Sunday, May 01, 2016

Sunday morning round-up: Unforgettable cancer stories, Gonzo Derby Day, and snow, lots and lots of snow

Happy May Day!

While many of you bask in May sunshine, we are buried in snow. A moisture-laden three-day snowstorm covered my lawn and garden. It would look like March 1 but for the daffodils and blades of grass poking out of the white blanket. It's not that winter is too long, but spring is too cold and snowy. But without it we get the wildland fires of August.

Since my Jan. 18 retirement, I write every morning. I write journal entries, short stories, and a novel. I write what matters to me. I haven't been blogging as often as I find myself preoccupied by imaginary stories and memoir. It's not as if there is a lack of blogging topics, especially in this wacky election year. I so miss the gonzo journalism of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. If this isn't a "fear and loathing" year, I don't know what is. As is true with most writers of my generation, Thompson influenced me. I don't/can't write like him, but his style infected all of us.

Fellow blogger Ronny Allan featured my sister Mary's cancer journey last week. Mary works at Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee and, a few years back, was selected as a bone marrow donor for my brother Dan, struggling with leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Mary was undergoing pre-op tests when the doctors discovered a spot on her lung which turned out to be a carcinoid tumor. She was successfully operated on. That also ruled her out as a bone marrow donor. My sister Molly was the eventual donor, leaving her nursing job in Italy for several months to come back to the states. How did this family drama turn out? Click here to find out.

On Saturday, May 7, 2-5 p.m., the Laramie County Democrats Grassroots Coalition (LCDGC) holds its annual Derby Day and Wild Hat party/fund-raiser in Cheyenne. Admission is $15 and you can buy one of the Derby horses as well as bet on side races managed by your fellow Democrats. Prizes also given to the wildest hat. The Kentucky Derby is known for swanky attire and wild hats. Swanky attire in Cheyenne usually is rodeo duds. Wild hats are usually not big and floppy as the incessant wind will send them off to Nebraska. Cowboy hats? Well, if you get one that fits right, it should stymie most wind gusts. You can probably "wild up" any cowboy hat, although you may get some weird looks at Frontier Days. For all the details of the event, click here.

BTW, DYKT Hunter Thompson's magazine article on the 1970 Kentucky Derby became the first of his pieces to be labeled gonzo as in "gonzo journalism?" 'Tis true. You can read "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved" in Thompson's 1979 collection, The Great Shark Hunt. Will Cheyenne's Derby Day be decadent and depraved? One must attend to find out.

1 comment:

Ronny Allan said...

Thanks Michael, I was very happy to feature Mary's story.