"This is the hand I have been dealt and I accept it" ...
When the doctors enetered my room at the VA and explained my medical
circumstances, I accepted whatever was next.
"It's hard but it's fair!" ... This has always been my life mantra.
So sit back, relax and enjoy this ride down memory lane with me.
I was Brother to a few, Bubby to others, and Coach to many but my mother and father
named me Asbury Anthony Hopewell. I was born on February 15, 1949, the year
Apartheid became legal in South Africa and the year Wesley A. Brown became the first
African American to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. There were
some great men overcoming obstacles the year was born. I was educated through
Baltimore City Schools and I graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1967.
Graduating during the heart of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, I
entered the United States Air Force. I served honorably in the Intelligence Field as a
Sergeant until 1972 when I was honorably discharged.
I cotinued my education at the University of Maryland but soon realized I needed to
plant my feet in the workforce. I began working at Bethlehem Steel as an electrician.
Do you know I was the first African American to work in that department? Imagine that!
in the midst of firsts, I made history.
I, alongside, "Trail Boss" George Smitty Smith and Coach Leonard Braxton, coached
girl's track and field for Ed Waters Track and Field Alliance Club before breaking off and
forming Ms. Athletic Club in the early 1970's. We didn't play with those young ladies.
We respected and influenced each young lady as if they were our own daughters.A strict
work ethic, dedication, and commitment were driven into each young lady we coached
along the way whethere it was on the field or in their personal lives. Again, I reminded
each of them that "it's hard but it's fair". Together with Jerry Molyneaux, we helped the
young ladies of Western High School win 11 of the 16 events in the 75th Maryland
Scholastic Association Track and Field Championships in 1992.
My sister, Veronica, hosted an annual Kwanzaa celebration. Our family traveled near
and far to enjoy MY delicious cooking. I had a trick for everyone to keep them there to
the end. I would not prepare the good food, you know the stuffed shrimp and fried
shrimp, until the very end. If you left early, you missed the good stuff.
Blessed with the gift of gab, yes all of you know I could talk you nto making a dollar out of
fifteen cents, I started two businesses, Primerica and a home improvement business. I
had skills. I had passions for so many things growing up and one being flying pigeons.
In 2013, I won 6th place and was recognized nationally for my bird, "Dressed to
I believe I lived a colorful life influencing and impacting many people. To my daughter,
Leone and my grandson, Christopher, I love you both and I hope my legacy lives on
through you both, Anna, my mother, 96 looks good on you and thank you for life.
Veronica Hazel and Donna, I could not have asked for more loving sisters. Lakia, my
niece, I love you. Janyra and Jaliyah, my great nieces, continue to make the family proud.
Timothy Hawkins and Sheri Rose, what can a man say about friends. An unknown
author once said "It's not what we have in life but who we have in life that matters".
To my family that preceded me in death, my father, Asbury Sr and my broethe,Francis,
thank you for saving a spot for me.
To my extended family, friends, and athletes ... I am good and I love you!
I think I played my hand well ... Asbury Anthony Hopwell
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