Year End Reflections

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great_placesBy Red Stinger

My new-found free time is allowing me to reconsider years of memories.  My office is littered with pictures and stuff.  A lot of the stuff is about Jiminy Cricket.  I really don’t remember what got me started, but I guess I have a hundred things about the Cricket.

I also have an International Star registered in my name given to me by my bride years ago.  I can’t see it up there in the sky but I know it’s there.

Of course Jiminy isn’t real either, but he was Pinocchio’s conscience. Perhaps he’s mine also.

Standing in the corner is a walking stick with our national flag tied to it.  In 1973 my son and I, along with other members of our scout troop, went to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. We traveled 110 miles in 10 days at altitudes in excess of 8,500 feet – wow – what an experience.  My son is now 48 – wow to that also.

One of the photos on the wall is of my son receiving his Eagle Scout Badge in 1973 at 13 years old.

Above my desk is a fiberglass model of a 35-pound lake trout I caught in Utah.  Great memory!  My bride caught her first trout that day also.  The bamboo rod hanging on my wall is one used by my friend Marty Leone.  Marty’s passed on now but his son, Charles, is still on our Fire Department.  There’s a hand-made net up there also, memories of George and Cookie Kolesar now living in PA.

The book shelve are where the really great men and ladies are.  Hours and hours of inspiration.  How can you forget them?  Some, many are gone but their words live on.  Hopefully I absorbed some of it. 

Along with the Cricket there are painting by Lloyd Garrison, who is a master of art and a Rahway friend.  Along side Lloyd’s stuff is another canvas.  One of my relatives, James Willard Schultz, born in Boonville, N.Y., went West around 1860 to live with the Blackfeet Indians.  He and his wife, Naomi, had a son, Lone Wolf, who became a painter and there on the wall is the evidence.  His dad, J.W., wrote 38 books about the Indians, some of which are on the fore-mentioned book shelves.  Others have been donated to a library in New York State. 

Around 1976 my bride and I stumbled onto Marriage Encounter, reluctantly.  That led us to a group called the Catholic Charismatic Renewal which led us to scripture.  There are several versions of the Bible on those shelves also.

There were those who took time to coach me in matters of the church.  First was Paul McCarthy, a Pentecostal Holiness pastor in Rahway.  Then a Presbyterian pastor, Harold Van Horn, who was able to read and teach Greek. Next was the Union County Auxiliary Bishop Dominick Marconi who was (is) amazing.  Among them was Monsignor Richard McGinness of St. John’s in Clark.  Wow, the hours he gave to me with my endless questions.

I doubt if I’ve had any original ideas, yet.  I am what I was taught and grateful to all those who reached out to me.  Less I forget to write this…”memories” are part of the other really great word, “hope.”  Not the Webster word but the Holy Word (Hebrews 12).  Check it out. 

Like Jiminy Cricket and the star, some of these people can no longer be seen, but I know…

See ya around Ming’s.


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