Wednesday, April 11, 2007


First off, thanks so much to Hena Cuevas at "Life & Times" at KCET-TV in LA for a splendid feature last night on life after paralysis. Transverse Myelitis is a rare and mysterious disorder and with the help of Dr. Dan Rovner, my longtime neurologist, Hena made it clear and simple to understand. More people in LA probably heard about transverse myelitis last night than every before. Again, thanks, Hena.

We've received hundreds of letters on since "The Best Seat" came out. They are invariably moving, touching, funny, and sad, or all of the above. At least half are not from readers with disabilities, but from the friends and family of the disabled, trying to gain some perspective on what their loved ones are going through. Even if the book just helps get the conversation going, that's great.

With the permission of the authors, I've decided to publish some of these letters for others to read. The one today comes from a delightful woman from Franklin Springs, Georgia named Barbara Hart. Like many readers of the book, Barbara has no "big time health problems" at present, but knows that something strange and unsettling awaits her as she gets older, just as it awaits damn near all of us. With this short intro, I give you Barbara Hart:

I just finished your book; two sittings. Loved it, freakin' loved it. It should be required reading for all us baby boomers. I have no big-time health problems right now but have started what I call "the organ recital." You know, last week it was ovarian cancer, this week it's melanoma, and next week, thanks to your book, it will be transverse myelitis lol !!!!!! Anyway, I did very much like the book. I could gush forever, but I won't.....unless you write back and say gush some more and then I will. I send a lot back to Amazon but this one stays on the shelf.

Several years ago, I read a book about a fellow who had contracted AIDS. Can't recall the name or the guy, but the entire book from cover to cover was about his futile effort to find help, all over the country and other parts of the world. I wondered at the time how much time he was wasting on chasing "miracle" cures. I ended up throwing the book in the trash.....not because it was about AIDS, far from it, but because the guy could not and would not come to grips with his condition. Heartless on my part? I thought so at the time, but after reading your book you put what I was feeling at the time in perspective. Sometimes (actually most of the time) shit just happens; no fault, just shit.

Two more things. One, when I introduced my soon-to-be second husband to a friend back in 1984, the friend said, "Barbara's going to marry Martin Mull and have his babies." My second husband was and is a dead ringer for Martin Mull!!!! No kidding. We didn't have babies, but that was by choice so there are no southern Mull types running around here.

Secondly, and lastly, you got one thing very, very wrong in your book. Sexy and being interesting to the opposite sex has nothing to do with legs or any other appendage. Sexy is funny, or at least to me and other evolved woman types. You, my dear man, are very attractive, funny and sexy. If Ann-Marie gives you the heave ho, come on down south and party with us. I'm told I still have the face of a 35 year
old (that anti-aging thing again), but, you know what, Al, the neck doesn't lie!!!!!

All the best to you and your family. You done a good thing with this book, my man.

Barbara Hart (age 57) but who cares!!!!!
Franklin Springs, GA

Thanks, Barbara, and keep them cards and letters comin'.


Blogger Jenny Junipero said...

Yes! What she said! In spades.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Allen said...

Hope you are talking about the "attractive, sexy, funny" part.


3:36 PM  
Blogger Jenny Junipero said...

Indeed I am.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Allen said...

Well, that's awfully damn sweet of you, as well as Barbara, writer of the letter. I hope every young disabled male knows this about the mysteries of love. It's not about appendages, to use Barbara's apt phrase.

Jenny, have you read my tome? I hope so, and thanks for posting.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

Allen - - Just finished The Best Seat in the House - - it should be required reading for all the military who are wounded in battle and, eventually, lose a moving part. Also, some of their stories would be a great "next book".

I'm 67 and Barbara is right - - the appendages are not as important as humor, a good heart and a hearty laugh - - those 3 will get me every time.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Jenny Junipero said...

Uh - yeah. Jen Fizz, c'est moi.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Allen said...

Kay, you're right, the stories of disabled returning vets from that awful war would make a great book. Thanks so much for your note.

Jen Fizz, a ha! It all makes sense now.

4:18 PM  

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