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I am the everyday guy who makes the most out of his everyday situations. My motto, "Live. Breathe. Create." I'm of Filipino / Irish / German descent... mixed child... mestizo... whose often mistaken to be Puerto Rican... latino... I am a writer / poet / artist / photographer / producer / actor... etc etcetera... aka one creative brotha... You can look me up by doing a google search for "Patrick Strange" or "patrickstrange".

Monday, March 26, 2007

Our grandfather, our Tuskegee... receive their due from Congress!

Tuskegee Airmen to receive Congressional Gold Medal

BY MARTIN C. EVANS, martin.evans@newsday.com

March 13, 2007, 9:20 PM EDT

Nearly 400 black World War II pilots, including several from the metropolitan area, will receive the nation's highest civilian honor March 29 when the Congressional Gold Medal will be bestowed upon them.

Last April, Congress passed legislation approving the citation honoring the Tuskegee Airmen, black aviators whose flying skills in the skies over Africa and Europe helped persuade President Harry S. Truman to end segregation in the U.S. military in 1948.

But design disputes stalled the release of the medal for almost a year, prompting some of the aviators -- many of them in their 80s -- to worry that the delay might allow death to cheat some of them of the recognition they deserved.

Those issues now resolved, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent out letters last week inviting surviving airmen to a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington.

"I've been living for this day," said Spann Watson, 90, a Westbury resident and former P-51 Mustang pilot. Watson, who was in the first platoon of black pilots sent overseas, flew 30 missions over North Africa and Europe before returning to the United States to train other pilots.

"This is it, this is the big deal now," Watson said.

The Tuskegee Airmen were best known for flying fighter escorts for Allied bombers over Europe. The group is said never to have lost a bomber.

They received scant historical recognition until 1995, when "The Tuskegee Airmen," a film starring Laurence Fishburne, told of their accomplishments. In the 1950s, as white pilots took jobs in the booming commercial airline industry, black pilots were mostly turned away.

Lee Archer, 87, of New Rochelle, is America's first black flying ace.

"It shows the country is trying to right an old wrong," Archer said. "I never thought we would get it, but we would have done it without any recognition ... . My family is very excited. I am, too."

Of the 994 black aviators who got their training at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama beginning in 1942, fewer than 385 are still alive. On March 4, Edgar L. Bolden, 85, who trained at Tuskegee and flew P-47s, died in Portland, Ore.

Bill Wheeler, 83, of Hempstead, flew six bomber escort missions from Ramitelli Field in southern Italy before a chronic sinus condition caused him to black out at 37,000 feet, ending his career as a pilot.

"I'm very excited about this because it shows we are finally being recognized to the maximum possible," Wheeler said. "Up until about ten years ago, before the movie, we were hardly recognized at all. The movie opened the door."

The medal, which has been cast by the U.S. Mint, will be housed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Replicas will be made for the fliers.

"There were guys who were anxious that they would pass away before this day came," Wheeler said. "But I wasn't among them. I knew I would live to see this."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Film Screening of Amends To My Life !!!

To all my VA/MD/DC actor friends:

The film, Amends To My Life, that I had a lil' cameo appearance in as "The Mexican" will be playing in Frederick, MD.

- Patrick Michael Strange

Check it out below:

Feature Film to Screen in Frederick, MD
- 3/16/07
Location - Cultural Arts Center of Frederick County, 15 W. Patrick Street in Frederick
Contact - 301-662-4190
7:00 p.m.

The Frederick Arts Council will be hosting a screening of a feature film entitled "Amends to My Life" at the Cultural Arts Center on Friday, March 16th. Show time is 7:00 p.m.

The film was directed by Ben Solenberger of Winchester, Virginia. The March 16th event will be the first screening of the newly edited version of the film. An optional focus group will be held after the film for those interested in providing their feedback for the production staff. The cost is $5 per person for the screening.

For more information, visit the Announcements Page or call 301-662-4190.

Go to this link for more details! http://www.frederickartscouncil.org/news_fr.htm

I hope to see you all there! Thanks so much!

Ben E. Solenberger

Friday, March 09, 2007

Rest in peace, Edgar L. Bolden, Sr.

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Ebony Strange & her grandpa, Edgar L. Bolden, Sr.

This past week, our family lost one of its greatest members, Edgar L. Bolden Sr. Rest in peace.

Edgar Louis Bolden, 85, an electrical engineer and former Tuskegee Airman who worked for the Federal Aviation Administration from 1969 to 1980, died March 4 at his home in Portland, Oregon. He had Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Edgar Louis Bolden was an Arlington native. He was a 1939 graduate of Armstrong High School in Washington and a 1949 electrical engineering graduate of Howard University.

