Hello and welcome to The Creative Corner. This is a new addition to Jabber Log and will highlight poems, short stories, and artwork. The work placed within this category will not just highlight work I have done but will highlight anyone who would like some sort of exposure. If you would like your work highlighted here please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All credit of original author will be given and if longer stories happen to be submitted, the work will be split into sections to make each post short and sweet, leaving the readers wanting more. Happy creativity to all, cheers!
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By Ricardo — 6 months ago
“To walk among heroes”
Guest blog post –
Written by –
Billy Short – Technical Trainer with RPSS
It was the last class of my training assignment for a PSAP in Louisiana. The training part of my class was over, so I broke into my post class “appreciation speech.” Since becoming a technical trainer for 911 dispatchers, my eyes had been opened to things that I guess, I had always taken for granted. I shared with the class how that I, as a citizen, truly appreciated the work that dispatchers perform. I had come to realize that most dispatchers were never truly recognized, or honestly appreciated for their work. I shared with them how that I had come to believe that they were the “first”, first responders. I had witnessed many community organizations and churches having appreciation events for other First Responder heroes, but I noticed that the members of the dispatch teams were never given a seat at that table of honor.
I shared how that now, I somewhat understood the roller coaster of emotion that a 911 calltaker could be on, simply by answering the next ringing telephone. I knew that one minute they would be able to feel their blood pressure rise in aggravation to a caller wondering when the electrical power would be restored to their neighborhood, or a caller wanting the phone number to the local tax office. To answering the next call and experiencing the desperate cries of a mother that had just pulled the lifeless body of her toddler from a swimming pool. I shared with the class my appreciation for their professionalism when taking a call from someone who just seemed to be having a difficult day, and needing to complain to someone, to the next call from someone that is having the absolute worse day of their life because their mate of 52 years was lying in the floor unresponsive.
I thanked them for doing the often-thankless job of giving CPR instructions over the phone until EMS arrived at the scene. I thanked them for trying to comfort a scared child, who left alone in the house, hears a scary noise outside. I tried my best to express my love, admiration, and appreciation for the job that they do, day in, day out, around the clock, and through the holidays. I also extended to them my friendship. Even though it would probably be limited to social media, or text messaging. I told them that if they ever needed someone to listen, someone to pray for them, someone to talk to, that I would be willing to be that guy.
I ended my speech with another, heart-felt “Thank You!” After the group began to file out of the room, one guy, kind of hung back a little. I could tell that my “speech” was having some sort of emotional effect on him. When the room emptied, this hulk of a dispatcher walked up to me, with tears now beginning to roll down his face, he asked if he could give me a hug. Of course, I obliged, and bear hugged him right back. With a soft voice he began to thank me. He simply stated that the job had begun to get to him, and that he didn’t know if he could keep going on. But that my speech had reminded him that it wasn’t a job that he performed. It was his calling! He told me that he was fired up and ready to get back out onto the floor and be the professional, the call-taker, the first responder that he was called to be. By this time, tears were in my eyes. I thanked him for sharing part of his story with me. And I thanked God for the little part that I had played in this First Responder Hero’s life calling!
Through social media, I found out a few months after that day, that my dispatcher friend had gotten off work, went home, went to sleep, and never woke up again. I felt the tears coming again! That scene at the door of the training room played back over in my mind. I felt an unexplainable sense of loss. That may sound strange. I had only spent a few hours in a training class with him. I never knew his life story. I never knew his family. I never knew his favorite food or color. But in his death, I knew that the world had lost a hero. To some, he was just a voice on the other end of a phone line. To some, he was just somebody that answered phones for a living. For some, he was just an operator that would give out a phone number. But I can’t help but believe that there were countless people whose lives had been saved, broken hearts comforted, and fears calmed, by this straw haired colored man. I believe that there were firefighters and police officers, that were made heroes of situations because this dispatcher sent them on their way. I believe that the world was a better place, and a safer place because of a that faceless voice on the other end of a mic, or telephone. And I believe that a dispatch team, lost a brother, that could never quite be replaced. And to me, I am reminded that my job is more than a job. It is a calling. A calling to walk among heroes! A calling to play my part in the training of giants! I want to be the best trainer that I can be, so that heroes and giants can be the best dispatcher that they can be!Post Views: 1,189
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
The bedroom was filled with Christmas Carols. Joy to the World was on the radio and Jason sat at the edge of his bed with his revolver. His heart raced and his hand shook as if feigning for a cancer stick. The room was showered with blood and the scent of Christmas dinner lingered in the air. Jason scratched his head in confusion and stared at a family portrait. He looked at himself back then, back when Cody was still alive. He was finally able to convince his wife Ellen to take that family picture. Though she griped she went along with it for the kids. He wore a blue and gray argyle sweater with a white button up shirt. The collar was out and he finished it off with dress pants and shoes. Ellen wore a black skirt that had white and blue designs and a white top. She hated that outfit he thought. Ellen always told him she thought it made her look like a frumpy mom. Allison, the eldest of the two kids, wore a dark blue-tiered dress with sandals. She was only nine then and next to her was her brother Cody. He was six years old in that picture and was the spirit and life of the family. Cody wore matching outfits with his father that day. Jason began to cry as memories of his son swirled in his head.
