Flying Delta 2-Stop. With the Wind.

That’s Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan.

Susan dropped me off at the airport yesterday, I was heading home. She was spending a few more days with her Mom. That’s her shot with an iPhone a few minutes later. This scene. This moment. That you can capture this, with a handheld device and text message it seconds later. Miracle, all of it.

I paused after posting this.  Any words after this, would seem to pollute the magnificence of the shot, and her moment.

But I plod on. Briefly.

I look upward at the tall snow banks. The dirty snow.  26° F.  The cold wind gusts. The Upper Peninsula in Northern Michigan, in March, is winter anywhere else.

The car ride to the airport, was not unlike the car ride in. Quiet. Heavy. No RTP greeting at the airport, or at home. No beefy hug around his thick torso. His absence was a Weight. He’s Gone.

I drive the town.

And I See.

What he gave to this town, this college.  His influence on standing up the Superior Dome, the world’s largest wooden structure of its kind.  Or the Berry Events Center. Or the U.S. Olympic Education Center. His dreams realized. His name, not on the structures, but we know, these towering structures know, how they were born and who gave them birth. They now sit stoically, quietly, in Memoriam.

His solitary drives around Presque Isle Park. His favorite restaurant. His Friday afternoon watering hole where he’d sit having a cocktail at the bar. His seat now sits empty.

Yet, he is present, ever present, like a twist on the old Teton Sioux proverb,

He is now history in this town like wind through buffalo grass. 


Inspired by Robert Creeley: Will we speak to each other making the grass bend as if a wind were before us, will our way be as graceful, as substantial as the movement of something moving so gently. We break things into pieces like walls we break ourselves into hearing them fall just to hear it.


  1. Such beauty in the face of sadness. Bless you all – and yep, I often have the same feelings about modern phones. I send tiny snippets of the beauty in my life seconds after having rendered them to my phone and my own heart storage; sharing with friends the world over (as long as they have WApp), getting echoes back. Bliss, unexpected bliss.
    Sending much love to you unknown and yet dear friends over the oceans.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such beauty and awesome memories of Marquette. Thanks David.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mixed blessings, David. That’s life though, yes?

    My favorite posts of yours are these everyday observations of yours. They touch deeply, even through the “ether” net. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Beautiful tribute. Thanks for helping us all to see the beauty through sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Some places and people never truly leave us and the shouldn’t. Beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tom’s influences on you and the world will always be remembered, Dave, and it’s Susan’s and your personal memories that will keep him ever close …

    Over Mountains
    Over Trees
    Over Oceans
    Over Seas
    Across the desert
    I’ll be there

    In a whisper on the wind
    On the smile of a new friend
    Just think of me
    And I’ll be there

    ~ The Escape Club (I’ll Be There)

    Love to you and Susan and your family … Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful and poignant. Thank you Dave. May the memories warm your heart in the coldest of days.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It sounds like your father-in-law will be remembered fondly by many. That is all we can wish for. Blessing to you and the family.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We all die, but being fondly remembered for good things is something not everyone achieves. Your father-in-law will be missed by many, I’m sure. Oops! I see that Darlene (above) has just said the same thing. Well, maybe that means we got the same impression of the kind of wonderful man he was.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Presence is inscribed deeply into the slate of life. Beautiful words of tribute. And the image – what can I say!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That image is breathtaking, David. Kudos to Susan for capturing it and sending it your way to share with all of us.
    What is that quote by Vicki Corona? “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
    Your father-in-law supplied many of those moments, and for those, and for the love you had for him, will continue to do so.
    Beautiful. All of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. That’s love! interesting how it helps us to see more clearly, feel more deeply. Thank you…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Memories are what keep all things living. Cherish them.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Christie says:

    RTP was a man who moved hearts…who graced his his family with love and direction, his contributions to the town, the college and people in general, outstanding. Again so sorry for the loss in your family… ///Before our eyes we witness the splendor of a sunrise or is it a sunset’s strong, giving colors?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. David… the “like” button seems so inadequate. Blessings on Susan’s and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. To be in the beauty of presence, is to feel and understand there is no lack or loss in this moment! 🌈Beautiful capture and reflections Dave 👏

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh so lovelt

    Liked by 1 person

  19. He is with all of you – always. And these words don’t do justice to his memory or your family’s grief. The only word that keeps rolling around in my head ‘cherish’. All of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Vera Kanigan says:

    Our deepest condolences, may his memories stay in your hearts forever! To all of you, strength & courage! Blessings, love & prayers from here in Castlegar.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Your descriptions are brilliant. I’m always honored to have you read my haphazard words!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Lovely tribute, David.

    Liked by 1 person

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