Progress Report 1

Brian J. Sullivan

First, I would like to thank all the well wishers for their cards and emails. People I never met sent me get well cards—all through the brotherhood of the arts. I was deeply touched.

Remember your physic's class from high school? Well, I didn't either until I learned that I hit the ground with a force of 35,840 pounds (weight doubles every foot of drop). Ouch! No wonder I was a little slow getting up.

While the physical pain from the surgery has all but subsided, the emotional and psychological frustration of being totally helpless has begun to take its toll. And if that was not enough, art fair committees have decided to add insult to the injury by sending me letters of their refusal to offer me booth refunds. These fairs, mind you, were the very same ones in which last year I won "Best of Show," Best of Class," "1st Place," etc. In addition, these were also the same shows that I have donated works of art for their fund raisers over many years (to one fair in particular along a lakefront, I donated over $6,000 worth of work in 2005 alone). Then of course is the loss of all the hotels pre-booked, and also nonrefundable through such services as

However, each day I arise with new determination despite the overwhelming odds of full recovery and the prognosis of a long rehab with physical therapy. I am fortunate to be alive after such a serious accident and am grateful. The highlight of my day is when the lady down the hallway brings me my mail. Brightly colored cards are a welcome relief to the tan walls of my apartment. Hospital bills also come with itemized costs and totals in the thousands of dollars.

Then there are my dear friends, those who call and offer to help, yet when asked, never seem to have the time. Being injured is a very lonely experience. To help with the depression and meet some new people, I joined the "International Wheel Chair Tree Climbers Association" (ITCA for short). I am learning new skills and recently was awarded the top award for tree climbing prowess in a wheel chair.

The ITCA has chapters all over the United States and in Europe. Requirements for acceptance are extremely rigid and currently there is only one dues paying member—me. And while I've mastered the wheel chair, I am still learning 101 different things to do with crutches. I may never be back on the art fair circuit again, but rest assured, I enjoyed the bumpy ride all the way!

P.S. Please quit complaining about art fair food; next to hospital food, fair food is simply gourmet.