Heroes Of The Week!

Brett Favre: 25 Greatest Moments of His Hall of Fame Career | Bleacher  Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

In spite of climate change, Trump attrition, social unrest and oh yeah . . a global pandemic, the NFL is getting its game on once again. There will be story-lines aplenty as we’ll have kneeling players, canned crowd noise, demonstrations and more playoff teams. Tom Brady is now retired and living in Tampa while Cam Newton will do his best Darth Maul impersonation in the hopes of keeping the Evil Empire relevant. Because of the disparity in COVID rules from state to state, some teams will host fans at limited capacity while other teams will have no fans in attendance. The silver lining in this playbook is that Philadelphia falls into the latter category. Sorry Eagles fans, but you still suck. 

And now for a special Tuesday lineup . . . 

Bella Witt, 50 Yard Challenge, Three Hills

Imma start on the positive side of the equation this week, thanks to Dale’s chime about a young lady from Alberta, Canada. 14 year old Bella Witt is going the extra yard this year, fifty times over. She’s taking on the 50 Yard Challenge, in which she will mow fifty different yards in her community. The volunteer movement was started by Rodney Smith, Jr of Huntsville, Alabama in 2015. Those who sign up can tend to their neighbors lawns in a variety of ways- from mowing them to raking leaves and even shoveling snow. The kids get a different colored t-shirt for every ten lawns they complete until they achieve their ‘black belt’ status once they’ve gone fifty strong. 

“Since COVID-19 there hasn’t been a lot to do here and I thought why not help people,” explained Witt. “There’s so much going on right now and I just want to be a blessing to people who have a hard time.”

Oh Bella, you are a blessing to us all. 

Marjorie Taylor Greene wins Georgia's 14th district runoff - AxiosOn the flip side, we have Marjorie Taylor Greene diluting the gene pool down in Georgia. The Republican is running for Congress, and she’s got a lot of Trumpian ideas at the ready. Her newest gem? A claim that forcing boys to wear masks is “emasculating”.  Never mind that more than half a million American kids have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and there’s been a 16 percent increase in these cases since mid August. 

How’s about we fit Green with a duct taped mask? 

Last week marked the nineteenth anniversary of the most devastating terror attack on US soil. So it’s worth remembering in these trying times that if we take the uniforms for granted, we do so at our own peril. The boys at the FDNY came through again recently when they tackled 53 year old Daniel Biggs; who just so happens to have a rap sheet a mile long and was intent on adding to it. As he was riding his bike along the sidewalk in Bedford Stuyvesant, Biggs decided it would be a good idea to punch a sixty year old woman in the face. Two problems: One, it’s assault. And two, he did so right in front of a firehouse. So needless to say, Biggs didn’t get very far before he was brought to the ground by New York’s Bravest. 

These guys ain’t quitting on us, and the feeling is mutual. 

Imma wrap up this special Tuesday edition with a belated tribute to a couple of legends, who gifted the world their immense talents in two different arenas. 

Trailblazing Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson dies - REVOLT

John Thompson changed the landscape of college basketball forever. Before he got to Georgetown, the team was an also ran, having just finished out a 3-23 campaign. Within three seasons, Thompson had them in the tournament. He built a national powerhouse in the eighties, winning a national title and reigning supreme over the Big East conference. But it was the impression he made with his kids off the court that will stand the true test of time. When star center Alonzo Mourning and another player were said to be running with associates of reputed drug boss Ray Edmond, Thompson called for a face to face meeting with him in his office. At the meeting, the coach proceeded to get in Edmond’s grill, informing him he was to have no further contact with any of his players. Edmonds never did associate with another Hoyas player after that meeting. When the news of Thompson’s passing came down, his former star point guard Allen Iverson credited Thompson with saving his life. Interestingly, Thompson was supposed to have been on the United Airlines flight that crashed into the Pentagon, but his place was cancelled. He made these last nineteen years count. 

