Here’s a fun piece I published in today’s New York Times (Science) that raises questions about what it means to be old. Take a look http://nyti.ms/1n7TaSc
If you can make it, I’ll be speaking about News Literacy at the Wyckoff Public Library at 7 on Thursday, Jan. 16. Come by. We’ll go over ways you can become a more savvy news consumer. http://bit.ly/1eTJ7gi
On Sunday June 9, I’ll be appearing with a lot of other writers to celebrate books and writing on the grounds of the Paramus Public Library, E 116 Century Road in Paramus. We’ll be there from 1-5, and I’ll be talking about City of Dust and my other books. Hope to see you there.
I just heard from Dr. David Prezant of the FDNY. Lt. Marty Fullam, FDNY veteran and one of the legion of men who rushed to the burning wrecks of buildings when everyone else was running away, has died. You might remember that I wrote about Marty and his brother David, also a FDNY veteran, in “City of Dust,” and he played a central role in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s “Terror in the Dust” documentary in 2011. Marty, father of three girls, was one of those soft-spoken determined kind of guys who avoided the spotlight whenever possible. I had to talk him into sharing his story of rounding up his Staten Island FDNY colleagues to drive down to the ferry terminal on that morning. They marched up Broadway to the blackened hulks and worked there on and off for months. A few years later Marty came down with severe lung ailments that required a lung transplant. When the new lung started to fail, he prepared himself to go for another. Throughout the long ordeal, he never gave up hope, never succumbed to bitterness, never lost sight of what was truly important to him–his wife and three daughters and the home they made for themselves in Staten Island.
If you had a chance to read my piece about the bubonic plague, you got just a short introduction to John Tull and Lucinda Marker, two exceptional people I first met ten years ago. At that time, John was lying in a hospital bed,with barely enough strength to move his arms. Lucinda, as always, was right at his side. They had been through hell and back, dealing with the terrible reality of bubonic plague. And yet, they did not then, and they do not now, despair in any way. Sure John has not been able to get back on the hiking trail as he had envisioned back then. But he has, with Lucinda’s help, remained realistic and positive about his life, never allowing anger to blind him to the most extraordinary part of his life–the relationship he and Lucinda have together. They give the notion of “overcoming adversity” an entirely new meaning, and they can show the rest of us what it means to truly live in the day, to take nothing for granted and to rejoice in everything that we have.