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Searching not just for objects, but also behavioral profiling. Those Bruxelles terrorists looked very, very suspicious if you look at closed circuit TV.

In the terminal, as you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage?

Has it left your side? But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds.

People are not allowed to bunch up into inviting targets for a bomber who has gotten this far. At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area.

Almost, I really passed through there twice. Years ago, I used to journal every day. I did it when my dad became sick with dementia.

I wanted to document a really difficult time in my life. It was somewhat of a stress-relief, but turned into something I enjoyed doing and intended on leaving it for my children to read someday.

When my dad passed away, I stopped. I did sit down with my iPad the other night and reflected on Those difficult times in life are learning and teaching experiences.

All my children were here at the beginning of the year. Nick was home from Okinawa on leave. Joey had a short time off from work in Phillipsburg, KS and we all got to celebrate together before Nick left again.

Ronda and I are huge music fans. We discovered an amazing woman named Bat-Or Kalo from Israel. We loved her and her band so much, we hired her to play at our 30th wedding anniversary over the summer in June.

To top off that wonderful celebration, Nick flew home from Japan and surprised us with a certificate from his command.

We were honored to pin him as an E3. He finished the year as a Third Class Petty Officer. We are so proud of him and wish the best for the Whites for their endeavors.

We love her and are excited about her being a part of our family. During the summer we enjoyed our time with our kids and grandkids at the lake.

Summer is busy for us running a resort, a newspaper and being a bail bondsman, but we made a lot of memories. It was an exceptionally wet year and things were so green, which meant a lot of mowing, but we found time to relax in the evenings and weekends.

I did, however, take a fall and hurt my shoulder and am still recovering. Our class celebrated our 30th reunion. Brett Fincher always organizes and does such a great job putting these on and he did it just weeks after losing his dad, Ron Fincher, a staple in our community.

I lost a friend. His name was Mike Pickens and we shared a love of music together. He was my age and died suddenly. Many of you heard his handy work, as he was part of the sound crew for Peace Treaty events over the years.

Sadly, we too had to bury a family member. Our German Shepherd, Hyde, was two weeks shy of his 15th birthday. He lived a long life and we loved him dearly.

It was one of the saddest days of my life to lay him to rest on the ranch. The hardest part was telling my son who was half a world away and spent the majority of his life with that dog.

As stressful as this event can be, we had a great Peace Treaty. Ronda and I have been on the board for many years and you cannot find a better group of people.

We had almost decided it was our time to step down, but I ended up being elected President and Ronda went from Treasurer to Secretary. I want to thank them all for trusting us to lead this exceptional group of people.

I always say there is not one person on that board that we can do without. They are amazing and we are truly honored to continue to be a part of it.

Ronda and I both turned a year older. After the game, Nix arranged an introduction to Quarterback Drew Brees and his family.

Throughout the last part of the year, we had sorrow again after my daughter and her husband divorced after 8 years. We also lost a friend at Lake Arrowhead.

He was a part of our lake family and we will miss him. Christmas was different for us this year. We missed them both at our gatherings, but we enjoyed all the photos and facetimes with them as they celebrated Christmas and the New Year!

I know there will be ups and downs. Thanks for reading, happy and may God bless you all. I had started home around 6 p. The unfamiliar truck ran out of gas about a mile from my house.

Fortunately, a nice young man passing by picked me up and brought me to the shed, where Ronda was already waiting for me. I left the owner of the vehicle standing on the side of the road while I found a gas can and filled up.

Obviously, we were not home, but our door alarm went off, so we hurried to the house. We were just a short distance away, on the ranch, when the alarm went off.

As we were coming around the back side of our home, we could see a white van leaving our house and heading south on Resort Road.

We had to make a decision; do we check on our home or do we chase after the mystery van? I left Ronda in the truck and ran in the door and looked around.

Nothing was out of place. I turned around and saw the evidence left behind and chuckled to myself. One of our neighbors up at the lake had brought us a plate of cookies and a Christmas card.

