THE CONSUMER VISION

October 2016

Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746

Phone: 508 994 4972

Email: bobbranco93@gmail.com

Website: www.consumervisionmagazine.com

Publisher: Bob Branco

Editor: Terri Winaught

Proofreader: Leonore Dvorkin

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Three asterisks *** are used to separate the title of each article from its author. In the same way, three asterisks *** are used between each article to make it easier to use your browser's search feature. In sections with several submissions, such as Special Notices, three asterisks are also used to separate the submissions.

1. A CORRECTION *** by Leonore Dvorkin

2. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR *** by Terri Winaught

3. RESPECTING OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM *** by Bob Branco (originally published in Word Matters, www.ernestdempsey.com)

4. MY WIRELESS EXPERIENCE *** by James R. Campbell

5. JUST CALL ME SUBWAY STEVE: My Job at the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority *** by Stephen A. Theberge

6. TOO MUCH MEDIA HYPE *** by Bob Branco (originally Published in Word Matters, www.ernestdempsey.com)

7. MOST EXPENSIVE U.S. HOUSE EVER NOW FOR SALE *** by Michael Melia, from The Associated Press

8. OCTOBER 15: NATIONAL WHITE CANE DAY *** by Ernie Jones

9. OF LANGUAGE BARRIERS AND TALKING AIDS FOR THE BLIND *** by James R. Campbell

10. IS STOP AND FRISK SUCCESSFUL? *** Op Ed by Terri Winaught

11. WHAT GRINDS YOUR GEARS? *** by Terri Winaught

12. SPECIAL NOTICES *** Submitted by Readers and Compiled by Bob Branco

13. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too) *** by Penny Fleckenstein

14. RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder

15. THE GREYHOUND: A DOG AS A WAY TO GET AROUND *** by John Justice

16. READERS' FORUM *** Submitted by Readers and Compiled by Bob Branco

17. DICK HAVOLIN'S SECRET *** by John Justice

18. A CAR OF HER OWN, Part Two *** by Karen Crowder

19. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST: Answer to Last Month's Question, Winners, and This Month's Question *** Submitted by Bob Branco

20. CONCLUDING NOTES FROM THE PROOFREADER *** Leonore Dvorkin

***

1. A CORRECTION

Hi, Bob.

I am sending this correction to some information I had put into the September issue. I thank our alert reader and contributor Jens Naumann for catching my embarrassing error! I said that 1.3 million people die in road crashes in the U.S. every year, and that as many as 50 million are injured or disabled. In reality, of course, those are GLOBAL road crash statistics. My problem was that I did not read my source material carefully enough, for which I apologize. Here are the actual U.S. figures: Over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year, and an additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled. Road crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year, or an average of $820 per person. Wikipedia gives somewhat different statistics, saying that there were 30,800 fatal crashes in the U.S. in 2012. Wikipedia also notes that the number of road crash deaths has declined over the last two decades. I have no way of verifying the accuracy of any of these figures, but I will repeat that I have read in multiple other places that over 90% of road crashes are caused by human error. Given all the drivers that one sees texting, eating, smoking, putting on makeup, tailgating, speeding, apparently driving drunk, and doing much, much more in the way of irresponsible behavior, I have no trouble believing this.

Wishing everyone safe travels,

Leonore Dvorkin

***

2. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Dear Consumer Vision Readers:

As I write this letter, summer is saying goodbye and fall will soon be turning summer's green leaves into groupings of gold and orange. As fall greets us with cooler winds and less humidity, many Pittsburghers say that they are eager for a reprieve from sultry summer temperatures.

Moving on from the weather, regular readers know that my most recent columns have been commentaries on current events. Though there is much in the news I could comment on, such as the bombings in New York and the two police shootings of unarmed Black males in the past two days, I' m going to share some much appreciated reader feedback instead.

Rowanna Bacchus is a regular reader whom I can' t commend enough because of how frequently she comments. Since one of Rowanna's most recent suggestions was the inclusion of more articles on independent living, I plan to speak with a retired rehabilitation teacher to ask what she considers the most important tips from which we, as people who are blind or have low vision, can benefit. I would also welcome any independent living columns from our current pool of talented writers or anyone who wants to be a first time contributor.

In addition to her suggestion of more independent living items, Miss Bacchus also expressed her opinion that Consumer Vision be read on the NFB Newsline, on which so many worthy publications can already be heard. If anyone else would like to see this, let me assure you that dedicated Publisher Bob Branco has already contacted that service's key decision maker. At this time, however, and for reasons known only to Scot White, he seems unwilling even to consider this possibility. Both as an Editor and as someone who loves this magazine, nothing would make me happier than for Mr. White to reconsider. Should that happen, Bob Branco, I, or both of us will let you know.

To conclude, I would like to thank Consumer Vision Publisher Bob Branco; Proofreader Leonore Dvorkin; former Editor Janet Marcley, and former Proofreader Chris Locovare for growing this magazine into such an excellent publication. Most of all, though, I' d like to thank you, our loyal readers, without whom there would be no magazine.

I also want to warmly welcome first time contributor Bruce Atchison to the Consumer Vision family. (See the Readers' Forum, section number 16 below.) Being familiar with this author's excellence, I hope that he will continue sharing his talents and insights.

To offer comments, make suggestions, or express opinions, always feel free to contact me at 412 263 2022 or twinaught@comcast.net. You are also welcomed and encouraged to share articles you would like to see included: something my good friend, Ernie College whom I mentioned last month  does regularly.

Thanks for reading with me, and have ongoing fun in October.

Sincerely,

Terri Winaught, Editor

***

3. RESPECTING OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM

by Bob Branco (Originally published in Word Matters, www.ernestdempsey.com)

Every time I go to an event where our national anthem is played, I stand up. I do this out of respect for our country and the freedoms we have. I am very proud of this country despite its problems, but I know that we have more freedoms and privileges than people have in many other countries throughout the world.

While I continue to honor the United States of America in this fashion, many other people do not. Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, is one of those people. Prior to an exhibition game, he decided not to stand up when our national anthem was playing. I understand his right not to stand, but I can also remind Mr. Kaepernick that he and many others have a lot more in common than he might think. None of us believe that this country is perfect, but I expect Kaepernick to respect our country for what it is. What he should remind himself of is that he has the freedom to play football, make millions of dollars doing it, and to come and go as he pleases.

As we evolve into a society that seems to be moving away from educating our children in American history, I find that more and more people are doing exactly what Colin Kaepernick did. Sometimes I wonder if we should all continuously be reminded of what the United States stands for and why it was founded over 200 years ago. We should also be reminded of what our brave soldiers fought for over the years, especially during the two World Wars. As our national anthem says,  O' er the land of the free and the home of the brave. It was bravery that allowed us to keep our freedom.

