Deaf inmates' grievances were settled out of court when an arbitration ruled in their favor to allow a felon ASL interpreter on Death Row to accompany them on their chain gang assignments, to appear at parole hearings, and permitting them to be cellmates.  Deaf inmates now are able to complete their GED, participate in a drug rehabilitation program, anger management sessions, etc. The state saves money using felons as interpreters. As a matter of fact, these interpreters would rather be interpreting than pressing license plates. Unfortunately, the pilot program was cut after the interpreter was executed. 

This is Smokey stay tuned for the next episode of Deaf Anthology, Good Night Deaf America!


Jose was driving down the highway, "look out," slammed on his brakes, leaving skid marks. There is a frightened dog alongside, was lost, but now found. Lifted and hugged, licking his face, tail wagging, obviously a friendly dog. Jose knew his wife wouldn't accept another dog into the household so took him to the vet. Ben, a Deaf Christian, eventually adopted him and was given a nickname, "Florida," and returned back home to North Carolina. God is our best friend, just as Ben being the dog's best friend. Both were baptized,  fleas were taken away, so were our sins. The dog now has a home while we await ours in the hereafter.

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Dorm Tales: Chess

Blizzards sometimes prevents our Deaf children from going home on weekends, creating hazardous road conditions, disrupting rail schedules, etc. When the temperatures are way below zero, so had to keep the boys indoors, teaching them new games such as chess. I read that a chess grandmaster is coming to Brookfield Square to play against 25 players simultaneous, anyone who beats him wins a free chess set. It's a great opportunity so I asked Larry if he'll accept the challenge and tag along Marty. It was awesome watching both Larry and Marty at that table facing one of the world's greatest  chess grandmasters, an experience of a lifetime. The grandmaster says "good game," shaking their hands after the game.
My late Deaf brother, Buster, a linotypist with the New York Times, taught me how to play chess when I was a kid. He always play chess during breaks at work, studying books of chess strategies, building antique chess tables in his workshop. I once had him play, set on the grandmaster level, chess on an Atari 2600 console, and was surprised that a even computer couldn't beat him. 
Larry burst into tears when I met him again fifteen years later at a bar during the Deaf bowling tournament in Milwaukee. He wasn't drunk, he was just crying while telling me those days were the happiest years of his childhood when he was in my dorm, thanking me for teaching him chess and everything else. I was taken aback, he taught me something at that moment, that Larry wasn't just a troublemaker after all but a great kid.
I would like to see Deaf schools established chess teams and send them to the annual Junior National Chess Championships hosted by the U.S. Chess Federation. I also challenge any Deaf schools to start a fundraising drive, seeking donations from local business and organizations, to send a team to play against Russian Deaf schools. I once visited a Deaf school in St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) where all the Deaf boys in the dorms are playing chess. One nine years old Deaf Russian boy, Denis, whom I play chess with later became my stepson and came to America.  
Arpad E. Elo, a native of Hungary and a professor of psychics at Marquette University,  devised the system that ranks the world's chess players, and a founder of the United States Chess Federation. Yes, he faced the young Bobby Fisher back in 1957. I think Gary Kasparov of Russia, a former world champion, whose rating of at least 2790 is the highest ever, unless I'm behind the news. Elo also set up chess programs for children in the Milwaukee area, Marty and Larry probably the only Deaf to play against the late world champion grandmaster Arpad E. Elo

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Rippowam Chess Team

My Deaf brother, Buster, a linotypist with the New York Times, taught me how to play chess. I joined the Rippowam High School chess team, these guys are really good, unbeatable unless you somehow disrupt their strategy. It's great playing chess against rival schools in our area. Buster gave me an Atari 2600 console to practice chess. I ain't no Bobby Fisher.

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Nadia once was a seamstress at this facility where they sewn flags and banners. It's a great environment with good salary and benefits. Nadia was hired on the spot when she was given a test rather then first filing out an application. She gave me the Harley-Davidson banner which I now hang on my walls. Nadia joins the Olympus volleyball team, great at spiking. Occasionally, the company held cookouts, giving out prizes and recognizing employees.
Nadia, the Deaf Russian is now an American citizen.

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Life is playing sudoku, watching Seal Team, drinking Coca-Cola, reading the Digest, throwing away ads from local funerals,  getting heartburns from McRibs, taking rustic road trips, refilling prescriptions, feeding the cranes, socializing with Deaf friends, blogging and wishing I'm somewhere else.

