First came the amazing story of H.K. Derryberry, the keynote speaker at the Cadiz Rotary Club’s Radio Auction Kickoff Breakfast. You can read more on H.K. in the story that begins on the front page of this week’s issue.
H.K., who lives in the Nashville area, had a tramautic birth and has lived his life blind and with cerebral palsy. A stroke has further limited his physical ability.
None of these things has dampened his spirit. He and his mentor, Jim Bradford, spoke on the power of positivity, and it’s clear that’s how H.K. lives his life – always finding the positive.
Another noteworthy portion of his story is that he also lives his life with hyperthymesia, which basically means that once he learns something, he never forgets it.
Bradford said that when H.K. meets a new friend, one of his first questions to them is, “When is your birthday?” When he gets the answer, H.K. immediately recalls the day of the week that birthday fell on.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Give H.K. almost any date during his lifetime and he can at least tell you what the weather was like that day, along with any number of personal information from that day – where he went, what he ate, etc.
It almost seems like something from a movie – not that it couldn’t be made into a movie, but it’s all true. H.K. is quite the inspiration, and I expect he’ll follow through on his desire to be a motivational speaker. If you ever have a chance to hear him speak, don’t miss out.
If H.K. later remembers April 17, 2013 as the day he spoke to the Cadiz Rotary Club, he will likely also remember it as the day that two bombs disrupted the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 100.
H.K.’s is a story of strength and perserverance. In a way, so is the story out of Boston.
On the surface, it’s much darker than that. It’s a story of terror. Whether that terror is foreign or homegrown was unclear at press time, as was any motive for the explosions near the finish line at about the halfway point of the race.
Regardless of any future revelation of a reason for this attack, the question will remain – Why?
The person or persons responsible may tell us and they may not. In the end, it won’t really matter.
What will matter is the reaction, which will always vary from person to person in situations like this. It’s understandable that a number of folks in that area of Boston that day immediately thought to protect themselves. Some ran away. That’s natural.
What was also natural, though, was the groups of people who immediately ran TOWARD the blasts, thinking not of themselves but of others.
That’s the memory I’ll take from this. Not that someone utilized an opportunity to harm people in a large group, but that much of that group wasn’t fazed by it and thought first to help those who were.
Justin McGill is general manager of The Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org..