This was not the first time tragedy had struck the Tyler home. It was Christmas day in 1996 when he lost his son. A refreshing blue excavation in the back yard was the cause of his death. The kids had just finished opening their presents and ran to their rooms to change into their winter clothes to play outside. These outfits consisted of a pair of shorts and t-shirts with tennis shoes. This was the perfect attire for winters in Brownsville, Texas. Allison and Cody played outside while Jason took a nap before family stopped by. Ellen had dinner in the oven and poured a glass of vodka and orange juice. This was nothing new for her and she boiled over the fact that she received no help from Jason in the kitchen or around the house. Jason cried harder as he recalled Ellen’s scream for help. He remembered jumping from the couch where he was sleeping and ran down the long hallway to the back of the house by the pool. In a panic he struggled to get the screen door open. He could see his son floating face down in the middle of the pool. He remembered this in slow motion. He recalled this frame by frame and Ellen sounded like her batteries had run out.
“H-e-l-p me J-a-s-o-n, I c-a-n-’t reach h-i-m!”
He was finally able to get the door open and he jumped into the pool to retrieve Cody. Jason pulled him out and immediately began CPR. Since he was a professor at the community college he needed this training in case something happened to a student. As he continued CPR Ellen ran inside to call 911. Allison had been watching her father attempt to save her brother from behind the fence that enclosed their pool. Jason continued compressions and gave a couple breaths. Cody’s face had turned blue and his spirit and life trickled away. Jason stopped when the ambulance arrived but he did not let go of Cody. He knew his son was gone but he held on tight. He remembered how he cried and cursed the world. He cried so hard his chest hurt. He held his son close and kissed his forehead before they took him away. Allison finally came out of hiding and whispered to her father.
“I saw everything dad.”
“You need to speak up a little honey, I can’t hear you.”
Ellen had returned with another glass of vodka and orange juice as Allison tried to speak again to Jason. Allison glanced toward her mother to see if she was paying attention. Ellen was staring off into space and Allison spoke again.
“I saw everything from behind the fence.”
“You saw nothing,” yelled Ellen. “This is all a bad dream. You must forget this day Alli.”Post Views: 158
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
On today’s edition of The Creative Corner, Jabber Log features a very talented artist. Comics to Canvas is the creation of Crystal Martinez, an artist who paints from her heart and soul. She currently holds a B.A. in Psychology and is working towards her Master’s and Ph.D. Crystal has always loved art and has been drawing and painting since her days in elementary school. It has continued into adulthood, however, her passion wasn’t realized until her second semester of college. In her own words she states,
“I didn’t discover my true love of Pop Art until my second semester of community college. I had painted a Master Copy of Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl in my painting I class and from that moment on I knew that Pop Art would become my style of choice.”
Since then she has painted numerous pieces involving pop culture in her own version of Pop Art. She has won numerous awards for her work and one was even purchased by her school as a feature in their private collection. From then on her work was also featured on posters and t-shirts when she won a contest for an annual Mardi Gras celebration in Lake Wales, Florida. Her work revolves mostly around comic book images and characters but in no way takes credit for the original creation. Other inspiration comes from movies, cultural icons, and every day life. She focuses on closeups in her work. It’s the emotion and expression of a person or character that drives her artistic vision. In her own words she states,
“My version of Pop Art focuses on taking those popular images and centering on faces and expressions and painting them with bold black lines and adding beautiful bright colors.”
Crystal has twenty plus works of art under her belt. This does not include those that she has sold off. She is now working on a web site to showcase her work and talent. As of right now she is working on new works of art and taking requests. The price ranges from $200-$300 depending on the canvas size and the amount of paint needed to complete the project. Typically the canvas’s are 16X20 and those are usually $200. Do not miss the opportunity to own a great work of art by up and coming Pop Artist Crystal Martinez. Her passion can be seen in every work of art. You can reach her by email at email@example.com Below is a look at her work.Post Views: 182