Chadwick Boseman didn't just play icons. He was one. | National News |  martinsvillebulletin.com

Whereas the inimitable Mr Thompson climbed every mountain set in front of him, there is a profound sadness to the passing of Chadwick Boseman because he had so many more mountains left to climb. In his all too brief career, Boseman wrote and directed several plays and appeared on a couple television shows before scoring a role that would put him on the map for good. 

His portrayal of Jackie Robinson in the movie 42 got the attention of Hollywood moguls and moviegoers alike. Rachel, the widow of the iconic ballplayer said watching Chadwick immerse himself in the role was like being introduced to Jackie again. And from there, the world showed up at his doorstep and Boseman was more than ready to take it for a spin. He played legends like Thurgood Marshall and superheroes like the Black Panther. He was box office magic with a screen presence that promised Oscars, as in plural. But while the world was busy gifting him the much deserved rewards of his chosen craft, life was busy taking him away from us even if we never saw it coming. In 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. He never shared this fact with the outside world, and he kept working throughout. He starred in several more films while undergoing chemotherapy as well as multiple surgeries. But it was a race he was destined to lose when the cancer returned this year. And it doesn’t make one damn bit of sense that he’s gone before he even really got started. That forty three years becomes the end instead of another beginning. 

There’s no song I could attach to this, because truthfully I didn’t come into this post expecting it would take me here. And now it doesn’t feel right, to put these final thoughts to music. So instead, I’ll place a picture of Boseman’s visit to St. Jude’s Hospital in 2018. Right in the middle of his stoic battle, he took some time for the kids, his fans. And this picture, I don’t know why but it fills me with peace. 

Sometimes there is music in the silence. 

Inside Chadwick Boseman's Emotional Visit to St. Jude's | PEOPLE.com

October 10th, 2001

The following are journal entries from my visit to Manhattan in October of 2001. I went with a team of volunteers to set up a free clinic at a police precinct on the East Side. With not a lick of medical know how, I quickly forged my spot in the group as the data entry specialist.

The results of this free clinic would later be sent to the Mayo Clinic and would serve as the first recorded documentation of the debilitating health effects suffered by first responders.

These particular journal entries came in the early morning hours of October 10, 2001. I’m leaving it as I wrote it, word for word. It’s disjointed and fragmented, but I have to leave it that way. The way I felt that night.



October 10th, 2001 .

I walked the streets tonight. I couldn’t sleep. Too wired. Too exhausted. I tried reading to put me to sleep, but no way. Its two thirty in the morning and I had to get this down. Something. I won’t take pictures. And I’ll probably never write a word of this time, but I need to just write this down so that I can read it when I go home. Even though I’ll never forget it.

. . . The streets were so quiet, so eerie. Just like after a snowstorm.

. . . We visited the hole tonight. If the wind is coursing your way, you can smell it from miles away. They smell it in Queens still. My sisters smelled it on their way home from Maine , days after it happened. They were on the Tappan Zee Bridge when they smelled it.

. . . They set up a perimeter around Ground Zero. We were a mile out when our police van was stopped, ID check. Going in they check ID, going out they hose your vehicle down.

. . . I heard someone in the van whisper ‘This is going to be bad’. We sat there in silent agreement.

. . . The hole is referred to as Ground Zero. It’s hell. It smolders and there are still pockets of fire a month later. I prayed hard. The sodium lamps carved through the night and gave it the illusion of an apocalyptic noontime. The workers are always there recovering the lost. They can’t leave, they won’t leave. They have to see this through for the lost. They have a different calling now. They’re not saving lives, they’re granting last rites. They will work this heap to the end, until every last piece is gone. They work all day and night, most lose the masks and keep on working.

. . . That smell. An electrical fire compounded a thousand times over. The smell of fuel makes you nauseous. The smell of fire sticks to you. It’s on my clothes .The smell penetrates every pore. We spent twenty minutes down there and I can’t get the smell off my skin, out of my nose and hair. It permeates. I held my breath as if that would chase it away. It’s always there. And these guys work that pit every day. Losing the masks. Still working. It’s going to be bad for them down the road. It’s going to kill them.

