The Rest of the Stories

August 7, 2009 • Posted in Beth Finke, blindness, Uncategorized by

This seemed like a good week to tie up loose ends from previous blog posts…

My post about driving a 2010 Ford Mustang got more hits than any other post I’ve published here. Now Roger Keeney, the blind man who won the ‘10 Unleashed contest in the first place, is getting some mainstream press, too.

Roger Keeney did some donuts while driving.

Roger Keeney did some donuts while driving.

Mike was flipping through his favorite motorcycle magazine the other day and ran across Roger’s photo in a Ford Mustang ad. Others have seen Roger’s photo in print ads, too, and one friend emailed that he’d heard the ads discussed on a late-night radio talk show – apparently there is some controversy involved? This post about Roger’s Mustang ride on a blog called Jalopnik: Obsessed With The Cult Of Cars explains:

It’s either especially noble of Ford to arrange this drive or they’re completely desperate for new customers.

The ad includes the address for a youtube video called Speeding While Blind, which shows footage of Roger’s drive, including an appearance by Tommy Kendall. You might recognize Tommy’s name – he’s the pro race driver who was brave enough to sit in the passenger seat when I was behind the wheel.

The post I wrote about Sonia Sotomayor after she was nominated for the Supreme Court pointed out that she has Type 1 diabetes, just like me. Sotomayor’s nomination was approved by the Senate yesterday, and she’ll be sworn in tomorrow — the first Supreme Court Justice with juvenile diabetes!

In a story in the New York Times, White House reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote about the methods Judge Sotomayor uses to control her Type 1 diabetes.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor carries a small black travel pouch, not much larger than a wallet. It contains the implements she needs — a blood sugar testing kit,a needle and insulin — to manage diabetes, a disease she has had for 46 years. Friends say she is not shy about using it. “She’ll be eating Chinese dumplings,” said Xavier Romeu Matta, a former law clerk to the judge, “and she’ll say, ‘Excuse me sweetie,’ and pull out the kitand inject her insulin.”

That no-nonsense attitude, combined with the attention to detail that characterizes her legal opinions, has been a hallmark of Judge Sotomayor’s approach to Type 1 diabetes, according to friends, colleagues and her longtime doctor, Andrew Jay Drexler.

While Judge Sotomayor’s hearings were going on, I heard NPR’s legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg mention they were taking more breaks than usual so that the judge could step out to test her blood sugar. My guess is that everyone at the hearings appreciated the extra breaks. I sure did – they reminded me to test my own blood sugar levels. CONGRATS, Sonia – you’re my hero!

The actress I wrote about who had the Audrey Hepburn part in a theatre production of Wait Until Dark here in Chicago contacted me afterwards to give me some good news – she got a part in another play right after Wait Until Dark closed!

Mike and I went to see Emjoy Gavino in The Arabian nights at Lookingglass Theatre last month, and she was

That's Emjoy Gavino on the left; she visited to research her role in "Wait Until Dark."

That's Emjoy Gavino on the left; she visited to research her role in "Wait Until Dark."

fabulous. I had to laugh, though – Emjoy was a slave girl in one scene, and hearing her screaming in fear as she runs away from the bad guy made me think the casting director must have seen her in Wait Until Dark! That girl can sure do “fear”! The show was fantastic and has been extended until August 30 – if you’ll be in Chicago this month, I highly recommend you go see it.

A friend mentioned Gus and me in a post she wrote for her blog at Open Salon. The post is about invisible disabilities, and my friend is a bit invisible herself — she chooses to blog anonymously, so I can’t plug her by name. I can vouch for her writing, though – check out her Hells Bells blog and see for yourself!

Remember the guest blog my young friend Sandra Murillo posted here after she voted for the first time last November? I met Sandra when she was still in high school – I interviewed her for a Chicago Tribune story about how kids who are blind are educated in the public schools.

Sandra's now got her own blog!

Sandra's now got her own blog!

Sandra lost her sight when she was three years old, and she uses a white cane to zip around between her house in Chicago’s south suburbs and the community college she attends nearby. In a few weeks she’ll be using that cane at University of Illinois in Urbana – she was accepted into the College of Media there!

Sandra must have caught the “blog bug” after posting here, because now she’s starting her own blog. Link to Sandra the Future Journalist to follow Sandra’s lead as she tap, tap, taps her way around the University of Illinois campus this semester.

marilee On August 8, 2009 at 11:46 pm

I love it! I am going to check out the rest of the rest of the stories and visit some blogs! Nice format.

Bob On August 9, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I linked right away to that Mustang ride – awesome! Too bad they didn’t get footage of you driving, too, Beth.

Randy On August 9, 2009 at 10:38 pm

I didn’t know that about Sonia Sotomayor. Good for us!

Mary McHugh On August 11, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Beth you’re the best! You never told me about driving the Mustang. I’d love to see you do that — from a safe distance if you don’t mind.

And I love the way Justice Sotomayor handles her diabetes — the way you do as an inconvenience that you take seriously but don’t make the major activity of your life — just as your blindness is not the characteristic that defines you.

Please keep blogging — Oh and thank Hanni for inviting me to be her friend on Facebook. I’m honored.

Leave a Response