Cartoons these days


I watch cartoons with Tesla every now and then. It makes her happy and takes me back to simpler days. We love Scooby Doo and Tom & Jerry, but the newer cartoons are disturbing.

On one cartoon (I can’t remember which one) the characters were talking about Romeo and Juliet. A male cartoon character says, “why can’t there be a Romeo and Romeo?” Now I have no problem with people’s sexual preferences,  but I think throwing lines like that into cartoons is just ridiculous. When kids get older they can start thinking about whether they want a Juliet or a Romeo in their life, I don’t see the need to have this brought up in a cartoon.

A few days ago we were watching Wynx Club, a truly horrible cartoon simply because the voices are so annoying. They are teenage fairies (scantily dressed) that go to a private fairy school. When a new professor (male) started at the fairy school one of the characters commented on how hot the new teacher was. That just seemed totally out of line. With all the problems schools are having with teachers becoming involved with students I don’t understand why something like that would be written into a cartoon.

Just stick to Bugs Bunny.


I Got Milk

Breast milk is good stuff. Makes babies healthy and it’s free. Comes right out of the mama, if you’re lucky.

What if I told you that some women, actually, from what I’ve read, most women can trick their bodies into producing milk. Amazing isn’t it?

If you don’t want to read me over share, you should stop reading now. Have a great day.

I saw an episode of American Horror Story entitled Spilt Milk. The opening scene was a man who hired a new mom as a prostitute just to drink her breast milk. Nothing was shown in detail but there was no doubt in mind why he hired her. She gets them out and he is all over those boobs. It all was rather stimulating until later in the episode he flips out and tries to kill her because his real father is nicknamed “Bloody Face” and his mama gave him away, which is part of the theme to the show.

So that gets my attention and I like to be really informed on a topic. I began reading and learning that some women cause themselves to lactate so they can have that feeling of full breasts, so they can manually relieve their milk, they can enjoy that amazing let-down feeling (if you don’t know what that feeling is, think of it as an orgasm for the breasts) or so they can adult nurse someone. I was fascinated.

I breast fed all three of my children and I thoroughly enjoyed it. While it was stimulating to me, it wasn’t in a sexual manner but rather closeness I felt to my child. I played the opening scene of American Horror Story for Brian. I wanted to get his reaction because he’s the only person paying any attention to my breasts. I was curious to his reaction to the show and to my surprise he liked it. I’ve since learned there are countless people searching for the perfect person to have an “Adult Nursing Relationship” or be a practicing “Adult Nursing Partner” with someone. And it goes both ways. There are women looking for someone who want to nurse from them and there are TONS of men looking to nurse from a woman.

Who knew huh? It’s kinda like the balloon thing for me. It took realizing others found balloons stimulating to even understand why I had a thing for them. Ok, so what is this all leading to? Well it led to a lot of great sex and stimulation to my breasts and low and behold, I realized yesterday I was producing colostrum. Yeah, blew my mind too. So we keep this up, I’m going to have milk.

I Got Milk?

The mind is powerful,


Even Government Can’t Bring Down the Amish Mafia

The countdown is on for the new season of Amish Mafia to start. I read an article in the Lancaster newspaper that talked about the election of Pennsylvania’s governor. It seems like Corbett screwed up trying to trash Amish Mafia as part of his campaign. Meanwhile, Wolf didn’t care what Levi was up to in Lancaster County and now he’s the new governor. While I’m sure there is no connection what-so-ever, it does raise my curiosity. Could Levi have some influence that caused Corbett to lose his seat or was he going to lose the governor’s race regardless?

Maybe Levi should have ran for governor

Maybe Levi should have ran for governor

Levi’s father ran Amish Aid (which supposedly was the original title of the Discovery Channel show) and now Levi handles the funds to help those Amish in need of cash to get by during difficult circumstances. Not sure what hut parties and cage fights have to do with all that but from what I’m told, Levi doesn’t get paid to do the show. Instead they bought him a Cadillac and when he wrecked that one, they bought him another. I find it real hard to believe that Levi does the show just for a car and a couple trucks for his tough men.

