Monday, September 29, 2008

A Day in the Country

We arrived in Prince George after a nine hour drive through spectacular scenery. The drive was aided by a audiobook that we picked up just for the drive. When the book began and the first victim was killed while sitting in a wheelchair, Joe looked at me and said, "Really, it's come to this, even our audio books are about people with disabilities." I tried to tell him that I had no idea, that it was chance, that I realize 'all disability, all the time,' can get wearing. Luckily the book was a good one, although the image of a woman in a wheelchair overlooking the sea with her throat cut is one that will stay with me for a while, at least.

We drove through Williams Lake and were suprised to find that it was the home of Rick Hanson (Canadian Wheelchair guy, hero of sorts) and that there was a huge picture of him as we entered the town. I wish now we'd stopped for photo's but, if you've read the blog for any time - Joe's not really a 'stopper' on trips like these.

What interested me was the fact that where ever we did stop (one needs to pee, one needs a tea) accessibility was not an issue. If I had to pee, there was always somewhere on the road where there was a ramp and a wide doored bathroom. I'm feeling that we were just lucky, and of course, we did choose where to stop. But even so, I wonder if the whole concept of accessibility is spreading from cities into the country.

More that that, everywhere we went there were disabled people. There was the hot guy with cerebral palsy in Tim's, with his equally hot blue spikey haired girlfriend (maybe assistant). There was the woman on the scooter at Save-On's. There was the blind chick with the ripped tee and jeans (I'm calling her chick because I'm guessing she'd like it.)

One gets the idea that disability is a city phenomenon. But we really are everywhere. And, of course, if we are everywhere, we have a collective power that would be awesome to unleash one day.

To the revolution!


theknapper said...

To the revolution.....I toast with a Greek beer from Paros to you & the revolution!!!

Anonymous said...

lol I have a story for you about BC Dave! my friends and I still laugh about it and it was in July! I was going from Ontario to BC and flew thru Comox and had to take the ferry over to Powell River. I use a white cane when I travel to unfamiliar places or at night because I am visually impaired and have problems with depth perception and...well...seeing! lol
So I went up to the wicket to buy my ticket (love saying that) and I wanted to use my Canadian travellers cheques and then.....AND THEN.....she said....
"can I see you license?"
I just paused for a moment and looked down and chuckled and said
"well I dunno who you let drive here in BC but in Ontario we are kinda strict about that sorta thing"
she got really embarassed and apologized about 20 times. I was still laughing too hard.
Then she wouldn't give me the disability rate because I didn't have a BC ferries disability travel card. hee hee oh the irony.
Hope you have a wonderful time in that wonderful province!

Anonymous said...

I have a story to tell you that I know you will appreciate. Today a friend stopped by to talk because she was upset about something. As she went about telling of her ordeal she referred to a person that she was unhappy with as "that retard" and my daughter, Amber was sitting right beside her. Well, Amber jumped right up and rushed off to her room. I thought she was upset because of that damned word and I was right. Before I ever got a chance to say anything she was back in the living room with a card in her hand. It was one of the Words Hit Like A Fist cards! She very calmly and gently handed over the card to our friend and told her that the word "retard" hurts, so please don't use it. I was so proud. She had so much dignity and I just sat back and watched her in awe. Our friend hugged Amber and told her how sorry she was with big tears in her eyes. I don't think she will ever use that word again. She put the card in her purse and promised to hand it over to the next person who used that word in her presence.
When the cards came in the mail I gave Amber one of them and I kept the rest. Every now and then I would see them in my wallet when I was at the store while getting money out. I even thought how I wished I could hand one out and teach someone a lesson. Silly me, I could not have done anywhere near as good as Amber did today. Now I know how it is supposed to be done.
I am just so proud and so grateful to you Dave for the great gift you gave my daughter today. Thank you so much for getting the idea of the cards to fruition, and for putting such a powerful tool in my daughters hand. You are simply THE BEST!!!

Unknown said...

Just read a Donna Leon mystery where the main character who was the killer had a developmental disability & the next Leon book dealt with the issue of autoerotic asphyxiation......and I had no idea.

theknapper said...

Just read 2 Donna Leon mysteries..the first, the killer was a young man with a developmental disability & the 2nd they dealt with the issue of auto erotic tell Joe you never know what the story is really about!!!

theknapper said...

I don't know how I did it but I wrote under someone else's name (someone else in this hotel on Ios is one of your fans?!)
Anyways the comments re Donna Leon are mine.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog by searching for Sergei Vladimirovich Nabokov (Neuengamme prisoner 28631), an interesting choice for a dedication to. But if not for that, I would not have come across your wonderful and interesting blog.