Jar. They still have date nights, he supports her business as she supports his. They are a team in every respect. Regarding those cookies… I must warn you, they are the best cookies ever and you can become addicted faster than crack.

I probably should mention that this young man I know so well and have always admired, is my son. My contribution is to babysit his two girls on those date nights and other occasions. And to be the official recorder of his success. An additional disclaimer, at the end of this article I will ask you to make a small contribution towards launching his business or at least share this post with others should some of them be interested. Let me tell you a little about the business.

Alan has formed the Social and Sustainable Community Development Fund which will help create affordable housing and help people facing foreclosure issues. Among other things, they will acquire underwater mortgages and offer mortgage modifications including principal reductions. They’ll also provide one-on-one counseling with distressed homeowners.

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They have just started a campaign to raise $55,000 in start-up costs to get this thing off the ground. When you click on the link. You can watch the video about what their mission. You could read about how they plan to become a Community Development Financial Institution. What I’m hoping for is that you contribute, and/or share.

While there will be opportunities to invest in the future, this is not that. It’s hoping you can give to a company that will give back far more than your contribution. Not everyone will be able to donate but anyone can at least share this post. I know this venture will be successful because I know the man behind it. Alan Spivey: Shadow Warrior

Social and Sustainable Community Development Fund

 

 

 

My Daughter-In-Law Tried To Kill Me!

My Daughter-In-Law tried to kill me! In the event she is successful on another occasion, I’ll name my killer. Jessica Thompson Spivey. The murder weapon… cookies.

I can now see clearly, she’s been planning this for years. She’s been operating a business; Jessica’s Cookie Jar and she often got me to volunteer as a taster. She had me sample various recipe’s and give input as to which was best. I often babysit at the home she shares with my son and two granddaughters. I inadvertently thwarted previous attempts by limiting my intake to one cookie per visit. This year as Thanksgiving approached. She saw an opportunity and took it.

She asked my son to invite me over for Thanksgiving dinner. She had him inquire if I wanted anything special. Not wanting to be a bother, I simply said “cookies” knowing they’d be on hand already. On Thanksgiving Day, she had delivered to me my personal batch of kryptonite. A dozen Oatmeal Raisin cookies, laced with cinnamon and other unknown ingredients. She’d learned over time these were my biggest weakness. I’d be unable to resist. You might think cookies to be a strange way to try to kill someone but that’s what made her plan so insidious.

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If you’ve ever had one of her cookies, you’ll know of their addictive qualities. Depending on height and weight I calculate one would overdose somewhere between 3-5 cookies. She sent me twelve. I had a little help because my son snuck one cookie before delivering them as the aroma got to him along the way. I had one myself to tide me over until Thanksgiving Dinner. At dinner, I was temporarily distracted from the cookies by smoked turkey, ham, greens, macaroni and cheese and cornbread. But then she primed the pump with Seven-Up Cake and Red Velvet Cake. She never directly handled those items and gave them to me. She slyly relied on the fact that as I watched others eat the cake, moaning and licking their lips. I too would succumb.

Carbohydrates cause cravings for additional carbohydrates. Once having had two pieces of cake. It was only a matter of time before I sought out additional carbs. The memory of all those cookies awaiting me when I returned home suddenly overcame me. I played with grandchildren, engaged in conversation. All the while thinking about the cookies that were calling my name. It was almost certain I would unable to keep from eating the remaining ten cookies leading first to euphoria, and then certain death. Fortunately, I was full enough from the regular dinner that I simply couldn’t eat more than a few cookies and thus lived to see another day.

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Should anyone reading this wish to try some of these cookies. I issue the following warnings:

  1. They make excellent party treats. Should you order a dozen or more. Do not open them until ready to serve. If you sample one alone, it will be all you can do to keep from stashing them for yourself and eating the whole batch.
  2. Give them all away after serving them. Do not allow any leftovers to remain. They’ll be the end of you.
  3. Order limited types at a time. If you have a wide variety to choose from. The Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin will lead to the Double Chocolate Chip will lead to the Snickerdoodle will lead to the Sugar Cookies and so on and so on.
  4. If you value your life. Don’t even try her brownies and cupcakes.

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Maybe I’ve exaggerated the detrimental effects of the cookies. Not the euphoria part, that’s certain. I’m unaware of anyone that actually died from the cookies and in fact the website for Jessica’s Cookie Jar has excellent reviews. It’s possible I’ve written one myself. The addictive qualities are real. Even now I’m making known my availability to babysit again although I do plan to go back to one cookie per session. And of course, there’s Christmas! I wonder if there’s a Twelve-Step Program for cookies? I’ve included a few reviews, see how many times they refer to dying I’m just saying. They can be shipped anywhere so there’s nowhere to hide!

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“Ordered Macadamia Nut and Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin, they only lasted a few days! My boyfriend loved both and he normally not a Macadamia fan. Also, tried the Red Velvet previously which are to die for. Love that they come all individually wrapped. Great idea for ordering for the holidays!”

“Ordered the red velvet cookies and just about died. I love the presentation and how they were individually wrapped for optimum freshness. I literally inhaled the whole box over a week. Putting in my next order soon. Love love LOVE!!!!”

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“I have had the pleasure of tasting a variety of Jessica’s cookies. I would have to say that my all time favorite is either the Peanut Butter Cookie that made my taste buds jump for joy or her Double Chocolate Chip that was also to die for. I am a baker myself and Jessica’s cookies exceed my cookie expectations. They are not greasy or dry they are the perfect blend of Yumminess!”

“These cookies were WONDERFUL!! I ordered the red velvet cookies as a part of a valentines gift for my guy (red velvet is his favorite) and he LOVED them. I also ordered the brownie stuffed chocolate chip cookies and they were like heaven on earth. The cookies were so soft and moist, tasted fresh like she just baked them (you would’ve never thought they were shipped). I will definitely recommend Jessica’s Cookie Jar to anyone looking for a quality dessert. I can’t wait to try more of her cookies. Thanks Jessica…you rock :)”