Thursday, December 25, 2008



By Paul Jasionowski

Mr. Paul Gumz has been a resident of Pine Lake since 1963. We know
him as the man who decorates his front yard with lighted displays for just
about every holiday. Within the last few years, I have gotten to know him
as a gentleman and a World War II veteran.

Where are you from? Chicago, Illinois. I was born in 1922.

Were you drafted, or did you volunteer? I was drafted into the army. I finished high school in 1940; worked in a foundry/steel mill- Linkbelt was the name. They made ship propellers for the U.S. and British Navy. My draft was deferred until January, 1943. Basic training was at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

What did you do in the army? I manned a heavy, 30- caliber machine gun. In September, 1943, I joined the 15 Regiment, H Company, 3 th rd Division of the 5th Army in Italy. We fought in the Monte Casino Campaign. In December I developed frozen feet, otherwise known as trench foot. Went into the hospital December 24th. Christmas Day I was sent to a hospital in Naples. Christmas evening, the German Luftwaffe bombed the hell out of Naples. They were trying to destroy the docks in the harbor. The U.S. Air Corps didn’t have air supremacy at that time. We were evacuated by hospital ship to Oran, North Africa. I spent two months in the hospital, then another month to rehabilitate. I was sent back to Palermo, Sicily, on limited duty and trained as a front line medic with the 56th Medical Battalion. After I was sent back on duty, we traveled from Berzite, North Africa, to Palermo on an LST, (land ship trucks/tanks), large ship where the bow opens up to enable the trucks and tanks to drive out right onto the beach. While traveling from North Africa to Palermo, a German u-boat shadowed us for the entire trip. The ship’s crew fired at the surfaced u-boat to keep it at bay. The u-boat needed to get close to the LST. The LST had a shallow, flat hull which a torpedo could not hit. As we arrived in Palermo, a liberty ship, (transport ship), left Palermo and was sunk by the same u-boat. Ships were sent out to rescue the survivors. We crossed the Strait of Messina by ferry into Italy. Mount Vesuvius, near Pompeii erupted, spewing ash and smoke while we were traveling up the Italian coast. That was quite an experience. I was sent back to Monte Casino.

What campaigns were you in besides Monte Casino? I was in the Anzio Campaign, then Rome. We went 100 miles past Rome, then pulled back. We trained for an amphibious assault. We were in the first wave of the invasion of Southern France near Cannes. The Germans were completely surprised. We came in on an LCI (landing craft infantry ship). Our ship was hit many times by German shells; otherwise, resistance was sporadic. We joined up with the 7th Army. We traveled close to the Swiss border, mountainous terrain. Continued through Lyon, Grenoble, Moulhouse, then over the Rhine River and into Germany, treating casualties along the way. In April, 1945, we were traveling toward Munich and ran out of gas. All the gas went to the tanks. After receiving gas, we traveled all night. We received an intelligence report that there was a train load of prisoners arriving at a concentration camp near the town of Dachau. The train arrived a day or two before we arrived. The guards machined- gunned and killed everyone on the
train. The prisoners were from the Balkan States. We went in with the tanks and infantry as they smashed through the gate. It was a horrible sight. Dead bodies stacked like cordwood. The inmates were in bad shape. They were walking skeletons. We could not feed them; it would have killed them. We had a soldier who could interpret for us. He asked where the guards were. The inmates pointed to the cellars of the guard houses. We found six or eight of them. One guard was pointed out as a specially mean one. He was very arrogant to us. We handed him over to the prisoners and they severely beat him. One G. I.. handed a pistol to an inmate to finish him off. We stayed for two days until the hospital unit arrived to relieve us. We traveled on to Munich. The Germans threw the Volkssturm (Homeguard) at us. They consisted of children and old men. General Patch, commander of the 7th Army didn’t want to expend any more American lives. He was a good general. He sent in the artillery, and they blasted the outskirts of Munich. It wasn’t much of a fight. The battle lasted three to four hours. We went through Munich three
or four days later. The buildings were bombed out. We traveled through Bavaria to
Bad Reichanal, Austria. It was a resort town. We were the occupation force, so we stayed in the hotel and slept on featherbeds. It was terrific, almost like going to heaven. During that time the war ended. I went into the army occupation force stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. It was a beautiful city. It didn’t get bombed during the war. I did this until October, 1946, when I was discharged.

What was the worst experience for you during the war? There were a hell of a lot of them. The Southern France Invasion. Our ship was hit many times. When I returned to Casino as a medic, the German Luftwaffe dropped an antipersonnel bomb. An antipersonnel bomb is one bomb which opens into little bombs. The Germans dropped the bomb from an airplane. It landed amongst our tents. Everyone hit the deck. Miraculously, no one was wounded. Most of the tents had lots of holes in them or were completely shredded. Getting straffed by German airplanes was pretty awful.
Getting trench foot: In Monte Casino we had to stay in our foxhole during the day because the Germans had the high ground and they could see right down on us. Water was always in the foxhole, no matter how much we bailed it out. That’s how I developed trench foot. The food: It was usually hash/beans or stew. The stew caused diarrhea. The hash/beans caused gas. The German jet: One day I watched one fly by. I didn’t know what it was. If the Germans had gasoline for their airplanes and jets, they would have had a time with us. As we traveled through Germany, the autobahn was lined with miles of airplanes and jets.

What was the best experience for you during the war? Touring Rome. Touring the Vatican. Seeing the beautiful paintings in the Sistine Chapel and the cross that Christ died on. Seeing the sights of Rome. That was the best experience.

Where were you at the time of the German surrender? Bad Reichanal, Austria.

What did you do after the war? I went back to Chicago. I worked on the El as a motorman. Later, I joined the post office as a letter carrier. My feet couldn’t take the Chicago winters. I moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, at the end of 1949, where I met my wife Dorothy. We were married in 1952. I worked for W.T. Grant department store. I transferred to Atlanta in 1963 and went back to work for the post office. That’s when I moved to Pine Lake. We both retired in 1992.

Any reflections on the war 60 years later? It took a long time to get over the war, especially Dachau. I didn’t quite get over it until I sat down after I retired and documented my memories. Then it eased it somewhat. Prior to that, I would never watch any war movies or documentaries. Now I do. I was thankful to be in the European theater instead of the Pacific theater. The Japanese were crazy as hell. When you’re 21, you think that you’re invincible. The Germans had far better firepower than we did. We just had more of it, that’s all. It was a war we had to win. We were unprepared for it, but we all had patriotism.

Copyright © 2005 Paul J. Jasionowski

Paul Jasionowski is a music specialist for the DeKalb County School System, musicdirector/conductor for the Atlanta Musicians' Orchestra, and Principal Percussionist/Assistant Timpanist for the Gainesville, Ga. Symphony Orchestra. He enjoys interviewing people in his areas of special interest, and has had the opportunity to talk with Jaime Escalente, the famed math teacher on whom the movie “Stand and Deliver” is based; and Saul Goodman, timpanist for the New York Philharmonic for 46 years. World War II has been particularly meaningful to him as he lost two relatives in the death camps in Poland, and most of his male relatives are veterans of that war.

Monday, November 10, 2008


From the Georgia Peach Cochlear Implant Association Newsletter

By Al Laframboise

Well, I don’t know how to start this. I want to help people who have Tinnitus. Certainly
we all know that Tinnitus is the existence of sound that a patient hears, but which does not
appear to have an outside source. I want to quote the ‘Mayo Clinic on Better Hearing and
Balance’ maybe more than once so I will just refer to that book as the Mayo clinic.
The Mayo Clinic says tha t ‘Tinnitus may develop from multiple causes. Some
researchers believe that tinnitus results from damage to the hair cells inside your cochlea.
Turbulent flow through your blood vessels may produce a sound sensation’. I have read another
book from the Boston area which strongly suggests that stress is what is causing this turbulent
flow. I do not have that book handy to provide you with a title.
So, although I admit to the possibility of the existence of other causes to tinnitus, I am
planning on providing you with some personal background on my tinnitus and its cure. I also am
writing this article in hopes that the readers would accept a challenge to prove me either right or
The Mayo Clinic points to the possibility that hearing loss is the initial source and when
added to the high stress in the patient will produce tinnitus, but you knew that. There is some
suggestion about the use of hearing aids, masks, and drug therapy in order to manage the

I lost some of my hearing back in 1954 as either exposure to loud artillery noises from
155mm cannons or the ingestion of the drug Streptomycin. After that my hearing progressively
decreased until I no longer heard sound. In 1996, I was given a cochlear implant which has
proven to be more than a miracle. The implant is not the subject here so I will proceed to the
subject of tinnitus.
While attending Fordham University between 1956 and 1960, I lived with various
roommates in different apartments in New York City. Living in a New York apartment in low
cost rent areas leaves one subject to robbery on a regular basis. We were robbed at least once a
year during that period. But we lived where we could afford to live. On a daily basis, when I
went to bed at night and my roommates also were in bed, the room should have been quiet, but I
could hear what sounded like someone scratching the keyhole in the door. I did not realize that it
was the sounds of tinnitus raising their ugly appearance.
In 1961, I was married and we moved to New Jersey. When we went to bed at night, I
could hear what sounded like footsteps. I arose more than once until we purchased a dog. My
logic was that if there really was a person making the scene, my dog would provide enough noise
to alert me to that occurrence. It did not make the noise go away, but I felt that I could sleep with
the noise that showed its ugly head when my head hit the pillow.
It was in the late 1960s that I was finally fitted for my first hearing aid. I did not mention
the bed time noises to the Beltone distributor as I did not know it was associated with my loss.
Multiple hearing aids followed, but none were successful in application. In 1978, I moved to
Marietta, Georgia. About a year later I joined ‘Self Help for Hard of Hearing’ (since named –
Hearing Loss Association of America). This was the start of my advocacy to help others with
hearing problems. It was not till then that I found out there was such a thing as Tinnitus. It was
strange to find out about condition that I had conquered the year before.

