Yeesh, another late one. Senior Honors Night down to the high school. We heard some names over and over, our child’s name once, but hey — she got a cord to wear around her shoulders at commencement, a medal around her neck, and she was made late to the Tame Impala show I’d given her permission to attend. The students sat on stage, and as the names piled up and the five-second claps stretched to two hours, I could see her dying up there. Oh, well. Tame Impala is lame, anyway.

Anyway, highlights: Most of these kids I hadn’t given a second thought to since grade school, when the Girl Scout troops were still intact, and Kate would occasionally tell a story from the classroom over dinner. And so I watched one girl walk and thought of the time I was driving a field trip, and heard her small voice in the back seat, saying, “My mom goes to a doctor who gives her shots in her face so she’ll be pretty.”

I thought, in 15 years, someone from this class who isn’t on the stage will be richer than all of you. Someone who is on the stage will be taking heavy meds for serious mental illness. Someone sitting here is going away and won’t go to a single reunion. Someone hates everybody else. Someone secretly loves somebody else.

What can I say? It was an astonishingly boring evening.

Tomorrow I have to get up early and head to Dearborn. I was there today, in fact. I saw no sign of sharia law. In fact, it was delightful, as it almost always is. Every time I go there, I’m plied with the most delicious hummus in the land, and fresh — really fresh — pita bread. You can win me over with a lot less.

As I was out of pocket all day, I didn’t get much bloggage material. I continue to be fascinated/astounded by the biker-shootout story:

On Sunday, witnesses described seeing a mass shootout that involved dozens of of guns being fired inside the restaurant and in the parking lot along Interstate 35, according to CBS affiliate KWTX. The station reported that panicked patrons and employees sought refuge from the mayhem in the restaurant freezer.

Hours later, authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies — including local and state police, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — were still trying to secure the area and survey the large crime scene, which was littered with more than 100 weapons.

“In 34 years of law enforcement, this is the most violent crime scene I have ever been involved in,” Swanton said, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. “There is blood everywhere. We will probably approach the number of 100 weapons.”

Unbelievable, except all too believable.

Still sifting through “Mad Men” mop-ups, but right now — off to bed.

Posted at 12:28 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

74 responses to “Honors.”

  1. Crazycatlady said on May 19, 2015 at 2:02 am

    I remember the shock at Honors Night when my daughter’s name was called to accept her medal for Highest ACT score in the class. Another girl known as a brilliant student also received that award as there was a tie. My daughter was a troubled High School Student with a ‘c’ average and an aversion for other students. So her score was quite a shock. She was the kid who never worked for her grades but listened to every word that was said. Congrats to Kate! You go, Girl.

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  2. Dexter said on May 19, 2015 at 2:17 am

    Congratulations to Kate for the medal around her neck. I just flashed back to my honors day. Getting my letterman’s jacket was a goal I strove for. I played all sports but it was hard getting letters in track, but I almost made it. During the beginning of track season I played basketball with some buddies in a barn that had pigeon and starling shit everywhere. Two days later I came down with twin earaches and pains in my chest and extreme weakness, was sent to hospital for a few days and missed track season. I was later so sad I had missed the one letter that would have qualified me for my jacket. A week later the coach & A.D. called me to his office. He said, I have rescinded the rule about the track letter you needed this one time, and here’s your jacket. The old coach was a Marine and he didn’t show any emotion and I damn-sure didn’t either, or he would have yanked the jacket away from me for being weak. I mumbled something and wore that jacket so proudly. I don’t know where my diploma is exactly anymore, but that jacket hangs with pride in a closet, and I know exactly where it is. It’s been 48 years now.
    My daughter had a classmate with a mother who was relentless in lining up scholarship dough for her son. On awards night, the boy was constantly marching to the podium and claiming another $100 or $200 dollar scholarship. As the night wore down, my daughter had not been called up at all. I knew she’d do alright, though. I had seen my cousin seated with the presenters. She was there representing the big corporation where I worked . The company gave out four $10,000 scholarships in the USA and my kid got one of them. There were just a few kids that did better financially that night, and I was one proud papa. The boy who got all those small scholarships is now a medical doctor here in town.
    I had just returned from Toledo VA where I just had to take some papers and get my records updated when the gully-washer hit, nearly catching me outside with the Black Labrador…we made it to the van with only half a minute to spare. I could barely see anything driving home from the park. It lasted just fifteen minutes and the sun appeared once again. Now it’s really cool outside, and a little breezy.

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  3. Wim said on May 19, 2015 at 6:15 am

    I also continue to be fascinated and astounded by the biker shoot-out. It’s like life imitating Sons of Anarchy. In the United States, at least, bikers don’t usually go in for mass public gun battles. Usually they go at each other with chains and wrenches and Buck knives. So many guns floating around now, maybe this will become the new normal.

