Greetings friends and fellow bloggers, it’s me C.P. The Vintage Retroman, YOUR Neighborhood HOPE Dealer! It’s so hard to believe that it has been 4 whole years since I started my blog, http://www.vintageretroman.com on 01/15/2017! I started this mission with a vision: To bring the cultures of the past to the present, to spread hope and encouragement, and to educate and entertain through writings, poetry and songs. I am happy to report that despite the challenges of life, God has sustained me to still be here in 2021!
Recently, I have been thinking alot about the future. My children are now 17, 14, 11, and 9 years old, so much of my time has been invested in making sure they have everything that they need. With the current turmoil going on in the United States, I am hoping for a better future for my children. With that being said, this past year with COVID-19 we have connected on a level that we have never been on.
During the time I was working from home, I introduced them to a lot of classic music from the 70’s and 80’s, and I started making my own music and using samples from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. All of my music is on my YouTube channel, free of charge! (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCllZ2c5bmKo_qwoHbzLguJQ) I believe that my kids have gained a greater appreciation for the cultures of the past. I know I have. Sometimes it is an escape from what we have to deal with.
My wife blessed me with a Nintendo Switch for Christmas 2020. It’s funny, because I have found myself playing more of the older NES and SNES games in comparison to the newer games. It’s something about the way they make me feel. They take me back to a simpler time in life. A time before hardship, before responsibility. A time when I didn’t have to be a serious teacher of youth called my children. A time when my biggest fear was if I would get picked on by girls for my haircut, or my parents buying the wrong video game because it was cheaper in price!
One big change this past year was the birth of my nickname, “YOUR Neighborhood Hope Dealer!” I got this name from the Friday night Christian Hip-Hop parties I was hosting on Facebook live from April 2020- August 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer. I started thinking, “People need hope like fiends need dope”, so I ran with it! It has really caught on well! My audiences on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube love it! I love music of all types, so I am glad that God blessed me with a gift to help people with it!
I will end this blog post with some original lyrics from one of my songs, entitled “Some Real Talk” ft. my oldest daughter Zaria, aka Z Bank. 🙂
“Cause’ Hindsight’s 2020/ I’ve got the Spirit of God that’s flowing right through me/ I know my worth when the enemy is lurking/ I push up, hands in the air, so they call me burpee!/ and surely, by now yes you know what I’m all about/ Your Neighborhood Hope dealer coming out the south/ A hybrid of hip-hop, the old with the novel/ A fusion of the past and present, call me time travel!”
I’m so excited to bring you all my new release “Gettin It!” I put a lot into writing this song under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit. If you have a quick 3 minutes, check it out! -YOUR Neighborhood Hope Dealer! 🤟🏾
Legacy…to make a lasting meaningful impact on people, spanning throughout several generations. To leave a legacy is one of the single most important experiences many of us dream about. Presidents talk about legacies, as do athletes, musicians, and celebrities. We should all make it our ambition to leave a lasting legacy for our children, family, and friends. I have heard that as important as success may be to some people, significance is held to a higher standard. To be significant is a key ingredient in leaving a legacy.
I think back to growing up in the 1980’s and 90’s. My dad on a very limited budget did his best to leave a legacy for our family. I am not speaking about money in this case. He left us a legacy of fun memories that no amount of money can buy. He and my mom sacrificed everything for the few things we did have. That is why my Nintendo NES and games meant so much to me. 1 game console for a family of 10, picture that!
When I look at my children, I try my best to emulate the same spirit my dad had towards us. I am blessed to have a blended family. Sure we have our struggles. My wife and I constantly talk about how there really is not a blueprint for all of the issues that come along with a blended family. We are doing our best to leave a better financial legacy for our children than our parents were able to. With that being said though, the most important values we are trying to instill are God, family, and fun.
Blended families many times are looked at with a negative connotation. When kids are products of a divorced home, there are typically issues and pain that traditional homes don’t have to deal with. I believe when my kids struggle with the emotional impact of their past, they strive to loose themselves in video games. My sons play Minecraft, Terreria, and Brawlhala among other titles. I believe they sometimes find peace between the joysticks. When I talk to them, the conversations remind me of my childhood.