Now I know Esther, the self-proclaimed queen of the Amish Mafia, isn’t returning and neither is her goofy, scooter riding brother, John. I can’t say I’ll miss the two of them other than to laugh my ass off at their “acting” and off screen antics. Esther posted that she was experiencing a big change in her life. Some people commented that she was pregnant. I haven’t been able to confirm or debunk that one but I’m guessing that baby might not match up with her first two. She likes her meat dark these days. Is her relationship with Mirkat over? It wouldn’t surprise me if it wasn’t. A big change in her life might be to open her eyes and realize, once a woman beater, always a woman beater. Seriously, that was the wrong way to go about getting a make-over.

From Esther's Facebook page. What other "truths" could she be hiding?!

From Esther’s Facebook page. What other “truths” could she be hiding?!

Esther’s fans might appreciate getting reimbursed for her cookbooks and her “personally” hand-sewn goods they never received. They’ve been waiting a LONG time and are extremely displeased by the fraudulent sales. That might be a good change Esther, giving back the money you took from the people who thought you were genuinely Amish. If she were really Amish though, you wouldn’t have ever learned her name or seen her on TV to start with. She is talking about creating her own YouTube cooking channel. I can’t see her sticking to that either. So far, she hasn’t stuck to anything she starts out to accomplish. Her take-over of the Amish Mafia was certainly a FAIL.

How to cook like Esther (skip her dating tips)

How to cook like Esther (skip her dating tips)

Now the person I will miss is Freeman, if he leaves the show. Now that he spoke, I just want to hear more out of his mouth. That man is just creepy and the creepy factor grows on you. Some people have commented that they find Freeman to be sexy with this “creepy persona” on the show. I did a little research and it appears he has a girlfriend, but it’s hard to tell with these folks. They’re running amok with their pants down. How very Amish of them.

I’m expecting changes in the program for season 4. They might get really out of control and Wayne will break things without safety glasses! Just kidding, I’m actually hoping the mafia will tackle real issues in Lancaster County such as puppy mills, the sale of horses for glue, and especially, child abuse. Do I know this is going to happen? Uh, no. But, I can hope and write about it and say, “Hey Discovery Channel, make it happen!”  Maybe if the Amish Mafia was doing something positive people wouldn’t be so pissed off about the “reality” of the show.

So, I’m ALWAYS looking for information about the “Amish” folks on the show. I’d love to hear anything you know about them. Comment below, email me at, find me on Facebook as Pattie Crider and message me or shoot me a text at 717-916-0586.

When I write, Discovery reads.


How To Ruin Your Life (Without Even Noticing That You Are)

Pattie Crider:

Read this…it makes so much sense!

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Understand that life is not a straight line. Life is not a set timeline of milestones. It is okay if you don’t finish school, get married, find a job that supports you, have a family, make money, and live comfortably all by this age, or that age. It’s okay if you do, as long as you understand that if you’re not married by 25, or a Vice President by 30 — or even happy, for that matter — the world isn’t going to condemn you. You are allowed to backtrack. You are allowed to figure out what inspires you. You are allowed time, and I think we often forget that. We choose a program right out of high school because the proper thing to do is to go straight to University. We choose a job right out of University, even if we didn’t love our program, because we just invested time…

View original 996 more words

You probably shouldn’t read this, so you will

The washer pounded out of control. The banging causing an inner rage to unleash.

Why can’t that thing ever just work? I just want to write.

It was a load of white clothes and towels. I knew it would most likely be unbalanced because unless there was a minuscule amount of laundry in the washing machine, it would bang like a Christmas drummer out of season.

(moved to basement, towels are dripping wet.)

Great. At least the noise stopped. Repositions the clothing in the washer and starts the load again. It spins with no problems. Now the towels are in.

I’m trying to think and the damn white clothes. . . with the banging.

The dog woofs, like that noise could possibly be someone knocking at the door. Moron.

The night is early and much can be accomplished, but I am side-tracked. Love causes a drift into a day dream.

