Catching up on things


By Bill Taylor

It seems to me that every once in a while I need to kinda catch up on things – you know, providing an update about stories I have shared in the past. I figure that when some folks start asking me about what’s happened since the initial item was published, others are curious also, so let’s get started.

Some time ago I shared the story of a widow I called “Phyllis” who was living on a very limited income and, unfortunately, incurred a fairly large credit card debt when she had a number of unanticipated expenses such as car repair, plumbing, and such. She was having an extremely difficult time in stretching her few dollars to pay all her bills, particularly with the twenty-some per cent interest on her credit card.

Just when things were looking very bleak indeed a benefactor I called “Sam” stepped in to help Phyllis with an interest free loan to pay off her entire credit card debt – and at a repayment schedule she could handle within her limited resources. [I used the name “Sam” based on the Parable of the Good Samaritan in the Christian gospel of Luke (10:29–37) that encourages people to help others in need.]

So how’s the arrangement working out? Well, the last I heard, Phyllis is right on schedule with her repayments – and the loan balance is decreasing quite nicely. You know, it’s kinda hard to tell who is more satisfied with this arrangement – Phyllis who insists on paying her debts and not accepting “charity” or Sam who figures investing in people is better than keeping money in the bank. A rather uplifting commentary on human nature, doncha think?

Moving on to the tale I shared some months ago about “Louise”, a registered nurse, who had injured her shoulder at work and had filed a claim with the Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC). The diagnosis, which the BWC approved, was that a muscle and tendon had torn apart and surgery was required to repair the damage. A series of “you gotta be kidding” type events resulted in the surgery not being performed until five months after the injury. This time lapse necessitated a complicated surgical procedure with a lengthy recovery period.

When we left the story she had had the surgery but was still awaiting the okay from her surgeon to commence physical rehab; had limited use of her arm; could not drive or do many common household chores; and still required occasional pain pills. In the meantime she had no compensation – no income – and continued to rely on family and friends for financial support.

Well, I’m happy to report that Louise has been in physical rehab for some weeks now and has reportedly recovered about sixty percent use of her arm. She can drive, but still has other limitations, particularly in lifting and similar strenuous efforts. She is currently collecting compensation for lost wages which, I understand, will continue until she is once again able to work. Things do sometimes work out.

Ok, let’s move on to our final update – the story of my debut as a budding video star. To recap what this was all about I was asked by a city employee I have known for many years to act in an informational/educational video designed to explain the upcoming major change in the way waste and recycle material will be collected in this city. My role, if I accepted it, would be to portray an average, everyday resident illustrating how this new system would work. As I reported, my thoughts were: “Wow!”Here is my big chance. A once in a lifetime opportunity to be a star.” And so, naturally, I accepted and the “shoot” went off as scheduled.

At the time I didn’t know if, when, or where the video would be made public, but a friend found it on line at Xenia, oh Rumpke video and sure enough there I was wheeling trash and recycle bins to the curb and doing other small chores. Nothing very dramatic about the scenes, but I got an e-mail describing my performance as “superb” and another asking for my autograph. How about them apples?

I suppose I should be flattered by the attention, but I’m not anticipating being nominated for an award in the category “Best portrayal of an old guy pushing trash and recycle bins in a video.” For one thing, I doubt if there is such a category and second, there wouldn’t be any competition – how many such videos are there?

Well, they say everyone gets fifteen minutes of fame sometime during their lives and I kinda guess this was mine – even if the total duration of my appearances in the video was only fifty-seven seconds. But you take what you can get. At least that’s how it seems to me.

By Bill Taylor

Bill Taylor, a Greene County Daily columnist and area resident, may be contacted at [email protected].

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