A Reason To Be Fired Up

I am tired of seeing people respond to preventable violence with a hash tag that reads Enternameofcityherestrong.

Tired of the lame excuses by politicians who tell us to fear the bad people in caravans when the people that are murdering Americans are other Americans.

Can’t believe that two days after the latest mass shooting my home town is up in flames.

As of 10:15 Central I know that one of my fraternity brother’s lost his home, a significant part of a Jewish day school burned and that my parent’s old neighborhood in Oak. Park is on fire.

Can’t tell you if I know 10, 20, 0r 40 families that have had to evacuate but can promise you the number is closer to the latter than the former.

A few have been allowed to return home, but who knows if they will have to leave again.

In the midst of it all I have kept close tabs on my mom and her unplanned vacation.

A Reason To Be Fired Up

Ten years ago dad told me to remember that we can’t ever plan for the future with the kind of accuracy we want.

He was right.

It is five years we took that picture and none of us look quite the same. The young master is about a 1/4 inch shorter than I am now and my hair is virtually gone.

Too bad it wasn’t there too, because I like it better this way.

Dad wouldn’t mind if I said he really doesn’t look like that now and since I saw him after it was over I can tell you he wasn’t smiling.

But he did have a peaceful expression.


After his diagnosis I knew we didn’t have as long as I would have wanted but I expected to get 18 m0nths.

Don’t know why, just did.

As time passed and his health failed at a faster rate I adjusted my expectations to be through 2018 thinking he would choose to hold on to celebrate a granddaughters 17th and a grandson’s 18th birthdays.

That didn’t happen and given the fires I am sort of relieved because if we are talking about dad during the last couple of months of his life he was barely mobile.

Every time I left the rehab facility I prayed there wouldn’t be any circumstance that required evacuation because I didn’t trust his body to cooperate with the need to leave quickly.

But the guy in the photo, he would have made it just fine. Hell, the man might have been ok during the first quarter of this year.


Dad showed up in my dream last night and talked to me about this but I can’t remember what he said.

I remember telling him about a friend of a friend who tried to take a poke at me. “I told him to walk away because he couldn’t handle a discussion that involved fact.”

Dad looked at me and shook his head.

“It is not like I told him to go shove a hot poker up his ass or suggested choke on a flaming bag of Trump’s crap.”

He smiled at that last part which is why I am fairly certain that is my own editing because dad generally would have told me it was a waste of time to engage like that.

But maybe not, I did tell this other guy to go away. Suppose I’ll never know if he thought I had a reason to be fired up.

How Honest Are We

Got some Macallan 12 in a glass on my left, my headphones on and a song I wish I could still hear played live.

I saw him in concert four or five times but never did hear this one live, but I have an idea where all the lonely people come from.

All depends on honest we are.

If I wanted to I could dig into it and write about those we call the loves of our lives and talk about how some people find them and others never do.

One of the boys confided that he found his twenty some years ago and didn’t recognize her for who she was.

That is the joy of age and experience, you can’t screw an old head on young shoulders.

We don’t always  recognize those people or moments when we should and maybe you end up singing with Ray or maybe not.

I do miss his shows, he put on an amazing show.


Don’t know why but I looked up the old house in the part of town that is burning and discovered there are pictures of it with my parent’s stuff on Zillow.

Hell, there are pictures of me and the grandkids on Zillow but the funny thing is the one picture of me that I saw is one only a few would recognize.

That is ‘cuz it is the generations picture and I am what some would call a wee lad.

Forty-eight years later I am the only from the picture that is still vertical so I can’t point out to my great-grandfather or grandfather that in theory millions of people could see us.

Not that it matters because neither of them had any interest in being famous and the chances of millions of people looking at the house online is slim.

So let’s say that we could be famous to about a dozen people. Probably unlikely to lead to anything of consequence nor likely to be called useful.


There was a moment not long ago where I caught a whiff of a very familiar scent. It was one I hadn’t smelled in a long while but it made me smile because it smelled like home.

I kept it to myself because there is a time to say everything and a time not to. Fortune does favor the bold but sometimes prudence is the hallmark of the wise.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should nor does it mean you shouldn’t.

Sometimes you sail through rough waters to get to the other side and sometimes you sail around because there is no need to rush or push through danger that can be avoided.

See dad, I listen…sometimes.

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