Category Archives: police officer

Symbolic Bridges

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Oprah and thousands join her as she crosses the bridge in Selma.

She and the cast for the movie, “Selma,” took several takes in

their arm in arm walk together. It could not have been without

some impact on their lives. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Day, I was going to write about the anniversary of the bridge walk.

 

On January 8, 2015, some who chose to walk across the Edmund

Pettus Bridge located in Selma, Alabama. There is a photograph

of this recent bridge crossing. It is a small gathering but the post

has many who wish to view this. It is such a big deal that every

year, not always on the exact days of the peaceful marches, people

go to Selma to cross the bridge. To allow the freedom to soak into

their weary bones. It has not been an easy battle, even to this day.

 

The 50th “Golden” celebration of this famous event will be called

the “Bridge Crossing Jubilee,” held  March 5-9th, 2015. There is

still time to join this annual event for its anniversary.

 

Its kick off  Gospel church music concert will be on March 1, 2015

in Selma, Alabama. The memory of the deceased little girl innocents

will be shining their angelic glow upon the listeners.

 

This all is in tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. and of those who

walked across that bridge, some who died or were severely injured.

It is also in triumph, progress made and the way one huge step can

make an equally large impact on a country or world.  After all, our

President Obama may never had made it as far as he did, had not

those everyday men and women walkers had chosen to stay home,

out of fear.

 

The ending of the movie, “Selma,” lists several people whose lives had

changed due to their bridge walk. They include someone who had lived

over 80 years, a black man, never getting a chance to vote. There was

the white woman, first name Viola, (I did not take notes in the darkened

and hushed movie theater) who had chosen to join forces and cross the

bridge on the third time. She died when she drove a black person home

being given the hateful epithet, possibly real or imagined, by a storyteller

of “white nigger.”  The one who rose to be a senator, one who wrote for

a paper and others, all had found and felt the tremendous impact that

came out of one day to remember.

 

I learned one thing, that I did not know since most of the story has

been retold and covered. This is still a powerful movie to watch.

I did not know about the three times the walk across the bridge

was carried out nor how each one ended.

 

This will not ‘spoil’ your viewing of “Selma,” but may make you pay

more close attention:

First time across the bridge, it appears to be one hundred walkers who

have decided to gather and try to make an attempt to rock the country.

There is a place where the leaders of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s close-

knit group gather, enjoy a hearty breakfast and there is joviality and

a sense of brotherhood. Then, sadly, there has to be choice to pick straws

who will be in the ‘front line.’ The details of who got the short straw will

not be revealed here.

 

This walk for the first time is filled with trepidation, since the sheriff of

Selma is extremely bigoted and even there are scenes with the governor,

George Wallace fearing what may happen. When they get to the precipice

of the bridge, a curved bridge where you must walk upwards and then

head downwards, you can see the footsteps slowing down.

 

The next time the group goes up the hill of the bridge, there is a much

larger group and there are reinforcements from priests, ministers and

others who are Caucasian. Their presence buoys the inner sanctum of

MLK, Jr.’s group, they feel vindicated for any wrongdoings and deaths

that have gone on in between. There is a tremendous surge of energy, as

they get to the crest of the bridge. MLK, Jr. stops, he kneels and he prays

silently. The rest of the thousands gathered arm in arm who are behind

him kneel and wait.  Again, I won’t reveal what transpires.

 

History is being made. I felt the emotions in the audience, the bated

communal intake of breaths.

The third time the group gathers, it is in full preparation for the walk

across the bridge. Martin Sheen portrayed the judge who allowed the

sanction of crossing the Selma bridge. The governor and the sheriff,

with his ignorant band of white supremacists, are not going to get this

group to stop their crossing. It is going to happen, there is a broad

expanse and larger numbers than any of the first two attempts, there

are 2/3rds of the group white, according to one of the sources I read.

 

I had not intended to see another emotional upheaval movie. The first

three Academy Award nominated films, were all tear-jerkers. I had felt

‘spent’ and looking forward to meeting my good friend, Gary, who is a

sports writer at the Columbus Dispatch. I had agreed on either going to

“Birdman” or “Grand Budapest Hotel.” The first is with Michael Keaton

and since I felt he was a sensitive past actor who played “Batman,” I

could count on not dropping any tears. I also was amused by the trailer

and write-ups of “Grand Budapest Hotel,” with the funny actors in it.

 

We arrived at the Columbus Gateway Film Center on High Street, to

find a long line of young people chattering and bunched in a thick

group going into the building and up the stairs. Gary and I asked about

the line, it was for the multiple theaters showing, “American Sniper.”

We skipped around this, while Gary whispered to me, “We can use the

old people’s card, should someone try to stop us.” We went up the busy

escalator and when we got to the top saw the huge and bustling area of

the ticket sellers in front of crowded lanes. I was not sure what was going

on but since I assumed Gary may be like many guys I know, I left the line

and went to ask the guard. He said the line on the stairs was coming up

to join the group here, but they were all going to the “American Sniper”

film. So, being a little pushy, Gary took me through the melee and we

got to the front, only to find out that the two easy going movies, one

with a super hero and the other with a group of wacky hotel employees,

were:  “Sold Out.”

 

I did not hesitate to say to Gary, “Let’s go see the movie, ‘Selma!'”

