Everyday Heroes

There seems to be a flood of good friends flowing to heaven lately.

When I moved to Dumont from Noxon, Montana in 1977 no one close to me had died. I was twenty-six. Grandpa Barlow had written to say Grandma was in the nursing home dying of lung cancer, even though I doubt Minnie had ever even smelled a smoke filled room.

As Grandpa and I walked the aisle on the way to Grandma’s room we passed some friends who said, “She didn’t even know us.” I leaned over her and she said (after not seeing me for a year), “ Fritz, I don’t like those whiskers.” Never assume anything.

It is strange being a new guy in a town of 700 people. They all know your name and you don’t know any, so you often say “Hi, uh,” and smile and nod. Some strangers took the time to make it a point to welcome the new guy. Those people make the world a beautiful place for a stranger in a strange land.

Although I’m a firm believer that we make a place what it is, with all the trouble in the world, we are truly blessed living here, just like the people in other caring communities. What makes this a community is the fine line between caring for others and gossip.

Gossip can be destructive when it interferes with relationships. We happened to watch the very first movie Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis did together last week (a compliment to the memory of Robin Williams). There would have been no point in making it if not for gossip. The story was based on falsehood and assumption.

But gossip can also act as a positive force. In avoiding gossip we restrict our behavior in a way that is more civil than simply obeying the law. We might play a game of catch with the kids out in the yard, instead of yelling at them and telling them to go play in the street. We can’t deny some of this comes from caring what the neighbors think of us. We might pull weeds around the house and put some stuff away to avoid being the object of gossip about how lazy or sloppy we are, not because the nuisance enforcement officer will visit. That’s not a bad thing. It is part of a sense of community.

I’ve often thought, when I go to town or meet people on the road out here in the country, what joy our neighbors bring to our lives. Part of that joy is pride in the discipline they inspire. Something as simple as a firm handshake or a greeting with your name can make a day full of trials into a challenge to meet those trials with positive solutions.

It is easy to imagine our community as being an exclusive example of this caring, yet disciplined society. But I’ve traveled all over this country and a healthy suspicion of strangers was always ready to make way for acceptance everywhere I went. An air of self reliance and attitude of generosity invited that acceptance.

As I think of the wonderful friends and family that we’ve lost recently they become almost super-human, kinda like when sports announcers proclaim every athlete who’s having a good game to be the best of our time. But that’s the thing; they are that exceptional, at that time.

This is going on all over the world, these tiny relationships that keep us going on. The people in these relationships are the real heroes. The people who manipulate these individuals into groups so the disconnect can be used to defeat that natural sense of community are the anti-heroes. We see it today in the Middle East, Ukraine and Ferguson, Missouri.

The challenge to us who our heroes have left behind, is to resist groupthink and be civil individuals to honor their memory.


Oops. It looks like there is not photographic or video evidence…

… of a Russian incursion into Ukraine. The so-called news story was based on social media with no visual evidence. So there is still no evidence, whatsoever, to back Obombya’s and other western leaders assertions of Russian aggression. The loss of income for Russians and their trading partners due to sanctions is totally based on fiction. The crazies like Lindsey Graham and John McCain had better renounce their support for free markets if they still define themselves as such. 


socking it to Russia

Rotten Peaches indicate another great victory for the EU and US. Sanctions on Russia for their mythical invasion of Ukraine are proving to hurt everyone but. The story I link to here is drawn out of a huge hat full of unintended consequences.

Greece has had some problems in the last few years with promises impossible to keep, such as pensions built on inflation, then disappointment, then anger. So just to twist the knife, how about making it impossible to sell products that you’ve grown on land you saved all your life to pay for, that you gave up family picnics to pick, and missed meals to care for?  

Evidence is growing that if we could just find useful work for the top officials in our country, instead of letting them do what they do, everyone would be happy. (Unless harassing people is some sort of nutrient)

A quick look at history would reveal secession’s only drawback might be over population.


Robin Williams

I remember Mick Jagger saying, “we don’t do any new music, we just rework the old stuff.” There is nothing wrong with that if the goal to entertain is met.

Mork was a new thing when I was young, but still a redo of old material. A stranger in a strange land who thought reality was what he saw on TV (unfortunately all too true).

British blues musicians were a perfect example of how something could be redone and it exposed it to the world in a whole new way. The Brits had personal responsibility robbed from them long ago. So theirs is a dismal existence with little prospect of escape. Good fodder for heartfelt blues music. We can thank them for bringing American music to white American children that should have come to them directly.

Robin Williams seemed uninhibited. That was the beauty of his work. The torment he suffered in mental illness, no doubt(fire), contributed to the work he did so boistergolically. So many great talents have these demons and we think we are as blue as can be anticipating the world without them. But the joy and soaring emotions Mr. Williams gave us over the years far outweigh the feeling of loss, if we tally them.

Much of what Williams did can be traced to past performances by other people. But like Bill Gates and Eugene Sukup, marketing is how it became part of our lives. My dad said, if it weren’t for salesmen, a product might as well not exist.

I hope you can take the time to enjoy Dino and Jerry in their introductory performance. Not that the rest of the cast doesn’t measure-up in their own right. There is a lot in this movie that would suggest Robin Williams studied it. But I think silliness is natural-born.

Let’s all be silly… in memory of those who enrich our lives like Robin Williams did.