Monday, September 19, 2011

Graphic project update: A Triple Tribute to Robert Johnson, Skip James and Pam

Click to enlarge image

This is from page 16 of the book project. This panel is a triple tribute, to Robert Johnson, Skip James, and my wife Pam. Pam and I used to drive to work together to our jobs at the Anchorage Daily News. I would customarily time my meds so that I would arrive as mobile as possible. This spared me the embarrassment of shuffling across the parking lot beneath the Newsroom window wall. Not to mention making me more stable on the icy incline of the sloped parking area.

Unfortunately there were certain obnoxious side effects. There gets to be a point Parkinson's medications make up for what they lack in subtlety with power. This often put me into a mildly manic state that meant my long-suffering bride was often subjected to lectures on topics she of course cared deeply about- for instance the relative merits of bluesmen of the 1930's.

Often these lectures would be repeated from ride to ride, sometimes in fragments on the same trip in. Other favorite topics were state, local, national and international news, movies, and naturally, traffic reports. We referred to it as "Radio Pete" No commercial interruptions no volume control, all the obscure references you can stand. And no, we're not taking your calls or requests. Fortunately it was a short commute.


ECleary78 said...

I'm afraid of how David may change over the course of his PD and over the course of being on his meds long-term. I guess we both are.

Peter Dunlap-Shohl said...

It's impossible to say. I never thought I would have the mobility and the quality of life that I experience now at this point in the disease and certainly there are many smart people working on this problem. Throw in the "Blind Pig Effect" - even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while- and you have a reasonable chance that David will do well for years. Make that decades. Plenty of time to have other things to worry about. Today is all we have, really. The rest is promises and fine print. When the time comes that you need them, you will be surprised by your strengths.


Jeff Jennings said...

Thanks...Being only in my early thirtees when diagnosed,I need all the help possible.

Peter Dunlap-Shohl said...

Couldn't imagine what that must have felt like, or how you managed to shoulder that burden without being crushed. At the least it's a testament to an iron character. It was tough enough for me at 43. I will say that though I woke up every morning of the last ten years with Parkinson's Disease, it has been 10 years I am glad I stuck around for.