~ Words by John Bettis
WRITTEN IN STONE
16 January 2004
I kind of liked this weeks "Friday Five" and since I havent done one in awhile, I thought Id hop on the bandwagon this week.
1. What does it say in the signature line of your emails?
I dont use a signature in my e-mails very often,but when I do, I borrow a line from Steve: "You can only make a difference when you care."
Ive gone through periods of my life where Ive been involved in various, for lack of a better word, "charitable" works. It felt good to know I was making a difference somewhere, for someone. In college, I sent money each month to help support a little girl -- Park Hyun Joo -- in Korea. I tried to get the whole family involved and remember we even once had a birthday party for her, took photos and then sent all the gifts to her for a gift. (I even included a fruitcake and found someone who could write "happy birthday" for me in Korean so I could write it on top of the cake.)
There were the La Leche League years and helping women feel comfortable with breastfeeding (or not breastfeeding -- I felt that was important too, that those mothers feel comfortable as good mothers as well). It always felt good when you watched a young mother grow into being a more confident mother, relaxed with her baby, and watching those babies thrive.
It was wonderful, the 10 years we had foreign students living with us, even the rotten ones (fortunately there werent many of those!). I had an e-mail the other day from one of the best placements I ever made. A young girl from Chile, Carolina Echeverria, who stayed with some friends of ours. She is now married, living in Canada with her French-Canadian husband, and working as a successful artist. The e-mail came from when she was visiting her host family for a reunion (she was also in her host sisters wedding party several years ago). I love things like that.
My year working at the local homeless shelter was a bit iffy because of crazy interpersonal relationships, but the years with Breaking Barriers, driving HIV+ clients to and from appointments were happy ones and I made good friends in that time.
I think we make a difference whenever we extend ourselves to someone, whether we get to know about it or not. The important thing is caring and going the extra mile when you can.
2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be?
Im old. We didnt have "senior quotes" when I graduated!
3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say?
The only time we had vanity plates was on our first Toyota. The plates said "Bunbry," (because we couldnt get "Bunbury"). It was an in-joke. Oscar Wilde, in his "The Importance of Being Earnest" talks about a fictitional character, Mr. Bunbury, whom the hero says hes going to visit when he wants to get out of town and play around. He calls this "having a bunbury."
At the time I was volunteering 1-2 times a week in San Francisco for The Lamplighters and Walt referred to my weekly forays out of town as my "bunbury." So naturally, the license plate was perfect. We later sold the car to Jeri and it was in that car that David had his fatal accident.
The car that was stolen 3 years later did not have vanity plates, and the car that was stolen yesterday didnt have vanity plates, but it did have a license plate holder that said "http://funnytheworld.com."
(I can hardly wait to see whats going to happen to our next car. We dont seem to be having much luck with automobiles.)
4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? What did the inscription say?
After my friend Gilbert died, a guy who was the lighting designer for the company, and also worked at an engraving company, made a memorial plaque to attach to the front of the stage at the theatre. It was a quote of Gilberts, which said "if it can create all the beautiful music weve heard this evening, the world cant be all that bad a place." It was a quote he had used in a radio program hed hosted once.
After the plaque was installed on the stage, Bill gave me a brass business card holder with that quote engraved on it.
5. What would you like your epitaph to be?
I have to think carefully here. Paul told his wife he wanted his epitaph to be "Fuck this shit" and we ended up having "fts" engraved in teeny letters at the bottom of the marker for the grave he and Dave share (cause we figured that would be Daves sentiment as well).
When Steves friend Dickie died, we were looking around for something appropriate to put on his grave marker and I suggested the only thing which was totally appropriate, which was "We will always be connected to each other," which I like. But I cant choose that because its been done.
Given my signature line above, I think I would be happy if people would feel it appropriate just to say "she cared."
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Weight Lost to date: 46.6 lbs