It set off the silent alarm on our door, but fortunately, the audible alarm was not armed. I gassed up my can and jumped back in. Ronda was left confused.

I was developing a plan to keep the cookies to myself. I just had to beat her back to the house and hide them. We got back to the truck on the side of the road and my friend was standing there waiting on us.

He was holding a plate of cookies Ronda figured out quickly that it was Brendon and Rachel Wray and their children who had set off our door alarm and now there was no way I was hiding those cookies from her.

We raced home and gorged ourselves on the plate of cookies in a friendly family feud. I have to be honest, Christmas is sometimes not my favorite holiday.

My heart and my head forget what a great day we are celebrating; the birth of Jesus. The simplicity of God becoming man in the form of a helpless baby actually becomes this complicated and confusing situation where the meaning is lost.

The Bible is a love story. If you celebrate Christmas for the right reason, you know how difficult this season can be on your spirit.

The Devil loves to contort and cause us to fall off the rails during this time of remembrance and celebration. We have a good God and we have a willing Savior in Jesus.

Santa did not die on the cross and the elf on the shelf did not rise as the first of all who believe in the scriptures.

The book of Isaiah was written nearly years before the birth of Jesus. It goes into great detail of the prophecy of his birth and his death.

What makes it so difficult for me, or you, to not experience the joy of Christmas every day of our lives? The birth of Jesus is the celebration of life.

Despite every distraction in life, I choose this Christmas to simply thank God for loving me. Historically, our dates are probably off on the official "birthday" of Jesus, but we have that one day to celebrate and remember that, even though I am a sinner, God loved me enough to send his Son into this world to die for my sins.

Remember when we were all just kids ready to open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas day? That simple excitement should be how we feel about what we are really celebrating.

Ronda and I and our families want to thank you for supporting us all of these years. It is my honor to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas!

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Sunday afternoon I was making plans to go and do a fugitive recovery for Monday in Wichita. My hopes were to find my guy quickly, get him booked back into Sedgwick County and then go see Byron Hummon who had been sick and in the hospital.

I also was wanting to check on my neighbor John Nixon, who was also in the hospital in Wichita. Sunday night, my contact did not respond with an address, so I postponed my trip.

Sadly, Byron passed away early the next day. Byron was wise and I cherished our friendship. Byron was a generous man to many people with his time and his money.

He was humble and always cheerful around Ronda and I. We will miss him at "Party Cove" this spring when the weather gets nicer and we all meet again.

It seems like our neighborhood goes into hibernation during the colder months. Living between two lake resorts makes us appreciate the warmer days.

Days get shorter and we hide in our warm homes, longing for the warm days, playing at the lake, riding our cycles, shooting fireworks and fishing.

I pray John will be up for that really soon. Tell your friends you love them while you can. Prayers for Carolyn and family during this time of loss that we all feel.

I remember registering to vote on my 18th birthday in A presidential race was heating up between George H. Bush and Michael Dukakis. It was my first time to vote and I voted for George H.

I felt like I had won something too. Although Bush was a one-term president, I learned a lot about Government and history during his presidency.

It was a scary time as a young adult. Bush was a capable leader, a veteran himself, that would lead the way to remove the tyrant from Kuwait. President Bush formed a true coalition of willing nations that easily sent Saddam back from Kuwait to Iraq with his tail between his legs.

He made life safe for my generation. Many of my friends fought in Desert Storm. Again in , I voted for President Bush. This time he lost to Bill Clinton.

I noted how graceful the peaceful transfer of power happened from Bush to Clinton. We seemed friendlier to each other in those days.

I loved seeing what life after president was for Bush. He embraced life, loved his family and continued to serve his country, even doing it along side Bill Clinton.

My iPhone "dinged" with the AP report of his passing. I watched his funeral on Wednesday and Thursday. It was a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man and a great statesman.

