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  • 9/11/2019 September the eleventh.
    Chances are that most of you reading this remember exactly where you were 18 years ago when you heard the news.
    You remember getting to a TV and watching with disbelief as a jetliner flew into a skyscraper. Didn’t matter what channel it was. The eerie scene was repeated over and over.
    A fireman was standing in the street. The camera panned to the left and up – apparently the cameraman heard something. 
    It happened so fast.
    The plane was a blur as it flew in from the right and smashed into the World Trade Center North Tower.
    A passenger airliner.
    Slammed into the building and disappeared inside.
  • 8/29/2019 Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.
    It’s taped above my computer monitor. Has been for a while. Roughly translated it’s Latin for I’ll find a way or make one.
    It could be the motto for folks who run small businesses. One who does gave it to me a long time ago. 
    I wish it was the motto for NFL quarterbacks.
    To be clear, I don’t have any inside scoop on Andrew Luck. A couple of lifetimes ago I was a sportswriter. Had fate zigged instead of zagged, I might be in that world today. But I’m not, so don’t read this for any scoops, a la, Adam Schefter.
    Like a lot of you, I’ve been following my teams in the NFL for a long time. I was a Baltimore Colts and Chicago Bears fan when I was a kid. I rooted like crazy for Johnny Unitas, Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, John Mackey, Mike Curtis and others. I hated Broadway Joe for ruining the Colts’ stellar ’68 season.
    Why were these my teams? Well, I liked the Bears because my dad and granddad took me to St. Joe College in Rensselaer to watch Papa Bear George Hallas and his Chicago squad practice.
    But the Colts? I liked them for one simple reason, Johnny U.
  • 8/22/2019 I’m a simple guy. Always have been, and at this point in my life pretty sure I always will be.
    The green grass of a well-kept baseball diamond, covered bridges, daughters and grandsons, my best friend and the many good deeds that good newspapers do . . . those are some of my warm and fuzzies.
    Conversely, rudeness, things that are unfair, mean-spirited jerks (you know who you are) and the lunacy that is becoming our country give me cause for despair.
    Why the sharing? Because every once in a while, you just have to get a few things off your chest. And for those reading these meanderings, I beg your indulgence.
    Let’s start with Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar and their aborted trip to Israel. Look, they have every right to dislike Israel, and frankly, Israel has every right to say to them, hey thanks, but no thanks.
    That’s pretty much what happened, but of course when a decision is reached that someone doesn’t agree with, today’s world stops revolving and Katy bar the door ‘cause there’s gonna be some fisticuffs?
  • 8/14/2019 Notes scribbled on the back of a Friz Freling for President (of Merrie Melodies) button . . . 
    Regardless of whether you are for Joe Biden or a’gin him, how is his comment on Parkland survivors being viewed as just another one of his gaffes?
    Don’t know about you, but when Mr. and Mrs. Timmons raised their boy on a gravel road just west of State Road 19, they were pretty adamant about stories that don’t have a shred of truth to them being called, let’s see, what was the word? Oh yeah! Lies.
    It wasn’t a gaffe. No chance at remembering wrong. If I told a story with the level of details that Biden included, my posterior was in, shall we say, a world of hurt.
    To review (Biden, not me), the former veep was speaking at a meeting on gun control. He was talking about the Parkland shooting and when the survivors came to Washington, D.C. He said, and I quote: “I met with them and then they went off up to the hill when I was vice president . . .”
    He went on to describe reporters being there and on and on.
    Only problem, as you have surely heard on other media by now, the tragedy in Parkland happened on Valentine’s Day in 2018. Biden and former President Barack Obama left office 13 months prior to that.
    Maybe he meant the Sandy Hook survivors – because he did meet with them when he was the VP? Maybe he really did mean the Parkland survivors? He actually did meet with them, just not during his time in office?
    Is he senile? Dishonest? Who knows? All I do know is that if I tried that nonsense a half a century or so ago it wouldn’t have gotten a very good reception at Mr. and Mrs. Timmons’ house.
    * * *
    FOR THOSE who keep saying that incoming mayor Chris Jensen is going to be a continuation of John Ditslear, I believe you’re in for a surprise.
    Thing about it. Jensen is about half Ditslear’s age, Don’t know about you, but I’m in my 60s and my kids who are in their 30s don’t think much like I do. At all.
    John is in his mid to late 70s. Nothing wrong with that, but I doubt Jensen will approach issues and opportunities the same way a seventy-something-year-old would.
    Time will tell, but I like what I see with this young man.
    * * *
    WONDER WHAT the country would be like if everyone who ran for political office limited their ranting and raving to their own thoughts, goals and plans? What would it be like if they quit ripping the other guy or gal?
    When did it become OK to trash others? 
    I miss the old days. Anyone recall Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson or Nixon getting low down and personal with their opponents?
    The bigger question is, why do we keep electing those who do?
