Skip to content

mortality and waffles

June 4, 2012

Okay, then.  Jude and I saw Nathan and Sean off at SeaTac Airport yesterday, capping a

wonderful visit.  We hurried home to a roomier but quieter house, stopping only for some

not-much-cheaper-than-Canadian U.S. gas and much-cheaper-than-in-Canada Kahlua at

the duty free store at the border.


Along the way, we found this priceless comment on American culture:


So now I want to tell you about my recent visit to Kansas to see grandson Sean’s high school

graduation.  Last month I caught a red-eye flight out of Seattle and met my old friend Bill near

Kansas City for breakfast.

Here we are at the restaurant, Bill ruining

the shot like he always does by insisting on

being taller than me.  We’ve endured much

together over many years.  Long strange

trip kinda thing.  We were discussing mor-

tality over waffles, andI mentioned that I

might be seeing people this visit that I’ll

never see again.


It was important to me to use this possibly last face-to-face to make certain that there were

no unresolved grudges, no unfinished business, nothing left unsaid.  As I was expressing how

valuable that was to me when my parents were dying, I started crying.  Tears welled up in

Bill’s eyes, too.  He patted my hand.


It must have been an odd sight in a public place: two old guys in tears, one physically com-

forting the other.  In fact, I believe it’s still illegal in Kansas. But no one bothered us, possibly

because we were at an International House of Pancakes. IHOP’s may be legally nebulous areas,

like embassies and borders between countries.


Just to play it safe, though, we tipped well.


My time with Bill was far too short, as always.  I had to press on, however, because I wanted

to see one more friend in the area before I drove to Pittsburg.  Tim had been a kid at an

adolescent group home I had worked at in the ’70’s.  He’s smart and observant, and had

no trouble figuring out how to work the system.


As an adult he worked with teenagers himself.  He excelled at it because he knew every con-

ceivable trick and was always way ahead of the kids. But he hit a dark stretch and got heavily

involved with crack. He lost everything and ended up on the streets. One night he was severely

beaten in a drug dispute and left for dead.


He was so seriously injured that he couldn’t speak for two years.  Today, having overcome

tremendous odds, he runs a Christian recovery house in the roughest part of Kansas City.

Here he is with his dog Alex.

You’re looking at angels, folks.  Tim runs

the house without any kind of official

support. Alex, whose gentleness was part

of the program, was a recovery dog who

helped people recover. He died last week

under mysterious circumstances.



When I talked to Tim earlier today, he was checking a new fellow into the program.  With

just modest rent payments from the residents and his strength of heart, Tim gives hope to

men that most everyone else has given up on.  Would you please send him a thought or

prayer or comment here to let him know his efforts are appreciated?


Thank you.



WEDNESDAY: on to Pittsburg.

  1. Gordon permalink
    June 4, 2012 2:50 pm

    Would Tim mind if you shared an address? Might even be able to work a small contribution into the mix along with a thought and prayer. Not often one gets a chance to directly help angels and this just might be it. Can’t help but laugh at the juxtopositon (never sure about that word or its spelling) of the church and pawn shop and the beginning to today’s blog and a real angel at the end.

    • June 5, 2012 8:02 am

      I’ll check with him, Gordie. That’s a very thoughtful gesture. And smart choice going with the waffles.

  2. Gordon permalink
    June 4, 2012 3:38 pm

    …Oh, and if there’s a choice, I’ll take waffles.

  3. Inveterate Teacher permalink
    June 4, 2012 5:47 pm

    What a great gesture, you Gordon you.
    And oh yes, It’s “juxtaposition”….(You’ll notice my user-name)

    Allen, so great to hear about Tim. I haven’t heard from him in more than 6 months. He changed his email address, but I think I ‘ve sent notes to him at the right, new one, but still no word back from him.

    Bear story was great and reminded me of a roadside brown one we glimpsed near Willits, CA. I believe. What a joy.

    Hugs. IT

    • June 5, 2012 8:06 am

      I vividly remember the Willits bear hitting his brakes to avoid slamming into the van. Until recently, I thought that was the closest I’d ever get to unfenced ursine energy.

  4. Judy Walters Bay permalink
    June 4, 2012 7:19 pm

    “Those were the days my friend . . .” Brought tears to my eyes at the time.
    Thanks for the great pic of Bill! Best wishes to Tim.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: