Kentucky Cardinal

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The Kentucky Cardinal

Spring/Summer 2004

A publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky

Cathy Jackson, President

210 Cambridge Drive

Louisville, Kentucky 40214

Phone: 502-366-2317

Edited by Denise Franklin, 3639 Hurstbourne Ridge Boulevard,
Louisville, Kentucky 40299

Phone: 502-499-0759

e-mail: kyfranks@...

Editorial staff: Lora Felty, e-mail: lorafelty@...

Melanie Peskoe, e-mail: mpeskoe@...

Robbie McClave, email: robbiemcclave@...

We invite and encourage your participation in this newsletter. Articles may be edited for length, and the editors reserve the right to judge suitability for this publication. Material may be submitted to any of the editors.

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

NFB of Kentucky

Convention 2004

Dear Fellow Federationists,

It is time to begin planning the 57th annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky. This year's convention will be held here in Louisville at the newly remodeled Galt House Hotel and Suites. We will begin the weekend-long convention on Friday, September 10th, and adjourn by noon on Sunday, September 12th. If you plan to attend our NFBK 2004 convention, you need to complete a pre-registration form and return it by Saturday, September 4thhto Kenny Jones, 3827 Chevy Chase Rd., Louisville, KY 40218. Make checks payable to NFB of Kentucky. Please note that those of you who procrastinate will pay $10 registration and $30 for your banquet ticket. Call (502) 366-2317 to obtain a form.

Room reservations must be made through the Galt House. Please call (502) 589-5200 . When making your reservation you should indicate that you are with the NFBK convention. Convention room rates are $59.00 per night for singles and doubles, and $64.00 for triples and quads. This price does not include tax. With taxes added, the cost of a single/double room would be $67.24 and a triple/quad $72.94. Reservations should be made as early as possible. After August 15th the hotel reserves the right to release any rooms not claimed by our members. This means you run the risk of not getting a room should the hotel be fully occupied.

The NFBK Officers and Directors voted to offer banquet tickets to those who might need a financial boost in order to budget their convention dollars. Those of you who could benefit by this offer should contact your local chapter president. Please get in touch with your president no later than August 20thh so that he or she can make a determination of eligibility. At-large members should contact me, Cathy Jackson, President of NFBK, at (502) 366-2317 . If you are notified that you will be receiving a banquet ticket, you still must complete the pre-registration form. Simply indicate the number of persons attending the banquet and put a zero in the amount column.

Here are some general starting times so that you can begin making travel arrangements. Registration will be from 5:00 PM EDT until 6:00 PM EDT on Friday afternoon, and Saturday from 8:00 AM until 9:00 AM.

The Kentucky Association of Blind Students will be conducting their second annual seminar, which will focus on student issues beginning with registration on Friday at 3:30 PM.

It's a Montecarlo Night sponsored by the members of the NFB of Greater Louisville! Join us for an evening of fun and good-natured competition. Play cards and other games of chance and collect poker chips, which could win prizes. If you'd rather not play games, just sit back and enjoy the music. A cash bar and snacks will also be available. The fun begins at 8:00 PM.

The convention will be called to order at 9:00 AM on Saturday morning, September 11th. This year's program is going to center around the changes in services for the blind in Kentucky. Mr. Steve Johnson, Director of the Office for the Blind will give us an up-date on what the future holds for us as blind consumers. I have also invited Susan Craft, Director of the Department for Training and Re-employment to explain the purpose of the One-Stop facilities and how they will deliver service to the blind. I have extended an invitation to Burt Boyer, Director of Field Services at the American Printing House for the Blind and, Alumnus of the Kentucky School for the Blind. Mr. Boyer will speak to us concerning the on-going attempts by the Kentucky Department of Education to dismantle the campus-based programs at the Kentucky School for the Blind. It is my hope that Johnny Grissom, Associate Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education will be available to answer questions regarding the Implementation Plan that has been adopted by KDE.

