George Keith Król

Essays of 2008

Imprintable Impressions
Reduce Federal Taxes
Essays of 2012
Essays of 2011
Essays of 2010
Essays of 2008
Essays of 2009
Essays of 2007
Frank Franklin
Essays of 2005
Political Philosophy
Essays of 2004
Skied Skier
Crime for Christmas
Boisterous Boys
Assistant Assassin
Secreted Secret
Deluded Delinquents
Essays 2002
Essays 2003-04

A major change for me and the country

Wed 16 Apr
Once again, tax season has ended, so I have much more time (about 20 hours a week) to write in here.  Obviously the presidential election looms.
Sat 19 Apr
People tend to complain about politicians, but what happens when one of them states what he thinks?  Barak Obama was right on with his comments on "bitterness".  It's my complain about hicks/crackers/rednecks: they choose to be stupid.  They choose to allow the rich to steal from them  They choose the rich to have corporate welfare and dodge taxes.  They choose the rich to perpetuate their misery.  So, instead of blaming the rich and stopping the ripoffs, they allow the rich to divide them by race, creed, and sexual orientation.  As one of my fellow MBA's from Penn State would say, "They are the degenerate public."  I grow weary of trying to wake these people up.  Stop voting against your own economic interest!  Stop being useful idiots.  At least vote for your own interests!  I am really tempted to vote for Obama on Tuesday. 
Sun 7 Dec
Well, it looks as though that's all I'm placing in here this year!

This picture first drew my attention to Terry Fox.
It was in the Daily Collegian, the day after he died.

Grant Darby deservedly gets the cover of
the discbox.

When I first heard that there was another movie about Terry Fox, I was curious about who was going to play him.  I had hoped in 2005 that "Terry" would broadcast on television in the United States, but it was to no avail.  I did look up on the internet about Shawn Ashmore.  This morning (Mon 20 Oct) I discovered his twin, Aaron, is identical, although taller and more muscular.
Anyway, I wondered how an actor with both legs could play Terry Fox,  Then I thought that today -- unlike 1983 when Home Box made "The Terry Fox Story" -- computer generation could image a prosthesis on his right leg.  I did not consider a "double", which Grant Darby played to ease the transition.  Also, how could Shawn know how to walk and jog convincingly?  I think they used a walking prosthesis as well.  Obviously, Grant, who proved a deceptive double, trained Shawn well.  I had difficulty distinguishing them in the scenes.
As far as other aspects of playing Terry Fox, I'd think the actor would have to be Canadian, average-height, handsome, and lentingenous.  Shawn was actually born near where Terry Fox lived in suburban Vancouver right before the Marathon of Hope.  He's 180 cm vs Terry at 178, and quite lentigenous.  Shawn does have beautiful azure eyes, versus Terry's cerulean ones.  One difference is where each has a "wen": Terry's was more prominent and right below his left cheek, while Shawn's is roughly the same place on his right side.  That "beauty mark" helped me distinguish him from Grant.  As expected, they covered up Shawn's facial freckles at the beginning and the end of the movie.  Shawn was very pale as the dying Terry Fox in May 1981.  However, Shawn has quite the naturally cute freckles in the rest of the film.  I realized there were real in the shower scene (They don't wash off!) and looked for freckles on other parts of his body (the presence of which again proved the freckles were real).
In the movie proper, there were several subtile pictures of the real Terry Fox, besides the ending.  Terry had on a teshirt with smaller and thicker letters, which manifested in part of the scene in Toronto on television and through a bottle of water at the motelroom the night before the last run.
19:50 Tue 21 Oct 08
The quickness of the shooting over one month showed in the scenes where Shawn plays Terry before the operation.  Terry had wavy hair, which Shawn did not.  Any ugly scenes, even those from Homebox's version in 1983, are quite absent.  Even young children may watch this movie.  It has many fine intimate scenes of children with cancer.  A different verison of Manfred Mann's "Runner" and Stan Rogers' "Turnaround" led the great music.  It covers every major quote from the run such as "If I die right now, I die happy, because I'm doing what I want to do." and "Somewhere the hurting must stop."  
A few ironies are that Shawn speaks fluent French, but did not as Terry in Québec, the great interview with Joe Mullins at Corner Brook (Newfoundland) wasn't mentioned, and Shawn could not match Terry's speeches (then who could? They're all available in the CBC archives.) in Toronto, after meeting with Greg Scott, and when he had to return home.  Nonetheless, I highly recommend "Terry".  It is really a celebration of life, and it causes one to ponder its meaning.
18:40  Wed 22 Oct  A Personal Note:
I also followed the story from "Terry Fox:His Story", a book by Leslie Scrivener I read in 1984.  In fact, I sketched many of the scenes in the book.  One I used for a giant poster that still hangs on my bedroom wall with one I drew of Terry in 1981.  In 1984, I redrew and colored the scene at Terrace Bay on Tuesday, 26 August 1980, which shows Terry's drying himself with a towel by the lake.  I chose it because it clearly shows his stump, and it also hangs on my bedroom wall.  I guessed the color of the building in the background correctly, but I missed the color of the towel as pink, when I just discovered it was forest green!
Ironies of when I read the book:
In 1984, Steve Fonyo was running across Canada along the same route and made it the next year.  Jeff Keith, whom Terry inspired, was running from Boston to Los Angeles as well, and finished in eight months.  I noted that Terry crossed into Ontario -- which is when his marathon really took off -- exactly one year before his death, and Terry spoke in Toronto on my 23rd birthday, which he never reached in this life.
I personally was finishing my MBA at Penn State, which has cost me dearly.  At this time of my life in 2008, I just returned to living alone, and I go back to 1980 to find my sense of purpose.  I intend to run my own marathon of life, just like Terry.  The images of finding purpose are still powerful some 27 years later.  May Terry continue to inspire me as I gol through life until I meet him in heaven around 2050!

