View Full Version : To My Shame

Ian McColgin
07-24-2001, 01:19 PM
I'm a pretty hard drinker but have always prided myself on being mindful of capacity and competance. On a few occasions in the past when I got trashed, I was just at the mooring and simply went to sleep.

In the last half year, having decided I'd never loose more weight drinking as I did, I cut it back alot and also adopted the habit of taking at least 8 oz of water on the side for every oz scotch, which usually keeps me throatled back ok.

But Sunday night I unaccountably had a lot to drink in short order and managed to make my berth at about 2130 before passing out.

I have learned after the fact that Sea Geanie, hosting a booze cruise for a bunch of Irish kids working on Cape, drifted down on my bow sprit, barely a touch but it weakend at bit of her rail. A young woman later, perhaps 2300, fell through that rail. A fisherman on a boat near mine heard cries but did not at the time hear them as different from the general party noise and did not go out to investigate. The girl was drownd.

Had I been my usual sober self reading in the cockpit I doubt Sea Geanie would have hit me. I certainly would have her the girl calling when she later fell over.

I take it to heart that it is a sailor's duty to be alert at all times, even 'off watch' and forever will leave it to people living ashore to get so far the other side of sober.

Tom Dugan
07-24-2001, 01:35 PM

You are in no way responsible for this girl's death. Being asleep, even if passed out, on board is a far cry from being an active participant, such as falling asleep at the wheel of a car.

You say you would have heard her calling, but the fisherman did hear her, and didn't hear it as a cry of distress. It's possible, maybe probable, that you would have done the same.

It's also impossible to say that you could have prevented the collision, since you don't know the sequence of events or conditions that led to it.

It was a terrible accident in which you were a non-participant. I hope in time you come to see that.


Art Read
07-24-2001, 01:36 PM
Gutsy post. Damn shame about the poor girl. I understand that an event like this leaves one forever asking/telling himself, "if only..." Don't beat yourself up. How many boats out there in that anchorage are routinely left unattended? Just because you happened to be aboard does NOT make you responsible for her fate. That party boat had a licensed master aboard who undertook to take a group of people out on a self described "booze cruise". They had a right to expect that he was competent enough not to run afoul of any rocks, breakwaters, shoals OR properly anchored vessels. And perhaps he probably is. Accidents happen. You bear no more blame for this than if she had died by crashing into you car while it was parked ashore...

Ed Harrow
07-24-2001, 03:44 PM
Ian, one can put one's self in the loonie bin playing the "what-if game", it's one of the few things I can say that I really know.

If you were ashore somewhere, would you say "I should have been on my boat." Or "If only I'd cut off that bowsprit!" Or, "If only I'd been out sailing."

If the person went off your boat I'd (we'd) be of a very different opinion, but she didn't. If your boat, with you aboard, hit the other boat, knocking her off, we'd have a different opinion.

Neither of these things happened. Given what did happen it is perfectly appropriate to feel sorrow, but not responsibility, for what happened.

Dave R
07-24-2001, 03:52 PM
I realize it is a tough thing but don't blame yourself. You could have just as easily been ashore someplace. I read the article in the local paper, there. The operation sounds a bit fishy and there was no doubt that the skipper on the Sea Genie hit your boat.

John B
07-24-2001, 03:52 PM
Ian, that's a terrible thing which has happened.
I whole heartedly agree with Tom and Art( and Ed) .

07-24-2001, 04:10 PM
I agree with the rest
If you were asleep, there was noway you could know what could have been...

07-24-2001, 04:22 PM
hay Ian, I with the rest of the folks here. had she been a decent swimmer, or smart enough to wear a life preserver, maybe there would be a diffrent ending. but there is nothing you could've done to prevent any of this.
if you need any one to vent off with, just email me, or call me at 1-910-296-9518.

07-24-2001, 04:22 PM
A horrible thing to happen. We can understand how you feel. But it really had nothing, nothing at all, to do with you, beyond having happened near you. As a youth I saw a plane crash quite near me and it upset me, but that had no more to do with me than this girl's death had to do with you.

Jamie Hascall
07-24-2001, 05:54 PM
It's a damn shame; but it's not your shame. Thanks for reminding us all that we must strive to be more vigilant to make up for the fact that we can't be omniscient.


