Only one cure for evil: death

Chuck Kurtz

Chuck Kurtz

Mid-afternoon Wednesday, I was sitting on the couch in my son’s home and next to me, as usual, was 4-year-old granddaughter Rylin, snuggling next to me while playing doctor and dentist on her tablet. Then she stretched out, putting her head on the pillow and her legs and feet across my lap.

“Tickle my feet,” she said.

And, of course, I obliged.

We talked about her day in school, about how she ate the rest of Mee-Moo’s (Grandma Terri’s) meatloaf for lunch, and then began playing a maze game. We took turns helping each other.

“We make a pretty good team,” I told her. Continue reading

1967 to 2014: Will you still need me?

Chuck Kurtz

Chuck Kurtz

Barring any unforeseen incidents, turning 64 is inevitable for everyone and although countless thousands of people have reached that milestone and countless more are destined to follow, somehow I never thought it would happen to me.

When The Beatles came out with the song of the same name in June of 1967 I was 17 at the time and looking forward to enjoying the summer prior to the start of my senior year at Olathe High School. Listening to that song and the mere thought of turning 64 years old, well, was nothing more than a nano-second flash through my brain and an assumption it would take a lifetime to reach. Continue reading

You’re only as old as you feel or until somebody tells you

Chuck Kurtz

Chuck Kurtz

It’s not that I don’t know I’m getting older.

I mean, that’s just a fact of life. From the day we’re born, it is our destiny to get gray-haired, wrinkled, to feel aches and pains longer, and to develop love handles.

I get it.

But I don’t need to be reminded of it! Continue reading

No bargain is worth holiday shopping mania

Chuck Kurtz

Chuck Kurtz

When it comes to getting a good deal, well, I’m right there — at the head of the line if possible.

But you’ll never — NEVER — catch me pitching a tent on a concrete sidewalk next to a store front’s sliding glass doors days before the Black Friday sales begin, or in the case of this year for what now is being labeled Brown Thursday. Besides, it would be my luck I would end up not hearing the alarm clock, over-sleeping and then waking up to the sounds of people shuffling past the tent on their way into the store.

In my 63 years, I’ve taken part in two — just two — of what I have come to label as shopping hysteria calamity. The first one took place nearly 30 years ago at the Olathe Feeney’s Hallmark store. It was the big “sale” day after Christmas and wife Terri desperately wanted a Christmas tree ornament she was collecting that was to go on sale. Only she had to work.

So I “volunteered” to go buy it for her. Continue reading

50 years ago today: Nov. 22, 1963

Chuck Kurtz

Chuck Kurtz

Fifty years ago today it also was a Friday. I was 13, an eighth grader sitting in John Williford’s wood-shop class at Olathe Junior High School.

It was sometime between 1:30 and 2 p.m. when Mike Newson’s dad came into the class with Mike’s football uniform. I still can remember the haunting, concerned look on his face as he walked through the shop class door and then told us the news: President Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas.

The echoes of students hammering stopped. Saw blades and drills slowly whined to a halt. The stunned silence in the room was deafening. Continue reading

Honoring “Bobio”; a man I didn’t know

Robert J. “Bobio” Brewer, 69, of Merriam, Kansas, passed away November 11, 2013, at his home.

I didn’t know Robert “Bobio” Brewer. Neither did the more than 30 other members of the Patriot Guard who escorted him on his final journey to the National Cemetery in Leavenworth on Tuesday morning, Nov. 19. There was no funeral service at the Amos Family Funeral Home in Shawnee.

Bobio had no family. Continue reading

Creating memories one fingernail at a time

Rylin's "handy" work on Grandpa Chuck's right hand.

Rylin’s “handy” work on Grandpa Chuck’s right hand.

Chuck Kurtz

Chuck Kurtz

You’ll get no argument from me that I will do just about anything when it comes to each of my five grandkids.

To say they have me wrapped around their little fingers is, well, an understatement.

Our oldest, Alexandra, is 13 and leaves on Whidbey Island near Seattle, Wash. Dylan, 7, and his sister Carys, 5, live in Windsor, Colo., just east of Fort Collins. Then there are Rylin, 4, and her sister Ashlyn, 18 months, who live in Olathe and who I have been babysitting three afternoons a week since Rylin was six months old.

I would watch them all if it were possible. Continue reading

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