Aragon Class of ‘64
“Keep Your Fork” Newsletter


Classmates & Friends of Aragon 1964, Contributors of all Articles
Bonita Beck, Publisher                                         Bob Graham, Editor

NEWSLETTER #156                                                                                                                APRIL  2017




Slam the door on March and swing it open for April!  Let the Rain and Fools come on in. From the meteorological stand point I understand the weather situation, but April and the Fool?  Many people past my level of competence have written just about this topic, so...  I thought we might have a short lesson on this very subject from some Masters of the April Process.

•     “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” George Orwell, 1984.

•     “April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.”  T.S. Eliot,  The Waste Land.

•     “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”  William Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

•     “The weather wouldn’t settle down.  It would rain cats and dogs, then stop, then drip awhile, then stop while it made up its mind what to do next.”  Glendon Swarthout,  The Homesman.

•     “Snow in April is abominable, “ said Anne. “Like a slap in the face when you expected a kiss.”  L.M. Montgomery,  Anne of Ingleside.

•     “Some people can’t be fooled on April Fools’ Day because they were fooled too many times during their entire lifetime.”  Akash B.  Chandran.

OK, now that we have learned some things from the Masters; how about some “April Fun Facts?” It is the fourth month of the year and has many attributes associated with it:

¨     From the word “asperire” meaning “to open”  ̶  a time when buds open in Spring... and many of us go through that ALLERGY TIME of the year.  It has already made it’s move in Las Vegas!

¨      There are 30 days in April... and let us not forget that INCOME TAX time is April 18th this year!

¨     Sweet Pea is the flower for April.

¨      Diamond is the Birthstone for the month.

¨      The best known day in April is the 1st  ̶  April Fools’ Day.

¨     Aries, (until the 20th of April),  and Taurus, (from the 21st of April), are the two Astrological Signs.

So now that you are full of information about the month of April...  I see two days that you have to be really ready for and one other to just keep your mind focused on  ̶  the 1st, (don’t get caught in any practical jokes or spreading hoaxes), and the 18th, (do not forget Uncle Sam & the IRS).  Finally, remember that a “Diamond is a best Friend to many” for the entire month.

Thanks for letting me have a little “fun with knowledge” for the Fourth Month of the Year.  Now it is time to move on with the “Keep Your Fork...’64” Newsletter - “APRIL SHOWERS AND A FOOL?”

•    The Website for the “Fork” Home Page is:   *if that doesn’t work for you, just contact me by e-mail: or phone (702) 656-1696

•    The “Connections and Reconnections (C/R) Section” - Connected or Reconnected with a Classmate or just want to contact a Classmate, but don’t have any contact information? Let me know (see above). This section still remains active, each and every month.

March proved to be a GREAT month for Bob & Peggy’s, Bed and Breakfast (B&P B/B).  Our Friends and Classmate left Eureka (rain) for a few days and came to Las Vegas (sun and warmth).  Charlene, AlanX3, Peggy and me had an outstanding time!  Although, my cribbage, (Crib), playing skills seem to have diminished as I have gotten older; Charlene & AlanX3 had Crib hands of  20 and  24 while I remained in the single digits!!!  Great Reconnection, with lots of fun, food, touring around… and Crib.

•     “Who Said That - Movie Quote Addition” (WST - MQA): - this site is a lot of fun for me to coordinate each month.  Many of you come up with correct answer, they just come in too late. The first week of a new month is the time for you to scan your monthly Newsletter and get your answer(s) to me - ASAP.


                                                                 and the actor is “GEENA DAVIS”


*Now I know Gary is not the only Classmate who reads this Newsletter, watches movies, can remember them, or look up the movie quote, about “stepping up” and at least make some competition?  Every “semi annual” winner receives a nice prize - $100.00 - give it a shot!

¨      APRIL’S QUOTE:   

                          “I FEEL THE NEED...THE NEED FOR SPEED!”


•     “The Bucket List (B/L) Challenge” - The B/L will have its “life support unit” pulled after the May Newsletter if no one can come forward and assist in this challenge.

Hooah, Hugs, Love & “APRIL SHOWERS AND A FOOL?”

- Bob 



“A Sad Note”     #1 
Contributed for Jim Lewis

The Aragon Class of 1964 has lost another Classmate. As you already know, John Lewis, of the Lewis Twins, passed away over #10 years ago. Once again they will be united. Jim Lewis passed away in early 2016. It was just confirmed earlier in the month of March. A friend of the Family, Judy (Fondren) Ahlvin passed the sad news on to me. We now have #73 RIP Classmates.


Happy Belayed Birthday Wishes”     #2  Contributed by Golf Brooks For Ted Dumke’”  (Happy birthday, Ted!)

ANOTHER KIND OF BLUE     #3  Contributed by Bob Graham  (Outstanding!)

Rest Your Mind”      #4   Contributed by Bonita Beck

Great Pictures, No Words Required     #5   Contributed by Bruce Ahlvin   (Wow!)

One Tuff Jack Russell     #6    Contributed by Charlene (Wiper) Swenson   (One tuff dog!)

BUBBLES     #7   Contributed by Kathy (Lanstyak) Sheffield   (Now that is a bubble!)

10 Insane Late Night Talk Appearances     #8   Contributed by Gary Rocklage  (Some great “lines”)

Trump Girl     #9   Contributed by Bob Graham    (Forget politics and know that there are some great young people out there working for what they believe in!)

You Shall Not Pass     #10      Contributed by Peggy Graham   (Cat & dog behavior.)

