Getting ready for a trip to Yellowstone National Park…we will be there from May 17th through May 25th of 2014 … looking forward to climate change and the awakening of animals…will cruise the Yellowstone River on Friday, May 23rd…more later as the trip evolves…
Here is more information about Yellowstone.
The rain continues…our heater is broken, it is cold … the water has not dampened the birds’ spirit to feed off the feeder…the squirrel finally succeeded at feeding off the bird feeder…thought I could see the glee in his triumphant eyes!! Nothing astute or reverential to pen today…just a soggy somber update…
City Newcomer Is Let Down by a Stranger, Then the
By MICHAEL WILSON
Fredrick Brennan, 19, moved out of his mother’s home in New Jersey in August
and into an apartment in Brooklyn that his boss helped him find. This leap was far
greater than the 120 miles or so on a map.
Mr. Brennan was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, commonly referred to as
brittle bone disease. A defect in his genes stunted his growth. Below his head and
barrel chest are shrunken, bowed stumps for legs and tiny arms twisted after
multiple fractures. He said he has broken bones 120 times — “just an estimate.”
He operates his motorized wheelchair with a joystick near his right hand. He
spends most of his day at his computer, creating code for new websites for a
company called Razor Clicks.
He is quick to smile, even as he tells of what happened to him on Jan. 1 and,
perhaps worse, what happened on the next day, when things were supposed to be
looking up. His was a bizarre odyssey of naïveté and determination, a whiplash of
labels: helpless robbery victim, empowered accuser, and then, helpless again. The
police did their best to help him, moving fast and at one point performing a
thoughtful, even tender gesture, but then they let him down.
On Dec. 21, Mr. Brennan went to visit his mother in Atlantic City. He had
been having a tough time: an acquaintance had taken money from his account
using his debit card. He was saving up for a new wheelchair. The one he has is old
and regularly shorts out; loose stuffing pokes from the cushions.
He needed about $5,000 and was almost there. But he was worried about
another unauthorized withdrawal from his account. So he took $4,850 out of the
bank with him on the trip to New Jersey, tucked in a wallet in his bag.
On Jan. 1, he boarded the bus in Atlantic City to head home. Before he did, his
mother urged him to hide the wallet in the wheelchair “I was like, ‘Oh, it will be
O.K., it’s the Port Authority,’ ” Mr. Brennan said this week. “That was pretty dumb.
I haven’t lived in New York City very long. I guess I’m not very street smart.”
A few hours later, in the Port Authority, he steered toward a MetroCard
machine. “There was this homeless guy,” he said. “He took an immediate interest
in me.” The man said he helped people navigate the terminal and get where they
need to go. “I guess he thought I was a tourist. I followed him. Very stupid,
because I knew where it was.”
They got to the machine and the man asked for a dollar. Mr. Brennan pulled
out his wallet and obliged. The man asked for another — “Come on, I can’t even
buy a hot dog with this” — and Mr. Brennan forked it over. The man left.
Mr. Brennan started the process of buying a new MetroCard, his wallet resting
in his lap. And then the man doubled back, grabbed the wallet and bolted.
“I started screaming very loud, ‘He took my wallet!’ ” The man fled up the
stairs to Eighth Avenue. A stranger, hearing Mr. Brennan’s shouts, ran after him,
and soon returned with a police officer.
The officer asked Mr. Brennan’s name. When he heard it, he handed over a
wallet he’d just found on the ground. But the cash was gone. The officer asked for a
description of the suspect. How tall was he? “I look up at everybody,” Mr. Brennan
said. “I said, ‘5-6 to 5-11’ which isn’t very helpful.” The police reviewed video of the
robbery. Mr. Brennan made his way home, embarrassed: “I should have done what
my mom said.”
The next day, a detective called and said they had made an arrest. Could Mr.
Brennan come to Manhattan and look at a lineup?
The robbery squad is in Greenwich Village, on 12th Street. Mr. Brennan left
his fourth-floor apartment in Midwood and took the elevator to the street and
several blocks to the B68 bus, which took him south — in the opposite direction of
Manhattan — and to a Q train station. There are nearer stations, but they do not
have elevators, and are useless to him.
He said he was nervous. Not about the lineup, but the weather. The winter
storm that forecasters predicted would blanket the city in eight to 10 inches of
snow was hours away.
At the detectives’ squad, he rolled into a room with a window, where he was to
look at the men in the lineup. Already, a problem.
“It’s really high,” he said. “There’s no way to see through it.” A detective gently
lifted Mr. Brennan out of the chair and held him up.
