Tag Archives: Vietnam war protests

A successful surgery, the march and falling on the side of the average Joe and Jane …


Last week was kind of a good news week. Ellen had successful melanoma surgery, their old man carried a sign, and Reid was just days away from a father and son trek to Minnesota. 


May 1, 2017

Ellen/Reid: This note will no doubt hit your mailboxes while I’m in your midst, but so be it. This serves a useful function since I will likely forget most things I need to tell you so might as well put thoughts down on paper while the remembering is good. Yeesh. It’s hell to get old.

Reid, it’s good we’ll take the drive. Actually, you will drive and I will ride shotgun. The car will be relatively light except for the Legos and bird feeders that will be in the trunk for the girl’s birthdays. A couple of books for each might be a good idea, too, so there will be a side trip to Barnes & Noble sometime today. It this sort of trip that is fun to look forward to, just hitting the road with a cup of coffee and some tunes. Which reminds me, there are a few more favs from Pandora to download today.

Ellen, your surgery sounded routine. What a relief that it was caught in stage 0. That your surgeon suggested ice cream – and ‘buy yourself new shoes’ – was a great, assuring response from him. The scar will be wavy and ugly for awhile but that fades away and smoothes out over time. You’ll be back to normal in no time flat. Ah, the sins we pay for from our over-sunned youth. At least you have time to educate the girls and keep them covered up. And all the sun you can keep off yourself now will pay healthy-skin dividends down the road. I’m covered head to toe each time outside right now and don’t mind looking like a nerd. Any more than I already do, that is.

The climate march in Washington was interesting. I hadn’t done anything like that since my college days and the Vietnam war. The chants are pretty much the same, only different words. Lots of marchers were gray hairs; maybe we feel we need to demand climate action for the Emmas and Georgias of the world since all of this has happened on our watch. But I think the march fell on deaf (and dumb) ears. Honestly, the more that is seen/heard from Trump, the less I trust him (not that I ever did). He is just a loose cannon, and despite his grandiose self-proclamations that his presidency has done more in 100 days than any before him, none of it is true.

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There’s something good about being part of a larger, citizen-mobilized effort. There are significant doubts, however, about whether Pres. Trump and his cadre of non-climate change believers were paying attention.

What is astounding is he has almost completely abandoned his campaign oaths to his base; he’s put it to them on The Wall, 52 percent of his tax cut goes to the 1 percent, he’s shafting Trumpers (and us) on health care, and he front loaded his cabinet with billionaires and Wall Streeters. He is about smoke and mirrors and deflection and distraction. Drain the swamp? Are you kidding? How can that be when D.C. was already in the hands of Republicans? How’s that help the average person? As for the protest itself, there has to be a better way. Sure, there is strength in numbers, but we might be better off taking the message to the outlying areas where Trump supporters live. The dialogue needs to be civil but forthright; is dirty water and filthy air in your best interest? How well do you want your kids to be educated? How’s your health care working out? Oh, and those manufacturing jobs? When do you expect those to come back? The only thing that will really matter is the mid-terms in 2018. But ‘spin’ and fear mongering are art forms in politics now. Who knows what it will take to put government on the side of the average Joe and Jane.

My rehab is on pace. Been walking 3-6 miles a day with no discomfort or set backs (knock on wood). At the check up last week they gave me the green light to start light work on the elliptical today but in view of the road time this week those workouts won’t begin until I return. What bugs me most is the air-bloated, skin-stretching nature of the surgery. I don’t know when that will truly go away. We’ll see. Just gotta keep the weight off, I guess.

Well, enough blather and pontificating. See you both – and the girls and Tim and Liz – real soon.

Love, Dad

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And a time to every purpose, under heaven …


It took Pete Seeger and The Byrds to put a few verses from Ecclesiastes into perspective for many of us:

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

So it would seem for the contents of last week’s letter.


April 24, 2017

Ellen/Reid: By the time you open this, Ellen, surgery on your arm will be done and you’ll be all sewed up, good as new. Good for the dermatologist to catch it in the apparent early stages. There’s nothing wrong with check ups every three months. I’m still on that quarterly regimen, too, as is your mother and your uncle. Reid, I know Tim hit you hard about a skin check up but really, get in since this insidious beast can lurk around almost unseen. Almost the entire family has had melanoma. So please, get checked.

It rained all day yesterday around here and still is this morning. I didn’t realize how much of a downpour we had until I brought up the digital Charlotte Observer. Apparently some neighborhoods were badly flooded and are still out of power. The little creek behind the house is bank full. I guess it’s good for the reservoirs but it washes all the litter into them.

It’s a relief in a lot of ways that the Road King is nearly gone. I’m quite fine with it. It was just time. Not my favorite of all the Harleys I’ve had and maybe if it was the old Heritage Softail then there might still be a bike in the garage. But there’s not and that is just great. The guy who bought it was excited and he picks it up sometime in the next couple of days if the rain stops.

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The Road King needed a new owner who could put the bike through its deserved paces. And it got one in a great young guy named Matt.

We didn’t haggle much on the price, and I threw in lots of misc. gear like a cover and tour pack and a jacket and cleaning supplies and a helmet and some Harley tees just to be rid of stuff. I’ll use some of the proceeds to recover the kitchen cabinets, maybe re-carpet the place and buy tickets to see you goons. Whatever is left will go to my trek in Spain this fall. I’ve started to go to weekly coffees about how to plan for the Camino de Santiago. Since I’m not the planner extraordinaire, even a few tips will get me down the road.

Ellen, I’m close to a ticket for your graduation. Are you absolutely sure you’re okay with me visiting since you guys will need to be in a motel? You may not need me as a fifth wheel so help me make the call. Why aren’t they having the graduation there on campus? Wouldn’t that be the Continue reading

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