Events of July 29
1965 Thursday - The Beatles movie "Help" primeirs in England, Queen Elizabeth attends.
1981 Wedneday - Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer
1983 Friday - Suave, debonair, David Niven dies.
Two days ago I had a flashback to an interesting day. On Friday July 27, 2001 I went to New York with a young lady to see the ALbert Ellis Institute. Albert Ellis was one of the pioneers of modern psychology. He created Rational Emotive Therapy. Basically the therapy is based on the idea that all human misery is caused by irrational ideas. Some of the ideas include that one must bew liked by everyone,If there is an impending disaster we should be terribly upset about it, and it is awful if we had an unhappy childhood and we will never recover. Ellis was famous for having people challenge their assumptions and he was known for being very blunt about it. My friend was going for her own sessions and also for trainings to be certified so she could perform Rational Emotive Therapy.
It was a sunny and unusually cool July day. We went for a walk around town, went to the noon mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. My frined had sang for the New York Philarmonic and was showing off her voice in the cathedral. Then we ate our bag lunches and walked around the park. Then in the mid afternoon we went up to her session. I had been wanting to meet Ellis since I was in college more than 20 years earlier. He sat with headphones on. This 87 year old man . During my friend's session he gave himself an insulin injection while he talked to her.
While I am not parmitted to share what was discussed in the session, I can share that Ellis had a mouth like a sailor and was entertaining to see in action.
After the session we walked around Central Park. I noticed that I was starting to get the siffles and a little bit of a headache. It got worse as the afternoon wore on. Our plan was to go back at 7:00 and see him do more sessions with an audience. I suggested we go home as I was starting to feel worse. However, she said if we go home I will regret it for the rest of my life.
So back we went. By this time I was getting the chills and could barely sit up. We went into the room and people were gathering. Finally Ellis walked in. He picked up a 3x5 card on the tabe and said "Where's Frank". Unbeknownst to me my friend had arranged for me to be the protagonist and have a counseling session on stage. Aside from feeling very sick I really did not have anything to need a counseling session for. So I made some nonsense up which this crowd of New Yorkers was not buying into. They covered me with a blanket and as son as my turn was over I went out to lie on the sofas in the waiting room.
Eventually we made it bak to New Jersey after a cab, subway, train and car ride. I drove home with what little energy I had left, Packed a couple of things and went to my local hospital, Shore Memorial. I was there for a week with the wost case of summertime pneumonia that the doctor had ever seen. Being that pneumonia is the leading cause of death among elderly men I has hoping that Ellis did not catch it. Fortunately he did not. However, he died six year later on the same week of kidney failure ( Tuesday July 24, 2007).
So I would remember that day even if I did not have a good memory. However, I remember every day of my life and can connect events by having all these references of dates. For example, here is a series of connections.
Saturday July 28, 2001 sickest day of my life. I connect that with Wednesday January 1, 1969 and Thursday January 1, 1981 being ill on those days too. I then connect from July 27, 2001 with Friday March 22, 2002. On that date I also went to the Ellis Institute and stayed well. I aplogised to everyone for being snappy the other time and helped a lady who was having problems with her teenage sons get on the stage fro a session. So I atoned. Essentially everything that I remember is in a square in my mind with a date in it.
On upcoming blogs, I will teach you how to make connections. To start, you can pick something you are interested and know about. Then I will show you how to connect new information to what you already know. It makes learning more interesting.