Health Care for all?

From the Editor

When I called Tom Connor to ask him to write a story about volunteers from this area who traveled south to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, he quickly said yes. Being a professional, he didn’t balk when I said I wanted the article finished in three weeks. “Just give me the names to call and you’ll have it,” he said cheerily.

It was quite a different Connor who called me a few days later. “Whew,” he said. “This is tough.” Although journalists pride themselves on not getting involved with the subjects of their stories, it’s not easy to listen to men and women cry as they relate their experiences. “They really have a hard time talking about it; they’re really overwhelmed,” Connor said. He paused as if gathering his own thoughts. “It was the children who affected them most. And every one of the volunteers I spoke with said they definitely would go back.”

In “Lending a Hand,” Connor interviews six people who were deployed by the Red Cross. But the experiences of these individuals were replicated by nearly everyone who took a minimum of two weeks off from their daily lives to help others in dire need.

These were not all instant heroes. Sherri Abruzzese from Darien confessed that during her first night sleeping on a cot in Mississippi she cried. “I can’t do this,” she thought to herself. But by the second day she was focused on the victims and forgot about her fears. “Their spirit was amazing,” she said, referring to the people she met in the Biloxi area. We also thank Sherri for sharing with us the photographs she took during her stay. All are reminders of scenes that kept us transfixed as the megastorm transformed forever the
landscape of the Gulf Coast region.

Speaking of changing the landscape — in this case, of popular music — no group has had more of an impact than the Beatles. From their first appearances in the early 1960s until the Fab Four had their last recording session in 1969, Beatlemania swept the globe. Over the years millions of words have been written about these icons and now there is a new addition, The Beatles: The Biography, written by Bob Spitz of Darien.

After spending eight years in research and writing, Spitz has produced nearly 1,000 pages of what is being touted as the definitive biography of those lads from Liverpool. In “Bob Spitz’s Long & Winding Road,” writer Timothy Dumas talks with the author about the Beatles, their place in history and how difficult  it is to bring new insights to a familiar subject. Oh yes, Spitz also reveals his own favorite Beatle — and his choice may surprise you.

This month we introduce two new departments dedicated to your home. In “House Calls” we’ll feature some of the favorite rooms decorated by interior designers, with information to help you replicate some of their ideas. And if you’re interested in knowing about some of the most exciting home-related items in our local stores, you’ll love “What’s New Around the House.”


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