Marriage & Divorce     #11  Contributed by Anyone Who Has Been There
(This is one way to “split” the belongings)

Leadership...A Different Look     #12   Contributed by Bob Graham  (My type of leader!)

Ready For A Change?     #13   Contributed by Judy (Fondren) Ahlvin   (A positive look at life!)

There Is A Rainbow”   #14    Contributed by Stevie Graham  (What a voice!)

Put It Together”     #15     Contributed by Linda (Wanke) Rapp    (Wow!)

10 Most Deadly...”     #16     Contributed by Gary Rocklage   (I’ve have been there!)

Happy...      #17      Contributed by Bob Graham    (Happy birthday...I wish I knew how to set that up!)

OK Who Did It...”     #18   Contributed by Jake & Honor   (You would not turn me in...would you?)

“You Know You Are Living In 2017 When...”     #19             
Contributed by Bonita Beck
(How many times have I done many of these? Bob)

1.   You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2.   You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3.   You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4.   You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5.   Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail       ......addresses .
6.   You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you
......carry in the groceries.
7.   Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8.   Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60)
......years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10.  You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11.  You start tilting your head sideways to smile.  : )
12.   You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13.   Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14.   You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15.   You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.  

                                  AND NOW U R LAUGHING AT YOURSELF!

“17 Inches”     #20

Contributed by Bob Graham
(A very interesting read)

In Nashville , Tennessee , during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA's convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.  He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.  Then, finally …“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.  

“I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”  Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room.  “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”

After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said.  “How about in Babe Ruth’s day?  Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”  Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos.  “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?”  Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear.

“How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

 “You’re right!” Scolinos barked.  “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison. “

"Any Minor League coaches here?  How wide is home plate in pro ball?” ... “Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT!  And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.  “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?”  Pause.  “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy.  You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target?  We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches.  We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it.  If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.'”  Pause.

“Coaches…”  pause, "… what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice?  When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven?  What if he gets caught drinking?  Do we hold him accountable?  Or do we change the rules to fit him?  Do we widen home plate?"  The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.

He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something.  When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows.  “This is the problem in our homes today.  With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids.  With our discipline.  We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards.  We widen the plate!”

Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.  “This is the problem in our schools today.  The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people.  We are allowing others to widen home plate!  Where is that getting us?”

Silence.  He replaced the flag with a Cross.  “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years.  Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves!   And we allow it.”  And the same is true with our government.  Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves.  They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us.  And we allow them to widen home plate and we see our country falling into a dark abyss while we watch.”

I was amazed.  At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable.  From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader.  I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today.  It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside,” … dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine.  Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches.  He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches."

Here's how to fix what's wrong with our country today.

"Don't widen the plate."




1 April Fool's Day - International Fun at Work Day - International Tatting Day.

2 Children's Book Day - National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day -
Reconciliation Day.

3 Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day - we know your decision -
Tweed Day - World Party Day.

4 Hug a Newsman Day - Walk Around Things Day - School Librarian Day - Tell a Lie Day - World Rat Day.

5 Go for Broke Day. 

6 National Tartan Day - Plan Your Epitaph Day (a little morbid if you ask me) - Sorry Charlie Day.

7 Caramel Popcorn Day - Most likely created by a popcorn maker, or an Ecard company - National Beer Day - National Walk to Work Day - first Friday of month - No Housework Day - World Health Day.

8 All is Ours Day - Draw a Picture of a Bird Day.

9 Name Yourself Day - Winston Churchill Day.

10 Golfer's Day - National Siblings Day - Eight Track Tape Day - do you remember those?

11 Barbershop Quartet Day - National Submarine Day.

12 Big Wind Day - this day blows me away!

13 Scrabble Day.

14 Ex Spouse Day - International Moment of Laughter Day - Look up at the Sky Day - don't you have anything better to do? - National Pecan Day - Reach as High as You Can Day.

15 Husband Appreciation Day - third Saturday in April - Rubber Eraser Day - Titanic Remembrance Day.

16 Easter Date varies - National Eggs Benedict Day - National Librarian Day - National Stress Awareness Day.

17 Bat Appreciation Day - Blah, Blah, Blah Day - Dyngus Day always the Monday after Easter - National Cheeseball Day -   
Patriot's Day - third Monday of the month - Pet Owners Independence Day.

18 IRS - TAX DAY DAY - international Juggler's Day - also applies to multi tasking office workers - Newspaper Columnists Day.

19 National Garlic Day.

20 Look Alike Day - National High Five Day third Thursday -
Volunteer Recognition Day.

21 Kindergarten Day.

22 Girl Scout Leader Day - National Jelly Bean Day.

23 Lover's Day - National Zucchini Bread Day - they hold this at a time when you are not sick of all that zucchini - Take a Chance Day - World Laboratory Day.

24 Pig in a Blanket Day.

25 East meets West Day - World Penguin Day. 

26 Administrative Professionals Day (Executive Admin's Day), Secretary's Day date varies - Hug an Australian Day - National Pretzel Day - Richter Scale Day.

27 Babe Ruth Day - National Prime Rib Day - Take Your Daughter to Work 4th Thursday - Tell a Story Day.

28 Arbor Day  -last Friday of month - International Astronomy Day - Great Poetry Reading Day - Kiss Your Mate Day - guys, do not forget this one. Kiss her, then read her some poetry.

29 Greenery Day - National Shrimp Scampi Day.

30 Hairstyle Appreciation Day - National Honesty Day.

Classmates, Family and Friends of the Aragon Class of 1964...THANK YOU!
Take Care and Stay Safe; we will get together again in May.
Hooah, Hugs & Love,  

Classmate Bob


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