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Many of my post may be filled with typos, ignorant statements, untruths, bad English, & anything else that may make me appear to be uneducated. Please note: all of these things combined make my Blog the perfect one, because you know I have issues & I am not ashamed. With this said; enjoy, fuck mistakes & read between the lines!

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Archive for the 'BygFamily' Category

Last Day of Our Acquaintance

Author: Tafari, Monday, February 4th, 2013 at 8:54 PM Mindspill

The summer of 1990, I visited my father for the summer. It was nothing especially interesting about that visit but I enjoyed my time with him as always. During that visit, we listened to a lot of music. He was sort of an inspiration to explore different music. During the course of the summer, I played his Sinéad O’Connor “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” album to death. I found it funny that my father 40 year old something enjoyed the music of some bald headed Irish chick. I loved many of the songs from the album, especially “You Cause as Much Sorrow.” Days after my father died, I played this album and reminisced. The other song that I love is “The Last Day of Our Acquaintance.” I never really understood the song but at the same time I did. It’s just so damn sad. Last week, I listened to the song after I left the last “supervised visit” that I had with my youngest daughter, Amelia. Parting was very sorrowful but necessary. I attended these visits for four months. The first one was great but the following meetings were the stuff of parental nightmares. Before walking away from the emotional torment, I told her that I loved her, will always love her and will be there when she is ready to talk and reconnect in a meaningful way. She told me that she never wanted to see me again. I told her that was impossible. Every time you look in the mirror, you will see me. My eyes, my nose, my lips, my ears and my skin. You are me… Unfortunately, I had the same conversation with her older sister Olivia months ago. A tough decision for sure and something I would not wish on anyone. Although the decision was a tough one, I’m OK. I experience so much hurt last year that I have none left to give. Bad and good. Experiencing the last day of seeing your child’s face is just. Now, I’m a single guy with 2 daughters out there floating around who get a child support check, no love, no connection. Blah… A nigga tried.

They’re Having a Baby

Author: Tafari, Sunday, December 2nd, 2012 at 1:01 PM Mindspill Mindspill

It wasn't all that long ago when I photographed my friends Reggie & Adrienne getting married.. Time is flying and babies are popping up. So excited about their next phase of life! Like the rest of our friends, I'm dying to know the measurements of Baby Boy Butler. His dad is super tall!!! I need to start a betting pool. Mindspill

See a few outtake photos here...


Author: Tafari, Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 at 4:30 PM Mindspill

I talk about my father all the time; sometimes with  friends or family but most often with myself. It's hard for me not to even years after he left this planet. Some bonds simply cannot be broken... Last year, I saw a tarot card reader and she read three cards that made me think after being shaken. She talked of unbreakable connections and movement. My father and children were all that I saw flashing in my mind. The above photo of my father is from his military days. I love seeing myself in his eyes. My daughters in his eyes. Tonight, I will celebrate in my father's memory, love and unbreakable bond. Unrelated Fact About Me: "Unbreakable" by M. Night Shyamalan is one of my favorite movies.

R.L. Howard: United States Veteran

Author: Tafari, Sunday, November 11th, 2012 at 6:53 PM Mindspill

In honor of my father and other US Veterans…. Looking at the calendar is hard this time of year is always hard because my dad’s birthday is in a few days… I always celebrate in his memory. It’s the right thing to do. Mindspill

Yeah Baby, I’m Officially Single

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 at 6:56 PM
After several months of tears, investigations, drama, lies, bitch moves and more, I'm so happy to say that my divorce is final. Walking out of the courthouse today, I so jumped up & did a mid air kick, while sing my theme song. I'm a free man with 99 problems and a... you know the rest! There were some good times for sure but it was all balanced with more than enough bad times. It was a long and eventually soul-draining learning experience that contained very little positivity. Now, it's time for some healing, working on repairing the collateral damage & mapping course for my next set of adventures.