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Deaf Beggar

New York police arrested a homeless man at the Times Square subway station after receiving several complaints of impersonating a "deaf" beggar, actually he's a laid off VRS interpreter, struggling with alcoholism. During questioning, he admitted that his Deaf parents overstayed their visas and left him behind, after being deported back to Honduras. ICE agents took him to the detention center, awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge to consider his asylum request but will nevertheless be denied due to his lengthy rap sheet. (fictional)

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Deaf Ohio Farmer

Matt and Jessica Fry are both deaf and are raising two children who can hear.

Deaf farmer finds ways to overcome

Riding next to his dad in the tractor, a young Matt Fry could tell there was a problem with the machine. He and his father were working ground on their farm in Bellville when Matt noticed a difference in the way the tractor was running. He could feel it in the vibrations of the engine that something was not right, even before the beeping alarms let his dad know there was an issue. Although Fry was unable to hear the alarms, his other senses alerted him to the problem.

Growing up, Fry never let his deafness discourage him from enjoying life on the farm. Today, he’s a husband, father and full-time farmer. Matt still works alongside his dad, Robert, as the fourth generation on their family farm, where they no-till oats, wheat, hay, corn, and soybeans. He also has his own small herd of beef cows.

Matthew Fry is really interested in what his father is doing on the farm.

Born with the ability to hear, Matt suffered a severe illness as an infant that caused him to lose his sense of hearing. As an adult, his hands serve not only as vital tools on the farm, but tools to communicate and connect with others.

“I grew up as an only child on the farm and attended Mansfield City Schools for their deaf program,” Fry said. “My teacher signed with me and then I had an interpreter when I joined the other classroom. I had other deaf and hard of hearing peers in my classroom.

“After I graduated high school, I worked full-time off the farm and helped my dad when I could. When the economy took a turn for the worse around 15 years ago or so, I lost that job but was able to come home and work on the farm full-time.”

Fry communicates with his dad via sign language as well as paper and pencil.
“When I am on the farm, I mainly use home signs. It’s not true American sign language, but gestures that have meanings,” Fry said. “Texting and video calling are also great ways I can talk to people.”

Matt met his wife Jessica, who is also deaf, at a fundraising event in Columbus. A self-proclaimed city girl, Jessica was intrigued by the farm life but it took some adjusting.

“We met through some mutual friends at a cornhole tournament that was a fundraising event. Once we started talking and I realized he was a farmer, I was just really fascinated by all that he does,” Jessica said. “It’s really rare to find a deaf farmer. There are not very many in the United States. It was at times a tough transition to the farm life for me after growing up in a big city, but there’s really no better place to raise your kids than on a farm.”

The pair wed in 2013 and welcomed twins Matthew and Madeleine a few years later. Both children can hear.

Considered CODAs, or Children of Deaf Adults, the two 5-year-olds are well versed in both American Sign Language and English.

“It’s impressive that they are so young and are bilingual already,” Jessica said. “We will always practice deaf culture in our household. They learned sign language first from us and then later on they learned to speak and write in English.”

Both twins love to help their dad, but their son Matthew is especially enthralled with the farm life.

“Both of my kids are great helpers. Matthew is just fascinated by tractors. He is always wanting to go on rides and spend time with me on the tractor,” Matt said. “Before I leave the house, he is always asking me so many questions about where I am going, what I am doing and why I am doing something.

“Right now I am working on baling hay, and every night when I get home Matthew wants to know when I am going to wrap the bales, so finally the weather cooperated and I texted my wife and here comes Matthew, so excited to go wrap hay,” he said with a smile.

Matthew’s interest at such a young age could lead to another generation on the family farm.

“I hope that when the kids grow up that they do pursue agricultural jobs and want to continue with the family farm someday,” Matt said. “There are just so many different options for jobs in agriculture.”

Watching Matt and his children interact, you would never know that a potential language barrier exists.

“My motto is that my family will always come first, and then the farm,” Matt said.

Farming in general can be a challenging occupation, but being deaf while farming can present its own unique challenges. Luckily, there are plenty of modifications that can be done to make the job easier for Matt.

“Our machines are modified and accessible for me, so I can operate them without having to rely on others,” Matt said. “Our mechanic set up our tractor to have LED lights instead of sounds to let me know when there are problems. So if something isn’t right, a light will flash for me. Then I know I need to stop and check on things.”

Matt also does things the old fashioned way — watching very carefully.

“I am always very aware of my surroundings and try to be extra observant,” Fry said. Additionally, he relies on monitors that show numbers and other information as well to monitor his fields and work. Perhaps what has been more challenging than not being able to hear on the farm for Matt and Jessica has been finding a sense of community within the agricultural industry.

“Being a farmer’s wife is not always easy,” Jessica said. “I do love it, but sometimes I just wish I knew of other deaf women in agriculture that I can communicate with.”

Jessica did share that joining groups on social media has helped, but that it’s not the same as being able to sign with someone.

