Friday, February 22, 2008

My Uncle Joe


More than twenty years ago I began a film project on my uncle. I thought he was cool and interesting. He had lived over half his life in an institution with a label of what then was called "mental retardation." But he got out of the institution – Fernald State School – and found his rightful place in a community south of Boston: Quincy, Massachusetts.

He had challenges, but faced them with a free and indomitable spirit. The film I made about Joe, simply titled, My Uncle Joe, was released in 1991.

We lost Joe in February, 2005 when he was struck and killed by a small truck while he was crossing a street. He was heading home after dinner at one of his favorite restaurants.

I've been working with Joe's brothers to create a site dedicated to Joe's independence. There will be this show site and a related web site, All will present stories of people who, like Joe, tell us something about how our world works and who we are. It will be about struggles and triumphs. It will be for people labeled with disabilities and poeple who help them, as well as people who just want to know more about what makes us all tick.

So here we go. It starts today.

Bill Rogers

February 21, 2008

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