Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘fifty years

Birthday Game

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On the occasion of a 50th birthday, many people choose to go big. Our friend, Doobie Kurus, took the number 50 to a wonderful extreme, tying it to the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers’ third football game of the season. He bought 50 tickets for friends and family and hosted a spectacular tailgate party four and a half hours before the game.

Yesterday was a hot September day that carried a possibility of an afternoon thunderstorm. Cyndie and I wavered over preparing for rain or not, ultimately opting to carry rain gear based on the thinking that having protection would likely mean we wouldn’t need it. That was easier than finding Cyndie a maroon shirt to show the spirit of University colors.

I am proud of her ingenuity in crafting the look of the University mascot, Goldy Gopher, on a maroon tee shirt that has an image of Julian’s cat on the front.

Doobie was serenaded with a “Happy Birthday” song by a subset of the marching band that was making its way through the rows and rows of tailgaters. His daughter, Emma, plays saxophone in the band.

For Cyndie and me, much of the activity brought back our pleasant memories as band parents during the years Elysa played one of the big bass drums in the drum line.

I felt compelled to greet a few of the current members of the drum line as the band began gathering for formal inspection before pregame performance.

After the game, which Minnesota won by almost reaching the number fifty against Colorado, 49-7, Doobie arranged for us to get on the field where we milled around before posing on the 50 yard line for a final portrait with the birthday boy.

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While visiting with Doobie, I learned the actual day of his birthday is tomorrow, the nineteenth of September. He’s in good company, as tomorrow is Julian’s birthday and Cyndie’s and my 41st wedding anniversary.

It was quite a day. Felt very celebratory and somewhat exhausting for all that good food, high heat, endless sunshine, walking, standing, and communing with close friends and fellow Big Ten college football fans.

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Written by johnwhays

September 18, 2022 at 10:23 am

Fateful Ignorance

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Twenty years ago today we didn’t conceive how everything would change on the following day. Nineteen hijackers knew what they were going to do the next day. The first had arrived in the United States almost two years earlier and the others gradually showed up throughout the following months.

They lived among us. Some underwent flight training in Florida. We didn’t have a clue.

Brings to mind my similar naivet√© on January 5th this year. I didn’t conceive that the fanatics who believed the lies they were being fed about a stolen election would attack police and storm our nation’s capital in an attempted insurrection. They all knew what was going to happen the next day. Pipe bombs were planted, equipment gathered, transportation arranged.

For the last twenty years, we have been hearing threats of other possible attacks from foreign terrorists. In the months since the January 6th uprising, we have heard warnings about more attacks on our democracy that continue to loom.

After a while, we tend to grow numb to the alerts. I’d like to hope the FBI and CIA are on top of all the pertinent details so I don’t need to live on permanent alert, but history reveals that didn’t work for 9/11 or 1/6.

If I let myself think too much about it, my mind questions whether some group with ill intentions is busy today making their preparations unnoticed while we go about our daily business in cluelessness.

One way to offset that horror is to focus on what happened 50-years ago yesterday. John Lennon’s “Imagine” was released on September 9, 1971. Yesterday, the lyrics to the song were projected onto iconic buildings and landmarks around the world.

NPR included a segment about the song in their Morning Edition. I urge you to listen: NPR: John Lennon released ‘Imagine.’

It provides priceless context and analysis.

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Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

No religion, too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace…

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Written by johnwhays

September 10, 2021 at 6:00 am