Positive Notes

1727

 

September 18, 2019

Memo To: Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1727

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Hello from Rocky Bottom where Shelley and I are participating in a week long training program for seniors sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind Seniors Division. Shelley and I traveled to Rocky Bottom on Saturday, September 14, to do some last minute preparation prior to the start of the program which began on Sunday, September, 15, and will conclude on Saturday, September 21. Thirteen seniors representing nine states (Michigan, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, and Tennessee) are learning blindness skills such as: cane travel, Braille, home management, organizational skills, and assistive technology. These seniors are wearing learning shades while learning these skills and they are participating in daily group discussions which are designed to reinforce appropriate choices when encountering a variety of blindness issues. This is the second consecutive year a training program of this type is being offered at Rocky Bottom and the NFB of SC is very excited and honored to host such a program to blind seniors from across the country again this year. It is my hope this important program occurring this week will lead to other national divisions and state affiliates of the NFB to utilize Rocky Bottom for workshops, meetings and future training programs.

On Thursday, September 5, President Riccobono sent out an email to state presidents which reads as follows: “Dear Affiliate Presidents,

Yesterday a popular morning radio show called Breakfast Club attacked the capacity of blind people to supervise children. We know perpetuating misconceptions like that harms our community, particularly the rights of blind parents. Below is the link to the episode. For reference, it’s a topic that is ongoing throughout the episode.

https://www.iheart.com/podcast/the-breakfast-club-24992238/episode/blind-babysitter-8881600/?campid=homepage_featured_shows&pname=0&cid=%2Fpodcasts%2F

We cannot let them use their public forum to jeopardize the rights of blind parents and their families. They have millions of subscribers and followers. They say they are willing to learn, so let’s educate them.

Let them know how blind people care for children, particularly if you are a blind parent. Connect with them on social media (@breakfastclubam) or call 800-585-1051.”

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want: blindness is not what holds you back. Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC. Here is Dr. Capps.

I note that the 2020 NFB convention will be held in Houston, Texas. The 1971 NFB convention was held in Houston and it was the first time the NFB of SC sponsored its first bus trip which enhanced our national convention attendance. Some years ago, my nephew (my sister’s son) graduated from Mullins High School and later graduated from Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville. Upon graduation my nephew was offered a very attractive position with a prominent law firm in Houston and to the best of my knowledge, he continues to practice law in Houston. I believe the 2020 NFB convention will be a good one. While I was fortunate to be present in 1971, this will not be the case in 2020. The national office is very careful in selecting the NFB convention sites. In this Positive Note I know that some of you would like to know the locations of the NFB conventions throughout the years. Some of the convention cities are as follows: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, Santa Fe, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Miami, Orlando, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Louisville, Nashville, Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta, Columbia, SC, Charlotte, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Washington, DC, and there may be others but this is a pretty good listing. Some conventions have been located in the same location throughout the years. Perhaps in next week’s Positive Note I will have other NFB convention cities. Also in the future we might list the different state conventions held throughout South Carolina. I realize that many have traveled to several of these NFB conventions but there may be newer NFB members who do not fall into this category.

 

Final Thought:   Transforming our dreams into reality: When others put up barriers to success for blind persons, we must react quickly to prevent them from not turning our dreams into reality.

1726

 

September 11, 2019

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1726

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Before we turn our attention to other activities in the NFB of SC, I would like to share with you numbers regarding the Fun Day which occurred at Rocky Bottom on August 31.  We were able to raise $5,034.69 in gross proceeds.  Fun Day Lunch $290.00, Fun Day food for weekend $750.00, Fun Day Tickets $2,555.00, T-shirts $92.00, Fun Day Yard Sale 82.69.00, Fun Day Auction $1,265.00.