Yet, despite all that, television and radio stations don' t let us hear our National Anthem before sporting events. When I was a child, we heard that song before every game. Now, all we hear are commercials. This is one of the examples being set for people like Colin Kaepernick.

I' m sure that there are plenty of people who can' t wait to remind me that because of our freedoms, Colin Kaepernick can do whatever he wants to do. Yes, this is true. However, there are many aspects of life that deserve our complete respect, such as God, our parents, our teachers, and honorable songs.

***

4. MY WIRELESS EXPERIENCE

by James R. Campbell

On August 12, 2016, I spent two hours with a man named Mike Bates of Monahansea, Texas, 35 miles from Odessa. The visit was enjoyable. It was time well spent.

One of the gifts that Mike brought me that day was a wireless internet radio. It is made by Metrosonix Company, www.metrosonix.com. It is a stand alone unit that doesn' t depend on a computer to operate.

I was looking forward to using it, but Mike couldn' t help me: he is partially blind. I called the guy who works on our laptops. He came shortly before 4:30 that afternoon.

Even he had issues. The radio has a series of four buttons and a scroll knob. First, you must enter your router password. This is accomplished by using one of the buttons on the radio. Selecting an internet station requires the use of the buttons and the scroll knob. It took some effort for this man to find a classic rock station. All of this requires sighted help. A blind person can' t use the radio independently. Great care is needed if you push any buttons other than the on off button, and you need help to find your station. The power button is located in the lower right hand corner of the unit.

I called the Metrosonix company on August 24th. I talked to Jason, who works for the company. I suggested an arrangement similar to the setup on a laptop, with a tab button and arrows that would help a blind person find the station he or she wanted. I also mentioned a screen reader.

Jason told me that the microprocessor would present a challenge. The radio in question is too small to handle the microprocessor that the suggested arrangement would require.

One of my friends suggested voiceover. Why not? I don' t know what would be required, but I think it is feasible. Here again, we run into the same dilemma we have so often: no accessibility.

I sent an e mail to Ralph Sorbara at Metrosonix on Friday, September 2nd. I also submitted a cover letter to Mike Bates. We are hoping to petition Metrosonix for help with this issue. Mike is a member of ACB. Maybe he can pull some strings.

In and of itself, the radio holds promise. We have come a long way from the days of commercial radio. Be that as it may, we have a major hurdle to overcome. Contact Metrosonix and tell them we want voiceover for the wireless internet radio they manufacture. As always, thanks for your time.

With Loving Kindness,

James R. Campbell

J.campbell@grandecom.net

Here is the web address for the Metrosonix Company:

www.metrosonix.com

Phone 201 436 5538

***

5. JUST CALL ME SUBWAY STEVE: My Job at the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority

by Stephen A. Theberge

My job at the MBTA as an Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Tester is very rewarding. On the simplest level, I am paid to take buses, commuter rails, and subways. As I' ve been doing this job part time for the last year, I have learned a lot and have educated bus drivers and the general public about the blindness community.

All testers are paired with an observer. We take a pre assigned route, which usually takes four to five hours. The observer is there to document the journey. We look for such things as stop announcements, and if they aren' t working, whether the driver is announcing the major bus connections. We look for violations such as not bringing the bus to the curb when I alight from the bus. If there are violations, the observer and I file reports. These reports are very laid back; as long as we put in the important information, that's all that counts.

Normally I' d be fuming if I had to wait on a bus for an hour and a half in traffic. Since I' m getting paid, I figure the more traffic, the better. I like the interactions I have with bus drivers and people in general. It is interesting to see how people are willing or unwilling to help. Also, I want to make it clear that the observer is not responsible for me. I must use my orientation and mobility skills. I must board and get off the bus with the observer at a discreet distance.

A couple of weeks ago, a young child asked me, referring to my cane,  What's that? I answered, not really wanting to discuss it,  My cane. Then the child asked,  Why are your glasses so funny? I then answered,  I have really bad eyes and have a lot of trouble seeing. I use the cane so I don' t bump into things. I hope that maybe the child's mother learned something as well.

Last week, an elderly man on the bus asked me,  How well can you see? It may not have been the most tactful answer, but my tone of voice was definitely humorous.  I tell people I can' t see for shit. I then elaborated that I had trouble distinguishing faces, whether or not they were men or women, etc. He then said, in kind of a challenging tone,  Yeah, but you have a phone. I then told him the phone talked. I put it up to his ear, pressed some buttons so it would talk, and asked,  Can you hear it? He then asked me the usual questions, such as how long I' ve been blind, what eye condition I had, and where I saw my ophthalmologist. I felt honored to answer him.

True, I' d rather have a conversation about the Red Sox, politics, or anything not related to my blindness. Yet, I feel it is important to be civilized and not give the impression that all blind people are short tempered. Yes, some days, I' d rather not be that ambassador.

Yes, I have had a lot more  normal conversations on the bus, subway platforms, and on the train. As I tell everyone,  I love getting paid to practice my mobility skills.

I am the author of the science fiction novel The MetSche Message, C 2016.

For full details and buying links, go to: http://www.dvorkin.com/stephentheberge/

***

6. TOO MUCH MEDIA HYPE

by Bob Branco (originally published in Word Matters, www.ernestdempsey.com)

We live in an age where we need eyes in the backs of our heads. There is no telling when someone from the media will decide to run a story about a frivolous activity in someone's life. I hear this on talk shows, in the news, and on social media. I often wonder who wants the attention more: the media sources, or those they are writing about.

There are a lot of newsworthy issues in this world that we need to know about in order to protect ourselves or to be more aware of our surroundings. I don' t think we need to know that the parents of a 13 year old girl had a party in honor of her first menstruation cycle. Yes, you heard correctly. This story appeared on the internet several years ago. On a local sports talk show, I would prefer to hear about the progress of my sports teams and not about how one of the sports talk show hosts sexually aroused himself in the back seat of a car when he was a teenager. How do I know this? He admitted it on the air. Why did he admit it on the air? I would imagine he was allowed to by those in the communications industry who have become far too lenient with their policies.

I would now like to talk about media overkill. There are some news stories that I feel are repeated too often. While many of these stories are serious and important, the media doesn' t need to keep pounding the information into our brains. When O. J. Simpson was about to be apprehended for murdering two people in June of 1994, he was riding in a Bronco while being sought after by the police. One of the reasons why I think O. J. made the situation so dramatic was because the media was watching him and he loved the attention. I remember being at a night club that evening when the band stopped performing in order to allow patrons to watch the Bronco chase on television.

I have advice for the media. Stay out of our kitchens and stick to news items that benefit our well being. Also, don' t make a news story into a soap opera. Tell your story and move on to other important matters.

