Monthly Archives: May 2014

I’m a Stan Fan

I'm a Stan Fan

Stan Parrish was K-State’s football coach for most of my time there. He was supposed to turn things around, but he won two games. If you’ve been to a K-state game in the last 20 years, know that when I was there, it was the exact opposite experience. No one went to the games. I had a friend who got sick in the student section, and there was plenty of room for everyone to shift away from it and continue watching the game. Also, even though we stank on ice, that did not keep my friend Dan and I from inventing Willie the Wildcat’s K S U move/cheer. (We should get a nickel every time he does it.). Nor did it keep us from charging the field after beating KU to bring home a piece of the goalpost and then later start a riot in Aggieville; and by us, I mean the general student body, not Gish and me.

My brother Mike: I will confirm that you and Dan started/invented the K S U cheer, with Dan on your shoulders and making the letters with his arms. Unfortunately there were only a handful of plays that merited the cheer, and even less fans to see it.

My boss Richard: I went to every single home game for three years: 1965, 1966, 1967. Old Memorial Stadium. We often carried a Gott cooler and cups through the gate with us…no questions asked. I remember beating Colorado State in the first win in years! The good ole days.

your jungle

I feel like I should say something about this one, but I’m not sure what.  I never felt like this one was finished.  It needs some editing.  I’m not sure it says what I wanted it to.  Apparently my poems are not like my own children.  There are some that I love more (or less) than others.


your jungle


As you walk through the

black and white jungle

you are confident.

Spear in hand,

animal skins tied around your waist

reveal your muscled legs, chest and arms.

As the camera pans up to your head

the audience is surprised by a wooden mask —


long teeth, wide eyes, flared nose.


You walk through the familiarity and comfort of

your jungle.

Birds and monkeys squawk.

But you are at ease, at home.

The beating drums soothe you.

As you move, you slow,

the drums crescendo and

suddenly stop

as do the jungle creatures.

You slowly turn and the camera follows your gaze.


You see an animal new to you in your jungle.

It’s grayness blends with the grayness of its surroundings.

Two large eyes seem to

stare right through you.

You freeze

waiting for the beast to make the first move.

It doesn’t.

It’s smooth hide shines in the morning sun.

You side step.

Perhaps it doesn’t see you.


You will sneak around and

kill it from behind.

The wind blows,

you smell it now.

Its hot dirty acrid scent burns your nose.

It sits low to the ground.

As you creep forward

the beast is still,

it’s strange tail held stiff and off center.

Closer, closer.


With a snarl you leap

spear-first at its flank.

Ting! Ting! Ting!

Your spear tip pokes at the jeep’s back fender.

The audience laughs as the camera moves in close.

I see your eyes behind your mask.

I laugh too as my heels

push my mask a bit further

under my seat.

I Like Mike

I Like Mike

Yes, that would be Kansas republican governor Mike Hayden (I remembered his name, but I did google it to make sure I remembered it correctly) of the late 80’s. All I remember about him is my boss Richard frequently referred to him as “Jungle Fighter Mike.”

Richard: He was an interesting man. Always ready for an interview. Did one by phone once at around 7:00 in the morning. Hayden was in the governor’s mansion getting ready…kept putting the phone down to do something.

Miss Ya Muches

miss ya muches

Inside every high school girl is a grade school girl just wanting to play with the crayons and markers and fold notes into all those weird note shapes.  This one is about to make her dreams come true every (school) day of her life.  She’s looking for work as a kindergarten teacher.  She will be a great one.  It makes me happy that she will soon be receiving notes like this from her students.  Of course they will be actual grade school kids.

The King is Coming

This is from December of 2006.

It’s at this time in the service that we generally think of ourselves as coming before God.  We’ve sung together.  We’ve shaken hands and talked and hugged.  We’ll listen to the sermon in a bit.  But now is the us-coming-to-God time.  And here’s what I want to say about that.

As we’re in the time of advent, we’re waiting and preparing ourselves for the coming of Jesus.

Of course we’re waiting for his coming as a baby Christmas morning, a wonderful reminder for Mary and Joseph, and us, that God is with us in the most trying of circumstances.

We’re also waiting for his coming on the last day.  None of us know when this will happen.  Could be today, could be in a-thousand years.  We all have stressful, tiring, angry days, or at least I do.  And I sometimes think during those days, Lord, today would not be a bad day to wrap things up.  But God is patient.

There’s a third coming that we may not think of as often.  It’s the coming of Christ into each of us, and into the world through us, that happens every day.  Everyday the kingdom of God grows.  Everyday Jesus comes into the hearts of new believers, and everyday Jesus, through his people, comes to hospitals, clinics, shelters, bombed out homes, back alleys, prisons, and all the other places that nobody wants to be.  And there he brings healing, and comfort, and compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance.

So, as we come before God for communion, let’s remember that we can do this because God came to us first.  He came to Mary and Joseph 2000 years ago in that stinky little stable.  He lived a stinky little life, spending time with the worst society had to offer, and eventually dieing an awful death on the cross.  And because of that, He comes to us today in our stinky little lives, loves us, cleans us up, forgives us.  And he sends us out to the rest of creation, stinky and awful as it often seems, to do the same.

Father God,

Thank you for the assurance that The King is Coming.  Not just in 15 days.  Not just when the last trumpet sounds.  But today and tomorrow and the day after that.


Plainview #2

Here is (the not yet named Plainview) #2.  I tried to take notes while listening to this in the car.  This made Mare nervous so I stopped.  This is all I had written: Roses & Road Apples . . .

A man Scott Parrish, who I don’t know, feels the same way that we do (and did) about Roses & Road Apples.  He has revived it on face book. Some of them get a bit wordy, but many of them are brief and include the all-important zinger.

Facebook Roses and Road Apples

The date on this one is March 30, 2005

Death Valley with Vincent

death valley

Last year my graduating class lost a guy we all loved.  Some of us continued to be close to Vincent.  I had lost touch with him over the years.  One of my favorite memories of Vincent was a 5th grade project that we worked on together decades ago.  I can’t understand what it was that our teacher, Mrs. Wilson,  didn’t like about this poster. The dripping blood? The looming vulture?  The dying tourist? The Coors sweatshirt? (A Vinny G. touch if ever there was one.) I do remember she hated that smiling sun. Who knows, maybe she had a bad experience in Death Valley once. Anyway, you can see we had all the pertinent information right there on the poster. It was a treat to find this. Vincent makes me smile yet again.



If finding this clip is all that comes from this blog, then it’s all been worth it.  I’m so glad that I found this. I wish I had more, but this ten minutes is pretty great.  This is my grandma.  Today she’d be 101 years old if she was still with us.  I think this was recorded when she was 92 or so.  It would be cool to have the photos she’s looking at.  I’ll check on that.  Anyway, here’s some of the story of my people coming to America.

Now go get a recording device and have a visit with your parents and grandparents!