David Gregory has a condition that causes him to need a van equipped with a chair lift so he can access it from the driver’s seat of his vehicle. The van he currently uses is in poor shape, so he is in need of a new van. Friends have opened a bank account to help him get the equipment he needs.
HOMOSASSA — David Gregory knows that life is precarious.
Born with osteogenesis imperfecta, brittle bone disease, he’s had more than 80 broken bones in his 61 years, has spent weeks in traction and has undergone surgeries to have steel rods implanted in his legs.
In 2004, Gregory had heart bypass and aortic valve replacement surgery — serious enough for someone with normal bones, but for him, the risks were multiplied.
But he recovered and returned to work at the county property appraiser’s office in Crystal River 10 weeks later.
“With this disease, it’s bad when you’re young,” Gregory said. “In middle age you get better — your bones harden. Then when you get older, you go downhill again.”
When he was younger, in his 30s, he worked as a garage mechanic. He lifted machinery; he dug ditches. Throughout his adult years he has operated boats at the Marine Science Station, managed a Wilson’s Leather store and worked as a substitute teacher.
He could walk.
“I walked with a limp, but I was normal — in my opinion,” he said.
When he could no longer walk, he began using a motorized scooter. To get it onto the rack on the back of his car he would prop himself against the car and “drive” the scooter onto the rack using his hands, secure the gate behind it, then slowly make his way into the car.
When he got to work, he would reverse the process and do it again to go home.
He’s never been one to give up.
Five years ago, he got a van, a 1993 Ford E-150, with a lift. Even then it was old, but it lifted his chair, which lifted his spirits.
But now, the van keeps breaking down and the lift broke. A friend loaned him a lift that hooks on the back, which means he has to walk from the back to get into the driver’s seat, and he can’t walk well anymore.
“I call it my ‘McGuyver van,’” Gregory said. “I keep a roll of duct tape, nylon string and a tool kit handy.”
The list of what’s wrong with it is longer than what works.
His friends have opened up an account for him at TD Bank, 1000 S.E. U.S. 19, Crystal River, to help him purchase a wheelchair-accessible van.
He found a van with a lift and a chair included on Craigslist for $3,000, although he said he hasn’t looked at it yet or even knows if it’s still available. The owner lives in Sanford.
“For the past five years I’ve lived on a contingency basis, fixing things as they break,” he said. “Even my chair. I’d think, ‘Which one will go first?’ I was able to get a chair at the Sheriff’s store for $200 the day before my other chair gave out.”
Gregory said he tries to stay hopeful and positive, but is struggling to do so. He’s not one to complain, and said he knows other people have it much worse than he does.
“He tries so hard,” said his supervisor, Sandy Garrison. “He’s always here, he’s a hard worker. He’s a thinker and so intelligent. It’s a shame, though. He just can’t seem to catch a break.”
For information, call David Gregory at (352) 228-3230.
Chronicle reporter Nancy Kennedy can be reached at (352) 564-2927 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whatever the threat, be it real or a false flag operation, these brave men and women, answer the call to protect their homes, their families, their country. We will always be eternally grateful.
It is the
not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion. It is the VETERAN,
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press. It is the VETERAN,
not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN,
not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN,
not the politician, Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the
VETERAN who salutes the Flag,
It is the VETERAN who serves under the Flag,
ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD, AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON
Bless them all!!!
BREAKING, February 8th: It’s working! The House vote to extend the PATRIOT Act just failed. But they’re not going to give up — now, more than ever, we need people to keep the pressure on. Sign the petition and tell your friends to sign as well!
UPDATE, February 7th: The House is trying to ram through a sneaky renewal of the PATRIOT Act this week! They’re doing it without debate, and without including any meaningful reforms. Please sign the petition below, and use this page to call your lawmaker to urge him or her to vote no.
ORIGINAL: The PATRIOT Act is set to expire in just FOUR WEEKS, but Congress is trying to rush through a last minute extension!
Since it was passed almost a decade ago, some of the most noxious portions of the PATRIOT Act have burrowed their way deep into our legal system. A year ago, President Obama signed a bill extending three provisions of the original PATRIOT Act; last week Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) introduced legislation to extend them again.
Together, these provisions make a mockery of our civil liberties: They let government officials spy on whomever they want, for any reason, without ever letting them know or giving them a chance to challenge the order in court.
Enough is enough: Will you join us in demanding that Congress finally let these provisions expire? Just add your name at right, and we’ll automatically send a message to your senator, representative, and President Obama:
TO MY ELECTED OFFICIALS: After nearly ten years, it’s time to let the PATRIOT Act expire once and for all. I urge you to oppose its re-authorization.
