Archive for the Health/Medicine Category


Ordinarily, it is my wont to deal with financial matters promptly.

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  • This accounts for calling contractors before their bill for work at the Carr-Chicka residence has often been composed. And so my head is shaking over my failure to write an essay about Craig Jordan, a Lab Technician who works for the Summit Medical Group in Summit, New Jersey. This essay has been in my “Come Up File” for perhaps two years now. That’s far too long, so as soon as a few essay preliminaries are observed, there will be a short essay about a most accomplished professional phlebotomist, Craig Jordan. Professionalism has always seemed like a most desirable characteristic in earthly endeavors. Perhaps we ought to start with the Great Depression of 1929-1942 which meant that workers and executives had to make do with what they had. As a matter of fact, World War II was fought by children of the Great Depression. For many years, it fell to me to be acquainted with Al Goebel, a fellow AT&T employee. Putting it succinctly, Al Goebel was in many respects, the most pompous fellow it has been my misfortune to know. But in between all the pomposity, Goebel had some wisdom that greatly appealed to me. Goebel was a B-29 pilot in the Pacific in World War II. Al had been shot at and there were occasions when he feared his B-29 bomber would not make it off the hastily constructed wartime runways in the islands of the Pacific. Goebel contended that for our generation, the strongest influences in our lives were the Great Depression and World War II. That had my full endorsement. Then Goebel would say we were the right generation to fight the war because growing up during the Depression, taught us the value of things and to improvise where the right tool or right part was unavailable. In short, it was Al Goebel’s point that if we did not have a part or a tool, the Depression generation was accustomed to doing whatever was necessary to get the job done. From that experience flows practical expertise and, if you will, a sense of professionalism. There were no schools to teach grace under fire. It had to be done regardless of the drawbacks. Professionals can handle those kinds of do or die situations. And so in my experience, people who show professionalism acquired largely on the job, have my complete admiration. Al Goebel may have been pompous, but in this case he made eminent sense. Carl Schroth was a professional of that sort. Carl ran a Mobilgas station in Clayton, Missouri. Many of his clientele were uncommonly wealthy people who lived in Clayton, a prosperous suburb of St. Louis. In 1937 when this essayist had reached his 15th birthday, Carl hired me to work in his filling station. The elder statesman under Carl Schroth was good old Charlie Kosta, who could make an engine start after everyone else had given up. Carl had a 1927 Packard coupe that he had converted into a tow truck because it had a powerful engine. About one mile from Carl’s station was a fancy subdivision that offered houses built as though they were European castles. During the Christmas holidays every year, these wealthy people would have some boisterous parties. When the parties ended, it seemed that at least two or three celebrants would drive their cars off the icy private roadways and would find themselves mired in a ditch. And so Carl Schroth’s filling station was called to set the stricken cars back on the roadway. On the Packard converted tow truck, there was no top to cover the driver and his helpers. There was a windshield but nothing else. Heaters at that time were unheard of. So the exposed tow truck ride made us anxious to get the stricken cars out of the ditch so that we could return to the warmth of the filling station. The people who had driven their cars off the road were assumed to be wealthy people visiting other wealthy people. Once a car was winched out of a ditch, the owner would be reminded the charges would be something like $10 or $15 for an ordinary pullout. On New Year’s Eve, the price would creep more toward $20 if the hour was late and if the rain and snow were still at it. On this evening, Carl Schroth and Charlie Kosta were working with me on rescuing wealthy drivers. In this case, after the car was restored to the icy roadway, Carl or Charlie again told the owner that the cost of our services would be $15. This amount had been agreed to by the car owner before winching work started. Here, after his car was pulled out of the ditch, this fellow told Carl and Charlie that he did not want to pay the agreed upon price for the pullout. It was cold and from my wrestling with the stricken car to get the winch chains attached to the bumper or the axle, my clothing was pretty well soaked. Charlie and Carl and your old essayist were in no mood to bargain at 2AM, even if there was a depression on. Carl and Charlie listened to the owner of the car as he said $15 was simply too much. Now comes my introduction to professionalism in pulling people out of ditches. New Balance Mujer As soon as the owner said for the second time that he was not going to be held up by filling station grease monkeys, Carl and Charlie stood on opposite sides of the car – and silently pushed it back into the same hole that it had occupied before. From this experience, it became clear that customers ought to be treated courteously, but if they intended to put down men who wore work clothes, there would be a price to be paid. As soon as the three of us climbed aboard our Packard tow truck and started to leave, good common sense came over the owner of the ditched car who now wanted to pay the agreed upon rate. Charlie Kosta who was driving the Packard never stopped, so this story has no end as far as the three of us were concerned. But the point was made in my young mind. People who perform a vital service on a night filled with snow and sleet deserve to be paid. Failing such payment, professionalism dictates that there should be no more investment in the venture. The impression left in my mind is only half of the conclusion of that early morning trip. It must be assumed that the owner of the car must also have derived a lesson from what Carl Schroth and Charlie Kosta did on that occasion. For my part, it was resolved in my mind that messing with Carl and Charlie was not a profitable proposition. They were first class professionals.


    As time went on, St. Louis Cardinal ballplayers, Enos Slaughter, Pepper Martin and Stan Musial were professionals who gained my admiration. They were something like Franklin Roosevelt, that is someone to be admired from afar. Closer to home were some of the other GI’s with whom this old soldier served. Many of these people became professionals in the military sense. One was Mike Molinari who was in charge of combat aircraft electrical problems. Mike worked for a newspaper in civilian life, but once he joined the Air Force, he became a professional electrician in charge of our early stage electronic equipment. Working for AT&T led me to the vast numbers of women employed in the traffic operations in St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago and in New York. These women were tough as nails if they concluded they were being cheated or being run over. But from my long association with them, they were people of unshakeable loyalty. They were not as well paid as many of us would have preferred, but when a call had to go through or when a party had to be found, the AT&T traffic women were without parallel. No greater professionalism may be found in all of AT&T’s many thousands of employees. When there were physical problems that hospitalized me in the Army, the professionalism of the Corps of Nurses was immediately apparent. Now in later life as hospitalization is required, the professionalism of civilian nurses earns my admiration. For several years, it was my pleasure to be a friend of Charles Lee Brown, the Chairman of the Board of AT&T. Charlie’s brain put him in the genius class. His position as the head of America’s largest corporation did not affect his dedication to doing the right thing. Charlie was a bargainer on two of my bargaining teams in negotiation with the Communication Workers of America. Even under duress, Charlie never put down any of the union people even if some of their proposals were bizarre. Canotte Portland Trail Blazers Charlie was a good man in my estimation and he performed all his AT&T jobs with distinction and professionalism. There are literally hundreds of cases where people have displayed expertise and professionalism. This week, Matt Pepe and his sons laid a new driveway at this house. Matt Pepe has performed work for me for more than 40 years. There are no schools that teach concrete and paving work as far as can be determined. Matt Pepe learned on the job and his two sons have profited from the expertise he has learned. If anyone needs concrete or paving work to be done, members of the Pepe clan are first class professionals who appear on time and who do not dawdle about the job. It is completed with dispatch. nike air max 2016 blauw One more case of professionalism out of thousands, now comes to mind because we see him twice a week. Daniel Commodore, an immigrant from Ghana, has established himself as a first class fish monger in a large Whole Foods grocery store near us. Only a professional could skin a fish as Daniel does. He comes by his craft naturally, it may be supposed, as his father was a fisherman in Ghana which used to be called The Gold Coast. Daniel is not only an excellent fish monger, but he is a bright and friendly person. It is a pleasure for my wife and for me to count old Daniel as our friend. His cohorts at the Whole Foods fish counter are Janice Williamson and Robert Lopresti. They are also professionals in dealing with fish. It was obvious that undertaking an essay about professionalism would mean that it would be impossible to cite every such case. To all those cases which are not included in this essay about professionalism, this old essayist extends his apology. Nike Air Max 2016 Dames blauw If we were to write of every case of professionalism that has happened to me, this essay would be unending. It is hoped that the reader will understand.

