John Denver once sang a song and it included the term “Aspenglow”. I flew into Aspen once on a business trip right after Christmas and since it was late at night when the flight got in, I spent the night in Aspen before traveling on to Glenwood Springs the next morning. The city of Aspen was a-glow with light, the sound of the snow crunching underfoot and under the treads of the tires as cars went up and down the street. There was still Christmas music playing and people were still in a festive mood as they wandered from restaurant to pub. It gave me the idea of what John Denver meant by “Aspenglow”.
Perhaps, though, there’s nothing that glows quite so brightly as the happy face of a child who knows s/he is loved. There is a radiant bloom around the happy, innocent child-like face that is utterly delightful.
I’ve titled my photo for today of my youngest grand-daughter “Angelglow” because of the glow of the light that is around her face and the edges of her hair. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I think she’s rather angelic in her looks and innocence and in her joy of life. Hence, “Angelglow”.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1987, in an event that had viewers around the world glued to their televisions, 18-month-old Jessica McClure is rescued after being trapped for 58 hours in an abandoned water well in Midland, Texas.
The drama unfolded on the morning of October 14, 1987, when McClure fell through the 8-inch-wide opening of an abandoned well while playing with other children in the backyard of her aunt’s home day-care center. After dropping about 22 feet into the well, the little girl became stuck. Over the next two-and-a-half days, crews of rescue workers, mining experts and local volunteers labored around the clock to drill a shaft parallel to the one in which McClure was trapped. They then tunneled horizontally through dense rock to connect the two shafts. A microphone was lowered into the well to keep tabs on the toddler, who could be heard crying, humming and singing throughout the ordeal.
On the night of October 16, a bandaged and dirt-covered but alert Baby Jessica, as she became widely known, was safely pulled out of the well by paramedics. By that time, scores of journalists had descended on Midland, a West Texas oil city, and the rescue was carried out on live television before a massive audience.
After her rescue, McClure was hospitalized for more than a month and lost a toe to gangrene. She and her family were flooded with gifts and cards from well-wishers, and received a visit from Vice President George H.W. Bush and a phone call from President Ronald Reagan. Once out of the hospital, McClure went on to lead a normal life, spent largely out of the public spotlight. She graduated from high school in 2004, married two years later and became a mother. In 2011, at age 25, she gained access to a trust fund—reportedly worth at least $800,000—that was established following her rescue and made up of donations from people around the world.
Life proved more challenging for others involved in the Baby Jessica saga. McClure’s parents divorced several years after her accident, rescue workers in Midland feuded over a potential Hollywood movie deal and in 1995, a paramedic who played a key role in helping to save McClure committed suicide, possibly as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Benjamin Franklin invented the rocking chair.