***

7. MOST EXPENSIVE U.S. HOUSE EVER NOW FOR SALE

by Michael Melia, from The Associated Press

A 63 acre island estate that went on sale last week for the first time in over a century includes a stone mansion, a 21 stall horse stable and a natural cove that can shelter boats in stormy weather. It also has an asking price of $175 million, which industry experts say would easily break a record for the most paid for a residential property in the United States. Since around 1900 the property in Darien, Connecticut has belonged to the family and descendants of William Ziegler, an industrialist who made his fortune in baking powder. The family decided to sell the estate, known as Great Island, as younger generations have moved on and the main house has not been occupied for some time, according to David Ogilvy, the listing agent. The previous record for the most expensive American home was set by a property that sold in 2014 in New York's Hamptons for $147 million, according to Jonathan Miller, President of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants, who tracks luxury home sales as a hobby. In the rarefied market of super high end homes, Miller said there was a flurry of listings over $100 million around the country a couple years ago, but many lingered for a year or longer without selling.  How deep or wide is that pool of buyers? It's not as deep as was assumed a few years ago, he said. The island sits in Long Island Sound and is connected to the mainland by manmade strips of land. It has a half mile long driveway leading to the main house, several additional homes, a polo field, and a private beach and dock, as well as a boathouse. Robyn Kammerer, a local real estate executive with Halstead Property, said she believes the asking price is reasonable considering the property's proximity to Manhattan and its expansive, secluded shoreline. Given that the main house has been unoccupied, Ogilvy said the new owners likely will want to make renovations.

***

8. OCTOBER 15: NATIONAL WHITE CANE DAY

by Ernie Jones

Tap, tap, tap.

That's the sound of independence. It's the sound of people with visual impairments, using a white cane to confidently navigate to work, to school, or out for a daily walk.

I thought everyone knew what the white canes were used for. But I was surprised to learn that not everyone understands what the canes are all about.

One day, a friend and I, both swinging our long white canes, were enjoying a walk, when a lady stopped us and asked,  What are those sticks for?

I have to admit, I was so astonished I almost laughed, but I only said,  These are white canes we blind use to walk around. They help us avoid stumbling into objects or other things that may be in our way.

 You are both blind? You are walking rather fast I never thought of you as being blind. Thank you for explaining, she replied.

One more person learning about the white cane.

October 15 is national White Cane Safety Day, acknowledging the independence and skill of people with visual impairments who use a white cane to navigate. There's no better day to celebrate the power of the white cane than October 15, the day set aside by the federal government to recognize the independence and skill of people who use these canes.

Laws in all 50 states require drivers to yield the right of way to people with white canes, even when they' re not on a crosswalk.

In honor of White Cane Safety Day, here are some facts about the white cane.

In 1930, George A Bonham, president of the Peoria, Illinois Lions Club, watched a man who was blind as he tried to cross a street. The man's cane was black and motorists couldn' t see it, so Bonham proposed painting the cane white with a red stripe to make it more noticeable. The idea quickly caught on around the country.

The standard for using a white cane was pioneered in 1944 by Richard E. Hoover, a World War II veteran rehabilitation specialist. His technique of holding a long cane in the center of the body and swinging it back and forth before each step to detect obstacles is still called the  Hoover Method.

The majority of blind people don' t use a white cane. In fact, only an estimated 2 percent to 8 percent of the blind use a cane. The rest rely on their usable vision, a guide dog, or a sighted guide.

There are different kinds of white canes: the standard mobility cane, used to navigate; the support cane, used by people with visual impairments who also have mobility challenges; and the ID cane, a small, foldable cane used by people with partial sight to let others know they have a visual impairment.

White canes are going high tech. Inventors in India, Great Britain, and France have equipped white canes with ultrasonic devices that detect obstacles up to nine feet away. Vibrations in the cane's handle warn users of potential hazards in their path.

Unless you' re willing to  walk the walk, you can' t become a certified Orientation & Mobility specialist. O&M specialists teach white cane technique to people who are blind or have limited eyesight. But to become certified, they must spend at least 120 hours blindfolded, navigating with a white cane.

Today's modern lightweight canes are usually made from aluminum, fiberglass, or carbon fiber and can weigh as little as 7 ounces. Some white cane users prefer straight canes, which are more durable, while others prefer collapsible canes, which can be folded and stored more easily.

White caning can be fun. The Braille Institute sponsors an annual cane quest, where youngsters ages 3 to 12 compete to quickly and safely navigate a route in their community using the white cane. The contest helps kids master proper white cane techniques and encourages independence.

It's legal to take a white cane through an airport security checkpoint, according to the TSA, but it must pass through the X ray machine first.

In some states, it's illegal for a person who is not legally blind to use a white cane to gain right of way while crossing a street. In Florida, for example, perpetrators face second degree misdemeanor charges and up to 60 days in prison.

I hope these facts help you realize that, with varying levels of assistance including white canes, blind people can live as full lives as sighted people. In this area, there are quite a few blind who use the white cane. They may not be walking exactly where most pedestrians walk, but remember, they too enjoy life.

Have a great day and remember, White Cane Day is October 15.

Ernie Jones, a registered nurse who retired due to vision loss, can be reached at 509-529 9252 or eajsr37@outlook.com.

www.bmt.tv/ernie

***

9. OF LANGUAGE BARRIERS AND TALKING AIDS FOR THE BLIND

by James R. Campbell

I have a question for those who are reading this.

Has there been a time when you have had trouble with a talking appliance because you drifted from the English language onto some foreign language you couldn' t understand?

This is what happened to us last night. Several weeks ago, my visiting registered nurse from Humana managed to obtain a talking blood pressure monitor for me. We have been working with it for several weeks. After a while, I finally figured out that you have to push Scan first, and then start the process of taking your blood pressure. After a number of false starts, I managed to get it right. Finally, I took my blood pressure without Anna's help. She is my care nurse from Humana. I was proud of the accomplishment, as this was something that I had worked on for some time.

But, alas, I hit an unexpected snag. When I tried to get the reading, it was in a language that sounded like German instead of English.

Last night, I gave the blood pressure machine to Dear, along with the instructions. She worked with it while I used my bone stimulator. When the treatment was through, she handed me the unit and instructions in frustration.

 I give up! she said.  I have followed the instructions to the letter, and I am not sure I have it right. They should make these things in one language for each unit.

The fact that we have this problem with our appliances can be traced to globalization and our pluralistic society. There was a time when English was the primary language of the United States. This was the norm. Now, we are living in a melting pot that includes a global community of people from every nation on Earth. Many of these people don' t know English. Hence the push to include languages other than English in our talking appliances.

