Spring 2012
In This Issue
Civil War at the museum
Aphasia Tips
Winston's Wine Corner

Houston Aphasia 

Recovery Center


3701 Briarpark Drive 
Suite #310
Houston, Texas 77042

e-mail harc@harctx.org


Phone: 713-781-7100
Fax:     713-781-7105


Quick Links

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View our videos on YouTube

HARC Trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science
By: Ruth Kamba 


     On February 9, Jennifer Gerbode, Volunteer Coordinator at the Museum of Science, graciously came to HARC and talked about "The Civil War."  The next week approximately 15 people,  along with Paris, our volunteer, and Melissa, our SLP, went to the museum and viewed the Exhibit of the Civil War.

     Jennifer was an excellent guide.  She had story after story about real people, through army reports and letters back home, both from the North and the South about:

HARC participants and Speech Pathologist Melissa (center).

* Breaking Apart (States)                 
* Raising Armies (North and South)
* Finding Leaders
* We Were There (Soldiers' letters to and from families)
* A Local Fight (small towns)
* A Global War
* Spies and Conspiracies
* Suffering and Casualties
* Emancipations
* Post-War
* Nau Collection (uniforms)

     In 1861, many years of problems between the northern and southern United States finally exploded, regarding issues of state's rights versus federal control, westward expansion and slavery.  The "Civil War" (1861-1865) was the bloodiest war in American history.  More than 3 million Americans fought in it, and over 600,000 men died in it.  

HARC "Let's Talk" Luncheon 2012

An interview with its Chair: Susan Cook 

Interview conducted by Paul Maharaj and Michael LeBourgeois

Michael:  Why do you think the luncheon was a success?
Susan Cook:  Because everybody at HARC came forth with wonderful ideas and gave incredible time to making it a wonderful day.  And I cannot say thank you enough to each one of you. Another reason for the success is because of the success of last year's luncheon.  That party set the stage for this year's event, and the number of repeat guest was the base we worked off of this year. And that is thanks in a big way to Grace Ison.  Once again, it was Grace and Don's dear friends who filled a huge number of the tables.  They had such fun that they all came back this year! Another reason is that HARC is getting better known, and as more people learn about us the more we will have come year after year.  Who knows, we just might fill the George Brown Convention Center one day!  Another critical aspect of the success we had is due to the expert advice we had this year from our consultant, Sukey Fenoglio. She is the absolute "Master of the Clock," and timing is a critical part of any event and with Sukey's help, we kept the program moving and the guest were treated to a special event where they learned so much yet had such fun and they were out in a timely fashion.

 What did you think about Dianne Ackerman's speech?
I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had a pretty good feel for what she would say because I read her book last summer. But what I really enjoyed was watching the guests listening to her! They were mesmerized by her story and her ability to communicate the life she and her husband led as they traveled the journey through his aphasia.

How can the participants and the public help?

Susan: Paul, you are helping so much by just asking that question.  Because of your dedication and desire to help not only yourself but others too is a priceless gift.  Just think of the help and encouragement you give to new participants as they arrive at HARC because you know how they feel, and after being in your presence they will soon see a new day has dawned for them, too. Another way the participants can help is to always have some of the HARC brochures with you wherever you go.  You never know when the opportunity will come up and you can hand them the information about us, and soon the word will spread like wildfire!  As for the way the public can help us is to get the message of HARC every place we possibly can.  Of course, the luncheon was a wonderful place to do that.  There were so many people there as guests of those who purchased tables who really knew very little about HARC, and I know they went away in awe because they clearly understood the mission of HARC after seeing the video and listening to all we had to say.  And then, we hope they will remember us by sending a check!  


Paul:  Based on your experience as a board member, I am curious what new ideas you have for HARC ?

Susan: They are big ideas and lots of them! I must say in my first year on the board, I am very impressed with how well HARC works and the extraordinary success it has had in its very short life.  In just a few short years we are making huge gains in every aspect of the organization.  One thing I would like to see and very soon, is more volunteers.  They are invaluable to the participants as well as the staff.  There is nothing more exciting than a volunteer who has a winning personality and a deep desire to help.  But I really do not think my ideas for HARC are what I would call new.  I just am passionate about seeing us continue to grow and become the absolute finest recovery center anywhere!  And there is no doubt that will happen, and soon, too! 

Author Diane Ackerman, left, and Susan Cook on the day of the luncheon in March.

Michael: Could you give us a preview of next year's luncheon? Who, where, and the speaker?

Susan: The plans are just getting under way, but it is all very exciting at this moment because the next luncheon chair is Kristi Breaux!  She is our wonderful board member who is also the secretary of the board.  It will be Kristi's party, and I want her to tell you all the plans as of this time, but I will tell you that we have now outgrown Houston Country Club after two wonderful events there.  So we will move the luncheon to River Oaks Country Club, where we can seat another 100-plus. That is real progress!  We may be at the Convention Center sooner than we think!


Michael: Tell me about the raffle.

