Happy Father’s Day from the Luckiest Dad

First, I want to say Happy Father’s Day to all dads. Hearing our children call us “dad, daddy, papa,” or whatever name, is one of the greatest gifts we’re given.  It’s often said but cannot be said enough…regardless of our world, our children’s comments and hugs quickly change the day (even when they’re teenagers with attitudes😊.) Second, thanks to CHOA and the team at Sibley for everything you do. You’re the superstars. You live in a world with so much on your shoulders, yet your spirit, talent, and caring never cease to amaze. Third, thanks to Sibley for asking me to write about Taylor, knowing ahead of time that I’m going to be a little schmaltzy. It’s great to be given a blank canvas on which to express the feelings of being a father. I have the greatest Father’s Day gift – two amazing daughters who are each, in their own unique ways, my heroes. Emerson, 12, is my hummingbird, who throughout the entire ordeal with Taylor, stayed positive and brightened everyone’s day.  Taylor’s story is a miracle, and the

Magic is Real: Richard Edward Turner

Through mind-bending card manipulation, a master dazzles and inspires audiences with what is seen and unseen. Magic is Real Richard Edward Turner is a magician whose life is truly an optical illusion. Turner, best known for his sensational card trick performances, began losing his vision when he was recovering from scarlet fever at the age of nine, causing irreversible detriment to his eyes. From the age of 9 to 45, he was legally blind and only able to see indiscernible shadows peripherally. After this he was completely blind. Watching his performance, you wouldn’t know that Turner’s greatest magic isn’t in the cards. Instead, it’s in how he overcomes his blindness, proving that magic isn’t only about what you can see, but what you can’t. Now You See Me, Now You Don’t Turner’s lack of eyesight isn’t the most magical part of his story. It’s how he inspires people to not let anything hold them back from their dreams. He assures people that his eyes didn’t get him to international acclaim, his heart did. “I don’t tell anyone I’m blind, but

Stephen Wiltshire: Remarkable Artist

Just a brief observation and entire cityscapes are drawn as finely detailed masterpieces — from memory. An Exceptional Talent Imagine flying over the world’s most memorable metropolitan cities, glimpsing the panorama below, imprinting the vision in your memory, and coming back to the studio to recreate in painstaking nuance, every detail, completely from memory. This is the innate talent of British artist, Stephen Wiltshire, now 45. Like the character Dustin Hoffman played in Barry Levinson’s 1988 film, Rainman, British artist Stephen Wiltshire possesses some extraordinary and inexplicable abilities. His remarkable artistic talent is linked to an equally remarkable and photographic memory.   Researchers postulate that unique wiring between the two hemispheres of the brain allow certain people to access reserves of creativity, unavailable to most of us. Wiltshire is one of those people.  His motto is: “Do the best you can and never stop.” The Early Years As a child, Wiltshire exhibited exceptional artistic abilities, even though he didn’t speak until the age of five, when he uttered his first word, “paper.” In school, he was fascinated with sketching images of wildlife,

Goss RV: Motorcoach Luxury Travel

RV…motorcoach… luxury travel.  What?! These words don’t go together in the same sentence… do they?  That’s what I said to myself, and to my family, when we talked about taking a weekend trip to the mountains. Wow, were we surprised. My wife and I have traveled to beautiful places across the world.  From islands to ski slopes, and from wine country to the glamorous Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo.  We truly enjoy travel, and we love to explore new places.  Regardless of the location, we’ll often rent a vehicle and start a separate journey on our vacation. So how does this travel story drift into a story about motorcoach travel?  Well, a friend told us about a motorcoach travel vacation from GossRV Luxury Travel.  Being adventurous travelers, we said “why not. It’s something new. Let’s see what this luxury motorcoach travel is all about.” We did a little research before we started our weekend trip and felt we had a pretty good idea of what to expect.  Holy smokes, were we wrong!  Our family wasn’t traveling in in bus, an rv,

Sean Gobin’s Trail to Recovery

A former Marine in Afghanistan came home and transformed a nature hike into a path of recovery for fellow veterans. Making their way up the steep trail, ten combat veterans breath heavily under the weight of their gear which is an all too familiar feeling. Except this time is no one shooting at them. Instead they focus their thoughts on healing from their wartime experiences. As they reach the peak of this particular mountain, the forest opens up to a breathtaking view of the valley below. Much like how bootcamp will prepare you for war, hiking all 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail will prepare you to return home. The War Within Warriors all, they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition affecting those who have experienced or witnessed extreme traumatic events during wartime or in combat and are unable to get past it. In World War I, it was labeled “shell shock” and after World War II, “combat fatigue” among other monikers spouted by the medical community for a condition they knew little of. Sufferers are plagued by flashbacks

