Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 27th

It's not a memorable date to royalty: like the ascension of Trajan, or the marriage of Henry VI.

It's not a source of pride like the founding of America's first public university in Georgia, or the shame of an act of Congress which began the "Trail of Tears."

It's not like the famous dates in WWII air power, liberation and remembrance; or Cold War balance of terror which saw open air nuclear testing begin in Nevada.

It's not like 1967 when the US, UK & USSR signed a treaty banning deployment of nuclear weapons in space, and limiting use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes... While the crew of Apollo 1 perished in a launch-pad fire on the very same day.

Amidst the run up to the 2003 Iraq War diplomats traded accusations which would later be proven false, the Library of Congress announced its first selections for the National Recording Registry which are acknowledged enduring.

That morning, a guy was having some stiffness in the arm he slept on the previous night after watching the pirate-themed Super Bowl 37 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders, 48–21) and post-game debut of Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC.

He got up, shaved, showered and caught the 5:10 am bus to work. Then made the change to a second bus in the silence typical of Las Vegas' early commuters... At least the black & white ones. The Hispanics kept up a steady stream of Spanglish conversation throughout the trip.

On the way down the stairs of the bus he felt a weakness in what he thought of as his good knee after breaking the opposite in his teens. He crossed the 7 lanes of traffic and walked the final 2,000 feet down the block, through the gate and toward his desk in the cube farm where his work group filled up at staggered start times.

It was only when he didn't recognize the comfortable, confident familiarity of his own voice while trying to solve his first customer's computer problem that he rose shakily to his feet. In his company it was a signal for "I need help."

The first supervisor to recognize larger trouble had himself suffered a heart attack under similar circumstances. "I'm having a stroke," was what the worker struggled to say. "Call 911."

That was eight years ago today.

Life goes on, differently. But I'm still here.

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