I wish he was here to keep me company while I do housework. I’m lusting for him, but know he won’t be showing his face. What is it being apart from this man? We can’t seem to get enough of each other. Nearly daily we find the time to be alone.

What does love feel like? It’s different for every person.

Some people never feel it. Others have it for a short period of time then lose it. And even others have it for nearly a life time. Love is powerful.

Wow, aren’t I insightful?

I’m sitting at the top of the steps looking down at the empty walls thinking someday, there will be grandbabies on the wall. Photos of the grandbabies that is, no grandkids trying to climb the handrail.

Brian calls while at work.

It felt SO good to hear his voice. We talked about how soon it would be until he came home. My butterflies kicked it up a notch when he spoke. He said he couldn’t fathom life without me. I had been thinking of saying the same to him, even using the word fathom. Freaks.

Amazing how love creates a physical reaction without even a touch. If someone is in love, just the sight of the person they are in love with causes their body to stir. It can be a simple jolt or tightening of the skin, to the extreme of nearly wanting to vomit, but somehow keeping the contents of their stomach in check. Vile, but true.

Never had the “feel like I’m gonna barf” urge and for that, I am grateful. When he walks in the door after work it is impossible for me not to smile when I see his face. Just the sight of him brings me pleasure.

I can’t wait to get my hands on him. I wrap my arms around his solid body. He’s tall and handsome and I’m a fan of both. His eyes sparkle, and I know that shit is for me. He pulls me to his face, my head in his hands. He whispers into my ear…

I’ve missed you so much. Just the sight of you gets me so excited. You have too many clothes on. Let me help you take them off baby.

See how easily distracted I get thinking about this man?

So what does love feel like to me with him… I’m going to try to explain it. If you think this sounds boring, leave my blog now. Otherwise, read on and try to keep up.

Normal breathing patterns don’t always seem to exist. You tear my breath away with just a glance. The closer your face gets to mine the faster our breathing is until we are breathing the same air, literally sharing it, excited by the thought and act.

I want to be daring. I enjoy life and want to share that daringness with someone else, preferable someone good-looking, has a sense of humor and is wealthy. Don’t worry, like Meatloaf said, “Two out of three ain’t bad.”

Our lips touch and explosions go off between us. Thank God they are “inside the body, fireworks type of electrical sparks” (totally my description, seriously, Google did not assist) and no one dies from being in love by accidentally electrocuting themselves on someone they apparently love.

You working these double shifts suck. The only upside is I’m writing and doing house work. Speaking of which, the washer stopped. When I was down there earlier I dumped the water in the basket from the wet towels in the hole for the sump pump. It’s a dark, dingy corner of the basement and this basement is on the high level of creepy. The one room has a mysterious bricked-in section of the basement floor. Who bricks a basement floor? What’s under there? Why do I have the urge to dig it up? What’s up with the name of that pump? Sump pump. . . it sounds like a sexual act. Ew, it the hole is gross. Where am I going with this? Sheesh.

I don’t think anyone ever died from being in love. The actual feeling, that is. Lots of people have died from being in love, love with the wrong person. Lord knows I already went that route. That’s finally over.

Touching the person you fell in love with feels amazing. Like every nerve-ending on your finger tips can read the body of the person you love.

They smell delicious. Sometimes the urge to bite them and check for deliciousness is impossible to resist.

You don’t mind when I bite you, in fact, you dig it. I just can’t leave marks anyone can see. Hmmm and you are the one who suggested we watch “True Blood” together. You know how I say I want to kiss your face off? It’s just a euphemism. I’m actually a vampire and I want to bite you.

The taste. Everyone has their own taste. I’ll let you figure that all out on your own.

You taste so good. And the taste of us together is amazing. I love to kiss your face off.

Have you ever wanted to kiss someone’s face off?? Let me a comment on here or Facebook.

Like me?


Anniversary and Amish Mafia

In two days Brian and I will celebrate our first anniversary.  I haven’t written much about my personal life because, wait for it, wait . . . my life has been kinda dull. Actually, that’s a lie, my life has been really interesting, but I can’t really write about it. It involves too many people.

