July 13, 2012

For my recent birthday Grandson William presented grandpa a T-shirt  proudly announcing:  NEW YORK STATE (2012) Boy’s Niagara District Qualifiers AAU BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP.   Listing on the T-shirt are Boy’s 5th grade to 11th grade qualifying teams,  included is William’s Boy’s 6th Grade (Syracuse) East Side Hoops.  William’s mother reported to Grandpa that East Side Hoops come from East Syracuse and surrounding suburbs. Many having played together since 3rd grade “display teamwork, chemistry, and skills other teams don’t possess”.  Continue reading “WIN WITHOUT BOASTING – LOSE WITHOUT EXCUSES”


How approach my role as American citizen on national Independence Day?  Often  we may become distracted from our vocation as citizen in context of political divisiveness and pressing economic and social issues.  How place my calling as citizen in a more liberating and “relaxed”  context to celebrate more fully that citizenship?  That depends,  in my view, on the spiritual underpinnings of one’s  understanding of the role and responsibility of citizenship.  As a young student IContinue reading “FOURTH OF JULY THEOLOGICAL MUSING – A “RELAXED” VOCATIONAL CALLING”


June 19, 2012

A new computer made the transfer of files from the old computer to the new necessary.  In that process I came across a file dated 2/17/07. Curiosity was  aroused   by the title:  Phebe Hanson Document about myself.     It reads: “Written January 2004 at Gloria Dei Lutheran church.  Phebe Hanson, a prominent Minnesota poet and friend discussed how to write about oneself in the first person. Continue reading “THE ART OF AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WRITING”

Scholarship Celebrates New Level

June 5, 2012

We  received good news that the scholarship fund has reached $30,000 and become an official endowed scholarship! With the minimum scholarship level met, we now can look forward to awarding the first Fred and Ruth Bartling Scholar in the fall with the continued efforts to reach $50,000.

Thank you to the 165 donors who have  generously given to the scholarship fund.  With each contributor there is a story, such as the  11-year-old who gave his winnings from a basketball competition Continue reading “Scholarship Celebrates New Level”

Celebrating Four score and Four Years

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For me, reaching four score and four years evokes a doxological response. Sustained by grace and upheld through radical surgery the past eighteen months have provided sharpened meaning for and grateful savoring of life. Surrounded by proven friendships and cultivating new relationships at our Becketwood Cooperative home enriches life. My mate of three score years, six children and their mates, and grandchildren shelter me with gentle affection. Gratifying is the affirmation my teaching career received as demonstrated in The Fred and Ruth Bartling Scholarship. Consistent with professorial calling a word may still be spoken for freedom, justice, and equality.

Note: Frederick Albert Bartling was born on June 3, 1928. Please visit our Guestbook and pass along a birthday greeting to him!


Ruth sorting through “Thread and Stuff”

On the front coffee table my eyes focused upon an array of some 75 spools of thread exhibiting together lustrous rainbowlike colors of the spectrum. Inquiring as to the reason for this display my wife Ruth informed she was in the process of downsizing sewing supplies. Sorting through a box titled Thread and Stuff spools of thread, needles, stick pins, and other sewing essentials  found themselves cast aside on the table – rejected victims of downsizing .  Informed as to the reason for this display I registered a note of nostalgia recalling the importance of sewing as a worthy skill in our home.  Continue reading “SEWING “THREAD AND STUFF” – NOSTALGIC DOWNSIZING”


May 8, 2012

An article in the summer 2012 Washington State University Magazine titled The Atomic Landscape arrested my attention. Discussed is the WWII Manhattan Project and the development of atomic bombs.  Hanford Nuclear Reservation in South-Eastern Washington on the Columbia River is where successful atomic fission  resulted in building  atom bombs.  Hanford is in close proximity of river towns Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick. Interesting for me is that some students I served as campus chaplain (1952-1958)  at Washington State University,  a rather short distance from Hanford, were raised in the Hanford environs. They were children during the  Manhattan Project period. Their student years paralleled the early Cold War phase.  Those  years witnessed the start of the nuclear arms race with Soviet Russia.Continue reading “ATOMIC FISSION : “IS THERE NO BALM IN GILEAD?””


April 30, 2012

An Octogenarian Plus Four recalls himself as a grade school lad wonderfully coordinated athletically but little interested in the life of the mind or academic pursuit.  His anxious mother would say in asides:  “Er kann nicht lesen (German – ‘He can’t read’.  His teachers, it is recalled, almost yearly, it seemed suggested that, perhaps,  grade promotion should be postponed.  Needless to relate this lad approached the academic rigors of high school with self-doubt and lack of confidence. THE TRAP WAS SET.Continue reading “CURE FOR ACADEMIC EXAMINATION PARALYSIS/ANXIETY”

TEPPANYAKI GRILL AND SUPREME BUFFET – Twin Cities Growing Ethnic Diversity

Recently we came upon the Teppanyaki Grill & Supreme Buffet (2216 E Lake St Minneapolis)  , purportedly Minnesota’s largest buffet.  Located in the Midtown/Phillips  area of Minneapolis, one of the city’s most ethnically diverse sections,  features Asian-Japanese cuisane.  Introduced after WWII  tappanyaki  restaurants and buffets specialize in Western influenced food.Continue reading “TEPPANYAKI GRILL AND SUPREME BUFFET – Twin Cities Growing Ethnic Diversity”


Recently a phone conversation  with a Comcast help desk technician regarding a laptop problem led to a discussion regarding Panama. He had spent three years in Panama as a radio communications expert. My inquiries regarding the United States’ role in Panama elicited the response that the U.S. role is minimal and that of China paramount.Continue reading “PANAMA/CARIBBEAN – CHINA’S ECONOMIC CLOUT”