Almost three years ago — November 9, 2012 — I came close to dying when I laid my Harley Davidson down on a dark country road late at night in Southwestern Virginia.
I was returning from shooting a state high school football tournament match near Staunton when I came up on a black cow on an unlit road at the foot of Bent Mountain south of Roanoke.
The accident left me in the hospital with broken bones, a severely lacerated face, a dislodged eye and brain damage. On Christmas Eve of that year, when I hobbled out of the rehabilitation center of Carilion Clinic in Roanoke to climb into my wife’s car for a 41 mile ride home, the doctors called me “a walking miracle.”
Probably the only time anyone ever applied the term “miracle” to me or my actions. At first the doctors thought I would die, then when I lived, they said I would wake up the mind of a two-year old (an improvement some said), a missing right leg and eye and a badly disfigured face.
Talented surgeons saved my leg and put it back together, an excellent plastic surgeon built a new socket for my right eye and restored my face to pretty much what it looked like before the accident and I have returned to my day job as a contract writer and photographer for BH Media and a videographer for television stations and cable networks.
I don’t move as fast as I once did, I’m not as limber as I once was and the TBI (traumatic brain injury) leaves me with memory losses but — at 67 years old — some of that should be expected.
And while I was writing and shooting images for a living, I had not returned to writing a column for Capitol Hill Blue, the political newsletter I created in 1994 and is still on the web.
Not until now. Starting today, I have returned to the helm of Capitol Hill Blue and my column returns today.
Good friends have kept Blue on the web and functioning since I went down on that November night in 1994. I’ve tried to work on the site and write something from time to time but it has not been easy.
Now, however, think it is time to sit down at a keyboard and start pontificating about the incredible mess called the American political system.
I look around and see a Republican party dominated by a feckless billionaire who issues carefully-researched one-liners and calls them policy. Sadly, the incredibly ignorant electorate in America seems to buy it.
Donald Trump tells people what they want to hear and they don’t have the wisdom to realize they are being handed a line of bull by a con man.
Trump is not the first flash in the pan for the party of the elephant. Eight years ago, GOP analyst Steve Schmidt decided that America needed a “celebrity” instead of a leader on the party’s ticket for President and we ended up with Sarah Palin, the 2008 Vice Presidential candidate with the intellect of a slug.
Over on the Democrat side of the political circus is Hillary Rodham Clinton, the wife of a President who considered blow jobs from interns as proper Oval Office behavior. Hillary also thought using her own server for confidential messaging as Secretary of State. She is currently sinking in the polls while Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-declared socialist, is the new darling of the left.
So much to write about in what little time I may have left on this sideshow called earth.
For the record:
I was a newspaperman from 1965 until 1981 when I took a sabbatical to the dark side of politics. I returned to journalism in the 1990s as a wire service photographer and free lance reporter. I now work primarily as a contract writer and photographer for BH Media, owned by Warren Buffett.
I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. Have never registered for any political party of cause. I’m also not a conservative or a liberal. I’m an individual.
I worked inside politics for a decade — for three Republican Congressman as a press secretary, a chief of staff and as “special assistant to the Ranking Member of the House Committee of Science and Technology.” A spent five years as Vice President for Political Programs for the National Association of Realtors.
Yes, I still ride motorcycles. So does my wife.
I’m back. Let the fun begin.