Let’s back up a little: We were still living in Massachusetts. I was not looking for a cure
for tinnitus. I did not know what tinnitus was. I accepted that I was just one of those weird
people who had noise in their head. But I was subject to high stress. I knew that. The stress was
high as an accountant. It was high as a computer programmer. It was high as a person with
hearing loss. It was also high as a husband and father. I knew that if that stress continued, I
would be another one person considering suicide.
Then, I heard about a thing called Transcendental Meditation (™). A free class was
available and I brought my wife with me to that class. Eventually, I paid for the entire family to
have exposure to TM. The rest of the family did not continue the meditation practice, but I
continue today. Today, I live a stress free life devoted toward helping others where I can.
The important thing about this story is that in the process of lowering the amount of stress
within myself, I discovered that the tinnitus I had been experiencing since 1956 was gone. Well,
maybe not 100%. On occasion I experience it but it lasts less than 5 minutes. Of course, I believe
that if the meditation would remove the tinnitus for me, it could be of use for others.
I know that I cannot expect anyone who is in the practice of treating tinnitus to just take
my word that meditation might produce these same results for their patients. There are many
reasons for that. Probably the most popular reason is that there exists a certain lack of belief in
the usefulness of meditation. There are enough jokes about meditation for anyone to conclude
that it is something for people who are also the type who use type drugs that produce
hallucinations. There are jokes about the requirement to assume a lotus position. I know that I
never would have committed to meditation if I had to assume a lotus position. Out of curiosity,
once, I assumed that position for about 10 seconds when I bowled over backward.
Perhaps it would help if I briefly described the way I meditate. I sit upright in a chair with
no support for my neck and for 20 minutes close my eyes and repeat my mantra. A mantra is a
fancy sounding word for a sound that has no meaning to the meditator. If I find that I am
thinking and not repeating my mantra, I return to repetition of the mantra.
I recently suggested to an audiologist about meditation for the management of tinnitus. I
told him how I had been meditating since 1978 and I have not had any serious amount of tinnitus
since. His response was less than favorable.
Now after Reading the above, I expect that you may have one opinion about my
suggestion that may differ from mine. But allow me for just one minute to offer this. Suppose,
just suppose, that I am correct. Suppose that meditation could offer you something that you have
not considered before. How could you determine whether this is true or not?
Of Course, you can ask a bunch of people. The kinds of answers you can expect are
really related to what the individual thinks about meditation. That makes sense. What I am
suggesting is that you consider pursuing the practice of meditation solely for the purpose of
reducing your stress. Nothing more, just to reduce stress will be your objective. Once you start,
allow yourself 3 months of practicing meditation. Then question yourself, ‘How is my tinnitus?’
When you have the answer to that, email me and let me know what you think. Negative
comments are encouraged as well as positive ones.
If I am wrong, we have proven that meditation is not a management tool for tinnitus. If I
am right, we have changed your world. Either result makes for something worthwhile. What do
you think?
In almost every city, there are meditation centers that are anxious to reduce your stress.
While I can recommend Transcendental Meditation, I am led to believe that other forms of
meditation can work also. It is just that I am not familiar with them to recommend them to you.

My email address is Hey, tell me how you did!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Paradign Shift

By Dennis Crews

Friends - having watched a screening of the documentary Uncounted the night before the election, my mood was less than optimistic on Tuesday morning. "Grimly determined" to fulfill my civic duty was more like it.

After having received countless anonymously written emails (and a few personally written ones) slandering Barack Obama for months on end, from acquaintances who forwarded them relentlessly to every name on their computers, as if attempting to jam America's collective capability of critical thought, I was dubious about the outcome of this election. It was easy to methodically debunk the claims made in this smear campaign, but doing so day after day would have required so much time and effort it seemed as if its intent was simply to bring everything to a grinding halt. Throw so much sand in the gears that to clean it all out would leave time for nothing else.

There were two remarkable things about this email campaign. The first was that otherwise fully functional, seemingly smart people could buy into such demonstrably false ideas (i.e. Obama is the anti-Christ, a Muslim, a baby-killer, a socialist, not an American citizen, etc); the second was that so many people I know carried such intense vitriol and resentment for a man who has never done them any harm. Unlike the current occupant of the White House, Barack Obama's actions, demeanor and policies have not cost an iota of loss or damage to the well-being, reputation or livelihood of any person I know. He has run a campaign remarkably free of mud-slinging and character attacks. From whence comes all this resentment, this need to diminish the character and accomplishments of a decent man and pour scorn all over his campaign for the presidency?

I'm not willing to call it racism, but it certainly is bigotry of some kind. Maybe it's reverse snobbery. The otherwise good, smart and funny woman who cuts my hair sneers at Obama's education and calls it of no practical use. After eight years of George W. Bush it seems a sizable segment of America wants another Joe Sixpack to be their leader - or lately, Joe the Plumber. The idea of a Constitutional scholar sticks in their craw. Anybody who's traveled abroad, who has studied foreign policy and, heaven forfend, been a Harvard Law graduate is unthinkably elitist. And if they bear a non-European foreign name and have a multi-cultural personal history - quick, somebody call Joe the Plumber and flush the guy.

Maybe I'm immune to this because my earliest memories are of growing up in India, as a child of missionary parents. We lived in Pakistan as well. My uncle was both a devout Christian and an Islamic and Arabic scholar. As an adult I've traveled on four continents and found real value in the experience. Foreign exposure is beneficial, a multi-cultural outlook replaces irrational fear of the "other" with appreciation for the complexity of life and the interconnectedness of all humanity. It is one thing when the primitive fundamentalists of Islam choose xenophobia and hatred as their default attitude; it is quite another when educated Americans do the same. To me this is unacceptable; we are capable of better and we need a leader who will help America be better than this. We need someone quite a bit smarter than Joe Sixpack, Joe the Plumber or Sarah the Moose Hunter.

As I have said before, God holds the ultimate destiny of nations in his hands - but we bear collective responsibility for our civic destiny. We suffer consequences when we make mistakes. After the manifold ill consequences of the past two botched elections, I feared even worse this time. But thankfully we got something better this time. As Martin Luther King once said, citing an old preacher and former slave: "Lord, we ain't what we want to be; we ain't what we ought to be; we ain't what we gonna be, but, thank God we ain't what we was."

Here's part of a much nicer email I got this morning (subject line - "My instant paradigm shift"):

[Obama's] speech was … well, everything a speech should be but often isn't. I honestly believe he will tap into the volunteer and patriotic spirit of America and inspire all of us to contribute to our collective well being. This is the person I want leading our children in their politically formative years. The lessons they will learn from his inclusiveness: equality, pride, and volunteerism… instead of feeling hopeless and apologetic for our leader and his policies of aggression and ecological rape.

Basking in this glory today, I have realized how negative I had grown about this pathetic time under Bush’s reign. I felt no pride in his American agenda but felt mountains of fear about his followers… It was really very peaceful waking up this morning with hope. It occurred to me that the majority of Americans DO feel like I do… I am NOT part of some disgruntled, disenfranchised minority! That in itself makes me feel hopeful.

That said, this poor man is now in charge of a HUGE bag of crap, which is also apparently on fire. But ‘experienced’ or not, he will absolutely do a better job than his opposition could have even dreamed of. I have no doubts he’ll be great.

The talking heads are absolutely right tonight: we are watching, we are a part of, history with a capital “H”.

Congratulations to all of us!

Well said! All the best d

Friday, October 10, 2008

Poet On Call

by Andrei Codrescu

After The Bailout

I was sharpening my chain saw when they called me from Washington, D.C., to ask me how to fix the economy.

This request focused my thoughts, or the lack of 'em, to such a fine point, I gave my 14-inch Echo an edge it never had. Good enough for cutting half a cord at least, to keep the wood stove going through October. I love not paying the oil company a nickel. Except for the half-gallon of gas and the chain oil, but I'm fixin' to make the thing run on plum brandy. I've got a plum tree.

Ah, where were we? The economy, yes: $700 billion is more than enough money to buy every able-bodied American a chain saw, a solar-powered generator and a stake in a communal well and windmill. Also, red dirt and plum trees. That would probably only cost about $100 billion, and you can use the other $600 billion to buy everybody their house outright.

Now everybody can own their house and be green and self-sufficient, and can go back to whatever they were doing before the world ended: watching TV. Except for me. I was sharpening my chain saw.

