Memorial

Going To The Movies Won’t Be The Same

Dammit, Roger Ebert died. Over at the Chicago Sun-Times, Neil Steinberg has an obituary/eulogy for him. As with other great eulogies I’ve read, I finish it feeling like I’ve missed out on something good by never getting to know the subject personally. Yet, in a way I can’t help feeling like I did know Roger […]

Decoration Day

Memorial Day always makes me think of my father. He was a veteran of World War II and he was born on May 30, the traditional date for Memorial Day, although my dad always called it by its original name, Decoration Day. It was, in origin, a day for decorating the graves of soldiers. Fortunately, […]

Damn

I spend a day away from the internet and come back to find out that Vaclav Havel died. Update: Oh, but there’s good news too. Kim Jong Il is also dead.

Joel Rosenberg R.I.P.

Ah, dammit: Joel Rosenberg – husband, father, mensch On Wednesday afternoon, June 1, 2011, Joel had a respiratory depression that caused a heart attack, anoxic brain damage and major organ failure. Despite the very best efforts of the paramedics and the team at Hennepin County Medical Center, Joel was pronounced brain dead at around 5:37pm […]

Memorializing 9/11

I don’t understand memorials and monuments. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say I don’t understand how other people think about memorials and monuments. It just doesn’t make much sense to me. I have the good fortune of having lead a peaceful life. Other than my parents, no one really close to me […]

Music For My Dad

It was a year ago today that my father passed away. During the last few months, he spent a lot of time listening to his music CDs, and I figured it would be a nice idea to post some of the songs he liked. I hope you hear something you enjoy. I’ll begin with his […]

Peter McWilliams, Ten Years Gone

Nick Gillespie notes that Peter McWilliams died ten years ago today. McWilliams was a resister of the War On Drugs. He was also one of its casualties. McWilliams was very sick with AIDS and cancer, and the medicines he used made him nauseated, which he was able to ameliorate by smoking marijuana. The DEA charged […]

It’s Been a Year…

Happy Easter everybody. Today’s not really a great day for me. It was a year ago today that my mother died. The trouble actually started two weeks earlier when she went into the hospital. That’s when she really disappeared. But today’s the first anniversary of the day she died. All in all, this is the […]

Veteran’s Day Blues

Veteran’s Day always made me think proudly of my father. Now that he’s passed on, it’s kind of a sad day. I’ve got nothing else to say, really.

Larry Gelbart, R.I.P.

He wrote a book (book) called .Tootsie and what I feel is one the best written comedies of my time – Oh, God!. He also had great success in movies with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum He wrote the book (script) for the Stephen Sondheim musical , alongside the likes […]

Norman Borlaug, R.I.P.

Nobel prize winning agricultural scientist Norman Borlaug died yesterday at the age of 95. If history is just, people a thousand years from now should still be talking about him. I wrote about him here.

Burnett Draughn, Rest In Peace

My father, Burnett Draughn, was born in on Decoration Day, May the 30th, in 1919, somewhere near Daniel’s Branch, Kentucky. He was Joe and Melissa Draughn’s eighth child out of an eventual total of ten. My dad liked to say that he had nine brothers and sisters, and every one of them also had nine […]

On Mom’s Passing

Scattered thoughts over the last few weeks surrounding my mother’s passing. Keeping track of everything going on would have been so much harder without the internet and mobile phones. My dad was in a VA hospital, and my mother was in a private for-profit hospital. I don’t think it’s just libertarian bias that makes me […]

Happy Birthday, Ginny.

Today is Virginia Heinlein‘s birthday.  That’s her, with her husband.  You may have heard of him.  If the world was a fairer place, Mrs. Heinlein would be 93, today, and in good health.  A very nice woman. Which reminds me of a story.  So, there I was, pounding away at the keyboard, when the phone […]

Thank You

There are many people who helped out over the last few weeks. I want to thank the nursing staff of Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, including especially Barb, Malou(?), Soon, Rose, and several more whose names escape me but who were no less helpful. I appreciate all the time you spent taking care of my mother […]

A Note From the Daughter-In-Law

Elizabeth Draughn (Liz to her friends, mom to me) will be sorely missed.  She was a passionate woman.  Passionate about her son, her life, her beliefs and her friends.  I’ve made many calls on behalf of the family this week, notifying those near and far that Liz is no longer with us, and there is […]

Elizabeth Draughn, Rest In Peace

My mother was born Elizabeth Kielkiewicz on December 9, 1922, right here in Chicago, the only daughter of two Polish immigrants. She grew up during the Great Depression, remembered where she was when the Japanese navy bombed Pearl Harbor, was amazed by the moon landing, and saw the beginning and end of the Cold War, […]

Peter McWilliams

I just noticed that Rogier van Bakel has a blogroll link to Peter McWilliams’s free on-line version of his magnificant book Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Country. The premise of the book is simple: This book is about a single idea—consenting adults should not be put […]

Jim Berger

I never met Jim Berger. I don’t even remember hearing his name before 9/11. My wife used to work for the Chicago office of Aon Consulting. A couple of times, she visited the company’s offices in New York City, and met a bunch of people there, including a Senior Vice President named Jim Berger. She […]

Theft At the Shanower Memorial

This is strange and a little sad. From a Chicago Tribune report: Someone broke into the Sept. 11 memorial near Naperville City Hall and stole a piece of concrete that had been part of the Pentagon, police said. The theft occurred Wednesday, police said. Naperville CrimeStoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to […]