September 2012

A looong time ago, if you’d mention Madonna to me, my typical response would revolve around my preference for a position from which to enjoy her legendary “charms”.

Well, check that.

If I were forced to choose today, I’d have to say “missionary”.


“He who changes one person, changes the world entire.”

With so much bad going on in this world, sometimes one needs to find just one thing which reminds us that there is still good in the world.

Five young women–Gabrielle Bradbury, Elizabeth Cambers, Sabrina Coons, Megan Stewart, and Janice Underwood of Uniontown High School, Uniontown, Kansas, were encouraged by a teacher whose classroom motto is this story’s opening line, to become involved in a year-long National History Day project. The girls decided that they wanted to produce a play, or group performance about the Holocaust. So they began searching for a topic among a box of clippings handed to them by their instructor. It was among those old newspapers and magazine stories that they found Irena Sendler (Sendlerowa) in an old US News and World Report article titled “The Other Schindlers”, and the Life in a Jar Project was born.

Irena Sendler
1910 – 2008
Warsaw , Poland

During the German occupation of Poland, Irena a devout Polish Catholic, obtained a special permit from the Warsaw Epidemic Control Department to enter the Warsaw Ghetto in order to check for signs of typhus, a serious concern for the Nazis who feared that the disease would spread out beyond the ghetto. As a plumbing/sewer specialist she organized a group of co-workers who would, with the assistance of the Catholic Church eventually smuggle 2,500 Jewish children out to a network of Churches, orphanages, and private homes, saving their lives. She moved in and out of the Warsaw ghetto while wearing a Jewish Star as a sign of her solidarity with the Jewish people, and to avoid attracting attention to herself.

Irena used every method and tool available to carry out her mission of mercy, and children were moved out in ambulances and trams, others just carried out.

Some children were taken out in gunnysacks or body bags. Some were buried inside loads of goods. A mechanic took a baby out in his toolbox. Some kids were carried out in potato sacks, others were placed in coffins, some entered a church in the Ghetto which had two entrances. One entrance opened into the Ghetto, the other opened into the Aryan side of Warsaw. They entered the church as Jews and exited as Christians.

Irena kept a dog in her yard that she trained to bark any time the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldier’s attention was drawn by the barking dog, and the racket covered up any noises made by infants being smuggled out.

Irena kept a careful record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her neighbor’s back yard, ironically, the tree faced the Nazi barracks.

On October 20, 1943, Irene was arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo, she was severely beaten and her legs and feet were broken, leaving her permanently crippled. She was sent to the Pawiak Prison, but they couldn’t break her spirit.

Though she was the only one who knew the names and addresses of the families sheltering the Jewish children, she withstood the torture, that crippled her for life, refusing to betray either her associates or any of the Jewish children in hiding.

Irena was sentenced to death, but escaped thanks to the Polish underground resistance, who managed to bribe a Gestapo guard. She was hunted by the Gestapo for the rest of the war, but never apprehended.

After the war, Irena returned home and dug up her jars, hoping to reunite the rescued children with their surviving parents, but most had been gassed. Those children she helped then were placed into foster family homes or adopted.

After the war ended, Irena was again persecuted, this time by the Communist government of Poland in retaliation for her relations with the Polish government in exile, and the Home Army.

“Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this Earth, and not a title to glory.”

In 1965, Irena was was recognized as one of the “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem, and awarded the Commander’s Cross by the Israeli Institute.

Yet, Irena’s story was largely unknown, until those four young girls from Kansas found her.

Since the formation of the Life in a Jar Project during the 2000-2001 school year, the play they produced based on Irena’s life has been staged over 300 times, Irena’s life was made into a TV movie, and she has been awarded many honors:

  • In 2003, Pope John Paul II sent Sendler a personal letter praising her wartime efforts. On 10 October 2003 she received the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest civilian decoration, and the Jan Karski Award “For Courage and Heart,” given by the American Center of Polish Culture in Washington, D.C. She was also awarded the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (November 7, 2001).
  • On 14 March 2007, Sendler was honored by Poland’s Senate. At age 97, she was unable to leave her nursing home to receive the honor, but she sent a statement through El?bieta Ficowska, whom Sendler had helped to save as an infant. Polish President Lech Kaczy?ski stated she “can justly be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.” On 11 April 2007, she received the Order of the Smile as the oldest recipient of the award.
  • In May 2009, Irena Sendler was posthumously granted the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award.[16] The award, named in honor of the late actress and UNICEF ambassador, is presented to persons and organizations recognised for helping children. In its citation, the Audrey Hepburn Foundation recalled Irena Sendler’s heroic efforts that saved 2,500 Jewish children during the German occupation of Poland in World War II.

