Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chambers Andrew Watkins-Blackshear Achievement Scholarship

Please consider donating to the scholarship fund established in honor of Andrew by the KDS Foundation of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity (tax ID 27-0289041).

C. Andrew Watkins-Blackshear Scholarship
KDS Associates Foundation
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
P.O. Box 432269
Los Angeles, CA 90043

Montaro Caine - A Novel by Sidney Poitier

Montaro Caine
A Novel by Sidney Poitier

Want to know what the new novel Montaro Caine (in bookstores May 7) is about? Well, I'll simply say that it's about 300 pages and it will knock you out! Ordinarily I'd share a plot twist or two, but the author has asked that I not give anything away, and since the author is Sidney Poitier, I'm happy to oblige. I first met Sidney when Oprah interviewed him for 0. Sometimes it's best not to sit down with a living legend, but Mr. Poitier did not disappoint. He was insightful, elegant, and able to tell a great story, and 13 years later, the only thing that's changed is that now the story is fiction. "My goal," he told me, "is to take readers on a wonderful ride." Done!

The Burgess Boys

By Elizabeth Strout

Even as middle-aged lawyers who long ago escaped their hometown for New York City, Bob and Jim Burgess still stagger under the guilt of a freak accident that killed their father when they were children. In Elizabeth Strout's The Burgess Boys (Random House), a crisis with their nephew compels them to return to Shirley Falls, Maine, and revisit the fatal tragedy. As in her Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge, Strout deftly exposes the tensions that fester among families. But she also takes a broader view, probing cultural divides-from the mutual distrust of locals and Somali refugees who've settled in Shirley Falls to the resentment and disdain underlying relationships between those who grew up poor and privileged Americans, such as Jim's heiress wife, Helen, who has observed that the Burgess family is "hillbilly, rube trash."  Illustrating the power of roots, Strout assures us we can go home again-though we may not want to.
Review by Karen Holt

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chambers Andrew Watkins-Blackshear

Chambers Andrew Watkins-Blackshear was born on a Sunday morning, May 9, 1993 at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, New York City.  His early childhood was spent in Park Slope, Brooklyn and in West Orange, New Jersey, where he attended Gregory Elementary School and Roosevelt Middle School.  In 2007, Andrew moved to San Diego and attended Kearny High School and I.D.E.A. High School.  He graduated from IDEA High School in June, 2011.  Diane Molesky at Kearny wrote: “Andrew transitioned from that confident, quiet student to a dedicated, proactive young adult. If he felt he needed more time devoted to studies, he would make arrangements with teachers before or after school to receive one-on-one assistance. I was so impressed by the professional manner in which he took responsibility for his actions and education that I often use him as an example to my other students.”

As a student of Carl Kingsbury’s automotive curriculum at IDEA High School, Andrew’s love and fascination with automotive technology found purpose and direction.  Carl wrote: “In the summer of 2009, Andrew found out about my program and came to interview me. He wanted to see if IDEA had what he was looking for in his automotive training.  In [those] two years I have seen Andrew grow into a very competent entry level automotive technician. His drive to work in the automotive industry shows in his inquisitiveness about all things automotive. Andrew derives satisfaction from learning about cars; he is professional, courteous and quick to help. His technical skills are coming along very nicely; he keeps learning new things without prompting. Andrew is currently my student shop foreman with complete access to the shop. Andrew helps me train some of the new students; as well as he pursues his own education goals. He has completed two working internships, one with Mercedes-Benz of San Diego working on and around some of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the planet. The second one was with Hi-Desert Racing (Roger Norman Motorsports). Hi-Desert Racing won the SCORE Trophy Truck Class Baja 1000 in 2008 and is a SCORE international sanctioned team. Andrew has furthered his experience by securing himself a summer job at the Marvin K. Brown auto center (They sell and service GM Vehicles).  Last year Andrew spoke at the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Dinner to approximately 250 people of whom were in attendance, where he was a great hit. Mr. Jimmie Johnson himself told Andrew to apply to Hendrick Motorsports when he completed his training. Mr. Johnson said he would put in a good word for Andrew.  Andrew is expected to excel [in] any position or task that he would apply for, his drive to become the one of the best in his chosen field is remarkable for a young man of his age, I for one, expect great things from him.”

Andrew graduated with honors from IDEA and was the scholarship recipient of the Automotive Hall of Fame Scholarship, Bendix Scholarship, and the California New Car Dealers Association Scholarship.

Andrew had begun to blossom into a responsible and mature adult.  Mr. Christopher Roper, Andrew’s supervisor at his summer job at the University of San Diego wrote: “I managed Andrew in the same way and with the same expectations as the rest of his co-worker[s].  Andrew proved himself time and again by meeting all of my expectations and taking on responsibilities.  In this library we set a high standard for organization and extreme attention to detail. Andrew immediately understood this and fell smoothly into synch with the much older college and graduate students with whom he worked.”  Thomas Fox, the Service Director at Mercedes-Benz of San Diego wrote: “Here at Mercedes we don’t often have the opportunity to work with talented young people and Andrew is very talented. It is a pleasure to have Andrew as an intern in our service team.”

Andrew was currently a student at Miramar College in San Diego.  He was accepted into the highly competitive Toyota Tech-TEN automotive education program and was anticipating graduation in June 2013.  Dale Snow, Andrew’s supervisor at Mosey Toyota dealership, remarked that Andrew was the perfect type of employee you could wish for.  “He had the right attitude, proper attention to detail, and focus that one rarely sees in a young adult.  We hoped to bring him along as a master mechanic within our organization.”
Andrew’s accomplishments and achievements should not outshine his personality.  While Andrew might have at times appeared as a shy and unassuming young man, as he warmed up to you, you could appreciate how much he was a loving and sensitive young man.  He carried a silent self-confidence about himself and he loved to laugh and he loved cars.  He was here for a purpose: to bring love and joy into our lives.

Andrew is survived by his father and step-mother, Alvin and Barbara Blackshear, his mother and brother, Charlotte Watkins and Mark Watkins-Blackshear. His uncles and aunts, Stephen and Isabel Blackshear and Terry Migdal. His cousins, Javier Cruz Winnik, Tanya Esposito, Katie Zaug, and Christopher Zaug. His grandmothers, Phyllis Blackshear and Ruth Migdal. His dog, Otto.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Sad news

My son, Chambers Andrews Watkins-Blackshear, was killed in an automobile accident last night (4/1/13) in San Diego.  While we don’t know all the details at this time, it appears that it was a single vehicle accident while he was entering or leaving the highway, and that he was the only person involved in the accident.
Everyone who knew Andrew loved him.  He was an honest, shy, modest, intelligent 19-year old young man who aspired to build and work on custom performance automobile engines.  He was enrolled in the highly competitive Toyota-Ten education program and was looking forward to graduating this Spring.  This is a shattering and terrible event; and we know that things will never be the same without him.  However we know that he loved every minute of every day and his laugh and his smile will never leave us.

When arrangements have been finalized, I will share those details with you.  If you would like to touch base with us, our home number is 661-360-8962 and my cell number is 718-810-1400.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Sonnet XVIII

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd.

And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owes!.
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

The preeminent English poet and playwright, Shakespeare published a sequence of 154 sonnets in 1609 that continue to be regarded as the highest perfection of the form in English.