Archive for August, 2010

Tuesday, 31Aug10, Amarillo, TX, Coffee Memorial Blood Centers

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Today was another one of those knock down drag out … incredible days.

A special thanks to Coffee Memorial Blood Center … with the spotlight on Joe and Suzanne, Ashley and many other awe-inspiring staff who went out of their way to make today … a day that we’ll never forget!

Thanks to Amarillo PD, Tim and Toby, the SWAT team, and many other officers who I met today … who donated blood and did everything they could to show appreciation for the donors and the Coffee Memorial blood center staff.

Thank you to the media … Jack and his gang … and the local TV stations … and … to Chris (the owner of the best steak place in Amarillo!)

Thank you to the local cyclists who rode with us today and the bicycle cops … there were so many awe-inspiring people that I met today that I’ll have to defer to Suzanne and the Coffee Memorial Blood Center facebook page and their website to let them explain who all these incredible people are!

And that doesn’t count … visiting the Bushland Elementary school where all the students were out on the sidewalk with inspirational signs that they had painted … they were absolutely awe-inspiring and their “energy level” was catching!  I absolutely “loved” it!

It was like I suddenly had 200-300 new grandchildren who really loved me … it was incredible!

Then we rode our bicycles over to visit the Cadillac Ranch … I can’t explain it … you’ll just have to check out the pictures on Facebook and see for yourselves!

To all the motor officers who escorted us today on our bicycle ride out to Bushland and back … thank you for your professionalism and the way you protected us!  It was an amazing job … WELL DONE, GUYS!

To the guys who cooked the hamburgers and “the sausages” … you are the BEST!

On top of everything else … Suzanne … you are absolutely at the top of your class!  You are one classy lady and may God over watch over you and all of your co-workers!  

Thanks for everything … and after all that …  I then drove to Albuquerque, NM and met up with Jennifer (our LAA publicist) … I am now getting ready for our UBS visit here tomorrow …

Monday, 30Aug10, Oklahoma City, OK, OBI

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Another exciting day in Oklahoma City, OK, this time at the OBI (Oklahoma Blood Institue) … thanks to Leslie Gamble and the OBI blood center staff for making it a very enjoyable day.

Thanks to Channel 5 News for stopping by to do a story on OBI and its fabulous donors and staff.

It was a fun day because I had the opportunity to show my grandchildren what an incredible blood center they have nearby to their home.

Thanks to Gail, my lovely wife, who helped make our 39th anniversary an incredible memory!

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better … it does!  Wow!

Then off to Amarillo … a 270 mile drive … where I was able to meet up with some of Coffee Memorial’s staff and their local finest, APD officers.

Sunday, 29Aug10, Oklahoma City, OK, REST DAY

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

What a fun day!  A day spent with family and the unbelievable, astounding, energy-filled … grandchildren … Thank YOU Luc, Lani, and Libby for loving us so much!

We had a blast playing with you and meeting your new cat … a very black cat named “Pepper”!

It was fun attending church with you and spending the day with you and your Mommy and Daddy!

I think the pictures on Facebook … say it all !   

Thanks for loving us unconditionally … to Paul and Katrina … you have some amazing children and to Paul … I was totally in awe while looking at the “playhouse” that you built for Luc … in his bedroom … that was and is incredible!  Great job, DAD!

Talk to you tomorrow … we are spending tomorrow at the Oklahoma Blood Institue and then off  on a 250+ mile drive to Amarillo, TX!

Saturday, 28Aug10, Ft Worth, Tx, Carter Bloodcare

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

Guess what?  Today is our 39th wedding anniversary and we celebrated it in Ft. Worth, Tx, at the opening of their brand new Rosedale Blood Donor facility.  (Last night we stayed at the Hilton, previously known as the Hotel Texas .. and the last place we Pres. Kennedy stayed before his date with destiny in Dallas, TX, back in 1962 … he stayed in suite 1530)

For our anniversary dinner we walked across the street to Frisco’s for a delightful evening and dinner.

It was another incredible day at the blood center and afterwards we drove up to Oklahoma City, OK, to our daughter Katrina’s house and had a wonderful dinner with them and our 3 grandchildren, Luc, Lani, and Libby … after a quiet evening with family it’s now time to turn in … Talk to you tomorrow!

Friday, 27Aug10, Waco, TX, Carter Bloodcare

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Blood fact: “Shortages of (all) blood types happen during the summer and winter holidays.

Today I was visiting the Carter Bloodcare blood center in Waco, Texas.  I had a lot of fun and met some really great donors and some really dedicated blood center staff. (Check out the pictures on Facebook account … Give Blood!)

It was an amazing day and we even had the local Channel 10 News team … Lauren and Jim … who came out to do a story for Carter Bloodcare. 

