So Many Miracles Surrounding My Mom’s Death

miracles happen


(Editor’s Note: After the previous post on abortion, I’m not sure how to get back to funny.  So I decided to publish this piece about “my miracles”.  I wrote this and three other stories as part of what I’d hoped would be a book on miracles. That did not happen, so this will.)


One of the hardest things I ever did was emigrate to New Zealand in 1993, but that’s what was required by my young family.

My Mom had a chronic, debilitating lung disease that not even the Centers for Disease Control could diagnose.  I knew she was not going to get better.  So moving halfway around the world was really hard.

Thankfully, we got to stay with Mom and my step-dad C.B. for about a month while waiting for NZ Immigration to give us the go-ahead.

The delays and red tape about drove my Missus crazy.  But I saw it as a time of grace that gave me precious extra time to spend with Mom.  This was enormously important to me, because I didn’t know if I’d ever see her again.

We made the most of our time, cherishing the simple things.  Mom and I would take short walks, talk, eat, play with my 4-year-old son, Eli, and laugh a lot.  Then at night, I would beat Mom.

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We Were Lied To About Abortion. We Have to Stop

(A very serious one about abortion)


Oh little baby, you’ll never cry, nor will you hear a sweet lullabye. 

Oh unborn child, if you only knew just what your momma was plannin’ to do.

You’re still a-clingin’ to the tree of life, but soon you’ll be cut off before you get ripe.

When I was a senior at Norman High School, in 1974, I remember happily buying the new Seals & Crofts album, then getting really angry at the lyrics to the cover song.

It was the year after the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade, five years after Woodstock’s “sex, drugs and rock’n’roll”, and six years after Pope Paul VI released his encyclical Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life).

I was a heathen and a virgin.

The LAST thing I wanted was some “anti-abortion” musicians moralizing their way into my bedroom.

Turns out, nobody else did either.

We were Baby Boomers, and it was all about us, not some unborn child.

Sadly, that sweet song could do precious little to hold back the abortion tsunami.

So now, 42 years after Roe v Wade, these are the *facts:

  • more than 77 million babies have been aborted in America
  • so far this year, 646,283 babies have been aborted in the land of free and the home of the brave
  • 193,941 of these babies were aborted by Planned Parenthood, America’s biggest abortionist
  • Recently, Planned Parenthood managers were caught sipping wine and talking about “crushing above and below” so organs from aborted babies could be harvested and sold
  • Planned Parenthood apologized for a manager’s “tone”
  • The Senate fell three votes short of defunding Planned Parenthood

Lord Have Mercy

All of this has made me ask, Dear Lord, how did we get to this point?

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Join the Army and See the World… or Buy a Cute Little Camper Van in New Zealand!


*What could possibly go wrong?

The Missus and I need a big house so we both can have our own space.

And in the land of semi-retirement, you watch your money pretty closely.

So, of course, we just bought a little camper van.

In our defense, it’s not really a camper van.

Certainly not like the big one that two families squished into 20 years ago to tour all of New Zealand.

That one had eight berths and a stove and fridge and pooper and shower.

That kind if serious camper van now rents for about $400 per day.

Which poses a dilemma.

How do you go about seeing the most beautiful country in the world without going bankrupt?

The answer came last week from above, or at least the internet, when I spotted the cutest little pop-up camper van you ever did see.

A Mazda Bongo Friendee.

How could that not be a thing of happy destiny?

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Hellooooo Grown Up Musician Son, Let’s Talk Retail



Don’t mind my 26-year-old musician son as he grumpily digs through the mall trash bin.

He is not foraging for food, like many starving musicians.

He is looking for the plastic packaging that he shredded about 30 minutes ago to get to his new headphones.


Because we have just had the following Father-Son chat at the mall coffee shop, after Junior strolled up holding new headphones .

Dad: “Heh, I bought some of those headphones.  The look cool, but they really suck.”

Grumpy Son: “They so do!”

Dad: “Take them back. Just put them inside the packaging, and take them back.”

Grumpy Son: “I threw it away.”

Dad: <Rolling eyes> “Seriously? If I had a dollar for every time we have had this conversation about packaging. And receipts…”

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The Eccentric Titirangi Chicken Woman

I love eccentric people, especially if they have chickens.

And don’t live next door.

Hence, I love going to the physiotherapist, to have my head rotated and get an update on the Titirangi Chicken Situation.

(Yes, I shot that seven-second video last year!)

It seems that the Council — after six months of meetings and complaints and strategies and tactics and skulduggery and general Titirangi weirdness — finally hauled away approximately 28 illegal chickens.

Now, before all you pinko-lefty-chicken-huggers get all moisty-eyed about the poor, dear chickens, you need to understand that:

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What a Good Man Looks Like — Bob Barry, Jr

Bobby and buddies from the Norman High School "Trail".