“Yeah, we know of a few other deaf farmers across the state and in several other states, but there’s no formal organization or anything for us to join to gather or talk regularly,” Matt said. When working with other hearing farmers, Matt often writes out what he needs to say or uses texting or the notes app on his phone. He knows of a handful of other deaf farmers (including an Ohio produce grower and dairy farmer) but they are certainly not common. He does not know any deaf grain or beef farmers in Ohio.

“I feel like I can’t be the only (deaf) one out there,” Matt said.

If there’s anything that Matt wants people to know, it’s that his deafness doesn’t affect his passion for his family or for farming.

“My husband does not like to show his deafness, because then people think he can’t do things,” Jessica said. “Matt is a really fast learner, he’s so observant and just loves what he does. He’s a very hard worker.”

Since he was a boy alerting his father to a problem with his keen other senses, Matt has expanded his knowledge and skills as a farmer to overcome his lack of hearing.

“I can do everything a hearing person can do on the farm. The only thing a deaf person cannot do is hear,” Matt said with a smile. “And I don’t give up.”

This is Smokey stay tuned for the next episode of Deaf Anthology, Good Night Deaf America!


CODA here, CODA there, CODA everywhere!
These CODA films have nothing to do with the Deaf in general, they only have one thing in common, music, which we Deaf don't care for. Most CODA storylines don't even have any Deaf characters.

One definition of CODA is a conclusion, the final segment as in the Godfather trilogy.                        

 Patrick Steward stars in this CODA film but we all are familiar with his role as Picard in the Star Trek franchise, having Deaf actor Howie Seagal as a negotiator.

This CODA flick beats the crowd, hitting the film festivals circuit, where she's in a tough situation as a dancer with a Deaf boyfriend. 

The newest flick on the block, a world premiere of CODA at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. 

The storyline sounds familiar, only this time Ruby is struggling between pursuing a music career and that of her Deaf parents family fishing business. 

CODA / U.S.A. Director and Screenwriter: Si├ón Heder

Cast: Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin.

I once participate in a Sundance Film Festival workshop at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM) where students can apply for a grant t a project. 

Deaf Anthology will apply for press credentials to participate in  the virtual event.

I encourages the Deaf to to purchase tickets at the Sundance Film Festival website to watch "CODA" online.
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We took a field trip to the Reptile World Serpentarium taking a tour of their facility where they got hundreds of snakes. In the laboratory, they created antidote to saves the lives of people bitten by venomous snakes. A handler shown us a Sumatran cobra behind protective glass panel, then came out to allow children to hold a milk snake and answer their questions.

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Washington Nationals

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Q: What does Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. I. King Jordan have in common?

A: They both are fans of the Washington Nationals baseball team.

I am with my good old friend, I. King Jordan, the first Deaf Washington Nationals fan, who well known for his famous quote, "Chicago Cubs can do anything but win." Jordan once works as 
an usher at the former Washington Senators games.

We were watching the World Series at the Smokehouse Bar in Orlando.

Dr. Fauci thrown a wild first pitch at the World Champion Washington Nationals game against the New York Yankees,  but the rival Yankees won!
Fauci's rival President Trump thrown out the first pitch at Yankees stadium without the fans.
Dr. I. King Jordan is the first Deaf President of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. known for his famous quote:

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I think we should stop yelling at our kids for playing with their food, let them use their imagination like this one creating a portrait of Trump using spaghetti, a clever piece of art. 

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Mark Twain

An interesting Deaf quote from legendary Mark Twain on the subject of kindness.

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God wants full custody of His children, not just Sunday visitation rights.

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The four Gospels writers were drinking their favorite brand while burning the midnight oil.
 If God wants us to spread the gospels to the Deaf then why are we deaf to God's commands?

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I preferred scrambled eggs at breakfast, first you break the yolk just like this artist is doing on his canvas.

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Deaf Handyman

Deaf Handyman: "You got tools, I got ideas! Your project this weekend is to build a doghouse."

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Police are raiding the Deaf clubs across the Deep South, especially here in the Heart of the Dixie, confiscating evidences of widespread gambling activities among the Deaf, after receiving an anonymous tip from a disgruntled Deaf member who lost last month jackpot, the biggest ever. Deaf officials were taken into custody, assets seized, and their non-profits status revoked. Additional charges are expected, such as selling alcohol on the premise without a license, building code violations, etc. A spokesman for the Governor's Task Force on Gambling stated "gambling in any form is illegal and the Deaf thought they can get away with it, they were wrong."

