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Author Topic: Timmonsville, SC ,Bus nut, Jay McKnight, an ispiration to us all  (Read 1602 times)
Gary LaBombard
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« on: May 23, 2006, 05:57:08 AM »

Hello Again,
I am rested up from yesterday's sitting here in front of my computer for over 12 1/2 hours total time in sorting pictures and submiting them on my web site and writing an introduction on the bb's post forum for you all to enjoy concerning our weekend at Timmonsville, SC bus gathering arranged by Dallas & Cat Farnworth.

While there at this gathering I had the pleasure to meet and sit for over an hour and talk to a 30 year old man, (you would swear he looks only 18) that will be an inspiration in my life for a very long time, actually forever.

He is Jay McKnight, from 216 tunnel Blvd., Chattanooga, TN 37411-2749. He lives with his dad, (Mike Hill) and they have a consulting business as Mike is a self employed engineer that works on setting up and maintaining computer controls of saw mills through out the country. Email them at: (digidoc@bellsouth.net) for contact about business or this post I am now making. Please do not (Spam) these great people and discourage them from hearing from sincere citizens wishing Jay all the best and hopefully also support with contacts to continue his fight in life.

I am sure contact from busnuts and everyone around the country will inspire Jay to help others in the same position I feel Jay is now at and make thousands perhaps millions in his position have more of a quality life like most of us take for granted.

Before reading on, go to my www site that has the Timmonsville, SC bus gathering photo's at:
http://community.webshots.com/user/converter101 then select Album #11, Timmonsville, SC Bus gathering, May 2006), after opening this album with 176 busnut photo's and their rigs etc. scroll down to photo's numbered (11a - 11g). These are photo's of Jay, His dad Mike Hill and their friend Eric Mainusch and of coarse their important friend "Moose", also of their 1967 "Flxible" they travel in. I wanted you to do this so that you can more or less relate to who I am talking about in a moment but also think how you would feel if a member of your family inspired you to do as I now am to help them out as we all should do to our "Brothers & Sisters" in life.

Jay is 30 years old as I said and lives with his dad and is totaly dependent upon his dad to assist him with most things in life we just take for granted as the "normal" people do. Jay has had Cerabal Palsey since birth, he is classified as legally blind but does have some very close vision that makes it possible to read etc. His whole life has been a struggle, not seeing everything most of us can but his dad describing everything in sight for jay to visualize in his mind. Mike, Jay's Dad, takes the time to describe foods to be put in his plate for instance, (and can Jay ever eat) and Mike makes Jay aware of any choices he needs to make from eating, dressing or traveling to be as independent after making these choices as he can.

Jay and Mike are so tight that they have some kind of telemetric communication between each other at times that is unique. They can be separated by many miles but call each other to check in on each other and most of the time this call will be at the very same time each of them do it. Mike can be on the road and needing things shipped to do his job on the road and jay will know this some how and have it all ready to ship. This bond between them is truly heart warming and amazing to see and listen about.

Jay has disabilities that prevent him from doing most things we all do every day, ony he has to struggle to accomplish. All his other senses are more acute and sensitive that assist him in everything he does. He can hear better, smell better, feel more sensitively than most of us, and react with upmost accuracy with his well trained talent.

What am I talking about, well, Jay has been taking Karate since he was 4 years old, that is (26 years to date)! He is a 4th degree black belt contender and has to wait now 2 more years to advance another level. He teaches when possible Karate to others with disabilities for protection and inspiration to them that if he can do it, so can they.

Jay had many doubts by many that he would be able to do anything in life, with his life. He has since Graduated from high school, accomplished his level of degree in Karate, he is a computer expert that works with his dad everyday and with all odd against him. Even very, very close members of his family did not offer support to Jay to have a successful and usefull life which also had to be a cross for Jay to carry from when he realized he was not "Normal" as most of us are.

Jay has accomplished more deeds that I am not aware of right now but I wanted to introduce you to what I do know of him accomplishing.