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  4. Basset said on May 19, 2015 at 6:17 am

    No letters, no sports, refused to even go to any games so I was less than a nobody in high school, used to sit on the other side of the gym and read during the mandatory Friday afternoon rallies. Senior year the school to all progressive and started a girls’ shop class and boys’ home ec (cooking)… when awards assembly came along I got called up for the home ec prize, a bracelet charm. High school was no fun, no fun at all.

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  5. ROGirl said on May 19, 2015 at 6:25 am

    I didn’t watch the Mad Men finale until last night (On Demand is the greatest), so I had to avoid all the recaps and reactions yesterday.

    When I saw Don in full lotus position at morning meditation under the sunshiny clear blue sky — clean, shaved and sober, in pre-Dockers khakis and a crisp white shirt — I was having a hard time believing that he had accepted the message and changed. With the beatific smile, the ever so slight upturning of his lips, the “ding” and the Coke commercial, I just laughed. He’s still Don, he hit rock rock bottom, embraced his “true self,” and came back once again, using his (and others’) pain and understanding of how people tick, to achieve professional success.

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  6. Linda said on May 19, 2015 at 6:28 am

    My sister, a devoted Sons of Anarchy fan, was saying as the series closed that she couldn’t believe that those gang rumbles could happen in real life. Guess so. And for all the open carrying in Texas, the citizens did the rational thing when confronted with huge gangs of angry violent people: they hid and let the cops sort it out. Which contributed to the miracle of no civiliam deaths.

    My high school years sucked. I was fat picked on and overlooked. I got lots of scholastic honors, but have not yet gone to a reunion. I keep up with some on Facebook. The head of the cheerleaders is a grandmother and still looks like she could lead the cheers, one guy is married to a big shot who is buddies with Michelle Obama, and a shy homely girl now has, in her 50s, a smoking hot boy toy. Nobody woulda thunk it.

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  7. Linda said on May 19, 2015 at 6:36 am

    Sorry, there iscurrently no open carry in Texas. Becuae now there is a bill in their legislature to allow it.

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  8. ROGirl said on May 19, 2015 at 6:43 am

    I watched Sons of Anarchy and would have to fast forward through the violent sequences. I finally stopped watching when there was a scene where a guy was killed in a vat of acid that the killer had also urinated in. That was it for me.

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  9. Jolene said on May 19, 2015 at 6:46 am

    If, like Dorothy and me, you are feeling bereft about the departure of David Letterman, you might be interested in these articles about the people who helped to create his show all these years. The first discusses the staff members–the writers, directors, and producers–that he’s worked with most closely for so long. The second is an interview with Paul Shaffer, who is his own kind of genius.

    Sad as I am about the end of the show, it’s hard to imagine how people who have made it a central part of their lives for twenty or thirty years must feel.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 19, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Mafia folk have said for years that “The Godfather” (the movies, not the book) shaped decisively how they saw themselves and behaved. There’s a “Goodfellas” side of how they always were, but some tropes and types were immediately picked up as “how we’ve always been.” I wonder if biker gangs have done the same with “Sons of Anarchy” — that doesn’t make the show in any way responsible for the Waco killings, I’d argue, but it’s a factor I’d like to know more about.

    Our son’s a junior; we’re just about done with the end-of-year concerts and the final academic awards convocation is coming Thursday. The senior smarm is sweetly sad and entirely overdone, but check with me about how I feel next spring. Some charming moments, but last night were too many kids singing solos in their “senior showcase” numbers they had no business taking on, and you could feel an impending opening episode of “American Idol” bubbling up as family and friends cheer wildly, at length, for a mangled number, with the student bowing and nodding as if they don’t know that was a dreadfully off-key, oddly performed number. Two kids were very good, and I noted in the program they’re going to Belmont University, which seems to be the go-to school for “I’m serious about my music and hopes for performance.”

    And today is thirty years now my wife hasn’t killed me in my sleep, so it *must* be love!

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  11. basset said on May 19, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Should have asked earlier… what award did Kate win?

    Belmont is indeed the place to go for aspiring musicians, managers, recording engineers, producers, and so forth… one of the Turtles teaches there, the (formerly) fat one with the frizzy hair.

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  12. Jolene said on May 19, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Had never heard of Belmont, so I googled it. The search yielded lots of pics of famous alums–many of them, indeed, singers.

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  13. beb said on May 19, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Jeff, every morning when I watch up I thank god my wife loves me. Congrats on 30 years.

    Wim@3: My understanding is that the bikerfest started out with knives and chains before graduating to guns. I like the snark from bloggers who wish there had been good people with guns to stop the bad people with guns. Oh, wait. The police were already there.