We got into the theater only to find it half full. We each said to the other,

this is sad. We both agreed we had not wished to see an emotional film,

but it may have ‘meant to be.’  I am so glad the karma had the other

two films packed and not allowing us to see this fine film.

 

I will say there are magnificent performances, the director and David

Oyelowo should have been given Academy Award nominations. I

won’t go into the whole debacle about why there is less diversity in

this awards competition, but I am just going to say I am happy that

People’s Choice and Golden Globes nominated this film,

since “Selma” is worthy.

 

The song “Glory,” sung with John Legend and the rapper, Common,

is very beautiful.  Remember, I have seen three of the other contender

movies and will tell you their songs are not as ‘rich’ in sound and

meaning.

 

Some thoughts to share about real and symbolic bridges:

~ We can choose to find our own private bridge to cross.

~ Peaceful choices make a difference.

~ Touching just one life, and changing it, is enough.

~ To be able to reach more lives proceed forward.

 

~ One action or kindness contributes to another producing:

a.  Domino effect

b. Ripple effect

c. Paying forward

 

~ However you label your decision to help someone, it is still help.

~ Emotions and feelings spread easily.

~ Take courage in expressing positive choices.

~ Sharing emotions is instinctive, shown in these two examples.

a. Babies in a nursery cry together. The first one sets off the rest of them.

b. Toddlers in a sandbox see or hear someone else cry, reaching for a toy.

One may hand theirs over, without concern or need for praise.

 

~Giving in and letting go of prejudices and preconceptions is elevating.

~ Love has no boundaries once this happens.

 

Written by Robin O. Cochran

(Not taken from any sources, other than my own feelings about Selma’s bridge.)

 

“The Breakthroughs Issue” of December, 2014 “Preventions” magazine is

a great source of news about health and healthy food choices.

 

A man making a profound difference in prosthetic equipment is featured

in an article called, “Out on a Limb.”

This man, Eythor Bender, is using the ‘bridge’ I listed above to use a “kind

action” to create these wonderful and more natural replacements for arms

and legs. Frustrated by the medical breakthroughs available only to the

“elite” in our society, those who are wealthy, he came up with a program.

“Unyq” is a San Francisco based company which uses 3-D printers to create

symmetrical body parts to the user’s healthy limb. This alone is remarkable,

since in the past they did not often ‘match’ the size or shape to the original

on the other side of the body.

 

Bender was recognized internationally during the New York Fashion Week,

2014. His bionics were on a model walking the runway. Sure this should

make him proud or feel good about himself, but this quote from Eythor B.

says it ‘all:’

 

“People tell me it feels like they’ve got their legs back for the first time

in their lives. That’s really something!”

 

Bender expressed happiness that the new Unyq program is being covered,

since he has made the prices low enough, by many insurance providers.

Keeping the price down, will meet the needs of most of the patients who

need realistic and comfortable prosthetics.

 

This article was uplifting and made me feel it met the ‘requirements’ of

crossing a ‘bridge’ in medicine, with its ripple effect going into all areas

of society and hopefully, the world.

 

Another creative health program which is still in the newer stage and not

necessarily FDA approved is, Immuno-Therapy. This is to fight cancer

through immune system injections. There are three stories, one man and

two women, who participated in this trial program who have seen their

melanoma disappear. This is another ‘bridge’ to cross, hopefully the first

start will be like MLK, Jr.’s first attempt to cross the Selma bridge, one

that will be followed repeatedly,  with more and more positive results.

 

 

 

Loss of a Fine Crime Novelist: age 94

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Famed detective crime novelist, P. D. James passed away peacefully

in Oxford, England on Thursday. This was in America, Thanksgiving

Day- Phyllis Dorothy James White lived from August 3, 1920 until

November 27, 2014. I had always been fascinated by Phyllis’ personal

life details. She had some similar paths which I had taken, eldest of

three children and having been on her own for quite some time. Her

husband, Ernest C.B. White and she had married while she was 22

years’ old, so had I.

From her father’s civil servant position, to my father’s government

job, the differences became much more apparent when she grew up

to age 16. Phyllis left school at the Cambridge High School for Girls,

choosing jobs at hospitals. When her husband went off to join the

war, (WW II) she had children. The obituary says she had two girls

along with several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I had just mentioned to someone in my comments’ section that P.D.

James had re-imagined a sequel to the wonderful “Pride and Prejudice,”

with Jane Austen’s characters, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, having become

estranged from her sister and husband, they were arriving through the

woods to a Ball planned. Murder in the forest, led her sister’s husband

to be accused while Elizabeth worked on solving the mystery. This

was on PBS “Masterpiece Theater,” in October, I believe.

While Phyllis’ husband was a doctor, Phyllis became a medical

administrator with the National Health Services in England. Phyllis

took three years to write her first book, “Cover Her Face,” which may

make some take comfort in their own writing and publication pursuits.

Her next three crime novels, focused in on medical terminology, hospital

setting and procedures.  In 1963, “A Mind to Murder” had these medical

details, along with 1971, “Shroud for a Nightingale,” which had realistic

plot line, and the last medically based novel, “The Black Tower,” included

the hospital setting. Certainly, Phyllis D. James White utilized her 19

years of being an administrator to her advantage in crime-solving.

