The column that says when you ask the surgeon when you can drive and he says six weeks and 15 days later, he is asked again and he says we’ll see, and the nurse blurts out, “She drove here!” — do you ask the nurse if she has anything better to do than look out the window?
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM WVLT Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.
U.S. Army: RA13815980
Google all columns at jackhummelblog
“A group of us have not seen ‘Dennis’ downtown for a while.
“Dennis rides a bike and hangs at Bogarts, Bojo’s, Winfield’s, etc. We think his last name is Stewart. He has not been to his room at the Motorsport Inn for a month. Has anybody seen him lately?”
— Larry Malone
Which reminds us …
When we asked Bridgeton officials to open the Ferracute office building and Sam Feinstein found a homeless man sleeping on the second floor, the police department was called and he was led away.
Later, we heard he was missing after expecting some kind of inheritance. Was he ever found?
One-time newsroom co-conspirator Giuseppe Ungaro couldn’t make it to the Longhorn tonight due to illness in the family, so his sage words from Somers Point and Glory Days magazine will have to wait a week.
Meanwhile, big meeting Wednesday afternoon with D. Bailey Miles and Melissa Helmbrecht in the DiLisi’s board room to connect some dots in Cumberland County.
We’ve requested the speech Helmbrecht made to the gathering announcing the grant for the county jail, which she wrote, and we’re going to play it on 92.1 FM Saturday before launch the Hope Loft series on Saturday, June 3, at noon.
It’s a collaborative made in heaven, and we dare Alex “No good grant except Ulysses” Calabrese from Buena to listen in, call every fourth show thereafter and question the motive, the cost to taxpayers and his better solution.
We listen to all.
By the way, the grant was received six months ago.
We haven’t heard from the teacher whose Broad Street School class is putting on a Memorial Day show at the World War II monument in front of the school.
We want her on 92.1 FM Saturday to tell the world exactly what she appreciated about the late Warren Robinson, the World War II veteran who helped the oppressed and rattled the city’s sabres until the day he passed.
He came and spoke to her third-grade class more than once, and they asked him a multitude of questions, which made him smile.
The Cumberland County College baseball team is going to the World Series!
The Dukes came out of the losers bracket to win two games on Sunday and another on Monday to make the big dance.
The World Series!
Are you kidding us? We remember when the sports program was canceled at CCC. What has happened?
“When I’m asked why it’s hard for me to work for organizations, it’s hard for me to articulate why because it’s hard to understand the entrepreneurial and vision-oriented spirit!
“But I found the perfect question to answer the question! Do you think the founder of Chick-Fil-A could be a store manager at McDonald’s? And why? It’s not that McDonald’s is wrong because clearly it’s a billion dollar industry. It’s simply a NO because the founder of Chick-Fil-A has a vision of being off on Sundays, asking if you need condiments instead of ketchup or BBQ sauce, priding himself on thank you and have a great day, etc.
“When you have a vision, you have a vision! And when you’re under someone else’s vision it’s almost impossible to pursue yours! It’s not about wrong or right! It’s just about a vision.”
— Bryan Real
“When your local businesses stand behind the children of our community we should stand behind them. Thank you, Cumberland Tire Center, Inc.
“This summerm we are going to be running our soccer and basketball camps, so look out for #PALteamCumberlandTire.
— Bridgeton PAL
We’re not even going to comment on the nuclear alert.
BHS JROTC SSgt. George Linen …
“Three years ago, I was dangerously obese 314 pounds. Medication for this and that. Blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, swollen legs, no energy and limping around.
“I had to step away from the gym when I had neck surgery in September. I was 185 pounds. Today, 205 pounds and try to get to 180 pounds before basketball season begins in November.”
— George Linen
George, we’ve found that in the case of drug addicts, they are more likely to stay clean when helping other addicts get clean and stay clean.
Maybe that’s the answer for us, George. The people who run Weight Watchers never gain weight, right?
As popular as you are George, maybe you could bust out a new club in the area that meets enough to share the great things you can enjoy if you take if off and keep it off.
Not a physical, but a gathering of the minds. You could fill both sides of a gymnasium, those who have taken it off and want to keep it off, and those who need to take it off and why they need to take it off.
Welcome to The Linen Cloth!
Michael DeLeon, founder of Steered Straightis one of the best frontiers we’ve found against drug addiction, and here’s a Daily Journal story we found from two years ago.
A little history
March 22, 2015
He’s only a few months behind schedule with his latest film about the exponentially growing drug epidemic in the United States, but keeping pace with the contagion is the more devastating setback for anti-drug filmmaker Michael DeLeon.
The local youth rehabilitator is hard at work putting the finishing touches on his latest film, “An American Epidemic,” due out this spring.
The documentary expands the scope of his previous film’s look into New Jersey’s drug-affected communities by casting a light on the larger national issue, and DeLeon is eager to get his message out and inspire folks to affect change.