Years ago former teacher Dale McCurdy taught me the value of time management and scheduling. We would go on trips together and he would actually send me a spreadsheet that mapped out our vacation.

Dale explained, "Take the time you wish to arrive, subtract travel, subtract estimated fuel stops, bathroom breaks and then leave 30 minutes earlier than that.

Leaving from New Orleans at 10 a. Grabbing our bags and finding our car add 30 minutes , consider a bathroom and fuel break add 30 minutes , and road time add 3: Everything started out smoothly.

We could be delayed by as much as an hour. As expected, we landed an hour late in Houston and it was pouring down rain. We entered at gate 45 and our connecting flight was at gate 4 on the other side of the terminal.

We hauled butt, stopping to use the bathroom and grabbing some to go food and literally made it to board the next flight.

We got our seats, got comfortable and prepared to take off when the captain said, "Welcome aboard Southwest to Oklahoma City, we will be delayed a few minutes while we wait on two passengers from a connecting flight as well as waiting on their baggage.

We should be exiting and cleared for take off in a few minutes. We did land only about 20 minutes late. Ronda and I got off the plane and went to baggage claim.

Three flights landed at the same time and the carousel was crammed with folks looking for baggage. It seemed like a long time, but our baggage eventually arrived.

I grabbed it, noting how heavy it felt. I must have lost muscle tone over the weekend of playing football with Drew Brees and Nix White, or maybe not.

We hurried to our truck, which we had forgotten what floor we had parked on. Once we found it, I heaved our bag in and Ronda got us out on the interstate.

Ronda exceeded the recommended interstate travel speed and we hit Blackwell, OK with enough time to fuel up, grab a snack and take a bathroom break.

We had to make a detour and we had a 20 minute buffer. I decided since we were not going to make it home in time to change, that I would grab my sports coat, a nice shirt and some cleaner pants from the luggage.

I had flown from New Orleans in a concert shirt and ripped up blue jeans. The only thing I had to change into was the nicer clothes that I wore to dinner on Saturday night.

She instantly slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting farm equipment that pulled out in front of us. I was tossed onto the console and we laughed while I went back to trying to find clothes.

Everything inside of it was soaking wet. I carefully pulled out my coat, which was wet; my pants, which were wet; my socks, which were really wet and my shirt, which was wet and wrinkled.

I put everything on and turned my heated seats up full blast. I also pointed all the vents at me and turned up the fan. By the time we reached Kiowa, I was just moist, but exhausted.

We got our signatures and money and agreed to meet up with our defendant after the Peace Treaty board meeting, which was in 30 minutes.

We left Kiowa and hit Medicine Lodge at 6: We pulled into the office. Ronda touched up her makeup and we shared a road taco that was now almost 3 hours old.

We were fashionably late and I was dryer than I was at Blackwell, or Kiowa, but still a little damp. The "backwards planning" had sort of worked.

We made it almost in time. He jumps out of a helicopter and lands in the middle of Main Street during the parade. He just knows a lot of people.

I should say, he knows a lot of important people. When he called me three weeks ago and asked what my November and December schedule looked like, I asked him what did he have in mind?

Back in he invited us out to San Diego. Nix and his wife Wendy took us to Tijuana, MX. In he called me up while I was in Amarillo, TX and asked me to pick him up at the airport in Wichita the next day.

He had a surprise for me. He took me and a friend to see KISS. So you can only imagine how peaked my interest was for what he had in mind this time.

So I had to know more specifics. First, a date would be handy. Through the years, Nix had become personal friends with Drew Brees and his wife Brittany.

Using Google as my friend, since joining the Saints in as Quarterback, Brees has led all NFL quarterbacks in touchdowns, passing yards, and yard games.

Brees holds the NFL records for career pass completions, career completion percentage and career passing yards and Nix asked him if he could bring a couple of friends to New Orleans to go to the game and meet him afterwards.

