Migration — Falling Women

Monday, November 17, 2008
A thrilling weekend. On Saturday Larry and I took a bus trip with about 30 other people to Foxwoods Casino. We don’t normally gamble, and this was only my third trip to a casino in my life, not counting a convention I went to years ago in Atlantic City. But the trip was a fundraiser for a girls softball team that one of our friends coaches. We each received $10 off dinner and a chance to win a trip to the Caribbean. So we’re standing in line to get a “Dream Rewards” card we needed to enter the drawing. While we’re standing there an ambulance pulls up outside. The patient must have had an injured back or neck because they wheeled in a back board on the stretcher. Just as the EMT went by, two women lurched past us, the one behind grabbing for the one in front. The first woman staggered and collapsed a couple of feet from where Larry was standing. In the process, she knocked over a sign – fortunately didn’t land on it. He was the first one to get to her, ascertained that she’s breathing – in fact had already opened her eyes, though they weren’t too focused. She told the security guard, who was trying to recall the EMTs, that she’s seven and a half months pregnant, diabetic, and hadn’t eaten all day.

Once we knew that she had help, Larry and I got back in line, saying to each other – why in all that’s holy would she be at a casino at 5 in the afternoon if she was in that situation? She looked otherwise healthy and prosperous: nice clothes, good skin tone, good teeth, etc. So she wasn’t poverty stricken. Just completely lacking in common sense I guess.

The rest of the evening was blessedly uneventful, but we didn’t get home until 12:30 a.m. after hitting the ground running about 7 a.m. to finish laundry and housework because I knew I’d be …

Out on Sunday about noon to pick up my sister-in-law Deb. We headed to Hartford to answer phones for Connecticut Public Television. Since the state doesn’t have a major-league professional sports team, most folks substitute a passion for University of Connecticut sports, and the women’s basketball team ranks tops with us (not to mention tops with the sports editors around the nation right now!) CPTV broadcasts the games and does other good stuff, so we like to support the TV station, too.

We had a blast. First, I ran into my friend Tina Brown (not the dailybeast Tina but the Hartford Courant Tina A. Brown whose book terrific Crooked Road Straight is doing fabulously well.) It was great to reconnect in person. Before our fundraising effort started, they fed us a gourmet meal catered by Rizzuto’s – bread with rosemary olive oil, salad that included delicious baby yellow beets, penne with broccoli rabe, roasted red peppers, asparagus and onion, and chicken piccata (I moused out the artichokes and some capers). The desserts were to die for – biscotti and macaroons and little star cookies and some other kind of cookies and some chocolate things that looked like little hats. I’d go back again just to get another meal like that.
The actual phone answering was more fun than work. Things started a bit slow, picked up a bit at half-time, and turned manic once the game was over. People waited to call because Georgia Tech was giving UConn a fit – hitting three-pointers left and right. We pulled it out 82-71, but it was close until well into the second half. Not a relaxing way to start the season.
At one point during a lull in the phone calls, I heard this thump-thump and looked up. A woman had fallen over backward off the wooden riser across the room from me. She managed to wedge herself between the back wall of the studio and the riser. People rushed to her aid, and she said she was OK but I’ll bet she’s sore today.
An exciting weekend that could have used a bit less trauma!

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