 

P.D. James wrote thirteen novels about murder and mystery, seven of

those books became part of “Mystery!” series episodes on PBS. Adam

Dalgliesh, her most familiar character, was a Detective of Scotland Yard.

His introspection and inner poet made this him a complex and intriguing

man.

When her husband, Ernest, died, she was only 44 years old and she spent

the next 50 years beloved by family but never remarrying.

 

We shall all be mourning the loss of P.D. James. We may be happy that

her life was filled with many years of successful parenting, writing along

with contributing to England’s National Health Service with her fine

even-handed administration.

 

A life well led, she included a sense of humor in her personal interviews.

P.D. James’ favorite line was that from childhood on, after hearing the

old Nursery Rhyme of,  “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty

had a great fall. . .” Phyllis said, “When I first heard that Humpty Dumpty

fell off the wall, I immediately wondered, ‘Did he fall or was he pushed?'”

 

How fortuitous, or showing quite some premonition, to the craft of her

morbid story-telling. P.D. James was one of my favorite female authors

who could draw me into her webs of complex characters and dynamic actions.

Her ability to continue pursuing learning, outside of schools, along with her

accomplishing so much after leaving academia at age 16, all make P.D. James

a fascinating woman who should motivate us all.

 

Saturday Sillies

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The next few jokes were sent to me by my Mom. I threw a couple jokes

out, due to poor taste. My Mom’s California friend, sometimes is not

as ‘choosy’ or careful to be appropriate for all readers. I presented some

to my lunch mates and orally delivered one to the group at break time.

I asked what they thought of these jokes? They agreed these were funny

along with being acceptable and some were laughed at a lot.

 

Hope this satisfies your Saturday Sillies. It may be like your childhood

‘cartoon mornings’ or just plain give you the giggles at their absurdity.

 

Here is a series that may have been used in the old days. While I was

growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland and the fine late Saturday night

humor was dealt out by “Big Chuck and Houlihan.” Later Houlihan went

off to Florida, so it was then called, “The Big Chuck and Little John Show.”

Little John had been a ‘sidekick’ to Big Chuck and Houlihan. Then, he got

his ‘lucky break’ and got his name in lights!

This was a set of comedy sketches, perfectly timed during commercial breaks

while Grade C or Grade D movies were being shown. Sometimes, silly sound

effects like glass breaking or a woman shrieking not at a scary part, were

inserted. I am wondering if you have ever had a local television ‘program’

with a host or set of hosts, creating comic relief, during scary or ridiculously

plotted shows?

The program’s time slot was after the Saturday night news show. My parents

would sometimes sit up and watch with us, especially if we were in middle

school.

Once upon a time, longer than when I was watching television as a teenager,

this time period was filled by an even older program called, “The Ghoul’s

Show.”

Then “Ghoulardi” took over from the “Ghoul.” This memorable television

is played back, remembered with nostalgia by many older Cleveland

people. Around Halloween every year, they have some of these shows

“re-aired” or “replayed” on one of the Cleveland, Ohio’s networks. There

is also enough of these fans, to fill a convention hall with the theme

of “The Ghoul” and his predecessor,  “Ghoulardi.”

Maybe these people are in their sixties? I am not quite sure, but I have

two Cleveland friends who always ask me if I have any articles about

the convention, taken from my Mom’s newspaper.

I have heard that somewhere in Ohio, teenagers laughed at the skits

on “Chiller Thriller Theater.” The Big Chuck and Houlihan show would

aim their jokes at “Polish” people, so we had jokes about Polish high top

jeans and wearing Polish white socks with black shoes. Then, the mirror

balls in gardens and pink flamingos were aimed at, too. (They considered

this to be so ‘out of style.’ You can still see these in yards and also, added

to this ‘mix,’ sometimes a goose with different holiday costumes.) They

narrowly missed the censors, with several ‘edgy’ Polish sausage jokes, too!

 

Anyway, since my youngest daughter is a ‘blonde,’ who is kind of ‘spacey’

we have changed these “Polish jokes” over the years, to Blonde Jokes. The

next ones will be labeled, “silly man” or “silly woman,” and you may decide

if there needs to be a different label, when you go to retell them! This series

was a ‘hit’ among the break time group, including Melvin, Tammy, Corey,

Felda and Trevinal. Felda said in the Philippines, their way of making fun

of someone is o begin the joke, “The Tourist. . .” (walked into a bar or

whatever.)

 

A ‘silly man’s’ dog went missing and he was frantic.

His wife said, “Why don’t you put an ad in the paper?”

He does, but two weeks later the dog is still missing.

“What did the ad say?” The wife questioned her husband.

“Here boy!” he replied.

(Instead of ‘silly,’ he is ‘clueless!’)

 

A ‘silly woman’ is in jail.

The guard looks in the cell and sees her hanging by her feet.

“Just WHAT are you doing there, missy?”

The ‘silly woman’ responded, “I am hanging myself.”

The guard told her, “It should be around your neck.”

The ‘silly lady’ says, “I tried that, but then I couldn’t breathe.”

(Groan!)

 

A ‘silly’ tourist asks a ‘silly’ tour guide,

“Why do scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?”

The guide who was ‘pulling the tourist’s leg’ answered,

“If they fell forward, they’d still be in the boat!”