Every day I’m on this tour … something like “divine intervention” happens … little things that probably shouldn’t have happened … yet … they do happen … and … usually in a very CLEAR way … making it obvious to those people who are not expecting it to happen!

And during this year’s LAA 2010 nation-wide blood drive …  it just keeps happening on a daily basis … therefore … there must really be something to the “power of prayer” and not  being afraid to ask God to bless your life … and … not in a mediocre way … but to bless you in a BIG way … not in a selfish way … yet in a way to continue to give the glory and the honor to God above. (1Chron 4:9-10)

And each day , the more I come in contact with donors … I am literally in awe at their honorable, compassionate reasons for giving blood to help a complete stranger … each one of these donors I meet are so “committed” to helping someone … out there somewhere … who may sometime … need blood!

I am also humbled on a daily basis … as I reflect back on the 110 strangers who gave 1 pint of blood each … to help save my life!   They didn’t know me and they will never know me (nor will I ever know them) … yet … they didn’t hesitate to give the “gift of life” to a complete stranger!

  • So when I met with  the the donors today at the Waco, TX, Carter Bloodcare center … it as if I was “thanking” my orginal donors … it was humbling to say the least!

Enough of that … I need to get serious for a second … OOPS … I guess I was being serious!

Now let’s talk of something amazing … 39 years of marriage to the same beautiful lady … this is the lady who “carried me when I couldn’t carry myself” … and … she’s flying in tonight to spend the wonderful day of our anniversary with me … as I share it with the folks at the new Rosedale Donor Center in Ft. Worth! (Someone asked me today, what do you do to celebrate, after 39 years?  I answered … no worries … I’ll just ask her what she wants to do? and then say “yes, dear!”)

So not only do I get to spend tomorrow with some astounding, good hearted “donors” and equally generous blood center staff … I get to spend the day with my “sweetheart” of 39 years! (It’s only been a month since I’ve last seen her … but … who’s counting?

She just called and said she is now on her way to Ft. Worth … as I write this!  (So that’s about it for now … I’ll check in with you later!)

Thursday, 26Aug10, Waco, TX, REST DAY, Carter Blood

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

For a rest day … today was a very busy day:

  • Toyota truck chores … oil change, filter, wheel balance, etc.
  • Landshark chores … Bicycles Outback, thanks to John who “tweaked” my bicycle and made it ride much better!
  • Best Buy … to fix some irritating little things about my Toshiba laptop, etc. (pick up a charger for laptop as we move into the longer driving distances, out West!)
  • Wal-Mart … to buy an AC-DC ice chest to try to keep drinks “cool” as I drive across America in the heat wave.
  • A short visit to the Carter blood center just to touch bases with the local staff for a minute. (and to find out where it is located?)
  • On the phone with Jen (publicist) working out hotel, flight and pick up Gail arrangements.
  • A big thank you to Carter for some incredible lodging, etc.
  • And a 25 mile bike ride to try to keep up the riding legs ….

Tomorrow looks like it’s going to be an incredible day … thanks to Edna, Linda, Wendy, Janet and several other Carter staff who have been instrumental in making these two days come alive!  You’re awesome!

Wednesday, 25Aug10, Alexandria, LA, LifeShare

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Blood Fact: “Many patients with severe sickle cell disease receive blood transfusions every month.

Another awe-inspiring day at the LifeShare Blood Center in Alexandria, LA, thanks to David B, I was able to meet many “heroes” (blood donors and staff). Today I met LaVerne, Miranda, LaDonna, Jennifer, Danielle, Karen, Myrt, Christy, Peggy, Pat, Diane, Bernette, Candy, Bobbie, Phyllis, Michelle, and Pravina. You are AWESOME!

What a day!  It started early with a TV interview with the anchor Mark on Channel 2 News.  Then back to  the blood center to meet several of the donors and the staff listed above.  Then we drove over to the radio station and did an interview with “Hollywood Harrison” a local DJ … what a funny DJ … we had a blast talking with him and Belle (his sidekick) … then we had ABC 31-KLAX TV (Jerry Havens came out to the blood center to do a story with the donors and blood center staff … he was a lot of fun)

The rest of the day was spent at the blood center meeting, greeting and thanking donors and staff.

Soon it was time to leave, I had filled up with gasoline earlier in the day … so I stopped at Wal-Mart picking up a “DC” water cooler to plug into the cigarette lighter … to keep my water bottles “cool”. (Boy has it been hot and humid down here, Whew!)

I was then off to Waco, TX.  (Oops … I thought it was 230 miles … yet my GPS said it was 320 miles … and … the GPS was correct! Darn … so I had an extra 2 hours of driving time … didn’t get it until 7 p.m.)