“My goal with this movie was basically I wanted to tell a different story while making a call to action,” said DeLeon, who also is president of the juvenile outreach program Steered Straight. “I wanted to get people not just more aware of the No. 1 public social health crisis that this country’s ever seen, but to get people outraged enough to do something about it.”
Filmed over the better part of 2014 during a 40-state tour, DeLeon interviewed dozensof addicts and struggling parents trying to cope with their loved ones’ drug problems.
One woman interviewed in the movie lost three children, all to drug overdoses.
“It’s just heart-wrenching,” DeLeon said of her story and many others. “We have to educate our kids about the dangers of heroin.”
From California to Maine, DeLeon and film editor Dana Horta booked visits at one juvenile detention center after another to spread their message about just how deadly drug abuse — particularly that of prescription drugs and heroin — can be.
The juvenile offenders with whom they spoke came from surprisingly varied backgrounds, from ghettos to rural areas to affluent suburbs in middle America.
That’s one of the main points of the 90-minute movie.
“The face of addiction is changing,” DeLeon said. “This crisis is affecting a demographic that really has never had this level before — the upper-middle class and affluent. It’s your AP student, your lacrosse soccer star. It’s 80 percent Caucasian.”
From doctors‘ overprescribing of pain medication to the easier access of hard drugs like heroin, there are a multitude of explanations for why so many youths are addicted to these substances, DeLeon said.
“There are so many reasons why kids are starting to use drugs that we can’t put our finger on,” he said.
Many take pain medication, suspecting a tiny stigma-free pill will be harmless, but eventually turn to heroin when they run out, according to DeLeon.
Another reason, he said, is the availability of “gateway drugs” like marijuana and alcohol.
“Everywhere I went the story was the same,” DeLeon said. “Kids were introduced to drugs with alcohol and marijuana and progressed to prescription medicine and heroin.”
If he could, he’d like to rename the drug to reflect its progression.
“I’d like to see it renamed to ‘Marijuana X,'” he said. “It’s a new high-THC-level drug.”
Legalization likely won’t help the growing drug epidemic, he argued.
“Marijuana being legalized the same way as tobacco is going to cause our society a lot of problems; 483,000 die from tobacco (each year) but we socially accepted it,” he said. “Personally, I would love to see alcohol and marijuana banned.”
Motivated in large part by the demons of his past, the former convict and drug addict spent 12 years in a state prison before turning around his life.
He had been addicted to drugs, involved in gang activity and other problems that eventually took their toll.
But since his release from prison, DeLeon has spent most of his time trying to help others avoid the slow descent into gang life.
He runs Steered Straight, a juvenile delinquency prevention and intervention program based in Cumberland County, which he founded in 2000. It has now expanded into six other states besides New Jersey.
“It’s really broken my heart,” DeLeon said of drug abuse. “For the rest of my life, I’m going to use these films to try to end addiction.”
DeLeon last year released his first movie, “Kids Are Dying,” which is similar in style to “An American Epidemic.”
In that movie, DeLeon traveled throughout New Jersey, meeting with drug-addled youth, tormented parents, concerned officials, hopeless educators and others affected by the drug world.
When that two-year, $40,000 effort culminated in a February 2014 release, he went right back to work.
“With ‘Kids Are Dying,’ I realized the epidemic is far worse than I ever thought,” he said. “It’s everywhere.”
If he hasn’t stressed enough already how much he really wants to help fix the drug problem, the financial cost of the two films will shock many.
DeLeon said he emptied his life savings of $100,000 into his work, even though he knows the endgame is largely futile.
“America will never be drug-free,” he said. “I accept it, but I just want to try to end the epidemic crisis that we’re experiencing in New Jersey and across the country.”
Several notable celebrities and public officials make appearances in the film, from former Gov. Jim McGreevy to “Jersey Shore” star The Situation to former baseball player Darryl Strawberry.
The yet-unfinished movie has been featured in 11 film festivals throughout the country, garnering support from celebrities including comedian Andy Dick.
When it comes to distribution, DeLeon said he has about 600 pre-orders so far for his planned 5,000 first run of DVDs. He also has been talking with major cable companiesabout possibly broadcasting it.
“At the end of the day, I want to bring a different kind of awareness to the country,” he said. “We can’t rely on law enforcement or our medical communities or our educators to solve this problem. It must be solved in a collaborative way.”
— Daniel Kov
Four hours ago …
“WHY are methadone clinic sending their patients to other clinics to get Xanax for anxiety knowing they are not themselves allowed to prescribe both, KNOWING how DEADLY that is?
“If you know of a methadone clinic doing this, PM me and I will go film outside their front door and ask them if this is good medical treatment. IS IT?”
— Michael DeLeon,
All we ask is that we bring him back home full time instead of letting him go all over the country getting paid to be brought in to talk to kids before they can get hooked.
That grant, we’ll gladly accept!
YOU CAN BOOK IT: But the other key is Melissa Helmbrecht.