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One Wish: A Teenager longs for his family reunion

Aaron Harris
Basim Blunt

Dayton Youth Radio producer, Aaron Harris, went through a big family breakup. And now, as a teenager, has one simple yet deep wish for something maybe all of us may take for granted.

To you parents. I don't think it's a really good decision to break up. I don't like break up or something because you had some big argument or you don't want to be there. It's just to be honest, in my opinion, that's just petty. At least try to have some type of shared parenting.

My name's Aaron Harris. I go to Springville High School. 15 years old. I wear glasses. I like Anime. And I like to ride my bike a lot around the city just to get exercise. It's kind of getting to the point where it's almost a hobby.

I don't really have a happy, happy birthday memory, neither a Christmas memory. The last time that I had to have these memories of my family was when I had a huge family reunion at one of my family member's house back in 2018. Before COVID, they had like this huge family barbecue. We're family here in Springfield and family in Michigan came as well. And we had this huge reunion, which has to be one of the biggest ones I've ever seen. At least I had like a whole bunch of time playing with my cousins and talking to different aunts and uncles and stuff.

I rarely get to see my family as much as I used to. And it's kind of hitting me emotionally, and I wish I could see them again.

My mom, [a] single mother, always loved us. My dad, on the other hand, my dad grew up in street activities and stuff like that. He's been in and out of jail a lot. So I really never got to see him as much for the first six, seven years of my life. Like, he comes around sometimes. But it's like I want him to come around more. Because I want to show him how much progress I've made and how much of a person I am.

So how my family separated was when I was three or four years old. I started living with my Aunt Tammy and my Uncle Bob because my mom really relied on them so much, because how much positive energy that they gave me to be who I am today. They had a high hope future for me and I thank them for that.

I have three friends who have both their parents right there supporting them, like my mom and my dad. Yeah, right now they're getting into the point where they're getting along more and I see them like them both and get along really well.

I always wished every single day I can try to have like a huge family type of reunion. I want to see all my cousins that I really get to spend time with, and I wish that everybody can actually have like a huge gathering, like somewhere like in a huge area, like our house or whatever. Yeah, we can like have like as sort of a family house where everybody can see each other, be together, have a fun time. Do we want to do and just get the best of us and who we are?

Although the bad events that can happen to me, my family. I'm still in school in one day. When I have kids, I want my family to be together. So for dating you three, you spring for high school.

Aaron Harris is a student at Springfield High School. Special thanks to Winkie Mitchell and Beth Dixon at Wellspringfield.org. Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.

Basim has worked in the media for over twenty years, as an A&R rep with Capitol Records and as a morning drive show producer. He is a filmmaker, media arts adjunct, and also a digital editing teacher in the Dayton Metro area. In 2012 he joined WYSO as a Community Voices Producer, and his work has earned him a “New Voices” Scholar award by (AIR) Association of Independents in Radio. Basim has produced the award-winning documentary Boogie Nights: A History of Funk Music in Dayton. He also served as Project Manager for ReInvention Stories, a multimedia docu-series produced by Oscar-winning filmmakers Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert. In 2020, Blunt received a PMJA (Public Media Journalists Association) award for his WYSO series Dayton Youth Radio, for which he is the founding producer and instructor. Basim spins an eclectic mix of funk, soul, and classic R&B every Thursday night from 8 p.m to 10 p.m., as host of the 91.3 FM music show Behind the Groove.