Now we are seven. This is the seventh Kernel Book, and the response to the series has been far better than we could possibly have hoped.
In previous volumes I have told you about meeting people on the streets, in supermarkets, in airports, and in all sorts of other places who have greeted me as a friend and told me of the pleasure and stimulation they have received from the Kernel Books. This continues to be the case■only more so.
A few weeks ago I was in Philadelphia attending a meeting. I was sitting in a restaurant before dinner when a man and woman (Walter and Gladys Gershenfeld, as I was to learn) approached my table and said, "Are you Kenneth Jerniganthe one who edits the Kernel Booksthe one who wrote the article about standing on one foot?"
I told them that I was and they said that their whole family had been trying to see if they could stand on one foot for more than ten seconds. They were referring, of course, to my article in the sixth Kernel Book (Standing On One Foot) about a newspaperman who thought if you were blind you couldn't stand on one foot. They were not only having fun but also learning about blindnesslearning that blind people are just like everybody else.
The present volume takes its title from an incident in the life of Marc Maurer, the able President of the National Federation of the Blind. When he was in law school in Indiana, he failed to take the initiative in helping an elderly woman and her three-year old grandson one winter afternoon during a blizzard. He didn't have much money, but that wasn't the reason. It was because he had not yet come to think of himself as a responsible person who should help others when the blizzard blows. Today he is both competent and confident and would not hesitate. The difference in his life has been the National Federation of the Blind.
So it is with me, and so it is with thousands of other blind people throughout the country. I hope this Kernel Book will give you a picture of who we are and how we see blindnessof what blindness is like, and what it isn't like. Above all, I hope it will help you to think of us as just ordinary people, people like you.
We laugh and cry, work and play, hope and dreamjust like you. We also behave just like you when the blizzard blows■sometimes with courage, sometimes with fear, and often with a mixture of both. The selections in this volume are real life stories told by the blind people who lived them. I hope you will find them interesting and informative. I also hope they may be of at least some help when the blizzard blows.
The type size used in this book is 14 Point for two important reasons: One, because typesetting of 14 Point or larger complies with federal standards for the printing of materials for visually impaired readers, and we wanted to show you what type size is helpful for people with limited sight.
The second reason is that many of our friends and supporters have asked us to print our paperback books in 14 Point type so they too can easily read them. Many people with limited sight do not use Braille. We hope that by printing this book in a larger type than customary, many more people will be able to benefit from it.