Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Three Men Embody The Three Musketeers

The only thing better than having a true friend is having two of them. Click on the link below to hear my newspaper column in the July 23, 2015 Fort Collins Coloradoan about three guys whose friendship has withstood the test of time and whatever else the universe has seen fit to throw their way: Long live the Three Musketeers! I wish I could say the same about my monthly community column, although I guess 11.5 years is indeed plenty long-lived. Y'see, The Coloradoan has decided to cut loose its regular writers in favor of what was described to me as a plan to foster more of a community conversation; i.e. allowing more space for more voices. Time to devote more time to the book project I've been charged to write about three men who continue to make a difference from beyond. Bob, Nick, and Paul may not have been the Three Musketeers, but they were and are just as gosh-darned amazing. All I know is this: a writer writes. And so... Thanks, Dear Readers, for your loyal support. I have loved bumping into so many of you out and about, and hope our conversations continue!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WWII Memories Make 70-years Ago Seem Like Yesterday

The 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day was on May 8, 2015. Fort Collins resident and veteran Bert Veen was there. Here's just one of his WWII stories, as it appeared in my monthly column for The Fort Collins Coloradoan on June 25, 2015:

Bert said he weighed between 80- and 90-pounds at the time.

"It helped that I wasn't the only one," Bert said. "Everyone was in the same boat."

This man is a survivor. He survived cancer and care-giving for his wife Juanita, who died of Alzheimer's in 2003.

"Whenever I feel I'm getting depressed, I push it away," Bert said. "I try to stay away from that, and be positive."

Thanks, Bert. You, sir, are positively amazing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Alzheimer's Association is Making Art Work to Make Memories

Three things I know about Alzheimer's: 1) Alzheimer's is not normal aging; 2) Alzheimer's is an equal opportunity disease in that anyone, anywhere can get it; and 3) Alzheimer's is a death sentence. How can it be that there is still no cure, no treatment, no prevention for this cruel and inhumane condition? Of course, money for research and support is needed, and the Alzheimer's Association has found a beautiful way in which to get it, as I wrote in my May 28, 2015 monthly community column for The Fort Collins Coloradoan. Click on the 3:26 link below to hear all about it:

The Alzheimer's Association is committed to obliterating Alzheimer's, just as assuredly as Alzheimer's has destroyed so many lives, and not just those of the victims. My mom may be "free," but Alzheimer's still has me and mine in its grip. This is trauma, friends, with a capital "T."

The "Memories in the Making" Annual Art Auction is Saturday, June 6 from 6-10 p.m. at the Fort Collins Hilton. Call the Association at 970-472-9798, for more info on how beautiful art works in the fight vs. ugly Alzheimer's!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wellington boy still inspiring others 10-years later

Nick Gaucher just wanted to be a regular kid. But here it is, a decade after his death, and the 14-year-old's legacy continues to live on. Click on the link below to hear how his mom and sister are doing 10-years after losing an only son and a sole/soul sibling, as written in my Apr. 23, 2015 community column for the Fort Collins Coloradoan:

Nick's courage continues to make a difference at Wellington Middle School, where a banner hangs in the lunchroom quoting this always positive, wise beyond his years guy: "Life is too short to sit by the sidelines."

According to those that knew him, Nick was something of a wise guy, as well, nowhere near perfect, but perfectly now here, grateful for every moment.

Courage Park, just southeast of the school, was dedicated to Nick before he died with the intention of honoring any and all WMS students who demonstrate similar acts of heroism.

If you have connections to Nick Gaucher, his father Paul Gaucher, and/or Bob Drysdale, a former teacher at then Wellington Junior High School killed in an auto accident in 1999, email me at I'm collaborating with family and friends on putting together a book honoring Nick, Paul, and Bob as ordinary guys who became extraordinary role models.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Manner of Death Shouldn't Overshadow Magnificence of Life

A bright and beautiful life shouldn't be obliterated by a dark and devastating death. And so it is that Nichole Prichett-Archibald and I got together to remember her daughter Torry. Click on the 3:44 audio link below to hear what I wrote afterwards for the Mar. 26, 2015 "Fort Collins Coloradoan:"

Joshua Griffin runs The Filling Station in Wellington, a faith-based non-profit that fuels followers. Josh and I connected too late for me to include his comments in my monthly column, but this next bit was just too precious not to share:

"Torry was about 8 years old, and Nichole would bring Torry and the rest of the kids out to our concerts. Torry had this favorite song I wrote called Where Were You? Through the years it became her birthday song. Every time it was her birthday, she would ask if I would do her song. I always said, 'Yes!' Then she would jump up on stage and sing it with me. Torry never lacked for confidence, and I am pretty sure she had more than one birthday every year."

Josh's second take: "We all need to grab hold of life and do what we know is right. if we need to thank someone or tell them that we love them, just do it! If you have a passion, pursue it. Life is a very precious gift, and it is not to be wasted. Torry was a great example of saying what needed to be said and standing up for what is right."

I agree with you, man, 100%. Torry made the impact she needed to and now she's singing with angels.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Timing and Circumstances of Ice-related Deaths is Super Amazing

Football teams aren't really supposed to win - or lose - like the Pats and the Seahawks did on Feb. 1, 2015. That's the kind of unbelievable scripted stuff you see in the movies, right? Likewise, people in real life who fall on the ice aren't supposed to die of their injuries. But they do. Giants owner Ann Mara did. So did my friend John Hancock. Click on the link below to hear what I wrote about the subject for my monthly column in The Fort Collins Coloradoan published on Feb. 26, 2015:

Karen Hancock noted that her husband's death at 5:55 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2015 would have held great significance for John, who studied numerology, among so many other things. I did a little research myself and discovered the number 11 is the first of the Master Numbers, those that cannot be reduced down to a single digit. It represents illumination, transformation.

The number five is often associated with change and new beginnings. And with freedom.

I can hear this beloved champion of truth now: "Out with the old, in with the true!"

A celebration of John Hancock's life is scheduled for Sunday, June 21 at Lake Loveland.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bypassing the truck bypass

There's a lot of wisdom in Owl Canyon, where most folks know each other in at least a roundabout way. We also now know a thing or two about roundabouts, as you'll hear in the 3:22 audio version of my Jan. 22, 2015 column in The Fort Collins Coloradoan:

If you do venture out yonder to see Larimer County's newest engineering marvel, just be advised: pert near everyone in these here parts owns a pitchfork - and knows how to use it!