A Stones Throw 6-26-14


My son Kevin and daughter-in-law Marianne are changing their careers for the summer.

No, they are not quitting their “day jobs.”

Instead they are moving from event coordinators and travel agents. With four children who are very active in sports, the event coordinator/travel agent aspect of their lives requires intricate planning and exact timing.

It is not unusual for the need to facilitate two or three baseball games, two or three lacrosse games, two soccer games, and one basketball game scheduled for the same Saturday.

But not this summer.

As I said, Kevin and Marianne are in the process of changing their “after-work” careers. Instead of event coordination and travel planning, they have started the “Cooney Convalescent Center for Redheads.”

The career change was necessitated when Erin, their red-headed soccer/basketball/volleyball player, fell and broke her arm. So, instead of playing three or four games each Saturday, she has a cast that covers her arm and will keep her from physical activities for several weeks.

Shortly after the broken arm, Jack, their red-headed lacrosse player, tried to change direction as he charged down the lacrosse field. Unfortunately, he went one way – his knee cap went another way.

For the third time in less than a year.

Even though he was wearing a special brace, his knee cap popped out of place.

While he immediately popped it back into place he was done for the game. And, after surgery designed to hold the knee cap in place, he is done with all physical activity for several months.

Thus, with the two red-heads in the family out of commission for the summer, the “Cooney Convalescent Center for Red-Heads” became a reality.

But not for long.

Shortly after Jack had his surgery, Joseph, sandy hair blonde and a baseball and basketball player, was playing in a basketball game in Columbus, Ohio. During the game he took a pass and headed for the basket.

One of the opposing players (who I think watches too much NBA basketball) decided to stop Joseph with a “hard foul.”

Unfortunately, that “hard foul” resulted in a completely torn ACL and partially torn MCL. Joseph had complete knee reconstruction surgery this week.

And, Kevin and Marianne had a new problem.

They could no longer maintain a “Cooney Convalescent Center for Red-Heads.” Not with the addition of a sandy hair blonde.

Wanting to be politically correct, and not discriminate, Kevin and Marianne changed the name to the “Cooney Convalescent Center for Athletes.”

I decided since I was once an athlete, and I need knee surgery, perhaps I would get my knees worked on and could move into the Cooney Convalescent Center.

When I suggested this, Jade said I would probably be harder to take care of than all three kids combined. I scoffed at this and suggested to Kevin and Marianne that this was an option.

They immediately agreed and said they would welcome me.

Then they changed the name for a third time.

It is now the “Cooney Convalescent Center for Young Athletes.”

And, I am not young.


In a follow-up to last week’s ‘A Stones Throw’ I forgot to include another of my major concerns. While I think it is “cute” when I see a car with the “family” decals on the window, I think those decals are inviting trouble.

The other day I was following a car that had decals showing a father, mother, four kids ranging from small to infant, a dog, and two cats.


I know that in that car, and in their home, there is a family that feels good about being a family. I know there is pride in being a family.

And, I know if I follow that car I can find where young children live. Where young children play.

It is a shame we need to be aware of potential problems and be concerned of potential consequences with everything we do – but that is the world we live in today.


In another follow-up, the storm over the Washington Redskins use of the term “Redskins” is gaining momentum. While I originally thought the claim that “Redskin” is a racial slur was wrong, I now understand that to some – perhaps many – it is in fact a racial slur.

Unfortunately, it seems that very little is safe from “political correctness” advocates.

It has been reported that there is a concern that Notre Dame’s “Fighting Irish” name is offensive. The concern is that the name gives a negative connotation that stereotypes people of Irish descent as being violent.

Perhaps from now on when we watch a Notre Dame football game we should be watching the Notre Dame “Friendly Irish.”

Speaking of being politically correct, I find it interesting that in today’s world while many African Americans decry the use of any other term when depicting their race totally embrace the NAACP and all it stands for.

That is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Is that politically correct?

I think the bottom line is we need to understand the intent before we attack the message. I think we also need to understand the intent of those who demand change.

Intent should not always be the determining factor – but, it should be considered.

Both ways.

– Mike Cooney