“Old age should burn and rave at close of day
Rage, rage against the dying of the light”
Dylan Thomas, “Do not Go Gentle into that Good Night”
Watching the Cubs defeat the Nationals on TBS, I saw far too many commercials but took note when one by Goboldly (evidently a biopharmaceutical consortium) started out quoting the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. “Big Pharma” can easily afford to bankroll the classiest of ads. A Volkswagen commercial used nostalgia to attract baby boomers and their wannabies by showing VW buses at Woodstock with Joe Cocker singing “With a Little Help from My Friends.” A got a good laugh seeing Snoop Dog being touted as the upcoming host for a revival of “Joker’s Wild,” a quiz show Dave loved when a pre-schooler. The Cubs triumphed in the finale of the five-game series thanks in large part to a successful pick-off play at first when a Nationals player took his foot of the base for an instant. The camera showed manager Dusty Baker grimacing when the umpires announced their final decision. Dusty managed the Cubs for four years, beginning in 2003 (the ill-fated year of Bartman) and, in my opinion, was unfairly blamed for things beyond his control.
Dusty Baker with trademark toothpick
After three straight losses in Fantast Football, Jimbo Jammers got more points than any other team thanks to bid days by Jordon Howard, Carlos Hyde, Antonio Brown, Kirk Cousins, and the Ravens special teams, scoring TDs on kickoff and punt returns. Cousins not only passed for 330 yards and two TDs but ran one in and rushed for a total of 26 yards.
Toni fell and aggravated her already injured knee but gamely went with us to Northside Diner in Chesterton for breakfast prior to gaming. Dave’s high school classmate and friend Wayne Thornton did the outside mural. For the first time in many months we played Air Lords, a game that Evan Davis invented. She also gutted out a trip Saturday during a day of record-breaking rainfall to Outback Steakhouse and then finished first in bridge, hosted by Connie and Brian Barnes, both my age. On a bureau I spotted a birthday card highlighting the year 1942. Most things had to do with the price of things or war news, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that one item mentioned the internment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans.
Thanks to a DNA ancestry search, Helen Booth, a friend from duplicate bridge, discovered that she has two half-sisters. Her father evidently deserted her family shortly after Helen was born and was never seen again. Back several generations ago, family secrets and so-called skeletons in the closet were not uncommon. My great-aunt Ida M. Gordon, who lived with us while I was growing up, evidently got swept off her feet by a sharpie from Philadelphia who left her soon after they married. Not only did I never ask Aunt Ida about him, I never even got the story of what happened from my mother.
Library staff member Anne Koehler asked me to proofread an upcoming Portage Historical Society bulletin. I thought she meant the entire thing but she was referring to an excerpt from my Portage Shavings issue that mentioned recently deceased Irline Holley being a founding member of the Portage Historical Society.
Ron Cohen’s son Joshua passed away, a gentle soul in his mid-40s. We knew him well when he was a child before he moved with his mom to Indianapolis (once, setting off firecrackers on July Fourth with us, we feared he’d blown off a finger) and then again as an adult. Whenever he’d see me at IUN or elsewhere, he’d flash a winsome smile and be interested in how I was doing. Josh overcame some hard knocks before finding a good woman and a decent job and fathering two kids. He had a fetching smile and a good heart, and Ron is taking the loss hard.
Post-Tribune columnist Jerry Davich wrote a moving story about 11-year-old Ben Edwards, whose parents died last month as a result of a murder-suicide. Michael Watkins apparently shot his wife, jewelry maker and artist Leila Edwards, owner of Wonderland Stained Glass and Ben’s Bodacious BBQ Bakery and Deli in Miller, and then took his own life. Speaking with Davich at the home of his maternal grandparents Edward and Donna Edwards, Ben asked that his photo be taken with pictures of both parents. He is a fifth grader at Discovery Charter School in Chesterton, where James and Becca graduated from, likes math and science, participated in spell bowl and chess club and hopes to become an engineer. Davich wrote:
When Watkins' restaurant opened in January, Ben helped his father, working the cash register, taking customers' orders and selling his own homemade baked goods. “Cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, lots of other stuff,” Ben recalled proudly. “He's quite the little chef," Anthony Edwards said. “He enjoys baking because of the science behind it.” Ben smiled again.
His mother was a talented stained-glass artist and jewelry maker who taught her many skills to school students, curious friends and, of course, to Ben. “My mom taught me everything she knew,” Ben said. “Or I just picked it up by watching her.”
Tori was in her Grand Valley school’s homecoming court, and sister Miranda, a graduate, volunteered for the dunk tank.