Bobby, left, and buddies, circa 1973 — NHS “Trail”.

The older you get, the more you understand how hard it is to find a “good man” in this life.

The outpouring of emotion this week in Oklahoma, following the tragic death of TV sportscaster Bob Barry, Jr., proved that in spades.

I honestly encourage you to have a look at “BBJ’s” memorial service, which was televised live and is still up.  It is compelling, heart-rending viewing.

Loving husband? Check.

Doting father? Check.

All round good guy? Check.

Even so, I’ve heard of many men who checked all these boxes.

But in my 35 years of working in or with (frequently “precious”) media types, I have never seen such a tidal wave of love from friends, colleagues, competitors and “plain, old, everyday people.”

Chip Off

Obviously, BBJ was a “chip off the old block,” the son of legendary Oklahoma sportscaster Bob Barry, Sr. (a.k.a. Big Bob).

He had his Dad’s DNA, and was even mentored by the old man.

But BBJ also had a lot of Will Rogers in him.  Seems like he never met a man he didn’t like, or wasn’t really interested in.

This week, Oklahoma media have been inundated with stories from John and Jane Q. Public, and their kids.

Stories about BBJ’s authentic kindness, goodness, curiosity, support, generosity, and his unique ability to “make everybody feel like they  were the most important thing in the universe.”

As one of his own loving kids wrote, “He really didn’t know how big of a deal he was.”

Sports Animal

For three decades, literally hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans got their sports fix from BBJ on radio (The Sports Animal) and television (KFOR).

Even though he was a Big Dog, turns out that he never acted like one, if you can imagine such a thing in this day and age.

He was the last guy to leave work, always trying to improve a story, always making sure everyone got a fair shake.

Personally, I have been so impressed by his positive outlook on life, and his relentless efforts to promote young athletes, right across the Sooner State.

Unless you have lived in a small town, you simply cannot imagine what it would’ve been like on a Football Friday Night for KFOR’s chopper to fly BBJ into Podunk, Oklahoma.

And then for him to interview your local hometown heroes with as much enthusiasm as if they were the Selmon Brothers.

Never Saw It 

Even though I grew up in Norman and went to school with “Bobby”, I never had an inkling of what he’d turn out to be; as a man, I mean.

He was a year younger than me, so it’s not like we were close friends or anything. Plus, I was a football player, and he was a round-baller.

Even so, more than a few vivid memories sort of bubbled to the surface after his death. (He was riding his motorcycle when a driver did a U-turn and killed him).

My abiding memory of Bobby is that he was a real character; skinny, thick glasses, and pretty much always up to something.

At the memorial service, one of his oldest friends said, “We had Robin Williams before there was a Robin Williams.”

At Norman High, Bobby was always worth the price of admission.

He could mimic anyone — teachers, vice principals — pretty much everyone in authority.

Bobby 1 -- basketball team shot


He could be funny doing anything, especially if it was sports related.

Countless times when we were messing around in the gym, Bobby would show off his patented, goofball basketball move.

He’d jack a one-handed jumpshot from half-court, his face all contorted, staring at the ground, stiff-legged, with his feet spread about four-feet apart, and making an annoying noise like “uh-beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”

Seems like about half those ridiculous shots were swishes. Or maybe they were all air balls.

I dunno.

I just remember that he made me laugh every time.

Just like when he’d hold court outside the Senior Center, making a comedy routine out of simply saying his name.

“Uh-beee- beeeee-beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” he’d stammer for about 5 seconds, then pound his chest and spit out “Bob Baaaarreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”

I must have heard him do that bit a dozen times. It made me laugh every single time, especially the time he knocked the wind out of himself.  You should have been there.

That’s really all I have on Bobby in my memory banks.

(Well, there’s that one NHS party memory that didn’t end very well, when his Dad came charging up like John Wayne. Whoa.)

No Hint

Funny, I never had an inkling that little, skinny, always-entertaining Bobby had “greatness” in him; like what was so evident during yesterday’s memorial service.

Great kindness. Great love. Great friendship. Great humility. Great manhood. Great humanity.

I wish I’d know him better and for longer.  The last time I saw him was probably in 1974.

In many ways, I wish I was more like him now.

I’m honestly going to try to be. Maybe we all should.

Rest in Peace, Bobbeeeee Baaaarreeeeeeeeeeeee.

Blessings from an old Norman Tiger in New Zealand.

Bob Barry, Jr.

Shaky Dog Love


Cracktop Computing

I guess I need to get used to the seizures.

The Crack Puppy would not settle next to my leg last night, as we Facebooked, watched TV and read about Salvation History.

Then she raised up her front end and went rigid.

She was seizuring again.

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