. . . I turned away. I didn’t want to see anymore. This is the worst of mankind. Those men working the pile are fighting hard against that worst but I felt it was all so hopeless. How senseless, all of it. I just wanted to scream I was so angry. I felt like throwing up.

. . . I didn’t bring a camera. Thank God for that.

. . . We talked about what this means tonight at the pub. The retired pastor warned against believing this will change policies or mindsets. He’s lived through Korea , Vietnam , the Kennedy assassination, the gulf war, Oklahoma City , AIDS, scores of natural disasters. He’s had his hand in the mix plenty of times. And none of those times changed things. Not really. I wondered aloud at the political gains to be had from this, because they’re coming. We all agreed. Political capital. Jesus. But true.

. . . These last couple of days have been surreal. I must have heard that word a hundred times today. When people spoke of the day, when people spoke of the days since. Always surreal.

. . . Friendship wasn’t a temporary excursion. It was valid and palpable everywhere. It held more than convenience. It held truth. People wanting to hear stories. Strangers crying them to other strangers. Smiles. It’s going to go away. We’re all going to go back to our old ways before long. Everything, even this hellacious thing, has a shelf life.

. . . The shrines. They’re everywhere. Every kind of personal effect you could imagine. Candlelit sanctuaries, a graceful patience. Every single story wants it back. The hours before the planes changed everything. Letters.

. . . Love letters, poems, family pictures, little league trophies,

. . . The streets bleed with these shrines. Every city block is a monument. And this is where I remember what this city is all about. Not a big town, but small villages. Each one holding a different story. I think to myself that I didn’t grow up around the city, the city grew up around me.

. . . Why do our differences generate so much hatred until something like this happens?

. . . Nothing divides us inside these shrines. Not race, not color, not party, not sexual preference. Inside these shrines, we’re all the same. Human beings. Why do we have to be knocked on our asses before we stop using these differences as a weapon? Before we start appreciating the fact that we’re all stories and not cardboard. Before we understand the intrinsic value in our differences.

. . . I picked up a teddy bear and held it for a while. She was twenty nine. Her father had left it there along with a letter. All the letters left by loved ones read the same way. They’re still hoping against impossibility that the missing are simply lost somewhere. It’s “Have you seen this person?”, and phone numbers.

. . . I held that teddy bear so tight, as if in the holding I could will her back to life. Return her to her father. And in that moment, I knew her, I knew them. I loved complete strangers. They had opened a door into their world and I entered.

. . . I just stood there and held that teddy bear tight. Strangers passed and I didn’t care. They didn’t either. We all were involved in these unspoken understandings all over the city.

. . . I just stood there and held that teddy bear and cried some. But I don’t remember her name. I wish I remembered her name. That’s so weird.

Play It Again, Spam

Hello,

I have a personal Project in which i need your assistance I would like to be sure of your willingness, trustworthiness and commitment to execute this transaction worth (Twenty seven million United States Dollars)
If interested, reply immediately for detailed information.

Regards,
Sgt.Genevieve Chase

Yo Gwen,

When a chica shoots me an email at one thirty in the morning about a “personal project”  . . . well, the mind wanders. And because you’re not content to make it easy on me, you add money to the mix and I realize how wrong I was to think I could outrun my days as a gigolo. But twenty seven million quesadillas is the kind of rate that would lock you into Brad Pitt on a retainer basis, for life. Back in the day, you could have scored me for a fraction of that price. Seriously, a hundred bucks and dinner at a steakhouse would’ve turned my trick. Okay, dinner at a steakhouse would’ve worked. Hell . . . a dive bar would’ve had me rappelling from the walls of a Holiday Inn. But I digress. 

If by “executing” this transaction you’re inferring that Imma be eating a piece of this ample pie, then I am all ears. But I do have a few conditions . . .

