|January 2011 - We had planned a trip to New Orleans on Friday, January 7. We were
planning see Randy Newman in concert, visit Preservation Hall, take a river boat cruise, see
sights in the city, and finally visit my cousin Gloria and her husband Alan in Alabama.
On Tuesday, January 4, I had dinner with my friend Ed Flaspoehler at Sweetwater Grille. I
began feeling funny later that evening following the First Tuesday Celebration at the local
club known as BANTER. My condition deteriorated, and on Thursday evening
I was admitted to the emergency room at Presbyterian Hospital. My right foot was swollen
and inflamed - and as we later learned, severely infected.
The trip was cancelled, and I became part of the local patient population. Going in
I was thinking "maybe a day or two" - because even without the trip, I had things to do that
were important to me. I had no idea that, instead of a few days, I was probably looking at a
few weeks. I remember thinking that I was indispensable at the university, and later I was
happy to know that I was not. They found persons to do the work that is usually my
My introduction to the hospital was not a pleasant one. I entered through the emergency
room, because it was late in the day, and standard admission was closed. Aides in the
examining room dropped me on the floor while making a transfer from the table to a wheel
chair. Fortunately, I sustained no injuries that would further complicate my situation. Looking
back on that first week, I think I was in shock, because I could not seem to face the reality of
my predicament. I also remember thinking I was hearing the sound of a big party in the
corridor during one or two nights.
A memorial service for Don Michel was held after my confinement began. I was supposed to
be an honorary pallbearer, but as it turned out, I was not able to attend at all. Two
representatives from the American Music Therapy Association attended, which was
appropriate. Don was a former President of the organization and was counted among the
January 1979 - Does your place of business have a "disaster plan", or does it just happen
The bumper sticker reads "KIDS - YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM". When our society reaches the
stage where it is suggested and decided that a clever bumper slogan with a double meaning
can have some impact on the incidence of child abuse, we are in serious trouble. The
tragedy of physical abuse of the young is well documented. Most large cities have a
department that tries to deal with this particular problem, and most of them make only a small
dent in the statistics. Much less publicized are the countless times children and young
people are mentally abused by the TV networks, the smut peddlers, and/or false prophets of
every kind and flavor. Bumper gospel is not the answer. It is the responsibility of every adult
to somehow get in touch with one of the most basic instincts of all nature - that of protecting
Through the years there have been several songs praising the virtues of large women, but
when country singer Charley Pride sings, "You're My Jamaica", that's just plain ridiculous.
Our son figured out that if one of the advertised breath mints can "take your mind off your
mouth for an hour", then it follows that if you eat twelve at one time, you can effectively remove
worry from your whistle for most of your waking hours. Listening to some of our politicians I'm
convinced that there are some persons in our society who go for weeks at a time with never a
single thought of the oral cavity.
RHYME FOR OUR TIME
If each farmer grew all he could, there would be a surplus of food.
Prices would go down all around town; you know darn well they would.
Big Uncle has promised to pay for each unused acre let lay.
Subsidizing plowboys is like paying the Cowboys for games they don't even play.
We pay for food not once but twice: first at the market's inflated price,
then whatever's due Internal Revenue, who gives it to the farmer - ain't that nice?