Today is the our 24th wedding anniversary, that's what day it is today. On this day, July 30, 1983, during the hot and humid afternoon hours of a southern Indiana day, the question was answered. The question? Do blind dates ever work out? Yes, indeed. Sometimes they do.
Another example of the good work YMCAs do with summer camps came to light in the newspaper yesterday with an article about Camp Hamman Ranch near Bandera (TX) that serves teen campers with one or both parents deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The summer camp is a part of a program called Operation Purple sponsored by the National Military Family Association, one of several around the country. Reporter Melanie Markley of the Houston Chronicle interviewed camp director Len Masengale.
About 85 teens with parents deployed will be able to take part in such activities as rifles, archery, GPS training, mountain bike riding, horse riding, rappelling, tracking, canoeing, and a high ropes course. They'll visit a piece of living history, an 1800's village, where the teens can touch and run some old equipment.
The camp becomes its own support group for the teens. They know the counselors are available to listen to their fears and concerns, help with problems and offer support for future questions. Campers offer friendship with each other, an ability to know what it is to live the life they lead.
Another story recently was printed about an Iraqi artist, Nebil Anwar, whose dream of an art career was altered by the war. He began painting portraits of soldiers wives and children. He has moved on to Jordan, though, to find safe harbor. His life was threatened and his offense was contact with U.S forces. He was labeled a collaborator. He began painting portraits out of necessity. He was unable to exhibit his work with other artists because the religious extremists demanded all art reflect their ideology. Pre-war the artists were focused on national propaganda, during this war the focus is on religious propaganda, according to Anwar. Anwar is a Kurd and is not a person interested in religion or politics. He was merely hoping to survive economically making a living with his artistic talents.
And, finally, an article concerning cancer research in the state of Texas. As is well-known, Texas is home to many fine medical hospitals and research facilities. Houston, in particular, is proud of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, a world renown institution on the forefront of the battle against cancer. The 80th Texas Legislature has launched on of the nation's largest efforts to find a cure for cancer.
Two cancer research measures serve as a memorial to former Governor Ann Richards. Richards died last September after a long fight with cancer. Governor Rick Perry has made cancer prevention a priority of his administration. He was in the headlines not too long ago after sticking his neck out and trying to mandate the cervical cancer vaccine for all girls up to the age of 14 as another school required vaccine. The far right of the Republican party objected on religious reasons, arguing the vaccine will encourage sexual activity, and the liberals objected that girls from poor families wouldn't be able to afford the vaccine. Then the governor said the state would pay for vaccines for poor families. Still not good enough. So it was all tabled. Pity.
So, the voters of the state of Texas "will be asked to approve $3 billion in general revenue bonds to distribute $300 million a year for 10 years to Texas cancer research institutions." I hope it passes and make a difference.
July 30, 2007. Happy Anniversary, Sweetie. Next year, Ireland for our 25th.