The lofty optimism contained in the words of a motto encased on the wall of his one bedroom apartment in Southeast Memphis doesn't belie the admitted frustrations of A.C. Talley. For, right now he's not in a position to create "tomorrows" for himself or his six grandchildren.
"It's very frustrating. I'm not gonna lie to you, man. I'm 53-years-old. I don't need to be raising no little bitty babies," he says. "I'm raising my grandchildren. Doing the best I can. I need some help. I need a job.
Having been unemployed since March, for the past month, Talley has been forced to assume full responsibility for taking care of his 11, 8, and 1 and a half year old granddaughters and three grandsons ages 6, 4 and baby Jason. Their mother, 27-year-old Bernice Talley, remains in the Shelby County Jail East facility on 20-thousand dollar bond following her arrest on an aggravated assault charge in September. An MPD Affidavit of Complaint alleges Talley cut her roommate on the face and neck during an argument.
But, while her father blames his daughter's behavior in part on being abandon by her mother at age five, he blasts the "deadbeat" fathers of her children for their lack of shouldering any financial responsibility.
"I don't understand why she won't go put them jokers on child support. I guess she don't think she gonna get nothing. But, that ain't the point. They gotta help them. They gotta go pay child support. They make babies. They oughta find them a job. They'll start taking care of they children. I don't need to be taking care of another man's children or child."
But, as circumstances grow more dire just "being there" soon isn't going to be enough. Though they still have food stamps, Talley and his grandchildren face eviction because of rent that's more than 900 dollars in arrears. On Monday, three of the children missed school because Talley didn't have the gas money to take them. The uncertain future has convinced Talley to make a desperate public appeal.
"I'm looking for some help. I ain't looking for a handout. I'm not trying to put those kids nowhere. I got those children. They ain't going to no foster care and all that stuff. They ain't gonna go there. I got them."
Perhaps A.C. Talley still has time to create some tomorrow's for the ones he loves, but only if he manages to get past the real troubles that are today.
To help A.C. Talley, contact him at 901-628-3655.