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 responsibility.
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 founders.
January 1979 - Does your place of business have a "disaster plan", or does it just
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 the young.
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
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?