Profile for User: damian cook
Registered: 1 year, 11 months ago
My was born November 12, 1960 in Los Angeles, CA in the city of Compton.Second of six children.My eldest brother was afflicted with a muscular dystrophy. Mother Barbara L Lockett a wonderful woman born and reared in a small town called Morgan City in Louisiana the youngest child. Mother was a concert pianist with one year of college. She was a very spiritual person. I can remember her often telling me stories of spirits,esoteric and metaphysical.I was always drawn to the elders, be it in the family and local elders, as in those days, it just was different then. I would set and listen to stories for hours on end, sometimes. My biological Father Benjamin James Cook, born Chicago, Illinois, Southside of Chi, he was a rolling stone, as they say. Just was not around much, my mother was a single parent. As a child, I would venture out on my own, at times, for hours and mother would be very concerned as I was only 5 and 6 years old at the time. But, to me, it was something that I had to do, a mission, something that I was in search of, yet unsure what at the time just what it was, but would be revealed to me in time. We lived in a project in the Watts area of CA up and until 1965. My mother decided to move back to her hometown due to financial issues and the troubles of being a single parent with 6 children to care for. Within several years, the old man sent for us and we moved to Chicago, ILL. Quite an experience coming from the south and relocating in the Chi. Was not prepared for that city, although, quickly learned. The old man didn't change his ways, so mother moved back to the safe haven of Morgan City. All in all, we lived in multiple cities growing up. From California twice, Morgan City twice, and Chicago twice and finally in 1973 my grandmother "fathers mother" we would talk for hours as I help pull all the weeds out of her garden, we were so very close" owned a second home in Gary, IN and there I remained throughout Jr high, High School. Throughout all the traveling, I became multi cultured in many, many ways There I would meet my childhood sweetheart, she was 14 and I was 16 years old. She came from a large family of 14, 7 boys and 7 girls, from Leland Mississippi. They were the truth. Their father was a no nonsense man, and he became the father that I lacked as a child, a great example. I learned to work on cars which to this day, if I had to, could repair and or change anything on a car or truck up to maybe 2005. They lived in a 3 bedroom 1 bath house with sometimes cousins who would move in, if they were in need of help,very close family. Cooked everything from scratch, the woman would cook and clean and the men would work and repair cars lol, what an experience. By this time my eldest brother had died of his disease, and my mother never really got over his death. I became the eldest child and in truth was always because the eldest couldn't get around due to his disease. My childhood sweetheart gave birth to our first child" a daughter, in 1978 and the following year 1979, I graduated high school. We later married in 1983 after I arrived home from the Navy, I did experience racial tension in the services, yet it was an experience as a Yeoman.. And by this time we had 3 children, all girls, and began wondering where the boys were lol. Long story short, After the military I enrolled in college to complete a marketing degree, however, due to the addition of our fourth child, my first son, it was necessary that contracted employment that would adequately provide for my ever growing family. So, I began working in Bethlehem Steel, putting my marketing degree on hold. In Bethlehem Steel I learned to operate heavy equipment, everything from a bobcat to a frontend loader. Working in the Blast Furnace taught me the system of converting iron ore rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. So, I became very inquisitive into not only the production, but also the finishing end and marketing of the product. This employment lasted until 1995, for at that time the U.S began importing cheap Japanese steel forcing layoffs. The need to provide for my family, the decision was made to relocate my family to, for one, warmer climate and really, this layoff was a blessing in disguise. My brother was residing in Jacksonville, FL and from his recommendation, we relocated to Jacksonville. Money was tight so in order to keep the family afloat , I left to live with my brother until gaining employment at a company called Barnett. This company was a mail order hardware/commercial supply company. Dealing in everything from basic thumbtack to drop shipping commercial PVC pipe, with a sales territory in the Carolinas. The money was good enough to bring the family down, although my sites were set on RealEstate Investing. So, while working at Barnett, I studied for my Real Estate Lic, which I acquired by completing a crash course 7 straight days, 8am to 5pm. Received my lic and of course had to pass the state exam, taken 3 times, but I did it. By this time, I'd been working for Barnett for 5 years, learned the construction business which was a great asset to me doing my Real Estate venture. So, I would work my job at Barnett and on the weekends cutting my teeth in the real estate market. After 3 months I made my first sale and earned a whopping $1,000.00, not much but felt good. I hung my license with a broker that primarily worked with investors, which was perfect for me, for investing is where my site was set. Sales picked up and after several years