Stephen's Page...

August 21, 2013

 

We really wanted to give Stephen a page for himself so here it is...  You know a lot regarding him from his Herbie webpage and from other pages within this site, but I guess as parents, we always have more that we can add.

Originally, Stephen didn't want to come into this world in that his mother was in labor for over 26 hours and even though induced, he still resisted and had to be pulled with forceps to make his grand entrance.  Because of his size, 10.5 lbs and the delivery, he was born with swelling of the brain which more than likely caused his disability. 

We didn't really realize the disability until around his first birthday as he was still not walking or saying anything.  As time went on, he still didn't start walking until around 18 months and didn't say a word until after 2 1/2 years of age.  It was funny, however, when he did start talking.  My wife would read to him constantly and one day as we were driving into town, Stephen started off saying the alphabet from A to Z and with each letter he would say an animals name.  But that wasn't the end of it, he then went from Z to A and used a different animal for each letter.  You can only imagine the shock!  And today, he hasn't stopped talking yet.,   He actually has a vocabulary better than most grown adults, the problem is that he just has problems putting his thoughts together to carry on a conversation.  Other than that, the kids a genius. 

Stephen's always been a happy child as you can tell from some of the pictures on this page.  He loves animals and doing just about anything.  During his younger years as I was doing a tremendous amount of traveling, we were fortunate enough that we could take the boys along with us.  Actually I was working out of Michoud LA when his younger brother was born and it was at that time that they formed a very special bond.  They have always gone with us where ever we went and for that reason, still stay extremely close today.

Stephen's travels include a number of trips around the US,  Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean.  He has seen the Louve in Paris,  the Coliseum in Rome, and so much more.  All of these are memories that he remembers to this day. 

Back in 1990, we took up the hobby of scuba diving and Stephen became an expert Advanced Diver making numerous dives to the ocean floor at depths up to 125 feet.  He loved to explore wrecks and even swim with the sharks.  This became a little more difficult after his bout with MRSA, but within 6-9 months, he was back in the water and diving once again.

And of course, there came along Herbie, his favorite car in the entire world.  We started off with an old worn out '65 VW and as I started to add certain features such as opening and closing his hood automatically, he started to come alive for Stephen.  Well today, his car is one of a kind as you have probably seen on his webpage (see the bottom of this page for a link).  Herbie actually has a brain (a Pentium processor) that allows him to put on shows for kids and adults around the country along with his friends Bo, Daisy and Duke.

And just recently, we have completed a tow vehicle for Herbie which is a '72 VW Kombi bus with a Chevy Blazer frame and 4.3 L V6 motor where we can continue to take Herbie to his shows in comfort (Click Here).  Herbie sits on his custom red trailer and enjoys the ride wherever we go.

One of Herbie's last appearances was in Little Rock, AR where he was center stage among over 25 General Lee's from the Dukes of Hazard TV series.  Stephen had a ball (the General being his second favorite car in the world) and actually had the opportunity to meet Rick Hurst (Cletus), Sonny Shroyer (Enos) and John Snider (Bo Duke) from the original show.

Of course he does the annual Toy's for Tot's campaign with a local TV station in Orlando, FL for the US Marines, and guest appearances around the area including just down the street from Walt Disney World where people come from around the world to see Herb in action (we have people come back on a regular basis hoping to catch Herbie at the show).

All in all, Stephen loves life and it shows.  The last pictures in this group are of Stephen at his brother's wedding where he of course was the Best Man, even to the point of giving him last minute advise as to how to have a wonderful marriage with plenty of children....