Showing posts from December, 2010

The Kepler Dynasty

I need your help with something. I don’t understand the concept of royalty. Oh, I fully comprehend how a family would rise up to rule over their friends and neighbors – offering a safe haven back when defense and conquest were ugly realities of life. I’ve seen all the movies with good kings (Robin Hood) and bad kings (Braveheart). It’s easy to understand how dynasties rose and fell in centuries gone by. I just don’t see the need for royalty in this 21st century. Why can’t my family be a 21st century dynasty? I could be King Reece... Take Prince William, for instance. You remember Prince William don’t you? He’s the eldest son of Princess Diana, of fame for a number of reasons, not the least of which was her fiery death in a tunnel in Paris; and Prince Charles, famous primarily for his royal divorce and his extremely large honker. I see where Prince William is getting married. And the whole world is glued to their sets to see what church they will select, and what flav

Heart to Heart

Remember eating those little candy hearts on Valentine’s Day? You know… the ones with cute sayings stamped on them. Perhaps you even gave a little candy heart with just the right saying to that special someone. I’m sure there are couples happily married today all because of a little candy heart. When I was a teenager the church I attended sent out letters to its members with one of those little hearts glued to it. I don’t recall the nature of the letter, but what I do remember is that the machines at the post office crushed the candy hearts. So when you opened your letter from the church you got a lap full of candy dust. When teased about it the church staff just grinned in embarrassment. I remembered the testimony of that little old lady… But let me tell you something else I remember about the candy-heart-letter story. There was a little old lady that attended the church whose letter must have missed the posting machine or something, because her heart wasn’t crushed...

The Flying Monkey Movie

It’s the baby boomer generation that finally changed the way we look at things. Before, if a man got old and forgetful they laughed at him and said he had “Old Timer’s Disease”. Now, with sympathy and respect, that forgetful gentleman is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I remember when, if a man just ate and ate and ate, and then went out behind the shed and stuck his finger down his throat to throw up, he was laughingly judged a glutton. Now that man (although it’s more often a teenage girl) is diagnosed with Anorexia, and offered treatment by medical science. We snickered when we heard that Gomer Pyle was married to Rock Hudson... But alas, not all changes are for the better. When I was a child there were two men who lived together down the street. They dressed kind of funny, and even as a young boy I recognized that their home was expensively, if not oddly decorated. And we laughed about these men being “married” to each other. And we snickered when we heard t

An Angel Gets His Wings

The Movie If your holiday traditions are like mine the time of year has come to watch that classic of all Christmas classics. I’m talking about the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. But there’s one scene in that movie that hits so close to home it’s scary - and I don’t mean funny-scary, I mean petrifying-scary. The Scene The scene that brings me to the brink of nightmare is not really the scene itself, but the memory it evokes. The scene is when George Bailey’s brother, Harry, sled out of control, ends up in the water. Of course, George saves Harry, but in the alternate world of Clarence the Angel, Harry sleds his way to a watery grave. The Memory A few years before my wife Stephanie and I met, I was married to someone else, and had two step-children, a girl named Amy and a boy named Casey. I well remember one year when we were in Colorado for Christmas with Amy and Casey’s grandparents. It was Christmas morning and Casey had found a brand new, bright red plastic snow sl

Uncle Dick and His Ship

When a man grows old and dies, his legacy – or at least the memory of his life – passes to his sons, and then to his son’s sons. Of course, if he doesn’t have sons it passes to his daughters. But if a man has no sons or daughters, will he be forgotten? I remember meeting Uncle Dick only once in my life, or maybe twice. He was born on 11/11/11 and died in February 1980. And, while my father and I drove to San Diego for his funeral, we pulled into town just as it was taking place, and so we missed it. Uncle Dick is buried in a beautiful cemetery out on Point Loma. This truly remarkable feat of seamanship was the only time in recorded naval history that such an event occurred... But it is Uncle Dick’s death that really defines his legacy, or – not really his death, but more so how he died. In 1955 Navy Captain Richard Purdy, a WWII combat veteran, was the skipper of the USS Marion County (LST-975) when he and his ship were ordered to participate in an experiment code-named