Saturday, August 23, 2014

No video required...

You's almost Labor Day, so now seems an appropriate time to post this:
I think it's great that so many people have jumped on the "ice bucket" bandwagon and tooted their own horn for a good cause. ALS is a horrible disease, absolutely. It seems to always strike the most active and vibrant people, slowly stripping them of the lives they've built and leaving them with an active mind and a useless body, eventually leaving them unable to breathe on their own.
For more than 50 years, though, the Muscular Dystrophy Association has worked toward finding a cure and treatment and provided needed assistance with care to the sufferers and their families. For ALS and also for more than 40 other neuromuscular diseases. Trust me, all of them are horrible. Many of them affect children -- thus "Jerry's Kids".
Any charitable impulse will always be applauded by me, but let me offer the MDA as an alternative for your ALS dollars.
According the the ALSA's own info, only 27% of the money they receive actually goes to research. Compare that to the Muscular Dystrophy Associaion (MDA)-- yeah, Jerry Lewis' schtick.
I incorrectly listed an old stat a bit ago that that greater than 90% of every dollar taken in by MDA goes to research and treatment, it's sadly dropped in the post Jerry Lewis era to about 74%, but that still outstrips the ALSA by 300%.
So, this Labor Day weekend, it'd be great if you could send a few bucks along to the MDA.
No video selfies required.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Happy Birthday, Pop

August 5, 1941

Japan had not yet attacked a US held port in Hawaii, pulling America into World War and out of the Great Depression.

Susan Dean gave birth to a ginger haired, blue eyed boy.  He was the 5th boy, the 8th child (of the 10 she would eventually have).

By all accounts, he was a cheerful and inquisitive boy.  He would go on to be popular in his high school, in the drama club, a jokester. 

He would become well known for his loud, Santa-like laugh and his jovial countenance.

After returning from his 4 year Army stint, he married Florence, known to all as "Sissy" and becoming the father of 5.

I was the 4th of 5.  It just occured to me that we were the same fraction, I was just a reduced fraction. 

He loved being a dad.  He actually looked forward to those long road trips that have become fodder for standup comedians and TV shows.  And he made them fun.  The end point was always worth the long road miles, too.  King's Island most every summer, camping/hiking in the deep hills of My Old Kentucky Home, seeing my oldest brother graduate basic training in New Jersey and then jump school in Georgia.  Picking oranges and playing in the surf in Florida. 

And there was always education along the way.  Everything was a game of trivial pursuit with Pop.  Whether watching a movie or helping with homework or driving down the road.

He loved learning and he loved teaching, things he passed on to me.

I'm missing him pretty hard lately. 

But, it's getting easier.  Mostly when I think of him now, it's good.  It's sometimes bittersweet and sometimes it still hurts like hell.  But, mostly it's good. 

Happy Birthday, Pop.