Jason Ramos: Smokejumper

The strenuous, burning and devoted life of one aerial firefighter, out of the plane and into the fire. The wall of flame was moving fast across the forest. It was 200 yards away and the noise was building. The fire growls before it devours, as if a pride of lions roared before a feast. The embers flickered through the air, lighting up spot fires ahead of the giant wall of heat leaving ashes in its wake. An out-of-control wildfire sounds like a freight train, most survivors say, expelling molten steam at infernal pressures. These men fighting it believe that once you hear that sound, it’s over. The expanding roar ripping out your ear drums and then becomes the least of your worries. “In a firestorm, nothing is safe: sand turns to glass, metal runs like water, wood and human beings vanish into ash.” – Jason Ramos Oxygen levels drop. The attack on the senses only worsens as the heat rises and your throat tightens and dries out. Every heat wave seems to spawn three more. A Risk Worth Taking Jason Ramos

Chatt Hills Music – Serenbe, Georgia

As a fan of live music, I frequent the websites of my favorite performers to see when their tours bring them reasonably close to my South Florida home. Because that doesn’t happen often enough, we’ve developed the enjoyable habit of visiting some of the coolest small music venues in equally cool small cities and towns across the southeast and beyond. These include Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Austin and Serenbe. I kid you not, Serenbe. I thought you’d be interested in hearing about a few of these music venues in the months ahead, so let’s start with Chatt Hills Music in Serenbe, Georgia. As you learned in a recently published feature on Throomers, one of my all-time favorite musicians is Grammy award-winning, Mike Farris. About a year ago, I noticed that Farris was playing a solo acoustic show at Chatt Hills Music on the outskirts of Atlanta. The flight would be a breeze, so I made the plans, purchased the show tickets, and with my daughter along for the ride we were soon leaving Atlanta’s bustling airport with the GPS set for

Mickey Redwine: Lone Star Patriot

We’ve written dozens of Throomers’ features by now. Incredible, energetic, accomplished people, one and all. This is no different. We’re excited to introduce an uncommon man whose interests, achievements and contributions are so copious and diverse, we needed to discover a central theme to tie them all together. We think we found it. The Lone Star State is where Mickey Redwine was born and bred. If there’s an essential element to the man, it is this. His place of birth has influenced much of his independent streak, his impassioned drive, and his outsized dignity. He is an American patriot and an unremitting entrepreneur, no doubt, but at his core the man is a true and proud Texan. Reminiscent of a long-ago frontiersman on the open plain, Redwine sees in the distance only the bright light of possibility drawing him onward to an even better day. His adventuresome spirit won’t allow for setting up camp any longer than is necessary. He grabs his side arm, a vitamin drink to recharge the batteries, and then saddles up his Harley to get a

Nasimo: Walls are His Canvas

His art bears witness to freedom of expression after the fall of communism on a scale so grand, even buildings can barely contain it. It was a time of great tumult as a revolutionary wave in the late 80s and early 90s marked the end of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. After the fall of the communist regime in Bulgaria in 1989, a young artist took an interest in spray painting on walls. He would later be known as a pioneer of Eastern European graffiti art culture and become an icon of graffiti fine art in the Balkans. “Let’s go scribble on the walls,” said a young man. The year was 1994 when a young skateboarder left the theater and did just that. It was a clear night in Targovishte, Bulgaria, and Stanislav Trifinov, known as Nasimo, stood in front of a large wall, holding a can of spray paint. The sound of sirens began to blare, and everyone dispersed in every direction. “When it was my turn, I had not thought of anything yet. I took the can,

Aging is Cool: Sleepaway Camp

One couple is changing the face of aging in our world by showing everyone how cool it can be! What if we viewed aging as a new adventure instead of yielding to society’s accepted norm of inevitable decline in physical and mental health, losing independence, and dying alone? Why have we viewed our “golden years” as a time of loss and decay rather than a time of growth?  What if aging is actually cool? These are the questions that Amy and Damien Temperley began asking a few years ago as they created Aging is Cool, a company with a nonprofit arm based in Austin, Texas, that provides programs and services to help older adults Stay Strong, Stay Smart, and Stay Social. Looking Beyond the Status Quo For over 25 years, Amy had worked in the nonprofit sector predominantly with frail older adults who needed daily care or were dealing with a dementia diagnosis. London-born Damien was seeing a more active side of aging as a fitness instructor for a local senior center.  Together, they were both seeing gaps in service