No, it’s not a band. But, it is a group. They call themselves THE POLIO’S. Here is how my not-so-unlikely friendship with them began.
Here I go again. Another story that starts with my dad. After he died and I just wasn’t coping that well with the loss, I found an article in the L.A. Times about post-polio syndrome. It talked about this painful late-in-life condition of those who’d been afflicted with infantile paralysis, and how some of them formed a group that would meet at UCLA. My dad did not suffer from this syndrome, at least not that I was aware of. Still, I found the phone number, left a message and received a call back.
Friendliest, loveliest voice on the other end. Ruth Ross introduced herself. She asked me why I called and what could she do for me. I told her about my dad, that he had polio and recently died — and how much I missed him. Told her we did everything for him all the time. Duke always had someone helping him, and my brother and I were very good at fetching him things. We were trained early. He would point at something, let’s say a box of Kleenex, and without any words exchanged, we would stand and bring it to him. Now on the phone, Ruth, a stranger, was a therapist hearing me out about the love I had for my dad. When the conversation was about to end, I remembered why I called. “Listen,” I said, “anytime you need something, groceries, whatever, please call me and I will run errands for you.” (more…)