Sandy Hook and other Symbols

POSTNOTE Dec 17: Jan. 6 Committee: Mon and Wed Dec 19&21.  These may be televised.

Ten years ago today (Dec 14, 2012) I was at a Twin Cities Shopping Mall where grandson Spencer and Middle School classmates were giving a concert.  Here’s Spencer (at left, in black, with Trombone) and classmates.  Spencer was 12.

Spencer and classmates, Twin Cities, Dec. 14, 2012

Concert over, driving home, came the first radio announcement of the tragedy at Sandy Hook…The horror at Sandy Hook was beginning at exactly the same time as I was watching these Middle Schoolers performing for family and friends.

Today, Spencer is 22, the last four years a Marine.

Where do you stand on the issue amplified by the tragedy of Sandy Hook?  Good beginning resources here and here.


Yesterday President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act, which was passed by the Congress last Thursday.

Count me among the vast majority of Americans who support equality in rights to marry, which Minnesota helped to pioneer in 2013.  Change came in Minnesota primarily through active organizing.  Positive change came by positive action.

I am male.  As such I can’t claim to understand WLGBTQ+ (W = Women).  We are all unique.  Speaking only for myself, for example, the new vocabulary will take time to get accustomed to.  Brittney Griners wife, for example.  Ours is no longer a white man’s world (“white man” is not a monolith0.  It never was, but….  It’s long past time for the playing field to be leveled, equality and respect for all.). Recently via a friend came a link to a brief discussion of the general issue.  You can see it here.


On the same day Congress passed the Marriage bill, the Catholic Diocese newspaper arrived with a half page article Cath Spirit Dec 8 2022  (The on-line article is not identical but basically the same as the print article.  The paper has small circulation compared with the Catholic population.)

In my church, as in all denominations, there is a very thick crust of traditional interpretation.  For instance, I did a quick search about Adam and Eve, probably the traditional Christian (and Jewish and Muslim) basis for all manner of interpretations of marriage and other things, like sin (the book of Genesis).  Long and short, there is no certainty of who authored Genesis, nor when, except it was very long ago, at minimum hundreds of years BC.  Back then issues like gender identity existed but certainly not understood.  Now they are, but still resisted in ways we all know.  Change in attitude is in all of our personal courts.  We are, indeed, the change we wish to see.


About 30 years ago I came into possession of the marriage contract of my first Bernard ancestor in French Canada.  This marriage was in 1730, when to be in Quebec meant to be Catholic.  The actual contract, translated, is here: Catholic Marriage 1730001 .  As I interpret it, the 1730 marriage contract was a civil document first, one of the requirements being later marriage in the Catholic Church.  Essentially, state and church were one in French Canada.

(Included also is record of another marriage record of relatives, in 1883, who were initially married by a Justice of the Peace over 25 years earlier and had ten children – illegitimate in the eyes of the church).  So it went.

Perhaps everything is simply political argument.  People ARE politics, period.

There is hate out there.  It is our job to push back and support equal rights for all.


I could make this post much longer, about Refugees at El Paso; Ukraine; on and on.  Those are for another time.

Today on my daily walk I noted a fellow elder wearing a DAV hat (Disabled American Veteran).  We chatted briefly.  Arthritis makes  a walk of less than a mile a struggle for him, but he marches on.  Later on in the walk a short chat with another walker whose son is in the National Guard.  She worries that he may be deployed.  In my case, the grandson pictured above is completing a four year tour in the U.S. Marines.

Life goes on for all of us.  Below the radar, life as we mostly experience it is pretty good.  It is stressed, no doubt, but we’re surrounded by good people.  We just need to act on the goodness.


Here’s an old penny postcard from the early 1900s, among the Busch farm collection.  This one from Grandma’s sister in Wisconsin, included with a letter, Dec. 10, 1905.  Grandma and Grandpa had married Feb. 28, and Grandma arrived at the new farm a few weeks later, following Grandpa, his brother and his cousin who did the first groundwork at the new place.

All very best wishes at this season.

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