So Ronda and I booked out of here on a Friday and made it, just in time, for our flight out of Oklahoma City. We had a short stop in Houston and made it to the hotel at 10 p.

The concierge met us at this very luxurious hotel called "The Windsor Courts. He informed us our bags would be up shortly and we were in for a real surprise.

That was an understatement. Our suite on the 17th floor was beyond description. It was adjoined to another suite. The next thing I knew was Nix burst through the door to welcome us to New Orleans.

Their rooms and our rooms were at the end of the long hallway. We had a private balcony that overlooked the French Quarter. We were completely blown away.

Of course this was another, "I know a guy," story from Nix. He knew the general manager of the hotel. So we went out, listened to jazz music, walked Bourbon Street all night and slept until noon on Saturday before touring the cemeteries and French Quarter.

We ate everything we could and saw as much as we could stand until we dropped from exhaustion. Again, we slept in until noon on Sunday and then ventured to the Mercedes Benz Superdome.

Now keep in mind that Ronda and I are Dallas Cowboys fans. Before we left for the game, there was a knock at the door.

And just like that, we were at the game, but Nix had more surprises. We walked in, showed them a special pass and bam! We were on the field for pregame.

Nix walked us over where we stood by a tunnel and out came the Saints and out came Drew Brees. After they warmed up, we went back up and took our seats and watched the Saints whoop the Superbowl Champs.

After the game, Nix handed us new passes and said to follow him. We went into a hospitality area and had some drinks and eats and watched Drew do his post game interview.

The Brees family greeted us warmly. Just after seeing Drew leave the television screen, he walked in to the room, hugged his family and came over to see us.

Meeting Drew Brees was going to be awesome, but I had another plan. I had my son, Nick, in my pocket I had facetimed him in Japan and he had a bunch of marines and sailors waiting to see Drew Brees.

Drew grabbed my phone and started having a conversation with Nick. Nix had given Nick a signed Drew Brees jersey after he had won the superbowl back in , so Nick was pretty excited to talk to this football legend.

After the conversation ended, Drew asked, "Hey, you guys want to go and hang out on the field for a while? You know that there was no hesitation.

We all crammed into an elevator and walked out on to the field in the now empty Superdome. There is no way to describe how incredible this was, but it keeps getting better.

Nix and I have always had this tradition where we stunt some hilarious photo. At least we think we are hilarious. Nix asked Drew if he would play along and he set the scene.

Nix and I were on the line and Drew was calling out the plays. Ronda took the photo. It took a few shots, but we have a winner!

The best part of the weekend was just hanging out with Nix and Wendy. They are cool people, both veterans and great friends.

Nix and I broke out cigars Sunday night before we left. At least I remembered to bring cigars! If it would have come out of my mouth, it would have sounded more like everything goes on the kitchen table or on the floor by the door.

She got that from her mother Mildred Meairs. Mildred, Barbara and Ronda all keep a clean home. I would also say that in 30 years, Ronda has trained me pretty well to keep my things put away.

For instance, I probably own 30 hammers. I know where 3 are. The other 27 got "put away. There are times where our philosophies on where things go clash.

From there I go to my closet. At first glance, my garage looks pretty unorganized. I swore when I got home last Monday, I put my jacket on a chair at the kitchen table.

She lowered her head and said look on the chair in front of your closet. She has a new go-to place We will celebrate Veterans Day on Friday.

This special holiday has so much meaning to my family. Although I did not serve, I have the utmost respect for those who did and are serving.

My dad was in the Navy during Viet Nam. His service actually had him in and around Cuba during a tense time with Russia. He later did joint missions with many countries in South America.

He was a radio technician on a mine sweeper. His Navy career is the reason I am now here writing this column.

As a result of that meeting, and later a marriage, I was born in in Providence, RI. It came full circle two years later when my son graduated from MLHS and went into the Navy, a decision that I am very proud of.