It is time to turn our attention toward Meet the Blind Month which is held during the month of October.  This is an extremely important event, because it provides our members the opportunity to educate the public of the programs and services offered by the National Federation of the Blind.  Meet the Blind Month activities can also be used as a recruitment tool to introduce blind individuals to our organization.  It is my hope many of our chapters and divisions are planning activities in their respective communities to promote this worthwhile event.  Let me know if your chapter or division will be having a Meet the Blind Month activity and I will be glad to share this information in the Positive Note.  If you are still looking for ideas for the month, a recommendation is to focus on web and technology accessibility. Here are some ideas: demonstrate accessibility and the tools used for daily activities using an iPhone or computer at a public library, a local event, or a school; or plan a presentation to a local business such as a bank. If you aren’t comfortable with a technology demonstration, plan an event in your local community to talk about blindness and the NFB philosophy. There is still time to order materials from the Independence Market such as Braille alphabet cards.

During the next two weeks or so, all of you should be receiving your 2020 Houston bus fund tickets.  Let’s do all we can to raise the necessary funds to charter a bus so that as many of our members as possible will be able attend the 2020 national convention in Houston Texas.  As we have done previously, tickets will cost $1.  Remember, the winner of the winning ticket which will be drawn on January 4, 2020 at the Statewide Seminar will win $300, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $100, and the Chapter selling the most tickets will win $300.

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.

An adequate hotel facility is essential to accommodate a federation convention.  For some 30 years I have worked with hotels in South Carolina to be sure that each facility could accommodate NFB of SC conventions.  On three or four occasions, however, we did hold NFB of SC conventions on another site.  I specifically recall utilizing Clemson University for an NFB of SC convention some 40 years ago or about 1980.  Although Clemson went all out to assist the NFB of SC, there were situations where they were not able to provide such things as telephone service from room to room.  During that particular convention university officials told me that they would like to see me.  I immediately went to the lobby and a very attractive African-American lady greeted me.  She had read in the Greenville News that the NFB of SC convention was being held at Clemson University and she had an interest in our work with the blind.  Her interest was for a good reason.  She reported that her mother was blind and had been a teacher.  I’m referring to none other than the late Ruth Jordan.  This meeting resulted in Mrs. Jordan combined with a foundation proving to be of tremendous financial assistance to the Federation Center of the Blind and to Rocky Bottom.  Ruth Jordan introduced Maxine Bock and her foundation to the federation in this regard.  On more than one occasion Mrs. Jordan made a contribution of $100 without being solicited.  We wanted to especially honor Mrs. Jordan’s mother.  Shortly after the convention, Mrs. Jordan traveled to Rocky Bottom so that she could see what was being done to develop this unique program.  Mrs. Jordan passed a few years ago.  We offered to name one of the Conference Center rooms the “Carrie Lee Cox Memorial Library” in her mother’s honor.  Mrs. Jordan was responsible for contributions to federation programs.  We also set up a meeting with Mrs. Jordan in Spartanburg where we had an excellent experience which resulted in a significant contribution to the School for the Blind.  Mrs. Jordan was a school teacher.  I believe Mrs. Jordan joined the Greenville Chapter which resulted in her being responsible for the chapter’s annual scholarship for the blind in that area.  I’m glad there were no telephones in the Clemson University rooms as otherwise we would never have met Mrs. Jordan.

 

Final Thought:   Transforming our dreams into reality:  Don’t just be a spectator.  Get involved with your local chapter or division.  Fundraise for Rocky Bottom, the NFB of SC and the NFB.  Transforming dreams into reality requires your active participation!

1725

 