So I go back to it, and I see a line of refugees coming up the road to move in with me. Oh my God, it's the '70s again. All my deadbeat friends — dead and alive — are being chased out of their homes and heaven for not owing any money. They are debt-free in a world that can't exist without interest rates. The dead are especially egregious in this regard; you can't squeeze even an extra penny out of them.

Oh, no, now that they are getting closer, I don't even think it's people from the '70s: It's people ... from the future!

It's worse than I thought: These are people independent from foreign oil, carrying solar-powered chain saws, full of American ingenuity. After the bailout, they owned their own homes, they didn't pay into a corporate energy grid, and they didn't worry about food because they grew it on the roof. They didn't drive, because they didn't have any jobs to drive to, and every garage in America was the site of an invention that was so darn beneficial nobody needed anything from the store.

Without worries about money, without a job, and with extra space in the garage to grow food and invent, these people forgot about the stock market, stopped borrowing money, even forgot how to shop — in short they stopped being American. These un-Americans got their exercise raking the compost instead of circling the mall; they home-schooled their children and were never again embarrassed that their kids knew more than they did. Heck, they were in heaven, the place where the pursuit of happiness leads to when you stop pursuing it.

Such self-sufficiency made the economy grind to a halt, so the government had to do something again: They called in the Army to chase everyone out of their self-contained greenhouses.

And now they are coming up the road to my place because I'm a poet, and I live in a compound defended by polygamist haikus.

"What did you do wrong?" I asked the first of the refugees to get over the palisades.

"Nothing," he said. "We just got out of debt and stopped watching TV! So the urge to buy things on credit disappeared. So they sent in the troops. First thing they did was to put a 40-inch plasma TV in every room and fixed it just so we couldn't turn it off. Just like in Orwell, only with much sharper images. They are calling this the Second Bailout, or the Bail Back In."

"At least the Second Amendment is safe," I said. "Nobody took away your guns, and the Founding Fathers didn't say anything about TV."

And with that, my chief haiku welcomed them thus:

make yourselves at home

you won't be bailed in or out again

you're safe in Second Life

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I am an ER nurse and this is the best description of this event that I
have ever heard. Please read, pay attention, and send it on!
Diane K. in A


I was aware that female heart attacks are different, but this is the
best description I've ever read.

Women and heart attacks (Myocardial infarction). Did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing heart attack ... you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we see in the movies.

Here is the story of one woman's experience with a heart attack.

'I had a heart attack at about 10 :30 PM with NO prior exertion, NO
prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might have brought it on.
I was sitting all snugly & warm on a cold evening, with my purring cat
in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and
actually thinking, 'A-A-h, this is the life, all cozy and warm in my
soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up.

A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, when you've
been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and washed it down with
a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel like you've
swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow motion and it is
most uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn't have gulped it down so fast
and needed to chew it more thoroughly and this time drink a glass of
water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial
sensation---the only trouble was
that I hadn't taken a bite of anything since about 5:00 p.m.

After it seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little
squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE
(hind-sight, it was probably my aorta spasms), gaining speed as they
continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one
presses rhythmically when administering CPR).

This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out
into both jaws. 'AHA!! NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening
-- we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of
the signals of an MI happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself and the cat,
Dear God, I think I'm having a heart attack!

I lowered the foot rest dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a
step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself, If this is a
heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room where the phone
is or anywhere else ... but, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will
know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to
get up in a moment.

I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the
next room and dialed the Paramedics ... I told her I thought I was
having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum
and radiating into my jaws. I didn't feel hysterical or afraid, just
stating the facts. She said she was sending the Paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me, and if so, to un-bolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.
I unlocked the door and then laid down on the floor as instructed and
lost consciousness, as I don't remember the medics coming in, their
examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their
ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER on the way, but
I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the radiologist was
already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics pull my
stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions
(probably something like 'Have you taken any medications?') but I
couldn't make my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer,
and nodded off again, not waking up until the Cardiologist and partner
had already threaded the teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery
into the aorta and into my
heart where they installed 2 side by side stints to hold open my right
coronary artery.
'I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have
taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the paramedics, but
actually it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire
station and St. Jude are only minutes away from my home, and my
Cardiologist was already to go to the OR in his scrubs and get going on
restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and
the procedure) and installing the stints.
'Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I
want all of you who are so important in my life to know what I learned
first hand.'
1. Be aware that something very different is happening in your body not
the usual men's symptoms but inexplicable things happening (until my
sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many more women
than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they
were having one and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some
Mallox or other a
nti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping
they'll feel better in the morning when they
wake up ... which doesn't happen. My female friends, your symptoms
might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics
unpleasantly happening that you've not felt before.
It is better to have a 'false alarm' visitation than to risk your life
guessing what it might be!
2. Note that I said 'Call the Paramedics.' And if you can take an
aspirin. Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER - you are a hazard to others on
the road.
Do NOT have your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking
anxiously at what's happening with you instead of the road.
Do NOT call your doctor -- he doesn't know where you live and if it's
at night you won't reach him anyway, and if it's daytime, his
assistants (or answering service) will tell you to call the Paramedics.
He doesn't carry the equipment in his car that you need to be saved!
The Paramedics do, principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Your Dr. will
be notified later.
3. Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normal
cholesterol count. Research has discovered that a
cholesterol elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it's
unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high blood pressure). MIs are
usually caused by long-term stress and inflammation in the
body, which dumps all
sorts of deadly hormones into your system to
sludge things up in there.
Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep.
Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we
could survive.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

International School Alumni


You know you went to an International school when...

1) You can't answer the question: "Where are you from?"
2) You speak two (or more) languages but can't spell in any of them.
3) You flew before you could walk.
4) You have a passport, but no driver's license.
5) You run into someone you know at every airport
6) You have a time zone map next to your telephone.
7) Your life story uses the phrase "Then we went to..." five times (or six, or seven times...).
8) You speak with authority on the quality of airline travel.
9) National Geographic (or the Travel Channel) makes you homesick.
10) You read the international section before the comics.
11) You live at school, work in the tropics, and go home for vacation.
12) You don't know where home is.
13) You sort your friends by continent.
14) Your second major is in a foreign language you already speak.
15) You realize it really is a small world, after all.
16) You feel that multiple passports would be appropriate.
17) You watch a movie set in a 'foreign country', and you know what the nationals are really saying into the camera.
18) Rain on a tile patio - or a corrugated metal roof - is one of the most wonderful sounds in the world.
19) You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
20) Your wardrobe can only handle two seasons: wet and dry.
21) Your high school memories include those days that school was cancelled due to tear gas, riots, demonstrations, or bomb threats.
22) You get back to the states and seriously cannot remember the currency exchange
23) You think VISA is a document stamped in your passport, and not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
24) You automatically take off your shoes as soon as you get home.
25) Your dorm room/apartment/living room looks a little like a museum with all the "exotic" things you have around.
26) Half of your phone calls are unintelligible to those around you.
27) You go to Pizza Hut or Wendy's and you wonder why there's no chilli sauce.
28) You know the geography of the rest of the world, but you don't know the geography of your own country.
29) You have best friends in 5 different countries.
30) It takes 24 hours to reach home in a plane
31) You can only call your parents at 8am and 8pm
32) You never really use a seatbelt
33) School trips meant going to a different country
34) Your high school football team had to play against itself.. if it had one
35) When you were in middle school you could walk into a bar and order a drink without being questioned
36) You got sick a lot and often had food poisoning
37) It wasn't unusual to find a lizard or cockroach in your house
38) You got to go home twice a year ...that’s if you're lucky
39) Home almost felt like a museum
40) You are a pro packer, or at least have done it many times
41) Living out of a suitcase, you find, has it pros
42) You bump into your old teachers all the time
43) Family photos you sent every year took months to arrive and often were in front of some exotic statue or endangered animal no one has heard of
44) Your check from your parents takes a month to reach you
45) Talking to your school office and getting signatures from your parents is a week-long event
46) When you return to the States you are overwhelmed with the number of choices in a grocery store ( I stood by the chocolate syrup for about 20 min. because there was a whole row)
47) You literally have real friends (not facebook friends) from different schools all over the nation on your friends list
48) Everyone had a 'staff'; maid, house cleaner, driver and babysitter
49) Most of the 1st graders have cell phones
50) You get excited when a relative sends a video tape of regular TV with commercials.. its in ENGLISH!
51) There was only one grocery store…usually at the embassy that resembled the ones at home.
52) Once you get home you miss your adopted home and visa versa
53) You are never content in one place, be it city, state or country for long. You're a mover.
54) You never had a job until you reached college.
55) Blackouts are quite common, yet after a while no one seemed to notice and sometimes you would find yourself doing homework to the light of your phone or flashlight
56) Class reunions are not at your old school.. not even close
57) Police, imported from a different country, guard your school...carrying machine guns.
58) you know everyone else in this group, because he/she went to school with one of your friends
59) Your passport has more stamps than a post office
60) When the power cuts out and you sit there wondering when the generator is going to kick on... only then you realize there is no generator
61) When you carry converters because you actually realize there are different types of outlets
62) When people give you funny looks because you are a gold or platinum elite member of your airlines
63) When you constantly feel like you have to catch up with TV programs, actors and other people or songs you are not familiar with
64) You don't think its strange that you haven't talked to your best friend in a couple years, but you know you will always have a unique bond
65) You wake up in one country thinking you are in another
66) You don't feel at home at home anymore
67) When a friend talks about their dreams of travelling to across the world to a secluded country and you can give them all the best restaurants and places to visit. You're like the traveller guidebook.
68) You don't even bother to change your watch when travelling
69) You hate subtitles because you know there is someone that can make an accurate translation.. you!
70) When you have little or no contact with he locals but are best friends with people across the globe
71) When you think everyone else is a foreigner in a county foreign to you
72) When something unusual happens and it just doesn't seem to phase you as being something unordinary
73) When you speak many broken languages at once when you are drunk
74) When your friends take you to an 'ethnic' restaurant as a joke and you can read the menu, order food for them and actually stomach the meal
75) When you start introducing yourself followed by your country of origin....
76) Your yearbooks are all different; made of fabrics known to that area and have stuff like elephants on them. It’s your favourite keepsake.
77) Famous people like Uma Thurman went to your school and you had no idea until you researched (AES)
78) You have to change your passport because it's full... not because it's expired... and this several times during your school years
79) Paying a cop is not considered a bribe
80) You've dated people from other countries
81) You start to keep your experiences overseas to yourself because people look at you as though you are spoiled for having the opportunity to indulge in a new culture…sad
82) You are afraid to go back to visit your school because you know no one will be there that you used to know, they all moved
83) You have the opportunity to intern at your Embassy/Commission over summer without qualifications
84) When you have free accommodation in any city you travel to around the world because some friend from the old days lives there!
85) You're scared of going 'home' because you haven't been there in so long, and changed so much, that you think people might not like you anymore
87) You have more than one driver's license, none of which are valid at home, that, or in college, you still can't drive!
88) You always have to think which side of the road to drive on
89) When you greet someone you start bowing or kissing them on both cheeks.
90) When you and your siblings know different languages or at least studied different ones