 

This story is called,

“The Light Turned Yellow.”

The light turned yellow, just in front of him.

He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk,

even though he could have beaten the red light.

He could have accelerated right through the

intersection.

 

Behind him, the tailgating woman was furious and

honked her horn,

she yelled out profanities,

as she missed her chance to get through the

intersection. She ended up dropping her cell

phone and makeup, too.

 

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap

on her window and looked up into the face

of a very serious police officer. The officer

ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.

 

He took her to the police station where she was

searched, fingerprinted, photographed and placed

in a holding cell.

 

After a couple of hours later, a policeman approached

the cell and opened it up.  She was escorted back to

the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting

with her personal effects.

 

He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled

up behind your car while you were blowing your horn,

flipping the guy off in front of you and cussing a ‘blue streak’

at him.

 

Pause.

 

“I noticed the nice bumper stickers on the back of your car. You

have “Choose Life,’ “Follow me to Sunday School,” a “Be Kind to

Animals” emblem and you have a ‘Baby on Board,’ sticker also.”

 

Pause.

 

“So, naturally I assumed you had stolen the car!”

 

The last story of the day may offend a few people, but remember my 85

year old Mom thought this was “worthy” of putting in my blog. You may

just want to skip it!

 

“Nature Lover”

 

A woman who was a ‘tree loving, tree hugging, anti-gun possession’

native of Los Angeles purchased a piece or plot of timberland up north

in the state of Washington.

There was a large tree on one of the highest points of the tract.

She wanted a good view of the natural splendor of her land, so she

decided to climb the majestic tree.

 

As she neared the top of the tree, she encountered a spotted owl that

attacked her.

In her haste to escape, the woman slid down the tree to the ground.

She got many splinters in her crotch, and in considerable pain she

drove to the nearest hospital.

She went into the ER and told the doctor that she was an environmentalist,

anti-guns and anti-hunting person, who had recently bought some land

in the area. She described the spotted owl incident and proceeded to tell

the doctor how she got all the splinters in her crotch.

The doctor listened to her story with great patience and then told her he

would be right back, to wait in the examining room #1.

The woman sat, read magazines, got up and sat back down. She used the

restroom and finally, three hours later, the doctor reappeared.

 

The upset woman exclaimed, “What took you so long?”

 

The doctor from Washington State, where he enjoyed going out in nature

and hunting during the appropriate season, but also was not pleased with

her views said:

“Well, I had to get permits from the  Environmental Protection Agency,

the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.”

 

The angry woman shouted, “Why on Earth did you have to do that!?!”

 

“These were the contacts I had to get permission from to remove ‘old

growth timber’ from a ‘recreational area’ so close to a ‘waste treatment

facility.'”

 

Now, that was funny after all, wasn’t it?

I am chuckling and I knew the punch line, anyway!

Do you have a ‘safe’ and non-derogatory ‘label’ for the one who is the

‘brunt’ of your family jokes?

As I mentioned, we used to tease my youngest daughter who took after my

Swedish Grandpa M. with blonde hair. She seriously was in high school  one

time when over a holiday we were playing Rummy 500. She asked this ‘silly’

question: (We don’t call our own family members ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid.’)

“How many cards are in a set and how many cards are in a pair?”

 

In the old days, I enjoyed the Road Runner, Poor Wily Coyote, Mr. Magoo, and a

puppet show called Kukla, Fran and Ollie.  These days, I would recommend the

NBC Saturday Morning Cartoons, with “Zou” a zebra with an intergenerational

family, “Chica,” the “Costume Shop” and “Noodle and Doodle.”

 

Have a fun-filled weekend, my friends out there, wherever your ‘sillies’ take you!

 

 

 

 

 

Patriots’ Day: Solidarity

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There is a quotation being volleyed about called, “The Slurry Walls of Life.” I

received it twice now. Once, from someone far away, but a U.S. citizen, and the

second time I read this was in our September church newsletter. Neither time

was an author given credit. This upsets me, almost like I am ‘pirating’ someone’s

thoughts. If you happen to see this, with an author attached, please let me know!

I hope these words will hold something meaningful to give to you,  a few days

ahead of  the actual Patriots’ Day.  This quote comes exactly as I received it, no

editing or changes made.

 

I think on the actual day of 9/11/14, I will be silent. . .

 

“As horrific as 9/11 was, it could’ve been even worse if not for a 30 year old

engineering feat. Reaching some 70 feet underground, a 3 foot thick concrete

structure called a ‘slurry wall’ surrounded the base of the World Trade Center

complex. Designed to prevent the Hudson River from flooding the basement,

this wall prevented New York’s subway system from flooding and countless

additional people from dying on September 11, 2001.

 

A ‘slurry wall’ is constructed by pouring a thick, goopy mixture of powdered

clay and water into a deep, narrow trench. The solution coats the sides,

preventing water and soil from collapsing the trench. Pipes are then inserted

through the slurry, and concrete is pumped into the trench, pushing the slurry

up and out.

 

At the World Trade Center, the concrete formed such a strong wall that even

two airplanes and the falling towers didn’t fracture it. Part of the ‘slurry wall’

stands at the 9/11 Memorial site, a symbol of resilience.

