In addition to learning little known facts about my father, I’m learning things about other people I’d never heard of. Bernarr Macfadden (1868-1955) was an internationally known health crusader who promoted exercise and natural foods and natural healing. Nicknamed the “Father of Physical Culture,” he promoted fasting and a healthy sex life. Founder of a magazine publishing company, Macfadden Publications, he wrote more than 100 books, including several on marriage. Macfadden was married to Mary Williamson Macfadden, a former champion swimmer. She was 19 and he was 45 when they were married. They had seven children. Bernarr and Mary separated in 1932, and the public airing of their marital difficulties apparently inspired my father to write this column, quoting some of Macfadden’s own words on love. After the couple divorced in 1946, Mary wrote a tell-all book titled Dumbbells and Carrot Sticks.
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“I certainly missed you the last few days – Misplaced my teeth – just found them. Thought I’d have to begin school without them . . . the thought was devastating!” I spent most of Friday, Dec. 28, which would have been my mother, Mary Ray’s 93rd birthday, reading letters like this one. I missed […]
I’ve been looking for an excuse to post this video in this blog since I launched it. Now it seems like this is my last chance. My good friend Jack Hubbard shot it when my daughter Zuri, whom he calls “The Swan” graduated high school. I can’t believe it’s been four years. On Sunday, Zuri […]
My nephew, actor Lamman Rucker was in Barbados last week and was the talk of the town. Several local news outlets and blogs noted his arrival. Nationnews.com did a nice write up on him. Check it out. He also did a nice video for Amtrak’s Black History month series “My Black Journey.” Lamman Rucker’s Great […]
In 1947, the same year he married his childhood sweetheart, my Aunt Evelyn, he joined the North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club, an ensemble of African-American men of every religious affiliation, social station and neighborhood that continues to this day. And he would cherish both of them until he died in 2000.
My sister Malaya Rucker-Oparabea, a dancer and storyteller, and her son, actor, producer and entrepreneur Lamman Rucker, have devoted their lives to their art. On Sunday, May 15, they talked about their relationship on an online radio program “Phenomenal Saging Mothers.”
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