Where Is The Justice For Trayvon Martin?

Three weeks ago today on February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was murdered while walking back to his father’s home from a convenience store with nothing more in his hands than a bag of Skittles™ and an Arizona™ Iced Tea.

George Zimmerman confessed to killing him as soon as the police arrived and was still holding the 9mm handgun he had used. But, here we are now, no arrest has been made. How is that possible?
Mr. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, self-appointed by many accounts, of the gated townhouse community, Retreat of Twin Lakes, in Sanford, FL., where Trayvon’s father, Tracy, and his fiancée live, claimed it was self-defense… but there are just too many things surrounding the event that make the self-defense claim a more than just a little hard to swallow.

Trayvon Martin, 17, was holding a bag of Skittles and
an Iced Tea when he shot.
Mr. Zimmerman made a 911 call to report seeing a “real suspicious guy” walking through the neighborhood. During that call, he started to follow Trayvon on foot, after reporting that Trayvon started running and adding “These assholes always get away”. He was clearly told by the dispatcher “We don’t need you to do that” and it was suggested he “wait for the officers by the mailboxes”. Instead, he chose to pursue the boy anyway, and, only a few moments later, killed him.
Mr. Zimmerman also claims that Trayvon Martin confronted him and they started fighting. That he, Zimmerman, repeatedly screamed for help, but no one came to his aid.This goes against witness accounts who say it was Martin crying out for help. Also, all such cries for help stopped immediately when the shots were fired.
George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon 
Martin on February 26 after calling 911 
and reported seeing a “suspicious person”.
It has also come to light in the last few days that Zimmerman was a frequent, if not habitual, caller to the Sanford Police Department and 911 dispatchers, calling no less than 46 times since January 1, to report everything from open windows and disturbances to people or things that looked suspicious. Granted, being a neighborhood watch captain can easily explain that away, especially if it were a high crime area. I don’t know enough about Sanford and the surrounding area to make a judgement call on that, but it was enough for Frances Robles of the Miami Herald to write an article about it.
The Sanford Police Department says it hasn’t found any evidence to negate Zimmerman’s claims of self-defense, but I have heard the 911 calls and I have to ask… are they stupid? Should they even be police officers? Or. as has been increasingly said and reported, are they racists who protect their own, or those they perceive as their own?
It’s not the first time such allegations have been made against the Sanford Police department. 
In 2010, the son of a Sanford Police Lieutenant was videotaped attacking a homeless man, but the he wasn’t arrested and charged until seven weeks later and only after it was reported by several news outlets questioning why no arrest had been made.  There was another incident in 2005, where two security guards (one of whom volunteered with the Police Department) killed a black man they claimed was trying to run one of them over with his car, that led to complaints of lackluster investigation, though it is important to note that later both men were acquitted.
It was initially said, by the Police Department that George Zimmerman had a spotless record and it couldn’t be seen why this would be anything other than self-defense, but that isn’t true. Zimmerman has been arrested. In 2005 he was arrested for battery against a police officer and resisting arrest with violence.  The charges were later dropped, but that hardly makes for a spotless record. Trayvon Martin, on the other hand, truly did have a completely spotless record.
And, the more time goes on… the more questions are going to arise. Not just from Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon’s parents), not just from the black community of Sanford, FL., but from folks like me who wonder how such an injustice can be allowed to continue when witnesses, like 13 year old Austin McLendon who stood not 20 yards away from the incident as it happened and can’t get Trayvon’s screams out of his head now. This same boy who might rightfully be afraid that someone may shoot him someday because “… I fit into the same stereotype as the person who got shot”.
I say to the Sanford Police Department… It’s time. Make the arrest. Bring ALL the evidence to light and let a judge and a jury decide whether this was self-defense or, as many now believe, a case of racial profiling turned murder.
Sign a petition requesting the Sanford Police Chief, Bill Lee, the Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, and Florida’s 18th  District State’s Attorney, Norman Wolfinger to arrest and prosecute George Zimmerman.
Where is the justice for Trayvon Martin?

My Wishes For You…

I wish you you knew just how much you mean to me

You may think you do, but you don’t

because I’m not always able to say how I feel

I wish you understood just how special you are

Not just to me, but to everyone touched by you

I wish this life had been kinder to you

But then again, if it had,

you may not have become the person I know

I wish you could see yourself

through the eyes of those who hold you most dear

You would never again be unsure or insecure

I wish you saw your value to those who love you more

and the opinions of those who don’t really know you less

I wish that you realize real beauty

has nothing to do with the size you wear

or the way you style your hair

It has everything to do with what’s inside your heart

and how you share it with others in your life

and you are truly beautiful.

I wish for you…





good health

good friends

a good life well-lived

I wish you more sunshine than rain

more laughter than tears

more happiness than sadness

more acceptance for who you really are

than acceptance for who you’re thought to be

more real friends, who are true to you

than pretenders who curse you when your back is turned

more sweet peace than turmoil and chaos

Above all of these things…

I wish you great love

Not just from those who care about you

but within yourself for others.

