Tag: Memorial

A Father’s Tribute to His Son

 

“That’s great, Dad.” These words Tyler said to me every time I told him of an article being published, a student’s life impacted, a new approach to teaching used, a new video series launched, or an accomplishment of any kind achieved. “That’s great, Dad.”

Tyler and I had a wonderful relationship from his childhood through adulthood. I was a coach on his baseball team for three years. Later, for fun, we would spend Sunday afternoons in the summer going to a local park where I would pitch, and he would hit. We listened to his music, and by so doing he augmented my cultural awareness. We watched movies and visited historic sites, sledded in the winter, and hunted in the fall. I took him on speaking trips. We discussed theology and philosophy, literature and poetry from his earliest years. I marveled at his brilliance, watching him teach a college class about Frankenstein when he was 17. We talked about him becoming a college professor like me.

He and I cherished our friendship, a son and father who loved and cared for each other. Tyler lived with Robin and me for ten years, then we purchased a small house for him here in Defiance where he was close to his sister and brother, Chelsea and Sam. Over two decades our conversations were consistent and long. We would talk for hours. We shared our writing with each other. We shared poetry, stories, experiences, and recipes. Our shared love of food – specifically ribs – made us both smile. He would say, “Who needs Applebee’s when I have Eckelbee’s.” He also taught me how to smoke a pipe. And I was always amazed that he could keep one bowl going for half an hour, mine petering out after 10 minutes.

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As some of you may know, I was a huge fan of the Rolling Stones.  They were part of my adolescence and beyond.  Sad day: Their great drummer, Charlie Watts, passed away and with it part of my youth.  The Stones are not known for being reserved, but not Charlie.  He did not dress rock-n-roll […]

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This is a little retrospective on Dr. Thomas Howard, author, scholar, English professor, conservative man of letters, and theologian who passed away on October 15th.   In a most beautiful obituary in First Things, titled “Thomas Howard, RIP,” Kenneth Craycraft relates the heart of the man.   Thomas Howard, who passed away on Thursday at the age […]

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Don’t know what else to say than I guess it’s more accessible than a man on a horse. And I’m sure there is some place to send donations, and it will compensate for about a dozen others that have been torn down. (Yes, people still seem to need to commemorate some things). https://archinect.com/news/article/150212457/g-mez-platero-unveils-design-for-world-s-first-large-scale-memorial-to-the-victims-of-covid-19 Preview Open

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To Herb Meyer’s Memory

 

Over the years, Ricochet has inspired lasting friendships, not least of which is many members’ friendship with @tommeyer, who’s not only a great guy, but someone who rendered Ricochet great service before he moved on to other things. When Herb Meyer, Tom’s father, died, the outpouring of thanksgiving for Herb’s life was tremendous. At the time, I dedicated a motet I was working on to Herb’s memory, but life having gotten in the way, I haven’t had a chance to share it with the Ricoverse until now:

The Air Force Song: A Perspective

 

I just returned from the 30th-anniversary reunion of the class of 1988 from the US Air Force Academy. It was awesome — but the story I would like to tell starts and ends at Falcon Stadium with the Air Force song.

The Cadet Drum and Bugle Corps takes every opportunity to play the first and most well-known verse of the Air Force Song. Come on, you know you want to sing it…

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder
At ’em boys, Give ‘er the gun!

Of Heroes and Heavy Metal: Honoring Bill Tolley

 

Now that 2017 has passed and memorials have been published for the various celebrities who died last year, there’s one who sadly went overlooked. Obviously I’m posting this for an audience who doesn’t look kindly on celebrity and its surrounding culture of worship, but this is a case where your respect is warranted.

