San Diego — While the contenders for the leadership of our country form their circular firing squads and try to outdo each other in a quest to determine the most unprincipled and sleasiest among them, lowering themselves to pusillanimous, perfidious, and one might say pecksniffian pronouncements, I had all I could stomach for a while so I was spending some time looking up an old acquaintance.
In Denver, one of my favorite assistants was a man named Tom. A HUGE, powerful guy he was the ultimate assistant as he could virtually carry the whole grip vehicle instead of lugging case after case. He was also an orderly at Denver’s famous Craig Rehabilitation Hospital. (He now has become a nurse.) He was friends with and introduced me to a man named W Mitchell who was a patient of his at the hospital and the Mayor of Crested Butte, CO.
Mitchell had suffered as few humans in the history of humanity have ever suffered and survived. In a horrific motorcycle accident his face was turned into an inspiration for a sequal to Mary Shelley’s monster and his hands were melted and burned off. Then, deciding that he would become a pilot, a few years later his plane crashed leaving him paralyzed and back in the hospital.
But through it all he sought to help others, and ultimately became one of the most incredibly motivating speakers on the curcuit. Many times some handsome dude gets up there to inspire us and some in the audience with real problems and some with, as Mitchell calls them, “mental wheelchairs,” look at them and ignore the message by hiding behind the feeling that the finely dressed, well paid presenter, “just doesn’t know what it is like…” Well you can’t look at Mitchell and ever, ever think that. Oh yes he does, and the scars shout it out over the pitch of his quiet voice.
I was remembering about him while thinking about how to motivate some folks with an “oh-poor-me” attitude so I looked him up to see if he was still alive and kicking and what might have happened to him. To my delight he is still around and still speaking all over the world. i found on of the promotional videos of him and wanted to share it with you. It is about 14 minutes long but I promise you it is very, very much worth it.
Enjoy. And thank you Mitchell, if you ever catch wind of this, for being an incredible inspiration to me and thousands who have seen you in person. I wish I could bring you here to speak to our students. Now if only i could take some of that to inspire and motivate my own students I’d be a happy camper.