Shawn Ashmore smiles for a job well done.
Back of the discbox with scenes of "Terry"





Before the movie "Terry", I had never heard of Stan Rogers.  His song "Turnaround" plays three times on the disc: as Terry approaches Stephenville NF, at the end, and during pictures of the shooting of the movie. 
I always liked Anne Murray, so I thought another singer from Nova Scotia could be as good.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I found the metaphorical "Song of the Candle" quite good with personifications of coffee cups and candles.  "Turnaround" has all three verses of a song which has only two guitars.  "Second Effort" is a little too close to home for me.  Stan also has two sailing songs on the album.  Terry was fond of country music, and he'd be pleased with a song Stan could have written for his run, even though "Turnaround" was recorded in October 1969!  Unfortunately, Canada lost Stan in a freak accident in 1983. 
While this page seems to have taken a life of its own about Terry Fox, I'd like to add in other aspects about this extraordinary aspect of an ordinary human being.  On Amazon, I wrote reviews of the Terry Fox looney, the books by Leslie Scrivener and Douglas Copeland, and the two items above.


Terry Fox is the first Canadian to be featured on a Canadian coin.  The monarch is always British.  Darrell Fox stated that Terry would be embarrassed and humbled to be on a coin, but he deserves it.  His Marathon of Hope came just when the Québec of René Levesque voted on a referendum whether to begin leaving Canada.  In fact, Terry ran into Québec only weeks after the referendum went down nearly 40-60%  The coin came out for the 25th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope.
I bought mine on Amazon.  It costs $8, so $7 goes to research on cancer.  Also, it cost $9 to send it from near Seattle WA.  Nonetheless, it was worth $17 to get my copy.  I value it more than the 50 quarters I have of each state.


I first read this book, which ended with Terry's death in 1981, in 1984.  Ironically, both Steve Fonyo and Jeff Keith were about to prove it was possible to run across Canada and the United State, respectively.  Once I bring up Ted Kennedy Jr, who also lost a right leg to another type of bone cancer, chondrogenic sarcoma, I get the attention of American audiences.
This updated version brings us to the legacy of Terry Fox up to 2000.  It follows the major players in Terry's life, and what has happened since he died.  Unfortunately, Greg Scott died six weeks after Terry of the same disease.  I only think they are running and biking across heaven in eternal bliss.
This cover is a rare picture of Terry's smiling while running!


This book is an intimate illustration of Terry Fox.  It includes pages of his diary (and his handwriting is somewhat difficult to read), but it proves he was intelligent enough to include goals and means to get there.  After which, I felt as if I had known Terry, and even to the point where we'd disagree.  All royalties go to the Canadian Cancer Society, so I don't think Terry would mind when we find out when he had the runs during his runs!
Below we get a glimse of the sunburn on the lower left orbital rim of his face.  Terry's freckles are not so prominent, but the wen just below his left cheek is there, a sort of beauty mark, along with two solar lentigos just below his hanging curls.  It also marks which pictures of Terry's face are laterally flipped, for Shawn Ashmore has a wen below his right cheek, not Terry!


It's time the country gets out of the ditch on the far right side of the road!