On April 20, 2017, Bill Tolley, 14-year veteran of the Fire Department of New York, died in the line of duty. He left behind a wife and eight-year-old daughter. Local news always covers such stories, but news of Tolley’s death spread further because of his off-duty activities: he was the long-time drummer and only permanent member of New York death metal band Internal Bleeding. The band is credited as one of the originators of a style known as slam death metal, a subgenre of brutal death metal. Belonging to this sort of niche within a niche means that the band remained low-profile in an already obscure corner of the music world, and Tolley’s celebrity is a peculiar sort, but real nonetheless.

Fellow New York bands Suffocation, Incantation, Immolation, and Mortician always overshadowed them, but Internal Bleeding at least found a unique sound, fusing the heavier side of death metal with the punishing style of their city’s hardcore punk scene. Tolley’s drumming encapsulated the band’s approach: while he could play fast, more often he eschewed the flashy theatrics of blast beats for heavier grooves. Even the band’s nadir, 2004’s Onward to Mecca, in which they succumbed to the worst tendencies of their hardcore influences, was partially redeemed by the enraged and non-PC lyrics of tracks like “Infidel” (Infidel proudly — overthrowing your cause/Infidel proudly — and I’ll bathe in your blood).

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The elision of history continues. Canada now has their very own Holocaust memorial that, curiously enough, doesn’t actually mention who the victims of the Holocaust were. The architecture of Canada’s new National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa is both symbolic and haunting, with six concrete triangles depicting the stars that Jews were forced to wear in […]

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Podcast — the (Basket Full of) Deplorables edition – with nanophycisist Mike Stopa and radio talk host Todd Feinburg. Our topics:

  1. Hillary engages in deplorable hate speech, calling half of Trump supporters “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.” Is this a campaign killer?
  2. Trigger warnings and reaction to the University of Chicago’s War on Triggers.
  3. Hillary collapsed Sept. 11, but didn’t hit the ground when she was caught by members of her Secret Service detail.

Find us online at harvardlunchclub.com, on Twitter @HLCpodcast, and at Ricochet.com as part of the Ricochet family of podcasts.

The Night of Fire

 

Blaise Pascal, mathematician, scientist, inventor, and philosopher, a man who from the age of 16 had been making historic contributions to mathematics and the physical sciences, who, despite a sickly constitution and a capacity for intense abstraction nonetheless oversaw the material construction of his experiments and inventions with great zest, was barely past 30 when saw something unexpected one raw November night. He saw fire. The vision of it so branded him that he sewed the record he made of it, his Memorial, into his coat, carrying it with him the rest of his life:

Memorial, Pascal

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Happy Police Week… In case you missed it, Sunday was National Police Memorial Day. It was marked by a large ceremony in front of the U.S. Capitol, with the widows, orphans, grieving parents, siblings and colleagues of the 128 American police officers who were killed in the line of duty in 2015.  Preview Open

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I have to say I am a bit heartbroken over Scalia’s passing.  Antonin Scalia was a personal hero of mine.  As an Italian-American and a conservative and a Catholic I was so proud of him.  It is my perception that until Scalia hit the national scene, Italian-Americans and Catholics were predominantly center-left on the political […]

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If The Wall Could Speak

 

Rays of sunlight burst from above, bathing the very air itself with my spirit as the deep rumble of a motorcycle across the lot heralds the arrival of another veteran. He just parked his bike, regarding me from across the parking lot. Sometimes they walk right up to me, and I recognize them, though the lines in their face betray the years and the pain, their eyes searching for a brother in arms. Sometimes they walk all 288 feet, though often times the emotions overwhelm them and they have to break away. Other times, however, their grief is too strong and they watch me from a distance before riding away in silence.

Very seldom do I hear someone say that a comrade or loved one’s name is etched in these panels. Instead, they say, “My grandfather is on the wall,” or as one Purple Heart Recipient said yesterday, his eyes welling up, “twelve of my friends are up there.” I see all who gaze my direction. I remember the time my granddaughter came to visit. She was born long after after I arrived here, of course, and I recognized her long before she saw my name. It hurt harder than anything to see the tears stream down her young face.