Threads of History


“History is a ribbon, always unfurling. History is a journey. And as we continue our journey, we think of those who traveled before us . . .”

American journalist and politician, 3rd United States Secretary of Education, William Bennett, was born on this day in 1943.

I was privileged to hear Dr. Bennett speak on multiple occasions when I worked in DC for the American Legislative Exchange Council. I’ve even got a picture of a very young me shaking his hand in Denver.

That’s part of my history.

As I write this it’s Sunday evening and I’m catching up on Saturday’s episode of TURN. That’s America’s history, even if it’s not exactly accurate. TURN was filmed here in Virginia, I have several friends who worked on the set. I almost did, but it didn’t quite work out with the costuming.

I’ll be back at the gym whilst you’re reading this.

But it’s important to remember those who have gone before us. Like I wrote a couple of weeks ago, it’s important

Mug Shots
(click the pic)

to leave the Civil War monuments up so that we don’t forget.

I wish I had more time to study history.

Over the weekend, in my continuing quest to watch all of the Best Picture movies (it’s been a struggle), I watched A Man for All Seasons. Now, I need to read more about Henry VIII, Thomas Moore and Thomas Cromwell, amongst about a bazillion others.

But with regard to my current project, none of those fine gentlemen were directly involved in World War I.

That’s right, I need to focus. And I am.

Still, we could all do a little better job of remembering our history, if for no other reason than to understand why things are the way they are.

And let’s accept the fact that the vast majority of human history isn’t very pretty.

Even in Technicolor.

But it’s those ribbons of history, ugly and all, woven together that make the tapestry of life. Together, that can be a beautiful thing.

Somewhere around here there’s a program from our wedding where I wrote about that very thing. I sort of felt we needed to explain why we had 450 attendants on each side. I may be a little off on that number. I just remember threatening to bring a lawn chair and a cooler to wait out the processional.

Relax, there were just as many guys on my side. We wanted the people who had been important to us in various stages of our lives to be there. And they were.

That particular tapestry of our lives together is much larger now, and generally has two large dogs and an overstuffed cat sleeping on it.

I digress.

Verse of the Day

As for the other significant people in our lives, this past week our University community lost a teacher, a counselor, a mentor, and a friend. It was difficult over the past few years to see a brilliant mind taken from us through Alzheimer’s. He is at peace now, but there’s a hole in the tapestry of our hearts. We believe we will see him again.

When something like this happens. Or like the other day when a friend from high school posted a picture of his dad, a favorite teacher, on his page, I am reminded again of those who have gone before. Those who are a part of my own history.

I need to appreciate them more. I wish I had listened to them better at the time. But I am grateful they were part of the tapestry of my life.

One day, all that’s left of my life will be the ribbons of history woven into someone else’s tapestry.

Which is why I’m at the gym whilst you’re reading this, so that I’m not that really wide thread that throws off the pattern.

It’s Monday. Let’s make some history.


British Government Hospitals To Bar Smokers & Overweight Patients From Surgery, Due To Budget Constraints
When government has that dominant of a role, it has no choice but to prioritize how to spend the money. In May, NHS England disclosed that its health care providers—hospitals, clinics, doctors and the like—had spent £2.45 billion ($3.26 billion) more than they had been allocated.

As Northam coasts, Gillespie grinds on
Norm Leahy in The Washington Post
But as any purchaser of mutual funds well knows, past results do not indicate future performance. Northam may not need to prepare for Trump shocks like Gillespie does, but he can’t count on them, either.

George Allen: Reagan’s economic lesson from 1986 – the future is now for pro-growth tax reform
Richmond Times-Dispatch
We need to modernize and repair our broken tax system to accelerate economic growth by implementing a transparent, simple tax code designed to benefit working families and businesses of all sizes.

Russia to Cut 755 U.S. Diplomats, Staff Amid New Sanctions
The Wall Street Journal
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that the U.S. would have to cut 755 diplomats and staff in the country by September in retaliation for impending U.S. sanctions on Moscow.

100 Must-Read, Best books on Writing and the Writer’s Life
Book Riot
From craft to writer’s lives, get ready to dig into 100 of the must-read, best books on writing for improving your own work.


No birthday connection, this one’s just because I love this song.


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