He is approaching his second year of service and is now stationed with the Marines on a base in Okinawa as an RP Religious Program Specialist. His duties as a Religious Program Specialist might seem sort of unimportant, but after boot camp and his "A" schooling, Nick went through 14 weeks of Marine Combat Training that he described as "worst thing ever".

Now he treasures the memories. He switched from "Blue" side Navy to "Green" side Navy. He is considered by his fellow Marines as one of their own.

He trains, eats, sleeps and is in all practical measures, a Marine. The United States Fleet Marine Forces FMF are combined general and special purpose forces within the United States Department of the Navy that perform offensive amphibious or expeditionary warfare and defensive maritime employment.

All kidding aside, Nick is an awesome shot. According to Chaplain Jones, Nick earned the "expert marskmanship" ribbon with a broken rifle in Okinawa.

They are the "Tip of the Spear" in the event of a deployment in the South Pacific. So dad has a new learning curve.

Thank God for the internet and Wikipedia! There are a bunch of amphibious assault vehicles and tanks and other attack ships.

One of those operations was a U. What I do know is that I am extremely proud of my son. He takes his job very seriously - most of the time.

Nick has seen and done more in his 2 short years after high school than most of us get to do in a lifetime. His immediate plans are to marry his sweetheart Natalie Bare in April and move her over to Okinawa as soon as possible!

He says he wants to share the beauty of the island with her as he finishes his tour which will be sometime after No matter what his decision, I know he will never regret his time of service in the Navy with the Marines.

Thank you to every veteran who has served our country. From a combatant to support staff, each member of our military is necessary to maintain peace in our crazy world.

Thank you for your service and for your sacrifice to keep us free. You all have my deepest admiration. Thank you to my son for serving.

The instructor did a climb and stall and then rolled out of it. I remember the sensation of just being lost and not in the right place.

We left the driveway and my attention was on paperwork in my lap. When I looked up, the terrain was wrong and my brain got more confused.

Ronda had turned south like we do every morning to go to town and go to work. Wichita was the other direction. We laughed and then we turned around.

The vertigo stayed with us the rest of the day. We decided to see George Palmer after his hip surgery.

He sent me a text and said he was on North Ridge Road. That was perfect, since my appointment was also on North Ridge.

As it turned out, George was on Webb Road, way out East. We missed two exits on the way. When we finally found him, almost an hour later, we all had a good laugh.

Happy Birthday to my bride of 30 years!!! I love you Ronda! Do you ever have days that you feel like your significant other in this case, my wife is angry with you?

I could tell she was frustrated about something. Several months ago I had an accident and injured my shoulder. In fact, I went to bed shortly before midnight and slept until 9: It was some kind of adult sleeping record for me.

From what she tells me, I snored. Like one of the seven trumpets blowing from the book of Revelation. So Thursday, I was all bubbly and bouncy and busy, but Ronda was a zombie, and might I say, a slightly grumpy zombie.

To top that off, I was incredibly busy, running in several directions. I feel really badly about that. I probably feel worse about telling her that sometimes she snores too and keeps me awake.

They were married in real life, but slept in separate bedrooms on the series. Fred and Wilma bunked together on their rock bed in The Flintstones from but their eligibility is also questioned because despite being human in character, they were cartoons and not real actors.

I remember several times Fred snored through episodes when he and Wilma were sleeping. I think Wilma was just fine and obviously humanity continued and evolved, at least in cartoon world.

Yes, this may have all taken place in the "early days," but even as late as series "The Brady Bunch", six children shared a single bathroom that lacked even a toilet.

Small town rural America can not survive without people like Pat and Tonya White and their children: For more than 65 years this family has invested in small towns in Kansas with grocery stores.

Since that time, two of my children worked in their store in Medicine Lodge. Both Joey and Nicholas stocked shelves in high school.

I want to brag and gush over this family. They have taught him so much and now given him the opportunity to be a store manager.

