Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ted & Patrick Kennedy Eulogize Their Father, Senator Edward Kennedy


August 30, 2009
TranscriptEdward Kennedy Jr.’s Remembrance of Senator Kennedy The following is a transcript of Edward Kennedy Jr.’s remembrance for his father, Edward M. Kennedy, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica on Saturday, as recorded by CQ Transcriptions.

My name is Ted Kennedy, Jr., a name I share with my son, a name I shared with my father. Although it hasn’t been easy at times to live with this name, I’ve never been more proud of it than I am today.

Your Eminence, thank you for being here. You’ve graced us with your presence. To all the musicians who have come here, my father loved the arts and he would be so pleased for your performances today.

My heart is filled. And I first want to say thank you. My heart is filled with appreciation and gratitude to the people of Massachusetts, my father’s loyal staff, who — in many ways my dad’s loss is just as great for them as it is for those of us in our family. And to all of my father’s family and friends who have come to pay their respects.

Listening to people speak about how my father impacted their lives and the deep personal connection that people felt with my dad has been an overwhelming emotional experience.

My dad had the greatest friends in the world. All of you here are also my friends, and his greatest gift to me. I love you just as much as he did.

Sarah Brown, Beticia (ph), President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, President Bush, President Carter, you honor my family by your presence here today.

I remember how my dad would tell audiences years ago, I don’t mind not being president; I just mind that someone else is.

There is much to say and much will be said about Ted Kennedy, the statesman, the master of the legislative process and bipartisan compromise, work horse of the Senate, beacon of social justice, and protector of the people.

There’s also much to be said and much will be said about my father, the man, the story teller, the lover of costume parties, the practical joker, the accomplished painter.

He was a lover of everything French, cheese, wine, and women. He was a mountain climber, navigator, skipper, tactician, airplane pilot, rodeo rider, ski jumper, dog lover and all around adventurer.

Our family vacations left us all injured and exhausted.

He was a dinner table debater and devil’s advocate. He was an Irishman, and a proud member of the Democratic party.

Here is one you may not know. Out of Harvard, he was a Green Bay Packers recruit, but decided to go to law school instead. He was a devout Catholic, whose faith helped him survive unbearable losses, and whose teaching teachings taught him that he had a moral obligation to help others in need.

He was not perfect, far from it. But my father believed in redemption. And he never surrendered, never stopped trying to right wrongs, be they the results of his own failings or of ours.

But today I’m simply compelled to remember Ted Kennedy as my father and my best friend. When I was 12 years old, I was diagnosed with bone cancer. And a few months after I lost my leg, there was a heavy snowfall over my childhood home outside of Washington D.C. And my father went to the garage to get the old Flexible Flyer, and asked me if I wanted to go sledding down the steep driveway.

And I was trying to get used to my new artificial leg. And the hill was covered with ice and snow. And it wasn’t easy for me to walk. And the hill was very slick. And as I struggled to walk, I slipped and I fell on the ice. And I started to cry and I said, I can’t do this. I said, I’ll never be able to climb up that hill.

And he lifted me up in his strong, gentle arms and said something I will never forget, he said, I know you can do it. There is nothing that you can’t do. We’re going to climb that hill together, even if it takes us all day.

Sure enough, he held me around my waist and we slowly made it to the top. And you know, at age 12 losing your leg pretty much seems like the end of the world. But as I climbed on to his back and we flew down the hill that day, I knew he was right. I knew I was going to be OK.

You see, my father taught me that even our most profound losses are survivable, and that is — it is what we do with that loss, our ability to transform it into a positive event, that is one of my father’s greatest lessons.

He taught me that nothing is impossible. During the summer months when I was growing up, my father would arrive late in the afternoon from Washington on Fridays. And as soon as he got to Cape Cod, he would want to go straight out and practice sailing maneuvers on the Victoria, in anticipation of that weekend’s races.

And we’d be out late and the sun would be setting and family dinner would be getting cold. And we’d be out there practicing our jibes and our spinnaker sets, long after everyone else had gone ashore.

One night, not another boat in sight on the summer sea, I asked him, why are we always the last ones on the water? Teddy, he said, you see, most of the other sailors that we race against are smarter and more talented than we are. But the reason —

— but the reason why we’re going to win is that we will work harder than them, and we will be better prepared. And he just wasn’t talking about boating. My father admired perseverance. My father believed that to do a job effectively required a tremendous amount of time and effort.

