“Ring – Ring”

“This is Garafalo’s and this phone-call is for Dawn Smith…” (Pause) “Her eyeglasses are ready to be picked up. Our hours are from 9 A.M. to 7 P.M. Friday, 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. Saturday, and closed Sunday.  Hours for Monday through Thursday are 10 A.M. to 9 P.M. If you would like this message repeated press 1, otherwise, hang-up.”

And there you have it, a succinct and to the point message spoken in clear, easy to understand English.  It was a pleasure talking and even listening to this person.

Oh that’s right…I was talking with a robot.  Isn’t it crazy, that in this technologically advanced country you need speak to a programmed machine if you wish to have a conversation that is discernible.

I guess that I am a relic of the past because I have problems using my iPhone.  Smart phones, as they are called, blow me away.  Though, I do admit using Google Maps frequently.  I just can’t remember things anymore, so thank goodness for the GPS on most phones.

I normally have my daughter do the GPS thing but the other night following my hospital stay in this, newer to me, city I was getting myself lost so my trusty iPhone gave me turn by turn directions and audibly so my eyes could stay on the road. They really are marvelous.

My daughter is receiving an education for, who knows what, the job she will have in all likelihood hasn’t been invented yet.  Kids today have an unbelievably hard row to hoe ahead of them.

But going by my daughter’s unfailingly good attitude her generation will create opportunities that can postpone the world’s destruction a little while longer.

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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