Saturday, October 31, 2009

Here They Come!

Luther Starts Something

It is said that October 31, 1517 was the day on which Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses" to the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg. It was an action that changed the course of history. It was never the intention of this good priest to create schism, but rather to bring the course of the church into line with scriptural teachings. It would require entire volumes to assay the results of Luther's thinking and work. In fact, entire volumes have been written on the subject, and are still being written. Luther was born in Eisleben, where his mother took him as an infant to St. Peter's Church and dedicated him to God. Following his career as a clergyman, Luther returned to Eisleben to deal with a legal matter pertaining to the family business, and there he died. Regardless of your church affiliation, you must certainly agree that this man of God had a powerful effect on the church, and on the history of the world. I believe honor is due him, as he acted in good conscience and in good faith. Was he right on all social and theological issues? Of course not. Yet the significance of his life must be honored. Was he a flawed man? Are we not all flawed?

Painting of Luther by Lucas Cranach, 1533

Friday, October 30, 2009

Residential Restoration

This beautiful old residence near the downtown area is undergoing a facelift. Many years ago, someone painted the bricks white. People do this. Now, it has been cleaned and the pointing is being done.
Hope to see this building standing proudly on its corner for many years to come.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How Puzzling!

Past three or four days BBBH and I have had a picture puzzle on the dining room table. Worked at it off and on as the mood struck. So here is the (almost) finished end-product. I say "almost finished" because as you see, there is one piece missing. No, it isn't because one of us palmed it in order to 'put in the last piece.' (Admit it. You do that, don't you?) It is because we bought the puzzle at the local mission thrift store where all purchases are "as is." So we are pleased to think the two bucks went to a good cause and try not to be too upset over the lack of a completed picture.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Baubles Anyone?

Two sides of the sign.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

President Theodore Roosevelt

On this date in 1858 was born the man whom we know today as "TR". Our twenty-fifth vice-president became our twenty-sixth president upon the death of his predecessor, William McKinley.

Roosevelt held public office for twelve consecutive years, beginning as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, moving to the governorship of New York, then to the vice-presidency and presidency.

He is noted for many things, but one that I think is noteworthy was his effort to make a political comeback, seeking reelection as President in spite of having been out of that office for four years. And without the support of a traditional political party.

Go, Bull Moose! (The effort was unsuccessful.)

Theodore Roosevelt 1858 - 1919 RIP
Image: Wikipedia

Monday, October 26, 2009

Growing Up

Jo Ann really liked school in Mt. Vernon. It was a safe haven from the turmoil of her emotions, since she could get her mind, if but briefly, off the sadness she felt. And from the pressures her Grandmother put on her. “Granny” in her long black dress and black stockings, constantly harping on getting “saved,” dragging the child to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, revival meetings that went on and on forever. Would she ever get away from it all?

But school was interesting. She enjoyed reading and most of the teachers were interesting. The other kids not so much, but that was okay. Jo Ann was now thirteen and in junior high. Her sister, Donna had married at fifteen and already had two kids. A sudden feeling of panic gripped the young girl’s heart. Nadine is sixteen and she is talking about marriage. Am I going to have to get married soon? And why would I want to? And who would marry a plain little knucklehead like me anyway? I don’t even have a boyfriend.

That evening, she talked with Nadine about the thoughts she had been having. “But Jo Ann,” Nadine told her, “you are beautiful. Why would you say such things about yourself?” These were indeed reassuring words, but not unlike what she had been told before. Why must I always need to be told over and over that I am pretty or smart? she asked herself. I wish I could really believe it.

The boy next door. It is a cliché, but that is exactly who many girls marry. And so it was with Jo Ann. Jep lived not literally next door, but a couple of blocks over. Close enough. On a March day in her eighteenth year she stood with Jep in the parlor of the minister’s home and with the preacher’s wife as a witness, committed her life to a young man. The prospects looked bright. Things would have to be better than this life she had lived to this point.
© 2008 David W. Lacy

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Corinthians 13

Anne Tyler, Master Weaver of Tales

Anne Tyler was born on October 25, 1941. I have read more of her novels than I have those of any other living author. (I think I missed two of her early works.) I always look forward eagerly to her latest effort; and I was delighted to learn that her newest is now off the press.

Kudos, Ms. Tyler.

Anne Tyler of Baltimore, MD.
National Book Critics Circle Award,
Pulitzer Prize,
Several novels committed to film by Hollywood.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

--and in Breaking News

Fine for "horse collar" tackle: $7,500
Fine for wrong-color chin strap: $10,000
Brilliance of the NFL: Priceless


Yelberton Abraham Tittle born October 24, 1926. The first of only seven NFL q'backs to post consecutive 30 TD seasons.

