What a week it has been in Cambridge, NY. I haven't been able to get out into town much. Why you ask? Along with BuzzWave
member John Carlson, I have been working on organizing the first fund raising event for the documentary film A Question of Justice
The documentary started when filmmaker Mike Camoin
read an article about David Kaczynski, brother of Ted Kaczynski (A.K.A. "The Unabomber"). Mike talked with John; John talked to me; and the QofJ Team was formed. That was over 3 years ago. We added Marketing Director Paul Farina to the gang a year ago. Friday, May 19th, we will hold our first major fund raising event at the Chancery in Albany, NY (465 State Street).
We've been criss-crossing the country filming David Kaczynski, Gary Wright, Bill Babbitt and Bud Welch and meeting amazing people like Sr. Helen Prejean
, author of "Deat Man Walking" and "The Death of Innocents."
Working on the film has been remarkable. There have been so many highlights and I know more are to come. Meeting David Kaczynski
has been a real joy. At first we thought the film would be just about David and his journey. Then he introduced us to three other friends and, what do they say, history was made.
If you don't know anything about David's story, he turned his brother Ted into the FBI when he and wife Linda suspected Ted was the "Unabomber." Ted was arrested in 1996 and, at the time, was the most wanted man in America.
Amazing as you might think it is (turning your brother into the FBI), David then set-up a fund, using the $1 Million reward, for the victims of Ted's bombs. He also tried contacting victims in an effort to apologize for his brother's actions. Gary Wright was one of those victims. Gary spent 9 years not knowing who tried to blow him up. The day in November when David telephoned to apologize to Gary, has led to a remarkable friendship.
It goes without saying that our other two film principals, Bud Welch and Bill Babbitt
, have equally compelling stories. Bud's daughter Julie was killed in the Oklahoma City Bombing. Bud learned many hard lessons while dealing with the loss of his only daughter. Along the way, he too found that only with compassion can healing begin. He has befriended Tim McVeigh's family and says, "The day I met Bill McVeigh, I met a bigger victim of the Oklahoma City bombing than myself."
Bill Babbitt also turned his schizophrenic brother Manny into the police when he suspected him of a robbery/beating that led to the death of an elderly woman in Sacramento, CA. Unlike David, who was able to afford a good defense team, Bill spent 18 years trying to get Manny off of San Quentin's death row only to watch his baby brother be executed by the State of California.
What brings these four men together is a story about overcoming tremendous personal pain and loss; yet it is more than a testament to the human spirit in overcoming tragedy--it is a roadmap to tapping into the strength of compassion and depth of healing that can be found in each one of us.
Please join us on May 19, 2006, at The Chancery, 465 State Street, Albany, NY. Rev. Howard J. Hubbard, Bishop of Albany; Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D), 50th Dist. NY; David Kaczynski and Bud Welch will be attending. Cocktails begin at 5:30 pm, presentation and screening of film trailer starts at 6:15 pm. Tickets are $50.
I'd like to add that the wine for this event was a generous donation of our own Black Dog Wines and Spirits,
here on 48 East Main Street, 677-BARK! Thank you, Elisabeth and Beaver.
To learn more about what I've been doing all week in Cambridge, NY visit the Question of Justice
Filmmakers in Cambridge, NY add to the zest of Life in Cambridge, NY.