1- I get half of the twenty seven million US dollars. I ain’t in the mood for any last minute games where you go switching it out with bolivares, which is the global currency equivalent of pushpins. 

2- Send a private jet to pick me up. Fully loaded bar. 

3- Get me Bill Murray’s private cell, because that shit is priceless. 

4- My own Oreos cookie flavor- Marcoconut Creme. 

5- And one more thing. Don’t you contact me again, ever.  From now on, you deal with Turnbull. If you have any questions please direct them to Senator Patrick Geary of Nevada. Tell him Michael Corleone sent you. 

Ayt, that should about cover things for now. I’ll wait to hear from you, Sergeant. And please give Chevy my best. 

Hasta La Primavera, 

Julian Kaye

On Life After Blogging

Embed from Getty Images

 

A Frank Angle was my little corner of the world for 11+ years – a place that was my pride and joy – a place where I met many kind people from all over the world – and some of those would develop into wonderful cyber-friendships. In early Fall 2019, I announced I would end the run – then in early February 2020, and after an orchestrated departure, I posted for the last time. Time has told me that I need to bend your ear a little about that time and the time that followed. Maybe this is my way of saying I still feel it.

To say the period around the closing was very emotional would be an understatement. The combination of tears and pride was more than I ever imagined. Words cannot describe my appreciation for the kindness showered upon me. So much so, I feel it still today.

The way I closed turned out to be important and confirmed what I believed at the time. When ending a blog, closure is important for both the readers and the host. My readers respected me and were sad to see me go, but they understood. In my eyes, I owed them closure. Although I can’t speak for the readers, my gut says my plan succeeded.

I also needed closure. In a way, I looked at it as a funeral – but not one of sadness, but one of a celebration of life. Besides being emotional, the ending series was also fun. Several days later, a sense of calm and relief came upon me. Yes, I had no worries of visiting or writing to my self-imposed deadlines and visits while being proud of my accomplishments.

My readers gave me a sense of worth, pride, and accomplishment – a feeling that I won’t forget – so I visited many of them shortly thereafter. Not for every post, but enough to show my respect and appreciation for them.

If you ever close a blog, readers will want to know if the blog will remain visible, I chose to, but also understand taking it down. However, I think back to another blog who suddenly announced her last post, then it was gone. She provided no closure for me or her most-loyal readers – let alone a vanishing cyber-footprint.

Since then, my life has been interesting. By being released from my self-imposed obligation of visiting others from my shoulders, I began to relax from blogging while still snooping around. I still visited others, but it was on my terms.

By mid-March, life with COVID-19 changed everyone’s life. For me, no more blog to maintain – no ballroom dance – no handbell choir – no dinner with friends – no working at the golf course – no volunteer ushering at plays – no evenings at a restaurant. Life focused on walking several times a day and watching streaming services – but the writing was still important to me.

In the final post, and to the surprise of many, I mentioned the possibility of a new blog – Beach Walk Reflections. COVID-19 allowed me to write – and that I did. With 71 beach walks in the archives at A Frank Angle, I decided to rewrite all 71 of them. After all, the walks had evolved, so the earliest walks needed a lot of work. Plus, I already had prepared notes for many other walks, so I started the draft process on about another 50 walks. So during the first few months of the pandemic, I wrote. I guess that means I still feel it.

By late April, my golf course duties returned. Surprisingly, the golf business has been booming! Ballroom, handbells, ushering, and more are still in limbo. Summer remains a time for the outdoors, so my wife and I walk, golf, and play pickleball. We still watch our share of streaming shows. Therefore, my writing time decreased – and so did my blog visits. However, I’m still on target for a possible fall return to WordPress.

Because our travel plans vanished, we treated ourselves with some new items for our home – so I spent a lot of time researching online.  Life remains simple while limiting our normal social circles. This new normal sucks, but I accept my responsibilities in this pandemic.

I’ve written several posts as a guest blogger for Marc here at Sorryless – which is a good thing. He is also the reason why I approached him with this post. Plus, it’s been an opportunity to stay in touch with some good people. Then again, I feel it still.