Black Spirits: Daniel & Mary

Author: Tafari, Monday, August 20th, 2012 at 9:31 PM Mindspill

During my recent trip home, I “discovered” a super old & awesome photo of my grandparents, Daniel & Mary Lee Howard. Daniel and Mary were married in the 1940s and had 11 children, two more than my maternal grandparents Edward & Essie Mae Stevenson. I just can’t imagine having that many children but that was the way it was way back when. I don’t remember much of my grandfather but I can tell you that he is the person that got me hooked on salt and vinegar potato chips and he is the reason why I never wanted to get my ear pieced. I can still hear him talking about my cousin Red Bone's piercing. It wasn’t pretty. On the flip side, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. She was everything! When I think of her to this day I can hear her voice and how she would say my name. I still miss her fried chicken. Ain’t nobody on this planet that can fry a chicken like Mary Howard!

Going Home: Brother • Sister

Author: Tafari, Friday, August 17th, 2012 at 12:34 PM Mindspill

"Don't you let your young life get you down It always had a certain mystery Many changes come to everyone About the time that they turn seventeen. Grandma said at times you'll feel a sting There'll be sharp turns and uphills and closed doors Then she said hold on to your faith 'Cause in this world you've got to go and get yours. So you stand up, be strong go out there Hold on to the real things that matter 'Cause no one's gonna hand it to you on a silver platter… Don't be scared go out there Just stand up, my brother, sister Hold on to the real things that matter 'Cause no one's gonna hand it to you on a silver platter."
Brother Sister by The Brand New Heavies ~ 1994 Mindspill

I had to make a trip to Alabama the other day to tend to some family matters and had one of the best times ever back  home. My baby sister, Sade and I had a chance to have a nice heart to heart discussion about life and other things large and small. There was a brother•sister reconciliation and some needed face to face time. I haven't seen her in a couple of months and she is really maturing and becoming a little lady. And her sense of style has become more girly, which I find to be awesome. And then the other shoe dropped when I was surprised by my cousin Dan, whom I haven't seen since my father passed 11 years ago. Actually, I didn't even remember seeing him then but obviously, I had a lot going on.  What I do remember was seeing him over 20 years ago before he shipped off with the Marines.  It was great catching up. Mindspill

On the way home, I stopped at a little fruit stand for a snack and was surprised to find muscadines for sale. I haven't had a muscadine since I moved from Alabama (Birmingham to be exact) back in 79. Smelling them brought back some memories... While I enjoyed my rememories, the clerk told me to take a bag of them home. Gotta love southern hospitality Immediately afterward, I called my mother to tell her of my find and she got excited. Later I surprised her by regifting her with the muscadines. She told me how she enjoyed eating them fresh from the vine WAY BACK WHEN as a girl. I love hearing her stories, always a great laugh. Overall, the last 2 days were a mixed bag of good, laughter and reconnections. Side Note: Why are we standing the same way in the photo above? Family...

The Perfect Little Clutch

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 at 6:47 PM Mindspill

My parrot, Tongi and I have been together now for almost 18 years. I got her when she was about 4 months old. When she came home with me, I was still hand feeding her. This of course strengthened our long father daughter relationship. To this day, she still flies to me for food and she is quite spoiled. Over the last 5 years or so she has attempted to make a nest in her cage. She once took a brazil nut and cared for it as if it was an egg. It was funny and sad at the same time. Eventually, she gave up on the nut and destroyed her haphazard nest. About three weeks ago, I noticed her constructing a new nest & was like oh boy here we go again.  Days later, I noticed that she was really sitting in this nest. I leaned in on the cage and she happened to get up and come to me. When she moved, a little white egg was revealed. I actually scream aloud. What the hell? What? WHAT!!!!!! Yeah, I was shocked. Mindspill

Because she does not have a mate, the egg wasn’t fertile. Nature just ran it’s course and Tongi officially became a hen. I did a little reading and found that this was nothing unusual. But still. WOW!!! Over the last two weeks, Tongi laid two more eggs for a total of three. I let the eggs stay with her for a while as she seemed to enjoy sitting on them.  Most recently, I noticed that she kicked them to the side and stopped giving them any attention, so I removed them. She didn’t even care. I’m still in shock but proud of my baby and her tiny clutch of eggs. FYI, Tongi is a Nanday Conure and you can read about genus here.