Now for your help if possible. Jay to me is truly an inspiration for all disabled Cerabal Palsy victims that can use our help through what ever means we can. Jay's desire now in his life is to have support and a place to teach other handicapped victums train in Karate for self confidence in life and protection if needed in todays world. To train others to his level that he he has so that this confidence can pyramid through others trained by Jay and his associates to levels they can participate in karate matches with the "Normal" experts participating in this match.

Jay was recently refused the opportunity to defend his title of being one of the top experts in Karate in his black belt degree. The reason for his refusal after training for over 26 years?? (They were afraid he would get injured as the performance ring for the matches was 5 ft. off the ground). I think they were really afraid that Jay would hurt one of the "Normal" participants going against him when he kickes their @$#!! "My" honest opinion of this is that the "Normal" challenging contender was afraid to have their @$# kicked by someone that has a disability!!

I think this discriminating should be be brought to the attention to public officials from the Govonor of Tennessee to the President of the United States to get this discriminating stopped as of now. There is no reason to prevent someone who is perfectly and expertly trained and qualified in their field to compete at the level they deserve and trained for. Jay is not affraid to take on the "Normal" contender, I assure you of this, he is pumped and ready to go to prove his stuff, now we need takers that are not afraid to sparr with him.

A Movie should be really be made of Jay's life to inspire all disabled Cerabal Palsy victums to go out and do everything they ever heard of or thought of with everyone's best support and training available.

There is no reason, not even one that can convince me that politicians cannot find the time to make programs for these misrepresented citizens. There are thousands, if not millions of them, (Voting Age!!) also that would love to accomplish what Jay has and wants to continue to achieve without the stigma, (Disabled) preventing him from doing so. The officials preventing Jay and others like him should be ashamed for not stepping up and creating a circumstance that will prevent one of the "Normal" participants from getting hurt when Jay steps in to do what he trained all his life to do.

I tried to convince Jay to write his Govonor, Congressman and yes even President Bush for support on helping the Disabled and real everyday fighter in the world, just to exist. We have not found that "Mole in the ground, osoma Binladen" since (9-11) even yet???!!!?? My God!! The spelling may be wrong about (Binladen) but you now who I mean. Well my point here is if we can spend all those billions, sacrafice all those precious lives of our men and women over there looking for this butt wipe, then why can't we do right for our citizens here in our country trying to live a quality of life but seem to always be stigmitized in being held back.

Jay, If you need support or someone to "Picket" the next Karate event you wish to participate in and are refused, just call or email me where and when and count on me. I will in turn try to figure out a way to have every disabled citizen possible also there in support. It should be noted also that Jay has tried to get support from the local communication devices, (TV & Radio) in Chattanooga, TN about his plight with the Karate promoters but Jay feels the priority level of interest for this was lower than what the TV and Radio stations wanted to present to the public about.

I know there is many Busnuts reading this that has contact with high people in high places. How much is it to ask for support to remove this disability stigmatism for wonderful, inspirational people such as Jay.

I am trying to convince Jay to consider touring schools and any place possible to put on short demonstrations of his talent and accomplishment in just his field and talk of his challenges in life. I bet the school bully that knew Jay when he was in 5th grade today still remember Jay as He kicked the bully's butt after him being so insensitive against Jay and picking on him etc. Well, I know he never picked on another disabled person in school again right up to his graduation as Jay had earned this guys respect for fighting back. Well, this is what I am trying to convince him to continue to do only at a larger scale, for millions of citizens with these same problems in life and be a spokes person on tours, seminars and demonstrations concerning the discriminated disabled.

Please help and support Jay with any means you can, influence people to see this story that may be able to open doors for him to stand up for all disabled citizens and say: "lOOK WHAT I ACCOMPLISHED AND YOU CAN TOO", lets all fight for equal rights for jobs, political representation and participation in politics, public display of challenges such as Olympics, Karate demonstrations or matches and the list goes on. If they get the training, get qualified and can do any of the above and more not mentioned, then why in hell can't they get to do it and get the same respect as everyone else.