  • And besides, this was supposed to be a salute to the honorable Craig Jordan in a tribute that has been put off for more than two years. Craig works in the Lab at the Summit Medical Group. For many years, cardiologists at the Summit Medical Group have been watching the composition of my blood. If it gets too thick, there is a possibility of severe coronary problems. If it gets too thin, some of the same problems may also arise. What is being offered here is my interpretation of a cardiac procedure which will never be included in a medical textbook. Now to see that my blood is the proper fluidity, the medics have devised a method called a Protime reading which measures how Coumadin has affected my blood and its consistency. This is all well and good to measure the consistency of my blood, but to do so requires the efforts of a phlebotomist who draws the blood to be submitted to the Protime procedure. Drawing blood from a patient is not necessarily a happy procedure. When a phlebotomist is encountered, an arm is extended and the needle to withdraw the blood goes in around the elbow. Nike Free Running Every time a Protime reading is required, blood must be withdrawn. Because the reading must be taken sometime at weekly intervals, the arm develops scar tissue which tells the phlebotomist that he must go someplace else to insert the needle. Canotte OKC Thunder Most often if the elbow area is foreclosed to the phlebotomist, he or she will then go to the large veins on top of the hands. From the patient’s point of view, only a masochist would enjoy blood being drawn. Some phlebotomists are more skilled than others and some are more dedicated to their craft. The objective for both the patient and the phlebotomist is to make the procedure as painless as possible and to get the work finished as quickly as possible. Because it has been necessary to draw blood for repeated Protime readings, it has become clear that some phlebotomists are better at their craft than others. And that, dear readers, brings us at last to the consummate pro of all phlebotomists. Today, there is a procedure to take a small amount of blood from one of the fingers, which obviates the need to draw blood from the arm. But in former days, it was a case of drawing blood from the arm every week or two weeks. Whenever possible, it was my intention to ask that my blood be drawn by Craig Jordan because he did the work as pain free as possible and he did not dawdle in getting the test tube filled. This may be hard to believe, but there have been occasions when Craig released the rubber band on my arm and started to put a small bandage on the puncture, and this old patient would ask, “How is it coming along?” The Craig Jordan answer was, “It’s all over.” Where Craig Jordan learned his craft is unknown to me. Aside form being a first class professional phlebotomist, Craig is a thoroughly pleasant person who would always be welcome in our home. A week or two ago, the cardiologist ordered blood to be drawn. It had been some time since it was necessary to visit the Labs. In passing, the receptionist Monica was asked if Craig would happen to be around. Monica said he was still at work at the Labs and would it please me to have the work performed by Mr. Jordan. My reply was an enthusiastic “yes” and soon old Craig showed up and went to work. In a short while, this ancient patient wanted to know how the work was going, and Mr. Jordan said he was finished. As always, it was as close to painless as it could possibly be. As you can see, professionalism has my highest regard whether it is pouring concrete, or skinning a fish or a big shot such as Charlie Brown being decent to the little people he had to deal with. And so it is that Craig Jordan has my vote and my endorsement for the Phlebotomists Hall of Fame because of his complete professionalism. That is only the half of it because Craig is a most pleasant man who would be called a good guy. It has taken me two years to get this essay written, but all along, my view of Craig has not changed at all. Maillot NBA The encounter last week, simply confirmed the view that Craig Jordan belongs in the top tier of his craft. Tennis Nike France In a way, it is regrettable that Al Goebel, the old B-29 pilot, did not live long enough to be a patient in the hands of Craig Jordan. My bet is that pompous old Al would say that Mr. Jordan can do his phlebotomist thing on him at any time. And Goebel might even agree to tell Craig a Depression tale or a B-29 story from the Pacific. Al clearly was pomposity personified, but he was a fine story teller. Perhaps Craig would be interested in what Al Goebel had to say as long as the story was completed by the time Craig had done his phlebotomist thing. E. E. CARR May 20, 2004 ~~~ Kevin’s commentary: Phlebotomy has come a long way since the days of leeching, it sounds like. I had no idea that the veins in ones hands would make good targets for taking blood. I guess it’s pretty easy to find them, though, so why not? Thanks to the magic of Google, I was able to track ol’ Craig down pretty quickly. He’s a motivational speaker now, which is pretty cool. I think I’ll send him a link to this essay, to let him know that his talent stood out to Pop so much that he wrote an essay about it. Who knows if he’ll remember an old patient from fifteen years ago, but I think it’d be fun to read this even if he doesn’t.   UPDATE: Craig responded right away! He wrote: Hello all. I am Craig Jordan. Mr. Carr was a great man who made everyone smile when he came to the lab. I had the pleasure of being chosen by Mr. Carr to perform his phlebotomy procedure when he came to the lab and it was an honor and a pleasure to do so. Mr. Carr always put a smile on my face and laughter in my voice. Mr. Carr was an inspiration to us and a joy to be around. Although he is not here, he has not left my heart and thoughts. Mr. Carr motivated me then and is motivating me now. This essay is moving and heartfelt. It will live with me for as long as I live. Rest in Heaven Mr. Carr.

    OH, DIDN’T HE RAMBLE | Meditations: Chapter 17, Verses Amu to Emu

    For good reasons, New Orleans remains in the news. Its prominence in the news may go on for years. Two events account for our attention to New Orleans these days. The first is the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Missouri Tigers Jerseys The second is a presumably powerful prayer released by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian who claims that he is responsible for the insurgency in Iraq. So that there is no mistake of any kind, the author of this essay is no Methodist Bishop. He is unaffiliated with any religion and accepts the discipline of no faith. Accordingly, his views on religious matters are offered as distinctly objective observations. The questions that are asked herein are intended to fill in the holes of a non-believer’s intellect. And so we start with Abu Musan al-Zarqawi. This past week, al-Zarqawi announced that Hurricane Katrina came about as the result of prayers directed by himself and other Muslim faithful to Allah, who presumably resides in Paradise. New Balance Niño While Paradise seems to be located somewhere in outer space, it would seem to occupy a different location from the Heaven that Christians aspire to.

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  • For example, Roman Catholics insist that their church is the only true church. Joseph Ratzinger, the Bishop of Rome and the current Pope, probably would take enormous objection to having an Islamic Paradise located anywhere near the Heaven that is presided over by the Christian Trinity. It is possible that outer space may become cluttered with Paradises and Heavens when the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Seventh Day Adventists and other faiths construct their final resting place. nike pas cher Al-Zarqawi insists that his praying to Allah brought Katrina to New Orleans. asics buty sklep online He may have been inspired by a group of militant branch of the Jewish faith who invoked an ancient prayer to have Itzak Rabin assassinated. Currently, the Jewish radicals are praying for the assassination of Ariel Sharon because of his removal of Jews from Gaza. As you can see, the air waves are filled with prayers including those importuning the various Gods to kill their enemies. UCF Knights Jerseys As an objective observer and as a former AT&T employee, it would seem to me that there is a high likelihood that such prayers may well arrive at the wrong destination. Consider the Bishop of Rome, a celibate old man, mistakenly asking Allah to reserve 50 young virgins for his arrival. Even AT&T in its heyday could not fully guarantee that every call would always reach the desired party. nike air max 90 pas cher So the Bishop of Rome has to expect a wrong number now and then. So your author finds himself in a state of total confusion. New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are located in what most people would consider a Christian country. Even the underclass consisting mostly of black people is similar to the days of slavery described in the Christian Bible. The question that must be answered is where was the Christian Trinity when Katrina set out to destroy the homes, the lives and the jobs for so many Christians? Did the Trinity agree that New Orleans and the Gulf Coast would be destroyed? Or was it a case of not caring about the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama one way or another? Could it possibly be that al-Zarqawi and that miserable SOB Satan were in a position to answer the prayers of the Muslims? If that is the case, it would appear that Allah and/or Satan is more powerful than the Trinity. That would seem to be the case when logic is applied.

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  • A similar case happened last January when 2,000,000 people lost their lives in the tsunami in South East Asia. Most of those people were Muslims, if they had any religion at all. Did the Christian Trinity take a pass on that non-Christian tragedy or was it, as in Katrina, overpowered? It would be good to have a reasoned discussion on these events. These are age old questions. It seems to me that if death is unavoidable, which it is, there is no better place for it to happen than in New Orleans, hence the title of this piece. It seems to me that New Orleanians often share a philosophy that enhances my life. Dying is part of living. In my view, life ends after a time and thoughts of endless ecstasy in a Heaven or a Paradise are no more than figments of a lively imagination by preachers. adidas ultra boost męskie In New Orleans, when a person dies and is to be buried, often in above ground cemeteries, there is ordinarily a parade to the cemetery led by a brass band. The procession to the cemetery is accompanied by slow steps to hymns played by the band. When the burial is accomplished, the work of the band really only starts. On the way to the cemetery, the band plays such old time hymns as, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” or “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, I’ll Be There.” These are religious pieces, of course. Ah, but on the way back to town, the band will probably play, “Struttin’ with Some Barbeque” and certainly, “Oh, Didn’t He Ramble,” neither of which would be played by a proper Yankee church organist. W. C. Handy wrote the words to “Oh, Didn’t He Ramble.” Louis Armstrong added some lyrics. The two versions are similar in most respects.

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  • It may be instructive to quote a verse or two.

  • The first is from Louis Armstrong, the second is from W. C. Handy.

    “He slipped into a cat house and made love to the stable Madam caught him cold….said I’ll pay you when I’m able Six months passed…and she stood all she could stand She said buddy when I’m through with you Old groundhog gonna be shaking yo’ hand.”

    by Louis Armstrong

    “He rambled into an Irish wake one St. Patrick’s night, They asked him what he’d like to drink, they meant to treat him rightly But like the old Kilkenny cats, their backs began to arch, When he called for orange phosphate, on the seventeenth of March.”

    by W. C. Canotte Detroit Pistons Handy

    The chorus is:

    “And didn’t he ramble…he rambled Rambled all around – in and out of town Oh didn’t he ramble – he rambled You know he rambled – till the butcher cut him down.”

    The words may not make perfect sense, but for goodness sakes, this is a New Orleans jazz song written for a brass band. If al-Zarqawi came to New Orleans and died, it would be my guess that a brass band would play “Struttin’ with Some Barbeque” and “Oh, Didn’t He Ramble” with an Islamic lilt. As W. C. Handy wrote, “They meant to treat him rightly.” When all is said and done, this old soldier-essayist does not believe al-Zarqawi’s prayers to Allah caused the catastrophe in New Orleans. No way. Nor did his prayers cause Hurricane Rita. The same thought applies when Christians of the U.S. importune Jesus and the Holy Ghost to grant us success in the occupation of Iraq and the torture of prisoners there and at Gitmo. Prayers exist to please the one who prays. As far as anyone can find out, prayers seem to change nothing. Maybe that is enough and maybe it is not. adidas superstar donna A case in point is Rose, my sister-in-law. She and my eldest brother, Charles Halley were married about when the Hoover Depression hit. Charley was dogmatic about most things in life. Rose assumed his dogmatic attitude was intelligence, so she accepted Charley’s views on everything. asics gel lyte 5 hombre blancas When Charley went off the deep end on Christianity, Rose followed him. Nike Scarpe Italia Some time around the age of 60, Charley died. Some time later a fatal illness overtook Rose. It was clear that she would never leave the hospital alive. Nike Air Max 90 2015 Pour Femme It was my duty to help good old Rose. When a Person-to-Person call was placed from my office or residence, the person who answered was told by the local operator that “New York is calling Rose Carr.” Word got around that Rose had a well wisher in New York who called her St. Louis hospital. It may have given her some pleasure and prestige in her final days. In my last call, Rose, a fervent believer in prayer, notified me that she had succeeded in “getting three churches” to pray for her. The prayers in those three churches may have pleased the ones who prayed, but Rose died a day or so after our last conversation. The prayers seemed to be unanswered.

