Finding inspiration in unexpected places

The American writer Jack London once said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” He was talking about writing, but so it goes with life. Many good influences are out there, plain as day. Other times, you have to look for them, or be willing to read meaning into something where none exists. That’s where a club helps. Here are some Monday motivators:

Reluctant to get out of bed? Betty Owen, 92, of San Antonio, Texas, who can’t walk after a stroke four years ago and needs a feeding tube. But she was determined to vote on Tuesday after failing to get an absentee ballot. She arrived at the polls on a gurney in an ambulance, where an election judge and worker brought aboard an electronic voting machine so she could cast her ballot. Owen is a Marine Corps veteran who served in World War II.

Think it’s too late? Ken Mink, a 73-year-old full-time student at Roane State Community College in Tennessee, scored two points in a 93-42 win over King College’s junior varsity. Mink entered the game in the second half and attempted one shot in about three minutes. Seven minutes later, he went back in, was fouled and made two three throws. Mink was back playing basketball after being expelled from college 52 years ago for a prank (soaping the coach’s office) which he says he didn’t do.

Think you’re tough? Forget hunting and field dressing a moose. How about the jogger in Arizona who was attacked by a rabid fox and then ran a mile to her car with the animal’s jaws clamped on her arm. Once she reached her car, she pried the animal off her arm and tossed it in the trunk so it could be tested for rabies and drove to a hospital. The fox later bit an animal control officer. Next up: Rabies vaccinations.

Troubled family life? Pat yourself on the back for not being the 18-year-old Hayden, Idaho, man who is accused of stabbing his mother after she forbade him to use the Internet social networking site MySpace. The mother said she confronted her 6-foot-2, 320-pound son, after which he became aggravated and packed his belongings to leave their home. As the mother tried to take the son’s cellular phone charger from him, he allegedly pulled a knife and cut the mother on the wrist. The man took off on his bike but was later arrested. Pat yourself on the back for not being the mom, either.

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