Back In The Saddle

CJ Hornberger's mom called - he'd been to hell and back, and wondered if I'd write about the journey. Her son - over 6 feet, over 275 pounds - seemed indestructable. Well, no, he did always seem to be breaking something, but that was by crashing into gym walls, sliding into home, doing what it took to win more than a few games over the years under the Water Tower and various other sweaty spots in Northwest Philly.

But his aches and tingling quickly turned into screaming pain and paralysis. Three trips to Chestnut Hill Hospital, including one where he felt they thought he was a junkie just looking for meds. No relief. Finally a spinal tap reveals he's got what only 1 to 2 in 100,000 people get - Guillain Barre syndrome.

Thursday's metro column is about the return of CJ to Fatty's Bar & Grill, which he helped build with his friend Jeff "Fatty" Gamburg. CJ's the bar manager there - or was. He will be in again. His boss/pal is holding open the job, paying the health insurance premiums, stepping up to the plate. I hung out with CJ and his friends on Saturday night, for a few beers and the raffle of a recliner, which is the sort of throne that CJ rules from.

So we toast with a little Japanese concert footage of Aerosmith this spring morning. Crank it.