January 24, 2001|
Let’s just say it’s been a busy past few days since getting out of the hospital. “Taking it easy.” Sorry, not in Art’s vocabulary.
Friday, I busted out, finally. I was not content with just going home, so I convinced my mom and little brother Billy (who was up from Philly for the weekend) to see a movie. We joined the throngs of teenagers (and other adults I must surprisingly say) at “Save the Last Dance.” It actually was a quality movie with more than just slammin’ dance moves and a cute female lead. I recommend it.
Saturday, we had another awesome day with a lunch party at my apartment with friends from New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Mom cooked a huge lunch. That night, though, because of the snowy weather I stayed in and hung out. Sunday, all of us went to church together. It was one of the best services I have ever been to. Singing was amazing, sermon was out of this world (mom bough two tapes of it!), and for me it was good to be able to go to church after three weeks of Sundays cooped up.
Monday, it was off to see another movie, “Chocolat” (excellent!), this time at the giant AMC Cinema on Times Square. We then walked home, which was about a mile walk, stopping off at all of the music stores looking for the soundtrack to “Save the Last Dance.” Shakin’ the bootay.
More teenage girlsÖ.
Lastly, yesterday morning, I went into the office to surprise all of theco-workers. Surprises are the best!
Then in the afternoon, after much planning and thought, I had to go see a taping of MTV’s “Total Request Live.” No, Carson Daly, wasn’t hosting, but O-Town (from “Making of the Band” fame, ABC Friday nights) hosted. I didn’t get into the studio, a little too late getting there, but I stood outside the entire time and got on TV as the camera pannedthe crowd.
Mom, she decided to pass on the whole experience and instead went to buy more sermon tapes (I told you it was good!) at the church offices. I ended making friends with Jamie, a senior advertising major from the U. of Georgia, up in NYC with a tour of UGA students checking out magazine and publishing companies. I didn’t feel so old after hanging with her. 🙂 It was actually quite a memorable experience and watching it on TV last night was pretty cool.
Even Jamie asked me if I should be out after all I have been through the past few weeks. No I am not crazy, yes I was given permission to go out (just not allowed right now to eat restaurant food). Yeah, I could have spent this past week in my apartment, plenty to do here. But instead I want to live. Making memories. If I can share anything with you from living in the hospital for three weeks, it’s just about getting out and living. Get out and make memories.
And The Dinner
The dinner. Now that was a memory, for me, and for the 1100 people whoshowed up, from what I understand. 1100 people!!! 1100 people!!!
Before Dr. Baird got into her accident, she wanted to put together a dinner benefit for me. The Connection was going to perform, simple donated spaghetti, and a Chinese auction. Little did anyone know what was in store. The story broke and it made the newspaper (see article). My old radio station got wind of it and they announced it on the air. Word spread. Last Saturday, from first count, 1100 people parked up to two miles away, waited in line for an hour for spaghetti and then tried their luck at the auction. I was able to give a little speech via cell phone. The TV news showed up to do a story and want to do another story. Here are some e-mail comments I received:
“I’m so glad to hear that you are feeling better, we are praying along with our daughter for you as well as your family. We’ll continue to pray keep smiling and keep that faith. We went to your dinner after standing in line for more than an hour we decided to take it home. I have never seen so many people in my life. You are definitely loved tell them next time to get Powers or Stambaugh (auditoriums holding 2,000).”
“I just wanted to tell you how emotionally moving and inspirational your benefit dinner was the other night. As I walked into this room and saw people of all ages and backgrounds getting so involved for your cause I was in shock. It was standing room only. It was like a reunion and seeing people I’ve known my whole life and being able to be there with them for your you was special.”
“I went to the dinner, and let me tell you, you are quite a popular fellow. Imagine this: People waiting in line to write to you on the notes and sit and eat, then walking to the food line, picking up a cell phone and saying where the ^%&%% are we gonna eat?!? with a smile. Everyone was glad they came to show their support for you and your family, not a gripe in the joint.”
“I was at the benefit dinner last night, and when you called it seemed to bring relief over the whole room. Your happy personality let everyone know that it’s gonna be okay. I wish you the best of luck and I want to thank you for giving everyone the opportunity to stay updated with what’s going on. No matter how far you go, Y-town will always be there and we’ll always be there for each other when the going gets tough and that was proven last night.”
“We witnessed a miracle on Sat Nite Spaghetti Dinner. It was awesome. None of us have ever seen such a response. Incredible. I am assured once again of God’s hand in all of this. He is awesome—and He is letting us see it. PRAISE GOD.”
I don’t know what I would have done if I were there. Amazing. For once in my life (and I mean once) I am left speechless. All I can say is thank you to all you who volunteered and who showed up. I am forever grateful.
I’ll be home to Youngstown late Thursday night. Lunch or dinners on me, the calendar is filling up, so e-mail with your free days. Also, I can’t come home and not have an open house to see everyone, so that’ll be happening too. Watch for the day on this website. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go live.