Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends

Monday, July 18, 2022

Review - The Haiku Books of Lawrence Eyre, MHS 66:
Available at Amazon and

 Lawrence Eyre's Heartland Haiku is available at Amazon - as well as

Eyre's Haiku Country is also available at, as well as at

Lawrence inscribed this in the copy of Heartland Haiku that he sent to me for review:

"Greg: Whoda thunk Garfield kids would end up writing books after reading MAD?"

At John Deere Junior High, teachers called us The Garfield Gashouse Gang, because we clustered together and had the best time laughing and being mildly disruptive. Mr. McAlister said, "The teachers can spot the Garfielders in each class."


 Garfield is now a condo unit, so it really needs a touch of Photoshop nostalgia.

The author and I go back to second grade, which was 67 years ago, when Lawrence's family moved to Moline and he matriculated at Garfield Grade School. Ann Johnson-Zander also went to Garfield and the three of us graduated from Moline High in 1966. The three of us lived in the same area of Moline and attended Yale at various times. 

I joined Salem Lutheran Church, after asking Lawrence where he attended. The next Sunday I got out of the car and went to Salem instead of First Christian Church, across the street. My mother said, "Where are YOU going?" I said, "Across the street," and I never returned to First Christian. As Tolkien observed in The Hobbit, we never know where that path will take us. I went to Augustana College, where I met Christina Ellenberger, whose birthday is this week.

Lawrence won a full scholarship at Yale College and joined the famed Whiffenpoofs singing club at Yale

Lawrence and I went to Yale Divinity, but at different times. We have stayed in touch, in part because of MHS reunions and Facebook. I have enjoyed posting his memorabilia in Moline Memories, and his mother's birthdays. Christina and I knew her at Salem and we saw his father at the Billy Graham event in South Bend, Indiana. Lawrence's parents went to Augustana College and were both in the choir, which may explain his singing voice.

It is a small world and haikus are small poems. Epic poetry and large novels can dazzle or puzzle the mind. Poetry demands so much more per word, and the haiku exposes one's lack of poetic gifts.

Lawrence went to a high school and a college where literature was taught with a deep appreciation for the authors and their contribution to Western culture. Although he earned acclaim for coaching tennis, Lawrence's haikus have been a staple in social media.

A haiku is a Japanese stanza of 17 syllables, three lines, 5-7-5.

The first stanza in Heartland Haiku

If trees are giving 
Their lives for this I'd better
Say something worthwhile

and also

Find your voice they said
I'm finding mine as many
Voices go silent

Heartland Haiku is one continuous poem, a challenge most of us would not want to address. The stanzas are humorous and ironic, also touching on the pain and tumults of life and death.

Quiet heroism
Lives on wherever people
Work for daily bread

Haiku Country begins

In haiku country
Extra syllables die fast
Seventeen or bust

Beatles and Beach Boys
Wrote haiku songs long before
Anyone noticed

No haiku today
Five seven five drives me nuts
Well maybe one more

These books are a delight. They are ideal gifts for people who would like to explore the craft and see how much can come from supposedly simple stanzas.

Lawrence and Laurie have been married 40 years.
She is also a tennis coach. Their teams have been phenomenally successful.

 My father took us to the Yale football stadium, to see them demolish Princeton's team.  

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Rush Limbaugh's Father - "Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor"

RUSH INTRODUCTION: My father, Rush H. Limbaugh, Jr., delivered this oft-requested address locally a number of times, but it had never before appeared in print until it was published in The Limbaugh Letter. My dad was renowned for his oratory skills and for his original mind; this speech is, I think, a superb demonstration of both. I will always be grateful to him for instilling in me a passion for the ideas and lives of America's Founders, as well as a deep appreciation for the inspirational power of words, which you will see evidenced here:

Rush Limbaugh, Senior

"Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor"

It was a glorious morning. The sun was shining and the wind was from the Southeast. Up especially early, a tall bony, redheaded young Virginian found time to buy a new thermometer, for which he paid three pounds, fifteen shillings. He also bought gloves for Martha, his wife, who was ill at home.

Thomas Jefferson arrived early at the statehouse. The temperature was 72.5 degrees and the horseflies weren't nearly so bad at that hour. It was a lovely room, very large, with gleaming white walls. The chairs were comfortable. Facing the single door were two brass fireplaces, but they would not be used today.

The moment the door was shut, and it was always kept locked, the room became an oven. The tall windows were shut, so that loud quarreling voices could not be heard by passersby. Small openings atop the windows allowed a slight stir of air, and also a large number of horseflies. Jefferson records that "the horseflies were dexterous in finding necks, and the silk of stockings was nothing to them." All discussing was punctuated by the slap of hands on necks.

