We had so much fun at the Pink Ribbon Symposium and the 20th Anniversary of Buddy Check 12. They both took place on October 6, 2012 at the Hyatt Hotel in Jacksonville. Al and I attended. When we were in the Galapagos Islands we learned about booby birds, an endangered species endemic to those islands. Well, of course, we bought t-shirts with booby birds on them for souvenirs. We wore them to the symposium. I made a pink sign that said "Galapagos Islands preserves boobies! So does Buddy Check 12!” Just another creative way of saying, "Save the TaTas!" Several people asked us where we got the booby shirts and we had to tell them “South America.” Many people had not heard of the Galapagos Islands so we enlightened them. Jeanne Blaylock, the originator of the Buddy Check system, was there. I had taken her a copy of the framed poem that I wrote before the event. I also gave her the large pink crystal to use as a paperweight for her desk. She loves the gifts!
Al had so much fun with his t-shirts! I thought he would be bored at a predominantly female event but halfway through the symposium he changed into his t-shirt that said, “Save a life, Grope your wife! Save the Tatas!” Well, instantly he became the hit of the symposium! Strangers were asking to take his picture. Dozens of wives wanted to know where he got the shirt and this time he could give them a local address. They all said, “I want one of those for my husband!” We did not see any other men with this t-shirt there. I explained to everyone who inquired about it that I never let Al wear it unless I am with him. I’m afraid he will get arrested for sexual harassment! When he wears it out in public, I follow him around and say, “He’s talking about breast cancer! I’m a breast cancer survivor! Please don’t call the cops!”
Peggy Fleming was the guest speaker for the Pink Ribbon Symposium. She won the Olympic Gold Medal for figure skating in 1968 and is a 13 year breast cancer survivor. We met her and got her autograph. She spoke about having a positive attitude in sports and how the same positive attitude helped her get through her battle with breast cancer – as my positive attitude is doing for me! We also saw staff from the offices of our eye doctor and dermatologist. And our allergist Dr. Sinha was there! She gave us both hugs. She was the one who recommended that I drink the alkaline water. As it turned out, her daughter is one of the two oncologists who sponsor the Pink Ribbon Symposium. No wonder she knows so much about cancer treatment!
Jeanne had asked me and Al to sit on the front row during her talk about Buddy Check 12. She wanted to acknowledge some of the Buddy Check survivors. So we stood up and I showed the audience my booby shirt and my sign. I had Al stand up to show them his ‘grope your wife’ shirt and they all laughed! Then we all went outside by the river and did the Tata Cha Cha in honor of Buddy Check 12! A friend told me later that the TV Station showed my picture but I did not see it. I later found it posted on the Buddy Check 12 Facebook page.
Life is good! I have no complaints! My God is an awesome God! In November I will take my second dream vacation with Al to another place I've always wanted to see - Antarctica! Icebergs, penguins, and humpbacked whales!
Pictures show me and Al at the symposium with our booby bird t-shirts and sign; us with Jeanne Blaylock from our local NBC News station; Al and I with Peggy Fleming; Al wearing his ‘grope your wife’ shirt with me, Jeanne, another Buddy Check 12 survivor, and Jeanne’s father. I must say, Jeanne is very brave to be standing beside a man wearing a t-shirt that says ‘grope your wife’! Another picture shows my daughter Dorothy and I holding the gifts for Jeanne (picture and gem). Dorothy is my Buddy Check 12 buddy. The last picture was taken from my front yard and shows the beautiful pink sunset that God arranged for me the day before these wonderful celebrations of life!