My family the Wards and the Gardners invented the Players Ball. And it made its debut in the movie “The Mack.” They were players “Ballin”. The Wards made a donation to the Black Panther Party’s Breakfast Program, and that is how they were allowed to make “The Mack” without any problems. The Black Panthers were also the security on the set. The Bay Area in those days settled their differences less violently than L.A. We respected each others areas. Ted had Oakland and we had San Francisco. Filmore Slim was a pimp with wrinkled clothes who did not control anything. San Francisco was wide open in the 60s and 70s. But the Black Panthers did not and could not intimidate us. That is Frank Ward getting out of the first limousine with his customed made suit. Unlike the other actors playing pimps who got their suits from the wardrobe department

The Wards made a donation to the Black Panther Party’s Breakfast Program, and that is how they were allowed to make “The Mack” without any problems. The Black Panthers were also the security on the set. My father and the Ward brothers were best friends. Ted was the biggest pimp in the state. I would perform my one man show in prisons and the inmates would ask me to teach them how to pimp because I was a Gardner. It amazed me that after decades so many people still remembered the Gardners and the Wards. As if they were folk heroes.

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