Thank you to Carter Blood Care … the lodging is EXCELLENT! (And the general manager and front desk personnel are “blood donors” … Nice, eh?)

Tomorrow will be a REST DAY … so I’m going for a bike ride tomorrow morning, Yippee!

Don’t forget to check out the Facebook pictures … the easiest way is to click on the Facebook “link” on the Life Across America 2010 website … it will take you right to the “Give Blood” pictures.

Tuesday, 24Aug10, Jackson, MS, Mississippi Blood Services

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Blood Fact: “13 + TESTS (11 for infectious diseases) are performed on each unit of donated blood.

Today I am in Jackson, MS, at the Mississippi Blood Services … another incredible day of service … the donors, the staff, admin, are some of the most benevolent individuals that I have ever met. I am so lucky … each day I have the honor of meeting the most caring, giving people in each city I visit … Thank you to the Jackson, MS, community for “giving the gift of life”. To David Allen (CEO) … Great job!

I met a fellow officers from Flowood PD: Sgt Hall, Off. Hatch, Motor Officer Coulter and the best LT. on the PD … (old what’s his name… typed with a smile)

I met Drew Hall from Fox 40 News … and … WLBT Channel 3 News (Monica??) it was a fun time talking to each donor and staff at the blood center building … Tony B. was amazing and did his level best to make sure to promote the blood awareness cause in the Jackson, MS, area.

We went to the District Attorney building downtown and attended a blood drive that was well attended … they had 30+ donations while I was there … plus an interview by Fox 40 News …

There was also a radio interview with JT and Brad … a radio station listened to all over Mississippi area … All I can say is “each day I am so grateful for my blessings and the blessings given to recipients like me by life-giving donors.”

Don’t forget to check out the Pix on Facebook … lots of genuine smiles from donors and blood center staff!

I then drove 200 miles from Jackson, MS, to Alexandria, LA, … I’m now at the hotel in a little town called Pineville, LA.

Monday, 23Aug10, Memphis, TN, LifeBlood

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Blood fact: “A patient could be forced to pass up a lifesaving organ, if compatible blood is not available to support the transplant.

Wow!  Another amazing and awe-inspiring blood center … this one was in Memphis, TN, at LifeBlood.

I spent the day with outstanding staff such as: Jason and Debra … they really are good-hearted people who do there best to do every possible to bring in donors … to give the “gift of life”!

The day started off with a “bang” … 1st to Good morning, Memphis, Channel 13 Fox News for a TV interview in their studio, 

Then 3 radio station interviews by phone added in for good measure … plus another TV station interview on the street at the blood drive at Memphis PD’s Hdqtrs downtown … then a visit to Weight Watcher’s on the 11th floor on the Police Admin Building … to give a short talk about staying in shape … and …  over to another Precint to visit with Lt Halfacre (the 1st woman to ride police motors in Memphis PD) and Sgt Parks … to take pictures with them next to their police motorcycle and police car.  Then downtown to City Hall … Debra introduced me to Quintin Robinson, PHR … Director of the Div. of Human Resources …

So all in all … it was a very busy and productive day of “getting the word out” … encouraging local Memphis residents to come in and donate blood.

Out to a quick lunch and then back to visit with, greet, and thank … the staff whom I affectionately call the “lab people” … they are some of the most superb, unselfish employees I have met … to shake hands with each of them and thank them for the fabulous job they do in helping to “save lives” … is the energy I need to drive another 200 miles to another blood center and find the donors and blood center staff in a completely different part of the country.

After that … I took time to “upload” the pix to Facebook and then drove 210 miles to Jackson, MS, which is where I am now.

I’m looking forward to meeting Tony B. and discuss tomorrow’s agenda.

Talk to you later!


Sunday, 22Aug10, Memphis, TN, REST DAY

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Blood Fact: “Sickle Cell disease is an inherited disease that affects more than 80,000 people in the U.S., 98% of whom are of African descent.

Today was a REST DAY in Memphis, TN, thank goodness my GPS was working properly … I was able to find and attend church at the Memphis 1st Ward with Bishop Tom Slack presiding, in the Memphis North Stake on St. Elmo Drive, it was about 10 miles from where I’m staying.  It was a relaxing day … and … it was nice to “spiritually recharge” with another group of wonderful welcoming people!

Afterward I drove back to downtown Memphis and drove around, until I found the LifeBlood admin offices and the Donor Center just across the street.

Earlier in the day, I had talked to Jason Sykes (LifeBlood staff)  by phone and he confirmed that tomorrow we will be doing a TV spot on Good Morning, Memphis, Channel 13 Fox News. 

I’m now back in the hotel … relaxing and trying to catch up on some scripture reading …