Saturday evening brings us to the annual banquet. The festivities will begin with a cocktail hour from 6:00 until 7:00, immediately followed by dinner. Kenny Jones, Treasurer of NFBK, will be our master of ceremonies. I hope we get our money's worth. Our National Representative for this year's convention is Pam Allen, President of the Louisiana Affiliate and member of the National Board of Directors. As is the custom, our National Representative will deliver the keynote address. It has been a tradition over the years to present awards at the banquet. It is always exciting to learn which of our students will receive the NFB of Kentucky Emerson Foulke Memorial scholarship. We are equally surprised and delighted when other awards are presented to deserving members and supporters of NFBK. George Stokes, Second Vice-President of NFBK is chairing the awards committee. If you would like to nominate someone you can contact Mr. Stokes at (502) 875-3111 . The cost of a banquet ticket for those who pre-register is $20. Latecomers beware, you will pay $30. Let's dress to the nines and make our NFBK banquet a truly elegant event.

The convention will come to a close on Sunday morning. The Computer Users Division will conduct its annual business meeting from 8:00 until 9:30 AM. Immediately following the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille in Kentucky will hold its division meeting from 9:30 until 11:00 AM.

Door prizes are very much a part of our state convention. For years Denise Franklin has been in charge of this activity. This year she has appointed Nickie Priddy, Member of the Board of Directors of NFBGL to fill her shoes. I am not sure if Nickie's feet or mouth are quite as big as Denise's, but I know she will do a fine job. We need gifts for both men and women. You can never go wrong with money. I do not know of a single person who would refuse cash.

I have asked Sandra Williams if she could be available to give general directions and a description of the hotel for anyone who is interested in independent travel. Contact Sandra when you arrive at the hotel to arrange a time to meet with her.

For those of you who have small children you will be pleased to know that childcare will be provided during all general sessions and for the Saturday evening banquet. The cost will be $10.00 per child. There is space provided on the pre-registration form to reserve a place for your child or children. If you are interested in using this service please let us know so that we can make appropriate accommodations.

It is no secret that Kentucky is hosting the 2005 national convention again next summer. These conventions are an expensive undertaking to say the least. That is why the NFBK Officers and Board Members have agreed to do a unique fundraiser. We are sponsoring a reverse raffle. The grand prize will be $500. But instead of the first name drawn being the winner, the last person drawn will walk away five hundred dollars richer. Every name in the jackpot will be drawn out and announced beginning at the Friday evening social and continuing until the last name is drawn at the banquet. To make our first annual reverse raffle even more exciting, we plan to draw for additional prizes along the way. We will reward both the person who sells the most chances and the person selling the winning ticket. A $10 donation will enter you in the contest. This event should generate excitement, competition and oh yes, money.

I want to extend my personal invitation to all of you to attend our National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky State Convention. You definitely want to be among those who are changing what it means to be blind.


Cathy Jackson, President

NFB of Kentucky

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KENTUCKY ROUNDUP

This section is reserved for Chapter and Division news, so if you don't see your group mentioned, ask your Chapter or Division president and urge him/her to report to us.

The NFB of Greater Louisville is on the move. In February, we hosted another successful chili supper and bingo. After many years as our cook, Dennis Franklin cheerfully turned over the apron and chili pot to Nickie Priddy, Maria Jones and crew. The result was a deliciously enjoyable evening. The following Board was elected in April at our spring luncheon: President, Denise Franklin; Vice-president, Tonia Boyd; Secretary, Melanie Peskoe; Treasurer, Maria Jones; Directors, Nickie Priddy and Stephanie Brown. In June we sponsored a cookout at the Charles McDowell Center where food and Federation spirit were served up in generous portions. Thanks to Glenn White for manning the grill. Several of our members who attended the national convention in Atlanta took advantage of NFBGL's financial assistance in the form of paid registration fee. We are looking forward to hosting this year's state convention and hope that everyone will join us for a fun-filled evening at our Montecarlo Night on Friday, September 10. We continue to maintain our "talking bulletin board" where announcements of activities and upcoming events can be heard. The number is (502) 495-7130 .

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NAPUB members were busy during the winter selling chances on a "Romantic Weekend at the Galt House." The prize included two nights at the hotel, a certificate for dinner for two, and gift basket filled with lots of romantic goodies. Congratulations to Susan Strange for being the prize winner. Proceeds from the raffle will be used to encourage blind students to participate in the Braille Readers are Leaders contest. The NAPUB board is currently planning a party, in mid-October, to kick off the 2004-05 Contest. At this party, 2003-04 participants will be recognized and honored. We had two individuals from Kentucky who received national recognition in the Most Improved category, and we too will recognize their accomplishments. We invite anyone who is interested to join us at the Braille Readers Are Leaders Kick-Off Party. For more information, contact, Lora Felty, NAPUB President, at lorafelty@... or (606) 324-3394 .