 

Sometimes God uses life’s ‘slurry’ to make us stronger than we ever thought

possible. We might wish something yucky hadn’t happened- – until we discover

it was part of what sustained us, making us resilient and enabling us to rise out

of the destruction and death to an awe-inspiring new life.”

(Author Unknown)

 

This much I could research, that the original ‘slurry walls’ construction, under

the World Trade Center, were supervised by a man named, Arturo Lamberto

Ressi di Cervia. This building supervisor passed away at age 72 in August, 2013.

He lived almost 12 years past that day of sadness, to see this job become the

base of the Memorial. The construction workers need to feel satisfaction in their

awesome work on the ‘slurry walls.’

 

Arturo Lamberto Ressi di Cervia’s professional crew poured the walls of support

that survived the crashes. Construction supervisor, Mr. di Cervia, must have

felt a little better that his workers’ wall held back further destruction and may

have prevented more deaths.  Although, it is nearly impossible to be proud of

your accomplishments, in the midst of death and sorrow.  Acknowledgment

to the crew only seems ‘right’ to do, as to ALL the workers who came to the

rescue of the ones injured, helping to unbury the living and the ones who died

on this horrific day. Rescue dogs wore themselves out, helping to find so many

‘buried’ people.

 

There is a fine article (not containing the above quotation) from a man named,

David W. Dunlap, written about the construction of the ‘slurry walls.’ Dunlap’s

article was published on 9/11/13/ in the New York Times:

“Looking to a Wall that Limited the Devastation of the World Trade Center.”

 

Some Humor among the Sarcasm

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I laughed at a real life news story, where a mother of four children

came out from shopping with her kids, of one of those ‘box stores,’

having a cart load of groceries and necessities. She walked over to

where her car was supposed to be, and it was gone!

Stolen!

She managed to catch a person who allowed her to use their phone.

She called “9-1-1” and then turned to the sympathetic man, who had

been asking, “What else he could do?”

 

The single mother, smiled, as she asked him,

“One more favor, may I use your cell  phone just one more time?

It’s local!”

 

She then asked her kids and the man to move away.

Go back on the sidewalk and get far away.”

Again, she promised to make it quick!

 

This true story was told on the news on Monday, so there may even be a

video of the next part of the story. . . You know how Youtube catches the

news!

 

The woman called her own cell phone, knowing she had left it in the cup

holder. Like idiots, the thieves opened her phone and asked, “Hello?”

She blurted out a blazing trail of swear words, saying that she was a

single mother with four kids and “Why in the world would you choose

my  ‘piece of junk’ car to steal, anyway?”

 

She then added to the unfortunate robbers of her van, “You morons,

I know that my phone has some kind of a chip in it for locating where

you are at. Get back here NOW!”

 

Supposedly, the van was returned, before the police had arrived, and

they even handed her the keys before they took off, through the busy

shopping plaza, on foot.

I was smiling all the way to work on Monday, due to this genius move

by a desperate single Mom!

 

Another funny part of the news was that supposedly “Mr.T” had to show up

at his local courthouse, since he got an official letter telling him the date to

go and serve  on Jury Duty! He actually  was dismissed. He was very

disappointed that he was not asked to serve on a case. There was a group

of people in the waiting room, having coffee and talking to him. They had

some selfies taken with “Mr. T,” too. The funny thing that someone asked

him, was would he ‘pretend hit him,’ posing for a picture. Now, the radio

announcer for this ‘news flash,’ used a comical voice, imitating “Mr. T.”

in his response,

(Using the unique and amusing way that “Mr. T.” use himself  in the third

person, too.)

“Mr. T.”  cannot look like he is hitting you, because “Mr. T.” don’t want any

trouble with the ‘po-lice.'”

Of course, he did not actually say this but the gist of the situation is true,

that a young man wanted him to pretend fight with him, for his cell phone

but “Mr. T.” politely declined and instead gave him a hug.

 

Now  this one is from my friend, Melvin, who was on a ‘rant’ so excuse the

angry sarcasm. Our mutual young friend, Cody, who we have both given rides

home, in the heated afternoons and early evenings, after what we consider

‘grueling’ days, got too many ‘points’ and lost his job.

Here is the way the excited tone and words were exchanged in the parking

lot today:

Melvin uses a Martin Lawrence/Chris Tucker shrieking voice that is very

indignant in this rampage:

“So, Robin, we have three situations here. All three are given the exact SAME

Number of Points, am I clear on this?

First, Tina, who is a ‘white girl,’ gets 9 points but has no other points so she

gets to keep her job, after hitting a security guard and leaving.

(And honest to Pete, he did add this ‘racial’ clarification. Sorry, don’t be too

offended because under the rant, there is an element of truth. I am upset, too.)

Second, our good friend, Peggy, turned 60 and we had a grand party for her,

but she gets assigned to using one of those awful heavy bulk riding machines.

(He is really stretching the high pitched tone, which makes me laugh, despite

myself.)

Poor Peggy, unwittingly trips over her feet getting off the machine, falls and

hits her head on the concrete, and gets the SAME number of points, ‘white

girl’ gets no breaks. 9 points! She had to go to the hospital, get X-rays and

set up for an MRI tomorrow, and she will get Workman’s Comp, which means

she will not have to pay for this accident, EXCEPT Peggy will have to be careful

for the rest of the next 12 months, or she will lose her job for hitting her head.