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  • So the message is clear for al-Zarqawi in Iraq or for some evangelical Nazarenes in St. Louis. Prayers may make the ones praying feel better, but they have no effect at changing the course of events in our lives. But if people feel better by praying, please let them do it. E. E. Landry Jones – Oklahoma Sooners CARR September 17, 2005 ~~~ Prayer for health is a little tricky. It turns out that not only is there no correlation between prayer and better results, if you tell someone that people are praying for him, he’s likely to do worse than he would do normally. But in addition to doing nothing for the victim (in a best-case scenario), I think prayer also has an adverse impact on the person praying. I don’t like it for the same reason that I don’t like other token, meaningless gestures of support — it makes you feel like you’ve done your part even though you haven’t. Air Jordan 7 If there’s a really important cause out there, people who post a token supportive Tweet and people who send out a prayer are making the same mistake; they’re tricking their own minds into thinking that they’ve Made a Difference. In reality this creates a sort of compassion fatigue, wherein these same people are less likely to actually go to a protest, write to a congressperson, etc; they feel like they’ve already contributed toward this goal, so they don’t need to take additional measures of support. That’s bad. So I guess the takeaways here are that if you’re going to pray for someone, by no means tell them that you’re doing so, and if you’re going to pray for something, remember that God helps those who help themselves.

    FROM VAUDEVILLE TO MLK, JR. | Meditations 16, Anonymous Verses

    Vaudeville is now largely dead having been a victim of first radio comedians and later, the comedies appearing on television. In the Catskill Mountain of New York, where many of its patrons are Jewish, there still are “tummlers” who tell Yiddish jokes and who good naturedly insult guests. Nike Air Odyssey My recollection of vaudeville goes back to the Garrick Theater in St. Louis prior to the start of World War II. One standard vaudeville joke had a man with a cigar saying he had told a female, “If I don’t get what I am here after, you will be here after I am gone.” In the days before television, that line was greeted by hearty laugher from the basically male audience. Many of us regret the passing of vaudeville, but this Meditation is not about its unfortunate demise. It is more about the hereafter as reflected by ecclesiastical figures in the news these days. You’ve heard about the Reverend Pat Robertson’s statement on behalf of the U.S. Government that Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, should be assassinated. Well, there was more, starting with Bill Frist, who is a big shot leader of the United States Senate. Verse 1: Frist the Theologian By training, Bill Frist is a heart surgeon. He claims to have transplanted several hearts. An urgency of one kind or another led him to Republican politics where he is now the majority leader of the U.S.

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  • Senate. Frist has always done everything the White House demanded. And so a few weeks back it came as a surprise for Frist to make a semi-break with the Supreme Commander – Bush, not God – on the issue of stem cell research. He stated the obvious that our present policy would leave us far behind in the effort to cure ailments such as Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord cases. Frist called the White House with the hope that they would not be too angry with him for his proposal that we ought to work on stem cells beyond what Bush had said were the limits. Memphis Grizzlies Then Frist took part in a televised broadcast to churches which was right out of the neo-conservative Republican playbook. Activist judges, abortion, same sex marriages and the like. He was dead set against all of them. Before that, Frist had lent his medical knowledge to a TV examination of Terri Schiavo whom he declared as certainly not in a vegetative state. The autopsy proved otherwise and Frist said he had made no diagnosis of her condition in spite of the TV record of his action. By now, it must be clear that we are dealing with a dishonest politician. Frist, who is a Southern Baptist, espouses as all his brethren do, that everyone who intends to go to heaven, must be born again. Yet for political purposes, he adopted the Catholic doctrine that life begins at conception. My suggestion to Frist is that he should simply claim that all applicants to heaven should have undergone not only the born again requirement, but the conceived again experience as well. This is called, in Southern Baptist circles, playing God across the board. nike tn Femme Now we find that Frist, in a bow of obeisance to Bush, has announced that he too believes in Intelligent Design. Gravity, for example, got that way because it was the product of Intelligent Design. Before ID, things could not be held down due to the absence of gravity, hence the surfeit of paper weights. So you can see that the pious such as Bill Frist would have us making vegetative state individuals live forever with the belief in being conceived again all in the name of some anonymous Intelligent Designers.

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  • It is no wonder that my hopes for angel wings seem out of the question until all this is settled. One thing that can be settled now, is that Bill Frist is an opportunist and among the most stupid of all politicians. It wouldn’t surprise me if he will do well in the Republican presidential race. Verse 2: Standing Shiva Among those who subscribe to the Jewish faith, there is a lovely tradition that needs greater acceptance and encouragement. Upon the death of a member of the family, the survivors gather for a seven day period of mourning. Friends are encouraged to join in this ceremony by meeting with the family and recalling pleasant memories of the departed one. The process is called a “Shiva.” The colloquial term for this ceremony is called “Sitting Shiva” primarily because the participants sit in a home to recall pleasant memories. As this custom is adopted by the Gentile population – or at least this one Gentile essayist – it must undergo one basic change which will probably be acceptable to Jewish clerics. The Gentiles, at least in my case, will not be Sitting Shiva, but rather, Standing Shiva. There is a reason for this revised designation which it is hoped will not offend any of my Jewish friends. Upon my departure to heaven where angel wings will be installed on my back using Phillips head screws, instructions have been left to my survivors that a small party should be held. It will be a one afternoon affair as contrasted with the Jewish seven day period of mourning. Everyone will be asked to appear say between 2PM and 4PM, which means that there will not be sufficient seats for everyone, thus my mourners will have to stand. Ole Miss Rebels A second thusly is that the Shiva will become a Standing Shiva. New Balance 678 hombre It seems to me that pleasant memories can be recalled standing up as well as sitting down. On the other hand, at that point, my views may well be ignored. We are not done yet. Nike Free Run Mens Shoes
    Trevone Boykin Jerseys If the cost of living stays in the same general ball park, it is planned to offer the mourners a glass or two of champagne on the ground that a drink of that bubbly stuff will encourage positive recollections as distinguished from dire memories. This may look like the mourners are being bought off, but my wife, the estimable Miss Chicka, will have additional supplies of champagne to dispel any thoughts of corrupting the audience in my favor. Taking a page from the Bush campaign, each mourner will be asked to sign a pledge before being admitted to the Shiva that each utterance will start with, “That Ed Carr was a great guy.” Standing on both feet, drinking the best extra dry brut champagne may be the best innovation in history to come along for what would normally be a doleful time. Remember, this innovation was NOT brought to you by Christian doctors, preachers and monsignors. Curry Due Bambini It is brought to you by a non-involved, non-believer who believed that going out in style called for a toast or two of dry brut champagne which is the only way to go. Verse 3: Ray Charles’ Mistake Ray Charles was an excellent entertainer. His style was all his own. Miami Heat He died earlier this year after having reached his seventies. adidas stan smith 2 noir blanc If you have forgotten him, he was a blind piano player-singer. He also fathered 12 children by eight different women, which is an accomplishment by itself. Air Jordan Retro 6 Not long before he died, Charles told Ed Bradley from 60 Minutes, that his blindness detracted only about one percent from his enjoyment of life. A large, rousing dissent arises from your ancient essayist. Canotta New York Knicks In the days of my soldiering, about every GI would say that Ray Charles is politely full of spit. Sorry to say, soldiers talked like that. When your eyesight is compromised, walking becomes a chore watching out for cracks in the sidewalk or holes in the road. There are times when it is difficult to see if the road is cleared of traffic. Curbs are a menace. When your vision is limited, it is difficult to find your way when paths diverge. The situation at night is considerably worse as there is no structure for orientation. Nighttime may result in walking into telephone poles and all kinds of obstructions. People with compromised sight tend to walk tentatively. In the world of boxing, when a fighter is on his heels, as distinguished from his toes, it is likely that disaster awaits him. People with compromised vision tend to walk on their heels because of their fear of taking the wrong path and/or because of fear of running into an obstacle. Indoors, there are all sorts of things that may be knocked over by not being seen. Salt shakers, small potted plants and fine glassware only starts the list. This is not to say that people with compromised eyesight have no reason for not continuing to live and to enjoy life. Of course not. Air Jordan 9 Retro On the other hand, it says that adjustments have to be made which can be done. But they are adjustments that people with ordinary sight don’t have to make. There are two points to be made. The first is that people with compromised sight seek no sympathy. One way or another, they will endure. The second point is that Ray Charles, who said that complete lack of sight only detracts one percent from the joy of living, was in the words of old GI’s, completely full of spit. Now if Ray Charles were to talk about his exploits with women, we would all listen and pay attention. Twelve children by eight women – or was it twelve women and eight children – whatever – that is indeed impressive. Ray Charles should have stuck to music and women and forgotten about enjoyment of life. Finally, Ray Charles told Ed Bradley that “You can only make love to one woman at a time.” We wonder what that was all about. Verse 4: Sunday Segregation Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis on April 28, 1968 by James Earl Ray. nike dunk 2007 Sometime before his untimely death, Reverend King once observed that 11AM on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of the week. Indeed, it is. When politicians campaign, they embrace brotherhood of all kinds. When preachers enunciate their sermons, one would think that love of ones fellow man was an idea endorsed by everyone. When the Army sets out to recruit African American youth, one might believe the Army is a benevolent place of love and understanding. George and Ira Gershwin had it right when they wrote, “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from Porgy and Bess. In New Jersey where this is being written, there are no laws of segregation. buy ffxiv gil People can pick their churches or charitable organizations or political parties. Taking one thing with another, those New Jerseyans seem inclined to associate with others who are similar to themselves. That is a shame for white people. They miss out on all the good fun and ironic humor of the African Americans who work with them or who serve them. It is a grave mistake to conclude that the good natured African American is unaware of the prejudice taking place all around him in his daily life. Those who find themselves entangled with the police know that there is no such thing as innocence until proven guilty. Those folks know that their job mobility is often foreclosed and that they often work for a lower wage than their white counterparts. In this general neighborhood, there is a church service on one day of the year that brings together two black Baptist churches and a white Presbyterian establishment. That happens on Dr. King’s birthday. That is good as far as it goes, but it does not alter Dr. King’s observation that 11AM on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in the week. nike chaussures pas cher Maybe it will get better – and maybe it won’t. But my long held conviction is that being friendly with – and showing respect for African Americans – will bring a greatly increased joy to life. It is one more way to honor Doctor King’s life and accomplishments. E. E. CARR August 27, 2005 ~~~ Pop’s Shiva did in fact take place in a restaurant in the afternoon, and if memory serves, it featured champagne. I’m pretty sure we sat down, though, but still — pretty darn close. As far as blindness goes, I’d hazard that losing one’s sight at age seven is a lot different from losing it at age 85. I’d imagine that if you ask someone who has been blind for decades and decades how much of a problem blindness poses to their daily life, they are likely to downplay that percentage, because they don’t remember it any other way.