Friday, July 4, 2008


By Jill Bolte Taylor

I grew up to study the brain because I have a brother who has been diagnosed with a brain disorder, schizophrenia. And as a sister and as a scientist, I wanted to understand, why is it that I can take my dreams, I can connect them to my reality, and I can make my dreams come true -- what is it about my brother's brain and his schizophrenia that he cannot connect his dreams to a common, shared reality, so they instead become delusions?

So I dedicated my career to research into the severe mental illnesses. And I moved from my home state of Indiana to Boston where I was working in the lab of Dr. Francine Benes, in the Harvard Department of Psychiatry. And in the lab, we were asking the question, What are the biological differences between the brains of individuals who would be diagnosed as normal control, as compared to the brains of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective, or bipolar disorder?

So we were essentially mapping the microcircuitry of the brain, which cells are communicating with which cells, with which chemicals, and then with what quantities of those chemicals. So there was a lot of meaning in my life because I was performing this kind of research during the day. But then in the evenings and on the weekends I traveled as an advocate for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

But on the morning of December 10 1996 I woke up to discover that I had a brain disorder of my own. A blood vessel exploded in the left half of my brain. And in the course of four hours I watched my brain completely deteriorate in its ability to process all information. On the morning of the hemorrhage I could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of my life. I essentially became an infant in a woman's body.

If you've ever seen a human brain, it's obvious that the two hemispheres are completely separate from one another. And I have brought for you a real human brain. [Thanks.] So, this is a real human brain. This is the front of the brain, the back of the brain with a spinal cord hanging down, and this is how it would be positioned inside of my head. And when you look at the brain, it's obvious that the two cerebral cortices are completely separate from one another. For those of you who understand computers, our right hemisphere functions like a parallel processor. While our left hemisphere functions like a serial processor. The two hemispheres do communicate with one another through the corpus collosum, which is made up of some 300 million axonal fibers. But other than that, the two hemispheres are completely separate. Because they process information differently, each hemisphere thinks about different things, they care about different things, and dare I say, they have very different personalities. [Excuse me. Thank you. It's been a joy.]

Our right hemisphere is all about this present moment. It's all about right here right now. Our right hemisphere, it thinks in pictures and it learns kinesthetically through the movement of our bodies. Information in the form of energy streams in simultaneously through all of our sensory systems. And then it explodes into this enormous collage of what this present moment looks like. What this present moment smells like and tastes like, what it feels like and what it sounds like. I am an energy being connected to the energy all around me through the consciousness of my right hemisphere. We are energy beings connected to one another through the consciousness of our right hemispheres as one human family. And right here, right now, all we are brothers and sisters on this planet, here to make the world a better place. And in this moment we are perfect. We are whole. And we are beautiful.

My left hemisphere is a very different place. Our left hemisphere thinks linearly and methodically. Our left hemisphere is all about the past, and it's all about the future. Our left hemisphere is designed to take that enormous collage of the present moment. And start picking details and more details and more details about those details. It then categorizes and organizes all that information. Associates it with everything in the past we've ever learned and projects into the future all of our possibilities. And our left hemisphere thinks in language. It's that ongoing brain chatter that connects me and my internal world to my external world. It's that little voice that says to me, "Hey, you gotta remember to pick up bananas on your way home, and eat 'em in the morning." It's that calculating intelligence that reminds me when I have to do my laundry. But perhaps most important, it's that little voice that says to me, "I am. I am." And as soon as my left hemisphere says to me "I am," I become separate. I become a single solid individual separate from the energy flow around me and separate from you.

And this was the portion of my brain that I lost on the morning of my stroke.

On the morning of the stroke, I woke up to a pounding pain behind my left eye. And it was the kind of pain, caustic pain, that you get when you bite into ice cream. And it just gripped me and then it released me. Then it just gripped me and then released me. And it was very unusual for me to experience any kind of pain, so I thought OK, I'll just start my normal routine. So I got up and I jumped onto my cardio glider, which is a full-body exercise machine. And I'm jamming away on this thing, and I'm realizing that my hands looked like primitive claws grasping onto the bar. I thought "that's very peculiar" and I looked down at my body and I thought, "whoa, I'm a weird-looking thing." And it was as though my consciousness had shifted away from my normal perception of reality, where I'm the person on the machine having the experience, to some esoteric space where I'm witnessing myself having this experience.

And it was all every peculiar and my headache was just getting worse, so I get off the machine, and I'm walking across my living room floor, and I realize that everything inside of my body has slowed way down. And every step is very rigid and very deliberate. There's no fluidity to my pace, and there's this constriction in my area of perceptions so I'm just focused on internal systems. And I'm standing in my bathroom getting ready to step into the shower and I could actually hear the dialog inside of my body. I heard a little voice saying, "OK, you muscles, you gotta contract, you muscles you relax."

And I lost my balance and I'm propped up against the wall. And I look down at my arm and I realize that I can no longer define the boundaries of my body. I can't define where I begin and where I end. Because the atoms and the molecules of my arm blended with the atoms and molecules of the wall. And all I could detect was this energy. Energy. And I'm asking myself, "What is wrong with me, what is going on?" And in that moment, my brain chatter, my left hemisphere brain chatter went totally silent. Just like someone took a remote control and pushed the mute button and -- total silence.

And at first I was shocked to find myself inside of a silent mind. But then I was immediately captivated by the magnificence of energy around me. And because I could no longer identify the boundaries of my body, I felt enormous and expansive. I felt at one with all the energy that was, and it was beautiful there.

Then all of a sudden my left hemisphere comes back online and it says to me, "Hey! we got a problem, we got a problem, we gotta get some help." So it's like, OK, OK, I got a problem, but then I immediately drifted right back out into the consciousness, and I affectionately referred to this space as La La Land. But it was beautiful there. Imagine what it would be like to be totally disconnected from your brain chatter that connects you to the external world. So here I am in this space and any stress related to my, to my job, it was gone. And I felt lighter in my body. And imagine all of the relationships in the external world and the many stressors related to any of those, they were gone. I felt a sense of peacefulness. And imagine what it would feel like to lose 37 years of emotional baggage! I felt euphoria. Euphoria was beautiful -- and then my left hemisphere comes online and it says "Hey! you've got to pay attention, we've got to get help," and I'm thinking, "I got to get help, I gotta focus." So I get out of the shower and I mechanically dress and I'm walking around my apartment, and I'm thinking, "I gotta get to work, I gotta get to work, can I drive? can I drive?"

And in that moment my right arm went totally paralyzed by my side. And I realized, "Oh my gosh! I'm having a stroke! I'm having a stroke!" And the next thing my brain says to me is, "Wow! This is so cool. This is so cool. How many brain scientists have the opportunity to study their own brain from the inside out?"

And then it crosses my mind: "But I'm a very busy woman. I don't have time for a stroke!" So I'm like, "OK, I can't stop the stroke from happening so I'll do this for a week or two, and then I'll get back to my routine, OK."

