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09/10/23 11:34 PM #13166    


Michael McLeod

Jim: Thank you. That may be the most important post you've ever made over here, and I don't have to ask around to know that we all appreciate it. 

09/12/23 12:44 AM #13167    


David Mitchell

 I wonder if any of you have ever heard of the "Order of the Red Bandana"

I had never heard of it until it was used for a sort of spiritual warm-up excercise for the staff, prior to one of my Marked Men for Christ retreats about 5 years ago. It was actually presented to us by one of our senior leaders, a guy who happened to be my best friend from years before in Denver - and who got me involved in the Marked Men retreats in the first place (after ten years of urging - LOL) 

(his name was Bob Horen, not that it matters. But he was a Catholic Attorney from Denver, a former real estate customer and later, office partner - and one of the best friends I have ever had.) 

The "Red Bandana" is about a young man named Welles Crowther, who was some sort of junior associate of a stock brokerage firm located in one of the twin towers on 9-11. He had worn a red bandana earlier in life while on an athletic team at some eastern school - (perhaps Baseball or LaCrosse at Holy Cross ?) - and just kept the red bandana as he grew older.

On 9-11, Welles tied his red bandana around his face to block the smoke and kept leading people to the exit stairway through the blinding smoke. Shortly after the planes impacted he had called his parents to assure them he was okay, but they never heard from him again after that call. It was determined later that he had gone back up the stairway time and time again, yelling "Follow me. I know the way out". When his body was finally identified, numerous people confirmed that they recognized the red bandana, and/or family photographs of him - and that it was he who had led them to safety.

I believe there is a book about him, and the story has evolved into a sort of a movement with books and study guides (for adults and children) about him and his courageous self-sacrifice.

We at MMFC of course adapted the phrase "Follow me. I know the way out", to the words of Christ - "I am the way".  And we all donned a red bandanna as we read through the prayers and excercises. I still have mine tucked away somewhere in a drawer. 

And ever since Bob led us in that spiritual excercise, I have often thought of young Welles Crowther, and his red bandana. 

09/13/23 01:28 PM #13168    


Michael McLeod

Got my flu shot and my covid booster last week. 

The year I skipped that chance I wound up coming down with it, suffered through the worst sore throat of my life - I've had many a sore throat but nothing like that one -  and gave it to my girlfriend, who's proceded to have long-covid symptoms. You can imagine how crappy that makes me feel.  It's a mistake I won't repeat. 

I should add that the Florida surgeon general, at least, does not recommend the covid shot for anyone under the age of 65.

09/13/23 04:16 PM #13169    


David Mitchell

I have long been an advocate for "term limitations" in Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court.

Lately - after watching viideos of Mitch and Dianne, I have also wished for an age limit. Today, I see where Mitt agrees with that idea.  But I hate to see him go. 

09/14/23 07:38 PM #13170    


David Mitchell

It is a well known fact that the world is divided into two groups of poeple - those who bought their lunch in the school cafeteria - and those who packed their lunch from home.

Historial records have been uncovered that prove one young boy from an area known to historians as  the Overbrook/Yaronia region of Clintonvillia had his mother pack his lunch in a special container known as a "lunch box" with ancient "cultural symbols" on the exterior;

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09/14/23 08:56 PM #13171    


David Mitchell

Can any of you recall what or who was on your lunch box?

09/14/23 11:03 PM #13172    


John Jackson

I was in Germany on Monday of this week to set up one of my instruments at a company in Jena (in the former East Germany) and train the people who bought it.  On Tuesday morning I traveled to Berlin and had half a day there before my flight back to the U.S. early Wednesday morning.

On the flight over I read the December 2022 cover article of The Atlantic “How Germany Remembers the Holocaust”.  The article describes the various ways both the German government and private groups have sought to document and acknowledge this awful period in German history. 

The article was written by Clint Smith, a black Atlantic staff writer.  In spite of the provocative subtitle “America still can’t figure out how to memorialize the sins of our history - what can we learn from Germany?” there is only a fleeting and indirect mention of current attempts in the U.S. to rewrite and sanitize our history books (but as you read the article it’s hard not to think about it).

The article is long and describes the many ways Germany has owned up to the horrors of the Nazi period, but one monument that keeps appearing and reappearing is Berlin’s “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” (how’s that for a not-so-subtle title?).  I’d seen this memorial on a previous trip but since I had just read the article, I visited it again Tuesday afternoon. 

The monument ( is enormous – it occupies a couple of large city blocks and consists of  2700 rectangular concrete blocks whose length and width suggest coffins (although each  block is roughly twice the size of a coffin).  The heights of the blocks range from maybe two to twelve feet and the coffins gently undulate over a landscape so large it’s hard to take them all in.

