Magical World/Rocketship Underpants

5 April, 2013        Magical World/Rocketship Underpants

Today (April 5, 2013) is the 25th anniversary of my accident. That’s a long time. Only a few readers of this blog knew me before that. For reasons I am unsure of, I’ve thought more of my late father today than any other particular subject. None of it’s been maudlin or disheartening, but I’ve thought of him a lot.

Dad only took a few things seriously – but definitely not himself. Above all he took raising a family seriously. By all accounts, he and my mother have been successful. He took his work seriously. I’ve often quoted Woody Allen in this blog saying “eighty percent of success is showing up.” Dad always showed up. Throughout his career, and at the Rescue Squad. If I’d ever been hurt and an ambulance with my Dad on the crew showed up, I’d be relieved. If my Dad was there, you were going to get taken care of the right way. Dad took The Golden Rule seriously, I think more seriously than anyone else I’ve ever known. But I never heard him, and I guarantee you never did either, say anything about “The Golden Rule.” Or about “do unto others” or any other niceties or elegant phrases. Dad lived it, which in my mind is the only way to truly take it seriously.

But Dad didn’t take himself seriously. He loved cartoons, especially Calvin and Hobbes. For years the signoff on his emails said: “It’s a magical world, Hobbes … Let’s go exploring!”.

He had this cartoon framed and hanging in the living room:

its-a-magical-world1But sitting on my desk beside me – as I type this, on April 5, 2013 – I have a printed copy of an email from Dad from May of 1998. He was having computer problems. His email signoff that day said “You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don’t help.”

Anyway, hopefully this isn’t overdoing it, I’m just moved to put a brief blog post up. It’s been a great 25 years. One quick picture today. I was down at the train tracks with a buddy the day before yesterday. A big coal train was leaving as we were arriving. Housing starts were up in that region; I saw this construction worker:

constructionworkeradjHave a great day,


About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Fun, People, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!). Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Magical World/Rocketship Underpants

  1. kathy says:

    Reading your posts is always a delight! Love and miss you, Jay!

    • Great to hear from you Kathy! I love you and miss you too – are you coming up north any time soon? I know Florida’s treating you well. Have a great day,


  2. Clare says:

    wow! i hope you & your dad don’t mind if i use those quotes in my daily life going forward……what inspiration in them both – positive & reality in a tango.

    what a life you’ve led these 25 years and again, what an inspiration to so many people who may have walked a similar journey.

    hugs – looking forward to inchworm webs – i’ve been in total withdrawal without them 🙂


    p.s. thinking about another pup – if anyone knows of a dog needing a home who loves cats (not in an hors d’oevre sorta way) let me know. Before Zoe goes to live with Ivory, i would like her to pass her wisdom & compassion on to another little furball.

    • Hi Clare!
      Great to hear from you! And we’re looking forward to seeing you at the river soon. Which as you noted will be covered with inchworm webs very soon. Although there are no redbuds yet and I’m amazed to see the buffleheads are still there. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for good pups. The AARF adoption stand is at the PetSmart at Libbie and Broad today and every Saturday from 11:00 to 3:00 – you should visit. Ivory, Nicky and Mackey were all AARF dogs – hard to go wrong. Zoe would be a wonderful teacher! Talk with you soon,


      • Clare says:

        thank you – i will go there tomorrow to see what they may have 🙂 have a wonderful GREEN day – after the rains, everything looks like Emerald City!!!! 🙂

  3. Betsy says:

    That is lovely,Jay..It is a real pleasure knowing you.. You are an inspiration to all who know you. Love, Betsy and Skye

    • Hi Betsy!
      I’m SO happy to hear from you! And I’m looking forward to seeing you and my buddy when he visits later this month. And I want to hear about what’s going on with you! We need to talk soon. I’ll give you a call. Thanks for the note! Talk with you soon,



  4. Barbara Mann says:

    Jay– How far you have come! 25 yrs ago who could have imagined your incredible journey to come & all the creatures great and small who have been touched, have been changed just by your incredible spirit and zest for life! You have contiued to awe and inspire me since you were my student at Mill House in 1999! And now that I am starting my own journey post-brain tumor surgery, you are so often in my thoughts! Hope to see you soon—-and maybe even get some therapy pup action while I am rehabing at Health South!
    Barbara/aka Butterfly McPeace

    • Great to hear from you Barbara! I JUST heard from MJ and got the update – maybe I can bring these two handsome hounds to visit at Health South! They certainly enjoyed seeing Pat. Hard to believe it’s been fourteen years since we first met at The Mill House. Wow! I’ve always felt any spirit and/or zest for life I may or may not have has come FROM the creatures great & small I’ve encountered.

      Looking forward to seeing you soon! Thanks for the note, talk with you soon,



  5. Mike Hamlin says:

    I enjoy and get so much from your blog writing, Jay … your style is so natural and pure. …and this one is especially so. Take good care. Perhaps one day yet, we will get to ride together.


  6. Hi Mike!
    Long time no talk – I hope you’re well! And I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog writing. Some are easier to write than others, and this one flowed very well. When I was thinking about writing it in the days leading up to April 5, 2013 I hadn’t thought about writing about Dad at all. Then that’s what I thought about all day. And Dad was all about Magical World/Rocketship Underpants – he liked grace and he liked silliness just as much. It’s FINALLY getting to be decent riding weather – I hope we can get out for a spin one day! Speaking of that, I’m about to put a couple of enjoyable miles in now – this has been the Spring that would never show up! Have a great day,


  7. David Schmidt says:

    Hey Jay,
    Your dad sounds like he was a pretty cool guy. 25 years since your accident, so that means I’ve known you for 24 years,,,my how those years fly,,dang! Cris was saying recently we need to have dinner again soon. OK.

    • Hey David!
      Dad was definitely a cool guy. In a very unconventional way. I am so fortunate. You’re right about the years flying, that’s a long time! And I knew Cris BEFORE my accident. Crazy. I am definitely looking forward to dinner too. I’ll also be at the KW Rollout on 4/20, although my ride will be minimal or less. Take it easy,


  8. Denice Ekey says:

    Hi Jay…OH MY…what a wonderful post! I think of you often and sooo enjoyed our time together when I first started with the Center (has it been 12 years this summer!!?). We have Ivory’s picture up on the wall…what an inspiration for us all! Hugs…Denice

  9. Hi Denice!
    Great to hear from you! I’m so happy you enjoyed that post – I certainly enjoyed writing it. Wow, 12 years, amazing. So cool you have Ivory’s picture on the wall. Speaking of that, I’ve meant to send Sandy a note and I’ll send it to you too. Ivory and Nicky and I worked with a guy who survived a stroke ~10 years ago, non-verbal and immobile, lives in a nursing home in Bon Air. The guy LOVED Ivory and Nicky so Turner and Mackey and I had a great return visit with him last week! He loved it and so did they! We’re going back again soon.

    Anyway, thanks for the note, talk with you soon,


  10. David Branson says:

    I love reading your posts! Thank you for sharing! David Branson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s