Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The power and spirit of Frank Zaccheo


Earlier today I was feeling sorry for myself. Here’s the post.

What brought it on? To be honest, last night the wife and I had a talk about our finances, and times are sorta tough. It’s one of the unfortunate impacts of a career writing books (and one of the reasons I often wonder how long I can do this). For the most part, authors are paid in three or four chunks (1. Book Deal signed; 2. Book submitted and accepted; 3. Book comes out; 4. Paperback, or one year after hardcover). So when you get paid, they’re good, strong payments. When you don’t—it’s dry.

Right now, in the midst of writing, it’s dry. So, consequently, are we.

I was dark all night. Dark all morning. Dark much of the afternoon. I blogged about it and then—in the midst of my cave—I received this post on Facebook: Ya wanna trade places Jeffrey??!!!….. 😉 Read Catherine’s note above over and over and over and over again!!!! You are blessed my friend; you really are!

The author is Frank Zaccheo, my good friend and someone I recently wrote about in a column for CNN’s website. Frank and I attended Mahopac High School together. Twelve years ago, while playing flag football with some friends in our hometown, Frank began inexplicably tripping. He went to the doctor … was diagnosed with MS. He’s been in a wheelchair for the past eight years. Life is a battle. Every day.

In the course of our existences, we’re occasionally fortunate enough to meet people like Frank; human beings with the uncanny, oft-coveted-but-rarely-captured ability to spiritually rise above. Frank has a blinding glow about him; an aura of goodness that I’ve only seen in one or two other people. He’s physically bound by a chair, but, well, you’d never, ever know. He transcends the physical; sees and reaches beyond it. I truly envy Frank, in that he possesses a decency I’ll never touch. Never. Not even close. Frank and I were friendly in high school, but we’ve become close the past three years or so. Without debate, I am a better person for knowing him.

And he’s right. What the fuck am I so upset about? And how dare I complain. I have a wife, two kids, a career, comfort. I could die tomorrow, at age 38, and know I’d lived a full and engrossing life.

Man, sometimes I’m such a friggin’ dolt.