Patricia Harlow, Binghamton, NY

In 1985, I graduated from Chenango Valley High School in Binghamton, NY.  I then went on to attend Broome Community College, fall 1985.

On September 24, 1985, I was driving home from college.  While taking advantage of a green light at the foot of the hill I live on, my car was broadsided by an ambulance, skidding through a red light at 74 mph on the highway.  The ambulance flipped over the top of my car and knocked me and my ‘78 Cougar into the bank at the bottom of the hill.

After the doctors did what they could, all they were able to tell my family was: ‘We did all that’s medically possible, now it’s up to the Man upstairs.’  Plenty of prayers went out for me.  I suffered a broken neck and a head injury, which knocked me into a coma for nine weeks. When I came out of the coma, I was transferred from Wilson Hospital to Binghamton General Hospital to start in-patient therapy, speech therapy to learn how to talk again, cognitive therapy for my motor skills, and physical therapy, where I had to learn how to crawl again before I could attempt to walk.

I was discharged from the hospital, January 3, 1986.  Physical Therapy was the last “school” I graduated from, which was the summer of 1986, as an out-patient.  I’m walking faster, but I still walk slowly and tend to scuff my left foot, if I don’t pay attention; due to my head injury, nerve damage.

This accident took my memory away from me, and thank God, it took my memory of the car accident away, too.  I still cannot remember some of 10th, and 11th, and all of 12th grade of high school, including prom and graduation, ‘85. I returned to BCC in the fall of 1986, with plenty of help from my mother and stepfather, who drove me to and from college and brought my change of books after each class.

Thank goodness, I don’t remember the car accident.  After a couple of months of college, I tried and began driving, again (my license was still good).  However, when I went to renew my license, it was noted that I had suffered a head injury.  I had to take a driving test, right then, and there, before renewing my license.  I did and I passed.

My car accident was very unfortunate.  It took a lot away from me, but it did not take away my love for creative writing, which I found in Ms. LaValle’s 8th  grade English class, 1980. In college, I received A’s in both Written Expression I and Written Expression II. I graduated from BCC with a Marketing Degree in the spring of 1990.

Things happen for a reason.

Then, one day, as I was glancing through the TV Guide, I filled out an order form from The Institute of Children’s Literature to obtain a writing aptitude test.I took the test, and was enrolled in The Institute of Children’s Literature Program.  I did my assignments at home, and mailed them to my instructor.  I earned my degree in 1993. In 1998, and years following, I have been chosen to have my poetry printed in coffeehouse books through poetry.com, under my maiden name Fayerweather, and my present name Harlow.

When I said things happen for a reason, I believe the reason this tragic accident occurred was to show me what occupation to follow.  I first wrote and published: “Rock With Rodney & Party With Perky”, where Sam Slimey Snake crashes Rodney’s party looking for alcohol.  Rodney and his friends show Slimey how to be a smart partyer, with the games played, company kept, and as Rodney says: ‘Rock n’ Roll’.

Then I wrote: “Rock With Rodney and Party With Perky To The Land of Evermore I & II”, about stopping hate; bringing Americans together, as United States of America, again (both unpublished).  After, September 11, 2001, I wrote: “Rock With Rodney & Party With Perky to the World of Evermore”,because the terrorists attack bringing down the World Trade Center affected the whole world (published 15 years later, 2016.)

For the past decade, since about 2004, I’ve written a series: “Rock With Rodney & Party With Perky to Preserve Wildlife 1 – 5”.  In that series, the only fiction is the characters and ‘Leppelin County, New York’, in which they live.  The non-fiction is truth and knowledge on what is and has happened to our environment; air, land and water surrounding.  We need to join together to help save our America, the Beautiful for us, and people of tomorrow.

I have done both the writing and artwork in my books.  I have loved art as far back as I can remember.  I enjoyed creating the characters, but with my nerve damage my freehand drawing through the mouse on the computer is quite shaky.  The shapes in the computer helps me out greatly!

I still suffer from short term memory problems, today (have to write things down to help remember).

I think knowledge is the key and by writing fun and knowledgeable stories, my goal is to help teach Peace, Love and Laughter – for everyone, and every species.

I went through a lot of relearning to be where I am today.  After all of my struggles, I am fortunate to be able to follow my love for writing, and art work.  –together, we can save our Planet!

 Thank you,

Patty Fayerweather Harlow

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