I must admit that it was quite a shock. I don' t know French or German, but I am familiar with the accent of the French and German people. I was able to differentiate between the two. It was frustrating to me: I was almost there; I was an inch from taking my blood pressure, and then this happened.

Dear's suggestion sounds extreme to some, I have no doubt. Part of her reaction came from frustration. Also, it must be remembered that Dear grew up in a simpler time that offered a way of life that many feel is under threat from our pluralistic society. Many of my friends on the various chatlines are angry because we cater to those who can' t speak English. That is understandable. It is confusing, and I must admit, downright annoying to blind persons who get an invaluable appliance, only to discover that they have to deal with a language barrier if they get sidetracked while attempting to use it.

I don' t know that I would approve of what Dear has in mind, although many of my friends would. The solution sounds tried and true, but it bears consideration. What we need are detailed Braille instructions that should be included in the unit.

This simple step would aid the blind user in navigating the various functions, including the steps needed to correct any issues that present themselves. But again, we have the problem of dealing with companies who make appliances for the sighted. They don' t consider making appliances for the blind that include Braille instructions. Not only would this be a viable solution, but its implementation would provide gainful employment for those who are unemployed.

As always, thanks for your time.

With Loving Kindness,

James R. Campbell

J.campbell@grandecom.net

***

10. IS STOP AND FRISK SUCCESSFUL?

Op Ed by Terri Winaught

As part of his presidential candidacy, Donald Trump held a town hall meeting at which one of his points was that, if elected, he would implement a police policy of  Stop and Frisk. Candidate Trump explained that Stop and Frisk was successful when it was used in New York City. Then Mayor Michael Bloomberg concurred, stating that crime was reduced in New York during the use of that controversial policy.

As you might expect, however, not everyone agrees. According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, Stop and Frisk was a disaster. During its 10 year existence, 87 percent of New York City residents who were stopped and frisked were either African American or Latino. Ninety percent of them were neither arrested nor ticketed, because it was determined that they had done nothing wrong.

Under the Administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, this policy was stopped. Additionally, Stop and Frisk had been deemed unconstitutional by the Center for Constitutional Rights. More specifically, it was determined that this policy was a 10 year nightmare that violated Amendments 14 and 4. Research also indicated that New York City crime had already been decreasing before Stop and Frisk.

Given the facts stated above, I don' t see how even a president can restart a policy that has been found to violate two Constitutional amendments.

What do you think? Were any of you at the Town Hall meeting where this was proposed? More importantly, were any of you stopped when police practiced this controversial policy?

Please share your thoughts or experiences in our Readers' Forum. If you also want to share with me personally, you are always welcome to phone 412 263 2022, or e mail twinaught@comcast.net. You can also learn more about this topic by visiting matteroffact.tv.

***

11. WHAT GRINDS YOUR GEARS?

In the first  What Grinds Your Gears I submitted, I mentioned how much it bothers me when advertisers say,  For more information, please contact us at the number you see on your screen.

Since that first item, I have observed that most advertisers now give a phone number, a website, or both. Recently, however, I was both surprised and annoyed to hear an ad for a new hearing aid. Although I would have liked more information, I am unable to obtain it because I am instructed to see the number below on my TV screen.

What thoughts do Consumer Vision readers have on what advocacy strategies can be used to encourage more widespread compliance with Section Three of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which mandates informational accessibility?

Terri Winaught

Pittsburgh, PA

***

12. SPECIAL NOTICES

Hi there!

Are you looking for a way to build a business and work together as a team?

Let me and those on my team show you how it works!

Please contact me at either: knitangelpm@yahoo.com or (323) 335 8181

Portia

***

Upwelling: Poems

C 2016 by Ann Chiappetta

Guide dogs, death, and a disturbing dream. Marriage, memories, and intriguing mysteries. Eroticism, abortion, and a wonderfully poetic essay. In this collection of 23 of her short poems from several decades, Ann Chiappetta explores an enormous range of emotions and topics. Travel with her as she moves from illness, death, loss, and grief to renewed hope, security, and serenity.

For sale in e book ($2.99) and print ($7.95) from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers. The e book is text to speech enabled.

All photos are Copyright by the author's sister, Cheryll Romanek.

Full details, photos, text samples, and buying links: http://www.dvorkin.com/annchiappetta/

***

It's Still Christmas

C 2015 by John Justice

In e-book and print on Amazon and other online selling sites. Only $1.99 in e-book format.

Once getting by financially, the Gleasons have become homeless and close to hopeless. But their faith in God and His mercy has never wavered. Now Christmas is close, and their lives are about to undergo a drastic change. The lifesaving aid they give to a stranger, an elderly Jewish widower, is soon repaid in ways they could never have imagined. Enjoy this touching story of mingled hearts, trust, and faiths. 

John Justice is also the author of the much longer novel The Paddy Stories: Book One, C 2016.

Details, cover photos, text samples, and buying links: http://www.dvorkin.com/johnjustice/

 

***

13. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too)

by Penny Fleckenstein, who blogs at: http://notyouraveragesinglemom.com

Happy autumn and welcome cooler temperatures! I' m looking forward to lower electric bills and the removal of our air conditioners from our windows. I' m also looking forward to a  hard to recycle day. That's the day I' ll be able to put my console TV, monitors, Xbox, and Play Station 3 out to the curb for trash pickup. This is the first time I' ve heard of a  hard to recycle day. It seems that in this community they only happen once in the spring and once in the fall.

I love summer. I love to wear sun dresses and sandals. I love hearing the birds. I enjoy the scent of flowers and the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables  especially homegrown tomatoes. This past spring, I bought some big pots from the hardware store, soil, tomato stakes, and tomato plants. The crop isn' t as abundant as I was hoping for, but the tomatoes we do have are delicious.

I' ve never considered myself a gardener. What gardener has an aversion to dirt? I got my children and some of my friends to help me pot the plants and keep them happy. This way I can have herbs and tomatoes on my back porch.

The good news is, I don' t have to like dirt to grow things. I bought a sprouting kit and five pounds of mung beans from www.amazon.com and grew them on the kitchen counter. The kit is five stackable circular trays, four of them with a hole for water to drain through and a plastic lid, which you place gently on top but do not fasten. The bottom tray is just for water to sit in. In each of the four trays, you place two to three tablespoons of beans or seeds and water them every four to six hours while you' re awake.

You rotate the trays so that the one with beans or seeds in it on the bottom, not the water tray, is placed on top. Then you water from the top down, two cups of water each time. Within three or four days, you have delicious sprouts, which you can eat raw or put into sandwiches, stir fries or salads. Growing sprouts was a confidence booster for me. I felt great satisfaction knowing I had grown my own nutritious food. It helped me realize that I can do anything I feel determined to do.