    I was surprised during my graduation to hear my name called out. For best grade in science. I had always enjoyed science, found it easy to understand but never thought I had particularly good grade. So I was shocked. And that was my fleeting moment of greatness.

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  14. Suzanne said on May 19, 2015 at 8:11 am

    I had never heard of Belmont until a couple of years ago when a young woman from down the road decided to go there. She is very talented. I haven’t heard how she’s doing. It’s one thing to be very talented in the local, small high school and another to be at a place like Belmont with all that talent.
    I do remember the senior showcase nights with all the awful singers. And I mean awful except for a few. It didn’t help that the school my kids attended had a terrible music program.

    I keep imagining the press coverage of this biker thing if even half of them had been black or of a non-Christian religion. As it is, there is some in the press, but not all that much. I guess it’s because bikers going after eachother isn’t all that unusual.

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  15. Peter said on May 19, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I forgot where I read this, but the venue for the biker gang extravaganza, Twin Peaks, is the fastest growing restaurant chain in the US, and is in a category, with places like Hooters, Brick, and Tilted Kilt, known as breastaurants.

    I just don’t get it. I’m not saying that there’s no market for places that feature big breasts, but I don’t think that’s the kind of place you’d bring a family or a first date to. You’re going to build a chain where you knowingly alienate a large portion of your customer base?

    Years ago I read an article about the bakery in Texas that makes those fruit cakes. The article noted that there’s no alcohol in the cakes; the owner said that “20 percent of the US are teetotalers; I’d be crazy to alienate that large a segment of the buying public.”

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  16. brian stouder said on May 19, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Jeff, congratulations, indeed!

    Our sophomore daughter’s academic honors banquet is coming up this week (she got her mom’s brains!), and our youngest daughter is finishing 4th grade – so Pam and I have a ways to go

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  17. Dave said on May 19, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Peter, I agree, I always thought, is that the kind of place you’d want to take a date, your family, your parents? I’ve never been in a Hooters or any of the other places and I’d never heard of Twin Peaks until Sunday. It’s interesting that the folks in Waco have had their franchise taken from them.

    Being a hardcore biker is another one of those, “How do you get to be that way?” things, for me.

    Congratulations, Jeff, on 30 years. We recently passed 37. Grateful every day.

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  18. alex said on May 19, 2015 at 9:29 am

    You’re going to build a chain where you knowingly alienate a large portion of your customer base?

    I don’t think anyone goes into business believing they can be everything to everybody. The entrepreneur behind Twin Peaks is building a niche within a niche, a more upscale and risque version of Hooters. Not my cup of tea either, but there’s evidently no shortage of people willing to reward those who would cater to their bad tastes.

    I guess the reason there aren’t any, er, Roosteraunts, is that women just don’t have the same sophomoric attitude toward sex, an attitude rooted deeply in sexism.

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  19. Dorothy said on May 19, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Your mentioning the girl in the back seat and her mother getting shots to “be pretty” made me think of this Diana Vreeland quote that I just read over the weekend on (where else?) Facebook. I kinda dig it:

    “You don’t have to be pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone: not your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not your coworkers, especially not random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother; you don’t owe it to your children. You don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female.”

    Jolene I am enjoying the hell out of watching Letterman again these last couple of weeks. How about Jack Hanna getting choked up? And Norm McDonald (whom I cannot stand and don’t find remotely funny) too? Ray Romano’s visit was very touching, too. If Dave himself gets weepy on Wednesday I’m going to be a mess my ownself. I think I have to sleep on the couch on Wednesday night – drop off to sleep around 10 as usual, and set my cell phone alarm to go off at 11:25. After Dave says his final good bye I’ll go upstairs to bed. It just feels imperative that I watch it live, something I’ve only done on two or three occasions over the years I think.

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  20. Connie said on May 19, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I absolutely hated the end of senior year. Between band, swim, honors, graduation I had to good mom sit through many boring events. Am I the only one that had trouble keeping from laughing at the over seriousness of national honor society induction? Though I think that was junior year.

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  21. brian stouder said on May 19, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Today’s yip-yip from Fox’s front-page is a sort of bookend for today’s discussion of high school honors; a sort of Top o’the world academic dishonor:


    an excerpt:

    “Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration,” he wrote on May 10. “Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration.”

    And, my favorite –

    I know that the 60 years since the Montgomery bus boycott is a long time, and things must be changed. The Japanese and other Asians did not obsess with the concentration camps and the fact they were linked with blacks as ‘colored.’”

    So there is ignorance, willful ignorance, and then this guy, who – at best – sounds like one of those Teddy Roosevelt-style people who seriously try and argue that there exists so-called “ayrians”; and who simply shoe-horn (or jack-hammer) anything they read into this pre-fabricated racist worldview.