Art Read
07-24-2001, 06:30 PM
Ian... I've found myself thinking of your experience quite a bit today. One of those situations where one thinks, "there, but for the grace of God, go I..." I suspect you didn't really need us to tell you that you cannot be held accountable for this tragedy. But that's a far cry from absolving oneself from the missed opportunity to have made the crucial difference in the end. It's concievable that had you been otherwise occupied that evening and forgone the "libations", you might have been awake, on deck and aware enough to somehow warn off that skipper, (doubtful) or failing that, perhaps you would have been in a better position than that fisherman to recognise the fact that someone was in distress, (slightly less doubtful). Plenty of opportunity here to second guess yourself. The fact remains, however, that YOU were not charged with the responsibility for the safety of that vessel's passengers, had no cause to be even aware that they were there and certainly cannot be faulted for not being "alert" to the possibility of an unforseen tragedy. It's too easy to say that the alcohol is to blame. (And I suspect some will comment on the booze flowing abard the party boat...)

Your questioning of your role in this situation has impressed me with your attitude towards what it means to be the master of a vessel. Right insticts, wrong conclusion.

Greg H
07-24-2001, 06:52 PM
I agree with Art and with what all of those more articulate than I, have said. It is a tragedy. You are not responsible for it.
Maybe a note to the girls family would help them in their grief and help you put it in perspective.

Phil Young
07-24-2001, 07:01 PM
I agree with all of the above, but hey its great to have a bit of an incentive to give up the grog. I too am starting to think I go a bit heavy on the booze, but I figure having recognised the problem it must be pretty much under control, so I don't need to cut back. A little push like you've had might not be a bad thing.

Sounds like the skipper on the party boat has some serious answering to do. Don't be taking blame for his mistakes.

jack grebe
07-24-2001, 07:15 PM
a mortality check for sure
completly normal when tragedy strikes close to home and even worse when they are young.
don't beat yourself up, nothing you could and your drinking was not the cause. but in any case we're here for ya
P.S. its not shame to share in anothers pain

[This message has been edited by jackgrebe (edited 07-24-2001).]

07-24-2001, 07:47 PM
So where was the designated driver/ captain??
Was'nt anyone in th party sober enough to see what happened? http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/confused.gif

[This message has been edited by norske (edited 07-24-2001).]

Wayne Jeffers
07-24-2001, 08:51 PM

I know it took a lot of courage to make that post. Don't be too rough on yourself. When we are in proximity to death, it is almost inevitable that we beat ourselves up with a lot of "what if" questions. I speak from experience. Resist that temptation.

It is okay to mourn the loss. The nearness of death is an appropriate cause for mourning, but don't blame yourself. Blaming doesn't do you any good and you don't deserve it.

Try to talk about it with your friends when you're ready. Either your friends here or where you're berthed. E-mail me or any of your friends here off-forum if you like. I know you'll have a lot of emotions to work through, and talking about it when you are able helps.

Take care, my friend.


Rich VanValkenburg
07-24-2001, 09:08 PM
Ian, You can't be all things, you can't be everywhere at once, and you can't see all that happens. That's up to the Almighty. My guess is that this event will weigh much more heavily on the heart of the skipper of the Genie. If there's a reason that that this has happened, it would seem to point to a flaw in that skipper's character that needs repair, the proverbial 'wake up slap'.

Take a deep breath and carry on.

ken mcclure
07-24-2001, 11:54 PM
That's a tough one. I know that no matter what everyone says, you are still going to harbor some guilt. We're always toughest on ourselves, eh?

Around 12 years ago I moved into an apartment, having separated from my wife. Not having much extra money I moved into less expensive digs not far from the light rail transit line. It was also across the street from a bar/lounge which had an open rooftop area, and which was noisy - especially on weekend nights. Especially in the summer time, with no air conditioning and my windows open.

Late one evening as I was trying to get to sleep I heard a girl screaming among the general pandemonium. I thought at first to go see what it was, then decided it was someone on the rooftop bar. It seemed that she was screaming for a long time, and I began to get angry that someone would be that out of control. I wondered who was with her who had to put up with the noise.

The next day I heard on the news that a girl had been abducted from a private party, dragged up the light rail transit line, tortured, raped and murdered.