Dad instilled in me also the importance of history and biography. He loved Boston, and the amazing writers and philosophers and politicians from Massachusetts. He took me and my cousins to the old North Church and to Walden Pond and to the homes of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne in the Berkshires.

He thought that Massachusetts was the greatest place on Earth. And he had letters from many of its former senators, like Daniel Webster and John Quincy Adams, hanging on his walls, inspired by things heroic.

He was a Civil War buff. When we were growing up, he would pack us all into his car or rented camper, and we would travel around to all the great battlefields. I remember he would frequently meet with his friend, Shelby Foot, at a particular site on the anniversary of a historic battle, just so he could appreciate better what the soldiers must have experienced on that day.

He believed that in order to know what to do in the future, you had to understand the past.

My father loved other old things. He loved his classic wooden schooner, the Maya. He loved light houses and his 1973 Pontiac convertible.

My father taught me to treat everyone I meet, no matter what station in life, with the same dignity and respect. He could be discussing arms control with the president at 3 p.m. and meeting with a union carpenter for — on fair wage legislation or a New Bedford fisherman on fisheries policy at 4:30.

I once told him that he had accidentally left some money — I remember this when I was a little kid — on the sink in our hotel room. And he replied, Teddy, let me tell you something, making beds all day is back breaking work. The woman who has to clean up after us today has a family to feed. And just — that’s just the kind of guy he was.

He answered Uncle Joe’s call to patriotism, Uncle Jack’s call to public service, and Bobby’s determination to seek a newer world. Unlike them, he lived to be a grandfather. And knowing what my cousins have been through, I feel grateful that I have had my father as long as I did.

He even taught me some of life’s harder lessons, such as how to like Republicans. He once told me — he said Teddy, Republicans love this country just as much as I do. I think that he felt like he had something in common with his Republican counterparts, the vagueries of public opinion, the constant scrutiny of the press, the endless campaigning for the next election. But most of all, the incredible shared sacrifice that being in public life demands.

He understood the hardship that politics has on a family and the hard work and commitment that it requires. He often brought his Republican colleagues home for dinner. And he believed in developing personal relationships and honoring differences.

And one of the wonderful experiences that I will remember today is how many of his Republican colleagues are sitting here right before him. That’s a true testament to the man.

And he always told me that — always be ready to compromise, but never compromise on your principles. He was an idealist and a pragmatist. He was restless, but patient. When he learned that a survey of Republican senators named him the Democratic legislator they most wanted to work with and that John McCain called him the single most effective member of the U.S. Senate, he was so proud, because he considered the combination of accolades from your supporters and respect from your sometime political adversaries as one of the ultimate goals of a successful political life.

At the end of his life, my dad returned home. He died at the place he loved more than any other, Cape Cod. The last months of my dad’s life were not sad or terrifying, but full — filled with profound experiences, a series of moments more precious than I could have imagined.

He taught me more about humility, vulnerability, and courage than he had taught me in my whole life.

Although he lived a full and complete life by any measure, the fact is, he wasn’t done. He still had work to do. He was so proud of where we had recently come as a nation. And although I do grieve for what might have been, for what he might have helped us accomplish, I pray today that we can set aside this sadness and instead celebrate all that he was and did and stood for.

I will try to live up to the high standard that my father set for all of us when he said, the work goes on; the cause endures; the hope still lives; and the dream shall never die.

I love you, dad. I always will. And I miss you already.

* * *

The following is a transcript of Patrick Kennedy’s remembrance for his father, Edward M. Kennedy, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica on Saturday, as recorded by CQ Transcriptions.

President and Mrs. Obama, distinguished guests, friend of my father, all of you. While a nation has lost a great senator, my brothers and sisters and I have lost a loving father. When I was a kid, I couldn’t breathe. Growing up, I suffered from chronic and crippling asthma attacks, and the medications I had to give to me were very difficult, and gave me a throbbing headache, every night that I had to use my broncosol nebulizer (ph).