    He actually referred to the US’s Second World War camps as “concentration camps”? – even despite the undeniable, heavily-freighted real meaning of that term? And, even leaving aside his breath-taking (and anti-intellectual) bait-and-switch, he thinks that Asian victims of several years of that sort of detention is comparable to generations of actual American race-based slavery? Followed by another few generations of Jim Crow/segregation/officially condoned domestic terrorism (KKK)?

    The only thing more breath-taking than that this 80 year old guy has spent a lifetime polluting students at Duke, is the realization that Fox News (and the echo-chamber that they reside within) seems to be vigorously nodding their approval for his inhumanity

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  22. Julie Robinson said on May 19, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Connie, if you think NHS inductions are ridiculous, you haven’t been to an Order of the Eastern Star funeral rite. We were all struggling to keep back giggles, despite the sadness of the occasion.

    I also hate the blahblahblah of such occasions and skipped my own college graduation–what’s the point, when they don’t even read out your name?

    And what’s up with all the manufactured indignation about George Stephanapoulos giving money to the Clinton foundation? He worked for Clinton in the White House, so it can’t be a surprise. I’d like to see who all the Fox people have given money to.

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  23. Connie said on May 19, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Oh Julie I was once part of a funeral pew of giggling sisters-in-laws trying to hold it back when the special music at our husbands’ 94 year old grandmother’s funeral turned out to be a former pastor of hers who whistled hymns. Our husbands – soon to be pall bearers – were up in the front row and we could see their shoulders shaking in the effort to hold back their laughter.

    I did not go to my own college or grad school graduation. My grandmother however went to my college graduation – my cousin also graduated from MSU, and she was dismayed I didn’t go.

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  24. Julie Robinson said on May 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    We were able to do a little better than that for Grandma Robinson: https://youtu.be/SM80pISzRoU.

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  25. beb said on May 19, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    The other day I saw a TV news report about, I thought it was a novel Detroit liquor store robbery but since i haven’t been able to google a print version of the story I’m beginning to wonder if it actually happened in Detroit but then I tried a different query on a different day and came up with this:

    Thieves used a flatbed tow truck as a battering ram to back down a wall into a liquor store looted what they could in a couple minutes and disappeared. Only In Detroit

    There’s no good outcome in discussing the Duke professor who thinks Blacks are refusing to assimilate into this country. I sometimes think that as well, but also I don’t see what’s wrong with made-up names. Other than having to figure out how to spell them. Doing weird stuff in this country shouldn’t be a problem. Complaining that someone is doing weird stuff….They’re the ones with the problems.

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  26. Sherri said on May 19, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Connie, I love the term “good mom sit”! I really enjoyed the time freed up when I no longer had to good mom sit at concerts and soccer games and various other events. I love my daughter dearly, but that doesn’t mean I love all those events! (Serious introvert here.)

    I thought this interview with a former biker gang informant was interesting: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/05/18/biker_gang_battles_former_informant_charles_falco_on_territorial_disputes.html

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  27. Charlotte said on May 19, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Oh lordy — laughing at funerals. My own beloved brother’s funeral here in Livingston — the duo the church had arranged to do the singing (God bless them) sounded EXACTLY like the Middle School Music Teachers from SNL — my dearest girlfriend and I were scanning down the lyrics to and when we saw “how our happy hearts will quiver” coming up, we just about lost it. Luckily, I was in the front pew, and people just thought I was weeping … but oh joy. Patrick would have loved that moment.

    Sad day here today — one of my oldest friends called to say it looks like her mom will probably go today, maybe tomorrow. Alzheimers. It’s been a long tough road, and I know she’s already been gone for a while, but I was very very fond of Lislott. And my friend will now have lost the last of her parents and siblings — which is a lonely spot, even with a loving husband and kids.

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  28. Dexter said on May 19, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Let Grampaw Dexter hold court for a minute here. Back in the early 80’s Dave Letterman became the talk of the late-night world. Instead of heading for the bar after working the evening shift, we’d all bust on home to watch Dave. No show compelled me to do that since the Belusi-Aykroyd revolution on SNL. I watched regularly for twenty years, then as the format sort of became predictable, I quit watching. I have not followed this last round of celebrity bye-byes, but Tom Hanks’s nasal loudmouth kind of got to e last night , but I fought off the urge to change the channel. Tonight, Bob Dylan. Last show, tomorrow.
    Dave is an Indianapolis kid, BSU grad, classmate of my brother at Ball State. Dave did it with flare, made hundreds of millions along the way, and heads for his ranch soon, a job well done. I will watch the last show all the way through.

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  29. nancy said on May 19, 2015 at 3:01 pm


    A few years ago, a couple of winos hot-wired a backhoe and used it to tear out the entire front door of the Chene…something market (the one with the yellow sign you can see from the freeway). If you look closely, you can see the brick around the door is different from the rest of the facade. As I recall, they did $10K in damage and only stole a couple bottles.

