Saturday, August 15, 2015

New Life Begins

FROG HOSPITAL -- August 15, 2015 -- unsubscribe anytime
New Life Begins
By Fred Owens
New life arrives, begins, challenges, dares, evolves, fails, grinds, hankers, idealizes, jams, kicks, loses, matters, needs, opines, quits, rules, says, takes, underscores, values, wins, xonerates, yields, zings!
When does life begin? When did my life begin?
I was born on a Tuesday in June of 1946. I get this from the birth certificate. I was born in Evanston, Illinois, at Evanston Hospital. My parents checked into the hospital at 5:45 a.m. and I was born at 7:58 a.m. -- two hours later. I was my mother's fourth child. It didn't take long. I was going to write "an easy delivery," but I am not qualified to say that.

I imagine Fred and Marie waking up late that night and knowing it was time to go to the hospital -- the fourth time, with less drama. Mary Elizabeth, Tommy and Carolyn were all asleep. My parents must have arranged a babysitter for them. Some relative who was easily reached by telephone? I don't know.

Fred and Marie rented a three-bedroom stucco bungalow at 2646 Prairie Avenue, hardly a five-minute drive to the hospital. Fred commuted downtown to work. It was a short walk to the Northwestern station on Central Street. My birth certificate describes him as "salesman, magazine" -- he sold ads for the Sporting Goods Dealer. Dad was typical of a salesman in that he dressed very well and was very sociable, quick to pick up a check. He was an untypical salesman in that he didn't talk very much. Maybe that's why everybody like him -- he was a good listener.
He was 41 at the time of my birth, born in St. Louis, Missouri. Full name: Frederic Edward Owens. Mother was 31. Full maiden name: Marie Roselyn Cuny. Occupation: housewife. She was born in Chicago.
It was her folks they probably called early in the morning to come and watch the kids. They lived maybe twenty minutes away, an easy drive at 5 o'clock in the morning. It would have been Aunt Carolyn. She had a job downtown on LaSalle Street, a legal secretary. She kept that job for more than forty years, but that day, June 25, 1946, she woke up to hear the phone ring at 5 a.m. and she knew right away why the phone was ringing. And she knew that meant skipping work, to baby sit my older siblings, Mary Elizabeth, 7, Thomas Joseph, 4, and Carolyn Therese, 2.
I was born at 7:58 a.m. The birth certificate does not say how much I weighed, although I remember mom telling me I was a nine-pounder. I was named Frederic Edward Owens Jr. after my father. I was born a male, after nine months of pregnancy. In the box marked legitimate, it was checked off yes. I was legitimate.
My parents were both white. They were also both Roman Catholic, but it doesn't say that on the birth certificate.
My eyes were treated with Argyrol 20 % which is silver nitrate, commonly used to prevent some kind of eye disease.
I was a healthy baby. Mom stayed in the hospital several days, as was the practice in those days. Tuesday, the day of my birth, Dad would have taken the day off, but he likely went back to work on Wednesday.
Then who watched the three kids at home while Mom was resting at the hospital?  I don't know. Aunt Carolyn had to get back to work too.
Having four kids now and needing more room, and Dad doing well on the job, my parents bought a house at 1612 Forest Ave. in Wilmette, about one mile north of the Prairie Avenue rental. Both houses are still there, made of stucco and not changed very much. My Dad died in 1974. My sister Mary Elizabeth also died that year. My mother lived until 1996, making fifty years in that Wilmette house.
Henry Zettelman, M.D. delivered the baby -- I aImost forgot that.
You Can't Be President.  Every day Bernie Sanders wakes up and someone tells him he can't be President. "You're a good guy, Bernie, but you haven't got a chance."
So if all the people who "can't be President" voted for Bernie, he would win in a landslide.
It is dismissive and smug to state that he "can't win,"  as if Sanders and his supporters are fools to even try.
California California farm exports to China will decrease because of the devaluation of the Chinese yuan according to this story in the Los Angeles Times

California farmers sold $2.3 billion in agricultural products to China in 2012, with almonds, dairy products, wine, walnuts and pistachios making up the top five products, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. That number will
be lower in 2015.

The Bail Trap.
This New York Times magazine article describes many thousands of prisoners held in county jails because they cannot post bail. This needs to stop.

A rich man gets a mansion and a poor man rents a flat -- fair enough. But if the rich man commits a crime he can post bail and sleep in his own bed while the poor man rots in his jail cell. This is not fair, and it can be remedied. Bail needs to be set in proportion to the crime and set low enough for the poor man.    Sandra Bland, who died in her Texas jail cell, might still be alive if her bail had been set at $100 instead of $500...... Her arrest served no purpose, but leaving that aside, a $500 bail was too high.....and she need not have died in custody.
Personal Stuff

I Don't Get It. I don't get it. I never got it. I may have had it a long time ago, but I forgot where I put it. Did you take it? Can I have it back?

Wendell Berry gets a medal and I don't. President Obama invited Wendell Berry to the White House and gave him a medal. Why does he get a medal and not me? He's an environmental activist and talented writer. So am I. Where's my parade? I look in the mirror and figure I'm just as good as Wendell Berry.
Just last week I rescued a drought-damaged camellia. It almost certainly would have died without my emergency care, but did I get a medal? A phone call from President Obama?

Harriet Spanel. Former Washington State Senator Harriet Spanel has been a long-time reader of Frog Hospital. I appreciate her interest and support.. She mailed me a check for $25 to help keep it going. And you can send your check today, or pay on PayPal. Frog Hospital is growing and ready to reach a higher level and we need your help to get there.

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Fred Owens
1105 Veronica Springs RD
Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
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