Posts from My Dad

A Poem from My Dad on the Occasion of Poe’s Death

Last week, my parents visited us over the weekend. Their stay was extended by a vehicular malfunction. My dad returned home, car fixed and a shiny new repair bill under his arm, and wrote this. I don’t know if he meant for me to publish it. We’ll see. 


by Paul Willingham

We took a little trip in our Mercury auto
Out through the farm byways of Minnesota
Crossed the border into South Dakota
To visit the chief poet at Claims Poetica (more…)

The View

By Paul Willingham

It has been said that “Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.” Nowhere is this more evident than in the television industry. A successful TV series, whether it be a comedy, reality show, police procedural, talent competitions, etc., is soon facing competition from an army of clones and knockoffs. In the 60s it was westerns, today it is talent contests and housewives.

Over the years I’m sure that there have been numerous brain-storming sessions (brain may be giving them too much credit here) by TV program producers and their creative specialists. Close your eyes and imagine that you are hiding behind the flip chart at one of these creative meetings. (more…)

In Sickness and in Health

by Paul Willingham

Bill and Becky Ann met at Purdue University where they both majored in Radio/Television broadcasting. They were married on the 13th of the month and believed that their marriage would not be undone by the superstitious whims of others. They were married for over 62 years. After broadcast gigs, first in Chicago and then at WCCO Radio in the Twin Cities, they struck out on their own and in 1949 successfully launched their own AM radio station.

For the next 20 plus years they successfully competed with and against stations with more broadcast power and were successful with counter-programming to the prevailing Rock and Roll and Top 40 formats of the day.

In the 50s and 60s women in business were rare and the glass ceiling was located somewhere just above the door knob of the corner office. But Becky Ann was a full-time active career partner with Bill as they owned, managed and worked together to build their business.


Time Sensitive

Guest post by Paul Willingham

It has been almost a year since my wife and I returned from an extended vacation on the West Coast, traveling by AMTRAK, Enterprise Rental and US Air, visiting with family and friends along the way.  Our return to Minnesota on the first Saturday in November required us to set our watches back to Central Time Zone.  Later that same evening we took part in that annual fall ritual of resetting our clocks back to Central Standard Time.

Each year in early November, most Americans reset their clocks, either before bedtime on Saturday night or early Sunday morning when they arise for the day.  I doubt if very many stay up until the official government mandated witching hour of 2:00 am to reset their clocks.  Cell phones and computers fortunately reset automatically.


Teach Us to Pray

Teach Us to Pray

Teach Us to Pray

A guest post by Paul Willingham

Praying with a Limp

A few months ago I was enjoying a late breakfast with my dad at the local Perkins.  Our table was near the front entrance so I was in a position to observe as diners entered and departed.  Several middle-aged African-American women were leaving. As they passed, one of the women asked her companion if she had injured her leg. She seemed to favor it as she walked.

“No”, she replied. “I always limp after I’ve been to prayer meeting.”

The uninitiated, overhearing her comment, probably would not have caught that her prayer life included being on her knees.  But what a testimony for the initiated that this woman and her prayer partners spent part of their prayer time on their knees, not seated around a table.

I suspect that in this day of compartmentalized Church Life/Christianity and a desire for comfort (air conditioned buildings, heated baptistries and padded pews) that there is not as much prayer that takes place on the knees of the supplicants.  I’m neither denigrating the prayers of the sincere today (the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much), regardless of the position of their physical bodies. Nor am I suggesting that prayer is more effective when offered up while kneeling.