So, two days until the day Brian tells me he and his wife are split up. Two days until Dale reads my instant messages and realizes I lied to him for the first time. It was a lie by omission. I was going where I was going, just not to see who I said.

Breakups are bad, especially for me. Guys don’t seem to like being broken up with. The only one who took it like a man was my first husband. I grow on people, I suppose.

A year of getting to know Brian, it’s been amazing. He is such a sweet, kind, generous man. Extremely patient and gifted with the ability to nearly block out every sound kids make and pile of clutter he encounters. And of course, he’s incredibly easy on my eyes. I could stare out him for an hour and not get tired of looking. By the end of the day I cannot wait to lay my eyes on him.

We are extremely happy. Tesla is extremely happy. She gets every other week with Brian and I, and the other week she is with her dad and his fiancée, Gina. I like Gina even if I think her judgement in men is clouded. Haha. She reminds me of me when I met John, just older and blonde. Gina used to work with my sister, Suz, at Memorial Hospital and interesting enough, Gina, Suz, Brian, and I all attend LCBC Church on N. Hills Street in York.

God has really touched my life in the past year. I’ve always been very open with my faith in God. He’s saved my life here on earth, and I know when my life on earth ends, he will save me again to join him in Heaven.  He got me through tough times with going through divorce, college, struggling financially and in suing for joint custody. I held my faith and everything came out right. I fell in love, got a divorce, graduated college, started a new career, won joint custody of Tesla, and found a church that feels right in my life.

A year has flown by and so much has happened since Brian and I reacquainted and basically changed our lives overnight. Every day I want to pinch myself because I swear I must been dreaming. He is the best. I want to be his wife.

It’s also been a year since a friend of mine told me she had been diagnosed with lung cancer. She doesn’t think she has much time left. I stopped to see her. . . I feel like shit for not going before. Now she is busy with so many people wanting to see her and I understand.

I’ve starting writing a book about a haunted house by the Susquehanna River. No title idea so far.

I can’t wait for Amish Mafia to start. Just saying. Sadly it won’t premiere won’t be until the end of January. I’ve heard Esther is or was pregnant, my guess, to Mirkat. Not that long ago she was supposed to be Amish. And Levi seems to be a mess, all worried about some nudies getting out. Does anyone want to see Levi naked?

Just wondering.


2014 York Halloween Parade

I had a great time walking the York parade with the York County Youth Development Center. Enjoy the photos of the Halloween parade participants and of the crowds of people in York City who came to watch.

Click the first photo to open the photos to full size.

Happy Halloween!



What do you like to read about on my blog?

Paranormal Investigator asks Is Dover, PA haunted?


Is Dover Haunted? By Tom Miles

Dover Borough is 250 years old this year. There is a lot of history in Dover, not only the town but the whole area. People lived, worked, and died here; most were probably from natural causes. But, there were some that were not so natural. It’s not whether a person dies by natural causes or by another tragic event, they say when your time comes, it comes, whether you are ready or not. What about those individuals who are not ready to go?  Whether they have unfinished business, they choose to stay with a loved one to help them through their grief, to give someone a message or perhaps it’s the fear of the unknown, not knowing what lays waiting for them beyond the light. There are many reasons that spirits stay in this realm, most of which we will never really know the answer to until our time comes. And when that day comes for me and a ghost hunter asks if I have any messages for any one, BOY HE’LL BE SORRY HE ASKED THAT QUESTION!

Looking at the Dover area in general, it has a very long and interesting history. The Confederate Army came through Dover and some of their troops were in need of medical attention.  A local doctor on the square tended to these men who were probably wounded during the battle of Hanover. I’ve searched and have found that the Confederates did have wounded and dead from this battle. I have yet to find where the soldiers who died were buried. I’ve been told stories that on the square of Dover people have seen the apparitions of Confederate soldier’s still standing watch over the square. I’ve also been told of a patch of woods in Weiglestown where people have seen the ghostly images of Confederate soldiers in the woods.