In 2007, Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

She lost to Al Gore, who was awarded the prize for a slide show in global warming.

A year after Irena died, President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a community organizer for ACORN

True, Irena did not win the Nobel Prize, but her reward was much greater:

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Irena Sendler changed not one, but thousands of people. She most certainly changed the lives of five young women from Kansas, so far removed from the brutality and the horrors of life at the Warsaw Ghetto, that the events may as well have happened on a different world, in a different galaxy. Those five young women in turn have been responsible for changing thousands on their own; they changed me.

Today, on this Day of Atonement, I am praying that this article may change just one person, and in in turn, change the world entire.

G’mar Hatimah Tovah.

What if you thought that there was something “wrong” with the current President that surpassed simple and normal partisan ideological differences?

What if you were able to see that “wrong” in behavior being by and large ignored by the majority of the media?

What if you began to realize that the majority of the media and the President may be one and the same?

What if these feelings wouldn’t go away?

Nearly three years ago, as I watched with disbelief Barack Obama’s support of Manuel Zolaya’s blatant attempt to overthrow the Honduran Constitution, I began to immerse myself in the world of conspiracy theories.

It was on that day that I became Roy Neary.

I thought that the process of putting my thoughts into words would exorcise Roy from my system, but the administration’s full-frontal attack on FOX News a few weeks later, brought him back with a vengeance, so I walked back into Neary’s dark world, once again thinking that I would exorcise this obsession.

But as I finished writing, I could not stop envisioning him walking up into the bright light of the alien mothership, just like he did in Speilberg’s brilliant movie, and into the welcoming embrace of those somewhat vague creatures waiting there for him.

Nevertheless, Roy Neary and I were done…sort of.

I kept staring into that bright light and wondering just who it was welcoming Roy with open arms.

I knew that there was something there, but I had nothing.

So I never wrote what would have been a purely speculative piece.

Then, a friend sent me an email with a link to an article that set my old conspiratorial wheels spinning out of control, and brought the creatures standing in the bright light of the mothership a little bit more into focus.

This story had everything that a good conspiracy theory should have…old newspaper clippings, verifiable data from reliable sources, ominous forebodings suddenly receiving conformation of their possible authenticity, with the world’s most powerful man at one end of it, and a small-town investigative reporter at the other.

And I felt Roy Neary coming alive inside me one more time.

Hours later, with a dozen tabs spread out across two separate computer screens, a picture had formed.

Let’s begin.

The first requirement in a good conspiracy theory, is a good list of chartacters, and the first member of the cast in this theory is one Vernon Jarrett, a veteran journalist, Civil Rights activist, and respected leader in Chicago who in 1970 was the first African-American to be a syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

Here is what The Washington Post had to say about Vernon Jarrett on the occasion of his death:

Vernon Jarrett, 84; Journalist, Crusader
By Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 25, 2004; Page B07

Vernon Jarrett, 84, a pioneering African American journalist who tackled the tough issues of race relations and politics as a newspaper, television and radio commentator throughout a 60-year career, died of cancer May 23 at the University of Chicago Hospital.

From his beginnings in the mid-1940s at the Chicago Defender to becoming the Chicago Tribune’s first African American syndicated columnist, Mr. Jarrett continually shone a light on African American history and pertinent issues in Chicago and throughout the country. He stoked the political embers in Chicago that led to the 1983 election of the city’s first African American mayor, Harold Washington.

Jarrett, who nurtured generations of young journalists, was one of the founders of the National Association of Black Journalists and the second president of the organization, which now has 3,000 members.

“He used his journalism as a way of ensuring that the achievements of blacks would never be forgotten and the struggles of blacks would never be ignored,” DeWayne Wickham, also a founding member and past president of NABJ, stated in a news release from the organization.