Of course I don’t have all of the answers. Legacy is one of those concepts that is mostly subjective. It means different things to different people. But I do believe it is important to leave a legacy for future generations, regardless of wealth or prestige.
The moral of the story: What do you want people to remember you for? If you have kids, do you spend enough time with them? Do they know you? Do they only know your victories, or do you also share your struggles and failures with them? I’m only asking because these are issues I struggle with, and I want to make sure that I am not alone in my struggles.
For my situation, there is beauty in the blend. I want nothing more than to see my 4 children, 10 years from now talk about how much fun they had in their childhood. I pray that they love each other, and discuss their memories with one another. There is so much nostalgia in the phrase “Hey, do you remember back when…?” I hope and pray that you all focus on building and leaving a legacy that lasts for your family. If you don’t have children, legacy is not just limited to biological kids. Kindness to a younger sibling, compassion for foster kids, empathy for the next generation falls under the same umbrella. May we go forth in 2020 and do our best to leave a beautiful legacy for the next generation. -V. R.
Could it be? Could it be that I lost my focus? If only for a fleeting moment did I let life dictate how far that I could make it? First and foremost, let me apologize to my audience. Life sometimes sends us all through twists and turns and things happen that we cannot prepare for. There are times when we are flying high in life, then turbulence happens in the process of us trying to coast at 50,000 feet. Allow me to explain.
I have heard it said that the only thing constant in this life is change. I have found out over the past 6 months that this theory is extremely accurate. I came into this year with very high ambitions to be consistent in my writing, to become a professional blogger, and to make a difference in the lives of my readers. As I begin to pour endless amounts of energy into my craft, my laser focus was blurred as 3 major events happened that shook my world consecutively. In March of this year my father passed away, in June I had a health scare that sent me to the hospital, and in July I was laid off from my job.
From July 2nd until September 2018, I went into a sort of hibernation from writing. Life became extremely difficult. As I continued to cope with the emotional issues of losing my dad, along with comforting my mom and family, I couldn’t write. As financial pressures mounted from being without a job for the first time in my life, I was constantly fighting bouts of anxiety and depression. I felt so inadequate as a husband, a father, and provider. Have you ever been there?
In the process of stressing over life, I was not taking proper care of myself and ended up in the hospital. My heart was beating at levels it had never beat before. This was due to a combination of stress, too much caffeine, and an improper diet. I was hard pressed to find a job quickly to minimize the impact of sudden unemployment on my family. I was blessed to find a job quickly, while starting class to gain my insurance license. As life continued to happen, I still hid from my passion of writing and replaced it with the distraction of busyness.
Training for a new career, while in class at the same time is enough to stretch any person’s mental capacity and creativity. Just the thought of writing this past summer scared me. It is amazing how as writers we may feel as if we loose our audience because life temporarily takes us in a different direction. Things are starting to settle back down as several adjustments have been made in my life. These situations build character, integrity, as well as mental and emotional toughness.
After having time to reflect and adjust to this thing we call life, I just want to apologize for my hiatus in writing. I truly love and appreciate you as my reader and I am sorry to neglect you. I am happy to report that one of my blog posts called “Capture The Magic Moments” was chosen to be published in a short stories collection book. I have been blessed, I have been humbled, and I am grateful. Thank you for hanging in there with me through this transition.
In conclusion, I have every intention to regain my consistency in blogging. Please accept my apology and pray for me, and I will pray for you. Never be afraid to fly high in this life, just remember that a little turbulence is normal as conditions change. My tagline as Vintage Retroman is “Never let life dictate how far you can make it.” If we’re honest, life can be challenging at times. Do your best to hang on in turbulence, because it’s short lived. “And this too shall pass” – V.R.
