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If we want success from our “Cancer Moonshot,” we must use all tools available.

One of them, CBD or Cannabis/Cannabinoids, is so mired in stigma and fear that the Federal government and FDA haven’t even cleared the way for research.

That needs to change, and the time is now.

crusty
Chris Haddle (right), with yours truly.

We just lost an Atlanta great, Chris “Crusty” Haddle—my dear pal and tennis buddy of more than 20 years. When we realized traditional treatments weren’t working, we tried to get him on a CBD dosing program. But because we don’t have a system of skilled practitioners in place, we didn’t know how best to administer it.

Would that have saved his life? I don’t know, but it was absolutely worth it to try. I created a petition on the “We the People” White House petition page that might give people a shot in the future. We need 100,000 signatures in order for them to respond, so let’s get cranking.

Crusty had such a rare form of appendiceal cancer that scant research has been conducted to even understand it, let alone combat or cure it. Between 600 and 1,000 people are diagnosed with it each year—a tiny amount. From ShootOut Cancer (emphasis mine):

Unfortunately, appendix cancer often remains undiagnosed until it is unexpectedly found during or after abdominal surgery or when an abdominal mass is seen during a CT scan for an unrelated condition.  This is further complicated by limited radiographic techniques which may reduce the ability for physicians to clearly see the abdomen and determine the extent of disease or even its origin.  For these reasons, a majority of appendix cancer cases are not noticed until the disease is more advanced.  These patients typically exhibit many tumor deposits spread throughout the abdominal cavity, accompanied by abundant fluid buildup (often leading to a swollen or distended abdomen), all of which originates from the appendix.

If you doubt that cannabis—even the THC-laced Marijuana—can improve lives, here are a few examples.

• Stuttering Cured by Marijuana (Sanjay Gupta, CNN)

• Cannabis Oil Cures Stage 4 Throat & Pancreatic Cancer (Lincoln Horsley)

• Cannabis Cures Cancer? (Deviated Docs)

We owe it to people like Crusty and all other cancer sufferers to explore this tool with all the might of the federal government. Stop screwing around: decriminalize, modernize, legitimize and FUND this research so we can find cures.

 

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It happened this week. We all knew it could occur soon, but not even the best and most thoughtful preparation can ease the senselessness and grief we’re all feeling after he passed away. Survived by his husband Eddie, Chris “Crusty” Haddle was a force of nature—a grammar- and good-taste hawk who always chimed in when one of us went astray. On Facebook or otherwise.

He also was a dedicated tennis player, with a backhand to die for. He continued to play on and off during his treatments, often winning his matches as recently as last year. Fighting through an illness that would’ve knocked a slighter person to the ground, Crusty kept his life and vitality as normal as possible up until the week he passed away.

He was like a brother to me, and we’ll all miss him greatly. I’ll always remember this one-of-a-kind moment: we were walking home from a sushi dinner during a low-traffic holiday weekend, and he posed to do A Chorus Line re-enactment. One of my favorite pictures of all time—not just of him. Ever.

crustychorusline
Crusty doing an impromptu Chorus Line on Piedmont in Midtown.

He knew the value of throwing one’s head back and laughing uncontrollably. He knew that inside jokes tether you to your friends forever. Because in that moment of bonding, you’re free, celebrating something so dumb and idiotic that you have to repeat it once a day for 20+ years. I’m proud of the fact that I brought him to his first improv show, too, which he enjoyed greatly and was fully engaged in.

Crusty was a magnanimous marvel of chutzpah that would be the envy of the Energizer Bunny. Our hearts are broken, but the memories will last forever.

A memorial service will be held at St. Mark in midtown Atlanta, Sunday, 17 April 2016 @ 3 p.m. Details and public invite available on Facebook.

best photo of Crusty – EVER. #atlanta #citywalk #awesome

A post shared by Will (@willpollock) on

UPDATE: Crusty’s obituary has been posted to the AJC. You can read it here.

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Even though this is a music section, it really should also be Throwback Thursday.

I was obsessed with Star Search back in the 1980s. Rachel “Ditchini” Harris Brown and I had to have everything on VHS so we could watch it back again, especially the season. I even (semi-accidentally) taped over my own guest appearance on The Edge of Night so I could capture one of the week’s performances.

