This may sound corny, but I fell in love with my alma mater Central Michigan University all over again last weekend.
I felt love and self worth and ran into a bunch of people that wanted to remind me of what a great career I had in journalism and they want me to embrace a new journey during the golden age of life.
I’ve been encouraged to teach journalism, which I did to a little bit of this fall during a month long mentorship with the Detroit Police Athletic League at the old Tiger Stadium site.
After returning from my trip I heard from a doctor at Henry Ford Health System who wants permission to pass along my story and treatment to other physicians. My story might help push along a Wellness Center that the hospital wants to add to its West Bloomfield location.
By the way Doc, you have my permission to pass along my story.
I attended the Central Michigan University journalism Hall of Fame dinner in Mt. Pleasant and ran into current students and old pals during the weekend. No stop is complete without a trip to The Bird Bar and Grille downtown where we swapped tales both real and fabricated over beer and bourbon.
One young man grilled me for nearly an hour on my legacy. He said that I must know that I influenced a lot of people during my career in newspaper and radio. He was one of those people indirectly influenced because his journalism professor spoke highly of me and passed things I did to his students.
“So you must know how many people you influenced,” he said over and over again.
Actually I don’t. I was so busy with life that I never had time to take a breath and think about what I was doing and who I touched. And secondly social media does not allow you to think that way.
I’ve been called every shade of scum over the years for the transgression of rarely believing in the Detroit Lions. Or for saying that Michigan State played better football over the last decade than the University of Michigan.
Detroit sports fans are passionate, which I appreciate, but people make it personal. When you attack a team, people believe you are attacking them. So when people use four letter words to describe you, you don’t think about being this great guy spreading the word.
It stung a little bit a couple years ago when I became ill with a stroke. I did not read social media for six months. Doctors said that I needed a positive frame of mind to get through some tough stretches. They feared that depression would put me in a state of mind where I might not recover.
My childhood friend Lamont suffered a stroke two days after I did. He did not have the right frame of mind and died last winter.
After a while I began to read messages and was overwhelmed by the positive and supportive messages. They really made me happy and put me in the right frame of mind. But there were some creepers.
Some wrote that they hoped I had another stroke. Normally that would not bother me, but I went through some dark days where I was not certain I’d be able to talk and walk like a normal human being. I was not sure I’d ever be able to go out to dinner and laugh and talk with family and friends.
I was not sure I’d even be able to write a blog. And one doctor said that if I had another stroke that he believes I’d either die or regress so much that life might not be worth living.
But some bastards wants me to have another stroke? Nice.
At CMU I bummed around with my old pals from CM Life Gibby and Mickey Finn. We reminisced about the fun days of being a student. We enjoyed walking the campus and touring new spots in Mt. Pleasant. We restocked our supply of CMU sweat shirts and met with current students.
The Hall of Fame dinner was filled with friends and no one mumbled a discouraging word. That was encouraging.