September 4, 2019
Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others
From:  Frank Coppel, President
Positive Note 1725
Greetings Fellow Federationists:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended and volunteered their services at the Fun Day Festival held at Rocky Bottom this past Labor Day weekend.  The turnout for this event was good as approximately 55 federationists attended the festivities on Saturday, August 31.  All of us need to work harder to attract more of the public to attend as well as to encourage more of our members to sell their Fun Day tickets and to attend the Fun Day festivities.  The weather this weekend was spectacular and everyone appeared to have a great time enjoying each other’s company and raising money for Rocky Bottom.  Next week I will share with you the breakdown of the proceeds regarding this year’s Fun Day festival.  Many thanks go to Lenora Robertson, Ellen Taylor, Glenda Ulick and the rest of the “Food Crew” for preparing four outstanding meals Saturday and Sunday morning.  I would like to especially thank Valerie and Larry Warrington, their niece, Haily, and Libby Farr for helping where ever needed.  I would also like to recognize David and Darlene Houck, Isaiah and John Nelson, Linda Bible, and Jennifer Bazer for their assistance on Saturday as well as Jeff Baser who did a great job handling the duties of auctioneer.  RBRCCB is an extremely important and vital program of the NFB of SC and all of us as members need to work diligently and creatively in the years to come to increase the amount of monies raised during the Fun Day Festival.  As I have stated many times, Rocky Bottom belongs to all of us.  We need to work “as one team with one goal” and be proud we have such a unique facility in South Carolina.
I have been informed by Isaiah Nelson he is currently planning a trip to the Biltmore House and Estate the weekend of December13-15 2019.  This will be a wonderful time of the year to visit the Biltmore House and Estates as it will be beautifully decorated for the Christmas season.  The cost will be $80 for adults and $40 for children under the age of twelve.  This price will include the tour of the Biltmore House, winery, and lunch on Saturday December 14.  Overnight accommodations will be available at Rocky Bottom the evenings of Friday, December 13, and Saturday, December 14.  If you plan to stay at Rocky Bottom there will be an additional $20 charge.  Isaiah Nelson states he will accept half of the payment by September 27, and the final payment no later than October 25.  For further information regarding this statewide outing, you can contact Isaiah Nelson at (803) 413-2434.
All of you by now should have received the letter regarding the details for the NFB of SC five night cruise to the Bahamas which is schedule to occur November 14-19 2020.  We will be departing from Charleston on Saturday, November 14 on the Carnival Cruise line Sunshine.  I am told there has been a great deal of interest regarding the cruise by our travel consultant, Elizabeth Harvey, so I would encourage you to go ahead and book your cabin as soon as possible.  I would like to point out that if you book your cabin now, you have a year to pay for your cruise as the deadline for your final payment is not due until September 8, 2020.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to have fun as an organization and to raise funds for the NFB of SC.  For all booking questions and to make payments please contact:   Elizabeth Harvey, Travel Consultant, (803)767-6897, cell phone or email at elizabeth@twosisterstravelco.com.  To mail payments please send them to:
Elizabeth Harvey
300 Westridge Rd.
Elgin, SC 29045
For payments, Ms. Harvey can accept credit/debit cards over the phone or check/money order via mail.  Please let Ms. Harvey know if you have any questions.
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.
Over the weekend just about every discussion included Hurricane Dorian headed this way.  While I’m glad Hurricane Dorian over Labor Day weekend did not target the Fun Day Festival at RBRCCB, we should all keep in our thoughts and prayers those being affected by the hurricane.  Information received indicates that the Fun Day Festival was an outstanding success.  Our thanks go out to the chapters and individuals who sold Fun Day tickets as this always enhances the profits statewide.  In my thoughts, I remanence about the bygone Fun Day Festival era.  In the 1980’s we did not have a Conference Center which we have enjoyed since 1991.  During the 80’s the Fun Day Festival was conducted outdoors utilizing a house trailer which was designed for the sale of food, etc.  Tents were also used.  Participants enjoyed the outdoor activity utilizing the Old Dining Hall.  Speaking of the Old Dining Hall, just one thing, we found this old building to be on the Historical Registry.  The Historical Society got wind that we were going to demolish the old facility in order to construct a new and modern building.  The society contacted us about this and we managed to satisfy the society by promising to use some of the wood in the new building.  We placed some of the wood from the Old Dining Hall around the fireplace in the dining room in the new Conference Center.  From the beginning we were fortunate to have the support of the neighborhood in discussing the kind of Fun Day we would have.  Our longtime neighbors, now deceased, Flora and Gus Ross, participated in the festival and helped make it a success.  The Labor Day Fun Day Festival has given funding tremendously and we have greatly benefitted from the proceeds which finances this program for the blind.  The years have gone by and many who have helped in the past, including many blind members, are no longer with us.  It’s good that our members recognize the importance of the Labor Day Fun Day Festival as we need as much positive assistance as possible.  After attending most of these festivals I would be remiss if I did not let you know that physically I cannot attend as I have in previous years.  Let me thank all of you for a job well done.

