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« Brain food from the heartland

George Sofranko and The Boss

By Louie b. Free (Contact)


Published May 11, 2009

 

 

L2 and I visit Atty George Sofranko. We don't say we will and we don't try to visit George - we do.

 

 George  Sofranko is a HUGE fan of 'The Boss'. He's seen a number of concerts and collects Springsteen memorabilia.  George has two tickets for the concert  next Tuesday (19April) in Pittsburg. George will NOT be going  to this concert.

 When L2 and I were visiting George last week,  the talking topic AGAIN  was  Bruce Springsteen. L2 showed us how she plays music on her I-Phone. She "called up" Springsteen and the song : Thunder Road came up.

The first verse is :

The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves


Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays


Roy Orbison singing for the lonely


Hey, that's me and I want you only


Don't turn me home again, I just can't face myself alone again


Don't run back inside, darling, you know just what I'm here for


So you're scared and you're thinking that maybe we ain't that young anymore


Show a little faith, there's magic in the night


You ain't a beauty but, hey, you're alright


Oh, and that's alright with me

 

L2 and I watched as George drifted into the music, came back and said : " You know, you can just see it, you can see her on the porch with her dress waving...

 I was thinking of the line : "I just  can't face myself alone again..."

Maybe I need to back up-George is in his early 50s. I first met him a few years back when I interviewed him with a crew of folks about an area drug court. At that time, George was in a motorized wheel chair. I always teased him about driving too fast on the sidewalk-REALLY ! George would WIZ by  'my window'  almost in  a blur ! I also would tease him about the chair to get a smile out of him and make him comfortable .  George has been unable to walk for quite some time. George has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 3 -he's NOT going to get better.
(SMA3, Kugelberg-Welander Disease).

Definition - a genetic disease in which loss of nerve cells in the spinal cord called motor neurons affects the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement.

George is now bedridden at an area nursing home.

So back to Bruce and Thunder Road. It wasn't too hard to imagine what George was thinking when he heard the words :

Well now, I ain't no hero, that's understood
All the redemption I can offer, girl, is beneath this dirty hood
With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey, what else can we do now?
Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
Well, the night's busting open, these two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven's waiting on down the tracks

I'm not sure what he was seeing as he heard the words and looked thru the ceiling- the ceiling over his motorized hospital bed. Maybe he saw something 'out there' that will never be  -  Maybe he saw himself with "Mary" as she climbed into his car and they took off to parts unknown. I do know that George, all too quickly, came back to his reality-a brilliant mind, a wonderful brain- in a body that doesn't work .

When L2 and I leave George, we always ask him if he wants or needs anything. His response is always the same: "I want a new body..." L2 and I wish we could give it to him.

I know there's a lot of people in this community that know George Sofranko. I also know that George sincerely appreciates visits-long or short. You see, George can't get to you-you need to get to George. Cards are nice-visits are  better, MUCH better !

Ok, back to Springsteen and George. Awhile back, an optimistic Atty George Sofranko bought tickets to Springsteen in Pittsburg. George cant go but YOU can. I'm holding two tickets to Tuesday, 19 April's concert. George has authorized L2 and I to give the tickets to whomever. If you're willing to make a donation to Fish Samaritan House in George's name, let me know. L2 and I  don't want this to be a bidding war, just fair. Contact me on or off air.

and,btw, spinal muscular atrophy is NOT contagious , LOVE is....

~Louie b.

 

I was bruised and battered, I couldn't tell what I felt.

 


I was unrecognizable to myself.

 


I saw my reflection in a window, I didn't know my own face.

 


Oh brother are you gonna leave me wastin' away

 

 


Comments

1wd8lee(1 comment)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Hey Louie,
Good write up. I just hope those that are interested in the tickets will be generous with their wallets as this will go to a good cause. I also hope that those people who know George will be generous with their time. George is pretty immobile now and cannot get out. Your time and effort to go visit him will be worth more to George than you will ever know. We tell him about all the people who ask about him and I see his eyes light up and smile come across his face. If the mere mention of someone asking about him is enough to make him smile, imagine what a face to face visit will do for him. Please don't feel that it will be awkward. Trust me, it isn't. By the time we leave, he is smiling and makes wry faces when we kid him but I will guarantee you that you will get as much out of the visit as George. Please, please, take the time for a brief visit. It will mean so much to him. Go BRUUUCE!! And GEOOOORGE!!!!
L2

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