Give me a call Jay if I can help any more, I hope this post opens a few doors for you and everyone else with the similar disabilities as Jay. I am ready to fight and "Picket" if you need me!!

I am sure that all help, support directly to Jay will be greatly appreciated by him, his dad and me.

Thanks for reading this awfully long post, It was worth the time to write and you would agree if you get the opportunity to meet and talk directly to Jay as I did. I hope this really helps.

Gary LaBombard
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Gary
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006, 06:33:00 AM »

Gary, thanks for the great story. What a shame that this issue continues to raise its ugly head. Perhaps you could work with Jay and his family to put a one page (including a photo with Jay in his Karate outfit) detailing his many accomplishments. At the end, speak to the issue of his health condition and finally about the injustice.

Many of us could send that information to people in positions to make a change. I know a Govenor who might be very interested in a young man who has overcome physical disabilities. He served a President as the physical fitness guru and knows people in Hollywood! Huh

So, I look forward to the next step.

Regards,

Grant
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Grant Goold
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Dallas
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2006, 06:43:51 AM »

Gary, Mike and Jay.......
I, for one support everything that was said here. I had thought about writing something along the same vein but lack the eloquence and style that Gary has put forth.

For the past 5 years, I've had problems with my knees that stop me from doing anything that requires me to be on my knees for more than a minute or two.
Last tuesday, I spent half the day rewiring Meinhart Lagies Jake and tach. All of it spent on my knees. For the rest of the Get Together I walked mostly with my cane or rode in the golf cart.
In February I had surgery on one of my knees to fix some of the problems but what they fixed caused worse problems.

Having said all that, I look at Jay and feel very small and self centered for griping about my own problems.
Jay has been a great inspiration to me to do more, go farther and accept no limitation.
As I watched him and his dad, I saw the love and respect for each other that transcends any disabilities.
I think we could all take a page from this amazing young gentleman and quit worrying about our little problems and focus on the larger problems around us.

Gary, Thank you for writing this piece for a bus nut like Jay.
I wholly support and believe in this cause. (I can't say that about too many things anymore).

Dallas
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NCbob
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2006, 07:20:24 AM »

Gary, first let me say that your story about Mike and Jay is certainly a heart warming tale of a bonding between two people and had me clouding up a bit.

And, a personal "Thank You" for all the hard work you did in taking those of us who weren't able to be in Timmonsville this past week-end on a masterfully compiled tour of the major events.

There is no question that Jay is not being treated
fairly in the matters you mentioned and your frustration and anxiety reads clearly in your words.

I do feel however that attention and light may be brought to Jay's plight by perhaps a less 'pro-active' activity such as picketing and demonstrating.

Couldn't we in the Bus Conversion world take this on as a group...I mean all of us...and do whatever is necessary to assist Jay...but in one great voice? A series of petitions? Letters to those who might be in a position to bring the power of the Law to bear?

Why don't we organize a group of some of the members who have both the time and the inclination to gather information, and make recommendations as to how our one voice may be heard.

Don't forget that this is an Election year and the power of the vote, or lack thereof, means more now
than any other time to the Politico's.

As for me, count me in. I'll be happy to do anything I might to right this terrible wrong.

FWIW

NCbob
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2006, 04:52:17 PM »

Thanks Bob for the input, I do have a tendency to go full bore when I find that someone I respect and love is mistreated to protect them or fight with them. It might be the way I have been all my life and do not know of any other. I am just so used to having to fight all alone and as you said, power in numbers makes mountains move nearly.

Keep me in line but the fight in me will never diminish should we get stone walled as usual with bureaucratic political stone walling just to keep us in line. I don't have the patience to slow dance with someone trying to outsmart me with words which probably is very easy to do as I try do live my life very simple, and say and talk in simple manners but if we ever went to war and you have to be in a foxhole fighting off the enemy and nearly out of ammo, I am one of the people you want there with you. We may not win but we will kick butt on our way down and giving up is not an option. This is how I feel with Jay but will surely let someone take the lead that is more refined in speech and use proper repore to get things done. If my butt kicking attitude is needed you know where to find me and I can take time off from the "Rustless Money Pit" for Jay any time to help him.