During World War II, he became an Army Air Forces pilot and served with the Tuskegee Airmen in the United States.

Before joining the FAA, he was an electrical engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, the Bureau of Standards in Washington and RCA in New Jersey, where he specialized in space and defense communications systems.

He moved to the Portland area from Arlington in 1994.

He was a member of Calloway United Methodist Church in Arlington and the East Coast chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc.

His marriage to Klara Guyton Bolden ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Mae Porter Bolden of Portland, whom he married in 1977; 10 children from his first marriage, Edgar Bolden Jr. of Portland, Michael Bolden of the San Fernando Valley in California, Paul Bolden of Bowie, Peter Bolden of Baltimore, Christopher Bolden of Lexington Park; Francis Bolden of Dumfries, Bonita Bolden of Washington, Clara Bolden of Dale City and Maria Turner and Lucy Bolden, both of Alexandria; a sister, Mignon Johnson of Silver Spring; 15 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pictures from the Pride - Film Premiere in Philly, PA !!!

Wow...  that's a lot of "P"'s for a subject... anyway, first things first, check out the pics (click the following to go to the kodak gallery for printable shots: Pride Premiere):

So, check it out - Ebony & I attended the blue carpet (That's right - blue carpet not red carpet!  The film is about swimmers!) film premiere screening for the movie, Pride up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Prince Music Theater!  As the film is based on real life swimming coach & mentor, Jim Ellis, Ebony spearheaded efforts with her company, MENTOR - The National Mentoring Partnership, in supporting the film with Lionsgate Films.  Check it out:

Lionsgate Films and MENTOR Share the Pride of Mentoring

January 9, 2007: A new film will open in theaters this spring that captures the powerful connection between caring adults and young people who want and need their guidance. Based on true events, Lionsgate's Pride tells the inspiring story of Jim Ellis, a charismatic schoolteacher and swim coach who changed lives forever when he founded an African-American swim team in one of Philadelphia's roughest neighborhoods. Directed by Sunu Gonera, this life-affirming drama stars Academy Award ® nominee Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac and Kimberly Elise.

Pride will be released nationwide on March 23, but one special mentor and mentee pair won't have to wait that long to see the film. In honor of National Mentoring Month, Lionsgate and MENTOR are inviting young people aged 13 and older to share how a mentor or coach has influenced them and changed their life. Eligible submissions will be entered in the Pride Mentor Sweepstakes, and the winner will receive a trip for four (for the mentor, mentee and up to two guests) to attend the World Premiere of Pride, taking place in Philadelphia. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on February 1, 2007. A short preview of the movie – can be found on the film's Web site www.pridefilm.com).

"Jim Ellis has played a powerful role in transforming the lives of young people for more than 30 years, and it all started when he took something he loved – competitive swimming – and shared it with youth in Philadelphia's inner city," notes MENTOR Executive Director Gail Manza. "Through mentoring and coaching, Ellis – as he so eloquently puts it – helps teens 'find the best parts of themselves.' We're delighted to join with Lionsgate to share this triumphant story of team spirit and courage, and to recognize other caring mentors who help young people reach for – and achieve – their dreams."

Doesn't my wife rock!  What a great partnership!  So, anyway, Ebony & I had a blast attending the invite-only premiere at the Prince Music Theater and after-party at Zanzibar Blue.  The majority of the stars were in the house and we had a chance to meet and mingle with everyone.  Among the stars in attendance, let's see... Philly Mayor John Street, Gamble & Huff aka Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff (legendary R&B men, creators of Philadelphia International Records), Terrence Howard (who was mobbed the whole time but real cool), Bernie Mac (busy eating with his wife the whole time at the after-party... when you gotta eat, you gotta eat), Jim Ellis (whom the film was based), Kevin Phillips (real cool cat, got to meet and take a pic), Tom Arnold (worked the room), Clifton Davis (star of Amen, who wasn't in the film... so, I was wondering why he was there...  I sat next to him at the premiere and watched him exchange info with Terrence at the after party), Sunu Gonera (director, cool dude), Gary Anthony Sturgis (I swear that brotha could play James Brown in a bio-pic on him, he was all over the place working the room), Regine Nehy (all dolled up), Evan Ross (Diana Ross' son... sporting a hoodie and not stuttering but talking it up with the ladies at the after-party), Alphonso McAuley (all smiles and talking it up with everyone)... who else...  a ton of swimmers that Jim Ellis coached (who were hooting and hollering)... some of the writers of the film were there along with members of the crew and people at Lionsgate... oh and I believe I passed Patti LaBelle too on the way out but I'm not sure... anyway, it was a real cool night and everyone was cool.  Oh, I remember chatting it up with the costume designer and came to find out he was from Charleston, SC and that possibly I might of worked with him when I was in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls... what a small world!  As for our thoughts on the film... it ran a lil' long and there were some story things I would have done differently but overall it was entertaining and a good feeling film.  We did find out that the film may be edited again by its full theatrical release.