Vernon Jarrett was a respected journalist, so one has to consider this when reading his syndicated column of November 6, 1979, found in the dusty microfiche archives of the St. Petersburg Evening Independent.

The story was titled “Will Arabs Back Ties to Blacks With Cash?”, and can be found here. on page 19-A, and it details a conversation between Mr. Jarrett, and the second entry in our list of characters, a San Francisco attorney (formerly from Chicago) with “extensive and significant ties” to the Saudi royal family named Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour (formerly Donald Warden).

In this 1979 column, Jarrett asks al-Mansour about a rumor of billions of dollars that oil-rich Arab nations are ready to “unload” on “American Black leaders and black institutions”. Jarrett quotes al-Mansuour: “It’s not just a rumor. Aid will come from some of the Arab states.”

Now, this in and of itself is insignificant, and unverifiable since it exists nowhere outside this 1979 column, but, this is where the story gets interesting.

Vernon Jarrett, wasn’t just a respected Black columnist, he was Valerie Jarrett’s father-in-law, and that San Francisco attorney he quotes, is the same individual who (allegedly) arranged for Barack Obama to be admitted into the Harvard Law School in 1988.

Enter Percy Sutton.

From The New York Times, December 27, 2009:

Percy E. Sutton, a pioneering figure who represented Malcolm X as a young lawyer and became one of the nation’s most prominent black political and business leaders, died in a Manhattan nursing home on Saturday, his family said. He was 89.

Entering politics in the early 1950s, Mr. Sutton rose from the Democratic clubhouses of Harlem to become the longest-serving Manhattan borough president and, for more than a decade, the highest-ranking black elected official in New York City.

Mr. Sutton, whose passion for civil rights was inherited from his father, was arrested as a Freedom Rider in Mississippi and Alabama in the 1960s, yet once described himself as “an evolutionist rather than a revolutionist” in matters of race. “You ought always to keep the lines of communication open with those with whom you disagree,” he said.

He was the senior member of the group of prominent Harlem politicians who became known, sometimes derisively, as the Gang of Four. The other three were David N. Dinkins, New York’s first black mayor; Representative Charles B. Rangel; and Basil A. Paterson, who was a state senator and New York’s secretary of state. Mr. Sutton was also a mentor to Mr. Paterson’s son, Gov. David A. Paterson.

The Al-Mansour-Obama connection resurfaced briefly during the 2008 Democratic Primaries as a result of a statement (initially dismissed by the Obama campaign as the ditherings of a senile old man) made by Sutton during a live interview.

Khalid Al Mansour no longer denies this claim.

Enter the final character in this, my final excursion into the world of Roy Neary. The final member of this circle of friends who in 1979, saw potential in a young man trying to enter the Harvard Law School, Vernon Jarrett’s best friend and colleague, a renowned Chicago journalist who moved to Hawaii in the late 1940s and years later befriended Stanley and Madelyn Dunham and their daughter Stanley Ann.

Enter Frank Marshall Davis.

So, what do we have here?

We have a close friend of Stanley, Madelyn and Stanley Ann Dunham, and (allegedly) Obama’s mentor, whose respected journalist and Black activist friend was approached by an attorney for the Royal Saudi family to help him get the word out that Arab money was available to “help” minority students and institutions, at just about the same time that Barack Obama was beginning his collegiate career, we have that very same Saudi-connected lawyer approaching a well-respected and connected Black politician in order to solicit his assistance in helping Barack Obama get into Harvard Law. Eight years later, Barack Obama, friend to Bill Ayers and Valerie Jarrett, is a rising star in national politics, so it wouldn’t be considered a leap of faith to believe that along the way, Obama had received help from some powerful people.

Do these circumstantial bits of seemingly related bits of information shed light on some of the most baffling and troubling behavior exhibited by this President?

Does it make his simpatico attitude toward OPEC member Hugo Chavez a bit more understandable?

Does it help explain his inexcusable treatment of Israel?

Does it make his inexplicable silence on the Iranian riots a bit clearer?

Does this all matter?

According to Vernon Jarrett it does:

“The question of financial aid from the Arabs could raise a few extremely interesting questions both inside and outside the black community. If such contributions are large and sustained, the money angle may become secondary to the sociology and politics of such an occurrence.”

