Publisher's Page: LBD, Car Repairs and Minda


By John A. Winters, Publisher
I need a mulligan.
Well, correction, the Little Black Dress needs one. For those late to the game, the LBD is a nickname I give my wife. That’s because, well, she dresses up a lot, and is usually in black, hence …
And a “mulligan” refers to a stew made up of various odds and ends. It’s also a golf term and refers to replaying a stroke because the one hit before stunk. Let’s call it a “redo” and it’s the latter definition we will refer to in this column.
October is the LBD’s birthday month. Yes, you read that correctly. She likes to “savor.” It’s a month because sometimes the actual day or days surrounding aren’t so great.

A couple of years ago, the day before her birthday, one of the LBD’s best friends was taken off life support. Kelly had fallen down a flight of stairs at a restaurant a few days before. She never woke up.
We are going to forget this year too.
It started with calling me to let me know the radiator was leaking. Badly. And swaying in the front suspension she noticed recently was a little more serious that we thought.
Bottom line? Repairs will be north of a month’s mortgage. At the same time, the LBD has to take Youngest SON to the doctor (again) because he has missed so much school due to a migraine/sinus infection/dead throat/etc.
So she takes my car. I get dropped off at the shop because the car will be ready by end of day.  If you at this point said, “bet it’s not,” well, step up and get your prize.
Steve, the owner, takes me home. Probably because he felt sorry for me and the fact I put his kids through college on repairs. But this meant there were no flowers picked up, much less items for a great birthday dinner.
But you know what? I had the money to cover the repairs. And we had still had two cars.
What we would call “First World problems.”
I bring all this up because I got the opportunity to hear Minda Dentler speak at the third annual Power of the Purse fundraising event for the Coweta Community Foundation.
Minda was from India. As an infant, she contracted polio, paralyzing her from the waist down. After being abandoned in an orphanage, she was adopted at the age of three by an American family, and through multiple surgeries, she learned to walk with leg braces and crutches.
“And she learned to walk with leg braces and crutches.”
One would think that would be good enough. One would not be Minda. She decided to do something a little different, like become a triathlete.
On Oct. 12, 2013, she became the the first female handcycling athlete to complete the Ironman World Championship, in Kona, Hawaii.
It is where the best of the best triathlon athletes complete. The 1% of the 1%.
She swam 2.4 miles. She handcycled 112 miles. She pushed a racing wheelchair 26.2 miles. Her time was 14:39:14. That’s fourteen “hours,” 39 “minutes” and 14 “seconds.” All in one day. Using only her arms and hands.
“Focus on what you can control,” she told the crowd.
How true. We can’t control busted radiators or contracting polio. But we can decide that the story does not end there, just like Minda. Read more about this extraordinary woman elsewhere in this edition on Page 9.
One other thing I can’t control is that Joe Williams, the former owner/publisher, is packing up his typewriter and ending his column, much to my dismay. He promised to write every now and then when he gets riled up, and will continue his “Encouraging Words” for now.