Why the title, “Hire the Handicapped, They’re Fun To Watch?
“On the face of it, it sounds really discriminatory. But since I am disabled, you’d think I would run screaming the other way before I’d choose a title that was such. Well, no, not really. There is a story behind the title.
My best friend, Daniel Soule, was also born with Cerebral Palsy. However, he didn’t let that stop him from leading a more than normal life. I say more than normal because he didn’t just sit around doing nothing. He was a truck driver, a volunteer firefighter, a hunter, you name it, he probably did it.Now, this was before the ADA (Americans With Disabilties Act), and before “disabled” became more politically correct than “handicapped”. Dan coined the phrase, “Hire the handicapped, they’re fun to watch.” when people would avert their eyes when he or other friends would walk down the street or wheel down the street. Yeah, when I could walk you could tell I was disabled. Dan too.
Keith, (the husband), described Dan this way: He looked like Burt Reynolds, but walked like Donald Duck. I always laughed when I heard that… and Dan did too. Now, if Burt Reynolds had bright red hair, maybe Dan would look like him, maybe… but it was hilarious.
Dan’s outlook on life, was unique at the time, he wasn’t your normal stay at home, and be ‘unnoticed in public’ type of disabled person, either. Dan was the type to just go along his merry way and live his life. Why hide? He had nothing to be embarrassed about.
Yes, he was born with Cerebral Palsy, but it wasn’t his fault. Just like it wasn’t his fault that others were embarrassed if they didn’t like it when he walked down the street.
Dan died way too young when he was helping a friend move. He was at the bottom of a Amateur Radio antenna when it broke in half and connected with a power line. Dan knew he’d been electricuted. He ran down the road, yelling he’d been electrocuted. If he’d been abled to be saved, he would have been. His First Aid instructor was riding by on her horse. Medic One was just a few minutes Away. Airlift Northwest was left than 10 minutes away… but to no avail. Dan was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and spent 4 days there, while the doctors tried to get him stable enough to do tests. When they did the tests they found he was brain dead.
He had no family. *I* was the closest thing to family he had. We’d known each other since I was 18… I had to make the decision to pull the plug. Hardest thing I’d ever done. I spent four DAYS at Harborview waiting for word, and even though Keith and I weren’t family, they treated us like we were… and then, they gave me the decision to pull the plug. It wasn’t a decision really. Dan was no longer there. He’d died 4 days earlier. It was his shell laying there… it took me YEARS to accept that… but at the time… anyway. I made the decision and Keith and I cleaned out Dan’s house. He had no other executors for his estate. We held a funeral for him. And I buried my best friend. We were soulmates, or as close as could be. I do believe I married my soulmate and that wasn’t Dan.
When Keith and I decided to start our own Star Trek club, it was really no decision to name the club after Dan. I still can’t believe that Starfleet International let us do it… it was an honor for them to grant us this… twice. Yep, twice. For reasons beyond my control the first club folded and then was reborn, with a new NCC number, but the new club is still here, but needs help.
If you’d like to join… go to http://www.sfi.org. and join Starfleet. No dues other than the Starfleet dues of $15 per person or the Family dues. I’m working on the website (again) and the newsletter, but it’s slow going.
We are a Correspondence chapter, and will do things via email, Facebook, blogging, and using other means to communicate. I want to get the newsletter up and running and get the chapter up and running so that we can be active and a force to be reconned with. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.So to answer the question, why did I title the blog this way? To honor a dear friend’s sense of humor and it fits me. It really does.