Count on me to support who ever knows of the proper way to go about this, and also count on me to jump in if we cannot get the respect for helping Jay reach his goal to help others being discriminated against.

Thanks again Bob for making me pull back just a pinch. I hope I do not offend anyone with my attitude on my long post above as I really want us to help this fine youg man and others just like him. I certainly do not want to create a situation that support for Jay and his Dad would not be received because of something I did or said. It could be your son, daughter, grandchild in his shoes and what ever is necessary to accomplish supporting and helping them I am sure you would welcome anyone with offers to support you right to the end.

Thanks again,
Gary
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Gary
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2006, 06:28:56 PM »

I'm going to play the devil's advocate here and suggest the possibility that Jay's best interest is being served by the match officials decision.
Anyone familiar with Karate matches should be aware of the injuries that are regularly suffered by the participants.  Jay might well kick most of our  a$$es, but how much injury would it take to perhaps damage what sight he has or some other very valuable sensory system? 
I personally wouldn't want any member of my family involved in such an exhibition...no matter the state of their physical attributes. 
A good friend of mine has a permanent knee injury incurred while  sparring in a non-competitive environment.  That ended his Tai Kwon Do habit.  That was a large part of his life prior to the injury.
As one who suffers from a disability that has limited my access to something that I once was able to do,  (I'm have no vision in my left eye and when the federal CDL licensing began, I couldn't pass the binocular vision test...and there went my Class A permit.  I was able to fake my way thru a DOT physical vision test...but not a CDL exam.) I'm sensitive to being shut out from specific activities...What the hey....now I drive a 40K lb 40' bus! 
I do not intend any offense or to second guess Jay's wishes, but we all got limitations, we all chafe at our limitations.   Still, sometimes we gotta be careful of what we wish for! 
Good luck Jay!  Enjoyed talking with you at the bus ralley.  Hope you and Mike can make it back for the NEXT FALL GET-TOGETHER hosted by Cat with Dallas' assistance!   
Best, JR

 

   
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

Ayn Rand
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2006, 06:55:34 PM »

I can't help but to commend you for your train of thought, JR.  It just goes to prove the old addage that, "when cool heads prevail....."

Perhaps Gary and me, along with some others, might have been caught up in the moment of concern for Jays' plight.  While I still believe, in my heart of hearts, that he deserves the opportunity to compete....it just might be our "policitically correct" society that is standing in his way.

I will still stand by my promise...to be available to do anything to help.  Wasn't it Ted Kennedy's former wife who started the "Special Olympics' for children with emotional and/or physical impairments?  And wasn't it out of that or a similar group which started the movement which ended up as the "Americans with Disabilities Act"?

Not wishing to turn this board into a forum for political discussion (and Mr Moderator, I know I'm pushing the envelope, with apologies) I cannot help but think that Jays' case is certainly a candidate for a 'Redress of Grievance".

FWIW

NCbob
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2006, 05:10:21 AM »

Grant, Dallas, Bob & J.R.
I have been pondering over J.R.'s eye opening comments all night long and do agree that the danger is probably there that something can go wrong to make Jay's life even more unbearing to live should he get hurt.  I questioned him on this subject in a different way and after listening to him describe the trials he want through over 26 years now and that he has been injured learning, sparring, training and competing to reach the level of 4th degree he has trained himself with his accute sences to react to what situations us "Normal" people would do in a compete match.  He was trained also if I remember quickly by a disabled teacher that taught him survival in Ring Combat. 

