Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul and Eunice Shriver

Time for another "death post": first the one so recent that the Dead or Alive website still lists him as alive: Les Paul. At the age of 94, spouse says "I didn't know he was still alive!"

Any guitar player (I'm not but my father in law was a guitarist and taught guitar and my son, like so many teens, was captivated by Guitar Hero and tried to learn guitar) will recognize that name immediately. In a way, I guess, the Guitar Hero game would not have existed without him.

And then...Eunice Kennedy Shriver. What can you say about her? Many family members of children and young adults with disabilities may not have realized the tremendous debt they owed to this sibling of Ted, John and Robert Kennedy. This editorial says it very elegantly. Of all the legacies of the Kennedy's, the Special Olympics may be the greatest one of all. I know two people whose sons participate in Special Olympics. When people think of Special Olympics...well sometimes they really don't think, such as the comment President Obama made earlier this year. But Special Olympics is so much more than athletic competition. It brings dignity, physical fitness, companionship, even medical care to members of our society that were once mocked, hidden away in closets and otherwise never allowed to strive to reach their potential.

We all could wish to accomplish so much with our lives. Would she have accomplished all this in life without her special sibling? Who knows...but the important thing is, Eunice Kennedy Shriver touched, and will continue to touch, the lives of millions around the world.

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