How My AmeriBag Saved Me

Maria Oakley of West Hurley, NY tells the story of  her  Healthy Back Bag versus a rabid fox:

As I was leaving the house to go grocery shopping one afternoon in late April, I was suddenly under attack by a very aggressive fox.  It came charging at me from around the corner of the house, about  ten feet away,  and was closing in on me FAST!  I had no time to turn and run, so I did the only thing I could in that split second… I began to swing my AmeriBag to hit it.  The instant realization that hitting it might do no good at all prompted me to throw the bag at the fox instead, in hopes that I would knock it over.  It was no more than two feet away from me when my AmeriBag connected soundly with the animal and did, indeed, knock it off its feet.

Immediately, the fox turned its aggression onto the bag and proceeded to bite it and claw it while snarling and growling, and then began dragging it towards our backyard.   I would have gone back inside the house, but since I had locked the door and the house keys were in the bag that the fox now had, I couldn’t.  The fox went under a high porch with my bag and continued to attack it.  After a few unsuccessful attempts to hit the fox with rocks so that it would run away and leave me and my bag alone, I decided to run to my car that was in our shed across the driveway.  I ran, the fox noticed, and it chased me.  I managed to get into the car before any contact was made.

The fox then attacked a broom hanging on our shed wall.  It clawed and gnawed on it all while growling for a number of minutes.  It then wandered around in the shed, went back to the yard, revisited the AmeriBag, came back into the shed to again attack the broom and came over to the car and proceeded to scratch and claw the driver’s door.  When it pulled itself up on the side-view mirror and tried to chew that, I began to believe that I was living in a Stephen King novel.  The sound of the growling and the sight of the sharp teeth –these are things that nightmares are made of.

I was thus trapped in my car for 2 ½ hours until our neighbors arrived and my husband got home from work (at about the same time).  I had lost sight of the fox after about 1 ½ hours, but I was not about to go retrieve my bag from under the porch when the animal could have been ANYWHERE. And remember, my house keys and my car keys were in my bag.

Once the excitement was over, I called some neighbors to warn them that there was a possibly rabid fox in our neck of the woods.  I learned that they had just shot an aggressive fox an hour or so before.  So that’s where it went when I lost track of it!  The Department of Health subsequently verified that the fox was, indeed, rabid, just as I had thought.

The rest of the story: After checking on-line, I determined that my AmeriBag was most likely safe to touch, but I decided to disinfect it with the bleach/water solution that was recommended and to put it through the washing machine, anyway.  My “Classic Distressed Nylon” bag certainly IS durable and has come through the experience unscathed!

AmeriBag Tees Off for the American Cancer Society

Margery Gaffin, AmeriBag Executive Vice President and Co-founder shares:

I am proud to say that this is the ELEVENTH year that AmeriBag has been the Major Sponsor of the annual American Cancer Society Michael B. Finnegan Golf Classic at Wiltwyck Golf Course in Kingston, NY.

Sadly, cancer has become epidemic.  Being a 5+ year survivor myself, I feel strongly about doing anything I can to help prevent cancer and to find better cures.  We all have been touched by cancer; whether it has hit us personally, or a relative or close friend.

My husband, Irwin, and I love this event.  Golf has been an enjoyable pastime enjoyed by me and Irwin for 11 years.  We have been Major Sponsors of this Tournament from the first year we began golfing. It is a fun filled day for an excellent cause.  Although most of the day is spent competing for ‘the win’, the underlying reason for the event is never lost. The silent and live auctions are filled with fabulous gifts and participants are incredibly generous, often bidding over the actual cost of the goods in recognition of the value donating. This year over $98,000 was raised to help the ACS in their fight against cancer.

Golf tournaments are an ordinary person’s way of making something extraordinary happen; stroke by stoke, green by green.   It is a way to connect to the cause; something everyone can do within their own communities.  We encourage people to seek out their local charity of choice and see what types of events are available for them to make a difference.  Every little bit helps to fight for this important cause.

This event brings such spirited generosity, as all are aware of the importance of supporting charities like the American Cancer Society. AmeriBag also sees this spirit at another extremely worthwhile organization, Breast Cancer Options, events here in the Hudson Valley.