    Last December when I wrote the essay “Sing No Sad Songs for This Old Geezer,” it was intended primarily to tell my friends about the onset of blindness.

  • Your responses have been overwhelmingly generous and I am deeply touched. air max 90 femme noir et rose et blanc I am not that good and not that courageous. new balance femme 996 bleu et or The situation now is very much like it was in the melancholy days of World War II during the North African and Italian campaigns. At that time, it was my intention to do my duty, and to get from one day to the next without being killed. NIKE ROSHE RUN That is not necessarily courage; it is a matter of survival.

  • Your generous responses have led me to produce another few essays. The first two, dated before October 31, when the lights were turned out, were written by hand. On several occasions, I found that the right-hand margin of the paper did not stop my pen from writing. It just went on to the desk. Clearly, at that point I was becoming blind. The later essays, dated in the current year, were dictated rather than written. New Balance 999 mujer This is a difficult form for me to master, as I have always written essays in long hand until this time. Dictating without notes is a difficult exercise, but it is slowly being mastered. In the old days, there were essays that wrote themselves. In the new days of dictating, essays don’t write themselves anymore. About the closest I could come to having an essay write itself is the one called “…He Kept It For Hisself.” I hope you enjoy reading the essays. Nike Free Run 2
    Speaking of the onset of blindness, my old friend Howard Davis posed a question to me that required very little in terms of preparing an answer. asics gel pulse 8 męskie Howard, as you may know, is the poet laureate of Defiance, Missouri, a job that pays something in excess of two million dollars or dinars a year. Howard asked me what was the last thing I saw before they turned the lights out. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles I am sure Howard envisioned a bed of daffodils or roses growing on a trellis or some romantic thing that would enhance his poetry. In point of fact, however, as much as it may disappoint Colonel Davis, the last thing I saw before the lights went out was the precious commode in the pre-op room in the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. buy bns gold I don’t know how Howard will make a poem out of that situation, but that is not mine to question. nike air max 1 ultra flyknit femme It is up to Professor Davis whom I know will make an epic poem which may be an ode to a commode. Denver Nuggets Air Max 2017 Dames groen I hope you enjoy reading the essays. nike air max 2016 goedkope The newer ones, written by dictating, require a lot of polish. Georgia State Panthers Kånken Laptop 13 They are not as well written as those written earlier in long hand. But be that as it may, this is the current state of affairs. Again, I thank you for your very generous comments with respect to “Sing No Sad Songs For This Old Geezer.” As I said earlier, I just am not that good. E. Nike Air Foamposite Pro E. CARR March 5, 2006 ~~~ Below, I’ve linked my best guesses for the essays that he’s referring to. nike pas cher I’m pretty sure about the first two, but the second two come AFTER this note is dated, so I don’t know what the deal is with that. They’re all about blindness, though.

    BITS AND PIECES – PART II – “Piling On”

    When an essayist collects miscellaneous items for a Bits and Pieces essay, it is inevitable that some of the items have to do with thoughts we would all like to avoid. For nearly two years now, for example, the United States has been engaged in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This sort of adventure inevitably means that death becomes one of the subjects that we are forced to deal with. But this essay is about more than the deaths incurred in our engagement in the Middle East. It asks a question about why is the end of life presaged by diminished performances or failures in the other organs of the body than the initially afflicted one. When a person falls prey to one bodily failure, why is it the case that often other failures also make a debilitating appearance. And so this section of Bits and Pieces poses a conundrum about piling on. We will try to make the subject as palatable as possible. PILING ON – A PHILOSOPHICAL CONUNDRUM If Merriam Webster is to be believed, a conundrum is a question having only a conjectural answer. It may be said that my conjectural answer is no better or worse than anyone else’s conjectural answer.

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  • In short, there are no real answers to conundrums. This conundrum goes along this line. When the end of life is approaching, why is it often the case that the “soon to die” person finds herself or himself burdened by other ancillary ailments? When a man is dying of heart problems, why, for example, is it necessary to burden him further with a loss of hearing or diminished eye sight? When an aged person who has trouble merely walking, might also find himself or herself dealing with complications of electrolyte imbalance. Why is that so? When my older brother was bedridden with Parkinson’s disease, why did he have to endure blindness and stomach problems? Even his preachers had no satisfactory answers. Cliff Pennington Jersey Children have a word for this situation. It is called piling on. In a football game, when the runner is brought down by a tackle or by tripping, it is considered the height of un-sportsmanlike behavior to pile on. Penalties are assessed for such conduct. Kentucky Wildcats In war, when a soldier is mortally wounded by enemy fire, he is permitted to spend the few remaining moments or minutes of his life in as much peace as the situation may offer. Even enemy soldiers would not attempt to kick him or to stab him. Again, why pile on? But in the general population, piling on happens all the time. Old folks have enough problems without being burdened by other disabilities or ailments. There is a certain randomness about who is afflicted with additional illnesses to go with the cause of their initial disability. Why all this happens is a matter of conjecture and guessing. There is no real answer. About all that may be said about the randomness of piling on is that it affects every class, every race, and every economic group. A rich religious person may find himself in the same hospital ward with a tapped out horse player who rejects the idea of any religious thought.

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  • So perhaps piling on might be called the great leveler. Speaking of randomness, a great many of us were born at a time when it was necessary to grow up during the Great Depression. Maglia DeMarcus Cousins The Depression, of course, was followed in 1941 by the Second World War. Nearly all the men known to me came out of that experience with a distinct aversion to the needless sacrifice of young lives. The pre-emptive war in Iraq has now taken 920 American lives as well as 122 others in the coalition. Best estimates are that there may be 20,000 casualties on the Iraqi side. The current administration tells us that these lives are being sacrificed to make us feel safe. The same administration almost daily warns us of an impending attack because they hear “chatter” on the Islamic and Arab networks. There is no reconciliation of these dire warnings which come from the same administration. So on top of growing older with all the attendant pains from the diseases of the aging, we have the threat of war. Perhaps this is the ultimate example of piling on. Eric Bogle was born a Scot who emigrated to Australia. He has written some outstanding anti-war songs that express the futility of armed conflict. nike tn requin pas cher VALCLEAN2 CMF He wrote a song called, “No Man’s Land.” It is also called, “The Green Fields of France” and “Willie McBride.” This is a song about the First World War, the war that was supposed to end wars. The song is about a young Irish Private, Willie McBride, who was killed in that war at age 19 in 1916. Bogle has written a powerful thought at the end of the first verse. The lines are:

    “Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean, Or, Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?”

    Perhaps all of us would prefer our ultimate demise would come in Eric Bogle’s words, as “quick and clean” rather than as “slow and obscene.” But unfortunately, many of us go the slow and obscene route for no apparent reason. Why this is so is unknown to all rational human beings. Religionists may give you an answer, but whatever they say is nothing more than a conjecture at best. And so the philosophical conundrum remains with us. Why is there a need to pile on? That is a question whose answer is now largely unknown to man. A final thought that also comes from Eric Bogle. It has to do with prolonged suffering. This line comes from his, “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” another anti-war song. nike capri uomo In the First World War, Winston Churchill was the Defence Minister for the British Empire. Churchill was an ardent advocate of the idea that the best way to attack Germany was to invade in the “soft underbelly of Europe.” The “soft underbelly” was in the vicinity of Gallipoli in Turkey, which is located on the Sea of Marmara. The Australian-New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was picked to neutralize Gallipoli and surrounding territory. The ANZAC’s met fierce resistance. Bogle said it “nearly blew us right back to Australia.” In his song, Bogle speaks of a soldier who lost both legs. Fjallraven Kanken Baratas NBA Canotte 2017 The song says, “Never knew there were worse things than dying.” If he was a young man, the agony and prolonged suffering probably extends over decades. The conundrum has to be why did it happen this slow and obscene way. new balance 1600 femme The prolonged suffering continues. Consider Max Cleland who lost both legs and his right arm at age 25 in the War in Vietnam. He is now about 60 years of age. sac a dos fjallraven Cleland went on to serve a term as a U.S. Senator from Georgia. He must know all “about piling” on a prolonged basis. nike air max 90 goedkoop In Part II of this Bits and Pieces essay, there is no glib and happy way to end this short discussion of a subject that is not a pleasant one. What we have tried to project is a pragmatic look at a miserable subject. Perhaps laughter and enjoyment will come from a subsequent essay. E. adidas stan smith argent E. albion silver CARR August 1, 2004 ~~~ This isn’t even a proper B&P essay, since it only has one topic. Chaussure Asics Pas Cher Fjallraven Kanken 20L I feel somewhat cheated; this is just a regular, sad, essay. I wonder what motivated Pop to write this one. It’s a pretty song, at least.