So I gotta call help, I gotta call work. I couldn't remember the number at work, so I remembered, in my office I had a business card with my number on it. So I go in my business room, I pull out a 3-inch stack of business cards. And I'm looking at the card on top, and even though I could see clearly in my mind's eye what my business card looked like, I couldn't tell if this was my card or not, because all I could see were pixels. And the pixels of the words blended with the pixels of the background and the pixels of the symbols, and I just couldn't tell. And I would wait for what I call a wave of clarity. And in that moment, I would be able to reattach to normal reality and I could tell, that's not the card, that's not the card, that's not the card. It took me 45 minutes to get one inch down inside of that stack of cards.

In the meantime, for 45 minutes the hemorrhage is getting bigger in my left hemisphere. I do not understand numbers, I do not understand the telephone, but it's the only plan I have. So I take the phone pad and I put it right here, I'd take the business card, I'd put it right here, and I'm matching the shape of the squiggles on the card to the shape of the squiggles on the phone pad. But then I would drift back out into La La Land, and not remember when I come back if I'd already dialed those numbers.

So I had to wield my paralyzed arm like a stump, and cover the numbers as I went along and pushed them, so that as I would come back to normal reality I'd be able to tell, yes, I've already dialed that number. Eventually the whole number gets dialed, and I'm listening to the phone, and my colleague picks up the phone and he says to me, "Whoo woo wooo woo woo." [laughter] And I think to myself, "Oh my gosh, he sounds like a golden retriever!" And so I say to him, clear in my mind I say to him. "This is Jill! I need help!" And what comes out of my voice is, "Whoo woo wooo woo woo." I'm thinking, "Oh my gosh, I sound like a golden retriever." So I couldn't know, I didn't know that I couldn't speak or understand language until I tried.

So he recognizes that I need help, and he gets me help. And a little while later, I am riding in an ambulance from one hospital across Boston to Mass General Hospital. And I curl up into a little fetal ball. And just like a balloon with the last bit of air just, just right out of the balloon I felt my energy lift and I felt my spirit surrender. And in that moment I knew that I was no longer the choreographer of my life. And either the doctors rescue my body and give me a second chance at life or this was perhaps my moment of transition.

When I awoke later that afternoon I was shocked to discover that I was still alive. When I felt my spirit surrender, I said goodbye to my life, and my mind is now suspended between two very opposite planes of reality. Stimulation coming in through my sensory systems felt like pure pain. Light burned my brain like wildfire and sounds were so loud and chaotic that I could not pick a voice out from the background noise and I just wanted to escape. Because I could not identify the position of my body in space, I felt enormous and expensive, like a genie just liberated from her bottle. And my spirit soared free like a great whale gliding through the sea of silent euphoria. Harmonic. I remember thinking there's no way I would ever be able to squeeze the enormousness of myself back inside this tiny little body.

But I realized "But I'm still alive! I'm still alive and I have found Nirvana. And if I have found Nirvana and I'm still alive, then everyone who is alive can find Nirvana." I picture a world filled with beautiful, peaceful, compassionate, loving people who knew that they could come to this space at any time. And that they could purposely choose to step to the right of their left hemispheres and find this peace. And then I realized what a tremendous gift this experience could be, what a stroke of insight this could be to how we live our lives. And it motivated my to recover.

Two and a half weeks after the hemorrhage, the surgeons went in and they removed a blood clot the size of a golf ball that was pushing on my language centers. Here I am with my mama, who's a true angel in my life. It took me eight years to completely recover.

So who are we? We are the life force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are -- I am -- the life force power of the universe, and the life force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form. At one with all that is. Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere. where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, intellectual, neuroanatomist. These are the "we" inside of me.

Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be. And I thought that was an idea worth spreading.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kenyan Criticizes Racial Problems Here

By William C. Cotter

Africans view the United States’ racial problems as “very pitiful,” a leader of one of that continent’s newest independent nations said here Saturday.

Oginga Odinga, minister of home affairs for Kenya, explained this is especially true “because the United States of America was one of the first countries to champion” equal rights.

Yet, the United States “also practices segregation—which is what we are fighting in Africa,” he pointed out.

Mr. Odinga was in Atlanta with a group of other Kenyan officials. They leave Sunday morning to continue on their tour of the country.

Other members of the delegation are Joseph Murumbi, mininister of state; Njoroge Mugui, minister of health and houses; and Robert J. Ouko, senior assistant secretary, ministry of exterior affairs.

While in Atlanta, the group was to confer with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Mr. Odinga said, “I hear he is a good champion” of equal rights. “We want to know the views” of leaders in the United States “on various problems…questions such as economic development…common to all men.”

He expressed confidence in the stability of the Kenyan government. “It has the “respect of the people of our country,” he said.

“Joining the United Nations is one aspect of our trying to communicate our policy with the world,” explained Mr. Odinga.

Africa “will tow its own line” in the world, he said.

The Kenyans attended a luncheon on Saturday. They stayed at the Peachtree Manor Hotel.

The Kenyan leaders were invited to Atlanta by state Sen. Leroy Johnson, who met them during a recent trip to Africa.

Friday, March 7, 2008

How To Improve Your Hearing

By Al Laframboise


I gave a speech on June 10, 2005 at the Georgia Peach Cochlear Implant (GPCIA) Retreat with the title ‘How To Improve Your Hearing’. The contents of this article (and that speech) represent good, valid information for individuals who receive new hearing aids or new Cochlear Implants. But, like any information that is valid, it is limited in its use. That is to say the information is valid if once upon receipt of the hardware, it has proven that the hardware delivered what was promised.

That promise is to deliver sound to the person receiving the hardware. All too often, people receiving such hardware are under the impression that the ability to understand speech has been promised, but that is not true.

It is my aim to point out to people that the hardware is magic when it provides sound (within the range of speech), to individuals who could not hear that sound without such hardware. It is also my aim to point out that reception of sound does not mean that speech recognition is also magic. NOTE: There is a difference between delivering sound and understanding speech!

So, when I say that it is not magic, I mean that speech recognition is not immediate with the introduction of new hardware. At the same time with proper techniques, the ability to recognize speech can be restored. This process of recognizing speech with the new hardware will be explored in the article. Accomplishment of that goal is sort like a paradox, ‘When speech is restored, it truly is magic’. The trouble with producing this particular magic is that it takes time and effort to make it happen.

Most of this article is devoted to what I said (or should have said) during the speech that I gave. The pictures which you see here are copies of the slides which I displayed at that time.


I want to start by pointing out that the people you see on the first slide are happy.
I am going to call them the happy people. Well the happy people are that way because they concentrate on the positive aspects of what they hear as opposed to the negative aspects of what they do not hear. A positive attitude is one of the most helpful items toward improving your hearing. At the same time something that will delay your achievement of comfort in speaking with others is having a lot of negative thoughts in your mind relentlessly saying to you ‘I did not hear that’. Of course, it is not your fault. Or is it? It is easy to place the blame on anything but yourself. For example:

Background Noise
The speaker does not articulate properly
There are too many people speaking at the same time
The speaker has an unusual accent
The speaker has a mustache or beard
The speaker keeps putting turning away or putting a hand over their lips

Give up this type of thinking and just concentrate on what you yourself can accomplish. It might remove the frown from your face.

Every time, people recognize words spoken to them, there is an echo in their minds that says ‘I HEARD THAT’, ‘I HEARD THAT’, I HEARD THAT’. It is this reinforcement that strengthens the knowledge in their minds that they are hearing better every day. This is something that I hope that you will aim for. It is simple to do this. Just in the beginning, you need to be conscious of repeating that positive thought in your head. After time passes, it becomes automatic and reinforces your positive attitude.

With the proper techniques and constant practice, you will reach a point where you can shout ‘I HEAR BETTER EVERY DAY!’ I guarantee that it will put a smile on your face.


I began to lose my hearing way back in 1954 when I was in the Army. Of course, that is my picture in the slide. The drawing is something that I asked my son to create. I simply told him that I wanted a peach with a Cochlear Implant. Both of us are smiling because we hear better every day. I have become attached to the picture and wanted to share it with you.

I think that it is important to point out that I am not a hearing professional of any sort. I am not a doctor. I am not an audiologist. I do not work in any environment that would qualify me as even being associated with the profession. Why is this important, you ask? The question becomes ‘What am I?’ The answer is that I am one of you. I am someone who has over 50 years of hearing loss. Although I did not lose 100% of my hearing immediately, today when I remove my implant, there is no sound that is available to me. In fact, by the time that I qualified for an implant, my loss was such that hearing aids were not much help. I relied heavily upon lip reading. But that is just progress in the wrong direction.

However, when I was first ‘hooked up’, I found that I could recognize a large amount of words immediately. For anyone not familiar with the term ‘hooked up’, I will explain. Cochlear Implants are basically made of two components.
1. The first component is added via surgery and is under the skin not visible to anyone.
2. The second component is the speech processor which is the visible part that you can see especially on the peach that my son drew for me. This consists of a magnet that connects to the internal first component, and also either a waist-worn processor or a behind-the ear component that looks very much like an ordinary hearing aid.

There is usually about a 30 day wait between surgery and the connection of the speech processor which is sometimes referred to as being ‘hooked up’. Being “hooked up” is actually an activity that the audiologist works up for your particular hearing loss. It is a series of individual settings on your speech processor that works only for you. It’s important that you and your audiologist work together to identify the range of settings that will provide the best sound for your particular needs.

