John Andrist: An Exercise in Remembering What Was

There were five of us sitting in a circle Saturday morning, shortly after finishing our breakfast. It was an impromptu gathering.

Our life paths had never crossed in our good years. With more than 400 years of combined living, I don’t have to tell you we are not too feeble to know we are probably experiencing our last roundup, which is perhaps partly the reason we have become companions.

But the five of us share quite a number of other things, the most important of which is widowhood. All of us were blessed with long, happy marriages.

So we decided to spend an hour sharing pictures and memories of the women we loved.

Some likely thought we were weird, that perhaps it is time “to get over it”. Others thought it was a neat idea.

All I can tell you, from the perspective of an old man who out-married myself, is that I get a lift out of talking about her — and I enjoy being with friends who shared the same kind of married life, and still carry similar emotions about what once was theirs.

All I can tell you, from the perspective of an old man who out-married myself, is that I get a lift out of talking about her — and I enjoy being with friends who shared the same kind of married life, and still carry similar emotions about what once was theirs.

I’ve been writing a weekly column for more than 65 years. When I started I was young and brash, and probably felt old people needed to know what young people think.

Today I am old, and hopefully less brash. But whether you like it or not you are stuck with reading what old people think about.

A column, after all, is only part editorial. Although columnists are as diverse as their authors, most of us have a part editorial function, connected to the pursuit of writing and sharing.

The late Andy Rooney produced at least one book containing his diverse collection of personal columns. He called it “Pieces of My Mind.

I like that, because it is mostly an explanation of what we do when we are sitting behind a keyboard.

DAPL getting even

It was generally known, during the long and costly DAPL pipeline protest, that it really wasn’t about safe water.

Even during the protest the Corps of Engineers was working on a new fresh water intake on Lake Oahe with a pipeline to serve the Standing Rock community.

The location is about 70 miles south of the point where the pipeline crosses the river.

But then, demonstrations and protests are more about emotions than presenting an argument for a point of view.

There is also substantial evidence that far left environmental groups and left leaners funded the protest.

This week it was announced those deeper pocket protest groups are being sued for damages by the pipeline company.

So the pipeline company may yet get some of their costs back, and if North Dakota joins the action they could recover some of what was spent to prevent violence and protect public safety.

And the winner is?

A woman who won a $757 million lottery jackpot probably left many of you dreaming that it really could have been you.

It left me thinking, wow, she collected almost a billion dollars (somebody does collect a commission and/or a profit from that investment in tickets) in donations from people who were dreamers.

How many kids could have gone to college with that money? Holy cow! Folks actually volunteered to spend hard earned money on the off-chance that they might beat those kinds of odds?

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.        

Cultural revolution

When Chinese Communists took control they set about destroying all evidence of that country’s historic civilizations.

It was called the cultural revolution, something similar to what the USA is now doing — taking down some of the statues of old heroes who don’t meet today’s political correctness standards.

I hope our museums aren’t next!

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from 1-2pm weekdays.

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