    From time to time, there are some shorter subjects that demand the attention of the essayist. To devote a whole essay to these transient items would probably be more than they deserve. On the other hand, to fail to comment on such items would be a significant injustice. And so what we have here is a collection of unrelated developments that are called – for want of better words – Bits and Pieces. You may recall in a recent essay called, “How I Became a Protestant,” there were allusions to the United States Army moving in mysterious ways. Greyson Lambert UGA Jersey In my case, the mysterious ways go back to 1942. From what we read some 62 years later, the Army continues to move in baffling ways. So we start out this edition of Bits and Pieces with a pair of Army stories. A 67 Year Old is Being Recalled for Active Duty After 41 years of active duty, Charles Ham, a Lexington, Kentucky psychiatrist, retired from the Army seven years ago. Colonel Ham thought he was finished with the United States Army after 41 years. adidas zx flux mujer Thinking in the Army is a dangerous proposition. This old essayist was told on several occasions during his World War II stint, that soldiers don’t get paid to think. The Army seems to believe that thinking soldiers are dangerous soldiers, hence the ban on cerebral activity. adidas neo donna It is amazing to this old soldier that Colonel Ham overlooked this basic fact of Army life. All of this comes about because Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld does not wish to concede that the Army needs more troops for the mission American soldiers have been asked to perform. Mark Herzlich Jersey So instead of taking in more troops, Rumsfeld and Company has elected to recall 5,600 long discharged veterans who thought their Army days were finished. It would be a matter of great interest to hear what those 5,600 former soldiers had to say when they figured out that the Army wanted to recall them again for active duty. While there is an urgent need for truck drivers, Humvee mechanics, and combat engineers, as well as administrative people, the Army says Colonel Ham is needed. As a psychiatrist, he may be called to deal with soldiers who are threatening suicide. The suicide rate in Iraq was found to be 17.3% per 100,000 soldiers compared to 12.8% for the Army overall. So maybe the Colonel will have some psychiatric work to do. Colonel Ham was told that he had a choice of serving three months in a combat zone or spending a year in a domestic military hospital. In any case, Colonel Ham looks like he is headed back to active duty even though he is 67 years old, is a grandfather on Medicare and a man who retired seven years ago from the U.S. Army. With the “stop loss” plan in effect, Colonel Ham might find himself in Army uniform when he celebrates his 75th birthday. If Colonel Ham is returned to active duty, it would seems only a matter of time until Rumsfeld summons soldiers of the World War II vintage. He had better act promptly as there are only less than 4 million of us left and we are dying at the rate of about 440,000 per year. In a year or two as we age, it may be expected that the rate will go to 500,000 every year. If Rumsfeld wants to recall me to active duty, he should be warned that this old essayist will refuse to accept the Army dictum that soldiers don’t get paid to think. As all WWII men are at the 80 plus year mark, there isn’t much else for us to do except think.

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  • And finding all of us may be a formidable chore. Nike Air Mag Colonel Ham said it best. nike air max 2017 pas cher homme He said, “If after seven years of retirement, the Army tracked me down, they sure ought to be able to find Osama Bin Laden.” It seems to me that the Colonel has a point there. In announcing the recall of oldsters such as Colonel Ham, the Army used a spokeswoman named Andrea Wales. Her rank is unknown. Spokeswoman Wales said that officers are considered to be management. It must be supposed that enlisted soldiers, who perform the grunt work in the Army, are considered non-management personnel. Spokeswoman Wales had more to say on the management issue. She said, “The Army puts a lot of money and time into training officers and expects them to rise to the occasion and lead soldiers.” So Colonel Ham, at age 67, is now supposed to lead soldiers in this holy war in Iraq. Something is wrong here. In any case, Spokesperson Wales made her announcement about all the money and training required of officers shortly after she said that the Army needed truck drivers, Humvee mechanics and combat engineers. Well now, this old combat Sergeant has two or three thoughts to offer Madam Wales with respect to the proposed recall. My technical training as an enlisted man took place largely on the second shift at Embry Riddell Flight School in Miami. One of the main ingredients in my training program was to avoid being killed because that generates enormous amounts of paper work which the Army would like to avoid. A second thought has to do with the fact that airplanes of WWII were propeller driven. On the second shift in the dark, it was essential that we try to avoid being killed by not backing into a rotating propeller on an engine being tested or as we would say, being “run up.” The instructor of our class said that rotating propellers would “make hamburger meat out of us” instantly. This may be a tautology about hamburger meat, but none of the non-management men ever backed into a rotating propeller, which might now make us eligible to be recalled. Brooklyn Nets My urgent suggestion for Rumsfeld is that the Army should consider recalling Admiral Harry Livermore of the Navy and Brigadier General Howard Davis of the 8th Air Force before any thought be given to my own recall. Those former officers have had excellent training and good eye sight which is required for truck drivers and Humvee mechanics. Both are a little older than this elderly writer which means that they have more experience to offer the Army. Their addresses are know to me which is better than Colonel Ham’s idea about finding Osama Bin Laden. Furthermore, both are Phi Beta Kappa candidates from Ivy League universities in the Midwest. On the other hand, my educational achievements ended at the high school level where it was difficult for me to write long sentences. Fractions and long division were beyond my understanding. In short, the Army would be infinitely better off recalling Davis and Livermore rather than to deal with my obvious shortcomings. My contribution will be to cheer as they are led away at the induction station. As soon as we can find out where Spokeswoman Wales works, my thoughts will be offered to her. If she tells me that enlisted men don’t get paid for thinking, perhaps that will be a sure sign that the Army has stayed true to its ideals. In other words, the Army has “stayed the course.” Finally, it is my fervent hope that Admiral Livermore and Brigadier Davis find Colonel Ham after their recall to active duty. Both of these gallant soldiers may need for the Colonel to provide psychiatric counseling as we stay the course in Iraq. new balance homme ml574 bleu For myself, there will be two blue stars in my living room window in tribute to those two fearsome soldiers. ABAPIA It goes without saying that blindness is never a laughing matter. Blindness causes a person to lead an entirely different lifestyle from the style he had planned. The loss of vision means that dreams have to be altered or forgotten. Nike Air Max TN Homme For a man, it means a sense of diminishment as he loses his independence and is forced to rely on the generosity of others. A woman must have the same reaction to the onset of blindness. There are, however, a couple of sidelights that go with the loss of visual acuity. The first involves a 24 year U. S. Army Ranger from Blairsville, Pennsylvania, named Sergeant Jeremy Feldbusch. In February of last year, Sgt. Feldbusch left for the war in Iraq. Two months later, he came back to the United States blind. The prognosis for him ever seeing again is dim or non-existent. On April 3rd, Sgt. Feldbusch was in a platoon of Rangers guarding the Haditha Dam, northwest of Baghdad along the Euphrates River. Nike Jordan 11 Future An artillery shell exploded about 100 feet away. Part of the shell’s casing sent an inch long piece of steel through his right eye. It tumbled through his sinuses and lodged in the left side of his brain.

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  • It severely damaged the optic nerve of his left eye and sprayed bone splinters throughout his brain. As you can imagine, the damage to his brain was severe. Butler Bulldogs His social skills and his personality were affected by damage to the brain’s frontal lobe. When this happens, people tend to become angry and more aggressive. In short, there is a significant change in their behavior. He remained in a coma for five weeks. When he emerged from his coma, surgeons at the Brooke Army Medical Center had done all they could do for him. And so this six foot two inch Ranger was sent home to Blairsville as a blind man. In December, 2003, the New York Times sent Jeffrey Gettleman to Blairsville to interview Sgt. Feldbusch. Soldes Asics 2017 Gettleman is a skilled reporter who has spent more than one tour in Iraq. The long report he filed with the Times perhaps said it all in its headline. It said, “A Soldier’s Return to a Dark and Moody World.” The Sergeant told Gettleman of the dreams and ambitions he had lost that day in Iraq. Becoming an Army officer is one ambition that has been lost. “Gone,” was the way Sgt. Feldbusch put it. It might be supposed that any plans of marriage or even taking a date out are probably also “gone.” Gettleman’s story in the Times is not an inspirational piece. It is nothing other than a pragmatic and a factual account of the life of a 24 year old blind man with brain damage. Not much inspiration in those facts. This old essayist likes to cite names and dates and pounds and square feet in his essays. In this case, the essayist misplaced the clipping about the visit of a blind World War II veteran had with Sgt. Feldbusch. But the facts are clear. The old soldier, who had heard about Gettleman’s Times story, went to Blairsville in an attempt to cheer up Sgt. Feldbusch. You will note that there is no indication that the old soldier went to Blairsville to “see” Sgt. Feldbusch. He “visited” him. While the two conversed, the old soldier disclosed that he had lost his vision in an infantry battle in World War II. In an effort to inspire Sgt. Canotta Atlanta Hawks Feldbusch, he recounted that after the Army discharged him, he ran a successful business. While running the business, he acquired a wife and seven children followed. So according to the old GI, blindness isn’t necessarily the end of the line.