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  30. Dorothy said on May 19, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Nasal loudmouth – Tom Hanks?! Oh Dexter, I might have to punch you in the nose (gently) for that remark.

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  31. Jolene said on May 19, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    There are a couple more Letterman links that are worth a link. The first is a tumblr site (tumblr is, essentially, a blogging platform.) that someone has put together as a farewell tribute. There are clips from recent shows, greatest hits from long past, interviews with writers and other staff members, and links to recent articles about the end of the show. The second is a tumblr site put together by Bill Scheft, a longtime Late Show writer. This site reaches back before the recent focus on Dave’s retirement, but the recent posts are dubbed “Show Diary of Stuff Noteworthy Only to Me,” and they contain all sorts of comments on recent guests, the history of the show’s writers, and other internal workings of The Good Ship Letterman. Worth a look if you are a fan or are interested in the story behind the show.

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  32. Jolene said on May 19, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Aargh! I meant links that are worth a link, of course.

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  33. Deborah said on May 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I know that I’ve told this story here before but that won’t stop me concerning David Letterman. His niece Brin, his sister’s daughter is a friend of a good friend of mine. One time my friend and I were in Cincinatti on business and we stopped in on Brin at her house, had a glass of wine and some cheese sticks that she said her grandmother made. All I could think of as I was eating those breadsticks is that David Letterman’s mother had made them, and I had seen her on his show many times. Brin used to be an editor of a design magazine called How, but now she writes cookbooks and has a cooking blog. She’s been on skits on the show too.

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  34. Dorothy said on May 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Jolene I never see one of my favorite clips. On the NBC show once he had this woman as a guest (it was not Stupid Pet Tricks) with two monkeys. One of them was a little spider monkey (I think that was the variety) who definitely did not like Dave. It lunged for him at least twice. Letterman said only half laughingly “It’s going to LEAP ON ME, and RIP A VEIN FROM MY NECK!” He jumped out of the way and scrambled fast behind his desk, looking truly terrified. The bigger monkey did this weird trick that looked like he swallowed a candle and then turned around, and it looked like he had a candle sticking out of his butt. (GROSS). The lady was wearing a long blue dress and had sing-songy voice.

    WAIT I found the clip!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soMUcBrY5GE

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  35. Linda said on May 19, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Julie: Ha ha ha. Wanna know who all the Fox people have given money to? How about…the Clinton Foundation? http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/05/15/the-conservative-media-figures-who-donated-to-t/203664

    As for NHS inductions, my parents really wanted to come. Mom dropped out of high school, and she was thrilled by the whole thing. And as a first gen college graduate, I made sure I went to my BA and MLS graduations, because my parents were tickled to death.

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  36. Jolene said on May 19, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Just saw this: Jake Tapper is doing a one-hour tribute to Letterman on CNN tonight.

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  37. brian stouder said on May 19, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Say – here’s a bit of shadenfroid for Detroit –


    an excerpt:

    Nearly 34 million cars and trucks nationwide will be declared defective by auto-parts giant Takata, federal officials said Tuesday, in what is expected to be the biggest recall of any consumer product in U.S. history…..Auto safety experts and analysts say a recall of this magnitude could overwhelm the industry. Manufacturing this many replacement parts could take years and offer a variety of logistical nightmares.


    Takata controls more than 30 percent of the world’s air-bag market, and automakers said last year that new and operational air bags were already in short supply.

    See – “Imported from Detroit” is sounding more and more golden, all the time!

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  38. Peter said on May 19, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Morbid but true story – my wife’s uncle passed away a few years ago, and the celebrant was doing the usual homily, and mentioned that he spoke with the uncle’s friends, who said that the uncle was so generous – “he never hesitated to lend anyone anything, even a rope” – and the whole church just busted out laughing.

    Many years previous, Uncle Patrick was approached by his neighbor, who was admiring Patrick’s rope. He asked to borrow it, Patrick said sure, and later that afternoon found out that the neighbor hanged himself with Patrick’s rope.

    That’s not why we all laughed – it’s that once Patrick found out, he went to the police station to get the rope back. No can do, he was told, it’s evidence. That didn’t stop him – he went once a week for months until the desk officer had enough and just handed the rope back to him. His family still has it.

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  39. brian stouder said on May 19, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    make that: Schadenfreude

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  40. Sue said on May 19, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Dexter, David Letterman and NBC News Overnight were what got me through the first several months after my son the little night owl was born. 1982. I’m still grateful to Dave and Linda Ellerbee.

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  41. Deborah said on May 19, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Jeff tmmo, happy 30th. This coming Sept will be 30 years of marriage for me too, only it will be 15 years formerly with my ex and 15 years with my husband now. The difference in those years is as Beb said so sweetly previously, every morning that I wake up now I’m so happy to be married to my current husband.

