She worked us over like a work of art.

There aren’t many singer/songwriters out there who can make you laugh and, the very next moment, make you cry. Dar Williams’ show last night at The Barrymore reminded me of her November ’99 show with The Nields. One of those magical performances you just didn’t want to see end.  

I’ve been an admirer of Dar’s work for years. Her music helped me through a lot of stuff – health and otherwise – of that I’m sure I’m not alone. So Dar – Pam and I were honored to give up our table at Monty’s to you and Bryn.  It was the least we could do After All you’ve done for me.


Fox News. At a Wisconsin Democrat meeting. Fun ensues.

A ‘low talker’ from Fox?  Is that possible? 

Apparently, Fox News6 contacted the Milwaukee Democratic Party and asked if they were OK with them attending their next meeting. The Milwaukee Dems ignored Fox News6 and who could blame them – Fox NewsCorp, the parent company of Fox News, is on record for contributing over $1M to defeat Tom Barrett.  But Fox News6 decided to show up to a private meeting anyway.

It’s always the eyes.

Though I met Mr. Pennington only a few years ago, he was sadly well in the grips of memory loss. Dementia (and its cousin Alzheimer’s) is a vicious disease often as hard on the family as the victim.  Mr. Pennington was always in the best of spirits. Especially when his kids from afar would visit. Or, better still, when surrounded by his grandkids.  He recognized family but I often felt he just couldn’t fathom what this big guy had to do with things.

Mr. Pennington had a rough go of it a month or so ago and ended up in hospice. I remember Pamela leaving the room to speak with the staff and sitting with Mr. Pennington.  He looked at me and smiled a big smile, settling his head back into the pillow. He began to offer me some advice, some wisdom not with words – but with his eyes. He’d done it before. I just didn’t notice it. Couldn’t grasp it.  Just as with his daughter’s eyes, vessels to a warm and understanding soul, he put me at ease.  I asked him how he was doing but he was telling me with his smile and warm gaze that “everything is going to be OK.”  He knew who I was. I think he did from the first time we met.

Everyone’s been saying it’s too bad I didn’t get to know Mr. Pennington before his health declined and that’s true.  I would have loved to chat with him about politics, fishing, golf and maybe “do a some research.” Yes, it would have been good to know Mr. Pennington.  But for a few moments on a Sunday afternoon at HospiceCare, I think I got to know him pretty well indeed.

Rest easy, Mr. Pennington. Everything’s going to be OK.