Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Sum of Our Parts

Another early day at the Shore today. The Missus and me are meeting up with Gidg and then she and I (Gidg that is) are going to trod the boards on the Boardwalk in Long Branch as part of the Run, Walk and Roll 5K for Occupational Therapy. Since neither of us had actively participated in any races of any distance prior to the fall of Aught-Nine, pretty much every race we have run in this year has been our "first" annual. This morning, the race matches us with its own newness as it is apparently the inaugural edition of this event. I tried earlier this week to persuade Suz to meet us over in Long Branch this morning to run with us figuring that some of her professional colleagues might be taking part in it. Showing off her mad skills as a Speech Therapist and her gift for non-verbal communication she signalled her intentions to me quite clearly....yet without saying a word. Mad skills I tell you. Mad skills.

I have learned during my rookie year of indoctrination into these events of varying lengths that all of them have a good purpose at their core. A week from tomorrow I am running for the first time in a race that has been held annually for the past several years in New Brunswick. The race, which is also a 5K event, honors the memory of a New Brunswick Deputy Fire Chief James D'heron. Deputy Chief D'heron died in the line of duty on September 3, 2004.

As I mentioned a sentence or two ago, this is the first year that I am running in this particular event, which is in its sixth year. That is not to say that I have not done my part throughout these past six years to honor the Deputy Chief's memory and to assist the efforts of his Foundation to help others. Margaret and I eat at the Harvest Moon Brewery in New Brunswick on a not-infrequent basis. Every time we do, I assist the Foundation by having a Jimmy's Firehouse Red or two (sometimes three). A tough responsibility? To be sure. Yet I have never failed to answer the bell. We all do what we can I suppose. I am no better than the next person.

Certain among our number have the capacity to step up when someone else among us is in trouble. To do what we can to help them even without being asked. Such is the case of Hal Smolanoff. Smolanoff is an Edison resident. He is running next Sunday in the Jimmy D 5K as well (here's a little insider dish for you: bet Smolanoff, not Kenny). According to a report I read on-line, he is friends with the President of the FMBA, which has established a scholarship fund on behalf of Firefighter Pfeiffer's 1 year-old daughter. That connection was enough. Smolanoff has established a website to help raise money for little Carly Pfeiffer. Next Sunday, although her Dad was a man he did not know, Hal Smolanoff shall run in a race that has been established in honor of one hero who died too soon by honoring the more recent loss of another.

Proof positive that Mr. Springsteen is right about the value of the little things. And proof positive that the old saw about the size of actors and the size of parts applies equally well outside of the presence of footlights and greasepaint as it does within. There are no little things. Rather the size of any thing is always relative. Much in the same way that all of us are somehow related. DNA be damned - Kevin Bacon was right after all.

From strength comes strength. And everything else follows....

-AK

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