Now, obviously, I wish that I did not have to suffer those attacks and endure those headaches. Nor did I like having to grow up having a special non-allergenic, non-smoking room reserved for me whenever we went on family vacation.

But as I now realize years later, while asthma may have posed a challenge to my physical health, it propped up by emotional and mental health, because it kept my father by my bedside. My dad was always sure to be within reach of me. And the side effects of the medication meant that he was always holding a cold wet towel on my forehead, until I fell asleep again from my headache.

As far as the special effort that was made to ensure that I had a proper room to sleep in while we were on vacations as a family, this usually meant that I got the nicest room, and it also ensured that dad was my roommate.

I couldn’t have seen it at the time, but having asthma was like hitting the jackpot for a child who craved his father’s love and attention. When his light shined on me alone, there was no better feeling in all of the world.

When dad was away, I often didn’t know when he would return. And as a young boy, I didn’t know why he wasn’t around at Christmas time, when Santa came to the house. And I really wondered why Santa had the same two moles on his face that my dad had, and in the same place as my dad.

Even after I figured out that that was my dad and the costume finally came off, he still remained to me a magical figure.

As a little kid, I didn’t look like much of a sailor, but my dad thought otherwise. You see, in sailing, there are rules as well, much like government, tireless, mundane rules, that will surely make you sea sick.

The rule was four people on a boat to race, just four. But my dad, of course, dug around until he found a rule around the rule. Sound familiar to you, those who serve in the Senate? Kids under 12 he found out, especially scrawny little redheads like me, could tag along.

My dad found that rule that meshed with his mission. He refused to leave me behind. He did that for all of those around the world who needed a special voice as well. When we raced in foul weather, there was lots of salt water and lots of salty language. Those experiences not only broadened my vocabulary, sure, but they also built my self- confidence.

I saw a lot of his political philosophy in those sail boat races. One thing I noticed was that on the boat, as in this country, there was a role for everybody, a place for everybody to contribute.

Second, in the race, as in life, it didn’t matter how strong the forces against you were, so long as you kept driving forward. There was nothing to lose. Maybe you would even come out a winner.

My dad was never bowed. He never gave up and there was no quit in dad. And looking out in this audience and looking out at the tremendous number of people who align themselves along the roadways, coming up from the Cape throughout Boston when we went around, who waited in line for hours to see his casket as they came through the JFK Library, there’s no doubt in my mind that my dad came out a winner.

I want to thank all of you for the amazing tribute that you’ve given my father in the last several days. And I want to say just as proud as I was to be a crew on his sailboat, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him in the United States Congress as his colleague.

I admit I used to hang onto his T-shirt and his coat sleeve on the Capitol when I was just a little boy. So, when I got a chance to serve with him on Capitol Hill, all I needed to do was set my compass to the principles of his life.

My father and I were the primary sponsors of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act which was signed into law last year. This bill represented not only a legal victory for 54 million Americans with mental illness who are being denied equal health insurance, but as one of those 54 million Americans, I felt he was also fighting for me to help ease the burden of stigma and shame that accompanies treatment.

I will really miss working with dad. I will miss my dad’s wonderful sense of self-deprecating humor. When the far right made dad their poster child for their attack ads, he used to say, we Kennedys sure bring out the best in people. And when he first got elected and my cousin Joe was a member of Congress and I came to Congress, dad finally celebrated saying, finally after all these years when someone says who does that damn Kennedy think he is, there’s only a one in three chance they’re talking about me.

Most Americans will remember dad as a good and decent hard- charging senator. But to Teddy, Curran, Caroline, Kara and I, we will always remember him as a loving and devoted father. And in the 1980 campaign, my dad often quoted Robert Frost at the conclusion of every stump speech to indicate that he had to go onto another political event. He would paraphrase the line from the “Road Less Traveled”: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, and I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep.”

Well, dad, you’ve kept that promise both literally and figuratively to be your brother’s keeper. Now, it’s time for you to rest in peace. May your spirit live forever in our hearts, and as you challenged us so many times before, may your dream for a better, more just America never die. I love you, dad, and you will always live in my heart forever.