If only I'd have gotten up and gone to investigate.

If only.

I know EXACTLY how you feel. It really is not your fault. It was just her time.

07-25-2001, 12:15 AM
Ian, a horrible thing to happen. But your "failure" to rescue her is not something for which any reasonable person will blame you.

"If only ..." is a terrible thing to torture yourself with. You could have passed out earlier and never gotten back to your boat. You could have been sober, gotten up earlier to go and rescue someone else, and not been there when she went in.

Rescue those you can, pray for the rest.

Allen Foote
07-25-2001, 07:09 AM
Stop drinking. Find an AA group in your area and come to terms with the event. You wouldn't have posted this without a reason.

Lima Bean
07-25-2001, 09:18 AM
Ian, Considering the facts it is very clear that the situation was one that had tragic consequences for this poor girl. The situation you have humbly related to us here is one that shows that her actions in being on that boat, intoxicated or not, were carried out by herself and the captain of that boat. You can not shoulder the responsibility of the events when you were not able to control the events. You were in your berth, parked and stationary. The condition of your physical ability was altogether another issue aside. It is understandable that you have a need to grieve the loss of life, even for someone you didn't know. It happened close to you. Years ago there were studies of events not unlike what kwmcclure experienced. They were published in textbooks throughout the world of sociology and psychology. It involved an attack of a woman in an alley, who screamed. People reportedly even looked into the alley to see what the commotion was, and turned away from it without any action. In this day and age it is not always discernable what one person's screams may be versus another's. It becomes sometimes similar to the 'Boy Who Cried Wolf'. I digress.

I have a quote on my wall that I refer to often that may be able to shed some light on this (or not)...it goes like this: "'Ain't no sense in worrying 'bout things you got control over, 'cause if you got control, ain't no sense in worrying. And there ain't no sense worrying 'bout things you got no control over, 'cause you got no control, ain't no sense in worrying.'" Mickey Rivers (Yanks)

The only thing that this doesn't allow for is the line from the serenity prayer that states, "'..The wisdom to know the difference.'"

If your consumption is causing you to recognize there is a problem in your life, seek advice of others that have been there before you, and get the help to change that in your life you have the feelings of shame from. It won't make the tragedy go away, but it will help you to recognize the difference. My best personal wishes to you Ian.


Ian McColgin
07-25-2001, 09:26 AM
Thank you all for the support. I know I'm not responsible but it was a serious wake-up call and it woke me up. On a quiet day's sail I might well have 2 - 3 beers in a long afternoon but mostly I sip water or ginger tea. No scotch till the anchor's down and all secure. I'm just saying that it's been a while since I got dysfunctional and it's not happening again. I live in a place where the call-out can be at any time and I accept that. Anyway, in the last few months I cut back and lost about 30#. I might make it back under 200# sometime soon.

The charter company and captain have much to answer for. There's another company that also does the occasional 'booze cruise' but they run with more crew, more alert bartenders, and vessels that are as close to impossible to fall out of as you'd get.

As I understand it, Sea Geanie was running with just Captain and hand, some bar help, and the band to cope with about 40 hard drinking Irish kids. There appears to have been some delay before the Captain was even informed of the girl's falling over, which is not surprising given the lack of supervision. When I was in the business, that was the kind of mission I refused because the safety issues are way too complex.

I think head boat operators have more trouble with liquer than other charter types. I remember fishing parties when I mated out of Montauk (for Frank Mundis) that could get to be more than a handfull. But when I chartered Goblin, day parties up to 6 but cruises limited to 4, I priced a simple package, made no restrictions to the cooler or liquor locker, and never had a problem. People who really want to sail don't want to miss the experience.

Anyway, thank you again and fair winds.

Ian McColgin
07-25-2001, 01:47 PM
Check today's story at www.capecodtimes.com, (http://www.capecodtimes.com,) "Friends: Crew ignore pleas."

In the wake of any tragedy, there's bound to be conflicting stories but . . .

Josephine Houy
07-25-2001, 04:43 PM
The URL for that story is http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/friendscrew25.htm

Alan D. Hyde
07-26-2001, 12:49 PM
Ian, as has been mentioned many times above, it's not your fault. I'm surprised that one of her friends didn't grab a couple of life vests, and join her in the water.