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  • Before he left Sgt. Feldbusch, the old GI explained the doctrine of ABAPIA. This, of course, is an acronym much like the WWII expressions of SNAFU and FUBAR. ABAPIA has to do with water glasses being knocked over and doors that have moved enough to cause a blind man to hit his head on the jamb. Fjallraven Kanken Classic It has to do with asking for a drink of water because the blind man can’t locate the sink. And it has to do with stumbling on stairways because of miscalculations about where the steps are located. There is no problem about running down to the drug store to buy a newspaper because blind men can’t read or drive. And it also has to do with not watching a ball game. This is what ABAPIA is concerned with. The old GI tried to tell Sgt. Feldbusch that all these inconveniences are annoying, but the idea is to overcome them and make the best of a bad situation. There was no indication that Feldbusch bought the suggestion. There have been no recent reports from Blairsville, so we don’t know if Sgt. Feldbusch ever adopted the doctrine of ABAPIA. Every old soldier wishes him well, but it may be a long journey in a “Dark and Moody World.” For those of you who weren’t alive during World War II, SNAFU means “Situation Normal, All Fouled Up”. FUBAR is the acronym for “Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition.” Because this will be read by innocent angelic children, the real word that should be used when SNAFU and FUBAR are used is the “F” word and may be found on page 505 of the 11th Edition of the Merriam Webster Dictionary. Asics Onitsuka tiger męskie It is the indelicate word Chaney used in his diatribe against Senator Leahy. Now about ABAPIA. That means, “Ain’t Blindness a Pain in the Ass.” Many of us know a little about blindness and we are enthusiastic subscribers to the doctrine of ABAPIA. Perhaps it could be argued that the blind GI from World War II had no reason to intrude on Sgt Feldbusch’s “moody” existence. From my perspective, he was doing his best to help another soldier who was grievously wounded in battle. So my inclination is to salute the old GI and to thank him for his contribution of ABAPIA to the English language. E. E. CARR July 30, 2004 ~~~ I think Pop went completely blind in 2005, which was after this essay was published, so that puts a bit of an interesting spin on it. He was of course very familiar with blindness regardless since it ran (and continues to run) in his family. The real question though is whether being at risk for glaucoma and baldness — not sure which is worse — is worth the tradeoff for a slice of Pop’s wit. I’m leaning towards “yes,” but get back to me at 40 and 85. Poor Sgt. Feldbusch, though. One piece of metal taking out both eyes and part of the brain is pretty nuts. I want to call it a freak occurrence, but in war I guess that’s pretty par for the course. Despite the awful toll that blindness takes, I think that the personality changing element is probably the scariest part to me. Nike Air Max 90 Pas Cher Pour Femme It’s really easy to think of one’s “self” or “mind” as being distinct from the bunch of meat that it sits in, but the reality is that if you poke said meat the wrong way, you can become a completely different person. That feels incredibly wrong to me, but it is what it is. Alzheimer’s is similarly scary as hell. And on that happy note, see you for “How I Became a Protestant,” followed shortly by part 2 of this instance of Bits and Pieces.


    Word has reached these ears that you have expressed the view that life would not be worth living if blindness ever occurred to you. Compra Zapatillas Nike Online This letter is not meant to chastise or to criticize that point of view, because the author has had many of those same thoughts in recent years. I fully understand the thought about life not being worthwhile after blindness occurs. The purpose of this letter is to encourage you to consider the thoughts of a recently blinded man before your idea about life not being worthwhile is set in concrete. It seems to me that there may be some merit in the views of a person who recently became blind and who may offer some thoughts on the subject. My bona fides are fairly obvious. For eleven years, I did without the sight in my left eye due to an expulsive choroidal hemorrhage during a trabeculectomy which is a process aimed at relieving pressure on the optic nerve. nike air max homme pas cher This summer, the pressure apparently expanded in the right eye, and despite all efforts to save it, it was also lost. A trabeculectomy on the right eye was performed at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia in October and unfortunately, it did not restore my sight. So for better or for worse, I am now a completely blind man. I do not see shapes or shadows or anything of the sort, I simply stare into blank space. Womens Air Jordan 5 The major purpose of this letter to a friend is to tell you that it is still possible to enjoy life even after the devastating onset of blindness. I am trying to say that the onset of blindness does not mean the end of life. It just is not so. There is absolutely no gainsaying the fact that your life after blindness will change fairly dramatically, but that is not a reason to say, “I want to do away with my life because of blindness.” At this early stage in my blindness, the facts seem to say that blindness can be worked around and can be accommodated in spite of the debilitating effect it may have on a person. Clearly, a person afflicted by blindness will need a substantial amount of help. For example, I can no longer write checks. Mens Air Jordan 11 If I wrote a check, the bank would instantly reject it. There is a debate about eating because I am not yet ready, as a blind man, to appear in a public place to consume a meal because my eating habits have been altered by blindness. On the other hand, I have been able to resume many of my activities, starting with getting around the house, going shopping, and things of that nature. Being blind does not mean the end of everything. Nike Free Running Ray Charles, the entertainer who died recently, once contended that his blindness was only 1% of his total experience in living. Fjallraven Kanken No.2 I rejected that thought in an essay called “Ray Charles is Full of Spit.” Blindness is considerably more than 1% of a person’s living experience. Under Armour Curry 3.0 On the other hand, there is no reason to say that 99% of my life is now shot, therefore I will retire to a hole in the ground and pull the dirt in over me and wait until an angel comes to carry me away. Yes, you will need some help. Balancing your check book is one subject and reading a newspaper is another. Those things have to be worked out over time. But the burden of what I am trying to say is that those things are surmountable. North Carolina State Wolfpack Inne Buty Adidas Please understand that blindness cannot be defeated. free run 5.0 nero uomo It certainly can not. But it can be accommodated and lived with. When a thing is accommodated and lived with, there is no drastic reason to end one’s life. In the short time that I have been completely and totally blind, I have learned how to use the white cane and how to get around the house, not totally easily but with a modest degree of proficiency. As each day passes, it seems to me that my repertoire of experiences as a blind man grows slowly and so, in time, I hope to live a life resembling the life I had when I could see. I know that will never happen, but it is something to strive for. When one considers what has happened to the people, to the soldiers, who have been badly injured and mutilated in Iraq, those of us who are blind have absolutely no reason to moan about it. A news report a week ago portrayed a 21 year old soldier who not only was brain damaged, his eyes were shot, he was blind, he was unable to breathe, and he had to be fed through a hole in his throat. Good gracious, that is nothing compared to a man like me who even at 83½ years is able to exercise 4 days a week and is capable of doing a lot of things. When I see a report about what we are doing to our soldiers in Iraq, I am angry beyond reason. Denver Pioneers But it also demonstrates the fact that those fellows have a lot more reason to want to end their lives than those of us who acquired blindness late in life. Air Jordan 1 For Kids Oklahoma State Cowboys I hope this gives you a thought or two about ending your life. As I conclude this letter, I wish to point out that blindness does not flow from any celestial creature. It is not a function of Jesus, Allah, the Holy Ghost, Joseph Ratzinger (the new pope) or Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson to order a case of blindness. new balance 577 marron homme But most significantly, regardless of the candles that are lit and regardless of the novenas that might be said, all of those creatures who reside somewhere above the clouds cannot cure my blindness or yours either. The thought that blindness could be cured by some appeal to a celestial creature went out of style at least in the first or second century. Authentic UGA Jersey It is up to you to live with the situation and make the best of it, as opposed to praying and hoping that it would go away. The fact of the matter is, blindness is a permanent condition and must be lived with and taken into account at every turn. new balance grigie bambino I hope this letter reaches you when you are in a receptive mood and before your views about ending your life are firmly established. If you should decide that life is now not worth living, more than anybody else, I will respect and understand that point of view, because I’ve had those thoughts myself. Womens New Balance Sneakers
    I hope this finds you well. Blindness is not something to be happy about, but if nothing else, I can tell you from my small experience, it can be lived with and it is not a proper reason to consider ending anyone’s life. Goedkoop New Balance Warmest regards, E. nike air max pas cher E. CARR December 25, 2005 ~~~ Pretty heavy subject for a Christmas letter, Pop! Still, this is a sweet and realistic note, which is hopefully exactly the type of honest assessment that the recipient needed to hear at the time. I hope it made an impact.


