It’s one of those moments when you wonder what it all means. I met a little boy and his family a little over a year ago. His name was Weston Keeton(in the middle), Mom, Julie, was as kind, patient and gracious as they come; as real as a good, almost overwhelmed mom is. Julie and her husband, Adam, and their children are from Tennessee, but Julie and Weston had been living in Philadelphia for almost a third of Weston’s life. He needed a heart transplant. Waiting and going in and out of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia became the way of life. Julie talked about how kind and great CHOP and all of Philadelphia had been for her family, The Gift of Life staff was stellar. Some Mummers from Fralinger String Band became friends of the Keetons. Adam had to keep working in Tennessee and take care of the other kids, except for when they could all get away to be with Julie and Weston here, as Weston hoped for a matching heart. Lots of folks were doing everything they could. But, now, 7-year-old Weston Keeton has passed away. I thank Weston for his smile and for the courage a little boy cannot understand but lived everyday. May Julie, Adam and Weston’s brothers and sisters come to understand their grief and find the answer.
I had the pleasure of talking with former Philadelphia Flyer Brian Propp and with former State Senator Joe Rocks about NHS Human Services and a fundraising hockey game this Sunday at the Northeast Skate Zone. The event is Goals for Giving and helps people with a wide range of challenges. The entire interview airs Saturday morning at 6:30 on PHL17. The game is Sunday afternoon at 1:30. Among the Orange and Black greats playing in addition to the Propper: Frank Bialowas,Todd Fedoruk, Joe Watson, Bob Kelly, Andre Faust, Rob MacInnis, Dave Parro, Peter Zingoni and Ray Allison.
Most drug addicts are good people with a bad problem. Some of our veterans are trying to deal with this problem and we have to ask whether we are helping. About 1 in 4 people who use heroin become addicted to it. Most heroin available today is purer than it was in the 1980’s. While heroin has been a problem for some time, it has taken on new dimensions in the last decade. I spoke today for an upcoming show of PHL17’s “In Focus” with Scott Sarafini and Christie Wentz of Drug Free Pennsylvania. The increased used in the last decade of prescription painkillers like Oxycontin have led to an increase in heroin use. People hooked on painkillers are demanding purer heroin and are going to it because it is available and cheaper, about 8 to 10 dollars a hit. The death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a reminder that addicts are folks in their 40’s and 50’s, even seniors, as well as young people. Drug Free Pennsylvania provides free, 90-minute seminars for parents to outline the heroin and overall drug problem and prevention steps. A place of worship or a school or a community center can arrange a seminar. They also provide services to employers. You can contact them at straighttalkforparents.org or 1-800-533-3394. The “In Focus” program on heroin runs Saturday morning, March 8th, at 6:30.
Interviewed Lori Morris and Ernestine Williams of CASA of Mercer and Burlington Counties today. There are CASA chapters throughout the nation. More than 900. They are Court Appointed Special Advocates for children, helping find safe and permanent homes and situations for kids.
They could use some volunteers. They provide the training.
Check out In Focus on February 8th at 6:30 a.m. or go to their web sites, such as http://www.casamercer.org for more info.
The mighty Fancy Brigades tonight have selected the order in which they perform inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center on New Year’s Day. Meeting at the Mummers Museum this evening, the drawing produced the following results for positions 1 through 11 at both the Noon and 5pm shows.
Going 1st with be the Spartans, followed by Satin Slipper 2nd, then Golden Crown 3rd.
4th will be Saturnalian, followed by Downtowners 5th, and Clevemore 6th. 7th will be S.P.Vikings, 8th will be B. M’s Shooting Stars and then Jokers 9th. Avenuers will be 10th and Second Street Shooters will be 11th.
Tickets for the Noon and 5pm shows for January 1, 2014, are available through ComcastTix.
The Fancy Brigade Association is holding its annual Cow Chip Bingo Festival in conjunction with the Philadelphia Recreation Department. Proceeds benefit both.
Folks await the moo-vement that will yield a tidy sum for the winner and benefit both the Recreation Department and the Brigades, which put on those great shows inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center on New Year’s Day. There are other activities for the kids right now while the adults watch a cow more closely than they ever imagined. Just an “udder” delight on a September afternoon, courtesy your friendly local Mummers.
James A. Michener Museum Director and CEO, Lisa Tremper Hanover, tells me Prince Albert of Monaco will be coming to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, in late October to open the exclusive Princess Grace exhibit. The exhibit is called “From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly Beyond the Icon.” Its only U.S. appearance is at the Michener Museum.
Hanover says the exhibit and its artifacts are “very revealing” of the “arc of a dignified life, a talented life,” and that it shows the late Grace Kelly as humanitarian, philanthropist, representing Monaco and as an actress.
The exhibit will run from October 28, 2013, to January 26th, 2014 at the James A. Michener Museum in Doylestown, Bucks County.
Photo provided courtesy of the Michener Museum.