sales reached 100k in one year, and by this time I'd given notice at Barnett and began selling residential real estate full time. Eventually I crossed over into Commercial Real Estate, a whole other animal. And so, by this time our family was up to 8, 4 girls and 4 boys, yes the boys had arrived. Times were good, the market was a buyers market. Until all at once that bad paper/mortgage began to tumble down. People were purchasing way above their means, mortgage brokers were getting them financed, way beyond their ability to repay. By this time it was 2005 and I had 5 deals set to close and 5 hurricanes hit Florida and no one was providing homeowners insurance. State Farm had pulled out of Florida, and all 5 of my deals just never closed. All at once the bank stops lending, like night and day, the great mortgage crash. It was like a ghost town, an eerie silence fell over the city, one could feel it in the air. This was a very bad time for my family and I. You see, the last two children were twin boys and one day, my third oldest daughter took the twins to the swimming pool and the eldest twin died of a swimming accident, he was just 6 years old. My wife of course was devastated, we don't like to say that we have favorites, but it's more like gravitating. Though my observation, it seems to be more of a DNA gravitation, for lack of a better term. And he was hers. So, because of the real estate/mortgage crash, I had to figure out my next move. We had some reserves, but not much. So, I began negotiating mortgage modifications with BOA, Deutsche Bank, Chase and a host of other mortgage companies. And discovering how the robo signers came into play. It was a natural move for me, which kept me near the real estate market, and this went on for about 4 years. It was not a bad living and we helped to save hundreds of homes, and some we couldn't. People were living way above their means and mortgage companies did this all by design. Combined with the loan modifications, began focusing on commercial real estate, although it took longer to work my way into that market. It's more of building relationships, but my wife and I did create an investment organization. Until the day that we discovered that my wife was diagnosed with lung cancer 2011. Everything came to a stop, the business we formed in real estate came to stop, as we began various forms of treatments. We didn't have the proper insurance so most of the treatments would come out of pocket. I needed to continue to work on modifications remotely, due to having to be near my wife in order to care for her, so that diseases came down fast and hard. Within 3 months, I had lost my childhood sweetheart of 37 years, totally devastated me to my core. In reflecting after some time of grieving, of which, one never ever gets over such a loss only learn to live with it. This deep form of grieving will biological and psychologically affect an individual. So, now I understand, when I would hear of an elderly couple losing their spouse after being together for so many years, and shortly thereafter would pass within several months of their spouse's death, it's a biological and psychological pull. They had become one, biologically and psychologically one. Long story short. By 2015 the modification became in house for most of the banks and mortgage companies. So, my next career would be in the Insurance Industry, where I Am currently working as an License Independent Insurance Adjuster from 2016 to present. My spirit has compelled me at this spot to reflect on my dear mother, who's passing was in 2019 on Christmas day. And my spirituality, which she ignited my spirit of enlightenment process. Earlier in my bio, I described how my mother was so deeply spiritual and would share her spiritual experiences with me and how I would listen with amazement and a bit of disbelief. She, sensing my disbelief would simple say " ok, one day you'll see". And I thought, I will see. Her words would stay with me throughout my travels, as I began my research into the spiritual side of life. So, I began research into various religious, in depth study into Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah's Witness, using concordances, lexicon that would interpretant Hebrew into Greek and Greek to Hebrew. That research gave me insight and knowledge, yet it did not satisfy my hunger for the true truth of my existence. So, I began to study esoteric and the metaphysical which open a my mind to the understanding that we all have total access to the creator, provided that we study and mediate on the force of creation. And now I see, as she said that would. Forgive me my brother for exposing the deeper and painful parts of my life, because. You see, ADDI, you, the diasporas, brothers and sisters on the continent are the children of Mother Africa, which makes us family. So, I felt the need to share my experiences which must include my childhood sweetheart, who was an intricate part of my life. My bio would not have been complete. Also, my 7 children have produced 15 grandchildren, I'm truly a blessed man. My life's work now is "Africa Dream" to help build that bridge between all people of Africa's descent, living outside of Africa also known as the diaspora, and our brother and sister on the continent. Bridging that gap between the two. To promote unity among the African diaspora and encourage them to participate in the development of Africa. And to educate the Africa diaspora about investments opportunities in Africa. And to promote the AfCFTA.
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