When Your Heart Hurts for Your Hometown

When Your Heart Hurts for Your Hometown

When it comes to hometowns, I have dual citizenship.  I was born in Atlanta, spent a short time in Overland Park, Kansas, and that was followed by 3 years in Chicagoland.  When I was 7 years old, my dad’s work took our family to Racine, Wisconsin.  Racine became my first hometown.  When I was 13 years old, the family moved to Lubbock, Texas. Lubbock became my second hometown. I feel a strong affinity to both cities. I have to make…

Read More Read More

And…How are You Doing? A Tribute to Investigator Sonny Frisbie

And…How are You Doing? A Tribute to Investigator Sonny Frisbie

I was buying groceries the last time I talked to Sonny Frisbie.  I had just put a bottle of Heinz Ketchup in my cart, and there he was coming down the aisle.  We had a really nice chat.  I don’t recall what we discussed, but I do remember his signature question.  He looked me straight in the eye and asked: “And how are you doing?”  I never had an encounter with Sonny when he didn’t pause long enough to ask…

Read More Read More

The Ugliest Ornament Becomes a Symbol of Hope

The Ugliest Ornament Becomes a Symbol of Hope

Thanksgiving arrives this week.  It is officially appropriate to put the Christmas tree up now.  During this time period families everywhere are making their way up to the attic to drag the tree down, or crawling over the lawnmower to get to the boxes in the garage labeled “Christmas Decorations.”  It’s nothing short of an adventure.   Every family has special decorations to adorn their tree.  There is the crocheted ornament that Aunt Emma made.  And there are Christmas tree…

Read More Read More

They are NOT Invited to the Table of Thanksgiving

They are NOT Invited to the Table of Thanksgiving

The holidays will soon be upon us.  People are making their way to their attics to get the Christmas tree down.  I plan to order a smoked turkey at my favorite meat market this week for Thanksgiving.  I bought a plane ticket a few days ago for our firstborn to fly home. Jan asked me at dinner tonight to make a stop at a remote store  out in the boondocks to pick up a Christmas gift for her dad.  It…

Read More Read More

Judging the Man Wearing the Starched Khakis…

Judging the Man Wearing the Starched Khakis…

When I was completing my master’s degree in 1986, I worked part-time for a family business that had offered several services.  Renting Penske moving trucks was part of my job.  And that’s where I met Bob… After a cross-country move from Virginia, Bob turned in his  moving truck one afternoon.  I found Bob to be sort of an amusing kind of fellow.  His khakis were heavily starched, and his penny loafers carefully shined.  As he drove off that afternoon, I…

Read More Read More

Do You Really Want to Make Friends? Just Sit on the Back Row

Do You Really Want to Make Friends? Just Sit on the Back Row

When I go out to a restaurant with my law enforcement friends, they always sit with their back to the wall at the restaurant.  I completely understand the need to adopt such a habit for security reasons.  I too sit at the back of eating establishments, and in other public places as well.   My reasons are twofold.  I too am security conscious.  (I have worked in the field too long.)  But, I also want to be open to meeting people……

Read More Read More

I am Waiting for My Patience to Return…

I am Waiting for My Patience to Return…

Dealing with people can be difficult.  Imagine that?  Several weeks ago, a friend shared an interchange she had with a person who has the potential to be somewhat of a challenge… In this case, he had told her something that just did not make sense. The facts were not adding up.  I asked her a simple question. “Did you confront the inconsistencies in his story?”  And her response?  She said:  “I can’t speak to him again until my patience returns.”…

Read More Read More

Critiquing Brandt Jean: What are the Consequences?

Critiquing Brandt Jean: What are the Consequences?

In my role as a law enforcement chaplain, I have been serving victims of unspeakable crimes for 30 years.  I am that person who shows up on a person’s doorstep with a law-enforcement  officer to break the news that will change a person’s life forever.  And, I am also the trained professional who offers support to victims in the aftermath of criminal and traumatic events.   Therefore, I view the victim’s impact statements made by 18-year old Brandt Jean in…

Read More Read More

Elementary School Teachers are NOT Human!

Elementary School Teachers are NOT Human!

When I was an elementary school student, I soon concluded that my teachers were anything but human.  They were teachers and not humans.  Imagine how shocked I was to bump into a teacher in the grocery store.  Teachers don’t go to the grocery store!  Last week it I received solid confirmation that teachers are NOT human… Friday evening, I had a once in a lifetime experience. I attended the funeral visitation for our beloved elementary school principal, George Ginther.  (And…

Read More Read More

Leave Your Mouth at Home

Leave Your Mouth at Home

I don’t characteristically wear pink ties at funeral services.  I realize there is nothing inherently wrong with wearing pink for such an occasion, but I tend to lean toward the darker colors.  The most recent service I officiated at was much different.  Last Saturday I was privileged to reflect on the life of little 2-year-old Anna.  Pink was her favorite color… How could I not wear a pink tie? Over a span of 32 years I have only officiated at…

Read More Read More