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  42. Jolene said on May 19, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Brian, I’m not sure why this airbag recall should make U.S. automakers dance. Granted, they didn’t manufacture the defective airbags, but they have been used in millions of American cars and will have to be replaced. In the meantime, it sounds like the need to replace them may interfere with the production of new cars.

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  43. Deborah said on May 19, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    I found this helpful http://video.newyorker.com/watch/comma-queen-comma-queen-series-premiere

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  44. Jakash said on May 19, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Thanks for all the Letterman links, Jolene.

    I’ll apologize in advance for how ridiculously long this comment is. Did any of the Letterman fans see last week’s episode with guests Howard Stern and Don Rickles? It was a pretty awkward conclusion. I’d thought when I saw who the guests were that Rickles taking a back seat to Stern was unfortunate. I like Howard well enough, but am not really one of his fans and don’t listen to his show. I always enjoyed his appearances with Letterman, though, because Dave seems to appreciate his antics and Howard would cut through the nonsense like few others — in particular, skewering Jay Leno whenever he got a chance.

    Anyway, last week Howard was as obstinate as usual, and Dave had to keep insisting “I’m not moving to Montana” or something like that, over and over. The cringe-worthy part was that Stern didn’t leave when his segments were done, but stayed and was there sitting next to Rickles during his. So, the two of them were kind of joking together and ignoring Dave, which was funny to a point. But it went on too long, and Dave never really got to have much of a final moment with Rickles, as he would have if Stern wasn’t there. By the end, Dave seemed genuinely annoyed. They went to a commercial and when they came back, Dave just plugged Rickles’ show somewhere and Howard’s show and his participation on “American Idol” (don’t know whether Dave mentioned the wrong singing show on purpose, or not) and then said good-night. (And that’s not even counting the earlier fiasco, when Stern aggressively tried to kiss Dave in the middle of the stage…)

    It was just a very disconcerting wrap-up, I thought. Then Paul and the CBS Orchestra played the longest version of the theme song I’ve ever heard and they ran the whole list of credits, taking what seemed like two or three minutes. A weird last visit to the show for Don Rickles, indeed — pretty much the last man standing of a certain entertainment epoch, and a guy connecting Dave back to Johnny, his hero. I thought it was sad. Anybody else see that and have similar, or different, thoughts?

    Also, I’ve been watching all these episodes for the last week or so, and it strikes me how many of even Dave’s favorite guests, who’ve been featured down the stretch, make a point of alluding to the fact that they’re not “really” friends with him, but TV friends, more-or-less. More than one has lamented the fact that they assume they’ll never see him again. Which isn’t that surprising — that’s the impression I’ve had all along — I just don’t know why these folks need to be pointing it out. It seems kind of off-putting.

    But, Dorothy, you’re right, when a cynical guy like Norm MacDonald is breaking up and he can barely get out the tribute to Dave he wants to and then he says “I love you” to top it off, that’s a rather remarkable thing to see. Even Adam Sandler, whom I pretty much loathe at this point, came up with a pretty good song for Dave, as did Tom Waits…

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  45. Jolene said on May 19, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Almost missed it. Here is Hank Stuever’s WaPo piece on Letterman, in which, by capturing everything essential and important about the show, he shows why he’s one of our most insightful cultural critics. If you skipped all the other pieces I’ve linked (and, really, who could blame you?), you should read this one. Also has a great photo gallery and many embedded links.

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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 19, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Julie, Electa is going to haunt you. And the chamber of the east will bid you not enter.

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  47. Jolene said on May 19, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    From 1986, a piece by another author who understood Letterman’s importance and appeal.

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  48. Dexter said on May 20, 2015 at 2:46 am

    Sue, before Ellerbee even, NBC had Tom Snyder’s “Tomorrow” show. I remember driving straight home from my shift and making a pan of frozen eggrolls in the oven, cracking a Pabst and watching Tom on his simple set, chain smoking, and doing great low-key interviews. Satellite entertainment was still years away, and I had a crazy radio antenna hooked up that miraculously would pull in a Detroit FM jazz station. Back then my home entertainment was a third cable TV, a third spinning 33 rpm vinyls, and a third listening to that cool-cat jazz.

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  49. Wim said on May 20, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Happy belated congratulations, Jeff. Would not have been belated did I not enjoy Windstream service.

    Dave@17, there’s nothing to get. Bikers become bikers because they want to be bikers. Maybe it was seeing ‘Born Losers’ at a tender age or something. Doesn’t matter. If you never had the feeling, you’ll never understand the attraction. It’s why doctors and tax accountants buy custom Harleys when they go middle-age crazy. It’s a masturbatory dream of power and vengeance for poor kids who feel kicked around and put-upon.