Bob Greene Reflects on the Kennedy Brothers

President Obama's Eulogy for Edward Kennedy

Eulogy for Edward Kennedy

Boston, MA

Mrs. Kennedy, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran, Caroline, members of the Kennedy family, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Today we say goodbye to the youngest child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy. The world will long remember their son Edward as the heir to a weighty legacy; a champion for those who had none; the soul of the Democratic Party; and the lion of the U.S. Senate - a man whose name graces nearly one thousand laws, and who penned more than three hundred himself.

But those of us who loved him, and ache with his passing, know Ted Kennedy by the other titles he held: Father. Brother. Husband. Uncle Teddy, or as he was often known to his younger nieces and nephews, "The Grand Fromage," or "The Big Cheese." I, like so many others in the city where he worked for nearly half a century, knew him as a colleague, a mentor, and above all, a friend.

Ted Kennedy was the baby of the family who became its patriarch; the restless dreamer who became its rock. He was the sunny, joyful child, who bore the brunt of his brothers' teasing, but learned quickly how to brush it off. When they tossed him off a boat because he didn't know what a jib was, six-year-old Teddy got back in and learned to sail. When a photographer asked the newly-elected Bobby to step back at a press conference because he was casting a shadow on his younger brother, Teddy quipped, "It'll be the same in Washington."

This spirit of resilience and good humor would see Ted Kennedy through more pain and tragedy than most of us will ever know. He lost two siblings by the age of sixteen. He saw two more taken violently from the country that loved them. He said goodbye to his beloved sister, Eunice, in the final days of his own life. He narrowly survived a plane crash, watched two children struggle with cancer, buried three nephews, and experienced personal failings and setbacks in the most public way possible.

Story continues below It is a string of events that would have broken a lesser man. And it would have been easy for Teddy to let himself become bitter and hardened; to surrender to self-pity and regret; to retreat from public life and live out his years in peaceful quiet. No one would have blamed him for that.

But that was not Ted Kennedy. As he told us, "...[I]ndividual faults and frailties are no excuse to give in - and no exemption from the common obligation to give of ourselves." Indeed, Ted was the "Happy Warrior" that the poet William Wordsworth spoke of when he wrote:

As tempted more; more able to endure,

As more exposed to suffering and distress;

Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.

Through his own suffering, Ted Kennedy became more alive to the plight and suffering of others - the sick child who could not see a doctor; the young soldier sent to battle without armor; the citizen denied her rights because of what she looks like or who she loves or where she comes from. The landmark laws that he championed -- the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, immigration reform, children's health care, the Family and Medical Leave Act -all have a running thread. Ted Kennedy's life's work was not to champion those with wealth or power or special connections. It was to give a voice to those who were not heard; to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity; to make real the dream of our founding. He was given the gift of time that his brothers were not, and he used that gift to touch as many lives and right as many wrongs as the years would allow.

We can still hear his voice bellowing through the Senate chamber, face reddened, fist pounding the podium, a veritable force of nature, in support of health care or workers' rights or civil rights. And yet, while his causes became deeply personal, his disagreements never did. While he was seen by his fiercest critics as a partisan lightning rod, that is not the prism through which Ted Kennedy saw the world, nor was it the prism through which his colleagues saw him. He was a product of an age when the joy and nobility of politics prevented differences of party and philosophy from becoming barriers to cooperation and mutual respect - a time when adversaries still saw each other as patriots.

And that's how Ted Kennedy became the greatest legislator of our time. He did it by hewing to principle, but also by seeking compromise and common cause - not through deal-making and horse-trading alone, but through friendship, and kindness, and humor. There was the time he courted Orrin Hatch's support for the Children's Health Insurance Program by having his Chief of Staff serenade the Senator with a song Orrin had written himself; the time he delivered shamrock cookies on a china plate to sweeten up a crusty Republican colleague; and the famous story of how he won the support of a Texas Committee Chairman on an immigration bill. Teddy walked into a meeting with a plain manila envelope, and showed only the Chairman that it was filled with the Texan's favorite cigars. When the negotiations were going well, he would inch the envelope closer to the Chairman. When they weren't, he would pull it back. Before long, the deal was done.

It was only a few years ago, on St. Patrick's Day, when Teddy buttonholed me on the floor of the Senate for my support on a certain piece of legislation that was coming up for vote. I gave him my pledge, but expressed my skepticism that it would pass. But when the roll call was over, the bill garnered the votes it needed, and then some. I looked at Teddy with astonishment and asked how he had pulled it off. He just patted me on the back, and said "Luck of the Irish!"

