I'm back from the beach, reluctantly. It was great to have a chance to spend seven straight days doing as little as possible, and the lack of an open wireless connection at the apartment we rented even forced me to take a vacation from the Internet. I'll be the first to admit that this was a good thing, on balance. Of course, it meant that last week's blog posts were even more minimal than I'd intended, since I left them to the last minute and had to post them during the week from my sister's iPhone with no accompanying text. Fortunately, my hopes that the seven great Eddie Murray cards that I chose would speak for themselves seemed to be well-founded. Thanks to everyone who added their own commentary in my absence! By the way, I did have a chance to double back and post the image that I'd intended to use for Wednesday's post, so go give it a look. Now that I'm back in Baltimore, you've all got my full attention for another three and a half weeks...then it's off to San Diego for another long weekend, and you'd better believe that I've already started that countdown!
When I finally checked my email this afternoon, I found the usual batch of reader comments from my recent posts, but there was also a new comment left on a much older post. This happens from time to time, and in this case I'm going to call your attention to it. Last Tuesday, an anonymous commenter identifying herself as Sammy Stewart's oldest sister Linda weighed in on my April 13, 2008 entry, which highlighted Stewart and his post-baseball struggles with drug abuse and his subsequent incarceration. Per Linda's comment:
"I am Sammy's oldest sister, Linda and I would like for all of you to know that Sammy is doing wonderful. He's been in prison for over 3 years now and we are trying to get that sentence reduced or even clemency for him. Sammy has changed back to the man he once was, all drugs out of his system for 3 years now, he will look you in the eye and he is interested in what you've got to say. I think God that I have my brother back. Sammy is a wonderful man, a big heart and a great sense of humor. He's never known a stranger. Drugs ruined my brothers life and one of the worst things about this is that I had to watch our parents suffer and worry about Sammy, they were heartbroken. They are both dead now but I know in my heart that they are helping Sammy through these years. I think 8 or 9 years for habitual felon is pretty drastic and with the way the NC prison system being overloaded and underbudget they are going to need to let some of these types of offenders out. It's costing the gov way to much money. My brother has been through several classes, has a culinary school certificate, he is singing solos at church and all in all he is making the best of his time. He's helping the other guys in there also. He gets along with everyone and everyone likes him. I have written a letter to the gov of NC hoping for clemency so any prayers would be greatly appreciated. I love my brother, I don't like some of the things he did but he's human and he does deserve another chance. I know that if he gets out of there he can be a productive part of our society. He loves to work with kids and that's one of his hopes, of course he still loves baseball so he would love to work with the teams in any capacity. Sammy never hurt anyone other than himself and of course the people that love him so I think his sentence was toooo long. I would be interested in talking to any about Sammy anytime. Good thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Linda Banks"
Assuming that the commenter is who she claims to be (you never can be sure, but I'd like to think no one would exploit such a sensitive situation), I'd like to thank her for taking time out of her day to check in with a first-hand account, especially one that features such encouraging news. Everyone deserves a fresh start in life, and I continue to hope that Sammy makes the most out of the time that he has left in this world.