Some behavior is so reprehensible that the individual should have some accountability.

For example …

This man said on Tuesday that he was “glad” that Hurricane Sandy came through New York and its environs last week.

That must mean he is “glad” more than 100 people died.

That must mean he is “glad” that estimated cleanup costs for the region are estimated to run in the billions of dollars.

That must mean he is “glad” that thousands are displaced and hurting in the cold weather.

The same man who said that when he thinks of Obama a ‘tingle’ goes down his leg.

This is that man.

Well, at least it shows us that his MSNBC bosses have no idea of right and wrong or discipline.
At the very least, he should be fired. And he should be fired very vocally for such an utterly atrocious statement.
And, after he is fired, I think he should be forced to wear a wooden sandwich sign that says the following and forced to wander unescorted through the hardest-hit, most disparaged streets of Staten Island, Queens and the Jersey Shore until he has seen every ruined street in every neighborhood:
Very soon thereafter, I’m sure one of two things will happen: 1) Either the sandwich board will show up on a beach somewhere, or 2) even if he survives the “walk,” he will disappear into the landscape of forgotten people, as he should.
Do I feel strongly about this? Indeed, I do!

Paul with Bill at summit of Aconcagua

On January 2, 2012, my brother-in-law, Bill, died of melanoma. Bill was a larger-than-life character who cherished doing things outside.

During his memorial service, we shared with others Bill’s love of nature. He was an avid and gifted skier. And, he loved camping and climbing mountains.

And, he made some significant climbs during his life. He climbed Mt. Marcy, highest peak in New York state; Mt. Washington, highest point in Eastern U.S.; Mt. Whitney, highest peak in the contiguous U.S.; Long’s Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park; Mt. Wilson, near Telluride, Colorado; and Cotopaxi, a high-elevation volcano in the Ecuadorean Andes.

Bill’s two best friends from childhood were Steve and Paul. Steve was here from Delaware for Bill’s passing and Paul, an anesthesiologist from South Carolina, made it the next day.

Paul could stay only a short while with us in Dallas because he was leaving on the 5th, the day of Bill’s memorial, to take Steve’s son, Jonathan, and some of Jonathan’s friends to Argentina to climb Aconcagua, the highest point in the Western and Southern hemispheres, or the tallest point in the Americas. The trip had been arranged for quite some time.

Here are just a few stats about Aconcagua:

Aconcagua, one helluva mountain

— The summit is 22,841 feet above sea level

— The northern route to the summit is considered a non-technical climb, since no ropes, axes or pins are required to reach the summit

— Other routes to the summit take the climber across the Polish Glacier, and are considered significantly more difficult than the common northern route.

— There is 40% less oxygen at the summit than at sea level

— Because of severe temps at this high level, injuries are common, due to lack of acclimatization and cold injuries.

Doesn’t sound like any sort of easy climb, does it?  Make no mistake, this is a dangerous climb. Anyone attempting this climb, and makes it to the top, can consider this quite an accomplishment.

English: Polish Glacier on Aconcagua from 6000m.

Crossing the Polish Glacier on Aconcagua

On January 19, 2012, at 2:15 p.m., Paul and his team made it to the summit. And, Paul carried a special package with him. He took out a picture of Bill that he carried with him for this trip. For a few moments at the summit of Aconcagua, Paul took out a picture of Bill and remembered his dearest friend. Bill would certainly have been proud of Paul’s accomplishment, and he certainly would have let him know it. More than likely, Bill would have been with Paul if he could.

At that altitude, Paul could not stay at the summit for very long. He found an appropriate stone and left Bill’s picture at the summit of Aconcagua. Paul was, indeed, a very special friend.

Folks, I have a little story to share with you, but I need your input. I think this would be a good idea for a lengthy story or a novel. Please let me know what you think.

Here goes.

Chick was a young man from upper New York state. Kitty was a southern belle from Albemarle, North Carolina. Even though they came from vastly different backgrounds, they met at college at Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, Massachusetts.

They dated for two years in college and got engaged. She went back to Albemarle to plan the wedding and Chick stayed in New York to work at several jobs.

While Kitty was back home, she could not understand why Chick was not staying in touch. This was a time before the Internet and cell phones. You either used a regular phone or you wrote letters to stay in touch. And, Kitty was not hearing from Chick at all.

After quite some time, Kitty became so frustrated at the lack of communication from Chick that she called off the engagement.

With the engagement no longer on, they each went their separate ways. Kitty’s dad was a Southern lawyer who did quite well. Behind the scenes, Kitty’s mom orchestrated a match between Kitty and local boy Jim, who had just returned from the Navy. After a brief courtship, they married. They moved to Mexico where Jim attended medical school.

They had two children, Vicky and Jim. Kitty settled in as a wife and mother.

Chick left college, moved to Florida, and, after a brief stint in the service, met Liz.  They married and moved to upper New York state and he took a job with a brand-new company, called IBM.

Over the years, Chick and Liz had two children, Lee and Charla, and he climbed the corporate ladder, doing very well with IBM.

All the while, Kitty stayed in touch with her college roommate, Virginia. Chick stayed in touch with his friends from college, Andy AND Virginia, who married.

Over the years, Kitty and Jim and Chick and Liz and their respective families lived their lives.

After the usual transitions that families go through, raising kids, sending kids off to college, enjoying the empty nest and growing older, Jim died.  That was about three-four years ago. About 18 months ago, Liz died.

Kitty continued to live in Albemarle as a widow and Chick as a widower was in Florida when he was not taking his RV all over the country.

Now, as Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story.

Seems that when Chick and Kitty were engaged, Chick did indeed write passionately and often to Kitty. Many letters and sometimes more than once a day.

But, Kitty’s mom, who did not approve of the relationship because he was a Yankee, was the routine gatherer of the mail in the household and hid the letters from Kitty. But Kitty’s mother did keep all the letters.

One day, Kitty’s mom told Kitty that she had intercepted the letters from Chick when they were young. She had hidden them from her because she did not want her daughter to marry a Yankee. She gave Kitty the letters.

Flash ahead to present day. Andy and Virginia were hosting Chick in their home in Florida for his 80th birthday this past March. When Kitty heard about the visit through Virginia, she mailed Chick’s favorite cake, a German chocolate one, to Andy and Virginia’s home for the birthday, which facilitated a conversation.

Virginia was able to tell Chick a long-held secret: that Kitty had always loved him.

Then the phone calls between Chick and Kitty began and the letters resumed and were unintercepted. They got through to Kitty this time.

Does this sound like a great story for a novel? I think so. There is just a slight twist: this story is not a novel; it is true.

Chick  and Kitty were married yesterday in Albemarle, North Carolina in the swing they sat in decades ago when they were planning their future. Kitty never got rid of the swing. Andy and Virginia were the best man and maid of honor.

Some dreams are worth holding onto forever!

Best wishes to Chick and Kitty!