Undated-looking from 2 N. Main towards Weiglestown.

Undated-looking from 2 N. Main towards Weiglestown.


It is fact that the underground ground railroad came through Dover, a house on North Main Street is said to have been a safe haven for slaves coming to the north. The house is rumored to have a lot of activity in its basement. Could this activity be caused by the spirits of those slaves that were seeking freedom and dying from sickness before they reached their free home?  Are they still seeking their freedom?

The borough fire station has two spirits roaming through the building; they are both older gentleman who probably loved being around the fire station. We speculate that when they died, their feelings for the fire station and/or the people there were that strong they were drawn back to the station where they “help or watch over things”. There is also a small boy there, he is not connected with the fire house, but the land the fire house sets on. He may have lived on this land or died on this land, it is hard to say. He is a lost soul and must find some comfort being in the fire station. He is a bit of a prankster.

There is a story I have been investigating and researching that took place in August of 1957. It involves four young boys, two pairs of brother—Weaver’s and the Baker boys–who were tragically, killed by a bazooka shell. Somehow, the boys got obtained three bazooka shells while visiting their brother in the service. One day the boys were playing in the yard and one boy climbed up a tree near the house and dropped the shell to ground below. The shell exploded and three boys were killed instantly. The boy who dropped the shell was blown from the tree and his leg shattered. He died later that afternoon. This all took place literally in my own back yard on a hot August day in 1957.

Over fifty years ago there was a farm house where my house sets today. This story shows how time has a way of erasing the past. I found out about this from a friend who lived her whole life in Dover. I started searching and finally found the story of what happened. I find it sad that these boys have been forgotten because they died in another generation in time. The boys are still here, they are attached to the land. Donna, our Spiritual Investigator for Dover Paranormal Research Team lives in the small development behind me, no more than a hundred yards away. She has a gift where she can feel the energy of spirits. The boys showed up in her kitchen a few days after she moved in, attracted to her by her energy. We’ve done short EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) sessions in my back yard and captured a child’s voice saying “Yes” confirming a question that was asked.

There is an undisclosed house in the Dover area from the early 1800’s that the owners have allowed us to come in and investigate home many times. The local historical society did a deed search and found the names of the families who owned it since it was built. We have been investigating this home for over three years and have dozens of EVP’s from inside the house. We know the names of the spirits who still reside there and we have found their names through one of online genealogy search engines. The names that appeared in the search match the names of a man and his daughter that once lived in the home. They have spoken to us on numerous occasions. This is known as a “Disembodied Voice.  Like the night a little girl told us “HELLO”. As she said this, we had a camera on a table focused on an EMF Meter, a K2 meter to be exact, and when she spoke her voice registered on the meter. We have all been called by name at least once or more during our investigations. The spirits of the house have accepted us just as it did the home owner.

I’ve heard many stories about houses in the Dover area that are rumored to have paranormal activity. We wanted to do a Haunted Ghost Tour through Dover this year, but could not find enough stories to tell, we are hoping for next year. So if you live in a house that has strange things going on such as whispers, voices, footsteps, things disappearing and reappearing in another place, animals acting out of sorts, staring at things you can’t see or growling at something that is not there, chance are it is paranormal activity.

There is another tragic story where a small shop owner on the square of Dover was killed during a robbery. I can’t help but wonder if he is still working in his shop.

We have conducted investigations in a local church which is several hundred years old. The congregation has seen shadows and heard voices through-out the church. We caught a lot of EVP’s and came to the conclusion the spirits were there for the same reason the spirits were at the fire station; the church was a favorite and familiar location and they felt comfortable.

One of our more interesting investigations was an old early 18th century, log, farm house. The owners were restoring the house back to its original state. They asked us to come into the home and check over the house and land. We believe the house may have been once owned by an old witch. When one of our investigators stated a phrase that one witch would have said to another witch, we caught an EVP that said “Hello”. Out in the field, we had a static recorder set up that ran all night. On it we found what sounded like Native American Indians chanting or singing.

