She could have been my daughter!

Read this online obituary:

https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/franklin-oh/sarah-grossman-9203495

Sarah Rae Grossman

October 7, 1997 – May 30, 2020
Obituary of Sarah Rae Grossman

With great sadness we announce the death of Sarah Rae Grossman, age 22, of Columbus, Oh (formerly of Springboro, Oh) on May 30, 2020. Born October 7, 1997 in Naperville, Il, Sarah is survived by her parents, Todd and Christi Grossman, and sister Jessa Grossman, of Springboro Oh; Grandparents Lonnie and Thelma Mullins, Mel and Shelley Grossman, and Phillip and Sue VanKersen, and many loving and amazing friends, aunts, uncles and cousins. She was a 2016 graduate of Springboro High School.

Sarah graduated May 3, 2020 from The Ohio State University with an Honors Degree of Bachelor of Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Her specific course of study within the EEDS program (Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability) reflected her life passions. Prior to the Covid pandemic, Sarah planned to complete a second degree in Spanish in 2021 while attending the Universidad of Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

It is impossible to find the words to describe her kindness, unique spirit, and unwavering dedication to her convictions. Sarah was a fierce but compassionate supporter of environmental issues and social justice. A genuine friend who loved and cherished her extraordinary friendships. She was the most caring and thoughtful daughter, a beloved granddaughter, and a loving sibling and best friend to her sister Jessa.

Sarah had spent the past two summers in Guatemala researching the harvesting industry. After graduation she planned to pursue work promoting positive environmental, climate and land use policies, assisting migrant workers and indigenous communities. She wanted to help the voices of the underserved be heard. She opened our eyes to both lovely ideas and ugly truths. In addition to being a full time student, she was a hard working employee, having held over six jobs in her short life, most recently at Stauf’s Coffee, and Chadwick Arboretum in Columbus, Oh. Sarah loved nature and being outdoors- hiking in the great National Parks of this country, collecting and caring for plants, watching the sun set and the moon rise. She had many interests that brought her joy- creating ceramics and art, finding that awesome thrift store find, and she definitely loved her coffee! She had visited nine countries- always wanting to learn about the world through the eyes of another. She lived a short but full life.

We will forever miss those big dimples and sweet smile. Those who knew her will understand what a beautiful soul the world has lost.

And how did she die? According to posts on Twitter:

Wow. I know some people on Twitter are still in denial about this:

Erin Stalcup
@stalcup_erin4
Replying to

Hey, this claim is currently unsubstantiated. As such, her family is asking that tweets like these be taken down until such time as they can prove them and are ready for all of the negative attention that has come upon them.
2:27 PM · Jun 5, 2020
________________
eclair
@canuclairify

Replying to

Hello! Please take this post down immediately out of respect for Sarah’s close friends and family. There is no conclusion as to how she has passed and spreading misinformation is incredibly harmful.
_____________
But I’m sure it’s only because she was a white woman and some people still can’t get their heads around the idea that ANYONE can be a victim of police brutality or racism in general!
Well, think again!

Viola Fauver Liuzzo (née Gregg; April 11, 1925 – March 25, 1965) was a housewife and mother of five. In March 1965, Liuzzo heeded the call of Martin Luther King Jr and traveled from Detroit, Michigan, to Selma, Alabama, in the wake of the Bloody Sunday attempt at marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Liuzzo participated in the successful Selma to Montgomery marches and helped with coordination and logistics. At the age of 39, while driving back from a trip shuttling fellow activists to the Montgomery airport, she was murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

One of the four Klansmen in the car from which the shots were fired was Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant Gary Thomas Rowe.[1][2] Rowe testified against the shooters and was given witness protection by the FBI.[3] The FBI immediately began a smear campaign and leaked to the press what were purported to be salacious details about Liuzzo. The FBI attempted to downplay the situation and to discredit Liuzzo by spreading rumors that she was a member of the Communist Party, was a heroin addict,[4] and had abandoned her children to have sexual relationships with African-Americans involved in the Civil Rights Movement.[5] All of the rumors were entirely false and were wholely fabricated by the FBI.[6][7]

THAT woman could have been my mother or grandmother!

If it turns out that Sarah Grossman did not die because of tear gas, we should correct the misinformation. But she is worth remembering anyway. So is anyone who takes a stand (or drops to a knee, for that matter) to protest injustice.

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Police misconduct is not just about killing black people.

With all the protests erupting across America regarding the murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands (and knee) of a white cop, I am reminded of an incident that illustrated to me why police can’t always be trusted, even if they don’t kill blacks at all.

Back when I was living in Arlington, Texas, I was traveling down highway 360 when I was pulled over by a cop. He approached my car and said, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
I said, “No clue, officer. I know I wasn’t speeding. In fact, it is impossible to speed on this highway; it’s too congested.”
The cop then said, “Are you lost? Do you need help getting somewhere?”
I said, “No, I’m fine.”
The cop let me go. But I have no doubt that he did so only because of my white privilege. But I was driving a 2002 Saturn that was in such poor condition that I’m sure the cop seeing it from a distance assumed it was being driven by a poor black or hispanic man. So if instead I had been a person of color, he likely would have written me a ticket for some made up excuse and I would have had to go to court to fight it and still risk losing the fight in front of a mostly white jury. I already knew that traffic tickets are a convenient means of a city to raise extra money without raising taxes on most citizens, not merely a matter of public safety. And what better way to keep minorities down than by targeting their pocketbooks?

I have been distrustful of police ever since.

Pixelberry Studios, the Choices app, and Perfect Match.

In 2018, I downloaded and began playing an app on my new smartphone titled Choices: Stories You Play created by a mobile gaming company called Pixelberry Studios. It features stories of romance that you have some control over by making decisions on behalf of the stories’ Main Characters. The characters include teenagers in high school, young adults in college, older adults dealing with mysteries and fighting criminals and other powerful enemies, and even some historical scenarios.

https://choices-stories-you-play.fandom.com/wiki/Choices:_Stories_You_Play_Wikia

Of all the stories I have played so far, my favorite by far has been Perfect Match.

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The Taxi Driver and the Elderly Lady

I read this story online many years ago and think it worth sharing and repeating forever, so…..

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

 

Being Better Educated and Changing my Opinion

One of my basic principles of being an Honorable Skeptic is what I call the malleability of my opinions, as expressed this way:

Because I am honorable, I sometimes willingly concede points made by my opponents in debates with them. This should never be seen as a sign of weakness. When I know I am right about something, I will fight to the bitter end to support my case and discredit my opponent because in some cases I do see my battles as a struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, or ignorance and knowledge. But I am also willing at times to listen to my opponent and consider his point of view, especially if that person is known by me to be honorable. If we do not listen to others, how can we ever grow in knowledge?

In the past, I opposed the legal concept of statutory rape, thinking it an outdated and irrational one, much like laws in the past banning homosexual relations or interracial unions. But recent events have made me reconsider my position and try to understand why otherwise enlightened people would be so insistent that teens should never be allowed to have romantic and sexual relations with older partners, even of their own choosing.

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