Collegiate, LSU.
NFL, seventeen years
Football Hall of Fame

Official website:


Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Beauty, Central Indiana

Monday, Jim posted a beautiful portfolio of fall images. I had planned an excursion around the neighborhood here in Hometown. It is such a gorgeous day that I roamed around a bit. My photography can't match Jim's, but I'm posting these anyway. If nothing else, perhaps it will encourage you to get out and look at the beauties God has given you in your surroundings.
A couple old maples.

Bradford pears.

Japanese maple, backed by a still-very-green maple, with blue spruce in foreground.

Euonymous, or however you spell 'firebush.'

Looking north, 400 block N. Conde St.

Dogwood. Again, huge maple in background.

And this is a maple.

The little ash in our backyard, austree on the left.

[Happy Birthday, daughter-in-law Joanie]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Wages of Sin

Charles Arthur Floyd was born in Georgia and died thirty years later in East Liverpool, Ohio in a hail of gunfire. He has been immortalized in song, literature, film and in the popular press. Folksingers from Guthrie to Baez crooned his praises. Writers from Steinbeck to McMurtry and Leonard included him in their works. Several movies were made about him or included him. A real pop culture icon.

And what was he? A bad man who robbed and killed people. Go figure.
See also this

Charles Arthur Floyd, February 3, 1904 – October 22, 1934
Image: Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Philosophers, Part 3

I Don't Want a Smart Chicken--

Actually, Foghorn Leghorn would be the perfect choice.

If, as an adult, you have never spent a Saturday morning watching cartoons, then your education is incomplete. I kid you not. Here, fill in some gaps.
Fortunately, I keep my feathers numbered for just such an emergency.
[Happy Birthday, granddaughter Suzanne]

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TV, Then and Now

What you might have watched in May, 1960. And there were no commercials suggesting that you "see Alice" or that ED (and Mrs.) can be happy if only he will use Le---ra or Vi--ra. I have tried honestly to keep this blog "family friendly." But sometimes a rant just has to get out. I am sick of this crap on my TV; and I certainly do not mean after the midnight hour, or on blockable cable channels. I'm talkin' after-supper time, before the kids go to bed time. Okay, I don't have any kids at home, but there are millions of American homes out there that do have, and they are watching this crap.

The pharmas ought to be ashamed of themselves, but they aren't, nor will they ever be. So long as they can promise "The Fountain of Youth," so long as there is a buck to be made, they will build and advertise any kind of "Feel Good Elixir" they can ideate. And good grief! we are so stupid we wonder why drug abuse by our young people is rampant. Mom does it, Dad does it, Grandpa is getting turned on.
Okay, rant over, but I'm still mad.

Edmond O'Brien 1915 - 1985 RIP

Monday, October 19, 2009

Character In Search of Story

Hi, I'm Uggy. Uggy Krup. Just to clarify from the outset, I am not related to those Krups. In fact, I would be hard pressed to show you any kind of genealogy beyond Mom and Pop. I'm thirty-seven years old, stand six foot, three and weigh 15 stone. I am not a handsome man, but I have reached an accommodation with myself. Dad once quoted a quatrain to me which went like this. "As a beauty, I am no star. There are many more handsome by far. But my face, I don't mind it, for I am behind it. It's the folks out in front get the jar."

The first thing most people question is my name. I was baptized Hugh Arlo Krup. When I started school in Koln, I was taught to write my name, "Hugh A. Krup." Donnie Danvers, seated next to me observed my paper and said, "What kind of name is Hug?" "Hugh, I said. It's Hugh."
"Yah," Lisl chimed in, "it's Hug, but I think Ugh! fits you perfectly." So I became Uggy on the spot and have been known by that moniker by friend, stranger, and foe since that fateful day.

It is not that I am unemployed, just, one might say, underemployed. I will take interesting assignments on short-term bases, but I have no desire to commit to long-term or serious engagements for which responsibility might devolve in any sort of unpleasant manner. I have lots of time on my hands. Pop parlayed a half-dozen years of hard work, some much-too-clever investments and unbelievable luck into a fortune which could modestly be described as substantial. Upon the departure of our dear parents from this vale of tears in a horrendous accident, the details of which I will spare you, my sister and I split the proceeds of the estate, per the conditions of the wills, then we split from each other. We had tolerated one another's existence for thirty years, she being two years younger but light years more responsible, more capable, blah, blah blah. In a word, the good child. She matriculated and ultimately graduated well (Mills), married well, and has the perfect life.

Yet you must not leap to the unwarranted conclusion that I am a wastrel or spendthrift. Mom may have raised a quasi-responsible would-be playboy, but she did not raise a stupid one. I recognized early on that if I was to live the lifestyle of my choosing, I would need to husband my resources with the intent that they should provide me a comfortable and pleasant life, no matter how long it might be. Thus, I created a trust for myself in which I am the sole beneficiary, and it is controlled and managed by a staid and responsible investment bank. I draw an annual income which provides for me quite nicely, being at the upper reaches of seven figures, American. I live well, but I suspect that no one knows just how well I could live were I of a mind to do so.

