by Dan Spoone
Happy Holidays to all our ACB members and friends! Wow, what a year! The year started for our family with the passing of my dad, Bill Spoone, a man I looked up to for my entire life. Dad, we really miss you. We celebrated Thanksgiving, and it was difficult not hearing your voice at the head of the dinner table. I’ve given it my best to make you proud of me through a tumultuous 12 months. Mom’s assisted living facility was severely damaged by Hurricane Ian, and she had to spend three weeks with Leslie and me before we found her a new home. She’s doing well and adjusting to her new place. She really misses you and has your picture on the nightstand next to her bed. You must be up there cheering for your Tennessee Vols that finally beat the hated Alabama Crimson Tide. There have been lots of “hip, hip, hooray”s for all the accomplishments for our family and ACB. I’m still taking your advice to always celebrate our victories.
Your grandson Sam was promoted to supervisor at Valencia College, and he is studying for his master’s. Your grandson Ben just purchased his first home with his new wife Anna. Who knows, there may be new Spoones coming soon. Your daughter, Cathy, sure has her fingers crossed.
Yes, our blind group is doing good. ACB had our first-ever hybrid convention in Omaha. We had a big scream to start the convention, so everyone could get out their frustrations. Leslie had an excellent auction and she’s really enjoying teaching her exercise classes on the Internet. We were remembering the other day about all the times you took her to those early morning classes at the YMCA. You were always her biggest fan! You would be so proud of her. She’s really a ball of energy. By the way, our “Blind Bats” fantasy football team finished in first place last year. We still have that Bill Spoone magic!
ACB also had our second virtual election for board members, resolutions and constitution and bylaws amendments. Dad, you always taught me to treat everyone the same and be fair. We really did it this year with our elections, and it was wonderful to hear all the positive comments about our democratic process. It was a great team accomplishment.
Dad, we are keeping a positive attitude and continuing to dream big. I used your favorite quote the other day in my banquet speeches to the Michigan and North Carolina affiliates. You know, the one from Bobby Kennedy, “Some people see things as they are and ask ‘why?’ I dream of things that never were and ask, ‘why not?’” It always reminds me of you.
Dad, I miss you. Thanks for being my father.
Happy Holidays from our family to yours! Please take time to remember those that have meant so much to us and the American Council of the Blind.