Having sent my son to college in August, I felt determined to clean his room. It was a mess! Big dusty piles of stuff covered the entire room  a mother's nightmare! His high school years packed in one little room with no organization whatsoever. First, I found a sighted friend to help. We found collapsible plastic stackable bins with no lids at Sam's Club for about $10 each. I used one for memorabilia, one for sports related items, and one for theater related items. We sifted through everything in his room, and four days later a new, clean place emerged.

While at Sam's Club, I also saw these canvas laundry hampers with two handles and a plastic lining for about $10 each. Perfect to transport your laundry in. Much sturdier than the foldable mesh laundry hampers. I imagine these foldable bins and the laundry hampers are seasonal items, mostly available when college students are moving into the area.

During this four day period of strenuous room cleaning, the dust got stirred up. It filled the air in our house and made us terribly sick. We had also finished dismantling the dining room, living room, entryway, my room, and Zachary's room. I had to put eye drops in my eyes several times a day to keep down the stinging and itching. On one of these days, I went to knitting. My eyes were in so much pain! I had no eye drops with me. My friend Mary Ann gave me an ice cube. She gave me a napkin to hold it and told me to rub my eye with the ice cube. It took the dust off my eyes and soothed them immediately. Remarkably, I was able to knit in comfort.

After I clean every room in my house, I' m planning to get my air ducts cleaned. I' m really excited about this, because I' ve never experienced an air duct cleaning before. I hear it really makes a big difference in the air quality of the house. I can' t wait!

Waiting is exactly what I spent my time doing on a Thursday afternoon. I received my 10 minute call from Access saying that my van would pick me up within 10 minutes. Over an hour and a half later, I was still waiting at a downtown office building.

When my friend called the company to find out why I was still waiting, he was told that my driver had gotten into a car accident and that the traffic was horrendous. The traffic had been bad getting me to my appointment due to a lot of construction. I had to pick Zachary up from dance that evening. I felt the urgency to get home. I asked the construction workers who were working on the building if they saw any taxis. Two of their workers walked me to the nearby hotel where there is a taxi stand. The man in charge of the construction told me that if ever I need a cab, I should go to the closest hotel, because even if the hotel doesn' t have a taxi stand, taxis will come quickly to a hotel. The valet got me a taxi within half an hour. He said he can usually get one in a few minutes, but the traffic was so bad.

As I hopped into the back seat of the van, the driver said,  But what about the dog? I answered cheerfully,  The dog's all right. Let's get going.

The driver and I had a pleasant conversation. I was able to help him to feel at ease with my guide dog. He told me he has a phobia of animals. When he was a child, he was bitten by one of his father's horses. I explained to him that I understand his phobia since I was bitten by a dog when I was a child. I told him that if he prays to God and asks Him to take his phobia away, that God will. When I got out of the car, Bryanna got stuck in the van, and he had to touch her to get her unstuck. I felt good that I had been able to help him be comfortable enough to overcome his fear for just a little while in order to help.

I' ve received some wonderful feedback from John Justice, David F., and Susan Jones. I will share some of their suggestions in a later TIPS FOR VIPS. Thank you so much for your kind letters.

To correspond with me, please email me at:

goodthaimom@gmail.com

May you have an enjoyable autumn, and remember to turn your clocks back on November 6th.

***

14. RECIPE COLUMN

by Karen Crowder

In New England, October's arrival signals cooler days with chilly autumnal nights. It is the height of the foliage season, with leaves turning brilliant colors. People go apple picking, and children love carving pumpkins to make decorative Jack o'  lanterns.

I hope readers will enjoy an old family recipe for creamed eggs and a chocolate chunk cookie recipe.

CONTENTS

a. Dad's Creamed Eggs

b. Chocolate Chunk Cookies

a. Dad's Creamed Eggs

I have fond memories of this simple supper dish. Creamed eggs were one of my Dad's favorite dishes, especially on Friday nights when Catholics had to forego eating meat. It became one of my favorite supper dishes. Occasionally I make it on an autumn or winter evening.

Ingredients:

Six tablespoons butter or margarine

Six tablespoons all purpose flour

Three cups whole or two percent fat milk

Six large eggs

Optional dill or curry powder

Six slices white or whole wheat buttered toast

Method:

Melt butter or margarine in a large saucepan over low heat. Add flour, blending mixture until it is smooth. This will take 30 seconds. Turn heat off and add milk.

On low heat, mix white sauce infrequently for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan half full of water. Heat the water for 10 minutes, adding a pinch of salt. When it comes to a gentle boil, add eggs. Cover and let them boil for 13 minutes. Turn heat off, allowing eggs to cool for 10 minutes. Drain eggs and fill pan with cold water. Let eggs cool and then peel them. Put peeled eggs in a glass or plastic bowl.

When white sauce has thickened, add a pinch of salt and optional dill or curry powder.

With a knife, cut eggs into medium sized pieces. Add eggs to the sauce. Allow creamed eggs to simmer until this dish is ready to serve. Serve creamed eggs on broken buttered toast in bowls. This dish should serve two to three people. If there are leftover creamed eggs, serve them for breakfast or lunch with coffee. Creamed eggs are also good as a breakfast or brunch dish.

***

b. Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This recipe comes from the cookie section of the 1984 Fannie Farmer Baking Book.

I baked these delicious cookies for the Annual September Perkins picnic and when visiting my stepdaughters in Maine. I made changes to the original recipe, using less sugar, substituting one stick margarine, using extra chocolate chips, and omitting walnuts.

Ingredients:

One stick butter or margarine

One cup granulated sugar

One egg

One half teaspoon vanilla

Two tablespoons water

Two cups flour

One half cup unsweetened cocoa

One half teaspoon baking soda

One fourth teaspoon salt

12 ounces Nestlé's semi sweet chocolate chips

Method:

In mixer, beat softened butter or margarine for one minute on medium speed. Add sugar, mixing for another two minutes. Add egg, vanilla, and water. Mix for two minutes. Batter should have a fluffy consistency.

Meanwhile, sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a plastic bowl. Open 12 ounce package of semi sweet chocolate chips. While mixer is on low speed, slowly add flour mixture alternately with chocolate chips to the wet mixture. (This should take two minutes).

Chill the cookie batter for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With a tablespoon, scoop out small amounts of cookie batter, placing them on a greased foil lined cookie sheet. Put them two inches apart. Flatten them, bake for 12 minutes, putting the bottom sheet on the top rack and placing the top sheet on the bottom rack after six minutes. Put cookie sheets on a counter and let them cool. Remove the cookies and store them in a plastic or metal airtight container. If you have batter left over after baking the cookies on the first two cookie sheets, it freezes very well. Wrap in plastic wrap and store it in a Ziploc bag.

