We are joined by memers of the County Sheriff's Department, Julie of HealthSouth marketing fame, and Justin, a bilateral graduate of HealthSouth Rehab and a PT intern.
The patients await the arrival of the riders. First the police motorcycles are seen to approach the facility but no riders are in sight. Did they get lost? Not likely with Joe leading the way. After riding 3,000 miles for this arrival, ten feet short of the approach to the facility, Cliff's chain jams and Cliff goes no further leaving the police escort to unknowingly escort... well escort nothing. Not knowing what to do, with a puzzled look on their faces, they stop and wait for the reappearance of the riders.
Cliff with great skill and tender care, hammers the sprocket with his fists and manages to loosen the chain and covers the hands that he keeps immaculately clean for performing emergency operations while riding his bike, are covered with black grease. With a tight but determined smile, Cliff remounts his trusty stead, and the entire group rides in behind the bewildered police escort.
Cliff proudly displays his hands for all to see...
While Joe renews old acquaintances....
and makes new friends.
Justin wants to know if the Black Hands are some kind of a cult that only doctors can join. Cliff refuses to answer because he is sworn to uphold the doctor-patient confidentiality between himself and some of Abel's notorious underlings, who along with Abel also display dark grease marks on very specific parts of their bodies to reduce what is known in bicycle circles as painting.
Staff and patients are amazed about the life story told by Joe of how he was brought up in the little town of Fowler, Colorado, and the extraordinary efforts Joe made to donate his leg in a leg transplant operation to his younger brother Abel while under the care of Dr. Clark, the family physician and leg transplant specialist.
Abel demonstrates an uncanny ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth, a talent that he has developed while performing his duties as a Navy recruiter. Here he holds the patients and staff spellbound while he talks about his childhood in Fowler, Colorado and the superhuman efforts he has had to make in order to overcome the adversity of riding with Amputees Across America and riding in the truck with Joe.
Cliff anchors the presentations and with his usual articulate style and manages to eke out some little bit of credibility remaining after Abel and Joe's talks.
Joe, Cliff, and Abel join Greg in a photo op. Greg lost his leg three weeks ago and has learned to ignore everything that Joe tells him. Greg was heard to say, "I may have lost my leg but I didn't lose my mind."
Abel doesn't understand why Melba's last name isn't Toast. Melba suffers through the many indignities heaped upon her by Abel with patience and grace.
Joe, who was a B-66 navigator for ten years meets another B-66 navigator named Ken Wills. As this was a very small and select group of flyers, it underscores just how small a world it is that we live in.
As Amputees Across America is running a little short of funds, Abel is seen here peddling a special elixir, developed and formulated by our own Bones Clark. As an ex-Navy recruiter, everyone believes everything that Abel says.
Completing his sale of magic rehab elixir, Abel moves to the OT area, slides the magazines off the table, and starts a very very very friendly game of poker. The money on the table has nothing to do with the game as it was left there after Abel played the shell game with some of the patients.
This was the third visit to Tallahassee by Amputees Across America. We believe that if we steal enough of the silver utensils, HealthSouth will invite us back if only to get their silver back. This being the case, it looks like the patients will have to continue to eat using plastic forks and spoons. Our thanks to Skip Jernigan, CEO, for putting up with our antics, and for the efforts of Paige Mitchell, DMO, and her able assistant Julie, who organized this event for the three years that we have visited HealthSouth. She should have known better than to ask us back but we are glad that she did. Special thanks to the staff and patients of HealthSouth who continue to believe everything that Abel tells them even though it often defies all logic.