Little did I know back then that we’d have YouTube and so many other digital video resources to fall back on today. And even though today’s social media is filled with pitfalls, trolls, poor-quality video, bad grammar and even worse lighting, you can way more easily find people whom you admire.

Such is the case with Catte Adams, previous Star Search winner and all-around amazing gal. I stumbled over her Twitter account one day last week and nearly fell out of my chair; we’re now connected on Twitter and Facebook.

Catte has had a prolific creative run, serving as band member for Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Yanni, Chaka Khan and Tracy Chapman; she’s provided vocals for artists like Michael McDonald, Phoebe Snow, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and many more.

Thirty years on after her win, she’s still got her signature angelic voice and fiery red hair. Here’s Catte singing a cover of “Love Song” by The Cure (which, by the way, was one of Crusty’s favorite bands).

Also, make sure to check out here song that appeared in ABC’s Pretty Little Liars: “Just Like Heaven.” amazing.

 

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“Not qualified.”

Those two words have been a hot button the past 24 hours between the Clinton and Sanders campaigns. The problem is this: Hillary Clinton never said the exact words, “Bernie Sanders isn’t qualified to be president.” And the Sanders campaign—ultimately, the candidate himself—didn’t check the veracity of the statement at hand. Those two words caused a lot of pearl-clutching and back-and-forth that didn’t really amount to much substance or policy statements.

To me, the story here is journalism. The Washington Post explains its process for headline writing, which is generally the same across all print newspapers: the news desk gets the piece, and they write a headline. Occasionally the writer will propose a hed on his or her own (I always do); more often in newspaper journalism, the editors write the headlines as they surmise it from the content of the story.

From the WaPo’s deconstruction of the incident:

The art of headline writing is an imperfect art. The editor often has to summarize the meaning of a complex and nuanced article in just a few words. Many Washington-based reporters have experienced the frustration of having an accurate article denied by an agency spokesman because of a headline that went a little far off the mark.

In this case, however, The Post headline or article did not quote Clinton as saying Sanders was unqualified. Instead, it drew attention to an interview on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ in which Clinton sidestepped questions about whether Sanders was qualified.

In fact, Sec. Clinton went out of her way to avoid saying Sanders was unqualified. (The question itself was a leading one, baiting her into an answer she refused to give.)

This is why I unsubscribed from the Washington Post, and why I no longer watch Morning Joe. While the former still has a reputable news-gathering organization, Joe has roundly become a journalism joke—as I noted in CY Vol. 8: “Morning Cozy.”

Judge for yourself on the substance and direction of the interview. While you’re at it, evaluate which one ends up looking more presidential in the process.

Here’s my last thought: fighting like this one both sides of the aisle make me thinking about tuning the whole thing out and staying home. I won’t do that, because it’s a mistake to disengage from a process you hate. If you don’t like it, elect people who see life the same way.

Problem is, everyone is reactionary and nobody is the adult.

 

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“Niagara” is the photographic equivalent of a Warm Calgon Bath.

At the behest of yours truly, Chris “Crusty” Haddle made his debut as a fine-art photographer through ARTvision in 2012. His photograph, “Niagara,” was photographed while on holiday there with his husband Eddie.

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“Niagara” by Chris Haddle

When I saw his post on Facebook, I immediately messaged him and said the image was a show-worthy composition. He demurred a bit but I ultimately convinced him to print and frame it for the charity effort. In the end, Crusty’s piece sold twice, earning $500 for Positive Impact. (jump to the write-up on ARTvisionatl.org)

Like with tennis and his work at Wells Fargo, Crusty didn’t like doing something unless he could do it well. And boy did he nail this shot.

So very proud that a piece of him awoke to his creative ability and helped a charity in the process. ❏

DSC_4427  DSC_4409  DSC_4406

 

That’s it from me Cranker Darlings. I wish I had happier news this week; we’ll be celebrating Crusty now, at the memorial and for years to come.

We’ll see you right back here next Thursday at 2.

 


 

Will Pollock is a crabby New York City escapee living in Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist and author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.

Don’t forget to comment below. Cranky loves company.

 

 

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