President’s Letter

 

On a Saturday evening in March, my good friend and colleague Reggie passed away. But as he took his last breath, he announced the end of an era that has been leading the cause for Principled ChiropracTIC for close to six decades. We saw traces of it with the passing of my best friend, Joe Flesia, but have seen the edges of the era fraying with the news of Dr. Sid and others. However, the phone call from Irene giving me the official word said something bigger; something about our responsibility to step up and grab the torch from a fallen warrior. But for the moment, I’m choosing to remember my personal moments with a friend.

 

Reggie will be loved by those he touched, and make no mistake—he touched tens of thousands. He will be equally despised by many who saw him split from the profession and start Spinology. But that was Reggie—no lukewarm middle ground. The following three experiences may capture a bit of his essence.

 

I was 19 and in my third quarter at Palmer, avoiding the Vietnam draft and headed to DePaul University to play out my college basketball eligibility. On a dark night in a poorly-lit, dank auditorium, I sat for four hours listening to a guy with chop sideburns and an excessive amount of turquoise jewelry. What started out as a way to get some extra credit points in Virgil Strang’s anatomy class turned into a decision to abandon a career in basketball and fully commit to the philosophy and practice of Chiropractic. Thanks, Dad and Reg, for that experience.

 

As a hippie senior at Palmer, I decided to hitchhike to Spring Valley, N.Y., to hear Reggie’s patient lecture at his office, which had close to 1,000 patients per week. His office was a home office, with the practice on the lower level and the living area on the second level of a split ranch style house. The place was packed with 40–50 people on the lower level, another crowd on the stairwell and then about 10 of us sitting in his living room. We couldn’t see him, but we heard him just fine, and the message was stirring. When everyone left, I was invited to spend the night and sat down at the kitchen table with Reg. He didn’t say one word as he downed a salad; one of the most awkward experiences of my young fragile life. Irene came home and saved me just by being Irene. Irene, thanks for that moment and a hundred others when you took care of us. Reggie was good, but he was great because of you.

 

Finally, fast forward to the early ’90s. The profession had formed a committee, which was comprised of every major player in Chiropractic, to plan our centennial celebration. I was asked to produce a program for television and get our profession on mainstream media for the first time ever. The project: a one-hour docudrama featuring host Jack Perkins. I agreed to assemble the team and produce it; my only pay: NO POLITICS. After 100 hours of interviews with people from Deepak Chopra to chiropractic leaders, educators and researchers, during a sneak preview of the first cut, I was told to take Reggie’s interview out for political reasons. I went home and spent a week in consultation with my heart and my friends. My decision: send all the materials back and withdraw from the project for lack of payment … remember, NO POLITICS? Reggie heard and called me; he requested that I quietly take him out of the film and complete the project so they wouldn’t turn it into a neck and back pain commercial. He also asked that I not tell anyone he had called. I know some people thought I had compromised, but I couldn’t tell them why because of my commitment to Reg. Sorry, Reggie, you didn’t say there wasn’t an expiration date on the promise.

 

So, where do we go from here? Certainly, it’s a time of mourning, which Reggie would hate. There will be honors coming his way from those who saw him as a man who made a difference; LIFE will not let him pass without immortalizing him and his passion. And then, what we’ll have to remember most is his whole purpose for being—to stimulate us to get up off our asses, make a commitment to the Big Idea and then take an unwavering stand no matter what comes. This is the way we’ll honor him … continue the TIC fight. 

Make Your Life Extraordinary

 

 

 

 

 

President’s Letter

I  saw a 1994 segment from “Good Morning America” with Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric as they discussed the new fad sweeping the country—the Internet. They were trying to figure out how to use it and what to use it for. Katie wondered if you needed a computer to access it. Not long ago I heard someone refer to “the Google.” How quickly our world is changing. One in eight marriages last year began with a first encounter on a dating site, and now we have these symbols showing up everywhere you do business. 

The Internet, for some, represents a collapse of human interaction and civility. Yet, instead of robotizing us, it may have driven us to crave and create more meaningful connections with people. After all, we still have our deepest connections with family, friends, staff and, as chiropractors, our patients. In a broader view, the Internet has allowed us to connect with people from around the world who hold similar interests that we might not have otherwise been able to find. As Seth Godin says, “It allows you to connect with Ukrainian folk dancers if you choose.” We are able to connect with those who have something we want to know about, something we want to be a part of and something that expands our vision, passions and joys. 

So, here’s an opportunity — if you’d like to connect with me and what I see going on in the profession and with national and international issues, as well as a host of insights on everything from the drugging of our children to the celebration of life’s most meaningful experiences, I’d like to invite you to subscribe to my blog. I promise you that twice a week there will be new posts that will make you laugh, cry, get angry and have your heart leap with joy from time to time. You can start with my music bio and see something personal about me, such as my likes and dislikes as expressed by two of my horses from my ranch in Colorado (it will make sense when you see it). You can also “like” my Facebook fan page to follow me.

I realize that the most tuned into radio station is WII-FM (which stands for What’s In It For Me). But on the other hand, there is always value in connecting with one aother and having a conversation about what matters—like a good discussion over supper around the table. Since we can’t do that, let’s connect on the Internet.

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