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Jay to the World: July 2018

Well, it’s June 29th and I am both physically and mentally preparing myself for my appearance on the celebrity dunk tank at this weekend’s 4th of July festivities in Malvern. It’s been decades since my last dunk tank experience but I’m assuming the engineering side of dunk tanks hasn’t really changed much. Throw the ball, hit the target, watch the victim flail around in a tank of non-chlorinated water. I’ve had lots of people come up to me over the past few weeks telling me how excited they were to dunk me and I can’t help but wonder…is it because they really like me and want to donate to a good cause, or do they really not like me and are secretly hoping that I take a baseball in the middle of my forehead. As I’ve told you many times, I’m a glass half-full kind of guy, so I’m going with my initial thought. However, if someone shows up wearing a red Make America Great Again hat and a pocket full of money, I might have to change my way of thinking.

I attended game 2 of the CWS a couple nights ago and I still feel bad for the 3 Arkansas players who converged on the foul ball that, if caught, would have resulted in a national championship for the Razorbacks. The minute the ball hit the ground I looked at the total stranger sitting next to me and we both shook our heads because you simply have to take advantage of opportunities like that in a pressure packed situation. You could immediately feel all of the pressure of the moment going from Oregon State over to Arkansas. This is probably a bad comparison, but it felt EXACTLY like the Cubs/Marlins back in 2003 when the infamous foul ball wasn’t caught and the Marlins pounced on the opportunity by scoring 8 runs in the inning to win game 6 of that series. Opportunities lost can deflate a team and, just like the Cubs in 2003, the Razorbacks simply had nothing left in the tank for the deciding game the following night. I absolutely love sports, but sometimes the emotional pain is almost too hard to watch.

Speaking of emotional pain (yes, this may be the segue of the year) it’s starting to become apparent to me that this whole trying to bring unity to our school district idea might be just a tad bit out of my wheelhouse. Granted, I’ve had lots of positive feedback and I really think that most people probably agree with the general idea of having one school in one location. With that being said, I must say that the responses I have received from a few people have made my “leave Donald Trump alone” emails and letters seem almost playful. There is still a lot of bitterness and distrust out there and I honestly don’t know if one campus will ever happen. It’s sad because the way the district is configured right now is a sure-fire recipe for failure but if attitudes and feelings don’t change, we’ll never catch up to the districts around us in terms of facilities. I’m AMAZED at how many people said they would rather have the district dissolve than to have the entire school in Malvern. But I’m not giving up – if Donald Trump can end decades of hate between the United States and North Korea in 3 days (3 days??), then we can get this done.

Of course, now we’re fighting with Canada, so what do I know….

While on the topic of our illustrious leader, President Trump has directed the Pentagon to create a 6th branch of the military that will be called “The Space Force”. Now I’m not exactly sure what the role of the Space Force will be or where Space Force members would be stationed, but I must say I became a little worried after he named George Jetson as head of the entire branch.

Overheard on our car ride home from Omaha last week: “Hey Emersyn, if I was a puppy…. And was really cute….. And I listened …. would you get me??”

The other day I was talking on our house phone when my wife called me on my cell phone. Obviously, I quickly ended the first call so I could give my wife the full attention that she deserves (pause while my wife stops laughing). Anyway, I started walking around the house and her voice just kept getting quieter and quieter and I was getting hacked because I just assumed that my cell phone was slowly running out of juice. Yeah, I was holding the wrong phone…

I read the other day that the most searched “how to spell” word in the state of Iowa is ‘vacuum’. I promise you I spent 30 minutes trying to come up with a punchline that didn’t involve the word ‘suck’ and I finally just gave up.

I was reading the news a while back and stumbled upon a couple feel-good stories that involved rescuing animals from perilous situations. The first one was about a firefighter who rescued a deer from flood waters, and the second story was about a person who stopped traffic so a mother duck and her baby ducklings could cross a busy road. Would somebody PLEASE explain to me the difference between a deer dying in a flood versus getting its head blown off, or a duck getting run over by a car versus getting annihilated by a round of bullets?? If you ever wonder why my head looks like it does, its really not the cancer surgeries. It’s from constantly beating it against a wall.

And finally (yes, it’s a shorter newsletter this month – I thought I had the weekend to write this): I recently read that Jerry Maren, the last remaining munchkin from the Wizard of Oz, has died at the age of 98. In an ironic twist of fate, he died trying to get to the Tootsie Roll Center of his lollipop.

Until next time….


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