Annnnd …. go!

In the town of Starr, South Carolina, 76-year-old Larry Swilling says he’s overwhelmed by the response to his one-man signboard campaign to find a kidney for his wife.

Volunteers are lining up to be tested for their suitability as organ donors. Medicare, presumably, will pick up the tab. A Christmas crowd sourcing miracle in the making.

So thank you, Mr. Swilling. Instead of arguing about Congressional gridlock and the NRA’s suggestion that elementary school teachers pack heat, we can spend the last few days of 2012 basking in a small town man’s devotion to the love of his life and drinking deeply of the milk that he’s squeezed for us from the teat of human kindness.

If only this scene weren’t being played out against the backdrop of a retail healthcare industry that routinely savages its patients’ finances, even as it posts record profits. If only the hospital that I confidently predict will donate its services to Swilling weren’t already brainstorming ways to use his story as fuel for its marketing machine.


Resolved: to instigate more creative projects in 2013 than I instigated in 2012, to be less of a prig, to hike Table Rock a few times (the right way) and Lake Jocassee (the right way, also), to build a dozen more fires at Picnic Shelter #1 before the weather turns and to use up all firewood purchased last year in the process.


Jay Spivey’s “Last Word” column for January is in the can. Resolved also to up the ante on these things during the balance of 2013.