In this post, I wanted to share some aspects of closing a blog, as well as providing an update of my life. Closing a blog is a personal decision, but I want bloggers to know what I did and experienced. I’m sure I could have written more, but I did this from memory – not notes. Although that may not be for everyone, there is something in this post for all bloggers. Besides, I feel it still.

Heroes Of The Week!

30 Funniest Parks and Rec Quotes of All TIme | Best Life

As we inch closer to a national election that feels as if it was written by Judd Apatow, I thought about petitioning for a recount on my last Heroes episode. And then I realized that I didn’t actually use a political theme for the post, so never mind. And for the record? I’m voting for Bobby Newport in November. I’m half serious about that, and as Bobby would say, the other half is serious too. 

So now that I’ve gone two straight Heroes episodes without having talked politics, and my reward is an actual theme to gift you this week. The lovely Dale is playing Luke Skywalker, seeing as how she sent me three heroic stories this week. While I pick up the slack for Darth Vader by supplying the zeroes. I know, shocker!

And now for this week’s lineup . . .

The Yankees And Rays Absolutely Hate Each Other And It's Fucking Awesome |  Barstool Sports

Up until this moment, the Tampa Bay Rays have been that other team in every baseball movie. They’re a monochrome curiosity that is good enough to take the champion fifteen rounds, before getting steamrolled by the closing credits. But now they have a club with a legitimate chance to win it all, and so maybe their manager Kevin Cash should start behaving as if he’s been here before. The Rays skipper got all bent out of shape after Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman threw a a hundred mile an hour missile at his player’s head. Cash and his team have every reason to be pissed, but then he went and said this . . .

“Somebody’s got to be accountable,” Cash said. “And the last thing I’ll say on this is I got a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 mph. Period.”

How about you make the MLB do it’s fucking job. Make sure they hold Chapman and the Yanks accountable. But an outright threat such as the one Cash threw out serves no good purpose. If he’d chosen his words wisely, the onus would be entirely on the Yankees, but Cash went minor league instead. That’s a shame. 

Like any responsible homeowner, Dave Phoxe of Salt Lake City, Utah does what he can to keep his home and family safe from harm. He installed a security camera that syncs to his phone, alerting him to any uninvited guests who make the scene. So when he discovered that a little kid was using his driveway as a racetrack, he could have stormed outside and told the kid to scram. But Phoxe had a better idea. And so he made his driveway into a racetrack, drawing a lane that zigged and zagged to a finish line. Something tells me he’s got one hell of an encore for the kids who play on his lawn when he’s an old man. 

Clay Higgins says on Facebook that armed demonstrators 'won't walk away'  from Louisiana protests | News | theadvocate.com

Congratulations to Clay Higgins, the U.S. Representative out of Louisiana’s third district for taking the prize as biggest asshole of the week. No easy task these days, and yet Higgins makes it look easy with commentary that would make a serial killer wince. 

Higgins hopped on Facebook this week (This is what’s called foreshadowing) and proceeded to shit his feelings into the virtual world. His topic of conversation in this instance were the armed protesters showing up across his state. And for those of you with an allergy to ass hats with Rambo fetishes, you might want to move on to the next story, because the following is a sample of his rant. 

“I’d drop any 10 of you where you stand,” Higgins began, before continuing with “Nothing personal. We just eliminate the threat. We don’t care what color you are. We don’t care if you’re left or right. if you show up like this, if We recognize threat…you won’t walk away.”

I mean, where do I begin? Okay, maybe with an observation that goes something like this: Old Clay wasn’t posting shit like this on FB when white kids in PBR caps were walking through Wal-Marts fully armed. So yanno what I always say . . . there is that. 

