Entries by Mike Cooke


Rain Dance

Rain Dance From John Ratliff written during the island’s storm season After I finished playing at Memory Matters, a new volunteer came up to let me know how much he enjoyed my set. He’s an engineering graduate of the University of Virginia, a soft-spoken southern gentleman with a beautiful accent that I could listen to […]


The Splendor of Spain Gala

Fun, laughter, camaraderie, and generous giving were to be heard and seen in abundance at this year’s Memory Matters Gala. The theme this year was “The Splendor of Spain” with emphasis on the southern Mediterranean region of Andalusia. The decor reflected the theme with lovingly hand-painted Spanish ceramic tiles, vases full of fresh flowers, and […]

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Amélie and John My eldest (11-year-old) Grandson Brody was back at Memory Matters this week learning more about community service and the “art of engagement.” In truth he has been spending many hours in Memory Matters since he was just eight years old and has a natural gift when it comes to empathy for older generations. […]



I loved this JW story. Real life is not always what we first imagine it to be. – Volunteer Mike Cooke Harmon The little furniture store sat on the far corner of a run-down strip mall. The other tenants consisted of a tattoo parlor, adult novelty shop (‘for the adult in all of us’), and […]

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X-Country Practice

From John Ratliff: X-Country Practice  The quiet thumping of rubber souls crunching on the trail as the team runs by together Steam rising as they exhale like early morning dragons moving so fast I almost expect them to spread their wings and take flight I remember the magic feeling of the endorphins kicking in, the […]



A while back, JW shared a story about finding the right fridge and the debate between him and his wife as to the model and functionality.  Here’s more about the fridge on the day it was delivered. I.D.-Ten-Tee “Hello sir, I have a refrigerator for you!” the handsome delivery man said with a slight island […]


The Secret of Gratitude, Love, and Happiness

Hi from Volunteer Mike: John Ratliff’s new short commentary on life, titled “Atonement” prompted me to write an introduction and offer my own thoughts on “the secret of gratitude, love, and happiness” as seen through the eyes of one of our Compass Plus classes. Compass Plus classes are held in the Memory Care Center on […]


Wild Turkeys

JW on the nature trail in his new backyard…………. Wild Turkeys  “That is definitely what crossed in front of me on the path this morning!”, she said, sliding her phone over the kitchen counter to me. Marie’s cheeks were flushed from her early morning bike ride as she gulped down cold water and wiped her […]