Fight breast cancer any way you can
I was invited to speak to a group in Pensacola last summer and my lovely wife, Lisa, decided she would go along to keep me company.Funny thing, that.When I was invited to Hahira she let me go it alone.A weekend at the beach and I need accompaniment.
While we were in the area I felt that I owed it to myself to visit the Flora-Bama Lounge, of Jimmy Buffett fame.We went in the daytime and had a fish sandwich.The place was pretty quiet except for the work crew that was shoring up the stage for an upcoming performance, but we enjoyed exploring the diveand imagining what the place would be like full of late-night revelers.
The joint was immense. There were several stages and many bar areas. In one of them I noticed women's bras hanging from the rafters. Lots and lots of bras in a variety of colors, styles and sizes.
I don't remember how the fish sandwich tasted at the Flora-Bama Lounge and I couldn't tell you what I had to drink or what the server looked like and I can't describe the decor, but I still remember the ladies' undergarments dangling from the 20-foot high ceiling. They made quite an impression on me.
Now I told you that to tell you this.
October is upon us and October -- all 31 days of it -- is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Orange used to be October's dominant color. Now it is pink. Everywhere you go you will see pink. The purpose of all the pinkness is to remind us all that there is a killer among us. That killer -- breast cancer -- directly affects thousands of women each year, and indirectly affects all of us.
Individuals and groups go to great lengths -- year round, but especially in October -- to make us aware of the seriousness of this deadly disease. Athletic teams dress out in pink uniforms and baseball players step to the plate wielding pink bats. People dress in pink clothes and carry pink umbrellas and, well -- you know what all folks do because they have been doing it for a while.
And because most of us have become so accustomed to the things people do during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, proponents of breast cancer awareness are always trying to come up with new ways to grab our attention. Activists in the city of Savannah came up with a real doozy this year, but the city manager called foul and nipped the plan in the bud. (Don't blame me; I got that line from Barney Fife.)
Caroline Keller, board president of that city's chapter of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, revealed that a planned event called "Bras Across Broughton" had been nixed by the city. The plan, publicized by several Savannah radio stations, was to have residents donate bras that would be strung across Broughton Street at four major intersections. A local car dealer had offered to donate a dollar each for the first 5,000 brassieres donated.
Sounds like a good idea to me. I am proof positive that at least part of the populace would notice. See the Flora-Bama reference above.
But City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney said that Savannah didn't want women's undergarments hanging across one of the city's main streets. She said it was in poor taste.
Are you kidding me? Have you been to Savannah on St. Patrick's Day? Do you know what goes on down on River Street? Apparently it is fine for women to display their bosoms in the name of debauchery on the 17th day of March each year, but not OK to make a point during one week in October in the name of saving the lives of women.
My lovely wife, Lisa, and I, have been advocates of breast cancer awareness for a while now. We have walked hundreds of miles and helped raise thousands of dollars in hopes of helping find a cure for the insidious disease. If you look through this paper's archives you'll find that I write a column about the subject just about every year. Since I wrote the last one another 40,000 women have died in this country from breast cancer. That's about 111 each day. That is a lot of lives lost and a lot of people affected.
People need to know. People need to join the fight -- and if stringing a few foundational support garments across a city street for a few days will help call attention to the situation -- well, shame on Savannah for saying no.
I don't know exactly where on Broughton the bras were to have been displayed, but I do know what is just a few blocks south of Broughton. A cemetery.
We need to find a cure. It's October again. Please find a way to help.