Keeping the Legacy Going

by on June 25, 2020 · 6 comments

in From the Soul

by Ernie McCray

In these times of social distancing and isolating I’ve managed to still find something to celebrate. Like high school graduations.

I take my hat off to a brilliant descendant of mine, Alonzo (A.J.) Morgan, my great-grandson, who just moved his tassel from the right to the left at San Diego’s Lincoln High.

And I’m particularly proud that he’s following my path by accepting an athletic scholarship at my alma mater, the University of Arizona in Tucson, my hometown. Sixty-four years after me.

Different sport, though. I played basketball during my college days and he’s going to make his way on the gridiron.

We, however, both played each other’s sport. I could cut a figure on a football field and he can play some hoops – and we both have played a number of other sports. But we both dedicated time and effort to our favorite sport, the one we wanted to really excel in.

I can’t even begin to express how stoked I am in his decision to go to my school. And, I’ll still love him dearly no matter how he performs on the football field, but if he comes to enjoy the level of success as a Wildcat football player that I attained on Bear Down Gym’s roundball court, that would be like a fantasy, a beautiful dream come true.

But my bigger dream for him is for him to excel in the classroom like he did in high school. And the U of A has a lot to offer academic-wise – in a lovely setting of rare trees and red brick buildings.

Being a math whiz kind of guy, nearly all of his life, he has wanted to be a civil engineer and in high school he met college engineering professors who gave him insights into what engineering classes are like at the college level, but recently he’s changed his mind and plans to major in business.

He lucked out there as Arizona’s Eller School of Management is one of the top business schools in the country.

And he’s more than ready as he’ll be taking some rich learning experiences along with him to that beloved campus of mine. A program called The Blue Heart Foundation exposed him to a range of activities like surfing, camping, visits to colleges, and mentoring by black activists from the San Diego community who guided him in conversations about his future and how to carry himself as a turned on decent human being in life.

Through another program geared to introduce students to college he took a course at San Diego State University for a semester.

I really appreciate how centered A.J. seems to be. He sees his high school days as memorable, days that made him the person that he is today, days that taught him a lot about himself and made him feel good about himself. That just happens to be how I feel about my years in high school.

In preparing to write these words I’m sharing about him, I asked if he had any heroes and he replied that there are two people whom he would list in such a category: his mom and me.

And if that didn’t swell my head coming from such a loving and caring and respectful being that I consider him to be, he said: “I picked Arizona because I want to keep the legacy going that started with you.”

I didn’t know my chest could stick out so far. And I’m so honored that he’s on my family tree.

I can’t help but think he’s going to, as we say in Wildcat territory, “Bear Down,” and take life by the tail and ride it for all it’s worth.

I base such an assertion on this statement he made: “I chose business as a major because after college if I don’t get drafted I want to run a HUGE marketing business.”

Now that’s taking a legacy to uncharted places in our family.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Judi Curry Judi Curry June 25, 2020 at 1:33 pm

Congratulations Ernie. What a tremendous feeling. Aren’t great-grandkids wonderful!!!!

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Avatar Ken Druck June 25, 2020 at 2:55 pm

Congratulations My Dear and Fellow Grandfather,
Thanks for the sneak preview into the best of all possible futures for my 10 month-old grandsons.
May you and your family continue to swell with pride and joy as AJ blossoms into an even more amazing young man. And may we continue to make the world a safer, more compassionate and just place for our boys to grow into men.

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Avatar Lauren June 25, 2020 at 4:41 pm

How awesome. We need great loved ones to celebrate. My nephew just graduated as well and he
Is a remarkable young man as well. Wishing your great- grandson all the best at your alma mater and in life.

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Avatar Dennis Doyle June 25, 2020 at 9:14 pm

Wonderful! Wishing AJ all the success in the world!

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Avatar Alonzo Morgan June 26, 2020 at 10:10 am

Thank you grandpa appreciate it so much and MUCH LOVE FOR YOU BEAR DOWN!!!

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Avatar nostalgic June 26, 2020 at 12:26 pm

I remember when Gary and Cary Taylor went to Arizona from Morse HS. Lincoln and Morse were the rivals then. Rev.George Stevens was the City Council member. He would roar up to the Morse pep rally in his Mercedes convertible, and after his speech, he would say “Sorry folks, I have to go to Lincoln now!” The crowd roared. Everyone loved him. That was 1992. Alonzo, it is your turn now, and we don’t know you, but we are proud of you, and proud that you went to Lincoln High School.

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