I wish you the Happiest Birthdays

The Merriest Christmases

and the nicest days

and if you haven’t figure it out by now…

I wish you to know I love you

I do

I love you

© 2012 Michelle D. Wampole

All Rights Reserved

This is dedicated to everyone in my life that I love and will love…

You all mean so much more to me than you will ever know.

Barry Manilow World Tour Kick Off In Omaha!

Photo: Rebecca S. Gratz – Omaha World-Herald
Last night was the kick off performance of Barry Manilow’s World Tour (I have no problem writing those words because he actually said them during the performance, though, up until then, he has protested that this is not a tour, but a “road trip”)
I sat dead center of the stage in the front row and had an amazing time.
I know I was holding my breath as the lights went down and the music started and the curtain came up because there was a little uncertainty as to how he would be as just a week ago he posted to his Facebook page that, while he had permission from his doctors and physical therapists to do the show last night, and the shows the next two nights in St. Louis, he was only about 85% post surgery (he had surgery on both of his hips two months ago to repair bursa and re-attach muscles torn completely away from his hips).
He came out on that stage bouncing and dancing to It’s A Miracle and went at full throttle the rest of the show. If that was only 85%,,, he’s gonna be absolutely killing people when he hits 100%!
Photo: Rebecca S. Gratz – Omaha World-Herald
He moved from It’s A Miracle into an uptempo Could It Be Magic and I was thinking… “He wouldn’t dare!”
But… he did! A BAM! And the crowd went absolutely nuts! It was awesome!
Photo: Michelle D. Wampole – Omaha
The above photo was one of the better shots I took, what few I could take before my damned battery died!
It was about a second or two post-BAM and you can see Kye Brackett “passed out” across Barry’s piano and Sharon “Muffy” Hendrix running to his aid. It was a very funny moment and proved to the fans, well, this one for sure, that there was nothing to fear. Barry was fine and was set on having a good time with his “friends” in Omaha!
Photo: Rebecca S. Gratz – Omaha World-Herald
The High Points (other than the opening):
First and foremost, just that he was there and in such obviously great spirits. He appeared to be having just as much fun as we were having in the audience!
He performed several “fan favorites” that he hadn’t done in awhile, including Keep Each Other Warm. One of my personal favorites. 🙂
When he spoke of his surgery and recovery… Finding a higher power, greater than himself that got him through all the pain he had to endure… and what that higher power was, LOL! Being cooped up in bed and sooo bored! Then he got serious, thanked his fans for their hundreds of cards, letters and Facebook comments that were so encouraging and helped pull him through and then he sang I Made It Through the Rain and you couldn’t help but believe that he meant every single word. It got him one of several standing ovations last night.
Talking about the Manilow Music Project
Reminiscing about Grandpa Joe
When talking about All The Time and feeling like a misfit, he said that he really didn’t have it as bad when he was in school as kids do today, emphasizing that “all the bullying now is just too much. It’s gotta stop”.
There were a couple of miscues and an occasional lyric fumble, but it was the opening show and I am sure as time goes on and a few more performances pass by, the very few rough spots will be smoothed out.
Barry, being the professional that he is, managed to get through those few moments with style and humor.
The only Low Point in the entire show…
Absolutely nothing from 15 Minutes except “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” being played over the sound system as the audience milled out of the arena.
And, honestly, it wasn’t even a real disappointment. The show, as it was, was so great that the realization of any of that album being missing from the show was an after thought.
All I can say, ultimately, of it all is… Well done, Barry,,, and welcome back!
Special thanks, also, to Kye Brackett, Sharon “Muffy” Hendrix, Ron Walters, Jr., Ron Pedley, Joey Melotti,  David Rozenblatt, Russ McKinnon, Mike Lent and… damn, I can’t remember the bassist’s name at the moment.
As great as Barry Manilow is, he can’t do it all on his own. The professionalism and talent of these men and woman are so great, though, they all make it seem like he does just that. Their performances, so seamless and perfect, work to bring out the best in Barry’s performance and spotlight their own unique abilities as well. It was as much fun and entertaining to step back and watch all of them as it was to watch Barry.
Extra special thanks to Dawn Downes, without whom I could not have been at that concert last night. And the seat was sooooo fabulous. Front row, dead center! I was close enough to see the twinkle in those beautiful baby blues and I will never forget it.
Also thanks to my Facebook pals: Pamela. Pattie and Gwen. It was so nice to be able to meet you all. I just wish I could have spent more time with all of you, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe we’ll all meet up again, Somewhere Down the Road. 🙂
Pattie, Me, Pamela and Gwen
Late addition…
Thank you, also, to my new friend and chief Kleenex supplier (I confess, I cried… A LOT), Lynn Driscoll. Just for being there, for being so sweet to a complete stranger, and for sharing the great photos she had from the show.