On the wall at the back, facing the president's desk, was a panoply -- consisting of a drum, swords, and banners seized from Fort Ticonderoga the previous year. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had captured the place, shouting that they were taking it "in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"

Now Congress got to work, promptly taking up an emergency measure about which there was discussion but no dissension. "Resolved: That an application be made to the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania for a supply of flints for the troops at New York."

Then Congress transformed itself into a committee of the whole. The Declaration of Independence was read aloud once more, and debate resumed. Though Jefferson was the best writer of all of them, he had been somewhat verbose. Congress hacked the excess away. They did a good job, as a side-by-side comparison of the rough draft and the final text shows. They cut the phrase "by a self-assumed power." "Climb" was replaced by "must read," then "must" was eliminated, then the whole sentence, and soon the whole paragraph was cut. Jefferson groaned as they continued what he later called "their depredations." "Inherent and inalienable rights" came out "certain unalienable rights," and to this day no one knows who suggested the elegant change.

A total of 86 alterations were made. Almost 500 words were eliminated, leaving 1,337. At last, after three days of wrangling, the document was put to a vote.

Here in this hall Patrick Henry had once thundered: "I am no longer a Virginian, sir, but an American." But today the loud, sometimes bitter argument stilled, and without fanfare the vote was taken from north to south by colonies, as was the custom. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

There were no trumpets blown. No one stood on his chair and cheered. The afternoon was waning and Congress had no thought of delaying the full calendar of routine business on its hands. For several hours they worked on many other problems before adjourning for the day.

Much To Lose

What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the crown? To each of you, the names Franklin, Adams, Hancock and Jefferson are almost as familiar as household words. Most of us, however, know nothing of the other signers. Who were they? What happened to them?

I imagine that many of you are somewhat surprised at the names not there: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry. All were elsewhere.

Ben Franklin was the only really old man. Eighteen were under 40; three were in their 20s. Of the 56 almost half - 24 - were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, nine were landowners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers, and politicians.

With only a few exceptions, such as Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, these were men of substantial property. All but two had families. The vast majority were men of education and standing in their communities. They had economic security as few men had in the 18th Century.

Each had more to lose from revolution than he had to gain by it. John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a price of 500 pounds on his head. He signed in enormous letters so that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward. Ben Franklin wryly noted: "Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately."

Fat Benjamin Harrison of Virginia told tiny Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: "With me it will all be over in a minute, but you, you will be dancing on air an hour after I am gone."

These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember, a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.

They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.

It was principle, not property, that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United States. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as vice president of the United States. Several would go on to be US Senators. One, the richest man in America, in 1828 founded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. One, a delegate from Philadelphia, was the only real poet, musician and philosopher of the signers. (It was he, Francis Hopkinson not Betsy Ross who designed the United States flag.)

Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, had introduced the resolution to adopt the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776. He was prophetic in his concluding remarks: "Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to devastate and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law.

"The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repost.

"If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American Legislatures of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens."

Though the resolution was formally adopted July 4, it was not until July 8 that two of the states authorized their delegates to sign, and it was not until August 2 that the signers met at Philadelphia to actually put their names to the Declaration.

William Ellery, delegate from Rhode Island, was curious to see the signers' faces as they committed this supreme act of personal courage. He saw some men sign quickly, "but in no face was he able to discern real fear." Stephan Hopkins, Ellery's colleague from Rhode Island, was a man past 60. As he signed with a shaking pen, he declared: "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."

"Most Glorious Service"

Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered.