Until you have the speech processor hooked up, no sound is available via a cochlear implant. Also, when you remove the external part of your speech processor, you can not hear sounds.

It’s important to realize that recognizing words immediately after being hooked up is not the norm. However, there is a whole range of sounds that you can perceive immediately, for example, doorbells, telephones, microwave beeps, sounds from your computer or refrigerator or icemaker, bird sounds, car horns, sirens from emergency vehicles. You may even be hearing the sound of people speaking, though you may not be able to recognize the words they are saying.

The far side of the spectrum is that while the implant has provided sound, it has not provided recognizable or understandable words. This can also be true of hearing aids.

Sound, without the ability to recognize words is nothing but noise.

The most important step, at the beginning, is to work with your Audiologist. Communication is the most important key. What do you hear? Tell the Audiologist what you think. Keep notes between sessions to ensure that you are really telling it like it is. If the equipment needs adjustment, then working together is the only way to adjust the equipment properly. Your Audiologist has equipment to verify that you hear sound within the range to recognize speech. This can be established right in that office, but it’s important to remember that your audiologist is not able to hear what you hear. Audiologists rely on the individual to provide feedback on what is heard or not heard, and adjustments will then be based on your feedback.

Your ability to recognize some sounds as some words is a different subject.

When was the last time that you actually heard words? I expect that you lost your hearing gradually. If that is true, then what happened was that portions of the sound of each word were lost a little at a time. This continued until you were no longer able to recognize most words. Unconsciously, you had to do something in order to adjust during this period. Most likely what you did was identify the partial sound with lip reading in order to comprehend whatever someone said to you. Perhaps you were able to hear the vowels, but had to lip-read the consonants.

Although this technique helped you communicate with people and provided the “missing links” or parts of words you could not hear, the result of that technique is that you may forget what some words actually sound like. Just think about how every day the same word sounded different, but your lip reading adjusted for the difference. It’s also possible that you watched people’s facial expressions and body language to “fill in the blanks” or relied on your knowledge of the particular topic under discussion.

These are all valid methods to compensate for what you could not hear, but now that you have an implant, much of those missing sounds have been restored. This calls for another adjustment, but one without lip reading. Remember, the subject is how to improve your hearing. The only way to accomplish this is working with the sound you hear andyou’re your brain interprets that sound.

So, it becomes a choice on your part. Do you want to continue your comprehension based upon the partial sound of a word accompanied with lip reading? If that is true, then just do not wear the implant. You see, now you have the ability to hear more of the sound of a given word. You are going to have to adjust to the new equipment, and that adjustment is going to take time, effort, work and practice on your part!


Let me make up a few fictional percentages. Prior to your new equipment, perhaps you were actually hearing 10% of the sound that a word sounds like. Now, with the new equipment you may actually be receiving 90% of the sound of each word. Unless, you were able to hear 100% originally and also contained a magnificent memory, it is doubtful that you will remember what each word sounds like now.

Just based upon that point, words sound different and you may recognize some, but you do not recognize all of them. They sound different today. No wonder, you do not recognize them!

It is not just words. Music is different! All sound is different. As an example, you may hear a sound and not be able to identify it immediately. You may walk through the house, exploring rooms and finally realize that the sound you hear is your own footsteps, or water percolating in the coffee pot, or the washing machine has just started the rinse cycle. The situation is that you have to learn what different things sound like today. That is a key point to all of this. I want to rephrase that.



The critical path here is the choice of words “That is what it sounds like today”.

Does that make sense to you? You must understand that no-one has the ability install within you the ability to recognize words and other sounds. This is an ongoing process that you must perform for yourself.


In order to start helping yourself, it is best to remember how you learned to listen (and speak) in the first place. For some of you that might have been a long time ago. I can offer a short cut that may provide the same insight. Even if you do not have children, most likely you were exposed to children in other families.

Remember your excitement when your child has said its first word? “Ma Ma” might have been the first word, I’m guessing. Now what really happened is that your child had been hearing sound for a long period of time. But what had been happening until that magical first word was that the baby had no idea of what the sounds meant. Finally, there was some association between the sound and what that sound meant. The light bulb went off in the child’s head and the word “Ma Ma” finally meant something. Because it meant something, the child was able to repeat that sound with the knowledge that the sound actually referred to its mother. Just like my description of the process here, it took a long time getting there and that is just the beginning.

After that on a daily basis, your child learned to express a new word. Some days there was more than one new word. But at any rate, the important point here is that your child had learned to convert the sound into something meaningful.

We call that words. As we say the horse is in front of the cart. First you must hear the sound. Second you must be able to recognize the meaning of that sound.

I am implying something here. It sounds like a lot of work. It sounds like it may take a long time. I will tell you the truth. It may just do that, but if you hear even a little bit better everyday, at some point you are going to hear pretty darn well.

Understand now that what I call “hearing” is a combination of receiving sound and making sense out of that sound. As such hearing is a learned activity. You learned to hear when you were young. You may learn to hear again, but it may not happen automatically or quickly. If it does require work on your part then say, “I am ready for that work. I have nothing to loose. I have a lot to gain.”

It would be very nice if hearing equipment worked the same way that glasses work. When I get new glasses I just put them on and I can see perfectly. If that were true of an implant then I could go to my audiologist and say, ‘I am planning a trip to Italy, could I borrow an Italian speech processor for the time I am there?’ Funny? Then why do you expect that there is an English processor available for you?

It will help to understand that you may just be one of those people who has to work hard and practice long hours or days or months before you can understand the words that you are hearing through your cochlear implant or hearing aids.


I do not want to investigate all the things that our brains really can do. The subject matter could take years to explain. It is also unfair to expect that you want to investigate everything that is possible during one sitting. For my part, I do not know enough of the brain functions to even list them in general terms. But I want to explain what we both know the brain does in regard to hearing. I mean this. We both know these things. It is just that most of the time, we are not thinking about them.

To start with, we know that the brain is capable of taking in sound and making sense out of that sound. I am referring to the ability to recognize words. I tend to think of the brain as containing some sort of gigantic look-up table. On one side of the table is a list of all the sounds that you have ever heard. Right next to that sound is whatever you think that particular sound means. It makes it easier for me to understand the hearing process when I think that it functions in that manner. It does not actually work that way, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s assume it does. I am simply looking for a way to grasp what is going on when I receive sound. An example of this function is: You receive the sound ‘DING” and you immediately think of a bell. Well that is straightforward enough, but you must then make sure that the same sort of function will work for words.

There are some problems associated with this logic. For example, everyone’s voice actually sounds different. Does this mean that word list has just become much larger? An entry for each persons voice for each word? Perhaps there is a set of entries for the sounds each person makes? I don’t know about that. The end result is the same. You hear a sound and it means something to you. This is true even if the sound simply means noise.

Let us think about what I will call impediments to this process. Not everyone that speaks enunciates the same word in exactly same manner. An example of the differences that one may encounter is the introduction of accents. A southern accent will produce one sound while a German accent will produce a different sound for the same word. Understanding what. It simply is not in your memory or in your brain’s ability to convert that accent to something meaningful until you have heard it before, perhaps repeatedly.

Now, let’s introduce that dreadful Background Noise. Background Noise is something we have grown to despise during the long period of hearing loss. But even there, it has changed as we lost tones over a long period of time. Now it is back in full glory. What is also back is your memory of getting upset when it comes at a time that you’re trying to hear again.

So we can accept that there are impediments such as background noise and unclear speech. These impediments are real negatives and sometimes really upsetting. BUT, and I do mean BUT people with normal hearing seem to overcome these impediments. Let’s talk about that one point and try to understand why some people can ignore background noise and others can’t.


People with normal hearing have more in common with the hearing impaired (with new hardware) than they lack. We both have some sort of ability to convert sounds to meanings of sounds. Simple stuff like bells and bombs are easily recognized by both groups. However, one of the things they have that we do not is time. During their early development they had the time to learn how to adjust to sound impediments. Without knowing what this ability is I prefer to think of it as something that functions in the same manner as a well developed muscle. For now, I will call it the “overcoming-impediments-muscle”.

Take a look at well-developed athletes. No matter what sport they are in, their muscles have been built to make playing that sport fun. When I look at these athletes, I think of how they are lifting weights and bending and running and what ever else is required to stay in shape. I occasionally get to look at some people who have been retired for some many years. They look out of shape. They have not been engaging in lifting weights and bending and running and what ever else is required to stay in shape. So today, they cannot engage in the very sport that had been fun years ago. Of course, I do not expect that they would want to.

During the time that you learned to hear, you spent many many hours building the “overcoming-impediments-muscle”. But as time passed, you began to lose your hearing. As you lost your hearing, there was a point in time that you ceased exercising that all important “overcoming-impediments-muscle”.. Sure, you can say ‘If you do not use it, then you will lose it.’ But, now that we have sound (because of the implant), we want this all important muscle to return to full speed immediately. It just does not work that way. You have to start with conscious effort and build up to full speed all over again.

