Tag Archives: #TBT

#TBT: My Favorite American

Having now found my first scrapbook, I am in possession of a faded, scrawled speech I gave in fifth grade.

My teacher was Miss Mann.  The school was Pleasant Lea Elementary in Lee’s Summit.

And in that oration contest, I won first place.

[In this photo, notice the comb in my shirt pocket. This was the first year I had hair that was not a buzz-cut.]

Here’s the speech (and some commentary), delivered on Sunday, 19 July 2020, nearly 49 years after its first delivery:


#TBT: July abroad

I realized the other day that I have spent quite a few days of July abroad in recent years.  Here are a few photos from July excursions to Europe.

Scenes from Montreal, Vienna, London and every one of the countries in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Stockholm, Antwerp, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Florence, other points in Austria, and Paris.  I think that’s it.

Travel was by jet, plane, car, bus, train, and bicycle!

Many of these adventures were with my friend Kevin Cherry, or with the choir from Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City.  I’m grateful to Webster University for the Messing Award that allowed me to spend three weeks in Vienna in July 2018 for curriculum development.

#TBT: Poppie

My maternal grandfather, Edwin Lee Blocher Sr., left us in 1967.  I was his second grandson. And I have very few photos with him.

Left: me at barely two years old, with Edwin and Ruth Blocher, and my cousin Keith, their first-born grandson.

Center: Poppie in his late teens in California, late 1920s.

Right: I’m in Poppie’s arms in summer 1962.