    My father, the original Ezra, developed a medical condition in his eyes called glaucoma during the early 1930’s when he was about 50 years of age. From everything that can be read and from advice from ophthalmologists, glaucoma typically makes its appearance around the age of 50 years. Five children of my father survived to adulthood. I was the youngest surviving child. All the other four siblings developed glaucoma. And so as I got within hailing distance of age 50, it was my custom to see well respected ophthalmologists. My AT&T duties had me stationed in Washington, D. C. at that time. ADIDAS ULTRA BOOST 2017 Just before I left Washington to return to New York, the ophthalmologist there told me that “incipient glaucoma” had begun to affect my eyes. Nike Air Jordan Mujer All five Carr children were painfully aware of what glaucoma had done to our father’s eyes. In unprofessional terms, glaucoma seals the drainage glands from the eyes. As a result, pressure will build up within the eye. If untreated, blindness is the inevitable result. When my father contracted glaucoma, surgery on the eye was about the only way to relieve the pressure. Within a few years, my father’s eyes had scars from the many surgeries and by the time he passed age 60, he was approaching blindness in both eyes. As I visited the ophthalmologist in Washington, memories of my father’s scarred eyes and his blindness haunted me. The Post brothers at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis preserved as much sight in my father’s eyes as long as it could be done. New Balance 997.5 hombre All of the Carr children are grateful to Laurence Post and to his brother, two fine ophthalmologists. But the Post brothers had very few chemicals to control the pressure that glaucoma brings. Maglia Kevin Durant By the time that my Washington ophthalmologist told me that my eyes had “incipient glaucoma”, there were several new drugs available to deal with pressure in the eyes. Surgery was a last resort. In effect, my father was born too soon. Nike Air Max BW When AT&T decided that they wished for me to come back to New York as the General Sales Manager, I soon went to see John Kennedy of the Short Hills Ophthalmology Group. Kennedy was a good man with whom I was quickly able to establish an effective rapport. At the time in 1969, my age was 47 years. As time went on and as the disease progressed, John Kennedy offered new prescriptions to keep glaucoma in my eyes under control. By the early part of the 1990’s, John Kennedy said that he had dealt long enough with the pressures of his profession and elected to retire. In 1969, the Short Hills Ophthalmology Group consisted of Doctor Fonda, Doctor Ball and John Kennedy, all graduates of New York University. When Kennedy retired, he was replaced by Richard Robbins, another product of New York University. At the time, Robbins must have been under 30 years of age. For a time, Robbins was able to keep the pressure in my eyes at acceptable levels even if the pressures were on the higher side. And then in the mid-1990’s came the development of cataracts on both eyes. There is no reason for me to suspect that the chemicals used to control glaucoma could have caused cataracts. There have been people who developed cataracts without ever having glaucoma, so I take a pass on that question. When Robbins informed me that the cataracts were “ripe,” we agreed to go ahead with surgery. The first surgery was on the right eye and it proceeded even though pressure in the eye was high borderline. Later, Robbins said he had to perform some heroics as the operation took a bad turn, but recovery was fairly rapid and my sight was greatly improved. nike tn chaussure Kentucky Wildcats Jerseys A later operation on the left eye came out badly. There was great pain. Finally, Robbins suggested laser treatments to the left eye. Ezekiel Elliott OSU Jersey He administered four or five of those treatments on separate occasions and all of them ranged from unpleasant to painful. Robbins then sent me to Joseph Patti whose practice is limited to diseases and surgery on the retina and the vitreous. nike air max 1 hombre Patti operated on my left eye at St. Barnabus Hospital and for a time, there was improvement. But it did not last long. Patti was a good caring man. So I wound up back with Robbins with the New York University credentials. There were more examinations and a trip to a Dr. Spaeth, a world renowned surgeon in Philadelphia who gave me no help at all, even after we waited for him for three hours. And so Robbins then suggested that what I desperately needed was a trabeculectomy. He said the man to perform such an extremely delicate operation was Ivan Jacobs of Watchung and Westfield, New Jersey. When I asked Robbins if he would trust his sight to Jacobs, he eventually said he would. It is my profound belief that he had heard about Jacobs and had never met him, so any assurances to me about Jacobs were uninformed. So Jacobs began his trabeculectomy on my left eye. Somewhere during the operation, I overheard Jacob muttering to his helper that a choroidal hemorrhage had occurred. Later, when I was bandaged and sitting in Jacobs waiting room, he acknowledged that the choroidal hemorrhage had taken place. Jacobs distanced himself from the operation saying in effect, you win some and you lose some. I knew then that the sight in my left eye was gone and Jacobs didn’t seem to care. I saw him several times after the surgery and his cavalier attitude remained. It was my fault that I needed a trabeculectomy, was Jacob’s attitude. Everyone knows that surgical procedures don’t always come out successfully, but Jacobs in my estimation, was a monumental jerk. Goedkoop Nike Air Max 2016 I made several more visits to see a Dr. Green at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. Eventually, he told me there was no hope. At the end of this process, I asked Robbins for my records as I intended for his tenure to come to an end. After I left Robbins’ care, he apparently turned his attention to female patients. From what we know now, Robbins allegedly fondled seven women while conducting routine eye examinations. He was indicted on February 4, 2003 and charged with nine counts of fourth degree sexual contact. If he is convicted, he could face up to 13½ years of jail time. I suspect that he won’t spend much time in jail, but at least these charges and this indictment will give him something else to think about as he examines future female patients. He may also think about his lawyer, Alan Zegas, who is in the top tier of criminal defense attorneys. His fees for a case of this sort are probably quite substantial. Now that you have met Robbins and know about his indictment, it is of utmost importance that you should know what excuse Robbins offered for his conduct. When the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office sent a female officer to Robbins for an eye examination in the summer of 2000, he allegedly fondled her just as it is also alleged that he had done to other female patients. Fjallraven Kanken He was then presented with charges about his conduct. Robbins said that he fondled women not for any such thing as sexual excitement.

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  • That never entered his mind. He said his hand, or hands, were searching their chests for evidence of future eye problems. So you see, old Robbins was on the job looking for eye problems down the road. It is a source of great disappointment that the seven women who charge that he fondled them don’t see that brother Robbins had their best long term interests at heart. Now I have recited my story of blindness in one eye resulting from the tender ministrations of Robbins to set up one overwhelming point. From one end to the other, Robbins and your faithful essayist were involved for about four or five years. During that time, he performed just about every conceivable ophthalmologic process on me including surgery. At no time, did Robbins ever put his hand or hands down the front of my shirt or blouse either inside or outside my attire. I even wore scoop neck tee shirts to entice him to look at my chest for signs of future eye problems. For this reason, Robbins was completely unable to diagnose that eye troubles, including blindness, awaited me. This was a complete dereliction of duty on Robbins’ part. It is my proposition that after Robbins and his lawyer Zegas deal with the indictment of this past week for inserting his hand or hands down the front of dresses or blouses of female patients, either inside or outside the garments, that he face a more serious charge against him. That, of course, is his FAILURE to put his hands down the front of my shirt or blouse and as a result, he was completely unable to diagnose what lay ahead for me as I dealt with serious eye matters. There is no excuse for Robbins dereliction of duty in my case. My chest was exposed to view as I never wore a tie when Robbins was to be visited. He simply never explored my chest in search of future eye problems and for that, he must be held accountable. E. E. Carr 2-6-03 A Post Script. I have been a patient of Dr. Eric Gurwin of the Summit Medical Group for the past eight years. There was a time under Robbins when the pressure in my eyes ran to 38-40 whatever the measurement for pressure is.

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  • The current pressure in my one remaining eye is now between 16 to 18, which is a monumental improvement. It is to be noted that Professor Gurwin has achieved this dramatic drop in pressure without ever examining my chest which, of course, is traditionally where future eye problems are found – according to Robbins. hogan scarpes ~~~ Why even try? Why try to defend yourself from that position? All Robbins managed to do with his (hilarious) defense was insult the intelligence of everyone involved, including the women who he had already wronged. Way to go, dude. Some good news: he was convicted. From Acting Essex County Prosecutor Paula T. Dow announced today the sentencing of Dr. Richard Robbins, age 40, of Short Hills, New Jersey. The sentence culminated a lengthy investigation that began in 2001 into the sexual abuse of female patients under Dr. Robbins’ care. Earlier this year an Essex County Grand jury returned an indictment against Dr. Robbins, charging him with having committed the crime of criminal sexual contact upon six of his female patients, and an undercover female Essex County Investigator. The indictment spanned a period from March 1, 2000 through June 20, 2001, during which time Dr. Robbins touched the breasts of those females during the course of performing eye examinations at his former practice located in Short Hills, New Jersey.

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  • Dr. Robbins pleaded guilty on June 30, 2003 to seven counts of criminal sexual contact. During the sentence, Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Robert Laurino told the court that Dr. Penn State Nittany Lions Robbins had violated his Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm,” and breached the duty of care and trust he owed to his patients. Superior Court Judge Thomas R. Milwaukee Bucks Vena, in addressing Dr. Robbins prior to the imposition of sentence, noted that “the harm you caused was enormous.” Under the terms of a plea agreement, Dr. Robbins permanently surrendered his license to practice medicine. Nike SB Blazer He was sentenced to three years probation with mandatory counseling, and was subjected to numerous court costs and fees. He was also directed to reimburse the Prosecutor’s Office $2,085 for the costs associated with its investigation. Acting Essex County Prosecutor Dow noted the courageous efforts of Essex County Investigator Janine Traccamore, whose service in an undercover capacity led to the arrest of Dr. Robbins.


    When a man, such as myself, reaches the seventh decade of life, his friends and relatives congratulate him warmly and ask about his state of health. They seem to really want to inquire how long do you think you may stick around.

    When the eighth decade turns over on the speedometer, the efforts of friends and relatives become a little more pointed. They are concerned because the old timer may not eat as much as he did at age 30 or they may read road signs that they believe the older person can no longer see. And if in conversations with a slightly younger person, if the name of a politician or a physician does not roll off the tongue, the younger person may diagnose Alzheimers.

    Wile the elderly person may appreciate the solicitude of his younger friends and relatives, there is an element of wonder about why you are still hanging in there. In my case, it seems to me that assuring the inquirer that every body part is working and that a change in subject might be appropriate. All done with a laugh, of course. The laughter may be forced but it is preferable to a discussion about the imminent demise of the decrepit elderly person, namely me.

    When people close to me ask about how my fortunes are succeeding, it has an unintended effect on me. Tor all these years, the end of life has been a subject that has been rarely considered. Surely, Miss Chicka and I visited Paul Ippolito, one of Summit’s leading undertakers, to enter into a pre-paid arrangement to have our bodies promptly cremated. At heart, our visit to the Ippolito establishment was done primarily because of a proposed champagne party that we proposed to sponsor once Ippolito had done his work. First comes Ippolitto’s ministrations, then the reception, not the other way around.

    But entering into a prepaid arrangement for disposition of our bodies does not constitute grounds for saying that we have a death wish. It is simply and purely a business arrangement made while our minds were unclouded by any other thoughts. Now the kicker is that the prepaid arrangement pays a 5% interest premium to us every year, so it is a prudent investment as well. Sorry, only one to a customer.

    Many people think that my mother gave me her build and her sense of Irish humor. For that I am grateful. On the other hand, Lillie, my mother, was engrossed by the idea of death and the thought in her mind, that she would be rewarded unendingly in a place called Heaven. Her favorite hymn was “Amazing Grace.” Running a clear second was the hopeful hymn called, “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be.” She envisioned a place high up in the sky with no sin and no sickness and with angels with wings where their shoulder blades should be. She always said, “That is where I am going when my work on earth is finished.”

    As life unfolded for me, none of Lillie Carr’s confidence in a heavenly after life ever made sense to me. My disbelief started at age six when my mother proposed to “save” me, among other thoughts, for a better life after death. And my disbelief has now lasted more than 75 years.

    In 1943, German ground forces (The Wehrmacht) and German Air Forces (The Luftwaffe) managed to destroy two of the planes on which I was a member of the crew. In the first shoot-down, there was a lonely period of four days in the sands of the Libyan and Egyptian frontier before rescue came. In the second case, the Germans took me prisoner and it was necessary for the Italian Partisans to come to the rescue. From beginning to end, about seven weeks elapsed in this episode which started at the prison camp at Rimini, Italy.

    Now the point in pointing to my unfortunate experiences in 1943, is that at no time did my thoughts ever wonder to being a casualty of war. Whereas my mother would have wrung her hands and would have gotten a preacher to help her pray, my thoughts were exclusively devoted to how am I going to get out of here. Obviously, the thought that soldiers were regularly shot occurred to me, but visions of heaven never came into my mind. My sole occupation was how do I get out of here. On no occasion did I ever ask to see a chaplain from either the United States or the German Army.

    My mother would never have understood my mind set, so I can’t ever recall discussing the subject with her.

    E. E. CARR
    August 24, 2003


    This is not where this essay originally ended. From here he uses “Aside from the well meaning inquiries about my health and longevity, it appears to me with events in Iraq, Israel and Afghanistan taking the turn they are, that death is a popular subject in the Middle East” to segue into a discussion of martyrdom and virgins in paradise. The essay stops midway through one of these thoughts, so the entire section is omitted here because it’s been discussed at length in these essays. I think he just found this sort of claim to be a special kind of absurd, perhaps due to its unique combination of sexism and specificity.

    People who tease old people (or anyone, really) about Alzheimers are assholes, full stop. Not much else to say there.


    The title to this essay, “Disparate Ponderings,” may well reflect the influence of the New York Times editorial pages upon my brain. The ponderings in question really have to do with remembrances of years past. There are six thoughts in this essay and I hope that some of them will remind old-timers of the days before television and e-mail ever existed.

    One of my recent ponderings had to do with female girdles. It seems to me that in years past whenever a female reached the age of puberty, she was obliged to buy herself a girdle. The Sears Roebuck catalogue, published annually each fall, was avidly read by the females as well as the males in our household. I can assure you that Sears had girdles galore. There were long ones and short ones, as well as black ones and flesh-colored ones. What baffled me then in the old days was why a young woman weighing no more than 110 pounds would need a girdle. Yet it seems to me with my faulty memory as a guide that every young woman looked forward to the day when she could order a girdle. In those days, women wore silk stockings with a seam up the back. It is hard to believe but there was a time in this country when there were no panty hose. I suspect that girdles were worn for the sake of keeping the silk stockings anchored so that they did not fall down around the ankles.

    But the Second World War seemed to have altered everything. There was a shortage of rubber, and silk stockings were a thing of the past. Your old essayist cannot say that he misses girdles or silk stockings, but it is pleasant to ponder the fact that in the age before television came along there were such things. Sears Roebuck has fallen on hard times and, as an economist, I would suggest that it has much to do with the demise of the practice of women wearing girdles.

    Now that we have settled the issue of girdles, another question arises about “Do you remember?” There was a time during the 1930s when athlete’s foot was a matter of serious medical concern. During my years in high school, when the boys would take showers following the gym classes, athlete’s foot was a common occurrence. It is not clear to me what causes athlete’s foot but I can tell you that it existed and that once someone had acquired it, it was difficult to rid oneself of it. During my high school years, I had at least two or three cases of athlete’s foot, which had to be treated with a liquid I remember as Camphophenique. Athlete’s foot was so common that advertisements for its cure appeared in almost every newspaper in a small ad at the foot of the newspaper. The pictures in those ads showed athlete’s foot at its worst, with cracking and peeling of the skin around the toes.

    I am not here to proclaim that athlete’s foot was an ailment affecting only youngsters but as I also recall there seemed to be no athlete’s foot in the United States Army, where men traipsed in and out of showers at all hours of the day. This of course assumes that one saw service in a location where there were showers. There were occasions when men did not remove their shoes and socks for a few days at a time, yet my recollection is that no one ever seemed to complain of athlete’s foot. I suspect that athlete’s foot went the way of rheumatism, which has now been replaced by the more upscale term of arthritis.

    Now that we have disposed of girdles and athlete’s foot, we must turn our attention to Charles Atlas, a gentleman who promised to turn “98-pound” weaklings into 210-pound behemoths. During the years of the Depression, many magazines were adorned with the advertisements of Charles Atlas. There were half pages and full pages, and each one of them showed a man with bulging muscles who contended that he used to be a 98-pound weakling. I never knew anyone who was taken in by the Charles Atlas advertising, but it was good entertainment during the Depression when there was no television or email.

    I suspect that Charles Atlas was a man who sold barbells and other weightlifting equipment. That statement is totally unsupported by fact and it flows only from my memory that some of the people who posed for Charles Atlas advertising seemed to be carrying barbells. How it was that he changed a 98-pound weakling into a 210-pound behemoth never was clear while I was reading those magazines, and it remains unclear to this day. Yet there is a certain nostalgia about recalling Mr. Atlas because his advertisements were so widely printed that almost everyone in this country knew who he was. Perhaps your preacher might not have known who Mr. Atlas was, but I suspect that 95% of his congregation would know a good bit about Charles Atlas. I never heard Mr. Atlas being interviewed on radio and it is clear that no one ever referred to him as Charlie Atlas. And so it is up to us old-timers to remember that
    Mr. Charles Atlas ever existed.

    Now we turn to another pondering that took place during the Depression years. During those years, there was a great drought that settled all over the Mid West and into the plains states, so that the skies were virtually cloudless. From time to time, I assume wealthy advertisers would hire small aircraft to write their messages in the sky. The messages were brief, but they were quite effective, judging by the number of people who seemed entranced by them as the skywriter went about his work.

    Skywriters always flew single-engine airplanes, which were of course propeller driven. They must have carried a tube of white exhaust that, when released, could linger in the sky for several minutes. Naturally, I was entranced by skywriting. It seems to me that letters such as “e,” “f,” and “t” should have been the easiest to write. The more difficult letters would be the letters “s” and “b.” My memory is that it would take perhaps ten to fifteen minutes for a skywriter to write his message in the sky. They only wrote the name of the product, and there was great excitement among the viewers after the first letter or two appeared as to what the message would eventually read.

    My last exposure to skywriting came, I believe, in the early 1960s, when my family accompanied me to the New Jersey shore. On a cloudless day, a skywriter would appear and would write a message for the benefit of weekend viewers. There was even a romantic occasion when a skywriter wrote “love U” for the benefit of some love-struck youngsters.

    No matter how you cut it, I was a draftsman who had a great interest in the formation of letters, here on the earth as well as in the sky. My regret is that I never had the opportunity to ride aloft while the letters were being written. One of my companions as a child always hoped that the skywriter would misspell a word. To the best of my knowledge, that never happened. All the words were correctly spelled and I regret to this day that skywriting is a function of a long-forgotten era.

    Now that we have disposed of my pondering about skywriting, let us turn to a pondering about a wonderful entertainer named Burl Ives. Ives was a singer of folk songs who, like many other singers of folk songs, played a guitar. He was the son of a farming family from Jasper County, Illinois. Jasper County is far removed from the metropolitan areas of Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and other environs. But in the end, Ives eventually made it to New York where, in 1940, he was given his own radio program. His voice was absolutely distinctive. Fortunately, my ponderings have been helped along because I have several recordings which I have made into compact discs which offer such selections as “Blue-Tail Fly” and “I’m Just a Poor Wayfaring Stranger.” I am happy to report that folk singing is a vibrant art that has survived the assaults of rock music, hip hop, and other attacks on mankind.

    Ives died a few years back at the age of nearly 90. I suspect that a good many of my older readers will recall him fondly. I certainly recall him fondly and my ponderings take me to the point of inquiring, “Where will the future Burl Ives come from?”

    There is one other pondering that takes me into the field of religion where I am usually reluctant to go. In this case, however, it is a matter of economic circumstances having overtaken the teachings of a church.

    For many years, the Roman Catholic faith has taught the evils of artificial contraception. Simply put, they dislike every form of birth control. The only exception came during recent years when the Vatican reluctantly approved the use of “natural birth control,” which seems to exist only during the time of the infertility of the female. I suspect that there are thousands of unplanned pregnancies that happened with the use of the so-called “natural planning.” My belief is that natural planning worked perfectly if one or both parties were sterile. But be that as it may, it appears that the economic circumstances of the 21st century generally require those who engage in sexual intercourse to use birth control. When one thinks about the cost of raising a child and putting him through college, sometimes at the expense of $50,000 per year, most people will conclude that fewer children are better than many.

    Perhaps these economic circumstances came along a little late because your old essayist is the seventh child of an eight child family. But I was born in 1922 and today things are much different. There is a medical group that we patronize that has many nurses who have graduated from Catholic schools. As a general principle, it seems to me that those nurses are producing only one or two children per couple. One nurse had her second child not long ago and proclaimed that “This is it!” These are healthy young women who, I suspect, are not going to live the rest of their married life in celibacy. And so it is that the Popes over the years who have denounced the evil effects of birth control now find their parishioners practicing that art. With the cost of raising a child, particularly for those who plan to send their children to college, I can only say that this is a logical improvement.

    Well, there you have six cases of disparate ponderings. Perhaps it can be argued that my ponderings reflect a wandering mind. Naturally, I would not agree with that conclusion but I would argue on the other hand that my ponderings recall an era when life was simpler and perhaps more rewarding. Any man who contends that my pondering about girdles for example is evidence of a disturbed mind will most likely never recall the use of girdles. Whatever my ponderings reveal about my inner soul is probably irrelevant. At my age I am very happy that I have enough cerebral power left to think about things such as girdles, athlete’s foot, Charles Atlas, skywriting, Burl Ives, and birth control. I would argue that men who have those kinds of ponderings ought to be celebrated with caviar, foie gras, and the clinking of champagne glasses.

    E. E. CARR
    August 16, 2008


    These type of essays do a number on my search history. In one tab I have a whole set of pretty horrible images of Trench Foot (they definitely had that in war, even if athlete’s foot wasn’t a thing), and in the next there are all these hokey old ads for a bodybuilder man. Incidentally the Charles Atlas company, insofar as it still exists, seems to have not updated their advertising since the campaign that made them so famous. It’s a pretty incredible throwback to go to his site.

    Girdles and skywriting are both common, too. Skywriting is pretty typical at big events like airshows, and girdles go by “Spanx” now but it’s the same deal. Another fun set of search terms, by the way, is “Spanx” followed by “Burl Ives.” I like to think that somewhere out there is a VERY confused advertising robot who very much would like to figure out what I’m trying to buy, but can’t at all piece together what these terms have to do with one another.