The one thing you have to believe is that the ability to overcome impediments to sound is not lost forever. However, it is up to you to be aware that you have the choice to redevelop that ability all over again. This redevelopment must be a conscious effort in the beginning, but after a while, it will work easily without your conscious effort. One day you will suddenly become aware that you have been hearing things easily, without that conscious effort!

The best approach is to think first about background noise. You have two choices in how you want to have your brain react to background noise.
1. You can react very badly. You can say ‘That !@#$%^#@ background noise. I cannot hear what you are saying.’
2. You can say ‘Oh boy, background noise again. I am just going to ignore it and concentrate on the sounds which I want to hear. I am going to just purposely ignore this background noise.’

In the beginning, this will require a lot of effort while you develop your “overcoming-impediments-muscle”. Yes, it will work. Yes, it is work, but just think about the payoff. Yes, you can develop this muscle even if you have not developed it in the past.

So, now, let’s talk about other things which you can do to improve your hearing.

I may just be cheap, but my mind works toward using approaches that do not cost money with a second choice being something that is very low cost. I have no idea what costs are involved in getting audio support from your manufacturers, but they do provide some alternatives. Some audiologists also provide alternatives which may or may not be cheap. I would recommend that you look into these possibilities so you will be able to make good decisions.

The approaches that I am suggesting here are based upon your being unsuccessful with word recognition as of the day of your hookup. The suggestions indicate a progression of steps. If you were able to distinguish words on the day of your new ear, then simply jump to the step where you feel is most appropriate.

A friend of mine was not able to recognize words at the moment of hookup. She had been deaf from the age of 3 and had no real memory of what any word sounded like. She was able to lip read, so that conversation before the implant was possible. Even though she had a severe hearing loss, such conversation falls into the category of successful communication. Remember, successful communication is not necessarily successful hearing.

The first approach was to get a tape recorder (which she had ). With this equipment, she recorded just words but no phrases. She also kept a written list of what the words were and what sequence they were on the tape. She entered these into a computer (using EXCEL). All the words were listed in the left column. The remaining columns were used to keep score. So she printed the excel pages. Then she listened to the tape over and over again. Each time that she listened, she kept score. Did she recognize that word? The answer was either yes or no. Did she recognize parts of words? She did this multiple times every day for several months. At the bottom of the columns was a simple math percentage of how many were correctly heard, either the whole word or part of a word. Finally, when the percentiles were consistently in the 85% range, she realized she was no longer making any improvement and decided agreed to move to the next step.

The next step was to purchase an audiotape called “English as a Second Language.” This program consisted of both audiotapes and a booklet which contained the written text of everything spoken on the audiotapes. She took one lesson at a time until she again reached a plateau, then moved on to the next lesson. This step took her about six weeks.

She then realized that she was ready to work on more advanced listening and went to the library. There is a portion of the Public Library called LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND. This department provides free matter for the blind or physically handicapped. In most towns, there is one of these departments located in the main branch. If your town does not have one, do not get stressed out. Ask people at your main library how to contact the proper people who will handle this. You rarely will have to go there anyway. Everything is mailed for free. That is correct; there is no postage charge in either direction. You can also access this department from your computer by going to their website .


I do not want to explain all of the LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND’S functions but the parts that we are interested in are a tape player and books on tape. Both are free. The library has thousands of books on tape. The player and all the books should be returned to the library when you no longer need them. If you move, just provide a change of address. They also provide catalogues of what books are available and will contact other libraries around the country to obtain a particular book for you. One special thing I’d like to mention is that the tape players they provide have many controls, including the ability to change the narration speed and outlets for patch cords to your cochlear implant or head phones.

I suggest that you start with books which you are familiar with. In the beginning, you could even choose children’s books. I understand that there are also a great many books on tape in your local stores but they cost money. Feel free to spend your money. After all, it is good for the economy. Now in the beginning, you may want to consider having a printed copy of the book in front of you as a sort of support. Is what you read, that which you heard? Only you can know for sure. If you do not feel that you understood the majority of the book on tape, by all means rewind and repeat. It is not necessary to wait until you have attempted to listen to the entire book. Rewind the tape anytime that you are in the mood to rewind. Rewind only for the amount of tape that you want to rewind. Be flexible; be comfortable, after all you have a lot to give yourself. One other thing to remember is that your brain will get tired just as any other muscle will, so be prepared to stop for a while. It’s okay to take a break!

I must warn you that not everyone who provides the voice for a book on tape has a wonderful clear voice. My friend found that she could understand the words better if she reduced the speed of the narration, essentially giving her brain time to process the new information she was hearing. She also found that she could understand some narrators better than others, and initially selected only female narrators because their voices were in the range where she could hear best. Another potential problem is that some of the tapes may be old and you’ll hear a lot of static and interference. Now, you have a few choices at this point that relate to where you are located on the measurement stick of progress.

If you have just begun to listen to books on tape, then keep a record of what book is difficult to understand so you can return to the same book when your progress says that you are now ready to exercise your “overcoming-impediments-muscle”. For the moment, pass on this book and listen to people who you think speak clearer. However, if you have progressed far enough on the measurement stick of progress, then say to yourself, ‘This is an excellent time for me to do some exercise. It may require listening to this more than once, but by golly, I am going to understand what this person is speaking’.

Continue to listen to books on tape as long as they make you happy. Choose books that you might enjoy. Stop reading along only when you feel comfortable doing that. One thing about listening to books on tape is that there is no opportunity to lip read. This means that you actually hear.

How well do you hear on the telephone?

Another possible approach toward exercising your ability to hear is to get a list of 800 telephone numbers ( which produce a fair amount of advertising. If the messages do not contain advertising, there will be at least a fair amount of pre-recorded messages. Call the numbers! Listen to the messages. Listen to them over and over again. Come on! Sooner or later you will smile.

There are software packages available for your computer which will show the printed word and voice that word. If you like that approach, then use the approach. Your manufacturers also provide some form of audio-therapy. None of this is magic unless you take part in your own improvement. Do the work, create the magic!


If you ever had any type of normal hearing, then some sort of music made you feel good. Whether that music was from a music box, classical or popular music, it just enlightened your desire to enjoy the world. You may have lost the ability to listen to it in the past, but the good news is that it is recoverable. It is all up to you. The effort is not much different than the effort to exercise your “overcoming-impediments-muscle”. It requires conscious effort and it requires repetition. Magic only occurs if you work at it.

The best way to start is by choosing to listen to those songs which you are familiar with. These songs could be what you may call children’s songs or just possibly old Christmas songs like Jingle Bells. I can remember when my children started to learn how to play musical instruments in high school. Over and over, my son practiced Jingle Bells. ‘Toot toot toot, Toot toot toot, Toot toot toot, Toot toot toot toot toot’. It worked for him. Now make it work for you.

Go to a piano and just press down on middle ‘C’. Whether you recognize it or not, that is what middle “C” sounds like today. Accept that fact! Stay with listening to easy music until you are satisfied that you recognize these tunes every time you hear them. The next step is to listen to the music that you once loved. Listen to it over and over again until you enjoy listening to it every time you hear it. One word of caution is that you may find yourself thinking that what you hear is not what the particular musical piece really sounds like.

One other suggestion is to initially select songs played by a single instrument or sung by an individual singer. It will be easier to hear and recognize the words and the melody. When you find that you’re easily recognizing both words and melodies, then by all means progress to more complicated versions involving multiple singers doing harmony (like barber shop quartets!) or orchestral versions of songs you know.

Think about the subject of memory. Is it at all possible that the sounds within your memory are the sounds that come with some point during your gradual hearing loss. Yes, it is what you remember. But, it is not necessarily a memory of all the tones in the scale that were available. It is your job to accept what music sounds like today. Discard your memory of the past. Enjoy what you hear today! If you keep searching for the past with a faulty memory, you will never enjoy the beautiful sounds available to you today.

I love to listen to Rhapsody in Blue. Occasionally, my mind speaks out and says that this is not the music I listened to 50 years ago. I respond to my mind with “GIVE ME A BREAK, I LOVE LISTENING TO THIS”.


There really are all kinds of assistive listening devices available for us. Patch cords are available for listening to books and music. There are also patch cords available for using telephones. There is closed captioning available for television. There are many lectures aimed for the hearing impaired which provide open captioning.

All assistive listening devices are aimed to improve communication. I think that they all do the job for which they are intended. In the early use of implants these devices can prove to be true crutches which support your step into the hearing world. The key word here is crutches.

If you have the experience of a broken leg then you know that crutches serve their purpose. There was a time when your leg bone healed and the crutches were no longer needed. The same is true with assistive listening devices. You are at a stage where you are learning how to hear again. Look forward to the day that you do not require crutches to hear. The period that covers the time until you do not need the devices must be called something, however for lack of a word, I am going to call this period your ‘development phase’. Let’s take a good look at how to use these devices.


There are really two types of television captioning available. The first type is the captioning that is available for watching movies and pre-recorded shows. The second type is what you see for what you might call watching sports and live shows such as news. I like to call the second type ‘live’ captioning. For default, I call the first type dead captioning.