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SOUND OFF

Have you heard or seen something that might be considered controversial? If you have strong feelings about it and want to let others know, this is your place to "sound off." You may also wish to voice your opinion on what others have said in this section. Here are this month's offerings.

Driving, A Mixed Blessing

BY Kenneth Jones

There is hardly a subject that generates more conversation, debate and jokes than bioptic driving. It has been the topic on all three local television newscasts, both positive and negative, and has been discussed within the blind and visually impaired community. Can a person who is blind really be a safe driver, or are we just kidding ourselves? Let me take a moment to share a few of my thoughts and experiences on the issue.

I began my journey into this new world about two years after accepting a job in Frankfort. Moving to Frankfort was not an option, so I thought bioptic driving was the answer to solve the problem of this long daily commute. In November of last year my name came up for evaluation. Even though I had returned to work in Louisville, I began the process of getting into the program just in case a position of interest outside of the Louisville area opened. I also believed having the ability to drive would improve the quality of life for my family. I began behind-the-wheel training in January after meeting all visual qualifications that included an evaluation at the McDowell Center by a Low Vision Specialist, being fitted for a bioptic, and obtaining my learner's permit.

I had excellent training given by a patient, but yet demanding instructor. She gave me a pat on the back when I expressed doubt in myself, and kicked me in the seat of the pants when I got a bit too cocky. She corrected me harshly when I deserved it. However, mostly she provided me driving experiences in a variety of settings including residential neighborhoods, two lane highways, country roads, interstate highways, and downtown. The biggest challenges were changing lanes when first receiving instruction outside of a residential neighborhood and driving and merging on interstate highways. I felt a little uneasy when taking the driving test in March, not about my ability to drive, but my ability to back up without veering and parallel parking. I did not pass my driving test the first time because I did experience problems with these two skills.

I felt much more confident the second time I took the driving test in April. I had the opportunity to practice parallel parking and backing, along with merging onto the interstate. I passed! You would think that I would be jumping up and down, but I was unbelievably unmoved and calm. I felt more tired from not sleeping well the night before and relieved than anything. I did drive back to work, but when a friend asked if I wanted to drive when some of us went to lunch, I declined. Passing the driving test the second time rather than the first provided me more practice that allowed me to improve my skills that allowed me to be a more confident and safe driver.

The test is given by two state police officers. One sits in front with you, giving directions, and the other sits in the back seat watching your head movements as you dip to see through your monocular. You are instructed to back up, park, and parallel park while at Bowmans Field. This is all that a person who obtains a typical driver's license is required to do. The rest of the bioptic driver's test takes place in a residential neighborhood and a business district. You must travel on an interstate highway and roads that are controlled by stop signs and various types of stop lights. There are a couple of tricky turns that most drivers do not execute correctly. The entire test takes about forty-five minutes.

I was fortunate enough to already have the vehicle in mind I wanted upon passing the test. I drove it for the first time unsupervised about a week after passing. Would you believe it was on a rainy day? Just my luck! I was more than a bit nervous.

I believe my skills continue to improve the more I drive. It is difficult for me to imagine that I once experienced problems doing some of the things that come natural to me now. I still have problems with some skills such as backing into a parking space. Many drivers do this with relative ease. To me, driving comes as a mixed blessing. There are moments that I enjoy driving and other moments I dread it. Although at times it is enjoyable, there are other moments when it is not only enjoyable, but stressful.

There are two major lessons that I have learned through my limited experience. They are that most drivers do not abide by speed limits and that you must pay attention to the road. I do try to stay within the speed limit and am passed by most drivers. Just when you least expect it, other drivers and pedestrians will do about anything. It only takes one error in judgment or attention for an accident to occur.

Anyone interested in being a bioptic driver should be prepared for the pressure that follows. Although there will be some who commend you for your efforts, there will be others who will be critical. If you are fortunate enough to obtain your driver's license, be prepared to be under the spotlight. Any other driver can get a ticket or be involved in an automobile accident and no one will bat an eye. But you will be under the gun if you are a bioptic driver.

Can a bioptic driver be a safe driver? I believe yes, but truly only time will tell. There must be adequate time allowed to license enough drivers in Kentucky and other states that allow bioptic drivers. When reliable statistics become available, they should be analyzed without bias.

