My brother, Kevin Washington, was selected by his peers at Diplomat Pharmacy in Flint, MI, to participate in a pie making contest. He told us a few weeks ago about doing this, but initially he wasn’t going to do it. At the last minute, as my younger bro is prone to do, he decided to enter the contest. He entered a caramel apple pie. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Now Kevin has long been know to be a great baker, so we hoped he would do well. He told us what time they were having the judging at the Flint Farmer’s Market and my wife Amy and I decided to go and support him.

Once we got there, we saw a panel of three judges and seven entered pies by the contestants. Just like on those shows on the Food Network, I was trying to gauge how the judges liked it by there reactions and if they cleaned their plates or not. That didn’t really seem to help a lot. One of the judges was almost licking the plates and one was taking the smallest of bites from each pie. The other judge fell in the middle somewhere with her style of judging. The audience could test out a few of the pies and make our vote but not all the pies. My brothers pie was only on the judges table so we had no first handle knowledge of how it would taste or if we needed to start mean muggin some of the judges. After a few tense moments (tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock) and teeth grinding the results were in.

Third place went to a pretty lattice topped apple pie, CRAP. Maybe they won’t want anymore apple pie. Second place…wait for it, the apple pie presented by, drum roll please, KEVIN WASHINGTON. First place went to a nice lady with a pumpkin pie, but I will be honest I was barely listening at this point. I was so happy for him. They had it set up that after the judging, members of the audience would be able to try out the pies. By now I can’t wait.

I didn’t try all of them, but I tried Kevin’s. It was GOOOOOOOOOOOD. It had a nice flaky, buttery crust, and a nicely sweet filling and wouldn’t you know it it was still warm. The temperature made it feel like you were eating pie at home and not at the local Farmer’s Market. I asked him how did he keep it warm but I won’t give out his trade secret. For me that made a big difference. All the other pies were cool in terms of temperature. Kevin’s pie just needed some ice cream. ……………………………………………………………………………………………..Oh, had to catch myself there. My eyes were rolling to the back of my head for a minute just thinking about it. Whew.

Well enough of me talking about it, Congratulations Kevin. You did yourself proud. Just remember us little people when you make it to the big time and are on Food Network, or getting one of those giant checks.

Remember…you don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington

As many have said across the airways and internet since yesterday, Steve Jobs was a great man and I wanted to impart my personal feelings. We lost a giant in the technology industry that won’t soon be replaced. My heart goes out to his family as well as the Apple Computer family.

Most people have never met Steve Jobs; that includes me. My relationship begins with an iPod shuffle that I bought years ago. It was that old long white one that held about 256 MB of data. That Christmas, I received a $100.00 dollar gift card for my gift from my in-laws. As I’ve done many times before, I kept the gift card for several months, while I made the decision on what I wanted. I recalled vaguely hearing something about an item called an Ipod and thought I would go to Radio Shack to check it out. I had no other experience with mp3 players so this was completely new territory for me. As I said I picked up that shuffle and took it home. I was so pleased at how easy it was to add music to it through itunes. I barely had to read any instructions. I loved it. I didn’t like the lanyard that came with it, so I bought this long, small cellphone case and kept it in there. I took that thing everywhere with me. My 11 year old son has it know, but my heart has always been with that first one.

Over the years I’ve obviously upgraded to newer versions and passed down the older ones to the family. They all have their own newer ones now.

The one thing I wished I had been able to do is to perhaps talk with my father about them. I may have even bought him one or two by now. My father died in 1982 at the tender young age of 41 from a heart attack. He was a lover of music and had a pretty extensive vinyl album collection and a few 8-Tracks. Remember those?

Just the other day, before the death of Mr. Jobs, I was telling my wife, Amy that I wished my Dad was here, as I would have wanted to import a few newer versions of those old albums on to an Ipod for him. I think he would have loved it. To be able to take you entire collection of music with you in such a small package, still boggles the mind. I wish he could have experienced that. To the best of my knowledge he didn’t even get to see CD’s.

I’m so appreciative of the service that Mr. Jobs gave to the world. His love and passion are really inspiring. He brought countless to people an existence that was completely missing before him. I’ve listened to so many, artists, podcast, audio books on the go that I would have never been able to experience at home. The next time I’m doing a foot race, I’ll look around and see all the people with some version of an ipod or mp3 player and will think good positive thoughts about our friend, all of our friend: Steve Jobs.


Remember…You don’t have permission to Quit.


Jeffrey Washington


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