Final Thought:   Transforming our dreams into reality:  Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind would not exist except for Dr. Capps’ authorized payment of an insurance claim which led to a visit to Rocky Bottom, obtaining the property in 1979, constructing several facilities and amenities leading up to our 40th year of service to the blind.  Many hands were involved, volunteering many hours and giving sacrificially.

1724

 

August 27, 2019
Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others
From:  Frank Coppel, President
Positive Note 1724
Greetings Fellow Federationists:

This weekend many of us will be traveling to Rocky Bottom to attend the 38th annual Fun Day Festival.  Over 45 Federationists are planning to be at Rocky Bottom on Saturday, August 31, to participate in all the festivities.  One of my favorite activities during Fun Day is the auction which will take place Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.  Many thanks go to Jennifer Bazer and Valerie Warrington as both of these individuals have been very instrumental in securing items for the auction.  Items for the auction include a black and silver football autographed by the Carolina Panthers, a TV donated by Blue Ridge Electric , a variety of gift baskets, and scrumptious homemade bakery items just to name a few.  We will be selling yard sale items and we will also be selling RBRCCB merchandise.  .  Four meals will be served throughout the weekend.  Times for meals are as follows: Saturday, August 31, breakfast 8:30, lunch 12:00, and supper 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 1, breakfast 8:30.  You will need to see Valerie and Larry Warrington and pay $30 for adults and $15 for children under twelve years of age to cover all four meals including the lunch on Saturday.  Those individuals who are attending the Fun Day Festival Saturday and who are only eating lunch will need to pay Valerie and Larry Warrington $10 for adults.
It is extremely important we all do what we can to sell as many $5 Fun Day tickets as possible as this greatly contributes to the overall profits of the festival.  Remember, the winning ticket drawn will yield $50 to the seller and $500 to the buyer or $550 if you bought your own ticket.  The chapter selling the most tickets will receive $300 for its treasury!  Thus far, we have received Fun Day ticket money and stubs from the Aiken chapter, Anderson chapter, Chesterfield chapter, Columbia chapter, Greenwood Chapter, and the Hilton Head chapter.  It would be great if we can hear from many of our other chapters as funds raised from the Fun Day tickets sales will provide much needed financial support for our facilities and programs at Rocky Bottom.  Please mail your ticket stubs and money to the Federation Center no later than Friday, August 30, or better yet, bring your stubs and money to Rocky Bottom on Saturday, August 31, and give them to David Houck.
It would be awesome to have a large Federation turnout for this very important fundraising event.
Jennifer Duffell-Hoffman, the South Carolina Parents of Blind Children president, has created a closed group for South Carolina Parents of Blind Children and is asking that NFB of SC members join the group and publish and share the group with families of blind and low vision children in South Carolina. Families can also reach Jennifer privately at jaduffell@yahoo.com or 803-287-5391.
I am very sad to report Mrs. Doris Bell, a longtime Federationist and a member of the Laurens chapter of the NFB of SC passed away on Wednesday, August 21.  Doris and her husband Bob were instrumental in organizing the Laurens Chapter as well as building and directing the Robert R. Bell center located in Laurens.  Doris also assisted Bob a great deal when Bob was state president from 1982 to 1986 and when he was Chairman of RBRCCB from 1986 to 2000.  It is very clear Doris loved Rocky Bottom as a portion of her head stone is made from a rock taken from Rocky Bottom.  During the mid-1980’s, Doris and Bob Bell played a major role in my federation walk as they strongly encouraged and mentored me in becoming a leader in this organization.  Let’s all of us in our federation family keep the Bell family in our thoughts and prayers.
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.
August is a special month as many of my friends and family celebrates birthdays.  Several federationists have birthdays in August.  I was touched in a special way this time with a homemade chocolate cake given to me by my longtime friends Scott and Edna Johnson.  I don’t recall this ever happening in the past.  Dr. Fred Crawford and myself celebrate the same birthday, August 30, which occurs this Friday.  Fred will be 93 and I will be 91.  Lois Tucker celebrates her birthday on August 17, only about two weeks before mine.  Our state President Frank Coppel celebrates his birthday one day after August on September 1.  My mother’s birthday was on August 29, one day before mine.  Our daughter Beth was born on August 7 and my brother-in-law, Attorney Gene Rogers was also born in August.  My caregiver Debbie Manning had her birthday on Sunday, August 25.  I’m sure there are others I am overlooking.  I believe that almost all of us are looking forward to when the Fun Day Festival gets underway on August 31.
For several decades it was my pleasure to work with Doris Bell in the federation as her husband Bob was state President and headed up the Bell Federation Center of the Blind in Laurens for many years.  I would be remiss if I did not express my deepest sympathy to Bell family members including the sons of Doris, Robby and Mark.  Their distinguished years of service will be greatly missed.  I’m sorry I was prevented from attending the funeral as I am unable to travel that distance.  However, several NFB of SC members did attend including state President Frank Coppel, Ed & Julie Bible, Parnell Diggs who sang “Others,” David and Darlene Houck, Laurens Chapter President Helen McNuer and the Bell Center Secretary Ginger Landreth to name a few.
A good turnout at Rocky Bottom is expected this weekend for the Fun Day Festival.  I was blessed to have attended this annual event for many years.  Special food service is provided by Lenora Robertson and her kitchen crew.  I trust that Fun Day ticket sales and the Auction sale will bring in much needed funding for Rocky Bottom.