Add your name and we’ll deliver your message to Washington.
by Eric Jotkoff
Today, Charlie Crist appointed his old campaign manager and political crony George LeMieux to the United States Senate. While the U.S. Senate is taking up important legislation focusing on our economy, global warming, and health insurance reform – Floridians needed Charlie Crist to appoint a Senator who would fight for us in Washington. Unfortunately, by appointing LeMieux, Crist once again put his own political ambition above doing what is right for Florida.
For the past several years, LeMieux has been a special interest lobbyist who has made millions of dollars selling access to Crist to the highest corporate bidders in Tallahassee. Because he has never been elected to any office, “Senator” LeMieux has only ever been beholden to Charlie Crist, Republican Party donors, and his special interest clients – not the people of Florida.
This is just one more example of the Republican leadership in Tallahassee putting cronyism and corruption above the people of our state. From Ray Sansom, to former lobbyist Bill McCollum, to George LeMieux, it is clear that we must stand together and pledge to end the Republican culture of cronyism and corruption in Tallahassee:
In Tallahassee, the Republican culture of cronyism and corruption has run amuck.
Not only is Charlie Crist playing political games rather than working on behalf of the people of Florida, with the latest example
being his pick for U.S. Senate, but LeMieux’s appointment is just another in a long line of the cronyism and corruption from Republicans
After Republican Speaker Ray Samson’s indictment and revelations about the Republican Party of Florida’s AmEx slush fund, now Charlie Crist taps his friend and campaign manager to go to the U.S. Senate. The shady, backroom dealings that have led to such a culture of corruption and cronyism have got to stop!
That’s why we need you to stand up against the culture of cronyism and corruption. Join me in standing against Charlie Crist’s appointment of
his crony, lobbyist George LeMieux and all the backroom deals that have become the status quo in Tallahassee.
The US oil and gas lobby are planning to stage public events to give the appearance of a groundswell of public opinion against legislation that is key to Barack Obama’s climate change strategy, according to campaigners.A key lobbying group will bankroll and organise 20 ”energy citizen” rallies in 20 states. In an email obtained by Greenpeace, Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API), outlined what he called a “sensitive” plan to stage events during the August congressional recess to put a “human face” on opposition to climate and energy reform.After the clamour over healthcare, the memo raises the possibility of a new round of protests against a key Obama issue.”Our goal is to energise people and show them that they are not alone,” said Cathy Landry, for API, who confirmed that the memo was authentic.The email from Gerard lays out ambitious plans to stage a series of lunchtime rallies to try to shape the climate bill that was passed by the house in June and will come before the Senate in September. “We must move aggressively,” it reads.The API strategy also extends to a PR drive. Gerard cites polls to test the effectiveness of its arguments against climate change legislation. It offers up the “energy citizen” rallies as ready-made events, noting that allies – which include manufacturing and farm alliances as well as 400 oil and gas member organizations – will have to do little more than turn up.”API will provide the up-front resources,” the email said. “This includes contracting with a highly experienced events management company that has produced successful rallies for presidential campaigns.”However, it said member organizations should encourage employees to attend to command the attention of senators. “In the 11 states with an industry core, our member company local leadership – including your facility manager’s commitment to provide significant attendance – is essential,” said the email.Greenpeace described the meetings as “astroturfing” – events intended to exert pressure on legislators by giving the impression of a groundswell of public opinion. Kert Davies, its research director, said: “It is the behind the scenes plan to disrupt the debate and weaken political support for climate regulation.”The rally sites were chosen to exert maximum pressure on Democrats in conservative areas. The API also included talking points for the rallies – including figures on the costs of energy reform that were refuted weeks ago by the congressional budget office.The API drive also points to a possible fracturing of the US Climate Action Partnership (Uscap), a broad coalition of corporations and energy organizations which was instrumental in drafting the Waxman-Markey climate change bill that passed in the House of Representatives in June.Passage of the legislation is seen as crucial to the prospects of getting the world to sign on to a climate change treaty at Copenhagen next December.Five members of Uscap are also in API, including BP which said its employees were aware of the rallies. Conoco Phillips, which was also a member of the climate action partnership, has also turned against climate change, warning on its website that the legislation will put jobs at risk, and compromise America’s energy security. The company is also advertising the energy rallies on its website, urging readers: “Make your voice heard.”However, Shell, also a member of both groups, said it did not support the rallies. Bill Tenner, a spokesman, said: “We are not participating.”
