9/10/2015 (2277)

Posting of the day

From Larry Hackman (’66):  Bismarck, ND

Two Choices

What would you do?….you make the choice. Don’t look for a punch line, there isn’t one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its

Dedicated staff, he offered a question:

‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is the natural order of things in my son?’

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning..’

Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the

Plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.

Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first!

Run to first!’

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third!

Shay, run to third!’

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

‘That day’, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’.

Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!


We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.

The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.

If you’re thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you’re probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren’t the ‘appropriate’ ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.

We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the ‘natural order of things.’

So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:

Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate amongst them.



Blog (345) posted on January 21, 2009


Reply from Doreen Bailey:

Gary & Dick Johnson I enjoyed the article from Reminisce ‘Extra’, I recognize the name Viola Elaine Hobbs, she is a first cousin to Vance Bailey. His mother Marie Hobbs and Viola’s father Harvey Hobbs were bother and sister. Thanks for the memories that keep Vance close! Doreen Bailey
Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57):
Viola Hobbs, you got away from us too soon, I bet your dad thought so too. I remember you and Renae Chilton in Miss Schur’s class in the Dungeon. Leroy may have been Leroy Cote, surely not Leroy Stadheim?
I would like to pay tribute to a group that a lot of people can identify with. The one year rural teachers. They were to the teaching profession what the combat infantry soldier was to the military. Mud and snow, wind and cold or hot, no insulation or electricity. Tell me a mustard sandwich isn’t good after a couple years of peanut butter and jelly.
Some teachers were just 18 years old after nine months of training and 6 to 8 grades to teach.
I am sure I knew 20 or 30 teachers that had to deal with Miss Ewen. She was an institution. Something of the ilk of Patton or MacArthur. That Tank Commander in Italy straightened out Patton and Give-em-hell Harry dealt with McArthur. But I am not sure anyone messed with Miss Ewen or any of her people. She made a lot of great citizens. There are a lot of great rural school stories out there, Tommy Hagen what year did you start teaching and how about Miss Ewen??
Bonnie Smith you were just a cute little kid who came to Kelvin every Saturday night the last time I saw you. Also your brother Wally and I don’t know why Harriet comes to mind, was she a sister? Gary Metcalfe
Reply from Dale Pritchard (63):
Marie / Gary,

About 30 years ago or more, Irvin Beckman was living in Anchorage,

Alaska and was a small plane pilot. One day after takeoff he went out over Cook Inlet or the Gulf of Alaska and went down. Neither he nor the plane were ever found. George had gone up there to wait on something to turn up. It really depressed him to come back home with nothing. I never knew Irvin. Apparently he was somewhat older than me and was already gone when Allen came into the picture. Allen was a good friend of my brother, Darold.


Dale Pritchard’s (63) Reply to the Smith girl photo:
Doris Smith Pritchard is Dale’s aunt.


Can’t help you with this. I just don’t remember what Doris looked like when I was 10 years old. Two of Doris’ sisters lived down here in Shreveport for many years. I can’t remember their last names so don’t know if they are still here or moved on. I get up to Shreveport about every 6 months or so just for someplace different to go.


Dale, yesterday’s message with Doris’s sister’s picture was forwarded to her son and your cousin Bill Pritchard. I got a message from Bill letting me know that he will show this picture to his mother for her to identify. He said he will get back to me. I think Bonnie Awalt Houle provided us with that picture.

Manvil & Dorothy Sebelius

Sebelius Boys: Duane, David, Jeff, Marvin, Dennis, Daryl, Dean and Harvey