This monument, moreover, is hardly hidden away in some out-of-the-way spot.  In fact it’s difficult to overstate what a prominent place it occupies – it’s a block away from the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s equivalent of the Eiffel Tower and the city's most important gathering site for public events.  The American Embassy is directly across the street from the monument and the British and French Embassies are each a block away. The rear of the Adlon Kempinski Hotel, the most exclusive and expensive hotel in Berlin (Michael Jackson dangled his infant son by his arms from the window of his suite there), looks out onto the memorial.  The dome of the Reichstag (Germany’s Parliament building, equivalent to our Capitol) is visible a few blocks away.  The site of Hitler’s underground bunker, where he lived during the last weeks of the war and where he committed suicide as the Allies closed in, is a two-minute walk away. The site is now a small unpaved  parking lot for a nearby apartment building and only a small sign (which you have to search for) marks the location.

But after this lengthy explanation, here’s my real point:  in the half hour I was at the monument I saw at least 4-5 groups of 30 or so junior high or senior high school students there with their teachers and the students were also going into the underground exhibit that consists entirely of excerpts from the diaries of people who died in the extermination camps.  

The article mentions many other Holocaust memorials, large and small, throughout Germany.  Another example - tens of thousands of small plaques have been placed in sidewalks in front of the places where murdered Jews lived, each showing a name, a birth date, a death date and the extermination camp where they died.  Germany is definitely not trying  to whitewash its Nazi past and it’s also making sure that the generation growing up today knows what happened in their great-grandparents’ generation.                                                                              

We all grew up during the turmoil of the civil rights period and the last Ku Klux Clan lynching occurred in 1981. Having lived through this intense period, how many of us have been so consumed with white guilt that we have been unable to function as adults?

Germany in 1900 was one of the most advanced, civilized and prosperous countries in the world and 30 years later we all know what happened.  The reason to teach kids uncomfortable history is not to guilt them but to make them realize (and also to remind us adults) that this kind of stuff can and does happen and it can happen almost anywhere (and on short notice).

09/15/23 08:28 AM #13173    

Joseph Gentilini

Thanks for sharing this, John!  Point well made.  In this country, we seem to want to wash away some of our own sins and teach only the 'good' parts of our American story.  We are not helping our younger generation to avoid some of our historical past 'so they won't feel bad.'  What is happening in our schools and culture today is frightening if we let these 'deniers' get away with it.  joe

09/15/23 09:05 AM #13174    


John Jackson

Dave, I lived a five minute walk from OLP so went home for lunch.  But here’s another lunch trivia question.  Does anyone remember the never-changing Monday-Friday progression of BWHS cafeteria offerings?

09/15/23 10:59 AM #13175    


Michael McLeod

Dave: You're such a show off. You think you're better than me? I hate you!!!! All we had were brown paper bags with braunschweiger sandwiches and an apple and we loved it! 

John: On a more serious vein. Thank you so much for that thoughtful rumination - ok I think that is redundant - thoughtful and rumination - but I'll leave it be.

What your deutschland story brings up for me is just how puzzled I am about the political initiative that our governor and would-be prez down here came up with to downplay the history of racism in the south, presumably as an appeal to his base, by making a big deal out of not emphasizing it in public school history classes.

It jut baffles me to think that this was an issue - that people are defensive about that stain on our country rather than accepting its presence and learning from it. It's more than a southern thing, I think. I think there is a certain defensive mindset along those lines for many americans and I just don't get it. You learn from your mistakes. You take pride in correcting them. I'm certainly aligned with you, too, on that score, Joe.

I remember when I lived in Germany during my time in the Army in the 70s I guess it was and having discussions with Germans about World War 2 -- and the conversations were natural, interesting, and there was no defensiveness about it among the Germans we knew. It was a pleasant surprise and I will always remember it. Travel is broadening, even if you are doing it in service of uncle sam.

Ok I've said my piece on that score. Now, on a whole other but kinda related tack: I'm German on my mother's side. Her maiden name was Reutinger and her father was a doctor who lived on Main Street just east of downtown. There was beautiful parlor, and a door in that parlor led to his box-like, grey-shingled, one-room office, which had been built onto the front of the two-story, victorian era brick house. It's still there. It's just a couple of houses down from a Catholic Church and school whose name I forget and straight across from a movie theater last time I was in town, anyway.