Of course, luck had little to do with Ted Kennedy's legislative success, and he knew that. A few years ago, his father-in-law told him that he and Daniel Webster just might be the two greatest senators of all time. Without missing a beat, Teddy replied, "What did Webster do?"

But though it is Ted Kennedy's historic body of achievements we will remember, it is his giving heart that we will miss. It was the friend and colleague who was always the first to pick up the phone and say, "I'm sorry for your loss," or "I hope you feel better," or "What can I do to help?" It was the boss who was so adored by his staff that over five hundred spanning five decades showed up for his 75th birthday party. It was the man who sent birthday wishes and thank you notes and even his own paintings to so many who never imagined that a U.S. Senator would take the time to think about someone like them. I have one of those paintings in my private study - a Cape Cod seascape that was a gift to a freshman legislator who happened to admire it when Ted Kennedy welcomed him into his office the first week he arrived in Washington; by the way, that's my second favorite gift from Teddy and Vicki after our dog Bo. And it seems like everyone has one of those stories - the ones that often start with "You wouldn't believe who called me today."

Ted Kennedy was the father who looked after not only his own three children, but John's and Bobby's as well. He took them camping and taught them to sail. He laughed and danced with them at birthdays and weddings; cried and mourned with them through hardship and tragedy; and passed on that same sense of service and selflessness that his parents had instilled in him. Shortly after Ted walked Caroline down the aisle and gave her away at the altar, he received a note from Jackie that read, "On you the carefree youngest brother fell a burden a hero would have begged to be spared. We are all going to make it because you were always there with your love."

Not only did the Kennedy family make it because of Ted's love - he made it because of theirs; and especially because of the love and the life he found in Vicki. After so much loss and so much sorrow, it could not have been easy for Ted Kennedy to risk his heart again. That he did is a testament to how deeply he loved this remarkable woman from Louisiana. And she didn't just love him back. As Ted would often acknowledge, Vicki saved him. She gave him strength and purpose; joy and friendship; and stood by him always, especially in those last, hardest days.

We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God's plan for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings.

This is how Ted Kennedy lived. This is his legacy. He once said of his brother Bobby that he need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, and I imagine he would say the same about himself. The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy's shoulders because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became. We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy - not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power; but only for the people and the country he loved.

In the days after September 11th, Teddy made it a point to personally call each one of the 177 families of this state who lost a loved one in the attack. But he didn't stop there. He kept calling and checking up on them. He fought through red tape to get them assistance and grief counseling. He invited them sailing, played with their children, and would write each family a letter whenever the anniversary of that terrible day came along. To one widow, he wrote the following:

"As you know so well, the passage of time never really heals the tragic memory of such a great loss, but we carry on, because we have to, because our loved one would want us to, and because there is still light to guide us in the world from the love they gave us."

We carry on.

Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those he has loved and lost. At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with the memories he gave, the good he did, the dream he kept alive, and a single, enduring image - the image of a man on a boat; white mane tousled; smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for what storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon. May God Bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The nicest note from Sally Bissell

My friend, Sally Bissell, had the nicest comment on her blog, Read Around the World.

A Friend, A Connection and a Great Blog to Visit!

Ever since a former colleague, Lesa Holstine, taught Maryellen and me how to make a reading festival out of just about nothing, I have been watching her career with amazement. A heartbreak turned into a challenge and then a chance to fly. She is now glowing out in Arizona, another overachieving librarian, hosting authors from all over the country, writing, reviewing and honing her position as the "go to" person for all answers to all questions in genre fiction.

Imagine how pleased and surprised I was to receive an email from Dr. Hallie Ephron, yes, THOSE Ephrons, saying that Lesa had recommended she send me an advance reader's copy of her new book, The Bibliophile's Devotional; 365 Day of Literary Classics.

Monday, July 20, 2009

From the Editor - Mystery Readers Journal

This is part of Janet Rudolph's letter from the editor in Mystery Readers Journal today. That was so nice of her.