Do I have this right, Robin?”

I looked at him, expressing disgust with the unfairness of these two very different

situations. Peggy should not have had to be on equipment, without any kind of

re-training. She should not get any points, in my opinion! (And Melvin’s, too.)

Then Melvin concludes his story, with his agitated distorted voice, since you

would think normally he were an “upper crust” New Englander, being raised

by his island parents, going to school in Boston and having served in the Army

in Europe:

“Robin, my man Cody, arrives late to work and has accumulated the one point

for poor attendance, Right? Then, my good boy who is very good in his position

in Heavy Bulk, is parking his equipment, runs the metal fork into a metal rack.

He is done with his work, just parking it. There rings out a metal ‘Clash!” and

someone runs to the Bin Order Filler office, someone who for some Ungodly,

Unholy reason ‘has it out for my black young friend, my ‘brother’ Cody gets

9 points today and is ‘walked out,’ like a common criminal!”

Tammy and I have listened to Melvin’s tirade. We have had sympathy for

Tina (awhile back her hit and run was a subject of a post) and Peggy, just is

devastated, having never received more than 2 points in the 15 years of working

here.

Tammy was the one who stopped laughing over Melvin’s hysterical rendering

of the unfairness of it all, first. I was just shaking my head. I have a feeling that

Peggy’s sister or brother, both having been to college and have attorneys, will

be looking for a settlement. This will all ‘back fire’ on the administration. I just

hope that Peggy will come back since she has not reached 62 nor retirement age.

Melvin’s summary is (again NOT politically correct), “So, if you are a ‘white lady,’

you can hit a security guard, leave the scene of the crime, keep your job and not

serve time. You get 9 points.

You be a ‘white lady,’ you have been getting a little on the ‘old’ side of things,

you trip and fall, hurt your own self, and get 9 points.

Then, you show up late once for work, as a black boy needs his sleep, you get

1 point. You hit a rack, no injuries whatsoever, no one even close by, you make

some noise, someone notices, and you get reported on. You get 9 points, make

it to that darn 10 you lose your job!! Gimme justice!”

 

Melvin wanted to come up with a better ‘punchline,’ but this was it:

“The inequitable number of ‘9’ must have been pulled out of someone high up in

the organization, to be used three times in three different situations. They must

have pulled it out of their high falutin’ behinds!”

If you had heard his vocal impression of the irritated actors then you may be

laughing. (I think he does a great job of Chris Tucker, from those movies with

Jackie Chan.)

But you know this one is not a laughing matter!

As Melvin got into his car, he raised his arm in the old “Black Power” fist

and said, “I want Justice for my man, Cody!!”

 

The continuing saga of  work, just glad I have received no points this year!

If you are a minute late from lunch you earn a ‘point’ and are considered,

‘tardy.’ If you miss work on a day that you are supposed to have a doctor’s

excuse, (Mondays and Fridays) you will earn that random number of 9 points.

 

 

Weekend Updates

Standard

I am excited to tell you that my Filipino friends, Jason and Felda, safely arrived

back from their extended vacation. As she was arriving at work, we all hugged

her and asked how things went. I was pleased that she brought me a couple of

treats. (They are wrapped candies and these layered cookies with cinnamon and

sugar on them.) She told me to meet her outside work, on Monday, because she

was going to give me something no one else was getting! When we left work, she

gave me a pretty, new t-shirt from Hong Kong.

While we ‘got one back,’ we will have to say goodbye Friday, to Mary Jane. She will

leave on Saturday morning heading off to the Philippines. (She is from a different

island from our mutual friend, Felda, she met here in the U.S. In fact they have

different dialects, unique ‘clicking sounds’ that vary from one part of the islands

to another.) It has been three years since M.J. visited her family and she was so

excited to spend time with her family. Unfortunately, James, her husband was not

able to take time off from his government post. M.J. will use the same airlines, also

one that curves around Russia, not entering any of their air space.  By going out of

its way, the plane circumvents any possible dangerous disasters or attacks.

Felda showed me gorgeous photographs of Kridia Dawn, snorkeling in clear blue

water and her hands are outstretched to touch:  sharks! I was curious about the

experience but she said these sharks have little teeth and don’t eat anything but

plankton. The kinds of sharks could be sand tiger sharks, goblin sharks, or whale

sharks that are considered ‘safe’ to swim with. I will have to check which one she

may have allowed her daughter and husband to swim with.

The baby, “Zachie Poo,” was passed around and held constantly. He is toddling

around holding onto hands and surfaces. (I have written about his baby shower,

when Felda was expecting him, along with this precious and affectionate baby’s

christening.) Felda’s mother adored Zachary, which was very nice to have taken

those memorable photographs to show him when he grows up.

I was saddened, when Felda privately told me that her Aunt, her mother’s older

sister, had had a heart attack the day they left. I was very concerned about her

hospitalization. In the long time past, I had posted that Felda’s nephew, Vincent,

had not lived past age 8, since the Philippines’ hospital requires money up front

and he had a serious blood disease. He had some transfusions, provided by our

coworkers’ collections, along with her St. Mary’s Catholic Church donations for

his continued health care. There were many of us, trying and scrambling to figure

out how to ‘beat’ the system and the clock on his life.