Inside my deepest thoughts, there are complexities that I cannot explain. Inside my
deepest fears, I am nothing special. My name is Samus Aran, now a bounty hunter who separated from the Galactic Federation Police, yet I still have ties to the organization. It’s been years since I rescued that little girl who was about to be destroyed by space pirates in part 2 of my story. As far as that event, I made it out alive but my relationship with some key figures of the police are forever tarnished. The commanding officer Adam Malkovich won’t even speak to me anymore, and we once had a great relationship. In my never ending pursuit to defeat the evil Ridley and Mother Brain, I must be strong as a woman. Still, there are parts of me that I cannot show, because emotion can be taken as weakness. Because of this, I choose to express my feelings in this personal memoir in hopes of not being judged.
Since 1986, I have been regarded as a hero. I wear the title with pride as the first major female protagonist in video game history. Still, under this power suit I am wearing there is a physical person with limitations and weaknesses. Similarly, when you peel back the layers of my heroism there are wounds, scars, and deep questions I long for the answer to. How would my life had been if my parent’s lived? What if the Chozo’s never adopted me? How would my life be different if Ridley never attacked my home planet of K-2L? What ever happened to my little brother Solomon Aran? What type of relationship would have developed? I wonder what life would have been like as a regular kid?
To the readers of this memoir, I was called to be an intergalactic warrior. I just want to now how does it feel to be normal? To those on planet Earth, I have listened to stories about people going to school to learn. I heard that boys escort girls to this thing called a “Prom”. How does that feel? What is it like to fall in love with someone, or go out on a date, or get married? To the career women, how does it feel to wear a business suit and go into an office, making important decisions? Being a bounty hunter is a lonely life, but I do it to one day avenge the evil creatures that created this life for me in the first place. There is one other issue I must address in this memoir.
To my reader, for years people thought it was a man in this power suit. When I was introduced in 1986, people either did not realize who I was, or just didn’t respect me. There are plenty of men in my field of work. I am personal friends with a few characters from the original Nintendo lineup, such as Mario, Link, Lil Mac and Donkey Kong for starters. We even starred in a game together called Super Smash Bros. I have always been friends with those guys and can hang with the “big boys”. Some have even asked if myself and Mega Man are 1st cousins, which that is yet to be determined.
See, that’s me in the middle. 🙂
I respect their platforms and they respect mine. But when it comes to leaving a legacy for women in our craft, just remember that I paved the way for future women in gaming such as Laura Croft from Tomb Raider, Jill Valentine from Resident Evil, or Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII, among many others. I say this not to brag, but to make you understand that women in this field have made a tremendous impact on millions of fans around the world in gaming. My story is just one, but it is the first and I want to make it known that through all of my struggles I am proud to be the woman I am. I hope that this entry to my memoir serves you all well. Of course I am out in the field fighting space pirates as we speak, but Vintage Retroman please feel free to share this entry with your readers, in case if I don’t make it back. Thank you V.R. for believing in me and recognizing that I was destined for greatness. Signing off,
Yes, it is time for a new fun V.R. retroquiz my friends! Here are the rules: Based off of the picture, guess the name of the video game character(s) from the 80’s/90’s! It will start easy, but trust me it will get more challenging as you go along. Here we go!
Bonus to make up for the one you missed😀**
We’ll guys how many names did you guess correctly? Answers are below. Post your results in the comment section! I hope that this made you feel like a kid again! Signing off for now.
I was born and raised in the great state of North Carolina, USA. Being a black child in the southeastern section of the United States, or as we simply call it “The South”, I was exposed to many different experiences in my youth. I remember growing up in the 1980’s in my hometown of Winston-Salem. My family would ride down the streets and smell the scent of southern sweet tobacco from the R.J. Reynolds factories. Summers were hot and humid. The city was bustling back then, with one of the most gleaming skylines in the state. When my father decided to move in the late 1960’s from Danville Virginia to seek better opportunities, he decided that Winston-Salem NC was the place that he wanted his future family to call “home”.
Growing up in the eastern section of Winston-Salem in the 1980’s and 1990’s was not easy. Some called it “the hood” back then. We did not live in public housing, but in a high crime neighborhood of single family homes. Sure we heard gun shots. There were no known organized gangs that I can remember, but plenty of smaller “cliques” of young men and women trying to “prove” themselves. As a young man, I saw my share of drug activity. We saw plenty of fights and were involved in some as well. My father and mother worked hard to provide the best life for our family that they could, but opportunities were limited like it is in many inner cities in the United States.