Everyone will enjoy these cookies for Halloween or in school lunches.

I hope readers of Consumer Vision have enjoyed this October recipe column.

Note: Many recipes for chocolate cookies and other treats can be found in the Braille cookbook Chocolate Chocolate, which can be obtained from your regional library. You may be able to find the 1984 Fannie Farmer Baking Book on BARD or perhaps from your regional library on cassette.

***

15. THE GREYHOUND: A DOG AS A WAY TO GET AROUND

by John Justice

It was summer in New York and very hot. I was on my way home and would be taking a Greyhound bus to Atlantic City, where I would change to a local bus for my trip to Stone Harbor, New Jersey. When I heard the doors squeak open and the driver announce the Atlantic City bus, I stood, opened my folding cane, and grabbed my suitcase. The driver came up to me, took my case, and offered his arm. He seemed friendly enough, and we were talking about traveling in the summer in and around New York. As I climbed the steps and headed down the aisle, the driver told me that one seat had more room.  It's where the emergency exit is, he explained. I found the seat and settled in.

It was then that the leopard changed his spots.  It's a good thing you don' t have one of those smelly dogs. I don' t like dogs on my bus, and if I had my way, none of them would be allowed to ride. But the rules say I have to let those eye dogs on board, whether I like it or not, he growled. I gave him my ticket and then the man turned away to begin processing the other passengers. I was furious! Who the heck did this dyed in the wool jerk think he was, complaining about guide dogs? It wasn' t his bus. He just drove it, after all. In fact, I was between guide dogs at that time, waiting for the day to come when I would go back to school for my next one. He had picked the wrong guy to share that information with.

The bus made its way through the Lincoln Tunnel and was soon roaring out into New Jersey. This was the local rather than the express, so people got on and off from time to time. It was in a rather long stretch of highway that I got my idea. I can imitate a barking puppy or small dog rather well. There was no one sitting near me, so I put my head down and barked a couple of times. That driver pulled the bus off the road and started patrolling the aisle, looking for the dog. He went all the way to the back, then made his way back up. As he passed me, he asked if I had heard a dog barking.  Yeah, I did. But I' m not sure where it came from, I responded. My seat was the only one that didn' t have a luggage rack over it, so he didn' t think that I could have a dog with me. Where would I put it? Finally, after grumbling to himself, he went back up front, strapped in, and pulled back onto the highway.

As soon as the bus reached cruising speed, I barked again. After a moment or two, the driver pulled over a second time.  All right, he yelled.  This bus isn' t moving until that dog is off of it! We sat there for almost 10 minutes. I wasn' t sure how the other passengers were taking this situation. No one got up and presented the dog. The driver must have looked at the dashboard clock and realized that he would be off schedule if he didn' t get moving. I could hear him using four-letter words as he pulled the bus into traffic.

When we reached Atlantic City, I picked up my case, opened my cane, and made my way toward the exit.  Have a good day, sir, I said. As I hit the bottom step, I made one more parting remark. I barked loudly.

I heard him exclaim,  What the hell! He came out of that bus and followed me out into the lobby.

 Hey! Why did you do that? You could have made me late and held up everything! he asked.

The guy was steaming, so I didn' t pull any more tricks.  I use guide dogs, I informed him.  I' m waiting for a new one now. Our dogs have just as much right on that bus as anyone else. I hope I don' t have trouble with you when I ride next time with my new one.

About a month later, I was back at the same Port Authority Terminal. But this time, I had Star, my German Shepherd, with me. The gates opened and someone announced the Atlantic City trip. I got up, picked up my case, and Star led me toward the bus. I came up the steps, but no one was sitting in the driver's seat. So I put my ticket in my breast pocket and sat down in the same seat. A few minutes later, a driver I didn' t know came on board and made his way down the aisle, collecting tickets from the passengers who were already on board. He returned to the front of the bus and then apologized for the delay.

 We had a driver scheduled to take this route who refused to drive it because one of the passengers has a Seeing Eye dog. The dispatcher had to find a last minute replacement, and that was me. We' ll be getting underway now.

I sat back in my seat and started thinking. Was that the same driver? Did he see me with Star in the waiting area? I wonder what happens when a driver refuses to take an assigned route.

Later, as I was exiting the vehicle, I asked the driver what would happen in a situation like that.

At first, he didn' t want to tell me, but finally he responded briefly.  If a driver refuses a route for any reason, he is sent home, and a review is scheduled. If he has a good reason for not taking the assignment, then that's the end of the matter. If the board finds that he doesn' t have a good reason, he could be disciplined or even dismissed. That isn' t for everyone to know, sir. I' m telling you because the driver saw you and flatly refused to drive the bus with you on it.

I wonder what happened to that driver. I have heard of people not liking dogs, but to risk your job over something like that doesn' t make sense.

Personal email of John and Linda Justice: john_justice@verizon.net

***

16. READERS' FORUM

A Question for Readers

I recently heard from a friend who is an avid iPhone user. As someone with an iPhone 6s, he downloaded iOS 9 and iOS 10. After the second download, my friend discovered that the enhanced Siri voices were not functioning as expected. That being the case, my friend did a complete reset and a restore from iTunes. What happened next was that the Siri voices were no longer available.

Although my friend has contacted Apple accessibility staff, he is awaiting their response. In the meantime, however, do any readers know if this  bug can be fixed? And if so, how?

Terri Winaught, Pittsburgh, PA

***

Hi, Bob and all Consumer Vision contributors, readers, and staff.

I would like to say to you, great job on the newsletter this month! The Consumer Vision is quickly becoming one of my very most favorite monthly reads.

Being a newsletter creator myself, I understand the many challenges of putting together such a comprehensive and interesting newsletter each month.

I would like to let you and your readers know that I like this month's issue so very much that, with your permission, Bob, I would like to put this entire newsletter on my blog, so that all my readers may enjoy it. Who knows? They might even sign up.

I would also like to thank Terri for her wonderful comments concerning my article on AmeriCorps Vista.

To all the supporting staff of The Consumer Vision, fabulous job! Keep up the good work! I am having computer issues at the moment, so my newsletter, The Neighborhood News, has been delayed. Never fear. We will be back soon.

Would you please publish these comments in your newsletter? And please forgive me for dictating. Normally, I try to make certain that everything I send is correct. This month, however, I would encourage you to ask your proofreader to check for errors.

Again, fabulous job! Have a fantastic day.

Patty Fletcher

Author of Campbell's Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life

Available in e-book and print on Amazon, Smashwords, and other bookselling sites.

Website with full details and a free text sample: http://www.dvorkin.com/pattyfletcher/

***

Hi, Bob.

I certainly enjoyed September's edition. I especially had to agree with the article about dogs. Rabbits are the same way, but nobody seems to know or care how they feel or express their feelings.