  • 8/8/2019 I’ve written this before in the aftermath of other shootings.
    The madness has to stop.
    I was wrong.
    Clearly, it does not. It has not. The violence, the killings, the slaughters keep happening and happening and happening. The latest (at least I pray that no new ones happen in the few hours between when this is written and it goes to press) came, as you know, in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Thirty-one more people have senselessly lost their lives.
    In the last decade, there have been more than 300 people killed in mass shootings and almost 1,200 injured.
    In. The. Last. Decade.
    Forget decade. Since 2017, the death toll from mass shootings is more than 200. What is that, 800, 900 days? Two-hundred people in 900 days?
    It’s not getting any better.
  • 7/10/2019 Like a lot of you, I remember July 20, 1969 pretty well. A bunch of folks gathered to watch the historic event unfold on TV in a cozy home near Fox Prairie Golf Course. Sure, the picture wasn’t that great, but TVs weren’t either back then. Didn’t matter. We watched. And beamed. Man had taken a giant leap. My grandfather, who was born in the 1890s, joined a small group of people who could say they saw transportation go from horse and buggy to spaceships that landed on the moon.
    It was something.
    Now, with that historic event just days away from its golden 50 year anniversary, I wonder what it would be like if that took place today instead?
    Let’s see, it would start with President Donald Trump giving a speech. “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because I want to do them, and let me tell you, it will be the greatest thing you’ve ever seen. That I can tell you.”
  • 7/3/2019 Happy Birthday, America! Long may your flag wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave.
    Before all the festivities start tomorrow, if I may, I’d like to ask you some questions. You certainly don’t have to answer. But with a small mob of people climbing all over each other for the opportunity to sit in the oval office it seems an appropriate time to wonder down a red, white and blue path – and yes, I meant wonder and not wander. It feels like we’ve wandered far enough off the path already.
    Let’s start with socialism. Nah, scratch that. Let’s start with tempers.
    Why is it that the mere mention of a word causes the shields to come up and weapons to be raised? What word? Take your pick – socialism, Trump, borders, walls, abortion, gay, guns, right, left . . . And that’s just on a national level. 
  • 4/25/2019 It’s a weird time to be in the newspaper business. Heck, even the name “newspaper” is wrong. Most of you are reading this on an electronic device. The Times, which will likely hit 10,000 paying subscribers this year or next only sells a couple thousand of those in print – the rest receive our daily Online Edition through their e-mail.
    The other day I sat down and added it up. My newspaper career started as what’s called a stringer for the old Indianapolis News in the 1970s and wound through 12 newspapers in five states over 30 years. And then about 15 years ago, I started what became Sagamore News Media and ended up adding five more newspaper “flags” to the collection. Until recently, all of them were printed on paper.
    Now, the majority of our readers don’t hold a printed version of our work in their hands anymore. I get it. It’s progress. But can you blame me if I miss walking into a newspaper office and smelling ink and paper? What a great smell. I miss wandering back to the dock and circulation area and seeing a bunch of little kids picking up bundles of papers to deliver in their neighborhood.
  • 2/27/2019 Twenty men have sat in the oval office since the first edition of The Times came off the press in 1904. Teddy Roosevelt, the ol’ Rough Rider himself, resided there at the time – yes, the same Teddy Roosevelt who spoke in beautiful downtown Noblesville. 
    I share this because, to me, it’s a reminder of the history and staying power of newspapers. 
    Like many of you, I grew up reading the Noblesville Daily Ledger. Like many of you, I lamented its death. However, I seem to be in a minority today because I don’t believe newspapers are dying. Am I just an old guy clinging to a past that has put food on my family’s table and a roof over our heads? Believe what you want, but there is a fact that always seems to get lost when this topic is raised.
  • 8/15/2018 The world is a different place than then one many of us grew up in. If that was still a question, it was erased the morning of May 25 when a school shooting – the kind we read about in other places, but not here – took place at Noblesville West.
    The violence in today’s world apparently knows no boundaries. It impacts people of every color, every socio-economic class, every faith.
    No one needs more statistics to prove the point – a point that has been hammered home at schools like Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Parkland, Fla., Columbine . . . It’s been forever etched in our memories after ultimate sacrifices from Deputy Jacob Pickett in Lebanon, Lt. Aaron Allan in Southport, Deputy Carl Koontz in Howard County and more. Too many more.
    It seems clear there’s no magic answer. The solution isn’t going to come from one place, but perhaps from what presidents Warren Harding and later Richard Nixon called the silent majority. No offense to our friends at the corner of Capitol and Washington in Indianapolis, but the solution begins in our house, not the Statehouse.
    So we at The Times are starting with a step. It’s not much, but we are reaching out to the schools, first responders and the military. As a thank you for their services and for their decisions to step up day after day after day for all of us, we offer them our services – at no cost.
    No strings attached.
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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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