As the youngest in my family, I have always respected and paid homage to my older brothers and sisters. I knew what some of them were doing, but they did their best to shield my innocent eyes and help mold me into something great. Since my father worked so much, my mother took care of us and tried her best to keep us out of trouble. Even still, we were a hard headed bunch. Our family was so large, we ran the neighborhood. I don’t say that lightly. My dad was well respected in the streets and everyone knew Edward Price aka “Dino” aka “Lil Dintsy”. My dad had rules for our family when it came to the streets. He stressed things like “If one of you fights, all of you fight” and “Take God with you everywhere you go.”
Although there was bad, I honestly saw a lot of good in our neighborhood though. It was truly a community, where neighbors looked out for one another. Many families in the neighborhood may have had a lower income, but the camaraderie that we shared with other families created so many positive memories! You haven’t played basketball until your hoop is made out of a clothes hanger! 🙂 Other parents looked out for us, and our parents looked out for other kids all of the time! We would walk to the candy house and played football in the street. It was a great time and place to live, to be honest.
My brothers had the big flat top haircuts with the sharp part back then. A couple of them had the gold chains and nice clothes. I knew that my parents couldn’t afford those things, so as a kid I asked myself questions like “Why did mom and dad get that stuff for just them, and not all of us?” I started to figure out that a couple of my brothers had other sources of income, lol. You can read between the lines. I didn’t fully understand until later on in life the reasoning behind my brothers doing some of their extracurricular activities. They grew up in the 1970’s, so they had a whole different experience that I secretly envied yet admired.
Yet I can truly say, they always did their best to shield me from the streets, and I appreciate that so much. A large part of why I fell in love with video games back in the 80’s was the fact that they used Nintendo to keep my focus away from the outside world. My brothers would play Megaman, Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and many other titles with me and I loved it. I didn’t know that secretly, they used gaming to keep me in a child’s place. I also believe that it helped them remember that life is not supposed to be serious all of the time as well. My brothers and sisters were some of the most hardcore NES gamers that I have ever met! Double Dragon and Contra, you don’t want to challenge my brothers Tim or Julius, trust me! 🙂
As I got older, in particular my pre-teen and teenage years, my siblings exposed me to more. I remember around 1993-1994, they took me out riding around the city and introduced me to different people and experiences. Siting on housing project doorsteps of friends and cousins that lived there at that time, I learned some of the most valuable lessons that stick with me to this day. I also fell in love with Hip-Hop music during this era. In that big yellow “hoopdie” car, my brothers would listen to everything from OutKast’s “Southernplaylisticcaddilacmusik” to Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”. I was young, and although it wasn’t the best music for a young man’s ears, it was part of my experience that I learned many things from through those songs.
By the time I reached 13 years old in 1996, my parents moved out of East Winston-Salem to the Ardmore neighborhood, which was a nicer mixed family middle class neighborhood. Lower crime, better schools, and more opportunity which are all great things. One thing I noticed though, was that the sense of community was very different. Most people in the neighborhood were very individualistic. Parents really did not want their children to come out and play. People were relatively nice, but more distant. This is where I learned that racism and class warfare still existed. It was not out in the open like it was back in the 1950’s, 1960’s,and 1970’s. It was very subtle and discrete, but I felt it and experienced it. Yet still I was blessed because I had a mother and father that were actively involved in the civil rights movement decades before, and they taught me that love and communication changes environments, not hatred. They also taught me how to handle myself and not be weak, timid, or naive either. It was a good mix of the two.
These are just a few experiences that helped make and mold me into the man that I am today. I am far from perfect and I do not pretend to be. Yet I wrote this as a reminder to find the beauty in your struggle. Coming from where I’m from, I learned many things through bad experiences. You never want to denounce the negative experiences in your life. Think of where you would be and the wisdom you would have missed, had you not gone through your negative experiences. Find the beauty in your struggle, because as my favorite North Carolina rapper J.Cole correctly stated, “No such thing as a life that’s better than yours. Love yours.” Signing off for now…………….