I hope he makes them as proud of Joey as I am. It was so much fun to sit back and watch the community of St John get a new grocery store on that day and listen to speeches given by their economic development group and Pat White.

We were so happy to be a part of the celebration. The Whites get little recognition for all they do for their communities.

There were no giant checks or big stories about them in the newspaper. They did it because they truly care about the communities they serve.

Ronda and I appreciate their friendship and for them giving Joey a chance to do something big. Seeing Joey grow and succeed is a blessing to his mother and I.

Congratulations to the city of St. John and all of the organizations that worked so hard to convince the Whites to come to town. You will never regret asking them to put in that store.

I was very impressed with the warm reception they were given. There was even a marching band present at the ribbon cutting. Small towns like Medicine Lodge and St.

John should be thankful for families like the Whites who are willing to make huge investments in the communities they serve.

Also deserving of some praise is Lance and Sloan Freeman. They are young and motivated people who call our area home and they are growing their business and have placed a pharmacy inside.

It was fun seeing them on Wednesday. We have a snapshot of how Peace Treaty went and tonight The Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Board will meet to discuss what we already know to be true.

Attendance to our Pageant productions over the three day weekends are on a steady decline, similar to preceding pageants up until when it nearly became the last pageant.

The hard truth is, every Peace Treaty could be the last. It brings in a huge crowd to Medicine Lodge. I watched it 5 times in 9 days this year between rehearsal and performances and participated in many scenes.

I love it each time I see it. I am in awe of the history of our area and would personally not change much of how it is presented. I could never pull that excuse off.

This event is 2 hours of action and history packed into a beautiful amphitheater with over actors. Most who come to town only go to the free events.

Help us keep History Alive in Medicine Lodge. Support future Peace Treaties! I want to thank my buddy Pete Meador for being such a great supporter of Peace Treaty.

We always try to get a photo together after our signing scene. Another Peace Treaty weekend is in the books. That will take us a little while to gather.

It was just 23 minutes from my 20th birthday and my wife was delivering our first born child. On October 3rd my baby girl will be 29 years old and the very next day, you can add 20 years to that and figure out my age!

Inside this issue is our Special Edition, all about the history of our little town. Let us take you back years to a time when our town was just a settlement with a stockade.

Our community has grown into what it is today and now we look back and acknowledge the historic events that took place, shaping not only Medicine Lodge, but the expansion of the west in the United States.

The weekend celebration takes so many volunteers that they are impossible to list. This is only a tiny fraction of those who make this weekend possible.

We also rely heavily on The City of Medicine Lodge Crew and are so thankful for all of the things they do to help us prepare for this event.

Thank you to our Native American friends for coming and being a part of this weekend. Many of us are Peace Treaty Crazy at the moment.

We love this community and the Peace Treaty and our mission is to keep it going for generations. I have the pleasure of printing articles of three young men who are doing outstanding things in our community.

Andrew posted on Facebook: My booth is at Cottonwood Avenue just north of the outdoor arena. I called him on his cell to make sure he was still there and he was!

He has created a fire fighting rig called "The Minuteman" that easily fits into the back of a pickup quickly to fight fires.

We stopped to see this invention and I was very impressed. He also had several fair-goers stop by to look at his product and it seems like there is a lot of interest in it.

The product is well constructed and has some really cool features. Pake McNally is one of the most creative artists and people I have enjoyed meeting.

He also has created a product: In addition to this invention, he is a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu and creates works of art from metal.

He has a brilliant mind and I am excited to see his business evolve. Finally, Aaron Traffas has released a new EP.

I consider Aaron a dear friend. We are on polar opposite ends of the political spectrum, but we can talk and disagree without yelling and screaming.

For this, I have hope. Liberals and Conservatives can have conversations and strive towards common goals. Aaron is a talented song writer, musician and sound technician.

We have a lot of the same interests, we just disagree about politics. I see great things in the future of Medicine Lodge and Barber County with the creative minds in these three young men.

