America


Late on a dark New Orleans, a jogging Peter Gold saw a hoodie wearing man dragging a woman down the street. Gold intervened as the man tried to get the woman into a SUV near the intersection of Magazine and St. Mary streets.  The man let go of the woman, held his gun to Gold, looked him in the face and said ‘I’m going to kill you‘, then he shot Gold point blank in the stomach.

 

Gold lay on the sidewalk and pleaded for his life. The hoodied man put the gun to Gold’s head, pulled back the slide on the black semi-automatic gun and pulled the trigger. “I saw the man squeezing the trigger repeatedly. He said the gun was jamming.” Gold recalled. When the gun didn’t fire the man took the woman’s purse and drove away.

Gold recovered from his injuries in what everyone has called an “incredible miracle.” Gold graduated from Tulane medical school and continues with a residency in orthopedic surgery at a hospital in New York City.  “I’m just very lucky and fortunate to be able to come out of that alive,” Gold said. “I think about that day every single day of my life.”

Every single day Gold thinks about how he almost died, “I wonder what happened in somebody’s life that they were able to create such violence with such ease without even thinking about it.” Gold has a started a nonprofit foundation called MyStrongCity to provide education, mentoring and to raise money for community-based organizations that empower undeserved youth.

The gunman, who was captured later, attacked three other people immediately after leaving Gold.

Gold says that he was “lucky”, but could the gun jamming be attributed to something other than luck? Would he have started this foundation that has helped thousands of people, if this horrible incident had not occurred? Could this happening be something other than fortune smiling on him?

Could this have been  THEM?

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I Have Traveled the World

I have seen the sea change from morning to night. I have seen the most amazing creatures. My craft has been chauffeured by dolphins.

I have witnessed Shearwater birds swim 60 feet underwater and then take off and fly through the sky. I have seen creatures in the waves that defy explaining. I have won battles by just showing up. I have played Smiles in the Philippines and silently viewed

the Coral Triangle.

I have played games in the vastness of the undulating nothing. Took leave in Kuwait and

saw Octopi with fins in miles upon miles of quiet, solitude. Experienced the ruggedness of

the Azores,

the cold of Ellesmere,

the isolation of Tristan da Cunha.

Places were birds seem to soar for weeks and volcanoes taller than Everest rise from the ocean bed, but still far from the suns power.

Their eruptions shake the planet, heat the water and cause the winds of the Earth to circulate. I have inhaled salt air, marveled at shoals of fish. I have traveled and through drills, tours, and practices I have paid enough attention to know that the ocean and the sky

are but inverted and that I don’t walk but I am one of the many creatures that swim through air. Oh, I’ve been places, and there are two things I have learned. One is that I have no answers and Two I am most at home right here on this couch.

MG Hardie