On Sunday evening the Old Lake Tahoe Athletic Club gathered together at Crosby’s for a momentous occasion. Founding member Stu Jed has survived pancreatic cancer for five years. I don’t usually order a shot of Jack with my beer, but hey.
Moments before joining the festivities, I decided to go online and try to find the five most amazing superhuman feats. What I discovered was astounding. I scribbled them down on a cocktail napkin then typed them up for Stu.
Number five: Wim Hof is a Dutch adventurer and daredevil who ran an Arctic marathon at minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit while shirtless. He also holds the world record for being immersed in ice for an hour and 44 minutes. Hoff was able to survive for 72 minutes outdoors at the North Pole while wearing nothing but his underpants.
Number four: John Evans can balance a keg of beer on his head. (Evans has an extremely large neck). Evans also balanced a small car on his head for 33 seconds.
Number three: Sakinat Khanapiyeva is the strongest grandmother in the world. The 76-year-old from Dagestan can break horseshoes in her hands. (Full disclosure: I asked her out via Geezers Anonymous, we being about the same age and all, but she said I had a pencil neck and she would rather go out with somebody like John Evans.)
Number two: Roy Sullivan was struck by lightning seven times and survived them all. Nicknamed the “Human Lightning Rod,” Sullivan was struck by lightning more than any other human being that we know of. Sullivan died at the age of 71, not as a result of a final lightning strike, but as a result of an unrequited love affair. Sullivan shot himself, proving once again that love is more dangerous than lightning.
Number one: Number one is no less than our own Stu Jed, five-year survivor of the most virulent of cancers. Some attribute this singular feat to strength of character and innate purity. Others, less charitable, maintain it’s Stu’s singing that is his salvation, as his singing would kill the most vituperative of cancer cells. Either way, he is an inspiration and a testament to the miracle of the human spirit, and , for that, we of the Old Lake Tahoe Athletic Club congratulate him.
Stu stood and offered some words from the heart that only such a survivor can muster.
“In the last five years I have learned a great deal and the most important is that I still have a great deal more to learn,” Stu said. “What has become significant is that our moments are to be savored. I used to be one who rarely had time to recognize night from day in the pursuit of success. Now I recognize that success comes from enjoying family, friends (old and new), and experiencing the moment. When you die the undertaker sews up your pockets and you have a new address with an unlisted phone number. Now is not the time to spit into the wind.”
We stood as one man and gave Stu our thunderous applause. Thank you Stu for making us all feel evermore grateful for what we have during this holiday season.
To learn more about McAvoy Layne, visit www.ghostoftwain.com