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Bobby Valentine

Bobby Valentine, former manager of the Boston Red Sox visited my elementary boys dorm at St. John's School for the Deaf before the game with the Milwaukee Brewers. Bobby and I were childhood friends, we grew up in the same neighborhood. Our mothers have social every Wednesday afternoons over a cup of coffee. Stamford Recreation staff taught me the game of baseball at Southfield Park. Once I didn't duck when, Johnny, the kid next door thrown a fast ball that aim at my nose, my father had to take me to Stamford Hospital emergency room. We both went to Rippowam High School, home of the Warriors. Bobby spend all day with us visiting the classrooms, signing autographs and playing with our high school baseball players during lunch break. Bobby at the time was an utility player with the Seattle Mariners, talked about his friend, Bill Buckner of the Chicago Cubs. Bobby even shown our Deaf kids the hand signals of the Minnesota Twins, their base stealing was obvious, hand rubbing down the arm. 
Randy, 8, collects baseball cards and happenstance have his rookie card from the Los Angeles Dodgers that he signed. Randy later was the first Deaf batboy honored during a game with the New York Yankees, the same day Henry Wrinkler, the Fonz and the casts of "Happy Days" play against local celebrities. While at Gallaudet, Randy and his friends, Jeff, Joel and a WSD grad were arrested during a game with the Brewers was jailed overnight in Baltimore when they jumped on the field ripping off their shirts to display the numeral 3,000 on their chest to celebrate Robin Yount feat live on national TV.
I tried visiting Bobby Valentine when he was manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan, couldn't get through the front office to get tickets for the game, I was in Achi, visiting Nagoya School for the Deaf and enjoy a week at the Expo. It was my second trip to Japan, taking a bullet train to Tokyo and Kyoto.
As for the late Bill Buckner, I forgive him for a field error that costs the Red Sox the world championship. My uncle, Clark took me to Fenway Park, I remember the Green Monster. 
Bobby Valentine gave my dorm 10 box seats near the Mariners dugout but our director wouldn't let them go to the night game on school night because of their ages, 8 - 10. Our classrooms teachers went in their place. On the next days, my Deaf kids are wide awake but the teachers are sleepily  tired behind their desks. Many of our Deaf boys played in the Little League, I was dreaming of St John's School for the Deaf fielding a team and heading to Williamsport, winning the world championship, beating the Japanese. Anyway, was able to get two sponsors to buy us uniforms and equipment to to field a softball team to play hearing Cub Scout teams during the off-season. 
Thanks Bobby Valentine, it was great having you with us!
Bobby Valentine recently opened a new bar in my hometown Stamford, Connecticut.
The last time I went to his bar, enjoy a home cooked meal in a friendly atmosphere, his cousin gave my stepson Denis the New York Mets helmet. Denis later played for MSSD and later became an assistant baseball coach for the California School for the Deaf in Fremont where my Deaf sister, Mary, taught once.
Bobby Valentine Sports Academy teaches our youths various sports and skills and field a traveling team.
My alma mater, Gallaudet University have their own baseball camp for Deaf youths during the summer. 

As a matter of fact Curtis Pride, who hit a homerun in his debut with the New York Yankees is now a head coach at Gallaudet
Check with your local Sertoma Club to see if they offer Deaf youths baseball clinic in your area.

One final note, Dummy Hoy, first Deaf major league player was credited with the umpire hand signals and still the only outfielder to thrown out all three players at the homeplate when he was with the Cincinnati Red at the turn of the century. There had been numerous efforts to get him into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and despite the petitions, letter writing campaigns, etc. The Baseball Writers of America still discriminate against us, ignoring our pleas to recognize Dummy Hoy historic achievements on the field. We haven't given up, we still needs your support to overcome the obstacles before us so step up to the plate. Its frustrating but we'll get there somehow.

If you get a change, I recommended you to watch the "Silent Natural" now available online.
Baseball is still our national pastime!
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When you are in Florida, don't forget to set aside time to enjoy the manatees in our waterways to escape the hassles of the theme parks.

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"Back to the Future"

I just got back from 1955 in this car from Bruce which took him three months to build from scratches.
Doc invited me over to his lab tonight to watch ''Back to the Future" on cable.

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Save our economy by purchasing products made right here in America so we can pay back the Chinese what we owe. Americans need jobs so we can afford to travel to China.

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The judge  declared a mistrial in a case of an ASL interpreter, accused of murder, because there were no Deaf among the jury. It's a controversial decision in favor of the defense team who argued that his client has a right to an impartial jury of peers. 

The Judge flatly rejected the state prosecutor's argument that selecting a Deaf juror will be somewhat be biased in this particular case. The judge reaffirm the rights of the Deaf, under the Constitution, to serve on a jury. The ASL interpreter is now out on bail awaiting a new trail.

This is Smokey stay tuned for the next episode of Deaf Anthology, Good Night Deaf America!