Then again, the contributions may have been focused, and small enough to have remained under the radar, as billions of dollars from Saudi coffers being poured into minority scholarships and grants would have undoubtedly been mentioned in more than one lonely column written by one well-respected and equally well-connected Chicago columnist.

As Frank Miele, author of the article I received in the email which piqued my curiosity observes, Jarrett’s last statement has great significance today:

As Jarrett suggests, any black institutions and presumably individuals who became beholden to Arab money might be expected to continue the trend of American “new black advocacy for a homeland for the Palestinians” and presumably for other Islamic and Arabic interests in the Middle East. For that reason, if for no other, the question of how President Obama’s college education was funded is of considerably more than academic interest.

So, Roy Neary walks off into the light, and I have no more Neary in me, as I think that I’ve finally figured out that what appeared to have been large heads on those aliens, were probably turbans.

Sure, you may think me as batty as that theoretical crazy old aunt locked up in the attic.

Crazy enough to form mashed potatoes into mounds and yell “this means something” just as Roy Neary did at the beginning of Close Encounters, then again, and as I said way back in 2009, when I first became Roy Neary-crazy, the problem was that Roy Neary was right.

All that stuff meant something.

I imagine that I am not different from most married men in this country, and that the same goes for my wife.

We’re typical, settled, and probably predictably boring.

Like most people who have been married for a number of years, we know each other well enough that we try to proactively address each other’s quirky habits and shortcomings.

This is seldom more evident than any time we are in the process of leaving the house for any length of time; we have a checklist of items that we run down.

Me – Do you need to use the restroom?

She – Do you have your wallet?

Me – Did you let the dog out?

She – Did you take your pills?

Me – Do you have the restaurant’s address?

She – Please don’t talk about politics, you know how you get.

That one may be a bit out of the ordinary for typically settled and probably predictably boring people, but in my defense, I will unequivocally state that I do get the last word:

Me – Yes honey.

I think something happened, sometime between the Elián Gonzalez debacle and the Gore-Bush recount wars, that changed me forever.

If you ask my wife, not in a good way, but I’m OK with it.

I seem to transform into a loud, unyielding, opinionated, aggressive, gesticulating something-just-shy-of-a-Tasmanian-Monster lookalike every time someone doesn’t agree with me on politics.

In short, I become Cuban.

As I stated elsewhere, this year has been a rather unusual one for me, I am eerily calm about the upcoming election.

In fact, I am beyond calm…I am Zen.

My wife is so proud of me.

This past weekend we went through our usual pre-dinner checklist…restroom, wallet, dog, directions, “no politics”, as we readied ourselves for a night out with some friends.

It was a good dinner, at a good Italian restaurant, with all the good Italian dishes that we love, the perfect garlic rolls, that Chianti we like, and a new 55″ Samsung LCD TV hanging from a wall behind the bar. It wasn’t there the last time we patronized the joint.

Out of common courtesy to the patrons, the sound was turned off, but it was tuned to MSNBC.

So here I am, sitting in this restaurant on a good Friday night, working on our second bottle of Chianti, with the distant sounds of my wife and our friends talking about the same stuff they always talk about, trying to read Keith Olbermann’s lips.


“Yes sir!”

“Could you do something for me?”

“More wine sir?”

“No, not yet anyway.”

“What then sir.”

“Could you ask the bartender to turn on the closed captions on that TV?”

“Right away sir!”

“And you know what? Go ahead and bring another bottle of that Chianti.”

It’s September, it’s a Presidential election year.

Three bottles of Chianti and Keith Olbermann.

Someone should have caught on.

We left.

I was still holding on, chanting under my breath.

“Tuna sandwich, Ommm.”

“Tuna sandwich, Ommm.”

We got ice cream after dinner, we always do.

Carvel this time.

Nice store, with clean-cut, smiling young people working behind the counter. They had all my favorite flavors, and a 32″ LG flat screen behind the counter. Rachel Maddow was on…with subtitles.

I am trapped in the liberal Hell that is the People’s Republic of North Broward/South Palm Beach.

“Tuna sandwich, Ommm.”

“Tuna sandwich, Ommm.”