Final Thought:   Transforming our dreams into reality:  Remembering the late Bob and Doris Bell of Laurens who dedicated their lives for the cause of the blind and others.

 

1723

 

August 21, 2019
Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others
From:  Frank Coppel, President
Positive Note 1723
Greetings Fellow Federationists:

As I have been reporting during the last few weeks in the Positive Note, the thirty-eighth annual Rocky Bottom Fun Day Festival will take place Labor Day weekend, August 30-September 1.  If you would like to make a reservation for the weekend you can contact me at (803) 796-8662 or call the Federation Center at (803) 254-3777.  We have already begun to receive requests for sleeping accommodations, so I would strongly encourage you to call me or the Federation Center and reserve a room at Rocky Bottom as soon as possible.  We need to have your reservation no later than Tuesday, August 27.  This information is extremely important as we need an accurate head count as to the amount of food we need to purchase for the weekend.  Four meals will be served including three on Saturday, August 31, and breakfast on Sunday morning, September 1.  Adults will be charged $30 and children will be charged $15 under twelve years of age to cover all four meals including the lunch on Saturday.  Those individuals who are only attending the Fun Day Festival Saturday will need to pay Valerie and Larry Warrington $10 for lunch.  I hope you are continuing to sell your $5 Fun Day tickets as this greatly contributes to the overall profits of the Fun Day Festival.  Remember, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $50 and $500 to the buyer of the winning ticket.  If you purchase your own ticket, you will receive $550.  The chapter selling the most tickets will receive $300 for its treasury!  Thus far, we have only sold 130 tickets statewide.  I know we can do much better, so let’s get busy and do what we can to sell as many tickets as possible during the next ten days!  We also need to bring new items for the auction which will take place on Saturday afternoon August 31, at 12:00 noon.  Let’s have a great turnout for the Fun Day Festival as Rocky Bottom very much needs our financial support!
We have an announcement from Shannon Cook, Chairperson of our NFB of SC Scholarship committee.  “On behalf of the 2019 NFB of SC Scholarship Committee, we would like to extend heart-felt congratulations to the three scholarship winners.  Sarah Massengale, 3rd place, was awarded $675.  Matthew Duffell-Hoffman, 2nd place, was awarded $1,125. Casey Eubanks, 1st place, was awarded $1,725. We also want to thank the chapters who contributed to the scholarships, including Belvedere, Chesterfield, Columbia, Grand Strand, Greenville, and Sumter.  Additional thanks go to the donors of the Dr. Sheila Breitweiser scholarship, and the Bernard Kline scholarship provided by the Federation Center. The Cherokee Chapter opted to give their scholarship to Clinton Davis at a separate meeting, but we did not want to go without congratulating him as well.  If anyone has any suggestions for our committee, we welcome the input.  Thanks also go to the scholarship committee members whose experience and expertise have helped to improve the standards by which our winners are chosen.“
A few weeks prior to this year’s state convention a request for a Proclamation acknowledging the seventy fifth anniversary of the NFB of SC was submitted to the Governor’s office with the intention of it being  presented and read during the opening session of our convention.  Although we did not receive the Proclamation in time for the state convention, we appreciate the Governor’s Office honoring our request with a proclamation celebrating our seventy five years of service to the blind of this state.  Here is the Proclamation;
State of South Carolina
Governor’s Proclamation

