Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Achievemant, Praise, Recognition


It might just be a manifestation of old age, but I am finding myself more and more prone to dredging up long forgotten events from my early years, mostly minor incidents of seemingly minuscule import.

One such happening from my memory is from my Boy Scout years and concerns our troop's Kite Flying Contest.

Now, my father was by no means a social man, preferring to keep to himself and always out of the limelight. So I was quite surprised when he announced that he intended to help me build and fly a kite in the contest. But surprised or not I hastily accepted the unexpected offer.

I have to admit that it was Dad who designed, rounded up all the materials, and constructed the kite. After all, everything that he attempted was always done to perfection, never thrown together slapdash and slipshod as were most of my projects.

On the day of the contest, which took place at the high school football field in Brookside Park, my dad and I joined the twenty or so other contestants with our kites and began the contest. The few rules were simple. We were to launch our home made kites, feed out as much string as possible, and keep the kites in the air as high as possible and for as long as possible.

Well, of course we won, my dad and I.

The winner was to receive the prize, a large, brand new U.S.Army surplus boxkite made of hollow aluminum rods and bright orange nylon (I think) material. And the prize was to be presented at an evening gathering of the Boy Scout Troop in the Junior High School meeting room; the prize was to be presented to the winner (me and my dad) by the school principal, Mr. A. Garland Hardy.

Everything went perfectly that evening. At the end of the presentation we received a long and loud round of applause... my dad and me.

And I happily flew that boxkite out over the cornfield across the street from my home for many years, back then in the early 1950s.

In a way, it's kind of sad, you know?

That is the only memory I have of my dad and I ever doing anything together.


Did You Know . . .?

John Milton lost his eyesight, and he spent the end of his life blind, living in seclusion in the countryside, where he dictated his epic poem Paradise Lost to his assistants, line by line.



On this day in 1901 the first Nobel Prizes were awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The ceremony came on the fifth anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite and other high explosives.

In his will, Nobel directed that the bulk of his vast fortune be placed in a fund in which the interest would be "annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind." Although Nobel offered no public reason for his creation of the prizes, it is widely believed that he did so out of moral regret over the increasingly lethal uses of his inventions in war.

The Nobel Prizes are still presented annually on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death. In 2006, each Nobel Prize carried a cash prize of nearly $1,400,000 and recipients also received a gold medal, as is the tradition.



laud  [lawd]
praise; glorification.
to give praise to; glorify.
praise (a person or their achievements) highly, esp. in a public context.



Michael Clarke Duncan
(Dec 10, 1957 - Sept 3, 2012)
Michael Duncan was an American actor, best known for his breakout role as John Coffey in The Green Mile, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. He was also recognized for his appearances in motion pictures such as Armageddon, The Whole Nine Yards, The Scorpion King and Daredevil, as well as voice acting roles in works such as Brother Bear and Kung Fu Panda.

Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman
(born December 10, 1985)
Raven-Symoné, or simply Raven, is an American actress and singer. Raven-Symoné launched her career in 1989 after appearing in The Cosby Show as Olivia Kendall. She released her debut album, Here's to New Dreams in 1993; the single, "That's What Little Girls Are Made Of" charted number 68 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The next album, Undeniable, was released on May 4, 1999.

Dan Blocker
(Dec 10, 1928 - May 13, 1972)
Dan Blocker was an American television actor and Korean War veteran. He is best remembered for his role as Eric "Hoss" Cartwright in the NBC western television series Bonanza.

Susan Dey
(born December 10, 1952)
Susan Dey is an American actress, known primarily for her roles in film and television. Her more prominent parts came as elder daughter, Laurie Partridge, on the 1970s sitcom The Partridge Family, and as Grace Van Owen, a California assistant district attorney and judge on the dramatic series, L.A. Law, a role she played from 1986 to 1992.


The Nobel Prize is run by a self-perpetuated committee. They vote for themselves and get the world's publishing industry to jump to their tune.
--Doris Lessing

If I found a cure for a huge disease, while I was hobbling up onstage to accept the Nobel Prize they'd be playing the theme song from 'Three's Company'.
--John Ritter



  1. Your short tale is not, to me, a "manifestation of old age." Rather, it is a manifestation of talent combined with a kind heart. I loved this story, enough to save it for future reading pleasure. Thank you, Gene, for writing and sharing this memory.

    1. Thank you for the kind words Anthony... they were, and are, much appreciated..