Felda told me that her mother had put a ‘lien’ on her house, as collateral for her

sister’s hospitalization and surgery to repair her heart. I wrung my hands, teary-

eyed, wishing I had more that I could do for them. Felda told me that she will

ask at church again, for any helpful donations towards this situation. Felda told

me to explain to my fellow bloggers, that their health system is not like ours. We

need to feel blessed that we have a more open system for admissions at our own

hospitals. You don’t hear too often of little ones being turned away, like her cousin

Vincent was.

Other news, my friend and coworker, Tina, went to court with her case being

reduced to simply one that requires community service for her  “hit and run”

incident with a security guard at her work. They also received, as a family, from

their church a substantial donation towards a much needed vacation.

Tina was able to take her daughter, her husband, (for those who don’t follow

my posts about my coworkers and friends too closely, he has threatening

cancer), her oldest daughter and two of their grandkids to Gatlinburg,

Tennessee last week. She was back, tanned and refreshed from her vacation.

No repercussions other than court costs, so they are not going to have their

budget too stretched by the unfortunate accident or incident.

I think this will set a lot of sympathetic commenters’ minds to rest! I was

relieved that the court did take Tina’s remorse and stressful home situation

into consideration.

My coworker and friend, Mark C., who I admit to having a ‘crush’ on, recently

confided that his mother has not been out of his house, for over 2 years. I had

not pictured her being in such failing health.Mark told me, this is due to her

serious illness and aging process that she is going through.

Although, you know I am an “open book,” Mark is not. I thanked him for this

most recent revelation. It helps explain some of the “why?” he has never called.

I kept his very neat note, which was to recommend the trilogy of Frank McCourt’s

books.

By the way, Mark is the one I gave my cell phone number in November to call me.

I had suggested if he should ever need to talk or wish to eat out with me, “Dutch

Treat,” to let me know. . .  (Do we still say this?!)

I told him recently, “Friends can wait until circumstances allow more time. You

can call me anytime, if you wish to have a someone to lean on.”

This coworker, Mark, is a truly gentle, soft-spoken man; more than a ‘gentleman.’

This is a lot different from my friend, Amy’s situation, since her Roy has taken

advantage of her. That book’s chapter is NOT closed, by the way!

Peggy fell off her ‘center rider’ while attempting to do ‘heavy bulk.’ She is one of

the two ‘aunts’ that I am friends with, who have a niece that is my oldest daughter’s

very best friend. She recently turned 60 and is still happy with her independent

man, Tim. (Almost 15 years of living in separate homes, but still ‘together.’)

Peggy’s sister texted me back and forth, about her progress at the hospital. While

there, she had a CAT-scan and x-rays on her head. Peggy came back after just 2

days’ off, since the doctor didn’t write an excuse for ‘light duty.’ I worry about

her not waiting, since inside her head I am sure it is slowly healing.

And now, the Grand Finale!

My biggest update for the week is after I had long day on Monday. . .

I was very dismayed to see over 20 forces, police, sheriff and helicopters, all over

the place in Delaware. They were on a serious search for a “dangerous”carjacker.

I could not proceed home across the railroad tracks on London Road. There were

three police cars blocking the railroad tracks on either side.  I had to turn left and

head north on crooked Curtis Street. I had my eyes bulge out of my head, my

hands shaking like a leaf and knees nearly knocking, when I saw armed men!

They had flak vests on, looking into dumpsters, into the unused warehouses and

the ones that still have windows in them, along this curvy road.

They were looking for a fugitive from Franklin County, who had stolen someone’s

car.  The owner had enlisted someone close by where the car was taken, to chase

their own car! There was a kind of ‘chip’ that would determine the car’s location,

then once the police were called in, it became a cross country and across-county-

lines car chase.

When I arrived at the library, the librarian looked up the television news to show

me the progress the whole search was managing. We had a discussion about the

way the one helicopter was diving down and then up again. We wondered what

possible reason they would have SWAT teams included.

There literally were men with rifles out, going around the corner within yards of

the cars that were being sent this direction! There were black dogs, also German

Shepherd dogs, with their harnesses leading them into and out of warehouses

along this stretch.

When I got around the curves, I saw a nice, local man who walks around town with

a Panama hat and a Hawaiian shirt strolling along by the Re-Store Shop.

I wanted to stop him, tell him to, “Watch out!” But I thought better of it. He was in

his own little ‘time warp’ and didn’t want to give him a ‘buzz kill.’

 

Did any of this remind you of the distorted headlines that those crazy “Saturday Night

Live” comedic newscasters give? I did not make any of these many exciting things

happening around here, enough to make a zany comedy show…

Hope this leads all of us into a Normal, Usual, yet Fun Weekend!

Moral Dilemma

Standard

One of my coworkers was rushing out of work, last Friday, after our

longer day than usual. She was on her cell phone, with her husband

who has a serious form of cancer, has been nearly fatally attacked from

within his body. My coworker’s name is Tina and her husband is Mike.

Sadly, Tina did not slow down as she approached the guard shack. She

saw a truck in the outbound ‘lane’ and went around to the inbound ‘lane.’

Sometimes, if we wait behind our company’s trucks, the security guard

will motion you on past to the left.

Usually, we wait an interminable amount of time, while the guard checks

the paper work, walks with the truck driver to the truck and there is a

procedure that includes looking at the rear latch on the truck, too.