Here is the write-up on the event from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Swimmers and stars: A splashy screening

By Michael Klein, Inquirer Staff Writer

Terrence Howard at the screening with the man he plays in "Pride": swimming coach Jim Ellis.

Michael Perez / Inquirer

Terrence Howard at the screening with the man he plays in "Pride": swimming coach Jim Ellis.

Philadelphia marked its first blue-carpet movie screening last night as a crush of stars visited for a high-spirited promotion of the film Pride.

Blue carpet? Blue, to match a swimming pool. Pride is loosely based on the inspirational story of swim coach Jim Ellis, who for many years has trained nationally ranked swimmers at Marcus Foster Recreation Center in Nicetown.

The stars, including Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac and Tom Arnold, clearly were in fine form, bounding from limousines outside the Prince Music Theater on Chestnut Street to sign autographs. Crowds began gathering more than two hours before the celebrity arrivals.

Howard missed the first 20 minutes of the screening, staying outside in his natty suit to sign and pose for cell-camera-toting fans.

Lionsgate, the studio, described last night's event as a screening, not a "premiere." (It's a Tinseltown thing; next month's "premiere" will draw even more paparazzi.)

Among the first on the carpet was Michael Gozzard, one of the screenwriters and a Temple University graduate. "This is amazing," he said beneath the twinkling lights, a searchlight probing the skyscrapers. "I left Philadelphia with two bags and a dream to be a screenwriter." His writing partner, Kevin Michael Smith, found Ellis' story in a magazine.

Mac - in a lime-green scarf and wool topcoat, a massive diamond earring in his left ear - greeted Mayor Street with a hug and a jovial "What's up, young man?"

Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, creators of Philadelphia International Records, strolled through. The soundtrack of Pride, set in 1973, includes several of their hits, including "Back Stabbers" and "Love Train" by the O'Jays.

Also on the carpet were some of the young actors who play members of Ellis' team: Regine Nehy grew up in Overbrook and left Archbishop Carroll High as a sophomore. Alphonso McAuley spent his blue-carpet time cutting up and hollering across the street. Eighteen-year-old Evan Ross said he asked his mother, singer Diana Ross, for examples of slang used in the early 1970s. "She kind of didn't remember that," Ross said.

Asked why he played a bad guy - as he did in the soap Port Charles and in many other roles - Gary Anthony Sturgis grinned and replied: "I do what they pay me to do." His performance as a thug notwithstanding, he called Pride "a feel-good joint."

The low-key Ellis, meanwhile, drew his own crowd. Clearly more comfortable in a sweater and khakis beside a pool, he yanked on the lapels of his suit jacket, grinned, and said, "Hugo Boss."

"I can't say this is a dream come true," Ellis said. "I never dreamt it."

The stars were expected at a party after the movie at the nightspot Zanzibar Blue.

Pride, opening March 23, is the Hollywoodized story of Ellis, the Bodine High math teacher and part-time Recreation Department worker who since 1971 has trained mainly African American youths to be swimming champions competing under the team name "PDR" - as in Philadelphia Department of Recreation. Since 1980, he has worked out of the Marcus Foster pool on Germantown Avenue, leading practice before and after school and on Saturdays.

In the movie, shot mostly in Louisiana by first-time director Sunu Gonera, it's 1973 and college grad Ellis (played by Howard) is hired to prepare a run-down Foster for closing. Driven by his love of swimming and his desire to help the neighborhood kids, he instead refurbishes the pool with crusty custodian Elston (Mac). Ellis whips the youngsters into a swim team. They encounter racism (Arnold plays an elitist coach at the fictional Main Line Academy), as well as bullying from local hoodlums (including Sturgis) and the scorn of a councilwoman (played by Kimberly Elise of the CBS series Close to Home), before they get to the big meet.

It's a sports movie, right?

In real life, Ellis was a water safety instructor from Pittsburgh who started a swim team at Sayre Rec in West Philly. He moved the team to Marcus Foster when it opened in 1980, and has mentored hundreds of kids, many of whom have gone to college on swimming scholarships.

Asked why he's kept it up, Ellis said: "I like kids."

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Check out my TV commercial!

Hello everyone, I recently shot a TV commercial for Cashpoint that will be airing in the VA, MD, DC area… check it out! Also, go to Aloma Films – www.alomafilms.com to see me in the short film, "The Stream, The Cave, Jim & Dave" and go to TheLot.com to see me in the short film, "Sons of the Righteous" – http://films.thelot.com/films/18370/.

Cashpoint Commercial

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