A family story. This will sound morbid but in context it is not. My mother told us that once, her father came into the house from his office and told her he wanted to show her something and led her through the parlor to the office. A man who was very ill - or perhaps had been in an accident - had managed to come to see if my grandfather could help him but in spite of my grandfather's efforts had died. My grandfather - Ernest Victor Reutinger - wanted my mother to see the body - to see that death was just a part of life I can only assume. I suppose that sounds shocking. I do not remember how old my mother was in the story but I'm sure she was at the very least a teenager if not a young adult. What I do remember is that she was not traumatized. She accepted the experience, and the spirit in which her father did what he did as a lesson. A life lesson. One that she passed on to me and my sisters in one way or another. 

Forgive me if this freaks anybody out and I hope the political content doesn't rile anybody too much. Now: one last totally unrelated thing to share:

I have an oversized swimming pool in my backyard, and the other night my son and I were sitting on the porch watching a thunderstorm approach in the darkness - the sky is so different down here, it just feels closer, for some reason, especially when it rains  - and the next thing we knew it was hailing! So cool to sit there watching the lightening flashes and hearing the thunder combined with the sound of hail hitting the corrugated metal roof of the porch and then seeing that hail zing down so improbably into my swimming pool.


09/15/23 04:56 PM #13176    


David Mitchell

John (and Mike)

Your point about teaching complete, unfiltered history is well taken. Especailly the point about not trying to "guilt" anyone, but rather to learn from our errors and choose to avoid and ammend the wrongs committed. Kind of like we do in confessing.

(A point completely lost on Mike's Governor "De Moron".)

Maybe we should count ourselves fortunate that he is not a Catholic Bishop. He might re-word portions of the Bible to say that David never slept with Bathsheba, or that Saul never persecuted anyone, or that Peter exclaimed 3 times, "of course I know that guy!"




true confessions:  I only carried "Roy & Dale" to school through about the first three grades. After that it was a paper bag, 'cuase I was a big kid then.  Actually, my memory is so fuzzy - it might not have been Roy. It might have been this guy;






09/15/23 11:30 PM #13177    


David Mitchell


I get to watch only a litte TV. 

I love PBS (I actually get 2 public Public TV channels - Georgia Public TV, and So. Carolina Public TV). Love the various MYSTERY series', NOVA, and FRONTLINE.

And I will move heaven and earth to catch a Denver Broncos football game.

But I have one regular commercial favorite TV show -  Blue Bloods, starring Tom Selleck as NYC police commissioner Frank Reagan and his famiy of cops and D.A.s

I just saw an episode with a wierd plot and interesting timing. It featured Jimmy Buffet playing two parts. One as himself, and one as a guy who was playing a look-alike fake of himself, coning officer Danny (Donny Wahlberg) with his false I.D.  It was a cool plot, but I couldn't help but wonder how recently they had filmed it. He looked so "recent". At the end, as the credits appeared on the screen, they showed an    

"in Memory of Jimmy Buffet" with his birth and death dates.  

09/16/23 01:07 PM #13178    


Janie Albright (Blank)

John, speaking of Germany teaching and owning up to their past, I was surprised to hear that my neighbor's 94 year old mother still receives reparation payments from the German government because as a teen she was in a Romanian work camp. Her late husband also got them for his own mistreatment under the Nazis. These benefits do not carry over to spouse or children.  As that generation dies off they split the proceeds of this fund among the survivors.  As an example, her mom gets about $200 a month but then last year her payment from the fund at the end of the year was $15,000. 


09/16/23 04:30 PM #13179    


David Mitchell

 Texas Senate acquits A.G. Ken Paxton.



09/18/23 10:37 AM #13180    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

Oh man........bad call or not......I love this ref!! 

"I'm talking to America here." laugh 



09/18/23 11:06 AM #13181    


Michael McLeod

That is hilarious, mm!

what's so fabulous about it is how gentle he is - the soft voice, the little hand-to-shoulder, "move-along, son" pat, like he's consoling some grade school kid who just lost his lunch money. 

Dave: Your word for the day is: "blatant."

09/18/23 09:06 PM #13182    


David Mitchell

Uhh, can somebody please explain to me how you can lose one of these?




09/19/23 03:27 PM #13183    


John Maxwell

Since you asked David, I would imagine that perhaps there was a note sent to the pilot from someone with great means that instructed the pilot where to deliver the gunship for a sizable payment this does happen in warzones often. Having worked in logistics many things would disappear from inventory. From trucks,tanks, motors, weapons even ordinance. Vanished into thin air. I"m sure you've come accross this all too often. I've even heard about hundreds of uniforms and combat equipment, including guns and ammo just up and vanishing into thin air. What are you gonna do? Scroungers are romanticized in every war movie I've ever seen. It's called the military industrial complex for a reason. All I can say is, enjoy the war. Ever wonder how so many cannons,tanks, and war planes grace parking lots of the myriad of VFWs and other veteran's associations. Those are not donations. But they had to come from someplace.