This column appears in the latest issue of MRJ: Volume 25: No. 2, Los Angeles Mysteries I.

by Janet A. Rudolph (Berkeley, California)

This is the first of two wonderful issues on Los Angeles mysteries. I know you'll learn a lot about new and older mystery authors who set their works in L.A., the "other" California city. We've tried to capture the essence of mysterious—and sometimes noir—L.A. in this issue and in the companion issue. Thanks to all the contributors. If you want to contribute to the next L.A. issue, let me know ASAP. Send an email to, and I'll save some space.

Speaking of Los Angeles, LEFT COAST CRIME 2010 will be held in L.A. March 11–14, 2010, and I hope you plan to attend. Registration is open, and the committee is working on some great programming. There will also be an extra day added: Forensic Science Day. A must do! Guests of Honor: Jan Burke and Lee Child. Toastmaster: Bill Fitzhugh. Fan Guest of Honor: Me. So you understand why I'd like to see you there. Go here to register.

Mystery Readers Journal continues to increase readership, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I plan to have the Journal available as a downloadable PDF very soon as part of our efforts to go Green. I will send out an email letting you know how to do that. Rest assured though, if you'd still like to have the Journal in hardcopy, you will receive it. Past issues will also be available as downloadable PDFs at a nominal fee.

It's been an interesting spring with lots of wonderful new titles published. I just finished the new Peter Lovesey, George Dawes Green and Alexander McCall Smith. All three were terrific. And, those were only the ones I read last weekend. There are so many great blogs out there, too, with wonderful reviews. Case in point is Lesa Holstine's Lesa's Book Critiques. What an avid reader and terrific reviewer. I'm thrilled to announce that Lesa has joined Mystery Readers Journal as a reviewer. Her first reviews appear in this issue.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hal Ketchum - Small Town Saturday Night (1993)

A song that always reminded me of Berlin Heights, OH.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sister Lucilla's Obituary

I knew Sister Lucilla when she was at Holy Angels in Sandusky as principal. Mom used to take us to visit her there. I do remember seeing beautiful slides of her trip to Europe, including the trip on the Rhine. And, my memories include the funny stories my friend, Sharon LaLond, told of being a student there, and getting in trouble, and getting sent to see Sister Lucilla.


Sister Mary Lucilla Reinbolt, RSM
February 28, 2009

FREMONT - Sister Mary Lucilla Reinbolt, RSM, a Sister of Mercy, died peacefully Thursday, February 26, 2009 at St. Bernardine Home in Fremont, Ohio.

Sister Mary Lucilla (Teresa Ida Reinbolt) was born in Fremont, Ohio on March 15, 1915 to the late Paul J. and Teresa L. (Smith) Reinbolt. She received her education at the Athenaeum in Cincinnati, Ohio and a Masters Degree in Art and Philosophy from Catholic University of America.

She entered the Sisters of Mercy at Our Lady of the Pines in Fremont, Ohio on September 24, 1932 and was a Sister of Mercy for 73 years.

She shared her gift of art very generously with others. She may be best known for her paintings of The Lighthouse in Marblehead, Ohio.

Her years in ministry were spent in elementary education, administration and in secondary education at Holy Angels' School in Sandusky, Ohio, St. Mary's School in Vermillion, Ohio and St. Vincent DePaul School, Catholic Central High School and the former McAuley High School in Toledo, Ohio. In 1989 she moved to Fremont, Ohio to teach and share art at Our Lady of the Pines Retreat Center and then at St. Bernardine Home.

Sister is survived by her brother, Lester (Marilyn) Reinbolt of Sebring, Florida; many nieces and nephews, including her niece, Rita Dorobek; and her Mercy community of Religious Sisters.

Preceding her in death are her brothers, Paul, Louis, Lawrence, Irvin and Otto; and her sisters, Sister Mercy Marie, RSM (Catherine), Loretta Reinbolt Schwartz, Lucy Reinbolt McKenzie, Spradlin Reinbolt, and Marie Reinbolt.

Visitation and Funeral Mass will be at St. Bernardine Home in Fremont, Ohio on Wednesday, March 4, 2009. Visitation will be from 11:30 a.m. until 6:15 p.m. Mass of the Resurrection will be at 6:30 in the Chapel at St. Bernardine Home.

Burial will take place on Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. in Our Lady of the Pines Cemetery. Keller-Ochs-Koch-Mason Funeral and Cremation Service, Fremont, has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama's Inaugural Address

Thank you, thank you.

