June 5, 2011

Aaron Prevost & Mosport

Blind Faith ran yesterday in Wheels.

It's the culmination of two remarkable days I spent with Aaron Prevost, a blind young mechanic from Brantford.

I need to give a huge shout out to Rick Bye and Porsche for their immense help, and to people like Bruce Kitchen who gave Aaron a shot, his teachers and family and friends. That's Aaron and Rick in the Porsche Boxster at Mosport.

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Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Thank you for posting this story. I'm in Lima, sitting in the hotel lobby, stealing a wiFi signal from a school next door. I never would have read this fantastic article about such an incredible young man otherwise.

Your writing is such a joy to read. I always marvel at how you shift gears (as it were) and whichever mode you're writing in weaves the same magic. I had to pause numerous times while reading, to allow my misty eyes to clear. And no, it wasn't just because my tiny iPod screen made it hard to read.

This was a very welcome addition to an otherwise dull day.

June 05, 2011 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Roz said...

Even though I get sneak peaks into what you're working on it still gets me every time. Great story, great idea and Aaron looks really happy.

June 06, 2011 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always Lorraine, you stab us right in the heart. The sheer joy on Aaron's face is truly a sight to behold. You done good kid.

My word is "numan". I think you just made one.

June 06, 2011 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Joe Clark said...

Can you explain your statement that “Aaron will have someone read [your articles] to him”? This isn’t 1950. Essentially every blind person who isn’t very elderly, and certainly every student at Prevost’s school, uses a screen reader and has no trouble whatsoever reading online newspaper articles.

What, then, was the factual basis of your statement?

June 07, 2011 2:50 PM  
Anonymous R. L. Parker said...

Joe Clark -

I think when Lorraine wrote that Aaron would have someone read the article to him, she meant that Aaron would have someone read the article to him.

Got it?

June 08, 2011 6:54 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Not to worry, R.L.

Aaron and I spoke about making sure he got to 'see' the stellar layout the Star did on the piece, as well as the fact he got so many pictures as well as the cover.

There is more than one way to 'read' an article like this one, which was actually 3.

Anyone looking to take offence will always be able to.

June 08, 2011 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Joe Clark said...

I need you to be factually accurate, which you weren’t. Aaron confirmed to me that he didn’t need anybody else’s help and used Jaws to read the piece. He used Jaws to tell me that.

It isn’t a question of “offence,” so quit sidestepping your own failings as a journalist. A blind kid who can fix cars obviously doesn’t need human readers in the 21st century. Aaron isn’t living in the time of Helen Keller.

So I’ll just put you down as having intentionally published a factual inaccuracy, then smugly defended yourself. How’s that?

June 11, 2011 4:27 PM  
Anonymous R. L. Parker said...

I have revisited this matter and I am inclined to agree with Joe Clark now. What a wonderful thing you have done, sir. You have taken this article by Ms. Sommerfeld - a truly inspirational piece about a truly remarkable young man, a piece that has allowed us to watch this youngster take an incredible journey, one that I am sure he will never forget, a piece that demonstrates that journalism can still be used for something that is neither trite nor titillating - and you have placed it under a microscope, probing it and worrying it for some semblance of a flaw. And you have emerged triumphant!

I can only imagine your elation upon stumbling on this detail; I doubt that Woodward and Bernstein could have been any more excited when unraveling the mysteries of Watergate.

You have done us all a great service. I have every confidence that in time your name will stand among those of the great thinkers of our generation - people like Donald trump, Sarah Palin and Paris Hilton.

Nicely done, sir, nicely done.

June 12, 2011 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Joe Clark said...

Oh, R.L. Parker, how clever you think you are!

A trio of articles written to elicit wonder at the abilities of a blind teen cannot also pretend that teen is too incompetent to run a computer with a screen reader.

An inaccuracy is an inaccuracy. This one was careless, was smugly defended by the writer, and makes Aaron Prevost look incapable and dependent.

Lemme ask you something, R.L.: Do you think it makes any sense at all that a kid who can fix your engine needs a human being to read to him?

Your spirited defence of mediocrity is duly noted. You fit in well here.

June 14, 2011 1:08 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

"Written to elicit wonder"

Oh, ferchristsakes. Are you serious? I swore I wasn't coming back to this (it's my blog; I can totally delete your comments, but I don't. I don't mind letting my 'smug mediocrity' stand) but you have to be kidding me.

"Written to elicit wonder". Sorry. Had to see that again.

You made your point. I answered. You weren't happy. You got snotty. It's over. Don't bother reading my wonder-eliciting work. You'll be happier than way.

Don't bump your head on the bridge on the way out.

June 14, 2011 1:18 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 14, 2011 2:06 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

For the record, the deletion was by be, not Ms. Sommerfeld. My spelling yielded a word no-one would recognize.

Mr. Clark; while in your formative years did no-one ever read to you? A parent? A teacher? A lover perhaps? Given your apparent penchant for militant independence, it would appear that you sadly missed out on some basic life lessonss - or, were you too optinionated and arrogant to believe that the only opinion that mattered to anyone was your own?

Regardless. Many's the time I have been seated comfortably or reclined on a hammock on a summer's day and listened to the spoken word on my mp3 player. I will also listen to audio books in the car during long road trips or while on an airplane.

It's not that I am uable to read. There are times when I choose not to and prefer being read to. Please note the deliberate use of the word read, not dictated.

We thank you for your recent participation on Ms. Sommerfeld's blog but as you yourself so eloquently state on your myriad of public forums, and I paraphrase, "if you have nothing nice to say - bugger off."

Obviously you never did learn to play nicely with the other kids. Another obvious shortcoming.

June 14, 2011 2:10 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

And yet still I have difficulty spelling even the most simple of words.

June 14, 2011 2:11 PM  
Anonymous jmd said...

Roz! Get in here... we need you and a pithy comment or two.

June 14, 2011 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did read all of the articles, and as a parent of 3 boys close to Aaron's age, my first thoughts when I came across "the offending line" were how lucky Aaron is on many fronts. He would most likely have his very proud parent(s) read the whole series to him AND the rest of his family. I know that I would. Never (even with JC comment #1) did my thoughts go in the direction of Aaron not being savvy enough to use a JAWS program. I passed this article around the house, for all to enjoy, and it did elicit wonder amongst our family. If I ever have the good fortune of meeting Aaron my first comments will probably be about the Porsche and Mosport, not who read the article to him. Driving a car like that, on a well known race track, is a common dream for most boys. Many will never realize that dream and my family was overjoyed that Aaron got to live that dream.

June 15, 2011 8:31 AM  

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