The reason I'm posting, though, is your use of the word "shame." I like you better for it.

Too many people today, it seems to me, care far more about money than they do about honor. That's bad for everyone.

A man who cares about shame, cares about honor.

That's the kind of guy I like to have around in any tough situation. The other kind can't be trusted. Shackleton's sense of personal honor and responsibility is part of what got ALL his men safely back.


Scott Rosen
07-26-2001, 02:23 PM

It's great to see this tremendous outpouring of support. I think Art said it best.

Ian McColgin
06-08-2004, 10:31 AM
I've brought this up as we're at long last getting to pleadings. When we get to penalties we can close this. From todays Cape Cod Times.

Seamen to admit neglect
The captain and crew of a charter boat reach a plea agreement in a young Irish student's 2001 drowning.

HYANNIS - A father and son charged in connection with the accidental drowning of an Irish college student in 2001 are expected to admit in U.S. District Court this week that their negligence, misconduct and inattention caused her death.

Charged with seaman's manslaughter, Joseph Jay Shore and his son, Mitchell Cord Shore, have reached a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's office, according to federal court documents filed Friday.

The pair were captain and crew on the charter boat Sea Genie II on July 22, 2001, when Catherine Kinsella, 20, fell overboard after the boat struck a moored sailboat near Hyannisport.

Witnesses told investigators that the Shores ordered people to dump beer overboard while Kinsella called for help and that the Coast Guard was called only after friends demanded so.

"Clear as day I heard 'Help me,'" David Crosbie testified during a hearing in Barnstable Town Hall after the accident.

He said her pleas for help went on sporadically for about 30 minutes.

"To this day I think the only reason the Coast Guard was called was because a girl was yelling at Cord and crying," Crosbie testified.

Others said underage drinking and drugs were part of the scene on the "booze cruise" hosted by Joseph Shore and his wife as a way to thank employees who worked as attendants in their parking lots. Crosbie said Mitchell Cord Shore bought marijuana from him and was smoking it earlier in the evening.

An autopsy revealed Kinsella's blood alcohol content was nearly 0.13, which is above the 0.08 state level for intoxicated drivers.

Hearing this week
The elder Shore was charged with two counts of manslaughter; the youngest with one count. Their trial was supposed to begin next Monday.
A hearing on their plea change is likely to be scheduled this week, with sentencing set for later in the year. Mitchell Cord Shore's attorney, Joseph Balliro Sr. of Boston, would confirm only that a plea change was imminent. He would not divulge further details.

The elder Shore is being represented by Boston lawyer Richard Egbert.

Joseph and Carylyn Shore live in Newton. Their son splits his time between there and Hyannis. The Shores could not be reached for comment.

The maximum penalty for each manslaughter count is 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, but the plea deal indicates the terms will be reduced.

Samantha Martin, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office, also could not be reached for comment.

Hours of testimony
The Shores had chartered the 60-ton cabin cruiser from Hyannis businessman Michael Wyman. Following the accident, the town of Barnstable revoked Wyman's right to the town-owned slip where the boat berthed.
The decision came after hours of testimony from witnesses who described a night of festivities that turned grim. The testimony pulled Barnstable Town Attorney Robert Smith in, prompting him to follow the case through the courts.

"I don't wish ill on anybody, but the Cate Kinsella death should not have just been allowed to take place without a review, and I'm glad that it hasn't," Smith said. "It's not vindictiveness. The situation threatened to have them drift away from any review."

More than 50 people, most of them summer workers from abroad, were on board the Sea Genie II at the time of the drowning. Half of them were underage, according to a report prepared for the town by Hull Town Counsel James Lampke.

(Published: June 8, 2004)

06-08-2004, 10:56 AM
Man, I didn't see your first post on this, but I was working as a mate on a Tuna boat that summer down on the cape, and I remember this well.

What a shame about the whole thing. It's a very sad story for all of those involved.


Wild Dingo
06-08-2004, 11:20 AM
Ian after almost 3 years how are you feeling about it now? Do you still feel your in someway to blame for this girls death?

I hope not mate they have the culpable ones and their time will come for what they did... and didnt do.

John of Phoenix
06-08-2004, 11:51 AM
The elder Shore was charged with two counts of manslaughter... :confused: Two counts?