Whereas, established in 1944, the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind became a vehicle for collective action to promote the economic, social and spiritual well-being of blind South Carolinians; and
Whereas, in its charter as a statewide organization with chapters in Spartanburg, Columbia and Charleston, the Aurora Club became an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind in 1956 and began doing business as the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina; and
Whereas, over the past 75 years, the Federation’s advocacy has led to the enactment of over 40 pieces of legislation, including the creation of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind, the adoption of the Model White Cane Law guaranteeing blind South Carolinians the right to access public roads and facilities in the state, the adoption of the South Carolina Blind Persons Right to Parent Act, and has improved the quality of life for blind South Carolinians; and
Whereas, through its local chapters and statewide divisions, the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina has provided economic, social and spiritual enrichment to blind South Carolinians on an individual basis; and
Whereas, the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina is holding its Diamond Anniversary Convention during the weekend of August 9-11in the city of Columbia, South Carolina.
Now, therefore, I Henry McMaster, Governor of the Great State of South Carolina, do hereby proclaim August 9-11as
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF SOUTH CAROLINA
75th ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND
Throughout the state and encourage all South Carolinians to congratulate the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina and its members on the 75 years of work, both individually and collectively, to improve the quality of life of blind individuals in the Palmetto State.
Henry McMaster, Governor, State of South Carolina

I am saddened to report that Mary McNeil, a longtime member of the Columbia Chapter passed away on Saturday, August 17.  The Federation family should keep Mary McNeil’s friends and family in our thoughts and prayers.
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.
Recently I read the book on the Titanic which was supposed to be unsinkable.  However, in 1912 the Titanic was struck by an iceberg which resulted in some 1,500 passengers and crew perishing.  Only some 700 managed to survive.  No doubt this was the greatest tragedy of its type.  In 1989 Betty and celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and we booked a voyage on the QE II.  In 1989 on the QE II voyage we ran into a storm in the North Atlantic which resulted in the QE II being slightly damaged with beds other things including dishes and silverware being moved around.  As I read this book, that experience reminded me once again of our 1989 incident.  A year earlier in 1988, we traveled by air to Madrid, Spain to attend the meeting of the World Blind Union.  I learned that the Rotary Club was closed in Madrid by the dictator Franco because he felt the Rotarians would oppose his side of the Spanish civil war.  Incidentally, Rotarians met on the QE II and some of the members from around the world I found to be very interesting.  In 1992 I was privileged to attend the World Blind Union in Cairo, Egypt.  We were concerned with the taxi drivers taking us completely out of the way as I talked with the driver as best as I could.  Later at the hotel the manager advised us there were others who also had been taken advantage of by taxi drivers.  The five-star hotel was very nice and we enjoyed the dining area.  After returning home there was a report that a day after we left the hotel, criminals invaded the dining room holding several exactly where we were seated.  Following the World Blind Union meeting in Cairo we traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel which is just a short trip by air.  We took a cab from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to spend a few days there which we enjoyed.  We stayed in a hotel just across the street from the King David Hotel which we did not use because of the expense.  We did attend a Rotary meeting at the King David Hotel which we found interesting.  The speaker was giving a 30 minute speech on the importance of the Golan Heights explaining its importance to Israel.  A gentleman from Texas was present and very kindly kept me up to date on what the speaker was discussing.  I’ve enjoyed our trip but it was good to get back home.

Final Thought:   Transforming our dreams into reality:  “Your mind is like a parachute – it only works when it’s open.”e