Benny's World

Thursday, October 29, 2009

JRE Supporter John O'Quinn Killed in Car Crash

I was perusing at the DU and saw this latest breaking news:

Texas plaintiff's attorney John O'Quinn died Thursday in a single car accident on a Houston roadway.

According to the Houston Chronicle, O'Quinn and another man, who has not been identified, were in a black Suburban traveling at a high rate of speed on the Allen Parkway, just west of downtown Houston.

Police reported that around 8 a.m. Oct. 29, the SUV crossed two medians and then hit a tree. Roads were slick due to light rain during the morning.

I thought I recognized that he was a friend of JRE. I was right.

O'Quinn, 68, was one of the most well known trial attorneys in the country, and a big supporter of the Democratic Party.

He was one of the largest donors to presidential candidate John Edwards in the last election, and gave $2.5 million to Chris Bell who tried unsuccessfully to unseat Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2006.

O'Quinn first gained national attention in the early 1990s when he won $100 million for plaintiffs alleging health problems from silicone breast implants.

The Chronicle quoted Houston attorney Dan Cogdell:

"In his day, he was an incredibly gifted trial lawyer," Cogdell said. "John was a controversial figure, but he was always a gentleman to me, and gave a lot to our community. Everybody’s just in a state of shock, even criminal lawyers."

I remember that race with Chris Bell in particular, who was also a JRE supporter. It was a close race.

Tragedy for the O' Quinn family. JRE must be devastated too.

h/t to create peace at the DU.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grief and Resilence at the CA Women's Conference

Elizabeth Edwards was one of the speakers at the Lunch Breakout at the CA Women's Conference hosted by CA First Lady Maria Shriver.

This session was about grief, healing, and resilience.

I thank Indyvoter for this wonderful h/t. It's about 1 hour and 41 minutes before one sees the Grief panel.

One Carolina Girl found the pic above. This is a powerful emotive group. Elizabeth is maintaining composure, but it's clear she is totally empathetic. She's right about the triggers, you never know when you have them. Gifts are great.

Thank you First Lady Maria S. I understand about the recent loss of your mother; it happened to me over 6 months ago.

Unlike Susan St. James who lost her son, the man who wrote to her with the comment, "I know what you are feeling, I lost my dog recently" this was an initial thought. She made a small joke about it, and the joke wasn't totally unfeeling, but Elizabeth was right to point out that not everyone means to say the wrong thing. Usually they mean well even if it's not what you expected.

Grief is not all about the human losing a human experience, Ms. St. James. It is about losing family members. I'm mourning the loss of our beloved girls, Sydney and Mattie, our Aussie Shepherds, who went to Rainbow Bridge 50 weeks apart in the last year. They were family too. I'm hoping Ms.St James will pay heed to EE in her words of being sensitive to many of us, even if we were human parents to pets. Many of us loved being humans of pets whom we loved them. And spent thousands or hundreds of dollars to save them when they were stricken with diseases challenging to fight. Many of us didn't want to give up our pets and ran bills to our plights.

We had to sacrifice $405 to get our Sydney diagnosed, and she expired 2 days later. But it was worth knowing what could happen, and our vet was pretty much on the mark. It was a challenging on our budget of mainly from one income, but we wanted our options for our Syd. I will not accept from anyone that pets aren't as acceptable as humans. Just my opinion.

Please, grief is about humans and our pets.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mongomery Angels

Last night, I watched Extreme Makeover. It's not a show I view often, but I was given a tip that the Montgomery Family of Central Illinois would be on this episode.

The Montgomeries are truly amazing people. They are a family which could have been well off today if Nathan, the father, had continued working as an engineer. Instead, he and the family believed they had a calling from God to help the poor. So they founded, Salt and Light, which feeds on average 265 families each Wednesday and has a store of recycled clothes for those who cannot afford clothes or food on the table.

The house they lived in outside of Philo (about 10 miles outside of the Champaign-Urbana area) was barely inhabitable. One looks of before and after pictures in the video, and it's mind boggling.

The family got to enjoy a real vacation, their first in years, at Disney World.

I had an employee who witnessed the rebuilding and had a family member volunteer his expertise. Watching the community do this work was inspiring. It reminded me of when JRE's campaign sent care packages to the troops, helped with weather proofing a home during the campaign. I miss the esprit d'corps.

I hope Elizabeth and John Edwards saw this episode. If not, they can watch it here.

I confess I was very teary-eyed at the end. Here's our local newspaper's article article that describes my and many folks' emotions in watching this special episode.

This week is National Volunteer week, and I'm very happy for this very deserving family. Looks I need to do my share later in the week.

Labels: , , , ,