Once again it will remain to be seen how many of the blind followers will jump on Corporate America’s bandwagon? Your interests ARE NOT theirs!
We need health care now, public health care, and no amount of crap from corporate America is going to change that, it always amazes me when the media can make you believe that the small amount of monies (comparatively speaking) that go to poor people is the root of all our problems! Why don’t you figure it out, really look at the figures, the war machine, Cheney and friends, total Cost of the Wars Since 2001 and that’s not even supplying our troops with adequate equipment, and supplying them with substandard healthcare when they return. Remember the Walter Reed debacle! Did you know that Bush wanted to eliminate combat pay for the military in Iraq! Combat pay, a paltry $75.00 extra a month, apparently he was fearful that the billions going to his pals might be affected.
$900,894,690,063 for war in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, the war was not, I repeat, NOT NECESSARY, THE REASONS FOR US TO INVADE WERE FALSE, IT WAS STAGED, FOR THE CARYSLE GROUP, THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. FURTHER, 9 TRILLION HAS BEEN LENT OUT BY THE FEDERAL RESERVE TO THE BEHOMOTHS OF CORPORATE AMERICA IN ONE YEAR!
Bush family has destroyed this country, when the old man was in office it was only the saving and loan that collapsed and the taxpayer had to bail it out, but you can certainly say the biggest was yet to come. Georgee Boy, collapsed the whole world economy, now that’s an achievement. But somehow it’s the people fault. In a way, I guess it is, when we silently stood by and let the criminals steal the election by fraud, and then start and continue an illegal war.
Since 911 was contrived and orchestrated to happen one would think that there would be an uprising over that, but it is much easier to blame a less powerful enemy, the people, for your problems. And if socialism means we get healthcare, that’s just fine with me. The best possible Democracy is a socialist Democracy. They don’t usually stay around too long because our CIA infiltrates and destroys. We are a socialist country now, the only problem being, is the only people who receive the benefits now, are the rich! It is nice to know your tax dollars benefit so many wealthy individuals. I guess it is because you believe you too might one day be wealthy, and then you woke up, unfortunately, it will be too late.
8 WAYS HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM PROVIDES SECURITY AND STABILITY TO ALL AMERICANS
1. Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.
2. Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
4. Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
5. Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.
6. Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
7. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
8. Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won’t be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.
Learn more and get details:
8 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM
1. It’s a myth that reform will mean a “government takeover” of health care or lead to “rationing.” To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.
2. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.
3. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.
4. It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans’ access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President’s budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.
5. It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.
6. It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare “doughnut” hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.
7. It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.
8. It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts. Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose. Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make.
Learn more and get details:
There’s a great new site that offers Notary service for Citrus County and Free Downloads of Legal Documents. What is unique about the site is that it offers the legal documents that you can fill in on your computer! Be sure to check it out and save yourself some money by not needing paralegals or lawyers for certain documents. HAVENOTARYWILLTRAVEL.INFO
I would like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt? But the way things are in this country today it is imperative that a narrative be created as soon as possible so that President-Elect Obama understands, that we the people do not want a United States that is run by Corporate America. A Corporate America that views conflicts as money making opportunities. Until President-Elect Obama realizes that, we the people want this country back, there is a temptation to succumb to the whims of the military-industrial complex! Yes, most wars are NOT necessary, especially the conflicts going on today. The tragedies that have been inflicted upon our people has been the direct result of the military-industrial complex plots of subversion. It is going to be a difficult road to walk, but the new President must walk it! There is always the fear that if he steps over the line, they will not permit it. But we, the people want our country back, that is why you were elected, Mr. Obama, please don’t forget it. I know the perils of your journey, but you must have realized that at the get go. Don’t let us down.
OK, it’s been in the news most of the day, that the OPEC Nations are planning on cutting back production in the hopes of making oil barrel prices go up, the way they were during Bush’s heyday. Reaping all that ill gotten gains from fabricated emergencies and allowed acts of terrorism’s. But, more on that later, right now, all you have to do is drive around Citrus County and you can see that most gas stations have all ready increased their prices in anticipation of a cutback of oil production by the OPEC Nations. How blatant can price gouging be? The whole atmosphere of screwing the public has become the persona of business today in America, another example of the residue of the cronyism and crookedness that has pervaded most aspects of this Nation for the last eight years! It is especially apparent with the collapse of our whole economic system. I warned over two years ago that things were going to get much worst. I did this in the debate I had with the other candidates who were running in the special election for district 43. I ran as an independent and unfortunately the Republican party in Citrus County chooses to run on habit rather than substance. More on the debate later, this price gouging should be looked into immediately by Governor Crist! This type of gouging is not only immoral but may also be illegal. Step up to the plate Governor Crist, take the high road, find out what’s going on in Citrus County. By the way, oil barrel prices actually fell today to $40 a barrel! Now go figure? Must be the stations are getting ready for the holiday spirit!!
