Reincarnated As A Mother

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Happy Ending To A Very Happy Trip

I think it is about time I post about the rest of my trip to Carolina.
On Sunday, we headed down to Fayetteville, the town I always so
lovingly referred to as Fay-raq.  It is where Fort Bragg is based.
Anyway, we went down for a fundraiser for an old friend of mine.
Rick Allen was a photographer at WTVD-TV when I was there.
He left the biz years ago and has emerged as the top underwater
videographer-- he was always an avid diver.
If you watch the Discovery channel, any Cousteau specials or
those shows that search for Black Beard's and other pirate treasure...
you are likely watching Rick's handiwork.
Last January, he was in his garage when an oxygen tank for scuba diving
fell and exploded.  He was severely burned and lost his left arm to the explosion.
His wife, Cindy was in the house brushing her teeth.  The explosion caused
the mirror in front of her to shatter and glass shards to fly into her face and eyes.
It's quite a story, but she could hear him screaming that he was on fire.
Somehow, she had the presence of mind to feel her way to the
fire extinguisher and put him out.
I'm sure she saved his life.
Rick was life flighted to UNC.  Just to give you an idea of what kind of
character he is... he asked the paramedic if he'd ever play the piano again.
The poor paramedic, I'm sure realizing that he was severely burned and would lose
an arm-- stuttered and stammered that he wasn't sure.
Rick responded with a "that's okay, I couldn't play the piano before the explosion"!

So we head down to this fundraiser to help pay for hospital bills and his new high-tech prosthetic arm
that will allow him to dive and shoot underwater.
And you can't really tell... but Rick shows up in a T-shirt that says:
I really suck at playing patty cake! 
 Talk about an amazing attitude.
He is a true inspiration and quite the stand up comedian.
So therefore, it was of no surprise that the fundraiser was amazing in its own right.
Everything... from the estate, to the killer live band, to the countless silent
auction items, to a number of restaurants with their yummy food-- was donated!
 Just look at this place.
It was sprawling and immaculate, impressive and well, you get the idea.
 That's part of the mansion on the left.  What you can't see is
there is a second "mansion" on the right... that houses their
art gallery.  This place was right out of the picture books.
 This last picture is of Cindy, Rick's wife.
Not only is she a wiz with a fire extinguisher, she is a very accomplished
photographer.  As a thank you, they gave out this poster of
one of her shots-- wild horses on a small deserted island off the coast.
Holland (even though she is horrifically allergic to horses) has a great
love for all things horses... so Cindy signed this to her.
Oh, how I love Carolina.
It's such a beautiful place filled with people I love.