I don't have many paraplegic friends and I don't have many male friends and even less paraplegic-male friends. Alan Kimball or more affectionately known as Almost Al for his skills on the basketball floor. I've known Almost Al for almost 30 years or the entire time I've been in Utah. I'm surprised I even know Alan at all. I first met Alan when he came to work at the Independent living Center as the Recreation Executive or as we referred to Alan as the Rec-Exec.
When Alan first joined our staff it was a bit of a newbie. I think it only been out of rehab for about two years. He was a member of the local Pack of Paras– – This is what I referred to as a local group of paraplegics which kind of ran in a pack. They played very hard and they partied very hard. I was amazed at how much they partied. This pack of Paras have/were their own basketball team. The team was called the Wheeling Utes and were basically made up of players who could not play for the local professional team wheelchair spinoff the Wheeling Jazz. (The story of the battling wheelchair teams is fodder for another post for another point in time.) Alan is a major sports head. Allen is major male. Al is blue-collar and almost country. Al was employed employed at the time of his accident Wherein he broke his back. Allen drove a big rig beverage truck I think the one of the local beer affiliates. He loved his work and I think he still mourns the loss of his job.
Over the years, like myself, Allen has had numerous wives or relationships. For one reason or another we are kind of bonded and see ourselves brothers. As a rule paras generally don't really hang with quads and other disabilities. The paras put up with us to appoint but if you can't dribble a ball are play tennis then you are not part of the club. I'm proud to be one of the quads that Allen's chooses to hang with. Alan has recently fallen for a Canadian babe with a disability. I am quite happy for the both of them. They were in town this last week and actually tracked me down and came over to department for a visit. I was astounded but totally pleased. It's nice to be remembered. We talked and enjoyed each other and promised to stay in touch. Julie, the name of Allen's friend from Toronto, is still living in Toronto until she can get her papers in order and perhaps even more importantly for ICE to get their heads out of their ass so she can get a green card. Until then these two are doing a long-distance courtship. Actually Almost Al has just returned from three weeks in Toronto and I know he was there for a bit even before that. And I think for sure, you'll be going back in Julie cannot get a green card and permission to immigrate. I wish them the best of luck.
I don't know if we well Stay in touch over the next months and years. I would like to think we well but it's hard to say that this point in the game. But speaking of games, I won't be playing tennis anytime soon but just the same sometimes I feel, just a little, part of the club.