The girl called for 30 minutes and not one of 50 people aboard Sea Genie II did anything? Am I missing something here?

Wild Dingo
06-08-2004, 12:04 PM
Im sort of incredulous about this bit...

Clear as day I heard 'Help me,'" David Crosbie testified during a hearing in Barnstable Town Hall after the accident.

He said her pleas for help went on sporadically for about 30 minutes.

"To this day I think the only reason the Coast Guard was called was because a girl was yelling at Cord and crying," Crosbie testified.
30 minutes this guy listened to the girls calls for 30 minutes? He clearly hears her over a 30 minute period calling for help snd did nothing??? ****e! there were other witnesses and they also did nothing?... that along with the 50 people on board really makes one wonder about human nature at times.

Ian dont take me wrong mate you said you were out to it and didnt hear her... these people were clear headed heard her clearly and still did nothing that mate is woefull!!... Cripes! sure you hear someone clearly in distress calling for help you help??? Not sit back and listen to her clearly calling for help for 30 minutes and do buggar all while she slowly drowns!! :mad:

06-08-2004, 05:43 PM
Ian, like others say it's a shame but not yours,,that you are concerned about your incapacitation is more the issue than the accident.

Ian McColgin
06-08-2004, 06:00 PM
Just to be clear, I did not cause the girl to drink herself drunk, I did not have anything to do with the rail gate that had been broken for a couple of months, and I certainly did not commit the crimes the Cords committed and tried to cover.

I have lived by the code that incapacity is not justified. That night I was out. It's not happened again.

No country twelve stepping - I still like my scot's whiskey.

We have a society where important people don't even take responsibility for their sins of commission. No body is ever wrong. Like Reagan, Bushes 41 & 43, CLinton et al., the Cords first set the stage for crime, then attempted a cover-up and actually mounted a legal defence. Honestly, had I been that wretchedly immoral about anything, I might have not had the courage to live and have opted for a suicide of apology and remorse, which is the next best thing.

In this case, my being dead drunk absented me from the scene in a way that I see as a kind of sin of ommission, though I certainly committed the drinking.

I don't think it megalomanic to own that part of the responsibility that's mine. I find nothing wrong with facing the evil that is within every human. It's just a bit of a contrast from the current ammoral climate.

L.W. Baxter
06-08-2004, 06:27 PM
That's a tragic story. Your reaction, Ian, is that of a decent human being, though your last line may be a little overly self-congratulatory. Read it again, friend. I don't think you mean to pat yourself on the back for blaming yourself, right?

And I think you're wrong about the current climate being "amoral." The Clinton years, maybe. And it's not necessarily a bad thing. We're a secular state, supposedly. Pragmatism and two-faced diplomacy, even doing the right thing accidentally may serve us better than thundering righteousness.

I think the current climate is hyper -moral, actually. And it's not all good. From stem-cells to overseas regime changes, the current administration is driven by an overdeveloped moral sense of purpose.

Of course, I may have a poor understanding of what it means to be moral. All I know for sure is that I'm right. ;)


L.W. Baxter
06-08-2004, 06:39 PM
I'm a hopeless liberal, too. Boy, is my back tired.

Of course, conservatives like to pat themselves on the back for being privileged. You don't do that, do you Donn? tongue.gif


Ross M
06-08-2004, 06:43 PM
I somehow missed this the first time through -thanks for the update.

FWIW, I see this as a lost opportunity - not a sin of omission.

To me, a sin of omission requires knowledge that action is required and a fair chance at executing the action.

I think much of your willingness to share the story and remorse, Ian. I know I will be more careful of this in the future.


PS: I was once afforded this opportunity, and luck broke well. Hasn't made up for my other shortcomings one bit.

[ 06-08-2004, 07:46 PM: Message edited by: Ross McDonough ]

L.W. Baxter
06-08-2004, 06:45 PM
I'm successful too, and I consider it a privilege.

Alright, now for the important point. Which one of us doesn't know how to spell "privilege."

double tongue.gif

06-08-2004, 08:24 PM
You are only guilty if you let your self take the fall for some one elses fate IAN. Dont let the political correctness of the day, taint your common sense. You were no more at fault than the man who planned the day for the fateful group. Life happens. Death happens. Human beings go on- sober or not.