Pictured left to right: AmeriBag Co-founder Margery Gaffin of Kingston, Sally Schofield of Barbados, AmeriBag Director of Sales, Beth Petramale of Saugerties, and Josephine Guest of the Bahamas and Barbados. Results: 68 Gross / 66 Net. WINNERS OF FIRST PLACE NET

Pictured left to right: AmeriBag Co-founder Irwin Gaffin of Kingston, Matt Kovner of Olivebridge, Danny Moss of New Paltz, and Dr. Gary Povill of Hurley. Results: 67 Gross / 65 Net.

The Celebration of Life Continues

Margery GaffinMargery Gaffin, AmeriBag Executive Vice President and Co-founder shares:

I just returned from an amazing trip to Columbia, Kentucky that was inspired by the “I Love My Life” Healthy Back Bag.

A bit of background…

Mary Phelps is one of my good friends who I have known for over thirty years. She is a horse photographer extraordinaire who covers the Olympics, dressage events and regularly is featured on Mary almost died in late June in a bizarre ATV accident near her home in Columbia, Kentucky. Mary was airlifted to a hospital center with a punctured lung and 15 broken bones. Amazingly, she was on the mend very quickly with a strong positive attitude.  While she was in the hospital she read my original post about the “I Love My Life” Healthy Back Bag. She fell in love with the way it looked and the special meaning it had for her. It resonated deeply.

Today, Mary has completely recovered from her injuries. With the help of her wonderful husband, JJ, she is tackling her website, horse insurance and photography business with gusto. Her sister, Nancy Phelps, recently wrote to me and said:

“I’m putting together a surprise 60th birthday party for Mary, at her & JJ’s Columbia, KY home on Saturday, November 13, and I know she’d be so delighted if you and Irwin could make it!

She’s been so inspired by your bag design and blog, especially after her near-death experience from her ATV wreck, I had to use the “I Love My Life” theme for her celebration!

Now that the bags are available again, I’m ordering her one, and will decorate with the same theme, I think in black & white.”

So off I went and traveled 12 hours each way to celebrate my friend’s 60th birthday – with the theme of MY BAG! I thought to myself, “Does it get any better than this?”  It was a magical event with over 50 people happy to see Mary alive and loving her life. It was a very inspirational experience.  Mary is now the owner of two “I Love My Life” Healthy Back Bags (a small black one given by her sister and an eggplant large Baglett by me).

The colored “I Love My Life” bags will be available in black, eggplant, sea moss and chocolate on December 15th.  All of our customers will be able to celebrate their love for life in color and in two sizes.  We encourage you to throw a “I Love My Life” themed party to celebrate someone you love who has survived an ordeal and is exalted by life.

Email to reserve your bag today. They tend to sell out quickly, so let us hold them for you. Please specify which size and color you want (small Healthy Back Bag or large Baglett in black, eggplant, sea moss and chocolate).

Whether you have gone through a life trial, or you just appreciate your life, purchase a bag or throw a party for someone you love with the “I Love My Life” theme!

Mary and her guests

Pictured from left to right: Ava Hinjosa, Margery Gaffin, Mary Phelps, Nancy Phelps.  Nancy was the organizer, Ava and I traveled from far away to attend this poignant special event for our dear friend, Mary.

Mary's "I Love My Life" Birthday Cake

A beautiful, delicious chocolate cake fashioned after the “I Love My Life” Healthy Bag Bag® design!

Mary with her new "I Love My Life" large Baglett in eggplant

Mary with her new eggplant microfiber ‘I Love My Life’ Large Baglett.  This is the FIRST ONE EVER!!

Mary and her sister Nancy

Mary listening to sister Nancy’s celebratory toast, telling the story of survival and appreciation of life on her 60th birthday!

"I Love My Life" Healthy Back Bags and large Bagletts

The “I Love My Life” Healthy Back Bags and large Bagletts in eggplant, sea moss, black and chocolate. These bags will be available in December. They tend to sell out quickly, be sure to email to reserve your bag today.