Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Great Loss to the Community

Another great life has come to an end.

I first came to know Quinnie Cody when I was a young man.
He was the mayor of the town that I grew up in.
Over the years he did many good things not only for Mount Clemens, but the neighboring communities.
Mayor in our town is not a paid position and doesn't come with a lot of perks. But Quinnie had a passion for politics and a love for his city.

As he aged and stepped out of the public spot light, I, like most, lost track of him. But that's when I met Dawn. Dawn took care of my own father in his last year and simultaneously took care of Mr. Cody. When we lost my dad a year and a half ago, Dawn focused her attention on Mr. Cody. He has been her neighbor and friend most of her life. Dawn has also been working for me driving my funeral coaches for the last year and has been an excellent addition to our company.

When Mr. Cody passed, it was Dawn and I that had the privilege to transport him to the funeral home.
And Dawn and I will chauffeur him to church today and then to his final resting place.
At his visitation yesterday, it seemed that anyone who was anyone in our small town was there and we are looking forward to a packed house at the church today. It has been a great honor to serve this family, as it is all of the families that we work for.

Former Mount Clemens Mayor Cody oversaw city's comeback
By Chad Selweski
Tue, 23 Dec 2014, 06:40 PM

The gentlemanly mayor of Mount Clemens, Quinnie Cody, who served until 2005, died at his home Monday evening. He was 93.
Cody presided over the city when it began making a comeback in the late 1980s and again when it established an image as a popular nighttime hotspot in the early 2000s.
"We've always had our ups and downs as a city but most of the years when Quinnie was mayor we were doing pretty well," said incumbent Mayor Barb Dempsey, who served with her predecessor for six years on the Mount Clemens City Commission. "He was kind of the glue that held us together."
Cody served as mayor for 14 years between 1987 and 2005. His reign as mayor of the county seat was not consecutive but he also sometimes ran unopposed. A Mississippi native, Cody's hallmarks were his dapper dress - always in a suit and tie, often wearing a hat - and his easy-going manner.
"Quinnie Cody was a true Southern gentleman who treated everyone with kindness and respect," said Grace Shore, CEO of the Mount Clemens-based Macomb County Chamber of Commerce. "He really loved the city of Mt. Clemens. He was an asset to our community and will be greatly missed."
The mayor's community activities included 59 years as an usher and parish member at St. Peter Catholic Church in downtown Mount Clemens, and a longtime member of The Old Crowd. A World War II veteran, Cody was also a member of the American Legion Post 4. In recent years, his health began failing and he was less visible around town.
Mount Clemens City Commissioner Gary Blash, who first became friends with Cody many years ago while the two served in The Old Crowd, said the mayor deserved his nice-guy image but he also had a temper that sometimes reached its breaking point when someone crossed him.
"The city has lost a true gentleman. He was always very gracious, though he also was quite a character. I enjoyed being around him," said Blash the former city assessor, a post he now holds in Fraser. "But … you knew what line not to cross. He was definitely a man of conviction. When he was committed to an issue he would vehemently defend it."
Dempsey said Cody was fond of remarking, "dag nabbit" at commission meetings when he was unhappy with the way the proceedings were going. But he also had his progressive side, insisting that women play a role in city government.
He convinced Dempsey to get involved, initially by encouraging her to take a spot on the city recreation board.
"Quinnie was instrumental in getting me in politics, first by convincing me to run for the commission. That was 16 year ago. He said (former commissioner) Nancy Dedenbach was not running again and that we need another woman on the commission," said Dempsey, who just began her 10th year as mayor.
"And then, when he decided not to run for re-election, he asked me to run to fill his seat."
Cody is survived by his wife, Jeannette, four children, 20 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
Funeral home visitation will be from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday at Will and Schwarzkoff Funeral Home, 233 Northbound Gratiot, Mount Clemens. A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Peter.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Letters from the Past

One little project. I'm working on a quick project in the house, and suddenly the whole house is a disaster.
I start looking for one item and I find twelve others that I didn't know I was even looking for. Then I ran across a box filled with items from my past. I could have pushed the box aside and told myself to stay focused. But I knew that if I forced myself to deal with these ghost that have been hiding under my bed, I could move on to the next part of my life more easily. So I dug.

At the time, I'm sure that there was reasons for all the stuff that I've saved. Sometimes I saved things because my mother told me that one day I would want them. Well Mom, I've been sorting through your stuff for 3-1/2 years now, thinking to my self the whole time, "Why would someone save this?" But since important things seem to be mixed in with garbage, the sorting continues. And so does the sorting of my own things.

