Brian’s Column: Here Comes the Neighborhood

3: First steps into Brave New Homestead and Environs
Brian R. Wright

[Link to Episode 2]

Note: These columns are a series, I will make into a volume of my memoirs. You may follow the links at top and bottom of page to go to preceding or succeeding episodes. The series starts here. {If the [Link to Episode <next>] at the  bottom of the column does not show an active hyperlink, then the <next> column has yet to be written.}

From the staging flat in Kansas City, where brother Forrest’s abrupt, determined mission to to defy gravity ended badly, we moved into the new home in Overland Park in 1953ish. Understand that my dad was an early adopter in the vision for this particular development. You can see from the photo that our back yard ended at a stream behind which rose an open field on which you can still see the farm house. We’re looking eastward in the photo, so that whole area behind us hasn’t even been subdivided yet.

Now, thanks to Peeping Tom-worthy Google Maps, here’s what it looks like today:
A little more background on the parental units

Mom and Dad both were four-year graduates of Western Michigan University, which is where they met and fell in love—Dad from Chicago, only child, always loved flying, lied about his age (17) to get into the Air Force for WW2, rose to B24 bomber captain, several runs, shot down over Italy, parachuted, gathered his men, got to safety, thus a genuine war hero (though he NEVER talked about the war). Mom loved him lots more because he was one of the few men on campus with an actual car. Continue reading

Wednesdays with Diether (2003)

Opinions, Observations, and Reminiscences from
His Weekly Kalamazoo Gazette Column
by Diether Haenicke (DEE-TER HEN-ICK-A)Wednesdays with Diether

When I first heard of this book I was thinking, all right, some German dude is trying to horn in on the Mitch Albom franchise. Albom is a former sportswriter for the Detroit Free Press and renowned author of best selling book Tuesdays with Morrie—which was made into a movie starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria. His celebrity now transcends the metro Detroit area, where I believe he continues to write, host a radio program, and generally perform good deeds. Continue reading