09/19/23 03:32 PM #13184    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis) probably already have learned this by now:

09/19/23 05:40 PM #13185    


David Mitchell

 Mary Margaret,

I was aware of the news of the sighting. Good thing it was in a rural wooded area.

These new Ff-35s are the single most expensive fighter planes ever made (north of $80 million apiece - about 90% over budget, and 10 years late). 

(And with 450 pages of deficiencies, somehow being written off in the final year of production???) 

And the loudest!

All of the pilot training for this plane is done here at nearby Beaufort Marine Air Station, and they fly overhaed now and then. Wow, if the noise itself could be used as a weapon!





Seems to me I also recall a few times when equipment or supplies mysteriously appeared - or disappeared. Gee whiz - magic!


09/19/23 11:00 PM #13186    


Joseph D. McCarthy

A couple of thoughts to interrupt this lively discussion.

Someone once told me that coins are like life.  You can spend it anyway you want, but you can ONLY spend it once.

Dr. Jim.  A couple of the greatest scenic road trips I have taken are out west.  Altrhough going home last week from Ohio I encounter something new.  When we left Ankeny, IA, a suburb now of Des Moines, the sky was filled with a layer of smoke.  That smoke layer continued through Iowa, Nebraska, and into Wyoming.

But back to a few scenic routes.

I-70 from Denver all the way to Utah.  I-80 from Evanston, WY till you enter Salt Lake City, UT.  I-80 from Salt Lake City, through the Bonneville Salt Flats, to Elko, NV.  Route 50 from I-70 in Colorado through Nevada into Laake Tahoe, NV.  That's a few for now,  Jim, what others can you think of?  I'd ask Mike, but I'm sorry, Alligator Alley is NOT scenic.

Aside.  Dr. Jim I may have said it before, but I'm saying it again.  You chose the wrong profession.  Dentists make a whole lot more money and don't have to deal with all the sickness.  They also DON'T accept most insurance.  Last Thursday I went in and fifteen minutes later I received the bill for almost $1,000.00.  Yikes.


09/20/23 08:22 PM #13187    


James Hamilton, M. D.

Joe McC.,

Hmmm... scenic drives in Colorado.

There are a lot of those and I have been on quite a few but, I admit I have not covered some of the ones west of the Continental Divide. To me, the most scenic views of this state are from the 4WD roads that perforate the forests and some of the mountains around the central Rockies.

There are some spectacular views from many of the paved roads so here are a few that are my favorites:

US Route 24 from Colorado Springs west, over Wilkerson Pass and to Buena Vista:

This is a shot from the rest area at the top of Wilkerson Pass. It overlooks an area known as South Park (and, yes there is a small town by that name at the bottom of the Pass on which the cartoon was based). South Park is the largest of three (Middle and North Parks) grassy basins between the Central Rockies, in the distance, and the Front Range.


The "Peak to Peak Highway, State Routes 7 and 72 from Estes Park at the eastern entrance to       Rocky Mountain National Park and going south to the gambling cities of Blackhawk and Central City:

It is listed as one of the best autumn aspen viewing areas in the state but wildlife can also be seen along the route.


At the west end of US Route 24 there is another area that has great views of the Collegiate Peaks:


Along State Route 67 going south from Divide, Colorado to Cripple Creek there are some excellent vista views of grazing land in addition to forests and mountain views:


Some of the old railroad passes which were dirt roads have recently been paved. This is a view from Guanella Pass which goes to Georgetown at its north end.


Obviously, these are but a few of the the "non-interstate" roads that present some excellent views of the Colorado landscape. So, Joe, maybe next trip from CA to OH you may want to slow down and get off those 75 MPH freeways and enjoy something a bit more calming!








09/21/23 01:05 PM #13188    


Michael McLeod

wow. it sure makes me want to go there. the better your pictures are the more I know there's something just soul-enveloping about actually being out there in those wide open spaces. Try as I may I can't feel it; I can only guess at what a kick in the pants it must be for your soul to breath it in.

09/22/23 12:12 PM #13189    


Joseph D. McCarthy

I knew my question was just the taunt to get Jim to show some more of his fabulous pictures, especially of Colorado.

But my intent was to open up a discussion of, mainly U.S.A., scenic roads that classmates have, or still, travel on.  Can't anyone? Or do we have to open it to include Canada or Finland.

I know there are some other great scenic roads in Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and yes Michigan.

And once again Mike - Alligator Alley is NOT really scenic.

09/22/23 04:20 PM #13190    


Michael McLeod

Speaking of scenery, Joe, I just mooned you.

Yeah that's right and you only wish you had a ass like this at our age.

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