In this box tonight, I ran across some old correspondences  from a pen-pal that I had when I was 10 through 12 years old. I wish I could see what I wrote to this kid. Because the things that he wrote to me were so off the wall and so unrelated to my life. I really don't know how that whole thing went on for over two years. Long before the days of the internet, letters took a few days to send from place to place. Then there was usually response time and mailing back. And throw in the fact that my parents taught me the lesson of the dollar by making me buy my own stamps and I think I see how it lasted so long.

It was funny to read some of the letters that I received. He would write about his beer can collection or the fish that he caught in the river. He wrote of dirt bikes and dead bug collections too. None of these things has ever caught my interest. Ever. Then he ended most of the letters with, "I've run out of words". Children are funny and I'm sure that I was no exception to that rule. I know that there was a lot of stupid things that came out of my mouth as a child and even as an adult. As technology has brought us to blogging, Youtube, Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest and a half dozen other social networks that I know very little about, I have to wonder how much we've learned. Or are we all just silly kids talking about our beer can collections.

I've run out of words.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Spoiler Alert!

I lead a busy life. I don't think that I've watched anything live on television in a long time.
For the past several seasons of Survivor and The Amazing Race, someone, somewhere has told me who won the shows top prizes. Don't get me wrong, I love when people talk about the show. It creates a little more hype and gives me incentive to watch. But inevitably, someone will spill the beans as to the outcome.

I am thankful to say that it did not happen this time around for either show. I will say that both shows had some crazy twist at the end that I did not see coming, and I'm not sure that I like the results. But, they are what they are and I will accept that. And, I won't spill the beans.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Let Me Go

Everyone on this earth is born. And we each much also die. It may not be convenient for those left behind to mourn, but it is something that we all must do.
I do a lot of services for people whom have lived long and full lives. Those services are truly a celebration of life. Unfortunately, there are services for people who's lives seem way too short and often it seems unfair that it has come to what appears to be an untimely end.

Recently, CBN televangelist Pat Robertson proclaimed that "God has given us the ability to raise the dead, we just aren't using it."
And now there is a group called "The Dead Raising Team" that claims that they have performed a dozen resurrections. And finally, a family in Hamilton Ontario Canada kept their dead husband and father in their home since March, praying that he would be brought back to them. Here's the story from Caleb Wilde of Confessions of  a Funeral Director.

I know everyone loves me. But I have one request.
Be it 50 years from now or tomorrow, Let Me Go.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Good News

I'm always looking for a little good news; something to brighten my day, here on the brighter side.
Lately I've been looking forward to each week when a new episode of Russell Howard's Good News comes out on YouTube.
My UK friends may already know of him, but I'm sure he's new to my Yankee mates.
Each episode is about a half hour, but if you take the time to watch, you'll find you'll be wanting more.


Monday, December 1, 2014

White Frogs

I was just pleasantly surprised by a random movie recommended to me by Netflix.  I had a night to myself.  With Pugsley by my side, I turned up the heat, got comfortable and decided to see what this technology that I pay for each month would bring me.  I'm so out of touch with entertainment that I let the computer choose my entertainment.  What it brought me was a small movie called White Frogs.  For most of the movie, I had no idea what the title was about.  But then as all the pieces started coming together, one of the characters conveyed this story....

Grandma would tell a story of growing up in Viet Nam, that people would eat coconut frogs.  Yeah, coconut, and frogs.  She said her mother would take a coconut and make a small slit in it and insert a tadpole from the river.  The tad pole would live inside that coconut for a few weeks.  Then when the coconut was split open, you would find a blind frog with white skin.  The frog had the smoothest skin and the sweetest, softest coconut flavored meat.
Most of us live life, like one of those tad poles,  growing up in a strange world that never seemed right. Trying our best to fit in. To grow into a frog.  Our parents wanted us to be perfect.  They had an idea of what perfect was.  But in the end, we don't deserve to live in a coconut.  No one deserves that.
I am not a white frog.  I will not be a white frog, even if we are weird, different or strange. Because everyone is weird, different and strange.

I could relate so much with this story and these characters.  Growing up I felt like so much was expected of me.  Doctrine was instilled and I was marinated in beliefs that are not my own.  I could see glimpses of the outside world, but was protected from them and led to believe that it was all evil.  I watched how these beliefs effected each of my siblings differently.  I am happy to say that I now have a balanced knowledge and understanding of each of them as well as most of the world.  I am thirsty to learn even more each and every day.
This little tad pole will not reach the end of it's life with perfect white skin and tender meat for the masses to feast on.  No, it's going to continue to be a turbulent river with sunshine, rain, rocks and sand for me. Life will not devour me. Instead I will reach the end with a loving knowledge of hope for all that come after me.