Family, Memoirs, Sports-Hobbies.

Home brewing: Yeast is your friend

After many years on home brew hiatus, my son Jon and I have begun brewing beer together, now that he has finished his arduous post-grad studies and has time for something other than work.  We have managed to brew two batches of beer so far, and a third is nearly finished conditioning.  We have made all of the mistakes one can make starting out, but thankfully all of the beers are drinkable.
Memoirs, Sports-Hobbies.

Would you let your child play football?

I played high school football, in a manner of speaking. My friends and I often played tackle football without pads on the weekends, usually on muddy fields, which served to reduce the force of the tackles. As a junior at Jackson High School in Portland, at 5 foot 2 inches tall and weighing in at 115 pounds, I lingered at the third position on the varsity football depth chart as a cornerback, and played only near the end of lopsided games, simply too small to be taken seriously.

Growing up, football and basketball were my favorite sports.  I played lots of touch football with my friends and family.  Yet as parents, when our boys played high school sports, my wife and I did not allow them to play tackle football:  We felt  that with the amount and severity of injuries in football, the risk was too high.  Given the recent revelations of long-term injuries in football, the question can be asked anew: Would we have let our children play football today, or more urgently, would we want our grandchildren to play football today?

Family, Memoirs.

Glenn Jaeger, in Memoriam

Glenn Jaeger passed away recently. Glenn's father Nick married my grandmother Edna Wiebe after my grandfather died. Getting to know Glenn and Carol was one of the blessings of that union for me. We moved into the neighboring school district just before my senior year in high school, and Glenn and Carol took me in that last year to allow me to finish high school where I had started. They treated me so kindly, much more kindly than an obnoxious teenager might expect.
Family, Memoirs, Music.

Das echte Lied der Alpenkräuter

When I was growing up, my father taught us a little ditty from his Mennonite boyhood:

Dar war ein Mann in Tode Loch,
Und kein er sahe Mann,
Und im dem letzen Stunden,
Stunden,
Hat er das Alpenkreuter gefunden.


Play the Alpenkräuter song (vocals and piano)

It was a charming little tune, and I would sing or hum it on the off occasion during my youth. At no time did it occur to my father to translate or to explain the song, nor did it occur to me to ask. I suppose sometimes the music is captivating enough. Some time in my teens, my curiosity was finally aroused regarding its meaning and perhaps its place in Midwestern Mennonite culture, so . . .