Snowpack accumulation at 14,255 ft. on Longs P...
Snowpack accumulation at 14,255 ft. on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stranded on the ledge

‘Officials say [Samuel]Frappier was “in an extremely precarious location on the east face of Longs Peak at roughly 13,000 feet.” He was not injured but said he could not go up or down. Frappier, who had no technical climbing equipment and is an inexperienced mountaineer, was stuck on the peak overnight as temperatures plunged into the 30s and rangers contacted him Wednesday morning. A rescue team assembled at the Chasm Shelter at the base of the east face of the peak late Tuesday night to prepare for the rescue Wednesday. A team of 28 rescue members assisted in the rescue. A Trans Aero helicopter was also deployed.’

Most people in the United States won’t immediately recognize the name Samuel Frappier. Samuel is 19 years old and as you can read this week he found himself stranded on an icy ledge in the Rocky Mountain National Park. He only had the clothes on his back and a cell phone. Samuel called for help and a dedicated rescue team shifted into high gear, assessed the situation and created a plan to carefully and deliberately save the life of a young person while risking their own lives. Thankfully he was saved…

Stranded on the proverbial ledge… “My Twisted World”

This past week another young man called for help when he composed his now infamous manifesto “My Twisted World” and complimented it with numerous YouTube videos.  By now his name, Elliot Rodger, is known to most of us in the United States and beyond.

An aerial shot spanning Elwood, Isla Vista and...
An aerial shot spanning Elwood, Isla Vista and Santa Barbara. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last Friday, May 23, 2014, 22 year old Elliot set off to carry out his day of retribution in the usually serene community of Isla Vista, California (adjacent to Santa Barbara). His attack left seven dead, including him, and 13 injured. The news media has covered this story for the past seven days and while we know the facts of his rampage we are still left wondering how could this happen. Certainly the families of those murdered and injured will continue to ask this question. They will ask why and seek answers. His own parents are seeking answers and are “crying with pain.”

Once again, we are faced with the knowledge that mental illness is difficult for all of us to deal with. Certainly, the afflicted struggle with trying to masquerade as normal, trying to fit in, feeling left out and screaming for help. The truth is family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, doctors, counselors, classmates and even strangers try to assist; however, fear of the unknown and disorders such as depression, bipolar, anxiety, trauma and post traumatic stress (PTSD) often leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless.

One father’s plea ‘Not One More”

One grief stricken father, Richard Martinez, is reaching out and has called for help. Through his tears he wants to start the conversation imploring all of us to bring an end to campus violence. Mr. Martinez lost his only son in this week’s horrific events in Isla Vista. He does not want sympathy, he wants action. His mission is simple: Stand up for something and be determined “Not One More.” 

Get to work and do something!

Some final thoughts as this week closes…

The use of guns to commit violence on school campuses is not new. We may quickly recall the most recent in this past decade; we might be old enough to remember the University of Texas massacre that took place in 1966. A 25 year old climbed to the top of an observation tower, opened fire killing 17 and wounding 31. It may surprise you to know that school shootings in the United States date back to the 18th century.

No one is quite sure why this 22 year old chose his day of retribution to take place in May. Did he know that May is Mental Health Month? This we know, in this past week two young men were stranded on a ledge. Each called for help. Finding experts to help the one stranded on the side of the 13,000 foot mountain was surmountable. If only someone could have intervened in a timely manner in the sea level community of Isla Vista.

As we close out this month remembering those who died on May 23rd, those who were injured, families who lost loved ones, friends who lost friends…those who witnessed the rampage, we thought back to a song written in 1967 by Paul Simon and recorded with Art Garfunkel ~ “Save the Life of My Child.”

“Good God! Don’t Jump!”

A boy sat on the ledge

An old man who had fainted was revived

And everyone agreed ‘twould be a miracle indeed

If the boy survived

“Save the life of my child!”

Cried the desperate mother…”

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

A father’s plea…”Not one more!”

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