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(There are no pictures-there are none any would want to see.)

I imagine Buddha, Gandhi or God might find that reading 30 people died was as painful as learning  six family members were killed. Otherwise, it’s difficult for most people to put a face on the dead they never knew. Maybe, that’s why the news that Isis has launched 20 attacks world-wide since 2014 that have killed 1200 people and wounded scores more doesn’t have many of us gnashing our teeth at a wailing wall.

But, what if, for just a moment, you and I imagined all 30 people killed today in Brussels were our direct family members(take a second or two-see their faces in death)….what then? Would we sit in our living room and listen to President hopefuls talk about the situation? Or, might we find ourselves banging fists through walls.

Sometimes, that bull-in-the-ring reaction seems well suited to charge ahead at any cost.

When does the talking stop and unified world-wide forces identify the enemy’s uniform and stomp those wearing it into beetle piss. A beautiful thing about life is that it holds so many truths, and here’s one of them: if no one is safe, then no one is safe. Simple.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is a major charge the American people ask of their government. Isis is putting a bad wrinkle on that chink of armor, and doing it across the globe. People of Ankara ask why the two bombings in Turkey that left scores dead this past week did not get the same main stream waving flag of coverage that Brussel’s earned in just one blast.* Their point is well taken, but I think the central point has moved past outrage, past coverage, past detente, way past no boots on the ground.

If Americans and good people all over look outside what they should see, no matter what the weather, is war clouds gathering on our horizon. Isis will not stop random bombings unless they are made to stop. And it only figures Isis will not leave  American football games, parades or Times Square out of their sights. Trouble is, can Isis be made to stop? There’s a gut check question for a knee jerk reaction. Queasy-the only word.

History has well proven that wars do happen, and for each war there has been a cause, a reason for the conflict that those willing to fight and die could not deny. When Fathers, Mothers and Children of all ages are randomly slaughtered as they go to catch a plane, can the reasons for war be too far off?

Maybe, not having a choice will make this ensuing war easier, but I think not. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself?” Well, there’s an early death; that can’t be perfect. Still, the time is here. It’s time some good sides march left to right while the other good sides march right to left and together, the two forces must squash everyone in between that is an enemy of free life, free travel, community safety and civilized people.

The deadly bombings are happening across the globe far more than most American’s know. It’s past time for complaining about what we have to do about this ideological menace to the civilized world- we have to stand up, stop apologizing for what may or may not have caused the problem to begin with, and stop the murderers now. No one can change history, but many can stop these random bombings.

Isis can end, but only with a world-wide effort. Sadly, words will never be enough.

Franque23.

“ANKARA — For the fifth time since October, another bomb has rocked one of Turkey’s two biggest cities — Istanbul and Ankara — pushing the overall death toll in recent months to nearly 200 with hundreds more injured.”http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-03-22/paris-there-have-been-hundreds-terrorist-attacks-many-have-gone-unnoticed

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As I see it, no one remembers him, only the booze, the drunken swagger, and slow drawl that crept out from beneath his handle bar mustache. They remember him old, defeated, not so much more than a has been from a more than forgotten time.  Thing is, that time was our time.

We laughed together as kids maybe more than you ever will. That’s a fact I can’t prove but the words speak for themselves. Things got exciting when Grady came to the lake. We were young- there were a million boats to ride and hillsides to climb. Later on, when we got cool, there’d be booze, of course, but much more humor. Ideas would flow between us as my cousins, Robin and David, gazed with Grady and I at star light or the flickering flames of a fire that needed one more log. The heat from our fires back then was unreal, and it always dispelled any notion we might have had that good times could ever end, that things could ever change, and even be forgotten. Grady had the spark we’d  waited to see all day though few who are alive today could ever believe it, certainly never know it, or think that possible-he was a drunk. I suspect that’s what people will say, or think now.

Like my cousin Robin, or David, who bowed down to the power of booze, Grady was no different, but for his name, his life, and his spirit. Thing is, anyone who only reads the last chapters of a book and then claims to know what the entire story was about is wrong. Grady’s ending belies his life, a life attested to by so much that still stands today by our lake house,or, actually, inside it as well. His life stands inside my heart, too. You see, more than the painfully perfect rocks walls that Grady built along the road way to our camp, and those rock walls are a challenge to any who ever built one to try a do better, the dry wall of our camp loft and more were meticulously done by Grady. Forty-five years later, not a seam of tape is showing in those joints, and the fittings have always been perfect.

Grady, I owe you. Not just because my parents loved you so dearly, but because you gave so much when you could.

It gets down to this: I loved this guy. I loved hearing his unique voice, a raspy, deep woodmen’s sounding one, and the twinkle in his eye. When he spoke, people listened; and when he laughed the world did too. His rock walls at the lake will always be wonderful to see, a fond remembrance. Of course, only my cousin,Robin, may have drunk more, I don’t know. My cousin David may have taken a close third place. All are gone now. That is painful, but what really matters to me is that I will miss all three, and often hear their voices, their laughter, in the wind as it comes off the lake.

We had it all for a moment as we grew up together during our summer time spent at the lake camps-we were so young, and it was so much fun. Sunlight glimmered just for us.

Grady, I may be one of few who know how much you did for my parents, and for the beauty of the East Shore road up at Bonaparte. I may be one of the few left who remember you as a kid, with eyes shining bright and laughter so light. Thing is, I want you to know-I miss you already. You were honest, a friend during the years I wish I had back. I’d guess, most anyone who really knows you feels the same.

Goodbye Grady. I wish I could see you again. We’ll have to wait and see about that. We always wondered what would happen. Sometime, when I pass, we’ll know.

Franque23-

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