On (Not) Saluting the Flag

I don’t think I have placed my hand over my heart to “honor” the flag of the United States since high school. (Which means during the Vietnam War. More on that later.) When the national anthem is played and those present turn to face the flag, I will stand, angled toward the flag. I will remove my hat if I’m wearing one. I will remain quiet and attentive.

But my hand doesn’t cover my heart.

I am not anti-American.

I am not un-American.

I view myself as a respectful, responsible citizen.

Rising Sun
What Franklin mused about…

When visiting Philadelphia and Independence Hall many years ago, I paused to gaze at the chair used by George Washington during the Constitutional Convention. Benjamin Franklin noted the distinctive carved sun on chair and declared his belief, with this new nation, that the sun was rising and not setting. I wept. How powerful our history!

After the 26th Amendment was ratified, I knew it would soon be my turn . . . to vote! In 1972, during college in my twentieth year of life, I arrived at the polling place in the early morning for the first election where I could cast a ballot. Since then, I have always voted in local, state, and national elections. Continue reading →

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On Ruth, the Perfect Mother-in-Law

Yesterday, on Sunday January 21, 2018, Ruth Behrend died.

She was my mother-in-law. Jeanie’s Mom. She was, and I shall be completely forthright here, the best mother-in-law ever. Sorry, but however much you have loved and admired your mother-in-law, I got to have #1.

The picture above is from her and Wil’s wedding in June of 1950. The one below is from about a half-century later for their 5oth anniversary. Wil and Ruth are surrounded the most extraordinary gifts that they gave to the world: Char, Jim, Jeanie, and Dan . . . their kids . . . and their kids’ kids. Continue reading →

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Lament for Texas

Oh, I thought . . .

Another one.


20 killed. But that was changed.

More died, the next (and next) reports said*.


A church.

Which is different than Las Vegas.

Which is not.


The murderer of a child of 5 and a 70-something adult




Terrorist. (He didn’t have a funny last name, ya know.) Continue reading →

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