Showing posts from February, 2010


Before I get to bears, a couple of updates on life. When I retired in 2004 from law teaching my OSU replacement was Professor Larry Garvin, a good friend, notable legal scholar and teacher, and fellow Gilbert and Sullivan aficionado. A week and a half ago he slipped on the ice while walking from the law school to the parking lot, and broke his femur up near the hip. It’s a very serious break, and he will be in the rehabilitation hospital until at least the end of the first week of March. The dean called and asked me to step in and take over Larry’s four-day-a-week Contracts class, meeting 11 a.m. until noon, M-Th. I was willing to do this on the clear understanding that I would NOT HAVE TO GRADE ANY EXAMS. The classes have been fun, but it is a lot of work to have to prepare for classes out of a strange casebook when for most of the decades I taught this subject I used my own book. Today (Tues. Feb 23) is the three month anniversary of my heart transplant. That is an import

My Heart Belonged to Andrew

I have received (through Lifeline of Ohio) a letter that the donor’s family wrote to me before they received my letter (so they crossed). Jenny Hoover at Lifeline wrote me that the donor’s family had now received my letter, and would write me again in response. Here is the entire letter I received, which the writers (signed “Barbara and Byron") sent to all the recipients: “Byron and I are Andrew’s mother and step father. When Andrew died suddenly at the age of 27, we knew right away that we wanted to donate his organs. Through this process we were able to help improve or sustain life for four individuals, you among them. Although we know people who have benefitted from organ transplants, we are still surprised at the extent of the benefits to the donor family. We are still learning what a blessing donation has been for us. To know that some good can come from our tragedy is comforting beyond measure. We hope that your transplant enables you to more fully enjoy your life. “An

Put-Out at Home Plate

As a young man my father was headed for a career as a professional baseball player (he was a catcher) until he threw his arm out while in college. As I discussed in a prior post [“My Competitive Parents”], both of my parents were athletes all their lives. In that department, I was a disappointment to Dad, who always assumed I would share their enthusiasm for sports, but, for reasons I will discuss someday, that was more or less impossible. I was a bowler in two leagues in 1968-69 when I moved to Chicago to practice law, and, when in Bermuda [see “My Year in Bermuda”], I was the catcher for my Navy Supply Department team. I was an okay catcher, and I could bat, but I couldn’t run very fast and that made me an easy out. During that year I spent in Bermuda, I mostly lived on the Air Force Base with my parents and sister, Mary Beth (who is two years younger than me). Dad’s plane-refueling squadron fielded a softball team in the base’s slowpitch league. In this form of softball ther

My Year In Bermuda

I joined the Navy right out of high school in 1961, doing two years of active duty, two of meetings (well, here George W. Bush and I have something in common in that I didn’t go to all that many), and two years of inactive reserves. The reason I did this, instead of going directly to college, was that my Air Force Office father suggested it. He always planned on me going to college eventually, of course, but he was afraid that if I went there straight from high school, I would do what he did at Indiana University, which was major in playing pool and getting bad grades. Dad also pointed out, and it was true, that I didn’t know what a hard day’s work was really like, and learning that would make doing well in college a top priority. So, dutiful son that I was, I joined the Navy. After a nightmare called boot camp (the subject of a future post), I was assigned to the U.S.S. Rockbridge, a troop carrier stationed in Norfolk VA. I will discuss that in a future post as well, because,

Parakeets and Me

I’m an animal lover, and that goes for dogs (we always had a dog when I was growing up), cats (I had two kittens for a year, and then they died of feline leukemia), etc., but first as a child in Japan, and then for most of my adult life I’ve had parakeets. They are wonderful companions, easy to keep, feed, etc., but with very individual personalities, and, with the exception of Floyd (who hated human beings and thought it was amusing when sitting on a finger brought close to a human face, to bite the nose area immediately between the nostrils—he didn’t last long), the birds were all great pets. Fred There were a number of wonderful birds, but the best of them was Fred. In 1968, when I was fresh out of law school and practicing law with a large firm in Chicago, on impulse one day I bought a parakeet and a cage and brought him to my apartment in the Marina City Towers. I named him Fred, and had fun playing with him, but it didn’t occur to me that he was particularly interested in