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  50. alex said on May 20, 2015 at 7:44 am

    It’s a masturbatory dream of power and vengeance for poor kids who feel kicked around and put-upon.

    Nah, it’s a masturbatory dream of BDSM for leather fetishists who would feel stigmatized by going to a big-city gay bar to fly their freak flag.

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  51. Wim said on May 20, 2015 at 7:59 am

    That’s funny, Alex, but it’s hard to see who you’re trying to smear. Pretty thrifty to take a swipe at outlaw motorcyclists, sadomasochists, leather fetishists and big-city bull freaks all in one gasp. My hat is off.

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  52. beb said on May 20, 2015 at 8:19 am

    The world seems to be r4uled by petty people making petty rules. One of the pettiest things I’ve heard recently comes from the Cannes film festival where it is, apparently, a mandate that women attending red-carpet events must wear high heels. Looking at some of the fashions on display at Cannes it appears that wearing clothes is not a requirement, but heels are. So, what’s the pettiest things you’ve ever heard?

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  53. BethB said on May 20, 2015 at 8:39 am

    I congratulate all of you who have had long, happy marriages. It is a wonderful accomplishment.

    It took my husband and me both three times (that’s two previous marriages each to other people, not two previous marriages to each other) before getting it right with a third time. We’ve now been happily married for twenty-one years. We’d like to make it to those thirtieth or fortieth anniversaries, but I think our seventeen-year age difference may catch up with us. If we lasted twenty more years, my husband would be 102!

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  54. Connie said on May 20, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Nancy, did you go to the metro Detroit Book and author luncheon, and/or see Laura Lippman while she was here. I did not attend the luncheon as I did not want to make way in from the depths of the parking lot in my orthotic boot. (Didn’t order my ticket because I thought I would still be in a wheelchair). Or make my husband/driver wait. Or worse, make my husband driver actually go.

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  55. brian stouder said on May 20, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Connie – you should have made your husband drive you and wait.

    A few years ago I went to a library north of Indy, and Ms Lippman gave a very engaging talk – and had treats!! – and took time to inscribe books for one and all; it was marvelous!

    ‘Course, I’m a sucker for lectures by authors (and other knowledgeable people) to begin with, so there’s that…

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  56. Deborah said on May 20, 2015 at 9:49 am

    I leave for the St. Louis area tomorrow to get things ready for the groundbreaking for the playground we’ve been designing, it’s in a small town across the river on the Illinois side. I was ready to rant about something on the project but then things got worked out. It was about putting all the school kids names on bricks on the plaza part of the playground. Lawyers got involved, it was a ridiculous example of the call-out culture but all has calmed down now. Parents are scared to death that some stranger is going to stalk their kid on a playground when it’s usually a family member or friend who’s the culprit in those incidents. The groundbreaking is Saturday. While I’m in St. Louis I’m going to visit the shop where some of the playground equipment is being fabricated, some of it is pretty far along by now. We’re also going to see some friends and have dinner at our favorite place there. After returning to Chicago I turn around and go back to New Mexico on Monday, my husband joins me there for a couple of weeks. So busy, busy, busy.

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  57. Jolene said on May 20, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Designing a playground is a very cool thing to have done, Deborah. Hope you’ll post some pictures somewhere.

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  58. brian stouder said on May 20, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I rise to second the motion made by Jolene!

    Aside from that, count me as one of the non-complainers about the cool snap in our weather. Monday, the sky was roiling but the sun was out, and then it rained, and then we had rainbows (partial, and then full, and then partial) here and there, which was pretty cool (so to speak).

    And then yesterday, I got the grass mowed (it was threatening to go out of control) and essentially had ‘out-door air conditioning’, which was very nice.

    But I will say this much: my next mower will not be the cheapest mower I can find (about $100 at WalMart), but instead will have power-assist (about $200 at Lowes), b’gosh!

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  59. Connie said on May 20, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Brian my husband has been taking care of me since mid January and I try to give him a break. 🙂

    I’ve heard Ms. Lippman and zillions of other authors speak at ALA events. My autographed book collection has over 200 books in it with many of them mystery or science fiction. The very first one was Susan Stamberg.

    Favorite autographs: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and a copy of Foundation autographed by Isaac Asimov.

    As to the cool snap I woke up shivering under the covers this morning. Turns out someone in the house turned the thermostat to OFF and it was 60 degrees in the house.

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  60. Dorothy said on May 20, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Connie we shut our windows after supper last night and I resisted turning the heat back on. It was 46 outside on my drive to work. The house seemed warm enough this morning but I bet tonight I’ll have to put the heat on. It’s going down to the 30’s tonight.

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  61. BethB said on May 20, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Connie, I’m envious of your autographed book collection. Mine is probably less than ten. However, I have never been to an ALA convention, just a couple AASL national ones and two California librarian state conferences and a couple of Indiana ones.