Tom Seaver, greatest Met ever, dead at 75

Okay, so I lied. Imma dish up a tribute to an all time great who was a hero to every Queens kid back in the days of bell-bottom jeans and 8-track players. Tom Seaver blessed the game of baseball in myriad ways over a career that spanned three decades and five cities. He won 311 games to the tune of a 2.86 ERA in that space of time. He snagged Rookie of the Year honors in 1967 and was the ace of the Miracle Mets World Series team in ’69. He was a Cy Young winner three times over, an All Star twelves times and he pitched a no hitter as a member of the Cincinnati Reds in 1978. But as a man, he contributed even more than that. He was an ambassador whose grace, wisdom and experience has left a lasting impression on the game he loved. They really don’t write them like Tom anymore. 

Okay, for this last story Imma do things a little differently and just let author Shaka Senghor take us home. In his words. Because I could not have said it any better than he did on his Facebook post.

Last Friday night I was standing outside of a barbershop in Cincinnati, Oh,with a small group of mostly black men, when this officer walked over to a group of us. He looked around curiously and said “I don’t see a car blocking an intersection” while shaking his head. I asked him what was he talking about. He said someone called and reported that we had a car blocking the intersection. He paused for a minute and shook his head again. In that moment we both nodded and acknowledged what had just happened. Someone basically saw our group and made a false report. I asked him how long he had been on the job and he said 10 months. He asked what we were doing at the barbershop and so told him about the barbershop challenge Men of Courage and Ford Fund has sponsored. I asked if he wanted to come inside. He said he wanted to, but didn’t want to spoil the fun with his presence. Again we both nodded and acknowledged the reality of distrust between the community and police officers. I offered to take him inside so he could meet the owners and establish a relationship. I told him that someone has to take the first step to healing these relationships. He said he wanted to, but was unsure of what the reaction would be. I told him it would be cool and that Jerome Bettis and a host of other amazing people were inside. He lit up like a light bulb and said “No way The Bus is in there”, with a kid like smile. I said hold on, I’ll grab him and have him come out. Jerome Bettis came out and the officer stood there with his mouth agape before saying “if my dad was still alive he would be so excited, because you were his favorite player”. We all stopped and sat in the moment before they went on to take a selfie together. It was one of those moments that reminded me of our humaneness, our frailties and our similarities. In that moment we were all just men navigating the world without the mask we are taught and trained to wear. I could have taken my offense to the call out on the officer and accused him of being a racist cop. He could have believed the caller and acted based on stereotypes about black men in groups. But we chose to just see each other and talk like humans. It’s ultimately a decision we can all make. When he lit up like a kid at seeing his dad’s sports hero, I saw a little boy and the uniform no longer mattered. We can collectively choose to see beyond the uniforms we all wear.

It’s not easy and there is a lot of work to be done, but if we can at least start seeing each other, I believe things will get better.

 

 

 

 

Today’s Birthday! Virgo

Virgo Horoscope June 26, 2020: You're heading towards a financial crisis;  check astrology prediction

You can be extremely persuasive and charming (read overbearing and hard to take). You have strong morals, but like everything else, morals have a flip side; so you’re well versed in closets and hush money as a result. You’ve got more dirty little secrets than Jerry Falwell Jr’s burner phone, which is both impressive and tragic. 

Your friends fawn over your magnetism . . until they find you in bed with their spouses, after which they usually lodge an online campaign to destroy you. This is why you’re such a control freak and tend to play things close to the chest by blackmailing them before Google can get to digging its claws into you. Being such a prolific lover comes at a price, and you know how to collect while covering your ass, which means you probably went into the wrong profession. 

A hive of energy, you’re constantly doing someone, something. You’re notorious for taking on several projects at a time, and that doesn’t even include your side hustle peddling opioids to the kids at work. As a result of your mostly nefarious hobbies, you’ve learned from your mistakes and have become expert at pinning the blame on someone else. As far as relationships are concerned, you’re the ultimate pragmatist. So while love is all well and good, you seek a main squeeze with palenty of cheese. 

As true believers go, you’re a pretty damn good tennis player. 