Next spring, I' d like to write for Consumer Vision about rabbits and how misunderstood they are. Far too many whiny children coerce parents into buying underage rabbits, only to discover that they grow large, and the kids have lost interest in them. Then the hormones kick in, and the rabbits start becoming sexually frustrated. These animals are either turned loose to become coyote food or dumped in shelters, where they end up euthanized.

All this needless grief can easily be avoided if only people would do their homework. I would love to write an article about how rabbits can be good pets for adults who are prepared to look after them for 10 years or longer, as well as take them to qualified veterinarians when needed.

Sincerely yours,

Author Bruce Atchison

www.bruceatchison.blogspot.com

ve6xtc@gmail.com

***

17. DICK HAVOLIN'S SECRET

by John Justice

My family and I lived on an old poultry farm in southern New Jersey. My mother and father bought it about a year after I was born. It was miles from anywhere, and that was exactly what my folks wanted. The former owner seemed nice enough. In fact, he really went out of his way to help settle things as quickly as possible.

Mom told me that Mr. Havolin had a slight accent and she often wondered where he was from. But she never got to know him well, and as soon as the papers were completed and the sale was final, Mr. Havolin went away.

I don' t remember any of this because I was a tiny baby at the time.

On the property was a large farm house, complete with extensive root cellars. This was unusual for a home in New Jersey, since the ground is very sandy and the water table is close to the surface. When I was a boy, I dug a hole in one of our fields and found water at the bottom. The hole was only three feet deep. Having a cellar built at all is a difficult and expensive process. For most structures, the walls and floors have to be made of concrete and block, which must be sealed against the damp. Our basement was quite large. Along one wall was a set of shelves that went from the floor to the ceiling. As a four"year"old, I loved climbing on them while Mom was working down there.

One day, I found something that looked like a screw. It was on the back wall, but it wasn' t exactly where a screw should have been. I was fooling with it when I heard a click. I called Mom and she examined the screw. She was as confused as I because the screw didn' t seem to have any purpose at all. Eventually, I climbed down, but when I lowered myself from the bottom shelf, suddenly the entire section started to move. At first, Mom thought the shelves were coming off of the wall and she was ready to yell at me, but then she realized that part of the wall was moving inward toward us. It turned out that the shelves were mounted on a hidden door. She pulled it open. There behind the door was a passage. Just like the rest of the cellar, it had a concrete floor and was made of block. We could feel air moving past us.

 Jacky, I' ll bet this leads outside, she said. Mom grabbed a flashlight, and we both went exploring. The corridor went a long way and turned slightly until we came to a set of steps. We went up the stone stairs. At the top was an overhead door. It turned out to be a trap door in the floor of a wooden shed. Of course, we opened it. Dirt and dust sifted in, and we were both a mess. The trap opened into a small wooden structure, an outbuilding which was quite a distance from the house. Mom and Dad had used it for storage of tools and equipment. These farm implements were all around the walls. Fortunately, nothing had been sitting on top of the door. The entire building was made with a wooden floor, so we had had no idea what was under it. Mom and I closed the trap and went back through the corridor to our root cellar. She pushed the shelves back into place and you could hear the latch snap. When Dad came home, Mom showed him the entrance, and he too was amazed. At first, we couldn' t imagine why the corridor was there or why anyone would go to the trouble of making a hidden door like that.

Two things happened years later that shed a light on the mystery we had discovered.

This was a poultry farm, and at that time, we kept many chickens. They were housed in long buildings at the rear of the property. Chickens are a messy bunch. They roost on elevated structures that have something called a drop board at the bottom. You can slide this board out and clean away the droppings. One day, the board I was working on got stuck. I called for help, and Dad came in. As he was starting to slide the drop board back into its holders, he noticed something. Under this particular board was a compartment.

The entire area under there was filled with electronic equipment. There was a telegraph"style sending key, a book, and what appeared to be a transmitter and receiver set. In those days, a radio of this type took up a lot of space, and this one was no exception. It was huge. The board had protected it so the Telefunken was in pretty good shape. Dad thought about it for a while and then replaced the sliding cover. There wasn' t anything we could do about it then. My family had purchased the farm in 1946. This was 1959, 13 years later.

In 1961, a tree in our back yard started to develop a disease. It had to be cut down. Dad lopped off the limbs, and we started cutting the trunk using a buck saw. This is a long-saw blade with handles at both ends, and it must be used by two people. We were sawing away when we heard a grinding sound. Naturally, we stopped cutting. Dad chipped away at the cut and finally revealed a post that ran right up the center of the trunk. He brought a ladder and started investigating.

It turned out that there was an antenna that had been skillfully installed in the sassafras tree. Dad started digging around the base and soon discovered the armored cable that led from the tree toward the chicken coop where the radio was hidden.

Look at these clues, will you?

1. Hidden door and passage.

2. Radio set secreted in a chicken coop.

3. Antenna concealed inside a living tree.

4. Man with foreign accent who disappears immediately after the farm is sold.

Remember, my folks bought the farm in early 1946. We never brought any of these discoveries to the attention of the local authorities. But we have long since drawn our own conclusions. We believe that Dick Havolin was an agent who was placed in New Jersey by some foreign country during World War II. His job may have been to send messages about aircraft movements in the area. Not far from our farm is Lakehurst Combined Services Installation and another facility

used for testing in Pomona, New Jersey. During the war, Dick must have been there, running that poultry farm as a front while his true purpose was to keep an eye on what we were doing in either of those military facilities.

His hidden agenda makes me wonder just how many other people were here during that war, or how many are here now, for that matter.

That farmhouse was very old, and the electrical system was a nightmare. It still used barrel fuses. These are devices which measure about three quarters of an inch in diameter. They are screwed into holders that are part of the electrical junction box. Within each barrel fuse is a piece of metal which will overheat and melt if too much power runs through that particular circuit. There were many times when the power would go off, usually at the most inopportune moment. Dad made the mistake of using an old trick, common in those days. He' d place a penny in the bottom of the holder and screw the fuse right down on top of it. This is a dangerous and foolish thing to do! That penny would never melt and break the circuit.

In 1950, Dad's luck finally ran out. A short circuit occurred somewhere and a fire started that eventually destroyed the house and several of the outbuildings. We were insured, and a smaller house was built, using the reimbursement check. During construction, a bulldozer broke through the ceiling of that hidden tunnel. The crew had quite a time getting it out of the hole. A decision was made to fill in all of the underground passages before new construction could begin. The house we moved into was a small two"bedroom rancher. It was tiny when compared to the old farmhouse that had been there before. We believe that a great deal of the insurance money was spent on securing the ground, and what was left was used to build us a house.