How We Work

We at Dover Paranormal Research Team do not refer to spirits as ghosts, we refer to them as people or if we have one, we will call them by name. We treat them just as if they were sitting across the table chatting with us in life. After all, they were people once, so why would you not treat them as you would if they were alive. We show respect to them, unlike many of the TV shows where the investigators yell and swear at them or make threats. Let’s face it, if this is how you were treated by some fool stumbling around in the dark yelling and cursing at you, would you talk to them? I don’t think so.

They still probably think they are fools for stumbling around in the dark, asking a lot of questions, snapping pictures with our bodies covered with all sorts of electronics. We hope they talk to us because we are doing one thing that the guys on the TV shows aren’t and that is showing them our respect. We treat the site with respect, we treat the property with respect, and we show respect to the owners of the property. We begin an investigation by saying “Hello” and afterwards thank them for allowing us to speak to them. We also introduce ourselves and explain why we are there. We know it’s working when we hear a very soft, ghostly “Good Bye”.  We then remind them that they must stay there and they cannot come with us.

Ah, what about evil spirits or demons? This is an area that I will only say a little about. Everyone has their own religious beliefs, as it should be. We are not out to change religious beliefs and most of what I say about this is my own personal beliefs. I believe that when someone dies their disposition in death is the same as it was in life. If you were one mean, nasty, SOB in life, well guess that’s probably the way you will be in death too. To be honest, the worst thing we have ever come across is negative energy, some will call this evil or demonic, it’s all in your religious beliefs. We have found in cases like this the negative energy was manifested by the family.

Have ever known anyone whose family did nothing but fight and argue constantly, never having a nice word to say to anyone? Ever notice how heavy the air is and just the overall negative feeling in the house itself? This energy feeds off of fighting, fear, anger, and distrust. When this is taking place, it is constantly growing and feeding off of you. Negative energy itself can make you sick, depressed, angry, and emotional. And this is where I will stop with the subject.

Who We Are

Our services are free and all information is confidential unless you say otherwise. We are made up of five people; we have one young man, Kevin, who is an investigator on our team. Since he is the youngest member, he gets to carry all the heavy stuff for the old people. He keeps telling us he hopes we get a new kid someday to help him. Carl is our lead investigator and cofounder of the group. He is our skeptic and keeps us grounded, which allows us to look at evidence with an open mind. Donna is our spiritual investigator and cofounder of the team. She has a gift of feeling spirit’s energy and where they travel. She goes into a site and tells us what she feels. She knows nothing going into an investigation, when she is done with her walk through she will sit down with the owners and explains her findings. This is always my favor it part, watching the owner faces when she tell them what’s been going on. Then we have the owners explain to her their experiences. It’s always amazing at how accurate she is. John is our newest member and also an investigator. He has an interesting way of looking at things which makes us stop and think twice about some of the things we experience.

I am Tom, the old man in the group. I am disabled but, I do what I can to help. I am the team’s Case Manager, Researcher, Investigator, Computer Geek, Inventor and Web Master. Together, we make up Dover Paranormal Research Team. Our investigations are held on Saturday evenings, we do not go all night because we are all above the age of 40 (except for Kevin). We are not a bunch of kids looking for a thrill. We do this because we all have had our own paranormal experiences. When we formed this team we decided our investigations would be done scientifically. We would only tell the truth and not exaggerate our evidence, being up front about everything found. We have no reason to lie or deceive people. What is the point of that? I was taught a very long time ago to tell the truth . . . that lying will only come back to haunt you.

Our evidence is our proof that what we show you is real. If you choose not to believe, that is your choice, but we know it is real. We do this because we all enjoy helping people, especially when someone is experiencing paranormal activity, and needs explanations of what is taking place. Many people have no one to turn to when this happens and are afraid of what people will think. We do this because we want to help you understand. So if you need help contact us. Our services are always free. If you have a group of people, whether it be just a few friends or a club or organization who would like to hear our thoughts, experiences and evidence contact us, our seminars are also free of charge, but we do accept tips!

