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September 24, 2007

Life After The Auto Industry

Life After the Auto Industry

This is the second week of labor and health care talks between General Motors Corporation and the United Auto Workers. But those talks don't concern third generation autoworker Angela Davis. This summer, Angela took a buyout from Chrysler, ending her 11 year career at the plant. Now Angela is in college, continuing her education to become a pediatric nurse. Dick Gordon talks to Angela about why being laid off was part of her ultimate dream and how Chrysler gave her a fair head start as the company prepared for layoffs.

Rough Waters

Captain Ed Montgomery had his first bout with cancer in the spring of 2005, and as an ex-fighter and a tugboat captain, he was never one to show much emotion. But being diagnosed with cancer three times has changed the way Ed feels about life. As his battle raged into the winter of 2006, his wife Jeannie became the tough one. Ed was most shocked, though, by how one friend in particular really came through during the dark times. "Big Butch" works closely with Ed on the docks. Butch checked in regularly with Ed, and even came to the hospital to keep Ed up to date on the shipping news.

Ed is now in remission. Both Butch and Ed talk with Dick about how guys relate to other guys during times of crisis.

This is an excerpt of the e-mail Ed wrote to his friends:

Hey All!

Apologies for sending a 'multi' email to you, but everyone has been so great about sending a concerned or cheerful email now and again, (particularly my old Brookfield Ohio friends)-- I'd be here until next Tuesday typing! So since both Jeanne and I are crashed out with miserable head colds, home from church and doing some computer clean up, I thought this would be a very good time to say hello and thank you.
Many of you are aware of my nearly two year war with cancer ...I consider myself a fairly tough guy, but every three weeks this stuff had me curled up in a ball nearly in tears. Jeanne was an angel with her help. How I managed to go to work on the tug and do my Longshore work on the docks last fall is beyond me now.
Well, to make a long story short, it worked. In fact, not just worked, but stunningly so! Totally and completely -- the tumors disappeared! ...

Reflecting a little, I think the emotional toll cancer or any debilitating disease or serious incident is so much greater than the physical pain of it. If you know someone who's having a tough time of it, pick up the phone just to say hi. Send a short note or card - how long's it really take -- 2 minutes with a stamp? Even an email is a mood lifter. I've said it before,  elderly or young, it makes a lousy week a much better one to see that an old friend, new friend or aquaintance actually took the time to think about you. That someone actually took a minute to give a damn. It will make a huge impact on their life -- and that's one true guarantee!
Meanwhile, give me a call sometime or email me your number if I don't have it. Lets stay in touch. Heck, come up for a visit! Sunday afternoons or most any morning is best -- I'd love to hear from or call you!  Once again, thank you very much for your friendship, love and prayers......
Ed M.

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