Texan PET volunteer visits and Center works on disability issues in the US

PET MO-Columbia update 7-8-15
PETs built since 1-1-15 # 736

We had a visitor from PET San Antonio over the weekend, a fascinating
person with a great story to tell. One of twin sisters lives here at
Lenoir Woods Senior Center in Columbia, just 2 blocks away from my
home. The other lives in San Antonio, and is a volunteer with PET San
Antonio. When she told them she was going to visit her sister in
Columbia, MO, they said, “That is the home of PET. You must visit them
when you are there. ” She called and we had a short but wonderful
visit. She is a German native who, as a teenage girl, with her sister
and brother, were captured by the Russians in WWII and held as
prisoners. She has the well-known stories of mass shootings, etc., but
she and her sister survived. As I recall, her brother did not.

She made her way to the USA and married an Army officer, now deceased.
That is a brief of her life story.

The PET part of the story is that she is a very active volunteer at PET
San Antonio, working on metal cutting, grinding and drilling. They have
nick-named her “Rosie the Riveter.” She is passionately enthused about
PET, and was excited, as we were, to make this connection. I sent her
and her sister home with copies of my “AlphaPET” book and other local
PET materials. On her next visit we will tour our PET shop.


The magazine of the University of MO College of Human Environmental
Sciences carried an article telling that the Great Plains Americans
Disabilities Center is working with architects to provide information
and technical assistance for the construction of buildings more
friendly to persons with disabilities.

One area of study in which the two may cooperate is in the design of
hotels. One of their workers, Chuck Graham, who lives in a wheelchair
(and is a friend of PET), says that “Even lodgings that may be
considered accessible by their owners may present barriers to people
with disabilities. He cites beds 30 inches high that people in
wheelchairs may not be able to get into. Electric outlets behind
furniture may block wheelchair access.

The center is also working with The Department of Textiles and Apparel,
to design clothing that meets the needs of people with disabilities.
Day by day it is becoming a more friendly world to such persons.


“Change happens from the outside in. It is through the exercise of drill
that a person becomes self-regulating. It is through the expression of
courtesy that a person becomes polite. It is through the resistance to
fear that a person achieves courage. The act precedes the virtue.”
– David Brooks, “The Road to Character.”

Mel West

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