I just received this morning the woeful news of Lazaro Munoz, a friend, customer, and attendee at the Last Chess Clinic (2010). As a person who has sold "collectibles" of various kinds since 1968 (!) the thoughts of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes is never off my radar. My sympathy and prayers go out to all such victims not just because of something they have acquired and had fun acquiring all their lives, but because for a while it grieves the heart in all such losses. Sometimes, though it is hard to believe, it lets us loose from certain "material things" which have "trapped us" for years. What good is it to have a fantastic library or collection, for example, compared to losing a great friend? Fortunately that did not happen to Laz. Here's what he wrote:
"Hi Bob, our house was severely damaged by 70ft tree during the storm. We are living out of hotels right now because my relatives are still living in homes with no power. We came out of it with no injuries so we have [that] to [be] thankful for; our nephew who lives with us was lucky that he got stuck on Long Island due [to] the train shutdown or he would not be with us since he lives with us in the attic room that was completely demolished. Part of the roof in the living room fell down on us, but nobody was sitting where the debris landed. We cannot reenter the home to gather what we can until the tree is removed.
"Please hold any subscriptions for me. Right now I don't even have a chess set. I am on emergency leave from my ICCF games.
"As soon as we can get to a more stable location I will file a temporary change of address. Right now I talked to the mailman and they are leaving at my "former" next door neighbor."
Bob Lynch (NJ, and attendee at the Fall Chess Classic) told me he finally got home on Thursday (he left Sunday morning) and everyone was safe and sound.
Over the past few days a lot of thoughts about what this all means has raced through my mind. CNN has writers who keep harping on "climate change" when the reality is:
1. Take care of problems NOW;
2. Worry and "fix" the "future" later.
These "writers" somehow think that anyone gives a damn about their views when many can't even "read" them if they tried.
Bad News is not really on most of these folks' minds right now, survival and "what's next?" is.
The media NEVER seems to get it. They act like they do, but like our local WQAD television station--when they have a choice between an auto accident or someone's house burning or showing something uplifting such as the arrival of a well-known entertainer, they will choose the tragedy.
On the Other Hand
When I was in North Carolina years ago I was amazed at "gawkers." These are people in cars who stop traffic while they survey the scene of a car accident, backing up traffic for miles! And the ones behind them do it too! You don't want to get caught in such a traffic jam. This is some kind of perverted visceral entertainment for people without a life (it sure isn't empathy).
Now, I will drop Laz a written line for delivery to his next door neighbor.