“I am going to be OK”, I tell myself. “Just finish the ice cream, and drop them off.”

Zen Luis…ZEN!

Then for some inexplicable reason, a picture of Mitt Romney pops up on the screen, and the only word I see clearly through the sugar, Chianti, and high blood pressure haze that’s shrouding my head is “extremist.”

And that’s when it happened.

One solitary lapse in my ever-so-controlled, I-so-want-to-be-a-good-husband-to-my-wife, carefully crafted façade.

One whispered word:


And everyone in my little, happy group of Chianti-buzzed, overfed, reeking of garlic and scungilli, Carvel-eating revelers turn to face the TV, ice cream in hand.

“Yeah…that guy scares me.”

“Tuna sandwich, Ommm.”

“Tuna sandwich, Ommm.”

“Yeah, how come?” I reply, and my wife’s eyes suddenly lose a degree or two of their Chianti and ice cream induced smiling dreaminess.

“Well, you know…he’s scary.”

“Yeah, you said that already. What’s so scary about him?”

His wife pipes in, “he’s anti-abortion you know, probably going to stop women from having that choice.”

“Tuna sandwich, Ommm.”

“Tuna sandwich, Ommm.”

I can feel my wife’s nails beginning to dig into my forearm.

“H____ (name withheld), you’re 48 years old, you thinking you’re going to need an abortion sometime soon?”

My wife comes awfully close to ripping a layer of skin from my arm. She tries to change the conversation.

“Does anyone know who is replacing Randy in American Idol this season? That show is not going to last past this season.”

“They could put up a tuna sandwich for all I care.”

I turn to my friend.

“You were saying?”

“You know…he’s scary. It’s all that religious stuff.”

My wife jumps up...”Well, it’s late, we should go.”

“I haven’t finished my ice cream dear”, I say, with a smile closely resembling Jack Nicholson sticking his head through a door à la Jack Torrance.

“So then J___(name withheld), you were saying…?”

“I’m not happy with Obama, but I am scared of Romney and that Ryan guy, they are so damned radical with all that extremist religious stuff. I’m scared of what they would do to the country.”


Of all the bad movies that I love from back in the 1970’s, “Billy Jack”  is my uncontested favorite.

I must have watched Tom Laughlin’s entire “B” Grade tour de force (Born Losers, Billy Jack, The Trial of Billy Jack, and Billy Jack Goes to Washington)  a dozen times. In theaters with my buddies, in drive-ins with my dates, and even on a fledgling pay-for-play network called Home Box Office.

The absurdity about a movie about peace, love, mostly made up of title-to-credit ass kicking got by us. We just liked the cute hippie chicks, and the ass kicking.

My friends and I would jokingly threaten one another…”I’ll go Billy Jack on your sorry ass!”

Then we’d scream and start kicking like we really knew hapkido.

It was a lot of fun.

To our credit, we never actually hurt anyone.

To my credit, I didn’t actively try to kick anyone in that Carvel Friday night, and we eventually made it back to our corresponding homes.

My wife is talking to me again, which is good, and I’ll probably get around to sending J___(name withheld) and H___(name withheld) that email apology I promised my wife I would send.

I may have to buy everyone dinner too.

But not until after November 7th…2012 if Obama loses, 2016 if he wins.

I just don’t know that I can maintain my Zen any more…it’s too important this year.

This is a fight of our lives. Some knuckles will have to be scrapped, some noses (figuratively) bloodied, and some friendships lost.

Our people, nuestra gente, have far too many regrets about not having fought harder back in 1958.

That can’t be the case here, with us, this time.

They’re playing for keeps, and so must we. Zen is for some other day, after we win this war.

I’m embracing my inner Billy Jack, and I am taking no prisoners.

So be warned, if you think Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are scary…wait ’til you get a load of me.

Life is short.

That’s a difficult thing to say.

It’s rarely said by anyone in their twenties, their thirties, or even their forties.

Then one day some errant thought strikes you.

Or maybe you’re forced to deal with the death of a loved one, a contemporary, or a friend.

Maybe even just someone that you used to know.

Then you say it.

Life is short.

And the moment that the words are said, everything changes.

