[Nfbofsc] Positive Note 1595

David Houck nfbsc at sc.rr.com
Wed Mar 8 19:13:49 UTC 2017

March 8, 2017 

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents &

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1595

Greetings Fellow Federationists: 


              A decision has been made regarding the location and dates for
this year's NFB of SC state convention.  I am pleased to announce the 2017
state convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Greenville (220
Main Street), the weekend of August 18-20.  Room rates for this year's
convention are very affordable.  Room rates are $99 per night for one to
four in a room.  In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at
present is 12 percent.  The Hyatt Regency is a beautiful hotel and it has
excellent accommodations and facilities to host our state convention.  I am
very excited we have the opportunity to return to the Greenville Hyatt
Regency as it has been approximately thirteen years since we held a state
convention in this location.  In the very near future, I will provide all of
you the necessary hotel reservation information and when we can begin to
make room reservations, so stay tuned!  

              This past Saturday, March 4, Shelley and I had a wonderful
time attending the second annual Upstate Seminar which was held in Walker
Hall on the campus of the SC School for the Deaf and Blind.  Approximately
65 Federationists were in attendance representing the Greenville, Cherokee
County, Anderson, Spartanburg, and Columbia chapters.  J.W. Smith and Jamie
Allison did a great job organizing and planning the program for this event.
Agenda items included presentations from the NFB of SC, Rocky Bottom, NFB of
SC Career Boost program, and The BELL Academy.  The audience also heard
reports from the SC School for the Blind and the SC Talking Book Services.
A great deal of enthusiasm was generated throughout the day as an auction
was held during the lunch break and door prizes were handed out at the
conclusion of the seminar.  

              Congratulations for a job well-done goes to Thom Spittle, a
member of the Columbia chapter and an assistive technology instructor at the
Federation Center of the Blind for his appearance on the SC ETV program
Palmetto Scene which aired this past Thursday evening March 2.  Thom's
comments on the program were excellent as he dispelled many of the myths and
misconceptions regarding blindness and he also did a great job describing
how assistive technology has helped to improve the quality of life of people
who are blind.  

              Many thanks go to J.W. Smith and the Greenville chapter for
volunteering their time at RBRCCB today.  J.W. Smith and a friend assisted
Linda Bible, the Interim Resident Manager in hauling off trash, underbrush,
and a toilet bowl which was found on the trail behind the Ellenberg Lodge.
RBRCCB has many needs and we would greatly appreciate it if other chapters
would take the initiative and "step up" as did the Greenville chapter to
make RBRCCB a better place.  

              The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is
not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise
the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:
blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this
Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr.

              Continuing with NFB conventions of yesteryear, little did I
realize a few months later that our NFB Founder, Dr. Jacobus tenBroek would
die because of cancer.  He realized after the 1967 convention that he had
fatal cancer and in early 1968 he summoned NFB board members to a special
convention to be held in his residence.  The convention was held in Berkeley
where Dr. tenBroek lived.  I will never forget this convention.  Dr.
tenBroek was having so much pain that he finally got onto the floor and
rolled back and forth in hopes of relief but it seemed not to help.  Dr.
tenBroek died in 1968 some three months before the NFB convention.  

              It was Dr. Kenneth Jernigan who was the First Vice President
at that time and he assumed the temporary presidency.  The convention was
held in Des Moines, Iowa where Dr. Jernigan was Executive Director of the
Iowa Commission for the Blind.  Dr. Jernigan was Executive Director of the
Iowa Commission for the Blind for 20 years from 1958 to 1978.  The Des
Moines convention enabled us to learn more about a separate agency for the
blind.  The convention was not totally peaceful as most everyone felt that I
should rise up from Second Vice President to First Vice President.  I had
been Second Vice President for some nine years, having been elected at the
Santa Fe 1959 convention.  During the convention one individual (now
deceased) campaigned vigorously for the Second Vice President seat but
received only a couple of votes against me during the election.  

              The 1969 convention was interesting.  Like Dr. Jernigan's
supporting the 1968 convention, I supported equally the 1969 convention.
Between 700 and 800 delegates attended the Columbia NFB convention.  The
Wade Hampton Hotel would be the headquarters convention facility.  However,
it proved necessary to enlist the assistance of the Columbia Hotel, one
block from the Wade Hampton, and a motel facility also just one block from
the Wade Hampton.  Not one of these two hotels and the other motel exist
today.  Also, some delegates were able to stay at the University of South
Carolina.  The high point of the Columbia convention was a tour of the
Governor's Mansion with Gov. Robert E. McNair on hand to greet the
delegates.  We also arranged for the delegates to travel to Charleston with
the goal being to visit Ft. Sumter.  SCE&G provided the busses.  We thought
we had everything worked out for the Charleston visit but unfortunately the
busses did not follow instructions.  Some did not arrive back in Columbia
until after midnight.  There was some irritation and understandably so.  I
took the microphone and explained to the delegates what happened.  

              The 1968 and 1969 NFB conventions for the most part were
educational.  By the way, we salute Dr. Fred L. Crawford who was Executive
Director of the SC Commission for the Blind in 1969 when the Commission was
located a couple of blocks away from the convention.  Dr. Crawford was most


Final Thought:  Raising Expectations:  "Proper attitudes about blindness
combined with a can-do attitude acts like the 'Miracle Grow' for life." 

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