If you like this post, share it:
With love from Daddy’s girl
By Nancy Kennedy
Rebekah Lloyd jokes with her father, David Gregory, in the front yard of Gregory’s home as he arrived home from his job at the property appraiser’s office Wednesday evening in Homosassa. /CATHY KAPULKA/Chronicle
Even though she has to bend down to kiss her dad, Rebekah Lloyd said that in her eyes, he’s 8 feet tall.
After an especially difficult two years for her father, David Gregory, the former Miss Teen Citrus and Miss Citrus wants to take this Father’s Day to honor the man she calls Daddy.
“My dad is such an inspiration to me,” she said from her dad’s house in Homosassa. The 57-year-old Gregory adopted Lloyd and her two brothers, Zachary and James, when he met and married their mother. Lloyd was just a baby, and Gregory is the only father she has ever known.
“It doesn’t take DNA to make a dad,” she said.
“What’s most amazing to me about my dad — he was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a brittle bone disease. He’s in an electric wheelchair now, but he doesn’t let that stop him,” she said. “He has had over 100 broken bones and had to have steel rods put in his legs when he was a teenager; he has pain, and it hasn’t been easy for him. What’s most amazing is that the bone thing isn’t even an issue with him — he even walked me down the aisle at my wedding in 2004.”
Except for the joy of an only daughter’s wedding, 2004 was an especially difficult year for Gregory. A week after the wedding, his mother died, and then four months after that, his brother-in-law, who was his best friend, also died. Then his wife was diagnosed with heart disease and had two stints put in her heart.
Meanwhile, he was still walking, but started using a motorized scooter. However, he didn’t have a wheelchair-accessible van with a drive-up ramp like he has now. So, to transfer the scooter onto the rack on the back of his car, he had to prop himself against the car and “drive” the scooter using his hands onto the rack, secure the gate behind it, then slowly make his way into the car. When he got to work, he had to reverse the process, then do it again when he got home.
Currently, Gregory works at the Property Appraiser’s office in Crystal River. Prior to that he had various jobs: he operated Liberty Stagecoach delivery service, managed a Wilson’s Leather store in a mall in New Port Richey, operated boats at the Marine Science Center, worked at a bank, was a substitute teacher and a garage mechanic.
“He always worked,” Lloyd said. “I had dreams of being a model, and he drove me all over Tampa and Orlando to modeling things. I’d say, ‘Oh, Daddy — it’s only $500!’ and he’d say, ‘We can’t afford that, but you’re still beautiful, Honey.’”
Also in 2004, Gregory developed chest pains and discovered that he needed heart bypass and valve replacement surgery, which is serious enough for someone with normal bones. For him, the risks were multiplied.
On the morning of his surgery, Gregory’s children, his wife and her family and his dad all came to the hospital. “We all kissed him as he went into surgery; it was that risky,” Lloyd said.
But he recovered and returned to work 10 weeks later.
“I never looked at (the bone disease) as a hindrance; I just overcame anything I could,” Gregory said. He always told his kids: “Never let go of your goals and dreams.”
He also said he’s proud of his daughter and his two sons. Proud that they are accomplished and that they did it all on their own. Zachary, a sergeant in the Army, is in Iraq, he’s due back in Dec; James is a corrections guard in Bushnell; Lloyd put herself through college at USF using money she received from entering local scholarship pageants.
It was an exceptionally proud moment when Gregory walked his daughter down the aisle, with the help of his Irish shillelagh walking stick.
“I treasure the dance we had at the wedding,” he said. They danced to “Daddy’s Hands,” a country song that Lloyd used to sing to her daddy when she was little.
“I wasn’t allowed to drive until my senior year of high school, and I didn’t date until I was 16. When I wanted to go out with friends, my dad got in the car and they had to drive around the block so he could test out their driving capabilities,” she said.
“At the time I thought, ‘You’re so strict; it’s not fair,’ but now that I’m 27 … and have two stepdaughters of my own, I know now why he did it. I know exactly where Daddy was coming from, and I’m better for it.”