We lost the chicken coop where the radio was located when lightning struck it in 1964 and the whole thing burned to the ground. By that time, we had discontinued poultry operations, and those buildings were primarily empty. Isn' t it amazing, though, that unforeseen circumstances brought all of Mr. Havolin's careful planning to light? I wonder if he made it back home, wherever home was.

Personal email of John and Linda Justice: john_justice@verizon.net

***

18. A CAR OF HER OWN, Part Two

by Karen Crowder

Part Two of this story was published in November 2013 in Matilda Ziegler Magazine. Looking it over, I reworked details, expanding details and dialogue when I thought it was necessary. I hope readers of Consumer Vision enjoy Part Two of this story.

On this sunny July morning, as Jan sat in the car, everything seemed right with her world.

However, when she pressed the Start button, the female British voice was almost inaudible. It asked for her next destination, mileage, and speed. Carefully articulating each phrase, Jan said,  Leominster Mall, nine miles, 30 miles an hour. When she pressed the Go button, there was silence.

Why did this happen on the day of my test? she asked herself. With shaking hands, she grabbed the Braille manual, reading the entry  When the car fails to function.

 Immediately cancel commands when your car fails to start.

She did this, repeating the commands. Pressing the Go button, she sighed with relief as the car purred to life.

Halfway to the Leominster Mall, the temperamental car began slowing down. The now wobbly sounding British voice kept repeating,  Low battery needs charging.

An impatient female driver yelled,  You old people should not be on the road if you can' t drive!

Pushing down the automatic window, Jan said breathlessly,  My battery needs charging. Do you know where the nearest charging station is?

 I don' t know, the young driver said as she drove away.

 Where is the nearest charging station in Leominster? she asked the GPS, hoping it still worked.

 50 feet from your destination in Leominster, an increasingly dysfunctional voice replied.

The car slowly came to the charging station. After Jan plugged it in, the voice informed her,  Car will be charged in 60 minutes. As she left her car, the voice of her instructor pleased her.  After the morning you' ve had, let's go to that café you' ve been talking about, he said. As they walked through the food court he commented,  Those cinnamon rolls smell good, and the coffee smells delicious.

 That's why I like this place, Jan said.

After ordering iced coffees and hot cinnamon rolls, they sat across from each other in the comfortable booth.

 You did a great job, he said.  You remained composed when the car gave you problems. You did an excellent job at solving them and educating those ignorant drivers. I purposely undercharged the car's battery as part of your entrance test. His calm, gentle voice always reassured her.

 I suspected that after looking at the manual, she said.

He paused,  Someone is getting our attention.

 Oh, hi, Jan, it's great to see you, Jenny said.

 This is a surprise. Meet James, my driving instructor, Jan said.

 I' m glad to meet you, Jenny said.

 It's nice to meet you, Jenny, James said.

 Am I interrupting your lesson? Jenny asked.

James looked at his smart phone.  Looks as if we have to leave; this hour has flown.

 The car should be fully charged, Jan said.

 I have another lesson in an hour, he said.

 Goodbye, Jenny. I' ll call you tonight, Jan said as they walked towards the entrance of the café, then towards her car. James followed her in his car as they drove to her apartment on 544 Market Street.

 Congratulations, you' ve passed the entrance test! James said while they sat on the wooden bench near her apartment building. He handed her an envelope.  Here are your certificate and conditional license. I have also given you these documents in Braille, he said. He guided her hand towards the places to sign on his and her copies of the certificate and license.  Keep the print copies with you at all times. If police stop you, show them these documents. They have the address and number of the training center and my private number, he said, looking serious.

 I can' t believe this. I thought this day would never come, Jan said.

 You' re one of my best students! Next Friday's lesson will be to go independently to Marlborough and back. Until then, enjoy the new experience of driving to and from destinations in Leominster and Fitchburg. Keep a journal of your trips. Send the documents to me.

Sitting on the bench, she felt a sense of liberation. Like her sighted friends, she could go anywhere at any time, less dependent upon Paratransit or taxis.

 Have a great week. I' ll be looking forward to your emails, James said.

 See you next Friday morning, she said, smiling.  Have a great day. She felt a sense of contentment and peace.

James drove from the parking lot to his next lesson, feeling a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

(Wait for Part Three)

***

19. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST (Submitted by Bob Branco)

Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the September Consumer Vision. The four surviving former Presidents of the United States are Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Congratulations to the following winners:

Nancy Sullivan of Dartmouth, Massachusetts

Karen Santiago of Worcester, Massachusetts

Jo Smith of West Dennis, Massachusetts

Henry Achin of Lowell, Massachusetts

Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts

And now, here is your trivia question for the October Consumer Vision. What are the two main ingredients in a martini? If you know the answer, please email bobbranco93@gmail.com or call 508 994 4972.

20. CONCLUDING NOTES FROM THE PROOFREADER *** Leonore Dvorkin

Bob, Terri, and I send our sincere thanks to all you contributors for keeping your submissions shorter this month. This edition of The Consumer Vision is 26 pages long; our goal is to keep the newsletter to 25 pages, if possible. Remember, our new limit on longer submissions is 2,000 words. In a Word file, your computer counts the words, making it easy to keep your submission to the requested length.

This month, I was pleased to include ads for two of the many books that my husband and I have edited: John Justice's first book, It's Still Christmas, and Ann Chiappetta's brand-new book of excellent poetry, Upwelling: Poems. We hope you' ll give them a try. The text-to-speech enabled e-books are only $1.99 and $2.99, respectively, on Amazon, Smashwords, and other sites.

David and I are very grateful to all of you, our editing clients, for your continued confidence and business, as well as for how kindly you spread the word about us and our editing and publishing services. Here is our detailed and updated Web page about how all that works: http://www.dvorkin.com/epubhelp/      

This year, David and I have received the files of a number of books that are rather shorter than most that we have edited in the past. This makes for quick work on our part and a satisfyingly quick turnaround for the authors. Watch for ads for a few more books before year's end in this publication, in Patty Fletcher's newsletter (The Neighborhood News), and in The Blind Post

As I' ve said a few times before, I' m the author of four published books: one novel, a fantasy play, a breast cancer memoir, and that last book in Spanish. You can find full details on my website: http://www.leonoredvorkin.com. My husband, David Dvorkin, is the author of 27 published books, both fiction and nonfiction. Most of them are in the genres of science fiction and horror. He continues to write all the time, and before the end of the year, he will have a detailed how-to manual about self-publishing available for purchase on Amazon, Smashwords, and multiple other sites. David's website is http://www.dvorkin.com.

We welcome visitors to our two websites and any inquiries about our services. Our complete contact information is on our websites.

Wishing all of you a happy and productive autumn (my own favorite season),

Leonore Dvorkin