John "Johnny Mac" McCabe was an institution
at Passageway. With his background as a printer, it is no surprise that he played the lead role in making sure the thousands
of pages of copying we need for each monthly newsletter got completed. We miss John's smile, his work ethic and his
passion for both music and Passageway. We hope you enjoy his articles.
A New Year at RAINBOW
by John McCabe
This article originally appeared
in the January, 2006
Passageway (formerly RAINBOW Center) Newsletter
I joined RAINBOW in December 1994. I was quiet, removed and kind of still am. I wasn’t used to people.
I was accepted into the clubhouse right away. I was starting to feel comfortable around people with disabilities similar
to mine. I finally found a place to spend my days that is Alcohol and Drug free. No more being influenced by so-called
friends. I was looking a long time to find friends who did not drink and do drugs. I thought if I wanted friends,
I would have to follow them down that lonely dead-end street of Drug and Alcohol abuse.
In 1995 I was asked to quit drinking by people who I respected and who cared about me. I was ready and I agreed
to stop. The Alcohol was killing me. I decided enough is enough!
I have been sober 10 years.
And I thank a Higher Power for giving me the strength to stop. I’m not saying RAINBOW had anything to do
with my sobriety. Then again, maybe RAINBOW did. Well, what I do know is RAINBOW did play a part in keeping me
sober. Being a part of the Work Ordered Day, members and staff work as a team, doing several varied jobs that must be
done every day. I get a lot more benefits from RAINBOW that I would not have if I stayed home alone.
What’s that old saying, “You only get from RAINBOW what you put into RAINBOW?”
It’s a new year for RAINBOW and a new year for RAINBOW members. Please come down and meet some new friends
and maybe some old friends too.
What the RAINBOW Center
Means To Me
by John McCabe
This article was published in a later Passageway (formerly RAINBOW) monthly newsletter. It was included as
the text of the program at John's memorial service after his death in May, 2006
The center gets me out of the apartment. I find things to do that I enjoy doing. I enjoy a meal that I can't afford to
make at home. I enjoy socializing with friends. And when I get home, I feel like I accomplished something and I'm more comfortable
at home. My doctor is very pleased with me. I can't get enough of the clubhouse.
My sister in Denver gets the newsletter and she wants to read an article by me. I have trouble getting over to friend's
homes to visit, but I can see them at the RAINBOW.
I think I speak for a lot of members, "a few chores are not work", but it’s a privilege to be a member and a responsibility
to be part of the work-ordered day.
John was born November 15, 1950 in Dyersville, Iowa. He graduated from high school in California. He was
a printer. He enjoyed going to RAINBOW and seeing his friends. In his spare time he would make CDs for his friends
from the RAINBOW Center. He enjoyed working at Easter Seals and helping out doing what he could to help them. He enjoyed music,
watching the TV, attending to his aquarium and numerous plants. He looked forward to his cab rides to RAINBOW Center and spending
Saturdays with his daughter, Kelsie.
He passed away at home on May 20, 2006. He will be cremated according to his wishes. He is survived by his daughter,
Kelsie of Des Moines; sisters, Donna Thomas of California, Jane McCabe of Denver and Ann of Granger; a brother, Tom of Colorado
and his many friends at RAINBOW and Easter Seals. He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph and his mother, Josephine,
a brother, William (Bill), and a sister, Mary Kay Berger.