Even though I make an all-out effort to avoid *contemporary* news, I did see the other day the wires abuzz with *Afghanistan fighting....10 US Soldiers Dead*.
As my South Philly jabronis would say, not for anything....but that ain't that sad, nor should it be deemed *news* in the sense of unexpectation.
Over that same time, I received word of a genuine tragedy:
The weekend death of a New Jersey finance executive, the second person in 13 months to die after falling from an escalator at the Pier Shops at Caesars, was ruled accidental yesterday by Atlantic County officials.
James Vellanti, 42, of Clinton, N.J., died early Sunday after falling more than 30 feet at the Pier, an Atlantic City mall connected to a casino by a sky bridge.
The poor guy was there for a weekend of golf and gambling with his buddies - one of my extended inlaws was actually among them and right there, barreling down the stairs in a futile attempt to somehow revive his friend.
This crap could befall any one of us, at any time despite being thousands of miles from a theater of war.
Not too long ago, every (late) night I used to turn the TV off, bury my face in the pillows, and think of my two passions: the Celtics and my golf game. This was my ritual and it always sent me snoozing in 15 seconds.
Nowadays, steps one and two haven't changed, BUT before I fall asleep each night I thank God for the roof over my head, the food in my belly, for my healthy and wonderful wife and kids, etc.
You rudderless, self-absorbed, single people out there can't possibly comprehend the mechanics my transformation - though one day, hopefully, you will.
Mr. Vellanti left a wife and three small children.