Polio Changes Man's Perspective
"Having polio ended up being a great experience," said 72-year-old Jim Gries of Homosassa Springs, Florida, in a telephone interview. He reads this column in Hernando Today.
In the summer of 1952 while growing up in rural Nebraska, Gries contracted the polio virus after swimming in a creek flooded with torrential rains.
His parents took him ten days straight to the town doctor, who had never seen a case of polio. At age 11, he was driven to a hospital in Sioux City, Iowa, where he was connected to an iron lung machine. He had trouble swallowing and was paralyzed from the neck down. After visiting a chiropractor, he eventually began showing signs of progress.
He said, "I recovered well, but lost most of my athletic ability. One arm goes crossways and a leg is shorter." He also would have "drop foot" his entire life, meaning one foot wouldn't lift well when walking and often caused him to trip. Recently, due to post-polio syndrome, he began wearing ankle braces.
"The experience of having polio was great because it changed my attitude," he said.
"I spend very little time on negative thoughts. God left me here on Earth for a specific reason and it's up to me to cultivate that reason. You will seldom see me with a frown on my face. I have a different perspective on life, and that perspective demands I be thankful for being (on top) of the ground."
Rather than using his body for physical work, Gries while growing up had to learn how to use his brain to get ahead, he said. He became an entrepreneur. Over his lifetime, he owned boat and metal manufacturing businesses, a horse ranch, a furniture leasing company, a biometrics company, and other businesses.
His latest venture launches February 3, which is RealJoeArmy.com, an Internet radio show and more in which Gries enlightens listeners about Social Security and other issues and lays out proposals for an alternative plan.
With RealJoeArmy, he said, "I wake up now knowing I'm doing something that could leave a better world for my grandchildren and millions like them. We aren't attacking these issues with bullets, but with heads filled with knowledge." His Internet radio show will start out lasting 30 minutes, and eventually may grow into two hours. Many of the shows will feature interviews with members of Congress.
Print This Article
LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesRoseville California Crime Brief (8.31.14)Roseville, CA - Roseville California crime brief update report for August 31, 2014.
Acura ILX: Luxury Vehicle, Reasonable PriceFor car shoppers looking for an upscale luxury sedan that doesn't arrive with a luxurious price tag, Acura debuted the ILX a year ago and its back for 2014 virtually unchanged
People with Autism Especially VulnerablePerhaps like you, recently I read of an incident in Okeechobee, Florida, in which an 18-year-old man was recorded on video beating, choking, kicking, and holding a knife to the throat of a 16-year-old boy with autism.
54 Year Old Roseville Woman Killed with Own VehicleRoseville- 54-year-old Bernadette Ann Richardson was killed when her SUV rolled backwards as she was retrieving a bicycle from her 1997 Ford Explorer.
Photos: Napa Earthquake DamageWe recently had the opportunity to tour Napa following the magnitude 6.0 earthquake. The downtown area of Napa which contains many older buildings was hit especially hard.
California Senate Passes New Gun Violence BillCalifornia's state today passed the "Gun Violence Restraining Order (AB 1014)," legislation that would allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court
Laura's Law Implementation in Placer CountyPlacer County became the sixth county in California Tuesday to implement Laura's Law - a state statute that authorizes court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment of residents with severe
$22 Million Animal Services Center in Auburn Moves ForwardThe Placer County Board of Supervisors awarded a design-build contract on Tuesday that paves the way for construction of a long-planned Animal Services Center in North Auburn that
Autism in Girls Study Launched in CaliforniaAutism is far more common in boys than girls - affecting 1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls - but little is known about biological differences between boys and girls with autism.
Sierra Shoot Out Water Polo Tournament in RocklinThe Sierra Shoot Out Water Polo tournament is back for another year at Sierra College. The junior college has hosted this high school tournament for over 20 years
What is Slowing the California Housing Recovery?Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about why the California and Sacramento housing markets are not expanding as fast as expected. Find out what Julie thinks is contributing to a slower real estate market.
Circus Vargas in Roseville this September Roseville,CA -- Get ready for the ultimate entertainment extravaganza for all ages as the circus comes to Roseville.