    I got my MLS late in life after 17 years as an English teacher, so I had only 18 years as a school librarian before I retired.

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  62. brian stouder said on May 20, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Connie – I’m probably into the low double digits on inscribed books; mostly authors of Lincoln books (Michael Burlingame, who looks like Joe Biden; Allen Guelzo – who looks and even speaks just like Kelsy Grammer (see link below),


    Rodney Davis and Douglas Wilson – who you have to love – from Knox College, Friend-of-NN.c Gerry Prokopowicz, Garry Wills (oddly enough!), and several more populate my shelves….but I also have Ms Lippman’s John Henry, and a few others who I’ve caught at IPFW or at Saint Francis University

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  63. Deborah said on May 20, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I love buying books and then having the author sign them. Sometimes they just sign them hurriedly, but my favorites are the ones who chat with you a bit and write something personal. T. Coraghessan Boyle was the best, he was hilarious.

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  64. brian stouder said on May 20, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Deborah – and this is one reason why I’ve not yet ever read an “e-book”; although my lovely wife Pam is big into e-books, as are several of my friends.

    I guess I can see the allure of having hundreds of books within your Nook (or whatever).

    But on the other hand, I won’t lose them all at once, by misplacing the device; nor do I have to worry about low batteries and the like…

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  65. Deborah said on May 20, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    If this is true it’s pretty incredible, the guy who refused to get Obamacare because he said he always pays his own bills and then got in too deep has seen the light http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/05/19/3660701/luis-lang-obamacare/

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  66. Dorothy said on May 20, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    I heard David Sedaris speak once in South Carolina, and I brought along my copy of “Me Talk Pretty One Day” for him to sign. He wrote “I hope I get to read YOUR book one day.” Which I just loved. I’m sure he recycles and/or rotates what he writes for inscriptions. But I took great delight in it.

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  67. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 20, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Hey, Connie: http://static.lolyard.com/lol/autographed-bible.jpg

    No, I don’t have one of those, either. Darn it.

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  68. MichaelG said on May 20, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Happy yesterday thirty years, Jeff!

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  69. LAMary said on May 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I have a book signed by John Waters. He wrote “happy mothers day.”

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  70. Sherri said on May 20, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Between my husband and me, we have books signed by Molly Ivins, Madeleine L’Engle, Pat Summitt, and Isaac Asimov. We have a hockey stick signed “To Dave and Sherri, Best Wishes for a Happy Marriage, Mario Lemieux”, a wedding gift from friends, and I have a postcard given to me for my most recent birthday by my trainer, wishing me a happy birthday and urging me to keep pumping iron, signed by Neal Stephenson, who is a friend of my trainer. I also have Vida Blue’s autograph, with whom I had a nice chat about 12 or so years ago while we were both waiting for people to arrive on a flight to San Francisco that was delayed.

    The story behind the Asimov book signing is a good one. My husband was in high school, and in New York on a band trip. He had some free time, and decided to try to track down Asimov. As it turned out, Asimov was in the phone book, so my husband headed off on his own and found his apartment. Asimov was home, invited him in, they had a nice chat, he signed his book, and my husband made it back to his hotel. Pretty bold for a high school kid from a podunk town in Tennessee.

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  71. Dorothy said on May 20, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Sherri my husband will be envious when I tell him that story about Asimov. When I met him we were juniors in high school and he had a bunch of Asimov books on his shelves (1973).

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  72. Kirk said on May 20, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    For the record, concerning a conversation a few days ago: Morels spotted at $36/lb. today at neighborhood grocery in semi-tony suburb of Columbus where I live and Nancy grew up. The prices there are usually high, but the Giant Eagle in the neighborhood didn’t have any. I wasn’t in the market, so didn’t buy them. But if I had been, I’d have paid that or more, just like Deborah, to make sure I wasn’t eating poison.

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  73. Jill said on May 20, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Brian, as a Knox alum I always get a kick out of your mentions of the school. Both Rodney Davis and Doug Wilson were teaching when I was there but I never took a class from either one. I did graduate on the steps where Lincoln and Douglas debated.
    Dorothy, I haven’t been lucky enough to attend a Sedaris signing (but I’ve read and listened to all of his books). I’ve read several times that he makes a point of writing different things whenever he autographs books. I’m sure he does some recycling of phrases but I don’t think he just picks things from a short list so you may have something truly unique.

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  74. MarkH said on May 20, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    So, Letterman’s denouement comes on in about 20 minutes. Lest we completely forget in all the recent pre-nostalgia here of late, here’s a reminder of what happens to you when you fall under the spell of your boss who forgets his corporate sexual harassment 101 course, and things progress, then go wrong in a very public way.


    Like most of you, I still like and will miss Dave. But….

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