One might wonder about my relationship with the fairer sex. Yes, I have an eye for the ladies, and though I am currently single, and likely to remain so, I was once married, and happily. Jean and I met during our senior year at Cumberland. The relationship was indeed one "made in heaven." We dated for two years, became engaged. She was for three years my fiancee. Then one month after my twenty-sixth birthday, and on hers, we were married in Chelsea. Again, with no detail I will say that I obtained a junior position in a respectable law firm. Jean followed her profession in education and was an assistant superintendent in a large school district in the Midwestern state where we were residing at the time. Everything boded well for a wonderful life. Seven years after the wedding and nine months after the diagnosis, Jean died. I hate euphemisms, but in this case I may hate the blunt statement of fact even more. But I will not talk of her "passing" or discuss how much "better off" she is now.

© 2009 David W. Lacy

    • What might we do with this guy? Can you picture a direction for his life?

      [Happy Birthday, son Curt]

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Better Way to Love


For the scripture lesson today, Pastor Doug chose Luke 5, with particular emphasis on the first eleven verses, in which Jesus, teaching the people along the shore of Gennesaret, gets into Peter's boat and asks him to push off from shore. He then sits in the boat, continuing his teaching.

Who taught you to tie your shoes? The question is asked to illustrate the point that many things we learn are best mastered when we are shown how to do them. To the point: How do we learn to love unconditionally? We must be shown. Someone must model unconditional love for us. When we love unconditionally is when we are most like Jesus.
A Better Way to Love

  1. Better love thinks about others more than self.

  2. Better love makes the first move.

  3. Better love takes risks. (v.13, Jesus reaches out and touches the leper.)

  4. Better love goes the last 10%. (v. 20, Jesus says, "Your sins are forgiven. The leper had asked for physical healing. Jesus went beyond this and healed him spiritually.) To go that extra 10% may require saying a truth the recipient may not like. On the positive side, it may entail showing appreciation. Finish what you start.

When Jesus asks Peter to launch out into the deep, in spite of failure to catch overnight, in spite of having been up all night, Peter says, "Because you say." Then when the amazing catch is brought in, Peter bows at Jesus's knee and says, "Hangout somewhere else. We are not on the same wavelength." And Jesus says, "Follow me and you will catch men." The rest, as we say, is history.

No one becomes a better lover by accident. We must be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

As one young child reportedly said, "If you want to love better, start with someone you hate."

In scripture we find the commandment, "Love your enemies." It is when we love our enemies that we are most like Christ.

Love challenge for this week: For each decision you make at home, set aside your own desires and decide in light of what is best for your spouse and fits his/her desires most closely.

Image: Rembrandt van Rijn c. 1655, The Louvre

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Awarded by Leigh

Leigh granted me this award. Let me quote her.

Leigh vs. Laundry: "This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends.
They are not interested in self-aggrandizement.
Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.
Please give more attention to these writers.
Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this text into the body of their award."
  1. Visit Matt.
  2. And Steph.
  3. Then Katdish.
  4. Enjoy Dan.
  5. Woolly Headed Woman!
  6. and Kathy.
  • Thus the award passes to these six.

Rita Hayworth 1918-1987,
born Margarita Carmen Cansino, October 17,1918, in Brooklyn, NY.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Unintended Consequences

In a post entitled "Reshaping Tipton" we noted a possible facelift in the downtown area. Now three months down the road, we note that construction equipment still partially blocks the main drag, and that while the original 'target' of the makeover has a plywood facade, plenty is going on on either side of the project.

The building to the left now has new windows and the creation of a new facade is well underway. But on the right of the 'target' building, the entire facade is missing, and to the right of that, we see a rather large chunk along the top of the front missing .

Since there are four buildings involved and since the original project is no where near completion, presumably because someone had to take care of 'collateral damage' in the surrounding area, one wonders whose pocket is being emptied.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Anniversary the First

One year ago today, camped in an RV park along I-44 in Missouri, and a very rainy evening it was, I established a blogsite and introduced "String Too Short to Tie."

I have had fun. I have met fascinating blogging friends around the world. Now, as I said in a blog a few days later, it is time to examine the question, To blog or not to blog? again.

Shucks, I don't even have to think about it. Of course it will continue. I'm addicted. Just ask BBBH, the longsuffering spouse who tolerates my compulsion.

I shall not say she is an 'enabler,' though. She does nag me about it. Nag is such a harsh word. Yes, she nags me about it. But she doesn't forbid it.

This is the 356th* post. Some of my favorites are as follows.

