For the last couple of months on Tuesdays my friend and disabled client John and I have been receiving training at a community radio station. A while back we proposed a show on the issues of the disabled community. I thought they would kick us to the curb but from the beginning the all volunteer staff has been supportive and really hoping we could handle the technical aspects of using a radio board. Luckily, I had the good sense to keep my new blog and the losing of my big toe nail story to myself.
This past Tuesday we had to put together and record a fifteen minute program including station announcements and a live interview without any help. My friend and client did great and I really am proud of the proposed show that will be judged by the radio board to see if it is air worthy. If they give us our own show we will owe our teacher John Lovering everything. He was the soul of patience and an incredible instructor. He taught science at a local High School for thirty six years and it showed in his patient skill. As the weeks went by this tutoring job became personal and he began telling us how much he believed in the show. After one session he opened up about his own past and his own unlikely survival from spinal cancer. There was a time years ago when he was paralyzed for fourteen months slowly fighting his way back to his feet and his classroom. At the end of one school day he received a call from his doctor in Boston asking that he and his wife drive down the next day for serious consultation. A cold chill came over him and he kept asking why did they did to see him. Finally he was told that his latest skeletal x-ray disclosed fourteen tumors-one had already cracked a rib and another one was growing behind his right eye. At that moment he could only see suicide as an option and he knew exactly how to end his life. There was a stretch of road on the interstate where he could drive his car into the river. He began to speed up only to notice that someone was tailgating. His innate kindness prevented him possibly startling the driver into an accident so he sped up reaching eighty miles per hour and still the tailgater was right on his bumper. In a flash the stretch of land by the river that was exerting a gravitational pull on him like a Black Hole was now in his rear view mirror and its deadly power waned. The tailgater actually passed him going eighty plus as John slowed his car and his mind and returned to his wife and home. The moment had passed and thirty years later he stood before us a vigorous senior citizen with a baby face and timeless kindness in his eyes eager to help us and perhaps help someone out there listening who needs help just for a moment to escape the pull of their own personal black hole. Our teacher has promised to stay with us as our engineer as long as we need him.