Driving suicide awareness through humor and fashion

Drive out suicide
Gabriel Nathan has a 1963 "Love Bug" VW that screams "Drive Out Suicide" on its rear window. The car is the same model as "Herbie", the anthropomorphic Volkswagen Beetle emblazoned with a large encircled number 53 in the 1968 "Love Bug" film by Disney. Having lost an Aunt to suicide, been plagued by intermittent suicidality himself and having worked in a psychiatric facility, Nathan hopes to bring awareness to the issue with his Herbie. He is on the board of Prevent Suicide PA " and trains people in the community, "natural gatekeepers" he calls them, in the QPR ("Question, persuade, refer") method. This short training equips them to perceive when others may be in crisis and what to say and do. Nathan and his Love Bug are the subject of a short documentary film by Bud Clayman, "A Beautiful Tomorrow: Taking Suicide Awareness on the Road" and can be followed on Instagram at @lovebugtrumpshate

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Samsara frank

Frank Rapoport, an attorney, started SamsaraGear some time after his daughter Alex took her own life at 32. Alex had gone to the Himalayas during her college days, fell in love with it, and converted to Buddhism. According to Rapoport, these experiences were the brighness in her life of struggle with an eating disorder. Rapoport retraced her steps in Bhutan and discovered the colorful textiles handwoven from sheep and yak hair, a thousand year old tradition of the native people. So impressed were his friends with a vest he brought back from a trip to Bhutan, Rapoport decided to make a go of an import business of clothes and accessories as a tribute to his daughter. In Buddhism "samsara" is the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

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Related: "End The Stigma is a community that provides education, resources, and discussion about mental health. Your story matters." #EndtheStigma "Leave kind words for someone who may need them" at the Starbucks in Flourtown


Agatha Christie Mystery - video previews

Witness cu

Your correspondent is helping out with "Witness for Prosecution," the Agatha Christie play at the Stagecrafters Theater in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia running November 22nd through December 8th. He cornered a few actors who indulged him by delivering their favorite lines.  The clip below features Jaime Roanne Schwartz as Greta, Mark Sherlock as Leonard Vole, John Pinto as Justice Wainwright, Tom Tansey as Sir Wilfred, Tom Libonate as Mr. Myers,and Leah O'Hara as Romaine.NOTE: CONTAINS POTENTIAL SPOILERS


Before municipal election, voters more focused on national issues

Voter interviews 20191105 election


(From left to right)

One of the biggest things is healthcare. I probably have the most basic plan for healthcare and I was paying $79 four years ago and it literally jumped up in the middle of the Trump presidency to $348 for the most basic plan I continue to pay because I don’t want to have to worry about that. But now I have to worry about other things like bills... I’m not quite sure who I’m going to vote for yet but Bernie and Warren definitely seem like my - Warren not as much just because BUT YOU CAN'T VOTE FOR THEM IN NOVEMBER Oh in November! I’m thinking far, far ahead. THE MAYOR IS UP FOR RE-ELECTION... The mayor, oh...

BRIANNA GOW, 24, college student, NORRISTOWN, PA
Local government I don’t believe I’m knowledgeable enough to speak about what candidate I’m going to vote for so I’ll probably do some research before the election

Yeah that’s probably good. I was like, what election are you talking -yeah, it’s been on the mind the next one, the 2020 presidential one.

For this election I’m very interested in local issues for Philadelphia itself- education of our children in the Philadelphia area that to me is very important. AND WHAT CANDIDATES... I really couldn't tell you we are inundated with so many candidates I want to take time to sit down and review candidates that are available but you know I think we’ve been bombarded with so much political on the national scene sometimes we really get weary of political speeches and promises so sometimes it’s hard and even difficult to take even take time to do that so I’m hoping to take time sit down and read articles and see what the issues are in terms of the candidates WHAT RACES... City Council, I'm very interested in that. Those that pertain to our local area, those candidates but who the candidates are, I couldn't tell you. I'm ignorant on that.
Graziella Mann, West Oak Lane, 72, retired research technician


My focus is more on what’s going on nationally so I haven’t, honestly, been thinking about the local stuff that much. One of my neighbors is running for commissioner. And Iknow it’s not supposed to be along party lines. I know that he doesn’t have some of the beliefs that I do. He doesn’t belong to the same party that I do. So I’m a little reluctant to vote for him even though I know he’s a great guy.

Julie Nguyen, Homemaker, 46, Fort Washington PA

Watch video interviews here.