Comfortably Numb- Pink Floyd

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

Come on, now.
I hear youíre feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain,
Get you on your feet again.

I need some information first.
Just the basic facts:
Can you show me where it hurts?

There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant shipís smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I canít hear what youíre sayiní.
When I was a child I had a fever.
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I got that feeling once again.
I canít explain, you would not understand.
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.

Just a little pinprick. [ping]
Thereíll be no more --aaaaaahhhhh!
But you may feel a little sick.

Can you stand up?
I do believe itís working. good.
Thatíll keep you going for the show.
Come on itís time to go.

There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant shipís smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I canít hear what youíre sayiní.
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now.
The child is grown, the dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
06-08-2004, 09:17 PM
The bottom line is, "had you known "this was going to happen(the drownding) you would have skipped the dinking and been alert but, you didn't know.

Tragedy always teaches a lesson.

Living and spending time near the water I've been in the right place and right time and saved someones life.

While in school, 3 close friends drowned.
I wasn't there.

We can't always be there Ian but, I admire you for trying ;) .

[ 06-08-2004, 11:31 PM: Message edited by: Mr. Know It All ]

L.W. Baxter
06-08-2004, 10:18 PM
Ian, I apologize for highjacking, but, as Ronald Wilson Reagan might have said, "there I go again."

Donn, don't take it too hard that you were outspelled on this occasion. As VP Cheney was heard to remark recently to his boss, regarding the regrettable A. Chalabi, "You were beaten by the best." :D (After which, Mr. Cheney was seen to have finger-shaped bruises around his neck...) ;)

And I agree that success and privilege are not synonyms.

An American succeeds or fails mostly on his own merits. But he's privileged to do so, either way.


Joe (SoCal)
06-08-2004, 10:38 PM
Is this thread the intelligent place to have a spelling pissing contest? But ignorance is in abundance I guess :rolleyes:

L.W. Baxter
06-08-2004, 10:57 PM
Well, I don't know about pissing contests, but I was just having a bit of fun. :( Too bad if it wasn't taken that way, but I'll do it where I please.

And Donn, I assume you mean stupidity is a permanent affliction, not ignorance. Ignorance is me not knowing that you were so sensitive about your spelling. But now I know better.

Well, gentlemen...

It's been a real p-r-i-v-i-l-e-g-e. :eek: :D


[ 06-09-2004, 12:01 AM: Message edited by: L.W. Baxter ]

Ian McColgin
06-09-2004, 08:22 AM
I did not mean to be too sanctimonious. I have the classic protestant ambivalence about grace and works but I'm certainly aware of the infinate difference between my life and a life without blemish.

I don't think that the problems with our moral climate are new in human history. Nor are they confined to people who lie about things that are not crimes and who's financial scandal was actually a loss.

It's a hard topic to write on without seeming either too judgemental or boastful or scornful or whatever.

But it is worth the effort, as the responses of folk in this thread prove. Thank you all.

06-09-2004, 10:19 AM

If asked "am I my brother's keeper"

I will answer "yes" knowing full well that at times I will be asleep or otherwise unable to respond though I will wish in hindsight that I had been aware.

From your thread I believe that you will respond in the best of fashions if ever the situation arises and you are aware of it.

There were 50 people on that boat who were aware and could have responded. The crew should be shot for their actions. But nothing was stopping the passengers from grabbing a lifejacket and going to the aid of the person calling. They were aware and did nothing. On them the guilt does and should rest.

Be easy on yourself and know that you will be ready when you have an opportunity to serve.


Alan D. Hyde
06-09-2004, 10:33 AM
All of us, if we amount to anything, wish to leave something good behind us when we're done with our short time in this space.

A life saved would have been a noble contribution. A life that's now extinguished would have gone forward, had Ian been able to help.

Ian missed that chance, this time, and his dismay is entirely understandable. It speaks well of his character. And he's learned from the experience.

As Ronald Reagan was dying, after all the many events in a long life, he found solace in thinking of the seventy-seven lives he saved in his boyhood while working as a lifeguard.

Our characters are shaped by our aspirations. If we wish to leave behind us some cairns on the hilltops of history, we must start picking up some stones every day, as best we can.