Monday, June 22, 2015

Speaking In Maryland

Over the weekend I was the keynote speaker at CERT CON 2015.

CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team and I was invited by an old DJ friend of mine from Detroit, Greg St. James. As they say, "Do not be deceived by two older guys with no hair." At one time we were young lions and rocked. Hard.

That's another story for another day.

Greg is now the Program Manager for Montgomery County, Maryland CERT, and he was behind me speaking at their conference. Being from Maryland and the fact it was Greg, I said, "Yes."

I'm glad I did.

Greg and his girlfriend Jennifer Hobson

It was a Saturday morning and my dad and sister, Karen, were there as well. They had never seen me speak before. One detour. My brother, the Kirkster, is a legend on the air in Baltimore. The station is 98 ROCK, WIYY, and my dad listens to him every day. Now here's the question--How many 86 year olds do you know who faithfully sit through Ozzy Osbourne and all kinds of hard rock just so they can hear their son?

Kinda cool if you ask me.

At the podium I said, "It's people like you who help people like me." When bad things happen, people can't run the other way fast enough. These folks run TO disasters. You don't know you need help until you need help. They help hurricane survivors, families hit by tornadoes, victims of ice storms, in my case people suffering a stroke, and much, much more.

Ask them to tell you stories, they've got them for days.

Also, their stories of how they got to be where they are, are fascinating as well.

Keep in mind these are all volunteers, they don't get paid.

Think about that. Angels with a capital A.

Looking out into the crowd I saw good hearts looking back.

I told the story of my massive stroke, the rehab, life after my stroke. What the whole experience has taught me, how I am today.

And over and over I thanked them. I think you can't thank them enough.

After my speech the conference was on. Various sessions began that included skills training, how to be prepared for the unexpected, shelter fundamentals, and on and on.

These are people who do good in the world.

We should celebrate them.

Later on I got to go to lunch with my sister and dad.  And hang with my dad afterwards for an early Father's Day.

On the flight home I grinned from ear to ear.

It had been a good day.

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