Temporary Struggles of a Father

Author: Tafari, Sunday, June 17th, 2012 at 10:30 AM Mindspill

About eight years ago, my oldest daughter, Olivia made this sign for me and since then, I have kept the picture in my office. It serves as a reminder, motivation, & inspiration. She was daddy’s girl. I remember those days well. Life is different now but memories always remain. It’s been months since I left the planet that was destroying my life. Up until my departure, I questioned myself; is this the best thing for me to do. Should I walk away to prevent my children seeing their parents tearing each other apart. Should I walk away to save myself. The answer may have been hard but it was for sure a yes on all counts. Walking away is tough but sometime necessary. I was cautioned by several that if I walk, it may be a while, long while before I could spend time with my children. I didn’t want to believe it but the advice came to pass. It was true. Being a father is complicated and I feel that we often do not get the support that mothers get, socially, judicially etc. I NEVER thought that I would be one of those fathers that wanted to see, love, support, joke with his children but could not because of the other parent being an obstacle. These last four months feel like fourteen. I’m looking forward to the time when this just a memory and I am embracing my daughters as I have since the day they entered this world baring my likeness, my blood, my name. With all this said, trouble don't last always and here's a shout out to the men who understand the shoes that I'm walking in.

I Miss My Momma

Author: Tafari, Sunday, May 13th, 2012 at 2:07 PM Mindspill

It has been 2 weeks since my momma left and I miss her so. She has said for years, "one day, I’m gonna be out of here," but I always though it was talk. Once again, like a mother, she proved me wrong. This is my 1st Mother’s Day not taking my momma to dinner, or lunch or just stopping by with perfume, candy, a, book, a card etc. On the flip side, I know that my momma is happy. She’s in a better space for her, a better place for her, so I will curb my own feelings and bask in the glow of her satisfaction. Happy Mother’s Day momma. I miss you Stella!!! Art Credit: Untitled by MonikaZ

In Them Orange Pants

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 at 9:55 PM Mindspill

After picking up our Mercedes Benz Fashion Week press credentials, my assistant/Cousin Dee headed to Lincoln Center to oooh & aaah at the façade of the tents that we would be camped out in for 5 long days. This was 3 hours before the NY Sip & See… And 1.5 hours before the Gretchen Jones (Project Runway) presentation... And 2 hours after we had a free Thai curry at the MoMA... But this is all another story. The zone was chill, the fountain was calm & Cousin Dee just knew she was killing it in her all-purpose outfit, which has a story that would crack you up but I know if I told it, I would be murdered…. She was looking fly so I had to document the moment because with all the work that he had ahead of us at fashion week, neither one of us was going to be looking like a winner. With that out of the way, Cousin Dee was a lifesaver! As always, we made a killer team and had so much fun along the way. The week that we spent in NYC was magical for many reasons. Nothing beats spending time with those who genuinely have your best interest at heart, who make you laugh till you pee on yourself a little bit, cuss you out when you’re ordering too much Garrett’s Popcorn (cheese and cashew caramel crunch) & stop you from ordering a bacon flavored milkshake at 3 in the morning while wearing church shoes. Check here to view more of my NYC Analog Street Portrait series.

The Perfect Team Member

Author: Tafari, Sunday, January 29th, 2012 at 11:26 AM Mindspill

Yesterday, I spent the evening with Cousin Dee, (my photography soul mate) going over my workflow processes for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.  Why? Because she will be assisting me this upcoming season! I am pretty damn excited about it too. I have been trying to make this happen for the past 3 seasons but something always came up. And while we discussed the workflow & my high quality expectations, we also discussed self-defense techniques, when & went not to elbow someone & when to cuss a mutha out. Just 10 days before I hit the city that I love to love with one of my bestest friends on THIS planet. You will be able to follow our exploits on Twitter here: Photosbytafari VerlisaLisaDee