Last month, I scheduled a time to donate blood at the Red Cross. In order to save time, prior to showing up for my appointment, I logged onto the Red Cross website and answered all the preliminary questions that I’m required to answer before I can donate blood. The questions were designed to allow the Red Cross to determine any blood safety risks that may be present.
The year was 1970. I was in the eighth grade at St. Mark’s school in Peoria. I remember the day like it was yesterday. One of my classmates — I’ll call him Paul — brought a Polaroid picture to school to show to his friends. Paul and I were the same age — 13 years old. The person in the picture was the girlfriend of Paul’s older brother. She and Paul’s brother were in high school. She was a student at Academy of Our Lady and Paul’s brother was a student at Spalding Institute.