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June 2014 • Vol.10, Issue 4 ~
A fresh perspective on health, relationships & culture ~
gives you tools to deal with The Interrupter,
The Know-It-All, and other difficult people in your life.
What’s in this issue:
showcases a SUNY Plattsburgh initiative taking a
strong stand against sexual violence.
provide their takes on the
uniqune challenges and joys of raising boys.
remember the last time I saw my father alive. It was his rst day in
Metropolitan Jewish Hospice in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.e largely
Hasidic neighborhood was home to Maimonides Medical Center, the
hospital where I andmy brother and sisterswere all born,andwheremy father
would spend the last fewmonthsofhis life.For veyearsbeforebeingplaced in
hospice care,he’dbeen servingwhat seemed like a prison sentence inour ill-lit
apartment on Fort Hamilton Parkway.His emphysema had intruded enough
that hewas unable todomore than shower andwatch television.He and I had
been on our way tomass one morning at Our Lady of Guadalupe, just three
short blocks away,when he nally surrendered the ght and the con nement
to home began. After stopping for a while to try to catch his breath, he sent
me along to church while he returned to the apartment. It was the last time
hewould be outside of his own volition.Hewould spend years trapped in the
apartment largely alone,bitter andmissingmymother,whohad succumbed to
cancer a few years before.CharlesChristopherGallagher left thisworldwith a
struggled,gaspingprayer forGod to takehis life.Itwas answeredminutes later.
I was barely eighteen and had just lost the greatestman I ever knew.Asmuch
as Imourned the loss ofmymother, it was losingmy father thatmademe feel
utterly unmoored.His deathwas a dark period ending the nal sentence of a
life story thatwas full of brightness.ebestmemories ofmy childhood (visits
to the park to y a kite, long afternoons playing checkers, or listening to the
stories of his time in the army) were of my father. It was his good humor, his
gentle but deeply rooted faith, his wisdom that made losing him particularly
hard. In the course of the life I’ve made here in Plattsburgh, however, I’ve
been tremendously blessed to know several wonderful men who have had
tremendously positive impacts on my life. In honor of Father’s Day and the
memory of my dad, I’d like to take a little time to honor threemenwho have
been among the best I’ve known.
Dr. Michael Morgan
I arrived in Plattsburgh almost fteen years ago from Brooklyn, New York,
leaving behind the apartment and the past that dwelled within. I was excited
to pursue a four-year education away from the stresses of city living with the
support of my then-future wife. Unfortunately, one part of my old life came
along for the journey: a stutter that had plaguedme formost ofmy life. Inmy
childhood, it was something that resulted in social exclusion and beatings on
an almost daily basis at the hands of the school bully. I spent grade and high
school attending speech therapy full of sincere but ineectual eorts by school
therapists, and graduatedwith a diploma and the same stutter I’d always had.
Although I hadnoway of knowing it at the time, thingswere about to change.
I was about tomeet themanwhowould nally, after years of emotional pain
and suering,helpme ndmy voice.
I remember being lled with hope when I met Dr.MikeMorgan. I rst met
him inSibleyHall on theSUNYPlattsburgh campuswhile being evaluated as
a candidate for speech therapy oered by theDepartment of Communication
Disorders and Sciences. I was immediately struck by the almost tangible aura
of calm he possessed that put you at ease the moment you spoke with him.
Bear SwampRoad (Rt. 442) Peru,N.Y.
(1/4MileWest at Exit 35 on I-87)
Clockwise from bottom left:
Dr. Michael Morgan,
Charles Gallagher as a youngman,
John Yonkovig giving some last-minute counsel to a
editor on his wedding day,
It’sour tribute toDads!
Our writers weigh in on fathers, sons, and
some of the issuesmen face today,
Ann Tracy helps you find your best
reads for summer.
Inhonor of Father’sDay, a tribute toa few
exceptionalmenwhomadeadifference inmy life.
highlights the body image issuesmen often
strugglewith in silence.