So that being said, I thank you for reading our article. We bid you a good bye and tell you that you must stay here and not follow us home! Happy Halloween!

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Last Night, I Took Hines Ward Back to His Hotel Room

What a sweet smile!

What a sweet smile!

Last night, I took Hines Edward Ward, Jr. back to his hotel room, but that’s jumping ahead in the story. Let me back up.

Every year the York County Youth Development Center (YDC) holds their annual fundraiser and secures a speaker that will draw a crowd. This year the keynote speaker was professional football player for the Steelers from 1998 to 2012, winner of Dancing with the Stars in 2011, and current NBC studio analyst, Hines Ward.

My fiance Brian, Ward and I

My fiance Brian, Ward and I

The fundraiser began with a private meet and greet with Ward in the upstairs portion of York City’s Valencia Ballroom. There, fans were able to meet Ward, have their photo taken and get his autograph. Ward was gracious, chatting with individuals and never rushing anyone along in line.

Before dinner was served the audience heard from Mayor Kim Bracey, YDC director, Rodney Wagner, Secretary of the Department of Welfare, Beverly Mackereth, former YDC resident, Chris Wilhelm and art teacher at YDC, Ophilea Chambliss.

Kim Bracey Mayor of York City

Kim Bracey
Mayor of York City

Rodney Wagner Director of the York County Youth Development Center

Rodney Wagner
Director of the York County Youth Development Center

Beverly Mackenreth Secretary of The Department of Welfare

Beverly Mackereth
Secretary of The Department of Welfare

Chris Wilhelm Former YDC resident

Chris Wilhelm
Former YDC resident

Ophelia Chambliss Art instructor at YDC

Ophelia Chambliss
Art instructor at YDC

Wilhelm gave a moving speech about his life and experiences at YDC. At 13 years old, he found himself kicked out of his father’s home with nowhere to live. He was taken in at YDC for his first of many stays at the center. He is the first and only child that ever rode his bicycle to and from his part time job while residing at YDC. At twenty years old and nearly at the age where kids max out for assistance at YDC, Wilhelm began experiencing pain in his ankle and thought he had sprained it playing basketball with other YDC residents. In the middle of a vicious snowstorm in 2010, Chris called for an ambulance to pick him up. After many tests, the doctors told Chris it wasn’t a sprained ankle, it was cancer and if he wanted to live longer than two more years, he would need to have his leg amputated from below the knee down.



Chris wanted to live and went forward with the surgery, meanwhile the youth residents raised money to help pay for his medical bills, something Chris will never forget and can’t thank them enough for doing. Now he is going to school to be an EMT so that someday when someone calls for an ambulance in the middle of a snowstorm, he will be the one to answer the call. Chris received a standing ovation following his speech, touching the heart of every person in the audience with his bravery and perseverance.

YDC Streetbeats

YDC Streetbeats

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YDC Streetbeats were a hit with the crowd.

YDC Streetbeats were a hit with the crowd.

Following dinner, the YDC Streetbeats performed their junkyard drumming. The audience loved the driving beat and I overheard people stating how amazing it was to make music from five gallon buckets and frying pans. The kids were nervous before going onstage before nearly 400 people, but once they began playing they got their groove on and all nervousness was beaten away.

2014-09-23 19.25.40

2014-09-23 19.28.20

Finally it was time for Ward to speak. He was nattily dressed and looking very handsome. He took his place behind the podium and everyone was ready to hang on his every word. He began by giving his background, born in Seoul, South Korea, to a Korean mother and an African American father and the difficulties that alone brought into his life. The American children didn’t want anything to do with him and neither did the Korean. His father divorced his mother when Ward was 2 years old and he was sent to live with his paternal grandmother after his father convinced the courts that his mother was unfit to raise him on her own. Ward Sr. was not involved in his son’s life other than to tear him from his mother. At age 7 he was reunited with her and never reconciled with his father. This portion of Wards speech really touched me on a personal level. It was at that point that I suddenly wanted to privately talk to Ward, and I knew I could make that happen because I was riding in the car that was taking him back to his hotel room. Call it luck, or call it fate, I was going to chat with Ward and tell him how I could relate to his story.