Susan: It is always fun to see who gets the winning ticket and all the excitement that goes with it!  And this year was no exception.  Everybody was thrilled with what they won.  But the hard part is securing really neat items that will draw lots of interest at the raffle table.  And added revenue!  Because we were honoring Coach Guy Lewis from the University of Houston, we had two items that related to his teams, and they were items lots of people would have loved to take home!


Michael:  Many of the guests thought the flowers were beautiful. Where did you get them, and is there a story behind them?

Susan: Oh, Michael, you have touched one of the major loves of my life, flowers!  And yes, there is a story behind them.  I knew exactly what I wanted the ballroom to look like, and last October I set out to see how to make it work. I wanted the party to look like a spring garden.  I went to the head of the horticulture department at Brookwood Community in Brookshire to see if they would grow the geraniums for us.  I had in hand the three colors I wanted to use, and we made a deal for the plants to be ready for the luncheon in March.  I also asked if I could come back several weeks before the luncheon to see how the plants looked.  Well, these people run such a fine business, they called me before I could call them to set a time to go see them!  I was very impressed, and yes, the blossoms on the plants were more than perfect!  Then we sold the plants after the luncheon in order to recoup some of the cost. I bought some of the plants, too, and I look on the patio daily and think of the wonderful time we had at the luncheon and just how very special HARC is to me.  

Aphasia Tips

Cheryl Adamson and Ruth Kamba saw these tips online
and wanted to share them.

  1. We are competent. We still have our intellect, memories and senses of humor.
  2. We are still the same people on the inside. We are adults. We deserve respect and dignity.
  3. Talk to us and include us in the conversation. We know what we want to say, but we just have trouble getting it out.
  4. We can usually hear just fine, so there's no need to yell when speaking with us. We just might not understand all of the words said.
  5. We appreciate honesty, so let us know if you really do not understand what we are trying to communicate.
  6. We welcome patience.
  7. We want to be active in our lives and communities.
  8. Just like you, we rely on the support of our family, our friends, and our faith.
  9. We continue to improve every day.
  10. We are NOT victims! We are SURVIVORS!! 

Resources: http://aphasiacorner.com Scale Ambassadors. September 1, 2010. Accessed on April 10, 2012. http://aphasiacorner.com/blog/living-with-aphasia-2/ten-things-you-should-know-about-people-with-aphasia-455


 Aphasia Doesn't Slow Me Down
By Cheryl Adamson

What you should know about me:

  1. I am happy, not depressed!
    Cheryl takes in an Astros game on a recent HARC outing.
  2. I am responsible.
  3. I want to be accepted as an adult.
  4. I like for people to speak slowly to me.
  5. I want help if I asked for it.
  6. Do not say my words for me, ask me.
  7. Do not assume I cannot understand.
  8. Do not think that because I have aphasia I am not educated.
  9. Please speak loud enough.
  10. I am a good listener.

Whooping Cranes Named for Their Distinctive Call 

  By: Ruth Kamba

Ruth and her husband, Clare, recently took a trip to see the Whooping Cranes in Rockport, TX. These are some of the things they learned.


     The Whooping Cranes are named for their distinctive call.  They are the tallest bird in North America and one of its most endangered.  The only "wild natural flock" located in the summer is at Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada, and the surrounding area where they breed.  From late October through mid-April the flock has a winter reservation at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), about 45 minutes north of Rockport in Austwell, Texas.  The cranes spread out about 35 miles along the coast just off U.S. Highway 35N.

     The flock travels 2,500 miles.  The wild population consists of 340 Whooping Cranes and another 145 living in captivity, as of April 2007.  According to the Audubon Nature Institute, "the cranes were on the brink of extinction in 1941.  Whooping Cranes establish lifelong mates and maintain their bonds through courtship dances and displays. The cranes stand over five feet tall, with white plumage accented with black-tipped wings and a red crown."

      The Whooping Cranes live in the grassy plains, marshes, lakes, and ponds.  They nest on raised ground.  The female lays 1 or 2 eggs in late April to mid-May.  Their diet consists of snails, clams, fish, blue crabs, and berries.

      In Canada, warm weather leads to less rainfall, shrinking wetlands area.  Foxes and lynxes, the predators of Whooping Cranes and their chicks, have easier access.

Welcome to Veronica Bucio

  By: Cheryl Adamson


All about Veronica:

I attend Lakewood Church. 

No children / not married. 

Also, I am a real estate agent. 

Hobbies: Reading books, traveling, and babysitting grand-niece!

Winston's Wine Corner
By participant: Winston Goodrich
Winston suggests:

Winery: LA Terre

Region: USA  California

Varietal: Chardonnay

Type: White Wine

Rating: Good

Year: 2009

Winery: Castello Di Gabbiano

Varietal: Sangiovese

Type: Red Wine

Rating: Good

Year: 2010

Winery: Messina Hof Winery & Resort

Varietal: Riesling

Region: USA  Texas

Type: Dessert/Fortified

Rating: Good




Aphasia Speaks is written by HARC's newsletter group, which meets weekly and consists of the following participants: Cheryl Adamson, Ruth Kamba, Pat Stalsby, Winston Goodrich, Micheal LeBourgeois, Doris Spengler and Paul Maharaj.


Houston Aphasia Recovery Center. All rights reserved.