Friday, September 30, 2011

Fred L. Day: Standing Tall . . . In Loving Memory

Have you ever thought what it might be like to be in a wheel-chair, or you could say a chair with wheels?
Either way it’s OK.

There are reasons why people need to use chairs like that.
very often it’s because they have had an injury to their neck or back.

Some feel there is very little these people can do,
But that is most definitely not true.

I know a man who in the great state of South Carolina was raised.
When he was young his athletic and academic abilities were praised.

At the age of twenty, while on break from the University of South Carolina, his life changed in a very big way,
when he fell asleep while driving home one Christmas Eve day.

His mother had asked him to find the very best tree,
one that would impress the entire family.

While returning home the car drifted off the road as he slept.
When his mom saw him in the hospital she wept.

The doctors said he would never walk again
and that a wheel chair would be the best thing for him.

As the first wheel-chair student to ever live on the USC campus, he returned to complete his college degree,
although he did not know how hard it would be.

There were no ramps or elevators in the buildings in that day
so he had to find another way.

There was a football player who was his friend.
He and his buddies carried Fred where he could not go to his college days’ end.

However, there were others who treated him rudely because he was not the same.
Fred realized that treating someone poorly just because he was different was really lame.

He knew there were others like him who wanted a college degree too,
so he decide there was something he could do.

He spoke with the president of the school to ask if ramps and elevators could be installed,
and Lyndon B. Johnson, the 37th Vice President of the United States he even called.

The Vice President was not there so he spoke for over an hour with Lady Bird Johnson, his wife.
That began a friendship that Fred cherished for all his life.
Improvements did not come right away
But they did come at a later day.

With a college degree in hand, he decided that a job he would seek.
In three years he applied for 435 jobs, but they all thought he was too weak.

Finally the 436th decided to respond,
and Fred had a job in an office before long.

He typed forms by wedging pencils in-between his stiffened fingers and with the eraser end struck the keys.
He did it endlessly and not with ease.

Later, he went to Washington DC to work for the Navy and for the government department that handles mail.
He was determined never to fail.

He also worked somewhere else in Washington D.C., oh yea, the state department is the place.
That’s the government agency that works with foreign countries to keep our world safe.

He then returned to his home and was elected to the South Carolina state legislature where he served for six years.
You see he had conquered all his fears.

One of Fred’s greatest desires was to improve education in the schools.
He worked hard to make sure students had all the right tools.

He also influenced the Americans with Disabilities act, legislation that makes sure everyone is treated fair,
including those who need to use a wheel-chair.

Maybe you have been to Charleston South Carolina and seen the state Aquarium,
Fred helped plan that, saying if we build it people will come.

All these things were done and never once did Fred stand.
From his chair he became one of the great men in this land.

As you can plainly see, things that can be done while in a wheel-chair
are only limited by the brain beneath your hair.

So when challenges come your way, and they most certainly will,
take a moment to breathe deep and be still.

With a positive heart and mind things will work out OK,
and you will make this country a better place, just like Fred L. Day.

In Loving Memory!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Teasers

The following story was inspired by several people that many of you know. They are listed here. See if you can match the events in the story to the people listed. Keep in mind that some embellishment/literary license has been taken to make it all flow.  The names are not in order with the story.
Todd Reese, Dallin Brown, Marlin Brown, Kathy Shifflet, Peter Sundwall (the younger), Terence Brown, Rhen Brown, Elder Neff, Acacia Brown, Angela Brown, Robert Brown. Maybe you can fit one or more of these scenarios or know someone who can. Feel free to pass this around.


What if others teased you? How would that feel?
That would not be a very good deal.

Most people tease others because they are different from them,
But if you just take a positive approach you will find that most people are a gem.

Some people walk fast.
Some walk slow while those fast ones go past.

The fast ones might say “hey slow poke
You walk so slow it’s a joke”.

They think it is important to get somewhere fast.
They don’t even notice all the stuff they just passed.

They didn’t notice the blue bird on the limb of that tree
And how it took off flying high and free.

They were in such a hurry; they didn’t see the side walk’s crack.
They tripped and fell flat on their face with a smack.

Sometimes those without glasses tease those who do.
They call them four eyes but that doesn’t make much sense since no one has more than two.

I had a friend who was bigger than most.
Others called him fatty and said he ate too much toast.

He got a job playing football in the NFL.
Now he’s really doing quite well.

I had another friend who was not very tall,
In fact he was the shortest of all.
Some class mates made fun of him for being so small.

He became a jockey riding horses in races.
He has traveled the world racing in so many places.

I had a cousin who liked to dance.
There were those who called him Mr. Fancy pants.

He learned to dance so well he gets paid for what he does,
And guess what? He’s doing something he loves.

There was a girl down the street who said she wanted to be a soldier.
Her mom laughed at her saying you’ll change your mind when you’re older.

She did not change her mind and instead learned to fly.
She’s in the air force now; look there she goes flying by.

When my dad was young he broke the same leg twice. As a result he walked with a limp.
A few pointed a finger and called out “hey there goes the gimp’.

With time and experience he grew very wise,
and through the ranks of respected government officials he did rise.

There was this girl at my school whose last name was Gorgonlazolings.
Some made fun of her name, but later they learned that was a royal linage from which had descended many kings.

There was another girl who was teased because she was never asked out on dates.
Now she is a newscaster on TV and has more money than any of those guys makes.

Some kids drove really nice cars to school and joked about those who had to walk.
Now that they are older they realize that cars don’t really matter and wish they hadn’t used that kind of talk.

There was one kid who thought he was better than the rest because he was the star on a sports team.
Actually he was really mean.

It’s really sad that later he got really sick.
Now his doctor is one of those on whom he used to pick.

I guess the lesson to be leaned is that we are less different and more the same.
We are all children of God and there is no reason to call anyone a name.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pinstripes on Denim...

Pinstripes on denim, soft brunette shoulder length hair.
In stark contrast, creamy luminous skin so fair.

Her voice, sweet, soft and melodious.
Unnoticed, I hope, I briefly gasp and in so doing become intoxicated by her fragrance which fills the air.

For a fraction of a second all the elements join me in a helpless stare.
Little do I know that all time and space now revolve around the young woman standing there.

I blinked and time lurched forward filled with joy and struggle and seven children to share.
I am speechless. I simply thank God for that woman in pinstripes on denim so rare.

Musical Beds...

I read to Joe. We said our prayers,
then I laid by him and his stuffed bears.

Once he slept, I went to comfort Noelle
and fell asleep there as well.

After some time I went to my own bed
and on my pillow laid my head.

Later, Joe cried out and to him I went on the run...
And so I finished the night where it had begun.