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you, God bless you and God bless the United States of America.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Kay Stewart - Online friend

It's always so much fun to meet an online friend. Kay Stewart and I have been emailing each other about mysteries for quite a while now, and she reads and comments on my blog. She works for the Austin Public Library.

Kay came to the Poisoned Pen Bookstore today, straight from the airport. Her husband hit the golf course, while she came to the bookstore for the launch party for Donis Casey's The Sky Took Him.

Kay and I are meeting Patti O'Brien, and one of my favorite authors, Louise Penny, for dinner on Tuesday night at The Italian Grotto in Scottsdale. Looking forward to it!

It was a pleasure to meet Kay today!

Barack Obama's Letter to His Daughters

From Parade Magazine, 1/14/08

'What I Want for You — and Every Child
in America'
By President-elect Barack Obama
Publication Date: 01/14/2009

Next Tuesday, Barack Obama will be sworn in as our 44th President. On this historic occasion, PARADE asked the President-elect, who is also a devoted family man, to get personal and tell us what he wants for his children. Here, he shares his letter to them.

Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me-about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential-schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college-even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country-but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free-that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

Sasha (l) and Malia Obama at play in New Hampshire in 2007.
Bumper cars at the Iowa State Fair in August 2007.
That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better-and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It's a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much-although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you-to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jim & Lesa's Great Fiesta Bowl Adventure

Jim & I were very lucky to have press passes to a number of the Fiesta Bowl activities for the 38th Fiesta Bowl. It all started Thursday night, Jan. 1 when I took pictures for the finals of the National High School Band Championship. Grove City from Ohio came in second, and looked terrific.

Then, Saturday, Jan. 3 we went to the Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix. We had parking permits that gave us a ride on a shuttle to the site of the parade. When we arrived, we asked the bus driver where we were to get picked up, and he said we don't pick you up, and never gave an answer. So, we thought we'd be picked up at the same spot. We then went to the start of the parade route, and, after asking a Maricopa County deputy where we should stand, he said we never heard it from him, but he pointed to a good spot. It was so good that the deputies over there put up the yellow tape, and allowed us to stand in front of it to take photos.

Spirit was the Fiesta Bowl Mascot.

I was really excited to get a picture of Tony Stewart, the Grand Marshal for the parade.

The Budweiser Clydesdales were in the parade.

But, the highlight of the parade was the Ohio State Cheerleaders and Marching Band.

But, I guess I ought to include a picture or two from the University of Texas' Marching band. I'm just sorry that Bevo, their mascot, was in his wagon, so I couldn't get a good picture.

The parade was fun, and it was so nice to be able to stand in the street to get pictures. The afterward was awful. The parade was over at 1 p.m. We arrived home at 5 p.m. We went back to the corner to pick up the shuttle. No shuttle. A motorcycle cop told us the buses went to the end of the parade route and picked up the units, but they never told us that. And, we weren't the only people with press passes who weren't told that. But, the cop got us a ride with a Fiesta Bowl member on a golf cart, who got us as far as he could, but Jim and I still had to walk a couple miles back to the parking lot. Then when we got there - no car. We were standing in the 3rd Street lot, and checked two lots, and couldn't find it. So, we called the police, and reported it stolen. Then, a friend from work came to pick us up, and told us she found the car all alone in a lot. They had wended us so far in to the 3rd Street lot that we were actually on 7th Street. So, Julie found our car for us, but we had to wait over an hour for the police to come back and report it as not stolen. Disastrous afternoon, just because no one told us where to get a shuttle back to the correct lot.

On game day, we had press passes to "College Football's Greatest Party." I guess I'm just not a party person because I enjoyed the parade more. However, Jim got me a really good story for the Glendale Daily Planet, about a boy from Iowa who was there for the game from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In fact, Jim had the ideas for all the stories I used. But, highlights for me? The Ohio State Band, again. And, Jim getting his face painted with a buckeye leaf.
I think these are terrific pictures of Jim.

And, Jim's favorite picture? The highlight of Jim's Great Fiesta Bowl Adventure.

It was an exhausting, but exhilarating three days. It's too bad Ohio State lost 24-21.