Mr. Brennan recognized the man right away. Identified as Chris Sanchez, 49,
he had been arrested near the Port Authority early that morning. The police found
some crack, marijuana and $4,073 in his pockets, according to a criminal
complaint. He was charged with grand larceny.
For Mr. Brennan, who would likely get most of his money back, it should have
been a moment of celebration. But by the time he finished filling out various
forms, it was late in the evening, and snowing heavily.
He asked for a ride home. He was worried his wheelchair would short out in
The police first told him that they would secure him an Access-a-Ride van, but
then he was told that would not be possible. He said he was told the police did not
have a van with a lift for the chair.
A detective led him outside and pushed him through snow to the Union
Square subway station. The detective left. It was almost 11 p.m., Mr. Brennan said.
He took a subway to the Atlantic Avenue station and switched to another
train, and got off at 86th Street and Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to
take a bus several stops to his home, he said.
The bus did not come. The snow kept falling. He sat under a covered bus stop,
but the accumulation grew before him. After more than an hour outside, his hands
and feet numb, he realized that even if a bus did arrive, his chair would not make it
through the snow. He called 911 on his cellphone.
The dispatcher reported a person in a wheelchair was stranded and suffering
from hypothermia, and an ambulance arrived, taking Mr. Brennan to Maimonides
Medical Center in Brooklyn, a Fire Department spokesman said. He was kept for
observation for exposure, and sent home later that day.
A police spokeswoman said Friday that the matter was being reviewed, and
that the detectives thought Mr. Brennan had a friend who could pick him up in
Brooklyn. Mr. Brennan said he never told them that.
“Although the detectives sought out several options for the victim to be
transported to his residence,” the spokeswoman, Deputy Chief Kim Royster, said,
“we should have done a better job of getting him to his destination.”
His boss, Aaron Parnes, 37, said Mr. Brennan could be “really fiercely
independent,” perhaps to a fault. He said Mr. Brennan should have called him that
night: “He loathes having to ask people to help him.”
Mr. Brennan returned to Manhattan to testify before a grand jury. Now, he
just wants his money back. Prosecutors have told him that will happen any day, he
The whole affair could have soured Mr. Brennan on New York. But it did not.
“I have a pretty nice life here,” he said. He remains irritated that the police
could not get him home, while grateful for the quick arrest in his case.
“It’s really bad sometimes to be crippled in a wheelchair, and it reminds you
that you can’t fight back when someone’s trying to rob you.”
We started a new site, http://chalenged.com, to document our travels
to various public places. Please check it out as time permits.
“And poor old Homer blind, blind as a bat…”
A head full of dream images
batter my mind
flying to and fro,
from side to side
or, whatever measured angle
Images flying with full speed
until there’s a crash and a thump
and out of the noise
and confusion of muddled thumps
of dream images
of what has been
and what might be,
out of all this
one finds or makes
directions out of indirections.
Phoenix knew her way.
Head full of dream images
down. Phoenix rising
out of her own ashes,
the perfection of beauty’s form
captured in a myth.
When a head full of dream images
batter my mind,
I hear a voice say:
all past present future
only in the body
and that all bodies belong
to dust and worms.
with its images
as a Phoenix,
from dust and ashes:
the pure energy
I am finally getting my health back…while I can never regrow my left leg, my spirit and enthusiasm for life have sprouted again…I will be more diligent and verbose from hereon…
The times are really trying my resolve and stability; I spent the parts of the last 2-weeks in the hospital: once for Kidney Infection and once for excessive potassium in my blood. What next? Who knows?
Perhaps a little light:
are the desolate, dark weeks
when nature in its barrenness
equals the stupidity of man.
The year plunges into night
and the heart plunges
lower than night
to an empty, windswept place
without sun, stars or moon
but a peculiar light as of thought
that spins a dark fire –
whirling upon itself until,
in the cold, it kindles
to make a man aware of nothing
that he knows, not loneliness
itself – Not a ghost but
would be embraced – emptiness
despair – (They
whine and whistle) among
the flashes and booms of war;
houses of whose rooms
the cold is greater than can be thought,
the people gone that we loved,
the beds lying empty, the couches
damp, the chairs unused –
Hide it away somewhere
out of mind, let it get to roots
and grow, unrelated to jealous
ears and eyes – for itself.
In this mine they come to dig – all.
Is this the counterfoil to sweetest
music? The source of poetry that
seeing the clock stopped, says,
The clock has stopped
that ticked yesterday so well?
and hears the sound of lakewater
splashing – that is now stone.
William Carlos Williams