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The God Mother: Marcelle McVay

 (left to right) I'm the guy w/ the black shirt, next to me is Jesse Mayfield white shirt, our
God Mother has on a white shirt Marcelle McVay, the little guy next to her is her nephew. We're celebrating her son's birthday, as you can see it was a community affair.


The year was somewhere around the late 1980's. I was playing inside Washtenaw Playground when I saw a short Caucasian woman and child in stroller. I thought they were homeless so I offered them some of my candy. The woman said no thanks, but because of my nice gesture she invited me to her house.

I'm thinking to myself what house, this woman is homeless!?! So she gave me her address and days later I visited her. Remind you this woman was at a playground situated across the street from the PROJECTS where I lived, so to me she stuck out like a sore thumb.

I followed the directions she gave me and ended up at her house.... WOW! Its the biggest house on the block! The house wasn't far from my project complex, actually the house was across the street on a different angle from the playground.... I've passed this house many times but had no clue who lived inside. I stepped foot in her house and was AMAZED at how beautiful and big it was!

Soon after I left the house I told all my buddies, and of course they didn't believe a word I said so I took them over to see for themselves. I introduced them to the woman I met and the rest is history. This short beautiful Caucasian woman began mentoring us, she spiritually adopted us and became our God Mother.

We became integrated into her everyday life. We met her husband. Spent nights over their house, and saw things we would of never seen as children growing up in the projects. This woman took me to my first movie! This woman took me to my first black tie dinner experience. This woman took me to my first live theater experience! This woman introduced me and my buddies to horseback riding and snow sledding! This woman introduced us to gardening and eating rutabaga pie.

2009 AIDS Walk & Run (Marcelle McVay) right

Running through her house in our socks sliding on her polished wooden floors, sneaking and drinking red wine, watching movies and eating pizza was something we did on a regular. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the times she would pack us in her drop top convertible and drive down Lake Shore Drive blasting the music just for us!

Years later and my God Mother remains a powerful compass of love and direction to me. She has taught me so many things about life... I Am forever indebted to her and her family for taking time out of their busy schedules to mentor, guide, and love me and my buddies.....

But it didn't stop there, my God Mother's heart was and still is so BIG to the point just about all the children in the complex I lived in was invited to play in her yard, celebrate with her son Zack for his birthday parties. She often gave tickets to the Lawndale Gardens Boys and Girls Club for at risk youth to experience live theater at Victory Gardens Theater of which she serves as Managing Director amongst many things.....

I LOVE you so much God Mother, thank you for all the wonderful things you've done and continue to do for your God Children!

2008 Biograph Opening Gala
(Marcelle McVay) left