There is a certain process or ‘protocol’ to be followed. I am sympathetic

with Tina, who was in a hurry to get home.

When you hear what action she chose, you may not be so understanding.

Maybe I am too judgmental?

You will have to let me know what you think about what she did. . .

While swerving to the left of the guard shack, without any signal or eye

contact given by the guard, (since an eye witness reported Tina’s actions),

we know that she proceeded to speed past the shack. . .

Just as the guard who had been looking down at the papers, chose

to step out of the little building on the left side!

Tina’s car struck the guard, who shouted (screamed out) in pain!

Tina continued on, heading down our driveway and exited onto the

roads leading towards her home.

Tina has shared with some people at work, that her husband had had

a seizure, that she was very traumatized while on the phone with him.

On this recent Monday, (7/14/14), I was walking towards the break

room, for a much needed respite from work, during our 1/2 hour lunch.

I was following one of our higher up’s, Ted, who was walking with two

police officers. He was leaning into them, quietly talking with them.

When I entered the break room, I looked through the glass, to see Ted

lead the police officers into the conference room, directly across the

hall from where I sit, facing a wall of glass windows. Our table faces

this direction, to watch “our”  daily show, Drew Carey’s “The Price

is Right” show. There are about half the group who face this way, while

the other large screen television presents a sports channel with its

own audience.

For only 20-30 seconds while the door to the conference opened and

then immediately shut as the men passed into the room; I saw Tina

sitting at the conference table.

I had heard different variations of the so-called “accident.”

I had also heard that we were not to discuss this at work, from one of

the uninjured guards. But he whispered the name of the guard who

was hurt, (Joe.) Along with the fact that the guard had called over to

the building’s security guard. Heresay was, he said they would get as

soon as possible a ‘substitute guard,’ to replace him. The warehouse

indoors) security guard was also advising that injured guard to go to

the Emergency Room, as soon as the ‘substitute guard’ arrived.

According to reports passed around, he did go to the Emergency Room,

got X-rays of his torso and hip, prescription for painkillers and he took

the rest of Friday evening through until Tuesday, off on ‘sick leave.’

When my good friends, who have more than a sandwich, sometimes

using the microwaves (not facing the glass window and hallway),

arrived at the table, I told them I saw policeman go into the conference

room, also, Ted and Tina were also inside that room.

Note: There is a back’ door to the conference room, which leads out past

the front of the building which would be a direct exit for the officers and

Tina to leave, if this were to occur. Later in the day, at our second break

on Monday, we agreed that she must have had to go down to the police

station.

We were talking about the situation and 4 of the 6 of my table-mates were

all very sympathetic towards Tina’s mental state and her home situation,

along with the pressure she has endured over the past 12 months.

I and one other ‘parent’ and concerned person for the security guard’s

position were saying we thought immediately of how we would feel so

much differently, if it were our own sons that got hit. Also, how wrong we

felt that Tina left the situation, without finding out how hurt or injured

the man, named Joe, was.

I am not trying to take a poll, nor was I really trying to play “Devil’s

Advocate,” but when I realized that everyone felt strongly in favor of

Tina, regardless of her actions, I held my tongue. The other person,

Jean, who has a son, and I quietly talked after work on Tuesday, when

there were no other people around.

The main reason why Jean and I brought up the subject again, was that

at the morning meeting, we were kind of surprised (shocked!) that Tina

was still among the employed. We have big meetings about Safety. We

are every month evaluated on a ten question or points system ‘review.’

If we have an accident, we are given less points for our review. If we

don’t eventually serve on the Safety Committee, we may never get a

Perfect Points’ evaluation for that criteria.

Our managers, two bosses, (heavy bulk and bins order fillers) did not

say a word. They did not say, “We should not discuss, during work

hours, anything about a legal situation, that is not in our realm of

employment subjects.” (Or some such ‘mumbo-jumbo.’)

My good friends, Tammy and Melvin, were saying during our Tues.

lunch, that they had offered to be ‘character witnesses’ to Tina,

should she be taken to court over her “Hit and Run” situation.

Since this was on our work site, before she had passed out of the

area where the security guard stays in the ‘shack,’ I was expecting

that she would be suspended. But, financially, I do understand that

she and her husband are dependent on her insurance and income.

He has not been employed since over a year ago.

On the other hand, the poor man who was ‘hit’ by the side of her

car, did have bruises and he feels pain in his side, hip and was

limping for the past few days. (I did not see him over the weekend)

Joe did come back to work on Tuesday, to sit inside at the desk,

wave the metal detector “wand” across us, while we pass through

the arch which also detects metal.

Joe, is a retired police officer, who chose to continue working after

62 years of age. He normally greets us, if he is stationed indoors,

with a jovial, “Good Morning!” He has been rather downcast,

depressed and when asked how he is, “Okay,” is his brief reply.

This reminds me of an Ethics course.  Also, most companies include

an ethics test in their employment process. . .

I have presented to you a ‘case.’ If you should wish to ‘weigh in’ on the

‘right’ or ‘wrong’ of this situation or maybe throw your ‘two cents in,’

please feel free to do so!

I like to discuss “moral dilemmas” and values, too, when gathered with

close friends or family.  Do you?