A First. I have always thought of this blog as a way to have an exchange of ideas and to stay in touch with friends. I have never sought to expand it beyond friends and acquaintances, although several people have invited others to join and they are certainly welcome. One year ago, a good friend and regular reader died. He was the first of the regular readers to pass.

A Second First. His wife held a memorial luncheon last weekend at their home. Jeny and I drove the two hours to their beautiful home beside their lake and considerable acreage.

His heritage was Scandinavian. He told his wife he wanted a Viking funeral. She took his ashes, put them in a wooden replica of a Viking ship. She set it afloat on their lake and set it on fire. My first Viking funeral.

 Stories. As you probably guessed from the funeral, He was a larger-than-life character. After the ship sank, we went back to their home and told stories. Everyone had stories. Some we could tell and some we could not.

I told a story about him returning to an academic department after being in administration. He had been the vice-president for research at his university. When a new president came in, he took one look and decided to return to being a professor.

The younger and newer faculty were very leery of an administrator returning to their department. I found a similar hesitant reception when I returned to my department after being vice-president for academic affairs.

My friend had a mischievous streak. The department to which he was returning had showcases where the faculty thumbtacked reprints of their research for display. He had many more reaearch publications than any one of the faculty, probably more than several of them combined. However, rather than a reprint of his scientific work, late one night he thumbtacked an article he had written about The Yellow Kid.

Long before Superman, Batman and the comics of my childhood, the Yellow Kid was the first comic book. My friend was the world’s expert on that topic.

As expected, the faculty got all a-flutter. How dare he put up an article about comic books among their peer-reviewed scientific journals!

He got the last laugh. He was asked to be the keynote speaker at the dedication of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum on The Ohio State University campus. He had a national recognition for his knowledge of comics and collections. He was more widely recognized for his scholarship about his hobby than they were for their research.

A larger-than-life character and I dearly miss him.

Category 5.    My heart goes out to the people in the Midwest who are facing the threat and reality of tornadoes. Jeny and I were raised in tornado alley. I have a healthy fear of them. We have lived for over 40 years in Mobile. We have faced several hurricanes. I remain more frightened of tornadoes.

On June 8 1966, in Topeka, Kansas, the sirens went off because a tornado was on the ground headed our way. Jeny, Scott and Dawn, went to the basement in our apartment and hunkered down. I kept a careful watch at the top of the stairs, ready to race down if I saw the funnel.

I never saw a funnel and soon the sky was clear and the all-clear sirens were sounded. We knew from the radio reports serious damage had occurred, but we did not see any. Curiosity got the better of us, so we got in the car to investigate.

We drove about six blocks and did not see any damage. Then we turned a corner and everything was leveled. The storm was a Category 5 tornado and that strength is rare and devastating.

The most chilling story I heard was a high school senior in our Young Life group was home with his sister and they went to their basement. When the storm passed, they went upstairs and nothing was there; everything above the basement was gone.

Topeka Tornado 1966 – Kansapedia – Kansas Historical Society (kshs.org)

The organization that impressed me the most in their response to the devastation was the Mennonite Relief organization. They were amazing and well worth supporting.

This and That

The following is a wonderful story of the love Steve Sax, a former major league baseball player, has for his son.


My friend, who is a policeman in Austin, Texas, says he does blame the university for the recent student protests. The university asked the police to help the with the demonstrators. He also says — do not blame the students. His information is that the majority of the agitators are paid outsiders and are not students on the campus.

He remains very distressed by the progressive District Attorney in Austin. The agitators began by throwing feces at the police. After the arrests, all charges against the demonstrators were dismissed.

In my opinion our enemies are doing everything possible to get us to fight within ourselves. The protests are another example.

We heard Tim Tebow speak at a fund raising evert for Victory Health, a local charity the gives medical and spiritual support to the working poor. The very poor can get Medicaid, the working poor are employed without benefits and do not qualify for Medicaid.  The organization is meeting a real need in our community. His testimony was amazing.

I did not know he is dyslexic. He also shared how he did not find out he was colorblind until he was in his professional career. He jokingly suggested — maybe that explains some of the interceptions.

Good News

Barber’s Split-Second Decision Saves Toddler From Oncoming Traffic (sunnyskyz.com)

Hospital Security Guard Gives Shoes Straight Off His Feet To Patient In Need (sunnyskyz.com)

Neighborhood Celebrates Adored UPS Driver Who Retires After 42 Years (sunnyskyz.com)





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