It's very rare to sit down with someone who is a "historical" figure. I had that chance last night and I can only say If there is anything that I think I can't do then it's on me. I have no excuse outside of myself.
Let me tell you about the many accomplishments of Dr Granville Coggs. Dr Coggs was born in 1925 and he is black. He grew up in Arkansas during a time of institutionalized, legal racism and oppression. His accomplishments would be impressive on their own merit without adding that he is a black man. Bur being black during the time he grew up his resume is even more impressive.
Dr Coggs graduated from Harvard Medical School in the 1950's and is a radiologist specilizing in Breast Cancer screening. He is also a cancer survior himself having been treated twice for Prostate Cancer.
Dr Coggs is in training right now to compete in August in to 400 meter sprint. He is 83 years old and training to compete in a National event, meaning he is one of the top runners in the country in his age group.
But none of that makes him a "Historical" figure. Dr coggs is part of a revered and honored select group of men whose numbers are slowly dwindling, The Original Tuskegee Airmen. These men were honored by President Bush in 2007 receiving the Congressional Gold Medal. On January 20th 2009 around 180 of the surviving members traveled to Washington DC to watch history unfold as Barack Obama was sworn in as President. Presdient Obama sent special invitations to the surviving Airmen to be there, history past and history present came together on that day.
In the invitation Dr Coggs received President Obama states he stands on the shoulders of the Tuskegee Airmen and their accomplishments. LAst night Dr Coggs reversed those words. The Tuskegee Airman and all of those who have gone before, stand on the shoulders of President Obama. These men were humbled and blessed to witness some that was not even a "pipe dream" for them.
What they went through in the distant days of WWII, the constant efforts to go beyond, be more work two or three times harder than the other pilots in the war was a foundation, They knew that history was watching them they wanted to see a breakthrough. Only in their wildest dreams did they think they would live to see it. Now they have and they have a renewed sense of hope themselves. Dr coggs only recently ended his second round of cancer treatment but Watching Barack Obama take the oath of office has rejuvenated him.
It was such a treat and a blessing to be in this man's presence. Last night everyone who met Dr Coggs took something away from meeting him including my own Platinum Executive Director who is a millionarire and a huge success and role model himself. So now I am making my plans to go out to the track and support Dr Coggs in a local (State level) race.