Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Posted by Sarah Lyons:

My father, Dan Lyons, passed away from cancer this morning at 1:30AM. He was at home, surrounded by his family. There will be a memorial service for him at 11AM, Saturday February 6th, in the West Ballroom at the Colorado State University Student Center.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

SADISM, MASOCHISM: The one wants to administer pain or frustration—
The other wants to receive it.

Fifty years ago, in a graduate philosophy class, I told this story to illustrate
The paradoxical nature of this relationship:

A sadist married a masochist/
In the hotel room, she said, ‘Now beat me !”
He thought for a minute, gave a devilish smile,
And said “NO!”

She thought, and said, ‘THANKS ! ‘

He said ‘DAMN !”

The prof asked why didn’t I enroll in some other class—
But it turned out he dined out on this story.

It was told to me in England.

We have two Albanian-Muslim friends—
And they told me MY story, which they had heard in Europe.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This farmboy got a job as a bellboy in a city hotel.
He got summoned to this room/"Come in!"
This woman was standing stark naked, admiring herself in the mirror.
She grabbed the lad, pulled him inside, saying "I hear someone coming!"

Strutting again,she asked, "What do you think is my best feature?"
He replied, "Your ears !"
"A minute ago, when you heard someone coming--that was ME !"

I brought some donated food to a homeless shelter.
A group of clients were waiting outside
for the dormitory to open.

I complained that no staff were around.

One sympathetic client said,
“No, the Catholics give Sunday lunch, but no supper.
If you want supper, you’ll have to go to the
Protestant shelter.”

Thursday, July 23, 2009


An Irish couple in Mason City Iowa reared a family of 8 children right during the Great Depression. Decades later, after the parents were dead, the surviving children tried to figure out two things: a) how could they afford it? And
(b) how did they manage to conceive all those children with all those children around?

The answer to (a) was backbreaking work and strict frugality. But the children were stumped to answer (b).

Then they remembered an odd fact—poor as they were, the two oldest children (Agnes and John) were sent to a movie every Saturday afternoon (a nickel a ticket).
That’s how Billy and Margaret and Bernard and Clare and Anne and Bridget showed up.

Then the survivors talked to friends from Cedar Falls—also 6 siblings raised in the Depression. Sure enough, poor as they were, the two older children (Andy and Jerry) were always Funded for a Sunday movie—result ? the appearance of Alice and Don and Edward and Liz.

These parents enjoyed movies they never saw.

Friday, July 17, 2009


In 1972, I took my family to Ireland, planning to spend my whole Sabbatical year there. We didn’t; elsewhere I have explained why.

This tale is about our first day in Ireland. I foolishly took the whole year Sabbatical, on half of my miserable pay. In Chicago we heard of a couple who won
a prize of having their luggage conveyed to Ireland (!) They weren’t going, so they offeredThe luggage allowance to us. We grabbed it.

The only problem was that the luggage had to go to the West of Ireland,to the town of Limerick, near Shannon airport. My wife had relatives in Limerick who could help us get the luggage illicitly. There were several big bags, and a trunk, which we lived out of the whole year.

My family settled into a nice duplex in the suburb of Dublin.
(I found out later that several of them had diarrhea, with no toilet paper. Kindly neighbors looked out for them..) I took off at once for the train to Limerick. Arriving, I looked for the first cheapest accommodations I could find—a block from the train station.

The building was ancient and musty smelling. In the parlor there were two pictures: Jack Kennedy, with a full halo—and Bobby Kennedy(recently assassinated) with only the beginning of a halo. An interesting theology.

The hostess was a skinny old woman with a scarred face—either her husband beat her, or she fell down drunk. I slept ill that night, worried about bedbugs.
In the morning, I sat down for breakfast, but the awful smell made me flee (the only time in my life I haven’t eaten a meal I paid for.)

But the memorable part of my meeting the hostess was when she noticed I had
no luggage. She wanted to show that she once had strict standards,
but now couldn’t afford them./

“Are ye a DAIRTY man? Oh well, it doesn’t matter.”

Friday, June 12, 2009

Our oldest daughter was so volatile we nicknamed her ‘Stormy Perpetua’.

Years ago we were foolish enough to enroll our children
in a ‘free school’:
Foolish because if you use the word ‘free’ to a 6-year-old, he thinks it outrageous
If you forbid him to climb on the roof.

There were 2 lambs fenced in at the school. Somehow one became known as belonging to our daughter Jean, and the other to another girl named Heather.

On Sunday evenings it was my job to feed the lambs.
Lambs are insanely greedy, and I fed one too much.
Monday morning one lamb was dead. It was Jean’s.

She came home and said calmly, “My lamb died.”
We waited for the hurricane—
But she said, “George (a teacher) explained to me that death is a part of life!”

We were astonished. She went to bed —but in the middle of the night we heard her screaming, “MY LAMB IS DEAD !!” No sleep for anyone the rest of that night.

Later she said she felt guilty because when she heard one lamb was dead, She hoped it was Heather’s.