The world is in an uproar. The danger zone is everywhere.Ray Charles
I had already become depressed before I left my house to run some errands last week. I ventured forth with little hope of improvement. I was wrong. Love was all around me.
Southbound on Keystone, I had stopped at a red light at the I-80 underpass when I beheld a group of people around a body on the sidewalk under the bridge. I saw a young man running across a freeway exit toward them. He left his SUV on the road shoulder with lights flashing. I was the lead car in a busy intersection and when the traffic cleared, I ran the light, pulled up, put on my hazard blinkers, rolled down a window and shouted if anyone had called 911.
Four skinny young people had gathered around an old man about my age — white beard, flat on his back, not moving. Looking up, I saw a middle-aged woman using an ancient antenna cel-phone, so I knew someone was calling for help. One of three young men had begun CPR. Only a young woman with long, dark hair even looked toward me when I shouted. The four teen/20-somethings had the situation in hand.
By the time I drove back around, an ambulance, hook ‘n’ ladder, Reno police and NHP had all arrived. Kids were all gone. The ambulance turned on its flashers. A good sign? As it drove past me, it started its siren. They don’t do that for dead guys on the way to St. Mary’s.
Love had been all around me all along. In the twilight, a sliver of a moon appeared, aligned with Venus as the evening star. A perfect postscript to what I had witnessed.
I think those kids saved that old man’s life.
It’s harder and harder to find hope these dreary days. I found a little. No. Hope found me.
Venus and her quarter-moon were magical as I headed home thru darkness that became a little brighter by what I had witnessed on the streets of Reno. I arrived home elevated and refreshed.
FAMILIES AND SNUGGLE BUNNIES. I just finished NYTimes TV critic James Poniewozik’s tourde-force, “Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television and the Fracturing of America.” It’s the worst enemy of kings and dictators: reality delivered with slicing humor, no alternative facts allowed. Call Grassroots Books and get a copy.
While you’re at it, order “The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier and Healthier With the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness.”
It’s catching on. I saw a bumper sticker: “Humankind: Be Both.”
The book title “refers to a 1978 study in which researchers were trying to establish the relationship between high cholesterol and heart health,” according to NYTimes Help Desk reporter Judith Newman.
“Rabbits were fed a very high fat diet to mimic human heart problems,” she noted.
It worked. “Except for the rabbits under the care of one researcher who cuddled and talked to them while they were fed. The differences in health were so marked that the study was replicated with the only difference in rabbit care being the same extreme petting and cooing. And the results were the same.”
This reminded me of the fabled story of Roseto, a tiny enclave of Italian-American families in northeastern Pennsylvania. Despite a very high-fat (today, it’s called Mediterranean) diet, there was almost no instance of heart disease. Researchers could identify only one cause: The security of living in a community where you knew that you could rely on love and support no matter what befell you.
That was back in the 1960s. As the town grew and become more homogenous, those tight bonds eroded and the heart disease rate eventually rose to the national average.
“Rabbit Effect” author Kelli Harding wrote “If you see a person on the street asking for money, offer her a snack or water. Ask her name. If you don’t have anything, acknowledge her request and tell her you wish you could help. You may be the only kind person she encounters today.”
A guy from Nazareth, Galilee, once said that whatsoever you do to these, the least of my brethren, you do also to me.
Don’t know if those wonderful kids who saved that old man had read Harding’s book, but they didn’t need it.
BOOK YOUR CALENDAR: Today, Feb. 5, at 4:00 p.m., the Washoe County School District naming committee again considers re-naming high schools for NAACP matriarch Dolores Feemster and State. Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks. School district HQ on 9th Street…
Friday, Feb. 7, Bernie Sanders’ folks host “Community Conversations: Medicare for All.” 5:30p.m., Northern Nevada HOPES, 580 W. 5th Street, third floor…
Saturday, Feb. 15, Democratic caucus early voting begins, various locations…
Also on Feb. 15, the Reno-Sparks NAACP hosts a symposium on health and environmental justice. 9:00a.m. at UNR’s student union. Free lunch at noon followed by afternoon sessions until 2:00p.m.-ish. Free parking at the Brian Whalen and west garages…
Saturday, Feb. 22, the fullbore Donkeyite Caucus hits the deck.
Details about the above will be linked to this column at NevadaLabor.com/
Now go do something kind for somebody.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 51-year Nevadan, executive producer of Nevada’s annual March 31 César Chávez Day celebration, editor of NevadaLabor.com and SenJoeNeal.org/ He serves as first vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are strictly his own. E-mail barbano@ frontpage.reno.nv.us. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.