Dancing at the Valencia

Dancing at the Valencia

Huge fans  Samantha & Sherry Ward

Huge fans
Samantha & Sherry Ward

Ward spoke for 45 minutes, taking the time for a question and answer session following his speech and even allowing people to come up on stage for a dance pose and photos. I couldn’t get over how genuine a person Ward was and how well he handled the audience questions. He was asked anything from his most memorable play to why people referred to him as a dirty player. Also the topic of domestic violence came up, all which he answered with insight and honesty. When he finished with the last question he was ushered out the back door of the Valencia and next thing I knew, I had my private moment to chat with the man that had my friends extremely jealous of me.

First thing I said was how his story as a child really touched me personally. He smiled and I told him how I had been involved in a long divorce and that my ex-husband had been given majority physical custody of our daughter because he was still living in the marital home. In 2010 I was on state assistance for food and medical insurance and decided to go to college. I graduated in May and now have a great job and two weeks ago I took my now ex-husband to court, representing myself and was awarded joint custody. My daughter, now 8 years old, will spend a week with her father and a week with my fiancé Brian (a supervisor at YDC) and me.

I said, “I know people came to hear you talk about football and Dancing with the Stars, but honestly, your personal story is what really made the biggest impact on me.” He thanked me for sharing my story and said, “I want people to relate to me and my story. You could have just given up when you were going through the divorce and needed assistance from the state but you didn’t. You pushed for more and used the system for how it was intended. You persevered through adversity and made your life better instead of throwing your hands up in the air in defeat. That’s what I want people to get from my story. I don’t expect people to recognize me on the street. I don’t think of myself as a celebrity. I’m just a guy who had a rough childhood but was determined to be successful at football and I made it happen. Too many kids think things should just be given to them and they don’t want to work. The young man who spoke tonight, that’s the type of kid I want to help by doing events like this. He got cancer and didn’t let it stop him.”

I agreed with Ward and mentioned that I had gone to India with my college, seeing and experiencing the poverty and nearly unbelievable living conditions. When I came home I spoke at YDC, sharing what I had seen and learned and the youth at the center were very interested in my story. Ward said growing up in South Korea as a child he had to make the decision to do the right thing and live a clean life or turn to drugs and fighting. He said some kids never get the opportunity to see how other horrible the conditions are for those living outside the USA and that’s a shame. Maybe seeing how bad others have life would make them strive to better their own as they have many more opportunities in the U.S. than outside. Ward, who is a newlywed as of July this year, feels blessed. He has a supportive wife who misses him when he travels, but understands the demands of his speaking engagements. He loved his time with the Steelers and gained a whole new fan base participating in Dancing with the Starts. I asked him if he would appear on The Amazing Race if asked and he said he would love to. At this point his promoter spoke for the first time saying they had been approached, but because The Amazing Race broadcasts on a competing station they were unable to accept. I said, “Awww, that’s a shame! It would be great to get to travel around the world but it would be hard because you’d want to take in the sights even though it is a race.” Ward replied, “I took in the sights when I was in the Ironman competition, but I also realized I wasn’t going to win that. If I was in The Amazing Race the competitive side of me would kick in and I wouldn’t want to even sleep. I’d be too focused on taking first place, but I’d still take the time to look around as I raced.”

The trip from the Valencia to the Marriott went quickly and before I knew it, my private chat with Ward had come to an end. I had accomplished my goal, to let him know it was his personal story that made the biggest impact on me that night, not how many Pro Bowls he had been in or how many touchdowns he made or even how nimble a dancer he is. He genuinely seemed to appreciate that my interest in his life had nothing to do with his fame and I think that is what makes Ward such a likeable guy. His life wasn’t about becoming famous; it was about overcoming adversity and coming out on top.

It was great to support YDC and meet Hines Ward. A win, win for everyone!


Supporters of YDC

Supporters of YDC

Silent auction items

Silent auction items



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