Shirt with soul
|By Lawrence Cosentino|
Benefit, T-shirt help Craig Oster fight for lifeCraig Oster can’t help being a clinical psychologist.
Under heavy siege from a disease that eats away at his nerves and muscles, Oster isn’t strong enough to see clients in his office anymore.
So today, he’s sitting in his Haslett apartment, looking down at his chest and analyzing his T-shirt.
The shirt, designed by artist and caricature virtuoso Dennis Preston, shows Oster lifting a huge barbell, face scrunching with effort.
“I feel like Dennis captured so much,” Oster said.
Oster’s speech is labored, but he’s patient as rock and persistent as water. With help from his girlfriend, Michelle Dengeldey, the thoughts from the probing analyst’s mind beamed from his tortured body.
“On the one hand, it looks humorous, but he really seemed to capture some of the agony of the soul,” Oster said.
“Maybe unwittingly, Dennis is tricking people into looking at something they’d rather not look at.”
The “Dr. Craig” T-shirt will be officially unveiled at a benefit concert Saturday.
Oster was told in 1994, at age 30, he had a disease that kills most people within five years.
Last month, he bench-pressed 110 pounds.
“I’m not sure it was a good idea,” he said with a grin. “It took me a couple of days to recover.”
The most inspiring icon in the john is a photo of a Toyota Prius next to the toilet paper roll.
Oster hopes — no, expects — to recover his muscle and motor skills to the point where he’s the behind the wheel of a real one.
He credits a rigorous exercise program, a high-alkaline raw foods diet, and, most of all, a positive mindset.
Typing painfully with one finger, Craig set up
This summer, he has
Oster admits it’s a controversial topic. Many people, he said, think it’s “cruel” to link psychology and healing.
“They fear people will blame themselves for not getting better,” he said.
He was quick to add that psychology is one factor among many.
His professorial discourse came between swigs from a water bottle Dingeldey brought to Oster’s mouth.
“You’re not going to write about my drinking problem, are you?” he cracked.
On the shirt, Oster wears his trademark wool cap.
in and out of his wheelchair, he momentarily steadies Oster’s forehead
against the wall. The hat protects Oster’s head, but it’s also become
the sartorial trademark of “Dr. Craig.”
Preston wanted it on the shirt.
“I thought it was cool,” Preston said.
“It reminded me of Rocky, running up the steps.”
2010 Craig Oster Music Extravaganza Fundraiser