When you are watching pre-recorded captioning, you can glue your mind to the combination of what you hear and what you see. As long as what you hear matches what you see, you can consider this a sort of reinforcement exercise. An even greater reinforcement happens when the written words and the sound do not match. Your mind must immediately say ‘Hey that is not what he/she said’. This tells you one thing. Yes, it tells you that you can hear. So whether the sound and voice match or whether they do not match, you can say ‘I can hear!’

Live captioning is a different situation. Prior to the captioner producing results, they must hear what was said. If you ever watched a session of the United Nations, the interpreter is producing English after the individual speaking has said something in a different language. I am amazed at how the interpreter can listen to one thing and say something else at the same time. This works the same way as live captioning except that the language spoken and the language seen are the same. If all that you are concerned about is communication, this serves the purpose. However if you are trying to learn to hear, this has to be detrimental to the progress of learning how to hear.


You must make a decision and act upon that decision. Is what is going on important to hear? Is the ability to comprehend what is said more important? Let’s say that hearing what commentators are speaking during a basketball game is not that all important. You decide that
You want to know what they are saying, but the primary thing is to watch the game. If that is true, then either mute the sound on the television or turn your implant off. That way, you will enjoy the game. On the other hand, if you determine that what the commentators are saying presents an opportunity for you to practice your hearing while you are watching the game, then what you must do is shut off the captioning. Then during the game, as you notice what is being said, you can say to yourself ‘I heard that’ ‘I heard that’ ‘I heard that’.

The choice is yours. The point here is not to subject yourself to a situation where you are reading captions that do not agree with what is being said at the same time. For most of us what we will do is to stop listening and accept the noise. That is detrimental to learning how to hear.

As you develop your hearing ability, you must develop your listening ability. I hope that this makes sense. Apply this logic and make decisions every time you are faced with live captioning. This is true when you attend a lecture also.

After all, the captioner must first hear what the speaker has said before it is going to appear on the screen. If you watch the captioning during a lecture, then shut off your implant. Please do this.

I am going to give you a day of rest. That day is today. Tomorrow, you may join with me and become one of the people who can smile and say “I hear better every day!”

This requires a change in attitude. A positive change that says this is going to be work but the results are more than worth the effort. I suppose that some of you say ‘Hey, this is a lot of work’ My answer for you is ‘Yes, it is a lot of work, but I thought that you wanted to improve your hearing. Miracles happen when we work hard at producing them.’ Learning to hear is a miracle that we accomplish when we were at an early age. It is also a miracle that we can create starting today. Are you with me?

I am going to ask you to do something else as part of your new exercising.
Every day, I would like you to look at your spouse and think this.
Every day, I would like you to look at your children and think this.
Every day, I would like you to look at your friends and think this.

I have so much love for you that I plan on improving my hearing every day. I will hear you better. I will communicate better. I will love you more.

Ok, you can start tomorrow if you want.


Take a moment to think about a man named Yogi Berra. You may have seen him in the AFLAC commercials. He is the one who says ‘They give you cash which is just as good as money.’ Yogi has always been known to say some strange things, but at the same time he is a Hall of Fame baseball player. At one point after retirement he was the coach of the New York Yankees.

To my knowledge, he is the only professional catcher who ever accomplished an unassisted double play from that position. In fact, he did that feat more than once. For those who are not familiar with baseball, the situation was that the batter bunted while the runner on third base came running in. He tagged both people. When they interviewed him about this feat, he said ‘I tagged everyone, including the umpire’.

Yogi was also a very good hitter. As with any good hitter in professional baseball, he had slumps. A slump is a period where one is simply unable to get a base hit. One time after a particularly long slump had ended, he was interviewed and in the process of that interview, he was asked if he had any advice for the other players. Typical of Yogi, he simply said ‘Keep on Swinging’.

Why did I tell you this? Well, you are going to have good days and you are going to have bad days as far as improving your hearing. My advice to you?

‘Keep on Swinging’.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jekyll Tug-of-War Starts Anew (Georgia Times Union)

By Brandon Larrabee,
The Times-Union

ATLANTA - The Battle of Jekyll Island is raging again at the state Capitol.

Lawmakers and residents frustrated with plans to revitalize the state park's sagging tourist infrastructure have returned to the site of their victory last year to try to win more protections for Jekyll's beaches and the middle-income Georgians they say are being forgotten.

This time, though, they face greater resistance than in last year's successful campaign and charges that legislative meddling could undermine an attempt to bring visitors back to a park some say is fading from the memory of many would-be vacationers.

Both sides paint the looming legislative battle as a struggle for the island's soul.

Backers of legislation sponsored by Sen. Jeff Chapman, R-Brunswick, say they're trying to preserve the island's historic mission to be open and accessible to people of all incomes and from all walks of life - the very Georgians they say would be discouraged from coming to Jekyll under the plans of politically connected developer Linger Longer Communities.

"If they manage to shoot this down, they will essentially have a free hand to do with that state park whatever they please," Chapman said.

Linger Longer counters that it is simply trying to renew interest in the island, where visitation has been headed downward, and to make it a prime vacation spot once more.

"We're just trying to make it what it should be," said Jim Langford, the executive overseeing the Jekyll project.

The steepest challenge facing Chapman and his supporters, though, might simply be getting a chance to be heard.

Return to the battleground

For Chapman, it's a return to an issue that brought him key legislative victories in last year's session. Holding a firm Senate majority, Chapman managed to attach a measure preserving the island's ecologically fragile South end onto a bill extending the Jekyll Island Authority lease.

That lease measure was a key goal of the authority, which said it needed a long-term agreement with the state to persuade developers to build on Jekyll.

Chapman's new proposals aim to do three things:

- Define certain terms in the agreement, like "lowest rates reasonable and possible," that have caused many of the clashes;

- Severely restrict new development on the island's beaches; and,

- Bar new residential leases at state parks like Jekyll.

One of the key battlegrounds has become the proposal to try to limit development east of Beach View Drive, a move that Chapman and his supporters say would keep one of the island's most popular beaches open to most visitors.

The Linger Longer plan would use some of that land for a new town center complex that is anathema to opponents of the developer's proposal.

"It's a million-dollar view for the family who doesn't have a million dollars," Chapman said.

Chapman's proposals would also limit prices at new hotels built on the island, a key concern for residents worried about the island shirking its traditional role as a low-price destination.

"What we're seeing is a steady trend upward with the price of the Linger Longer project," said Dory Ingram, a volunteer lobbyist for the grass-roots Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island.

But Langford said the seemingly benign bills advanced by Chapman really have another goal: To kill the development plan entirely.

"It's designed to shut down revitalization, essentially, or any serious attempt at revitalization," Langford said.

He said the proposals for hotel rooms amounts to a price control, and ignores the fact that 72 percent of the rooms brought to Jekyll under the Linger Longer plan would go for less than $139 a night.

And pushing new development west of Beach View Drive could put pressure on wetlands, the Historic District and similar key assets, Langford said.

"There are a number of things west of Beach View that I think should be avoided," he said.

Island access debated

Much of the resistance to the developers' proposals comes from residents who don't want to see the island revitalized and who, in fact, would like to keep the island from becoming a key tourist attraction again, Langford said.

"They really don't want more Georgians to come to Jekyll, and that's not the Jekyll Island that Jekyll was meant to be," he said.

Ingram and Chapman both said they would like to see the island's hotels and accommodations redeveloped. Chapman said that Linger Longer is essentially telling the state: Trust us.

"What I'm proposing is in black and white and easy to understand," he said. "What they're proposing is all verbal."

Critics of Linger Longer also note that the $139 nightly room rental figure comes from including every individual room in a condominium, for instance, as part of the average.

That's not an uncommon practice in the hospitality industry, Langford counters, and in fact accounts for the fact that some groups use time-share condos for a limited time when they go to stay on the beach.

Stuck in committee

For now, the priority for Chapman and his supporters is to get the bills out of the Senate Economic Development Committee, where they've been parked for more than two weeks.

Chairman Chip Pearson, R-Dawsonville, said last week he's asked the Jekyll Island Authority whether the proposals would harm attempts to revitalize the park.

"We want to make sure that we're not undermining completely those efforts that have already been determined," Pearson said.

Once the authority provides Pearson with the information he's asked for, the chairman said, he'll make a decision on whether to hear the bills.

Chapman said he's received no guarantees from Pearson or Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who heads the Senate, on whether or when the proposals will come before Pearson's committee. He and others are aware that, unlike last year's lease bill, the Jekyll Island Authority and its supporters don't need any legislation this year.

"Having spoken to the lieutenant governor, I want to believe that the people of Georgia are going to have an opportunity to have their legislation heard and voted on," Chapman said.

But while Cagle left open the possibility Chapman's bills could be heard, he also made it clear last week that the Jekyll bills might not have enough leadership support to move forward.

"I don't know that the appetite among the General Assembly is real strong to try to micromanage the process," he said.,

(678) 977-3709

what they are saying Backers of legislation to preserve Jekyll Island's historic mission: "If they manage to shoot this down, they will essentially have a free hand to do with that state park whatever they please." - State Sen. Jeff Chapman, R-Brunswick Backers of plans to develop the state park: "We're just trying to make it what it should be." - Jim Langford, executive overseeing the Jekyll project

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