Aunt Berthie

When you get married, you not only marry your wife or your husband, but you are also grafted into each other’s family, and their traditions. One of Patty’s family’s Memorial Day traditions was to visit the various small town cemeteries where loved ones were buried to place flowers on their… Continue reading

Missing Tony and Charles

The deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Charles Krauthammer may be practically forgotten and long gone from the internet’s trending topics by now. Yet, they deserve to be remembered. They were artists who, to the best of my knowledge, never painted a portrait or sculpted a bust. They used words, reasoning,… Continue reading

An Unassuming Man: Norval Spalding

He was a little short guy who always sported a mischievous grin and always carried a few hundred dollar bills in his wallet. While generally a quiet person, he was not afraid to speak his mind when he decided it was necessary to do so. A repository of homespun wisdom, he would often preface… Continue reading

A Tribute to Teachers

Off hand I can’t recall much I learned in high school. I suppose if someone quizzed me I might be surprised what all I did remember. But forty-five years later, I certainly remember two teachers. Mr. Blakely was a very intellectual and savvy sort of guy. He taught International Relations… Continue reading

Loving Life

Dan Stika lives a full life doing the things he loves and giving back to the community. He has lived in Kenosha for all of his seventy-six years. After he retired, Dan decided to obtain his undergrad degree. He enjoyed the experience so much that he went on to get… Continue reading

Inner Dissonance (Bill Cosby, Tullian Tchividjian, and Me)

We make messes. We all do. We fail. We disappoint others, and even ourselves. We wreck havoc in our own lives, and in the lives of the people who look up to us. All of us do, to varying degrees. Some failures are subtle incidents of inappropriateness. Others are blaring… Continue reading

The Age of Goodbyes

Here is a copy of my column from Monday’s Kenosha News. I never thought about Leonard Nimoy dying, even after he was recently admitted to the hospital suffering from COPD at eighty-three years of age. He was Mr. Spock for Pete sake! As Mr. Spock, he just got cooler as… Continue reading

It’s Not Your Fault

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This post is part of the “Crash” synchroblog: Robin Williams Performances We Remember and Why. Twenty year-old Will Hunting (Damon) is an undiscovered mathematical genius who grew up being regularly beaten by his father. He too developed anger management issues and he had a way of torpedoing any serious relationship.… Continue reading

Adventures in Assisting My Parents

Photo credit: Marcel Oosterwijk. Creative Commons My seventeen-day long trip to St. Joseph, Missouri was a packed full of things to be done for my folks…packing, moving, having a sale, closing out the old apartment, taking over their business affairs, unpacking, taking Dad to the hospital, countless trips between the old… Continue reading

Crazy Times

Image by brizzle born and bred. Creative Commons. I was born right in the middle of the Baby Boom Generation (1946-1964). The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Cold War, The Civil Rights Movement, the assassinations of John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Vietnam War, student unrest, illicit drug… Continue reading

Am I Good Enough?

I was mesmerized by Whitney Houston’s televised memorial service. Maybe, I do miss church gatherings a little bit after all. They certainly “had church”! Whitney was blessed with an amazing gift, a voice that she honed into something extraordinary. She was, apparently, a very sweet, relational soul with an abiding faith in… Continue reading

Pretty People

This post is part of the synchroblog, Down We Go. We all have our prejudices. Personally, I am leery of people who appear to have it all together. Right now, I am recalling the proper, Christian Grandmother who kept the birth of her granddaughter secret because she was born before her mother… Continue reading


Thirty-six years ago, an immature, twenty-year-old, bushy-haired, long side burned, guitar playing, hippie-like, preacher boy with an uncertain future, but a cool ’66 Mustang married a far more stable and mature eighteen-year-old girl with beautiful straight, long black hair and gorgeous big brown eyes, one week out of high school.… Continue reading