The excerpts from the "novella" about "Little Jo."
1. Little Jo 2. Chicago 3. I'm My Own Grandpa

Dad's battle with the interloper, Converting a Jay Bird.

Pastor Doug's sermon, The Person God Uses.

Milestone post, Joy and Happiness x300.

BBBH's poem, Want Everything.

The series about cars I have owned.
1. Ford Gallery 2. Orphans and Oddballs 3. Good Cars, Bad Cars 4. Foreign Iron

From the family history series:
Tribute to friendship and eulogy to a friend. Wes.
On politics, Recess.

So, suddenly this feels too much like telling someone which of my children is my favorite.

Stop it, already.
*Took a break during the first half of the month of May.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cure for the Common Cold, 1983

This ad appeared in the Science Digest I mentioned yesterday. Yes, Dear, I would go walking in the snow with you. In my underwear. This ad promotes Damart Thermolactyl, "a manmade fiber much warmer than cotton or wool and also much lighter!"

"Send for your catalog right away. Not only will you survive the common cold; you'll thrive in it!"

Ostensibly, the reason I saved this magazine was because I was 'published' therein, in response to an article by 'Dr. Crypton.' blah, blah, blah. (The three diagrams demonstrating what I wrote do not show in this picture.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Scrabble, Dear?

Yes, so would we. Scarcely a day passes that BBBH and I do not engage in the sport. Not the railroad track and the oncoming train, dippy. Set up the board, Beloved Beautiful, I'm ready!

Cartoon is from an ad published in the October 1983 issue of Science Digest.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day

Interesting that traditional "Columbus Day" which is October 12 falls on the uniform Monday Holiday Columbus Day this year.

I have no problem, notwithstanding my native American heritage, recognizing a historical figure who contributed in a way to the development of who we are. Every schoolchild used to learn that this Italian sailor under the auspices of a Spanish ruler set out to find a west-bound route to the Far East and failed completely. But serendipity nevertheless bestowed fame upon this man.

Controversy regarding his achievements and what they mean rages now and will doubtless continue to do so for generations to come.
517 years ago today, it is asserted, this mariner landed in the Western Hemisphere. And the rest is history, whatever the interpretation thereof may be.
Cristobal Colon, Spanish Admiral of the Oceans c. 1451 - 1506 RIP
Posthumus portrait by Ghirlandaio
[Happy Birthday, son-in-law Martin]

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Forgiveness, The Marriage Series

"We have to have a good dose of forgiveness if a marriage, or any relationship, is to survive." --Pastor Doug's introductory remark.

The scripture lesson is Matthew 18:19-35, in which Jesus tells the parable of the servant who was forgiven by the master, but who refused to forgive a fellow servant.
  • Forgiveness is not easy.
  • If we don't forgive, we allow satan a foothold in our life.

Are you "keeping score"? Any relationship that has a "scoreboard" is an unhealthy relationship.

Jesus said to Peter, Chill out, set your anger aside. In the parable, we see that the king was angrier about the lack of compassion than he was about the debt, which was probably the result of embezzlement.

How we treat others matters more to God than how we treat Him.
Those who have been forgiven must forgive. "His mercies are new every morning." --Lamentations 3:23.

Why should I forgive?

  1. Satan. Failure to forgive gives him a foothold.
  2. Me. If you want peace instead of bitterness, you must forgive.
  3. You are not perfect. (Believe it or not.)
  4. Christ forgave you. As he said on the cross, "Paid in full."

You can't live in peace if you don't forgive.

How do I forgive?

  1. Make a decision to forgive. Whether you "feel" like forgiving is irrelevant.
  2. Say the words, "I forgive."
  3. When you forgive, forgive. We are not talking right or wrong.
  4. Forgive completely. Colossians 3:13 " -as the Lord forgave you."
  5. Forgive repeatedly. Pastor used the onion as an illustration. Forgiving may require peeling off layer after layer (forgiving over and over). The onion gets smaller AND there may well be some tears involved.
  6. Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting.
  7. Forgiving doesn't mean trusting. Forgiveness is granted, not earned. Trust is earned.

If you refuse to forgive someone, that person owns you, pushes your buttons.

Cautionary word. If there is an issue between you and another, certainly clear the air as you forgive. If, though, the person doesn't know you have harbored ill feelings, don't go to him with it. Just forgive it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

More Veep Tales

On this date in 1973, Vice President of the United States, Spiro Agnew, resigned that position as part of an agreement to a plea of nolo contendre to tax evasion charges. Other charges were dropped. He was the first VP to resign due to criminal charges and only the second to resign for any reason. The first was John Calhoun, who resigned to take a Senate seat.

Spiro Theodore Agnew 1918 - 1996

John Caldwell Calhoun 1782 - 1850

Agnew image: Notable Biographies
Calhoun image: Library of Congress