Friday, January 26, 2018

"Humble Hero"

Jerry Schemmel is the radio announcer for Baseball’s Colorado Rockies.  Before that he was the play-by-play announcer for NBA Denver Nuggets.  He has been involved in sports media since the 1980’s.  He played baseball at Washburn University in Topeka, then graduated with a law degree from from there.  He has bicycled across America, across Colorado and completed triathlons and marathons.

He also survived the crash-landing of United Airlines Flight 232 on July 19 1989 in Sioux City Iowa.

His book, Chosen to Live:  The Inspiring Story of Flight 232 tells the story.

Schemmel traveled from Denver last weekend to present his impactful and emotionally charged presentation.  There were over 200 in attendance including the entire 2018 baseball team from Washburn.  Jerry Schemmel’s story is one that I will not forget.

In July 1989, Jerry Schemmel was on Flight 232 with his best friend, Jay Ramsdell.  The crew had just served lunch when there was a loud explosion.  The passengers had over 40 minutes to prepare for what was to follow.  During that time, they comforted each other and prepared themselves for the possibility of not surviving.   Miraculously, 184 survived, but 112 died including his friend Jay. 

Jerry told us he was not injured significantly which enabled him to go back into the aircraft and rescue a baby.  He was able to help others after the initial crash of the aircraft.
And, in the end, he was injured more than he knew with post traumatic stress disorder.  His Spiritual journey is ongoing.  He told us his life was changed forever.  The following video tells more.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Two authors share their story

I have a great admiration for writers. I have an even greater admiration for those who are able to write about something in their life which has caused a great deal of emotional pain and sadness. In the past two weeks, we have had the opportunity to hear two authors talk about books they felt inspired to write after having had almost unbelievable sorrow.   First,

Farewell, My Freebird by Carol Noe

Keith and Carol Noe lived in the Los Angeles area of California with their daughter Angela and her three brothers. Angela was an outgoing, beautiful young lady with many friends. She always said she wanted to be a Freebird. It was during her teen years that her life changed. This is what Carol wrote on the cover of her book:

“A Mother's story of her daughter's life in the dark world of drugs and prostitution...and the phone call that changed their family forever."

Keith and Carol were guests at our Stull UMC book group and openly shared their struggles with Angela's addictions, her attempts at reform, her descent into prostitution and eventually her murder on April 28, 1987 in the San Francisco area of California.

Their struggles did not end when the murderer was found. All of us at the gathering could not believe how the court system in California regarded a man who had killed several, including Angela, yet was due to be let out of prison.   The book gives a realistic  look into the California court system. 

The Noe's lovingly talk about their three boys, their families and grandchildren, And, they find comfort in their Spiritual life and how it has led them to share Angela's story through the book including Angela's poems she wrote throughout her short life.

Unbelievably, it was an uplifting evening. I think I can say that we all felt their struggles through their words, but also know they found sharing their story healing.