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39 posts from June 2005

Billy Graham in New York City

In my life, I've seen a lot of people with power and money.  As a newspaper reporter, I've seen several presidents from a close proximity, lots of U.S. Senators and Representatives, a few titans of industry and a whole bunch of pro jocks.  I was kinda, sorta impressed, but then their luster faded into a vapor that disappeared.  Not so, with Billy Graham.

When I grew up in a very old apartment building on the banks of the Saginaw River in Bay City, I remember watching Billy Graham on television.  My dad was long gone and my mother was fighting for survival for both me and her.  How did she maintain hope that the future would be better?

Her faith in Jesus Christ was very real.  She always had her hands on the handles of her faith.  Occasionally, they would loosen, but she never let go. 

I remember her watching Billy Graham in black and white on our little portable television with rabbit ears.

Continue reading "Billy Graham in New York City" »


My twenty-fourth Father's Day

It's the morning of my twenty-fourth Father's Day and I'm sitting in my study turned office looking out my backyard in a pretty nice neighborhood of Lansing, MI.  Some random thoughts:

  • My family has made me feel special everyday, but they rachet up the effort every Father's Day and I love it. 
  • Being a father is the best job I've ever had or could ever have.  From hearing that first heart beat, to the birth and being part of their growth has been fantastic. 
  • Sharing the experience with my wife who loves unconditionally has been right at the top of my personal chart.
  • I'm blessed by God beyond what I deserve.  I am very thankful to him.
  • The desire to know my own father is getting less and less, but it's still there.  I guess that's a big reminder to dads wondering if they're really important to their kids.
  • For those struggling with an errant dad, read the words to He Knows My Name.  I first heard it at a Promise Keepers in Detroit. 

www.backfence.com, possible competition for Lansing State Journal

Is it time to take the news media to the next level in the Lansing, MI area?

What am I talking about?

First, do we need competition for the Lansing (MI) State Journal and its haphazard coverage of what really matters to people in mid-Michigan?  What other news outlet is there?  Does television provide competition?

And, then does the web provide an opportunity for Michigan's Capital City to jump into using new media to become part of the news media?  I point to . . .www.backfence.com  . . .

Continue reading "www.backfence.com, possible competition for Lansing State Journal" »


Lansing (MI) State Journal should be voted on too

This year's race for mayor in Lansing (MI) could be one of the most important in the capitol city's history.  The city is at a vital crossroads and which way it turns will greatly affect its future.  It needs a mayor who can lead it through the thicket of choices and also, present and implement a vision for the future.
 

That brings me to the Lansing State Journal on my doorstep this morning.  On page one of the Local & State section is the banner story about the city's first forum for mayoral candidates who will be narrowed from four to two on August 2.

Continue reading "Lansing (MI) State Journal should be voted on too" »


The day I met my dad-#3

Picking up from the first installement of my journal:

"The big question which I have right now as I fly home to Michigan is "how can a man be so callous, so insensitive to his own flesh and blood?"

"I'm his kid.  I stared him in the eyes and called him "dad" and he didn't even bat an eyelast of recognition. 

"My face-to-face meeting with my father lasted less than five minutes. 

" I can remember so vividly him opening the door and my thinking that that's my father, that that's what he looks like.  I noticed his white hair, the tattoo on his arm and what looked like a personable face.

Find your father, the one that really counts and cares


Meeting my father--a few minutes of memory #2

From my notes of Sep. 27, 75, made on a United Airlines flight from Miami:

"Just some thoughts as I fly from Miami to Cleveland.

"I can't believe that the moment which I looked forward to all my life has come and gone.

"I met my father."

"For as long as I can remember, I've thought about what such a meeting between him me and would be like.  Now I know.

Continue reading "Meeting my father--a few minutes of memory #2" »


The day I met my father-Sep. 26, 1975

The notes I wrote were in an old box I found in my basement and they were written on Sep. 27, 75, the day after I met my father in Punta Gorda, FL.  His name is Claude H. Thorp from Millerton, NY.

In 1948, he abandoned my mother and me and never came back.  He never called, never wrote, never did anything to contact us ever.  His absence, his disappearance affected everything in my life to one degree or another.

Then I found him on Sep. 26, 1975.  For me, it was an answer to a prayer I prayed everynight since I was a child.  I wanted a message from my daddy, purse and simple.  I got my answer and hopped a plane to south Florida.


My personal factbook

I dug through some files in my basement the other day and found a ton of personal files with important dates from my life and factoids which when put side-to-side form the fabric of my life. 

I will make notes on my blog for my kids and anybody else that might be interested.  This will be filed in the "Personal life archive."


Audition for Amazing Race, I'm ready to go

Our family has always had a favorite television show that drew our viewership.  On Saturday night, when the kids were little, they'd take their baths, get into their pajamas and watch Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman or Paradise.  The shows changed as they grew and shows changed.

Most recently, my son, Justin and I got into watching the reality show, the Amazing Race.  Have you seen it?

He suggested that we audition to be racers.  We both love a challenge, travelling and doing stuff together.  It would be a gas.  I know the odds are against us being picked, but we do fit a demographic that hasn't been billboarded on the show, a baby-boomer dad and son combo.

The challenge is for an almost 59 year-old guy to get in better shape.  I'll be ready.  It would be a thrill of a lifetime.  Stay tuned.


Services for Seniors from Michigan Legislature

Before I retired from the office of then State Rep. Lauren Hager, we used to send out boxes of books for constituents from the Michigan Legislature about various relevant policy topics.  One was Services For Seniors.  It's filled with tons of useful information for senior citizens. 

Baby-boomers approaching senior citizen status will find it informative and those caring for elderly parents will find it invaluable.


AARP--should I renew my membership

A renewal notice for my membership in AARP came in the mail today.  The cost is cheap enough, but I'm not sure about renewing it.

What's the opinion in the blogosphere about AARP, especially among the baby-boomers?   Is it worth it?  Their magazine is marginally interesting, but you can get most everything off their website.

On the political front, they seem to have a knee-jerk reaction to political issues.  While I'm more conservative, they are more liberal. 

What else do they have to offer?  Discounts?  Do they amount to anything significant?


Rob Odle from Nixon White House and old college acquaintence

After my power walk without my favorite dog, I just noticed a story in the online version of the Port Huron Times Herald about Rob Odle from the Nixon White House and from his infamous reelection committee.  The story about his reaction to the identification of Deep Throat.  Odle was the first to testify before the Senate Watergate Committee.

From my days in the sixties as a member and leader of the Young Republicans and of Young Americans for Freedom at Delta College, just outside Bay City, MI, I remember Rob was state college Republican and YAF functions.  I remember many college parties that he was at.

Many baby-boomers relish in the anti-war activism of that era and ignore the young, right-wing conservatives of that era who were motivated by ideology just as much as the left-wing.  There were student groups for victory in Vietnam and they were active and they got some local media attention.  I know because I was the head of one of them.


Time says fitness equals weight loss and exercise

On my way out to take a walk in my weighted Nikken Cardiostride shoes, the mailman dropped off our Time with the cover story this week about how weight loss is not enough to throw the risk factors overboard.  You need exercise too.  I've just read the introduction.  Has anybody read the story?  I will report back after my walk without the dog, our Beagle, Snoopy.