[nfbwatlk] 20 years ago next week

Lauren Merryfield lauren1 at catliness.com
Fri Jul 1 05:21:49 UTC 2011

Congratulations on your anniversary next week.

A sister scholarship winner (1986)
advice from my cats: "meow when you feel like it."
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." ~
Albert Schweitzer
My new book, "there's more than one way to love a cat," is available at 
Visit us at catliness.com
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Nightingale, Noel" <Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov>
To: <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 4:24 PM
Subject: [nfbwatlk] 20 years ago next week

> NFB of Washington Talk listers:
> It will be 20 years ago next week that I attended my first National 
> Federation of the Blind National Convention.  I had won a scholarship and 
> I brought with me my folding cane as I assumed that canes would be all the 
> fashion in New Orleans in 1991.  At the convention, I quickly figured out 
> that the folding cane was really dorky and I bought myself a telescoping 
> cane.
> I only applied for the scholarship because Susie Prows was on the 
> Washington Department of Services for the Blind advisory council with me 
> and she handed me a scholarship application and said that I should apply. 
> Scott LaBarre was a member  of the scholarship committee and he called to 
> tell me that I had won an NFB scholarship.  I was so astounded, I hipped 
> and yapped into the phone with delight.
> At the convention, the chairman of the NFB DIG program, Chris Kuczynski, 
> kept harassing me about my newly purchased telescoping carbon fiber cane 
> because it only came to my breast bone.  Later, I read in my new 
> subscription to the Braille Monitor an article by Chris about the pencil 
> technique , which I quickly adopted.  Over time, I bought successively 
> longer white canes and grew to prefer straight ones over telescoping, 
> except for canes I use while on airplanes.
> I won the lowest amount scholarship that was possible to get at that 
> particular national convention.  However, the money, while appreciated, 
> was a minimal gift to the friendships and inspiration and information that 
> I have gained as a result of having attended that convention.
> I got to know Dan Frye, who spent countless hours with me during law 
> school helping me develop a philosophy about living as a blind person and 
> who is now one of my closest friends; Denise and Gary Mackenstadt, who 
> started inviting Jim and me over to their home and shared their lives with 
> me; Ben and Susie Prows, who also started inviting us to their home and 
> introduced me to Hazel tenBroek; Albert Sanchez, who always tried to keep 
> me on my toes and is one of my role models; and Mike and Barbara Freeman, 
> who liked to verbally spar with me; Mark and Debbie Noble, who amused me 
> with their antics and showed me how to live as a blind person with 
> individual desires and ambitions; and Scott LaBarre, who has become a 
> beloved friend; and many, many others, some of whom are on this list today 
> and some of whom are not.
> Happy anniversary to me!
> Your friend and colleague in the movement,
> Noel
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