There was a hot air balloon crash in Lockhart, Texas on Saturday, killing sixteen. Yesterday I learned I have a bit, just a bit, of a personal connection with one of the victims. John Gore died along with his wife of three years, Stacee, and they leave behind four kids from a blended marriage. They used a Groupon for the hot air balloon ride to celebrate their third wedding anniversary.
John’s father was our family doctor. We were one of his first patients when he started his practice in Mineral Wells, I probably wasn’t even knee-high. Our relationship with him started because my father developed some sort of lump on the outside of his chest, and his doctor said it was cancer and needed to be removed. Mom wanted a second opinion and that’s where Dr. Gore comes in. Dr. Gore examined the lump and then excused himself to get a book. It turns out the lump was an odd side effect of a medication. After about a month of changing medication, the lump was gone. My father didn’t admire a lot of people, but he certain held Dr. Gore in high regard. When my father spoke to me the last time on his deathbed in the hospital, he wanted me to tell Dr. Gore the admiration he had for him.
I want to say for the last six months of my father’s life, he was hospitalized for four of them. During that time, SisterGeeding was still in elementary school, and Dr. Gore could see the strain on our family. His daughter was in the same grade as SisterGeeding (John wasn’t that much older) and as a distraction, invited her to stay the night at his house several times as a welcome distraction to a child and to allow our family to spend time with Dad in the hospital. Mom was never comfortable with the amount of time SisterGeeding spent in the hospital visiting, worrying the impression it may leave. So SisterGeeding knew John much better than I did.
Dr. Gore later ran for the school board and won. He didn’t spend one dollar on advertising, he only by simply having his name on the ballot.
Residents of Mineral Wells are aware of John’s troubled past, and if you read the article about the crash in the Mineral Wells Index, the local paper, you’ll see they are pissed his troubled past was mentioned, especially because he seemed to have turned his life around and have paid for his transgressions. I’m sorry his family and friends had to read this and have it drummed back up at such a tragic time.
His sister took the high road with this comment, recognizing how upset other commenters were.
If I recall, Dr. Gore and his first wife, Mona, could not conceive a child and John was adopted. Mona was actually very sick and later died, cancer I believe.
The article states, “Identification of the victims will be “a long process,” Caldwell County Sheriff Daniel Law quoted the NTSB and medical professionals as saying.” I guess that means after hitting a power line, the bodies were heavily damaged.
I’m curious to know what’s going to happen with the four kids. Do you split them up, two and two, to the surviving biological parent? I don’t know the past, so I’m not sure if that’s an option. Or would it be best to keep all four of them together, but that would be one heck of an immediate “burden” for anyone, taking in four kids unexpectedly.
I received an email from the significant other of one of my closest friends yesterday. He small intestines somehow became twisted and was rushed to the ER which resulted in surgery.
Two strange Donald Trump stories yesterday. A baby was crying at a rally, which Trump said he didn’t mind, and then a little later asked for the baby to be removed. That was bad, but I don’t think all that bad. But his comments after being gifted a Purple Heart from a veteran was stranger than fiction. Seriously, if you read this in a novel or saw it in a movie, you wouldn’t believe anyone would say such a thing.
“I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.”
I love thinking how former Speaker of the House John Boehner is enjoying retirement and not having to be in the middle of all this mess. I kinda feel for his successor, who is trying to back his party’s nominee but make a principled stand, and trying to unite his party.