It is very humbling to be able to complement these young men. There are many young men and women in our community who are the new "movers and shakers.

You guys are making history. Keep up the good work. Keep dreaming and congratulations! Every day from here until pageant time, there is some important task to complete in preparation for Peace Treaty.

As board members, Ronda and I know first hand the work that goes into putting on a pageant year production. Thousands of man hours go into preparing for Peace Treaty.

It is all volunteer and each and every one of you who donate your time and resources are so greatly appreciated. Over the next couple of weeks, we will finish up our Peace Treaty Special Edition.

We will publish it with our Monday, September 24 newspaper. This edition highlights just a fraction of the people who make Peace Treaty happen.

I would like to encourage and challenge you to do something very important to keeping our heritage alive and keeping Peace Treaty solvent.

Buy a ticket to the pageant. I hear people say, "Oh, I already saw it back in Sales to the pageant and generous donations from sponsors are what keeps this event alive.

The truth is, every pageant could be the last one without ticket sales. Help spread the word to your friends and family this year and go see the Peace Treaty Pageant.

We have an amazing community with a rich history. Our story will continue to be told in the future with your support. A long time friend of mine passed away suddenly last week.

I had known him for 14 years. If you had ever been to a concert at the Cotillion in Wichita or any club that offered live music, you were probably hearing his work.

Mike Pickens was pretty close to my age. He was the house sound technician and a very good one at that. That was always our little joke.

Over the years Mike went on tour with several bands and became one of the most in demand people for tour management and sound engineering around.

You could say Mike was a little odd, but it comes with the territory. On at least 5 occasions in four different states, I had run into Mike at music events.

He was working and was always happy to see a familiar face in the crowd. At one event in Oklahoma City, Mike came up to me at the venue and asked if I could give him a ride home to Wichita after the show.

He was cool with that. In fact, he would have just come home with us and tried to catch a ride back to Wichita!

I finally drew him a map and convinced him that he was as close to home in OKC as he would be at my house. He owned a moped, some music gear and had a cat.

He ended up finding a ride home the next day. He ran over to his console, threw on his headset and started listening to his mix. I walked over and tapped him on the shoulder.

He took off his headset and I yelled back, "Hey man, I was just kidding. He threw a little awkward, fun punch at me and looked at me with a silly grin through his thick round glasses.

He recently married the love of his life, Amy. They were scheduled to marry late winter earlier this year and Ronda and I had planned on making the trip to Kingman for the ceremony.

Bad weather rolled in and he sent out a Facebook message saying the wedding was off for the moment. A week later, he posted they were married and one of the photos had a mutual friend in it that he had as his best man.

He said, nobody came except our mutual friend Gabe and a couple of family members. It was just a spur of the moment wedding at the courthouse before the next round of bad weather rolled in.

He was dehydrated and worn out from his last trip across country. He went in for treatment and then went home. His wife found him unresponsive the next day and he was revived and placed on a ventilator.

Mike was taken off of life support on Tuesday of last week after several doctors gave bad reports of his condition.

He died at 2: Our mutual friend Gabe called me to tell me the sad news. I was out on the tractor mowing when the call came. Mike was supposed to be here on Wednesday, September 26, to help with sound for Peace Treaty.

There are many other sound technicians coming, but I was most excited to see Mike. He will be missed by so many people. If you get a job when you go to Heaven, Mike would be in charge of making the Angels sound more awesome than they already do.

Wednesday moring my wife sighed and said, "Our office is a newspaper again. Yes, school is back in session and our office manager is starting her kindergarten year.

Thank you USD A friend is someone who is there to catch you when you fall or at least put your dislocated shoulder back in after you take a stupid-stumble.

A stupid-stumble is similar to a regular stumble, but involves you doing something stupid in the process of the stumble.

My friend just happens to be very skilled in fixing this type of injury. He also had a side kick that night who found my predicament quite amusing.