Misguided Generosity

By Denise Franklin

If you have been in the Louisville area this spring and summer and watched the local news on WAVE-TV Channel 3, you are probably aware of all the stories surrounding Lois June Jackson, the blind woman who purchased a house and, after signing on the dotted line, discovered that her new home was riddled with structural and mechanical flaws. According to WAVE-TV, this "poor blind woman" had no way of knowing that her house was in such a state of disrepair.

These stories did not evoke feelings of pity in me. Instead, I was outraged to think of the viewing public who shook their heads and assumed that blind people are easy prey and shouldn't enter into home-purchasing contracts. Afterall, television is a powerful and influencial media, and the stories were designed to tug at the heartstrings.

The appeal must have worked. In the last few days, reports have featured Ms. Jackson's house where dozens of volunteers stand ready to do the necessary repairs. We are also informed that approximately $70,000 in labor and materials has been donated. Please don't misunderstand me. It is heart-warming to be part of such a generous community, however, I can't help but wonder if those deep pockets would be available if, for example, financial assistance was solicited for orientation and mobility training, an expenditure which would truly promote independence for the blind.

I can point to dozens of blind people who have purchased houses. Not one has encountered a situation of this magnitude. Crumbling walls, sloping floors and a bathtub sitting in dirt are all significant problems and fairly easy to detect. And when a realtor tells you that he can't be available for you to bring someone to look over the property, "buyer beware." A dose of common sense is often our most valuable tool.

I sincerely hope that Ms. Jackson will be happy in her new home. Federationists have our work cut out for us: Repairing the tarnished image of the blind home-buyer which WAVE-TV has portrayed.

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HAVE YOU HEARD?

After nineteen years in the same house, Denise and Dennis Franklin decided it was time to downsize. In January, they moved into a patio-home equipped with all the modern conveniences. "It's really great to have the laundry and everything on one floor," Denise admitted. Dennis says he's never seen prettier flowers and shrubs--he didn't have to raise a hand to plant or maintain them. If you can't find the Franklins at home, you might check the pool. We here they've been spending lots of time there.

Susan Strange of our NAPUB division, has been pulling out pictures and showing them to anyone who will look. No, they're not snapshots of husband Jeff or the Maltese pets. Susan is a first-time grandma. Jayden was born on July 20. He weighed in at lb9 oz6 and measured 21-1/2 inches long. Mom and Dad, Angelica and Jason, are enjoying their precious little bundle, but not half as much as Grandma. Congratulations Miss Sue.

Sharon and Mario Eiland of the Louisville chapter recently moved into a brand new house which was built to their specifications. Mario says, "At first it felt like living in a hotel." The Eilands have settled in and that new house is feeling more like a home these days. That nice big front porch would be a wonderful place to spend summer evenings. Hey, guys, this looks like one of those houses for the "growing family." Is that true?

The Kentucky School for the Blind is running out of space! In an effort to utilize existing facilities, it is making available copies of permanent records to alumni. If you attended KSB and would like to obtain your file, call Denise Pestel at (502) 897-1583 . The files can be picked up or mailed to you.

If you happen to find yourself in Ashland, Kentucky, you just might see Lora Felty. If you do, don't bother asking, "What's new?" This spring Lora underwent three eye surgeries and a gallbladder surgery, all within about six weeks. She says things are looking up and she's beginning to feel like herself again. But if it's all the same to you, she'd rather not need the services of the medical profession for quite a while. Good Luck, Lora.

That "relocation bug" is really getting around. Melanie Peskoe of the Louisville chapter, and husband Mike, have just purchased a larger home. Be careful, Mel, you'd be surprised how quickly all those extra closets can fill up. We're sure little Megan is having fun making new friends in the neighborhood.

Pamela and John Glisson certainly know what it means to have a "close call." On July 8, as they were heading back to Lexington following a visit with John's niece in a Paducah hospital, they were rear-ended by an out-of-control vehicle. Rescuers had to use "the jaws of life" to extract the victims. They all suffered back injuries and their son, who was driving, had severe head trauma and was delirious for a couple of hours afterward. Pamela was also left with a badly injured leg and foot and her nose was almost broken. We wish everyone a speedy recovery and are truly grateful that this "close call" wasn't any closer.

