Thursday, April 06, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/6/17
“Sweet is the memory of distant friends!  Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.”  (Washington Irving)  I attended Irving Grade School, not knowing at the time that it was named for a famous poet.  What I remember most about Irving was my 6th Grade teacher and my classmates.  As Archie and Edith used to sing, “Those were the days, my friend.”  Read again the W.I. quote.  Beautiful words…and memories.    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Very nice, Jack!====JACK:  Were you ever at a school with a "meaningful" name?====EP:  Of is interesting how sometimes nostalgia does not measure up to reality. Some treasured friendships of the past are disappointments of the present. As to memories of those who are no longer with us...heavy stuff.====JACK:  From what you've told me, your bag of memories is heavy...and many of them are good.  I think of your growing-up years.  I think of your teaching experiences...and your unique family.  Life is good!

FROM DEACON RB:  Last evening, I attended the SAE Dinner at Cobo focused on the Ford GT that won the 2016 LeMans against Ferrari taking 1, 3, and 4th place. There were about 800 engineers in attendance - more than the number of GT's that Ford will build this year. The goal to the finish line was inspired by the 50 th anniversary of Ford winning this race. The technology and spirit exhibited was phenomenal. However, my most memorable time of the night, was seeing my neighbor from Korea from 16 years ago, who has three children with similar ages to ours and sharing pictures of our children now all grown up.  Tuesday, I attended a family hour for Joan Whitaker, who went to be with the Lord. Her husband is one of the oldest serving Deacons at 83 years young in the Detroit area - Walled Lake. He has been  a constant inspiration for me in our city ministry. While sitting with him and meeting his 3 children, his son said: "are you the Bobby Brooks that graduated with me from LHW?" We embraced as never before, since it was 1979 since I had last seen him. Later, I was explaining to him how I met his dad and he reminded me that his dad knew me from our graduation.
Were you watching me when you pinned these WW's?====JACK:  We each have memories that are waiting to to be discovered.  One thing a lot of people don't realize is that we are making future memories on a daily basis.  I'm pleased that you are to be included in mine.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Our youngest grandson, Hudson, is always asking us to share memories or favorites in our lives.  This last week when we Skyped he asked me who my favorite friend was in school – Linda.  We have been friends for 71 years as we started Sunday School together and went to grade school too.  He wants us to share stories about when we were younger or as kids or tell stories about his dad when he was little.  Of all our grandchildren he’s the only one who has done this.  Fun to share those memories!  Today is another memory making day!====JACK:  Don't you wish you had had Skype when you were a child...and could have talked with your grandmother?  What I remember about my Nannie was how she, in her 90s, would read her Bible with a magnifying glass...and how she wrote a letter to me when I was ordained...and how shortly after that my cousin (who was also her grandson, and was a Catholic priest) and I conducted her funeral.  BTW, was Hudson named after Hudson, Wisconsin?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My cousins, Karla and Steve Koelz, attended Irving.   I remember Steve showing me the slide/chute that was their fire escape.   I was a little guy and was duly impressed. ====JACK:  The fire escapes were large red tubes reaching to each floor.  As I recall, there were 3 floors, and the interior of the building was all wooden.  In the end, the unoccupied building was destroyed by a nighttime fire.  The large bell in the tower survived and is displayed on the grounds of Lincoln School.  Also surviving is a picture of my 6th grade class.  Some of them have died, and I've lost track of all of the rest...but I still have the memories of them.

FROM PASTIE PAT:  Greetings from the Baptismal site in Jordan. We will worship at the  Lutheran Church Bethany Beyond the Jordan, visit the Dead Sea, Petra and the Wadi Rum. We've just completed a Habitat for Humanity build in a village north of Amman.====JACK:  As a Sunday School child, would you ever have dreamed of spending time "walking where Jesus walked" as you are doing now?

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I too attended Washington Irving grade school, in Oak Park Illinois. I don't remember seeing you there.====JACK:  My Irving was in Moline, Illinois...and you weren't even born yet when I was in 6th Grade.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I attended Logan and Garfield Grade schools in Moline, also named after famous people.  I still remember my kindergarten teacher Miss McQuinn. We just adored her, enthusiastic and fun !  Remember two Garfield teachers for different reasons, our 3rd grade, Mrs. Gryce (sp?) crabby and sarcastic, and Miss Vanette Johnson, 5th grade, pretty, fun and adored by all. She married the year after we had her, and no longer taught there....Yes, so many distant school chum memories. Miss Becker in H.S. gave me my push toward teaching Music, by choosing me as student director of our choir concert my Sr. year. Lots of mostly very good memories of past friendships!  We were pretty naive, back in the day...:-)====JACK:  What famous person was Logan School named after?  I can't locate a school named, Blaser?====OAKS:  I really don't remember...It seems he was an essayist and writing critic, in the late 1900's educated at Harvard and Oxford...but I don't know if that is accurate at all!

FROM JB AT LSTC:  I attended a grade school named for explorer Richard E. Byrd. I wonder if anyone remembers him now. Writers have greater longevity, don’t you think?====JACK:  I suppose your school cheer was, "We're for the byrds!"  I think that genes have more to do with longevity than one's profession.  John Keats died at 25 and Anne Bronte at 29.  I think you've got them beat.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We were lucky growing up when we could just be out all day paying with our friends and walking and bicycling all over town.  How different life is today.====JACK:  Each generation has pluses and minuses.  I think ours was on the plus side.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  You also went to Wm. Carr. For the  life  of me, I can't find who he was. Can you? I'm sure you remember Miss Wilson. "Dear Teacher, Go jump in the lake."
====JACK:  No wonder my sister laughed when I said that someone suggested that I become a pastor.  I think Miss Wilson over-reacted.

  FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: had no idea either!  lovely words...====JACK:  When you live long enough you learn some things.  For example. in my 6th grade class there was a girl named, Bessie Mae Coleman.  It wasn't until I was an older adult that I learned...Bessie Mae Coleman was the first
woman of African-America descent to pilot an airplane.  She died in 1926, about a year before my classmate was born.  I'd like to be able to ask her if she was named after that famous person.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  We lost this week a very dear friend – he died very unexpectedly – alone in his warehouse.  Apparently we tripped and fell on his head –he lived for a few hours.   He didn’t return home when he was due, his wife called him on his cell phone a couple of times, but he didn’t answer so she called their daughter who lived only a mile from the warehouse – she found him lying on the concrete floor.   He was airlifted to the medical college in Wauwatosa, but there was nothing they could do for him – he died at 8:45 PM on Tuesday.  His funeral is Saturday at The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (ELCA) here in Racine!  A prince of a fellow, 85 years old.    Your word today applies to Ray and his wife, Louise.====JACK:
 "The clock of life is wound but once  And no one has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop,  At late or early hour.  
Now is the only time you own;  Live, love, work, and with a will;
Place no faith in tomorrow, for  The clock may then be still."

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