There’s a certain uniqueness to time which makes memories of your youth strikingly clear and fresh, yet at the same time distant, with the strange quality of seeming as if the things that you recall happened to someone else.

Was I ever that young?

I must have been…I have pictures.

How is it possible that so much time passed so quickly, yet everything seem to have happened so long ago?

Will the time still ahead, move with the same consistency as the time behind?

Will the memories yet to be made match the quality of the ones already held?

Questions that require an answer to be sure.

I’ll tell you how this whole thing started with me.

I was hanging around in one of those Internet groups where aging friends and complete strangers who share geographical (though not necessarily chronological) commonalities get together and try to recall every nook, cranny, and memory of the place where they grew up.

We had run out of nooks and crannies, and the posts were slowing down, when someone asked what at the surface would appear to be a harmless question…”what is on everyone’s bucket list?”

A bucket list?

What in the Hell were they talking about on that thread?

I didn’t have a bucket list!

I’m not old enough to have a bucket list!

Good Lord, I am only…

I am…


Life is short.

I panicked.

Everyone else had a bucket list; they were prepared. They had given this some thought while I had apparently been just cruising along on the Express Lane of life, not thinking about the future.

So I sat down to write one.

I couldn’t come up with a damned thing, and panic sets in again.

So I read all the other lists: trips to Hawaii, cruises to Alaska and the Mediterranean, skydiving… are they SERIOUS?

Casting your aging body out of a perfectly good airplane is a line item on a bucket list?

So I started writing again.

Alaska cruise: listed.

Trip to Spain: listed.

Owning a ’67 Mustang convertible: listed.

Chin tuck: listed.

Skydiving: listed.

Rocky mountain climbing: listed.

Going 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fu Manchu: listed.


I was quoting country western song lyrics!

That was so wrong.

So I looked into my bucket and I saw a bucket filled to the rim with vacuous desires, yet utterly empty.

I had no bucket list.

All I had was a bucket.

I had to think.

It’s been three three months since that day, it’s taken me that long to write this, three months to the day that I read that question in that forum. And I know that I am not writing it as well as I should, but I am writing it as best as I am able to.

I’m writing this because I’ve just figured out how to fill my bucket.

I’m writing this because I have seen friends and family come face-to-face with their mortality, and people that I used to know move on to the next phase of existence, whatever that phase may be.

I’m writing this because I need to get these thoughts into words, and the words out of me…and that’s the first thing in my bucket.

This is the first thing in my bucket.

This is also the last thing I’ll place in my bucket, or at least the last self-serving wish in my bucket.

I now know what to do with my bucket.

I’ll go on that Alaskan cruise, because my wife wants to go, and because I owe it to her, not because I want to check off a line item on a list.

And even if I find a ’67 Mustang convertible on sale I won’t buy it because the maintenance would be a pain in the ass, and ’67 convertible Mustangs had no A/C.

I live in South Florida, and having no A/C isn’t an option for aging men trying to recapture their youth by driving with their top down on I-95 on a blistering summer day.

I’m not jumping out of an airplane in flight, I am NOT climbing the Rockies, and I will most certainly NOT climb on a bull, even one named Fu Manchu.

I am handing my bucket off.

That’s what I want to do with my bucket.

I am handing it to the people I love the most in this world, and I am going to ask them to fill it for me.

In that bucket, I want them to place everything that they will ever want from me.

Everything that a wife could want from her husband.

Everything that my sons will want from their father.

Everything that a brother could want from his brother.

Everything that my parents could want from their son.

I want them to fill that bucket up with their expectations.

“Be the first sight I see every morning until no more mornings come.”

“Be there for me when I need advice on my children.”

“Be strong when I am hurt, be soft when I’m angry.”

“Help me buy my first house, name my first child, mend my first broken heart.”

“Be there for your father.”

“Be there for your mother.”

“Be there…always.”

Their wishes, not mine.

I want a list of their wishes for me to fulfill.

So, there it is, I really didn’t need a bucket list.

I just needed a bucket.

A bucket that those I love most could fill to the brim with their hopes, their love, their dreams, their fears, and their expectations.

Just a bucket.

And suddenly, the times to come are so much more alive than the ones behind.

My bucket is going to be so full.

Life is good.

…even CNN turns on you.

What’s next?