Last May, Tonia Boyd decided to go cruising, but she didn't need any wheels to do it. For a week she lived in the lap of luxury aboard Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas. She visited several tropical ports, doing extensive shopping along the way. If you see her, be sure to ask why you should never leave the balcony door open when Room service is being delivered.

Tammy Ruggles is legally blind and lives in Tollesboro, Kentucky. She was educated at Maysville Community College and Morehead State University where she received a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and a Master's in Adult Education/Counseling. Over the past few years she has written several magazine articles, poems and children's stories. This summer, however, she has produced her first hard-cover book entitled Peace. The book is a collection of historical and contemporary quotes on peace from famous and significant people. If you would like more information about ordering this book, call (888) 253-2747 , or visit www.clearlightbooks.com.

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HODGEPODGE

Following are the responses we received to our puzzle. We asked that you make a sentence using the letters C A R D I N A L as the first letters of the words in the sentence. These offerings come to us from Stephanie Brown and Kathy Garrett.

  • Come and run down Interstate ninety and look.
  • Come and read, "Dogs inhale nature and live."
  • Come and rub down in nasty aloe lotion.
  • Canes are really dependable in night and light.
  • Can a red dragon inhale nothing and live?
  • Carol and Robert's daughter inspired Nancy and Larry.
  • Cities are really dark in narrow alley lanes.

Thanks girls!

THE COOK'S NOOK

By Robbie McClave

The recipes for this issue of The Cardinal come from Mittie Lake. Most of you reading this know Mittie. She certainly is no stranger to NFB. She has been a member since the early 1950s. She has lived in Louisville all of her life except for 3 years when she moved out of town. She attended the Kentucky School for the Blind. She used to have partial vision but lost her sight entirely when her kids were teenagers. She has 2 children, 4 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Some of you may remember her husband Joe who died in 1983. In addition to baking, Mittie loves to talk, sew and knit. She keeps her sewing on one side of her and her knitting on the other. On more than one occasion, she has donated a hand knit afghan to be used at the state convention. Even though she doesn't need to refer to her recipes for her own cooking, she stores them in notebooks behind her chair so that they are handy to give to anyone who asks. She has a notebook of recipes for muffins, brownies, and bread. She also has a collection for pies and tarts as well as one for meats and vegetables. She also has a compilation of recipes for cakes and frostings. When baking a cake, Mittie often uses 3 throw away pans instead of a 9 X 13 inch pan so that she can give her baked goods away for more people to enjoy. Mittie said she was glad to share her recipes; but she laughingly added," Don't fuss at me if you get fat."

    Quick Banana Nut Bread
  • 3 C sugar
  • 1 C margarine
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 4 C flour
  • 2 C mashed bananas
  • 1 C chopped nuts

Mix sugar, margarine, eggs and salt in a large bowl. Then add soda, buttermilk, flour, mashed bananas and chopped nuts. Mix well. Pour into 3 well greased loaf pans, putting 2 heaping cups of batter into each pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Turn out on racks to cool. Wrap well. This banana nut bread freezes well.

    Milky Way Cake
  • 14 oz package of fun size Milky Way bars or 8 of the 1 3/4 oz Milky Way bars
  • 1 ½ C butter divided
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 ½ C flour
  • 4 eggs well beaten
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ¼ C buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Melt the Milky Way candy bars with 1/2 C butter. Cool. Cream the remaining butter with sugar. Add beaten eggs and cooled chocolate mixture. Sift flour and baking soda together. Alternately add flour and buttermilk to the batter. Grease 9 X 13 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

    Frosting for Milky Way Cake
  • 3 fun size Milky Way candy bars
  • ½ C butter
  • 2 C confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Milk or cream as needed

Melt candy in butter. Add sugar and vanilla. Blend in just enough milk or cream to make it the right consistency to spread. Actually, any chocolate frosting taste great on the Milky Way cake.

    Chess Pie
  • 1 stick butter melted
  • 1 TBSN corn meal
  • 1 TBSN vinegar
  • 1 TBSN vanilla
  • 1 ½ C sugar
  • 3 well beaten eggs
  • ½ tsp salt optional
  • 1 unbaked pie shell

Melt butter in microwave. Add corn meal, vinegar, salt, vanilla and sugar. Stir thoroughly. Add eggs and beat again with a spoon. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes.

Mittie said she got this recipe from Nancy Scott who many readers of The Cardinal know.

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly." - Richard Bach