In 2013 we drove to the Missouri Ozarks to get these three after they visited with their other grandparents. We got to hang with them for a while before their mom (our daughter) came to take them home. Fun summer adventures.
It was also cool to go back to the area we left as brand new empty nesters. We literally started our life together over again when we left there 17 years ago – coming back home to live in the Kansas City metro.
It seems to have proven true again that such things in life happen as they are supposed to.
Our late mother Vi Burnett had many words of motivation and wisdom to share – most encouragement to overcome whatever adversities a person is going to inherently encounter in life.
She used to encourage me to use my talents to create the life I want to live. I saw her overcome. I saw her grow as an adult. I saw her become the best version of herself.
Here’s one of the phrases I constantly heard growing up: “Work hard and be nice (to other people).”
I have learned this phrase in practice keeps you focused on what really matters.
I was having lunch at Fort Leavenworth a couple of weeks ago and just happened to be standing in the buffet line behind a man dressed in Buffalo Soldier uniform and regalia. He was an officer of a local chapter.
The Buffalo Soldier stopped by the Lamp newspaper office with the membership form just before lunch as we previously arranged. I completed the form. The chapter president, whom he brought with him, signed and approved my membership on the spot.
I’m shown here with our three eldest grandchildren at the conclusion of a visit to our home by Jesse Newman and Curtis McClinton to see our eldest brother, Richie Pratt, who had recently returned home after having lived in Hawaii for nearly thirty years.
“So, I get home from work today and there is a strange car in the driveway. I walk in the house from the garage and Curtis McClinton is sitting in my easy chair and Jesse Newman is sitting on the sofa in the living room. These two Jayhawks came by to visit our Jayhawk, Richard Dean today. It turns out that Curtis was involved in the work of initially setting up the 18th & Vine District and Jesse has been big in community advocacy and education. They plan on visiting regularly. It was cool for our grandchildren to get to meet them too …”
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The three of them played varsity football at the University of Kansas in the 1960s (1960-69 Rosters). Richie ultimately had a shot with the New York Giants and Curtis went on to greatness with the Kansas City Chiefs.