Now not to get in any (Political, bb'd discussions that normally happen), I want Jay and his Dad to know that I support what ever Jay wants to do and will still offer every drop of support I can muster out of my body.  I have to also think how we cheer on football players every week (Professional or College, or High School) to go out there and kick some butt.  They take horrific hits that I flinch when I see it happen.  They shrug it off and get up, (Macho men) and go out and kick some more.  When age gets them they have ache's and pains for the rest of their lives especially the professional players.  I don't know of one person that can remember a certain football play went down that a man go hit so bad he was injured for life.  But, these guys lived out their dream to the end the way they wanted it.

Evil Knievel put his life on line every time we payed money to go see him defy Death.  We payed money for this.  Today he is crippled I am sure and in more pain than we can imagine.  He lived out his dream, he did it his way and will always be remembered for his death defying stunts.  Now his son Robby is following in his Dad's foot steps, How come he would do this after seeing his Dad in this conditions.  Robby too has a dream to continue as his Dad did and live out his dream to do that impossible stunt, that we pay money to see him put his life in jeopardy.

There is lots and lots of situations and famous people that have taken that chance to do something they felt more qualified to complete in their lives against all odd of all of us outsiders in their lives.  Anyone that has a dream like I believed "Jay" has to compete in real Karate competition with no special handling to fulfill his dream, you can bet I will stand behind him.  I will also pray that he does not get injured but I will not try to prevent him in any way of competing if that is what his 26 years of training has him prepared to do.  Psychologically he has to be psyched up to do this per his 4th degree training.  It is almost like training a great Marine to fight for our country at all cost to him. 

I look at things differently for sure, and promise to discontinue pushing so hard for Jay "ONLY" if he comes on the board here and tells us he has thought more about the direct competition dangers to him personally and has changed his mind to want to compete.  I have sent him a personal email about my posting on MAK and I hoped I had opened doors for him in one way or other and through the gracious offer of Grant that maybe this is one door that will help support him reach for his dream and accomplish getting the respect of officials, and contenders for what he has accomplished in his life as he is one heck of a nice youg man.  I hope He makes the decision that will satisify him the rest of his life for sure, and that his Dad Mike will support him as he always has in the past no matter if he chooses to compete or not.  Jay will always be my "Hero", and as stated above we all have our limitations and I will certainly accept Jay's.

I hope some of you sent Jay personal emails as we also post on this bb'd and make him aware we are thinking of him, his situations such as others disabled like him and we will do what ever we can to change everyone's thinking towards the disabled to only impared.  Jay is also looking for support to open up an area he can personally train other disabled Voting citizens as well all disabled to learn Karate and perhaps give seminars, speeches at schools and functions we all frequent.  Keep remembering, what extremes would you go to in order to support your Disabled Child, Grand Child or any loved one in your life.  I will go the same distance they want to go, and support them the entire way, forever!!

Thanks for the comments, I am sure Jay will be very happy that we put him in our thoughts, and my prayers especially on my end as well, and what ever he and his dad want to do they can count on me no matter what.

Gary LaBombard 

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Gary
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2006, 05:41:47 AM »

Gary,
I too thought about JR's comments and tried to find a way to reconcile his thoughts with yours.
JR may be right in his analysis, and I want to allow him that.
I also believe that you are right in yours and have to allow you yours.
What I most believe is that Jay should be able to aspire to what ever his goals may be.
To try and keep him safe and snuggly wrapped in cotton all his life is no favor to him and puts him in a class as 'different' than the rest of us.
I think we try to keep our children as safe as we can, from the first breath to the last, but eventually we must let them learn to walk and play and get hurt and cry. If we don't we end up raising children that aren't ready to face life. Kind of like school systems that instead of allowing some students to excell, have dumbed down the requirements so that no one is a loser.
In that vein, I will have to allow Jay to make his own decisions and as I do my own kids, make his own mistakes. I will however support him and his dad in all they do.
Thankyou JR. for your comments. They made many of us stop and think. They made us lose the 'lynch mob' mentality and think with cooler heads.
Gary, I thank you too for taking your time and effort to work for Jay and others like him.

This exchange has just proven that the new board is completely different than days of old. Let's all learn from these things and continue to exchange thoughts and ideas.

Thank You!
Dallas
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