 

On a Sign of the Times

Embed from Getty Images

(The following situation is real, but I changed the names)

I first met Lee in 1972 – probably somewhere between January and April of my freshman year in college. Lee was visiting my dorm neighbor and friend, Rob from his hometown. Lee, a year older than Rob and me, was about to finish his Associate Degree at a community college, so he was looking for a place to continue his education and earn his Bachelor’s Degree. He joined us in September 1972, which would start a long friendship between us.

Upon graduation, he returned to northeast Ohio, and I landed in southwest Ohio – but we stayed in touch. Not many years later, he came to the Cincinnati area looking for a new job. We lived on opposite sides of the metropolitan area, but we stayed in contact by phone with frequent conversations.

Lee is a kind man – not one to get in trouble. Describing him as “straight-laced” may be an understatement – family-man, religious, no alcohol, a non-smoker, empathetic in his way, and willing to help others in his circle. He’s stubborn and opinionated. His voice resonates with confidence and being knowledgeable, which also means he provides ample opportunities to discover that if bullshit was music, he would be a one-man symphony orchestra.

Besides personal character, interest in sports and politics served as a bonding agent. Both of us love baseball and its rich history. Who knows how many trivia questions about the national pastime we’ve bounced off each other – or the countless conversations about recent great plays we saw on ESPN Sportscenter.

On the other hand, we have sports-related differences. Through good times and bad times, I am loyal to my teams – whereas Lee switches allegiances based on his conveniences. He’s also quite the homer. Every autumn he would ask who I wanted to win baseball’s World Series, and I would always answer, the Reds. He would remind me the Reds aren’t in the series, so I would remind him then I didn’t care. In time, he stopped asking.

Sports, politics, and no matter the topic, his opinionated nature allows him to make ridiculous statements. Sharing them here is not the point. Lee makes so many predictions that even one of his family members refers to him as a “Shotgun Nostadamas” who hopes one comes true so he can boast.

Almost 50 years of friendship is odd for us because of our differences. I grew up in a rural area – he, in a metropolitan suburb. I grew up in a multi-national family – he, in a traditional white American family.

I, a traveler – he, a homebody. I, a doer of a variety of entertainment activities and interests outside the home – he, still a homebody. He has two kids – I have none.

I raised a Catholic now a Lutheran – he, a Southern Baptist. I, with a science background and one who understands what science is and how it works – he, a cafeteria scientist who picks and chooses what he believes primarily based on his religious and political views.

We have had our share of good discussions about current events through the years. Politically, sometimes we were on the same side of issues – other times not. There is no question in my mind that every person’s view evolves. When we met in college, we were both Democrats – but of different forms. Today, neither one of us identifies with the Dems, but we are far apart. I, an authentic moderate independent – he, a consumer of the party Kool-Aid and a Trump apologist. I call him a political hack.

I, a believer in the potential of oneness that humanity can be and that the majority of people in the world are good – he, unquestionably the most racist person I know regarding skin color, religion, nationality, and sexual orientation.

Being a reflective type, I will also point the finger at myself for part of the blame for my current feeling. While I would challenge him on sports and political issues, I very seldom challenged him on his prejudices regarding people. Looking back, I regret that choice.

With head-on issues such as President Trump’s actions and divisive nature, George Floyd and social justice, COVID-19’s multitude of impacts, an election year, and more, life today is challenging.

I haven’t talked to Lee in several months and a future conversation is not on my radar. I’ve deleted his name from my Contacts list – but I know his number – and no, I haven’t blocked him.

He texted me recently, but I ignored/did not answer because I saw it as one of his stupid sports statements. But what will I do if he calls or texts again? Time will tell.

The bottom line is simple. Is he a person that I want to associate with these days? Is the situation worth ending a 48-year friendship? For me, the answers are simple because they revolve around the fact that Lee is a science-denying self-proclaimed know-it-all who is a Trump apologist and arrogant bigot. Besides, I have enough divisiveness in my life because we live in challenging times – but challenging times require challenging decisions to do the right thing.