Apparently, she thinks I should look down before stepping. After a visit to our x-ray department at Medicine Lodge Memorial Hospital, it looks like nothing is broken, but my left arm and shoulder are reminding me daily that I am not as young as I used to be.

I will be sporting a sling for the unforseeable future, which is really putting a kink in things like: It would also end it as a concert pianist, brain surgeon or astronaut.

I was fortunate enough to have my friends to help me and a box full of slings from other stumbles, stupid or not.

Nick tore his shoulder in one of his last high school football games before joining the Navy. If you know me well at all, you know I am crazy about music.

Ronda and I are always finding a concert we want to see and last week we managed to break our own record. The really cool part is that both times, it was Peter Frampton!

The reason it was so hard to write, is because I care so much for this family. Emma Jo and Gary Rucker are the sweetest couple you could ever meet.

To hear that they were terrorized in their own home saddened and angered me. They witnessed about the love, grace and mercy of Jesus to this man. Their son Flint said it best when he told me that they were "the best parents in the world.

I was on FaceTime with my son in Okinawa when we saw the helicopter fly over our ranch. The very ranch where Flint keeps a herd of cattle.

Little did we know, that helicopter was flown in to transport the man who had just assaulted the Ruckers.

I turned my phone around and showed Nick. When I heard the news later that night, I texted Nick back and we shared in the shock of what had happened.

I texted Flint the next morning, but wanted to give him a few days before I spoke with him. I knew that he was being bombarded with questions and I hated to be that one more reporter guy that called.

So finally on Wednesday, Flint stopped in and sat down for the better part of an hour to tell me what had happened. For most of my life, I have idolized Flint Rucker.

Tough as nails, with a heart of gold. I consider him one of the greatest friends and men in my life. He has been encouraging to me, shared in good times and bad and has always been there when I needed him.

I want him to know that he is special to me and my family and loved by this community. Flint is so humble.

He would not want the recognition or mention, but he is a hero who gives credit where credit is due. This was a God thing that he was able to overpower that would-be thief and killer.

Things could have ended so differently for the Ruckers that night. Flint is a man who has always had strong faith in God. This can only reinforce his beliefs.

I pray that Emma Jo and Gary and Flint and Donna and all the huge Rucker family heal emotionally and physically from this event. I know they are strong people and they love each other and their community.

When I think of what Flint did and what could have happened, I get goosebumps, but it reminds me of some scripture that I believe is a perfect example of how Flint lives his life.

We lost our loyal friend of almost 15 years last weekend. Hyde was a smart and kind German Shepherd that was just a natural part of our family.

Ronda and I found an advertisement from a family selling German Shepherd puppies over by Augusta back in We had just lost our friend "Beau" who was hit while chasing a truck.

We had said we would never get another dog, but our hearts were so broken and empty. We brought our new puppy home and named him "Hyde.

As our kids all grew up and left the nest, it was just me, Ronda and Hyde. We slowly watched him grow from a puppy to an old man.

In his younger years, Hyde could jump higher than your head for a frisbie or ball, he could catch a treat in his mouth from more than 25 yards away.

He knew multiple commands and would do some of the funniest tricks like spinning in circles until he got his treat. Hyde loved to ride in my truck, in the back.

With the "load up" command, he would literally jump into anything that had wheels. He went everywhere with me. If I had a town errand, he came with me.

He came to the office for the first few years of his life until he just got too big and was too nervous of all the traffic. He also got a little too protective when customers came in and we took him home to be on the ranch.

He was a farm boy. He would go on long walks with Ronda and I and occasionally spot a deer and take off running. He would be gone for hours and always returned tired.

As a member of the family, he joined us for our first Christmas photo back in Looking back, he was in graduation photos, birthday photos and about every holiday occasion we had.

He never acted as though he were in pain and would still come out occasionally and sit on the porch with us for dinner.

I knew he hurt though. I took it apart and tried to gently bring him to his food and water. I could see it in his eyes.

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