  • Francis Lewis, New York delegate saw his home plundered -- and his estates in what is now Harlem -- completely destroyed by British Soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.
  • William Floyd, another New York delegate, was able to escape with his wife and children across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees without income for seven years. When they came home they found a devastated ruin.
  • Philips Livingstone had all his great holdings in New York confiscated and his family driven out of their home. Livingstone died in 1778 still working in Congress for the cause.
  • Louis Morris, the fourth New York delegate, saw all his timber, crops, and livestock taken. For seven years he was barred from his home and family.
  • John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family.
  • Dr. John Witherspoon, signer, was president of the College of New Jersey, later called Princeton. The British occupied the town of Princeton, and billeted troops in the college. They trampled and burned the finest college library in the country.
  • Judge Richard Stockton, another New Jersey delegate signer, had rushed back to his estate in an effort to evacuate his wife and children. The family found refuge with friends, but a Tory sympathizer betrayed them. Judge Stockton was pulled from bed in the night and brutally beaten by the arresting soldiers. Thrown into a common jail, he was deliberately starved. Congress finally arranged for Stockton's parole, but his health was ruined. The judge was released as an invalid, when he could no longer harm the British cause.He returned home to find his estate looted and did not live to see the triumph of the Revolution. His family was forced to live off charity.
  • Robert Morris, merchant prince of Philadelphia, delegate and signer, met Washington's appeals and pleas for money year after year. He made and raised arms and provisions which made it possible for Washington to cross the Delaware at Trenton. In the process he lost 150 ships at sea, bleeding his own fortune and credit almost dry.
  • George Clymer, Pennsylvania signer, escaped with his family from their home, but their property was completely destroyed by the British in the Germantown and Brandywine campaigns.
  • Dr. Benjamin Rush, also from Pennsylvania, was forced to flee to Maryland. As a heroic surgeon with the army, Rush had several narrow escapes.
  • John Martin, a Tory in his views previous to the debate, lived in a strongly loyalist area of Pennsylvania. When he came out for independence, most of his neighbors and even some of his relatives ostracized him. He was a sensitive and troubled man, and many believed this action killed him. When he died in 1777, his last words to his tormentors were: "Tell them that they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it [the signing] to have been the most glorious service that I have ever rendered to my country."
  • William Ellery, Rhode Island delegate, saw his property and home burned to the ground.
  • Thomas Lynch, Jr., South Carolina delegate, had his health broken from privation and exposures while serving as a company commander in the military. His doctors ordered him to seek a cure in the West Indies and on the voyage, he and his young bride were drowned at sea.
  • Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., the other three South Carolina signers, were taken by the British in the siege of Charleston. They were carried as prisoners of war to St. Augustine, Florida, where they were singled out for indignities. They were exchanged at the end of the war, the British in the meantime having completely devastated their large landholdings and estates.
  • Thomas Nelson, signer of Virginia, was at the front in command of the Virginia military forces. With British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, fire from 70 heavy American guns began to destroy Yorktown piece by piece. Lord Cornwallis and his staff moved their headquarters into Nelson's palatial home. While American cannonballs were making a shambles of the town, the house of Governor Nelson remained untouched. Nelson turned in rage to the American gunners and asked, "Why do you spare my home?"They replied, "Sir, out of respect to you." Nelson cried, "Give me the cannon!" and fired on his magnificent home himself, smashing it to bits. But Nelson's sacrifice was not quite over. He had raised $2 million for the Revolutionary cause by pledging his own estates. When the loans came due, a newer peacetime Congress refused to honor them, and Nelson's property was forfeited. He was never reimbursed. He died, impoverished, a few years later at the age of 50.

Lives, Fortunes, Honor

Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.

And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark.

He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship Jersey, where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons' lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man's heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: "No."

The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

RUSH EPILOGUE: My friends, I know you have a copy of the Declaration of Independence somewhere around the house - in an old history book (newer ones may well omit it), an encyclopedia, or one of those artificially aged "parchments" we all got in school years ago. I suggest that each of you take the time this month to read through the text of the Declaration, one of the most noble and beautiful political documents in human history.

There is no more profound sentence than this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness..."

These are far more than mere poetic words. The underlying ideas that infuse every sentence of this treatise have sustained this nation for more than two centuries. They were forged in the crucible of great sacrifice. They are living words that spring from and satisfy the deepest cries for liberty in the human spirit.

"Sacred honor" isn't a phrase we use much these days, but every American life is touched by the bounty of this, the Founders' legacy. It is freedom, tested by blood, and watered with tears.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Two Wedding Anniversaries - Kris Streed and Lawrence Eyre


 Paul and Kris Streed Crawford have been married 49 years.

Lawrence Eyre married Laurie 40 years ago.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Rest in Peace - Jay McFadyen MHS65, Married to Jeannine Lawson MHS 66

"Jay McFadyen, class of 1965, passed away on Dec. 24, 2021. We started dating in 1965 and were married for 52 years.
Jeannine Lawson McFadyen (1966)."

Monday, January 31, 2022

Rest In Peace - Guy Johnson - MHS 68

Guy L. Johnson, Jr., 72, of Coal Valley, IL, passed away January 29, 2022 at UnityPoint Trinity Rock Island.

Guy's full obituary is copied below.

Family and friends are invited to share memories and express condolences on his memory wall.

Guy's Own Obituary

Guy L. Johnson, Jr., 72, of Coal Valley, IL, passed away January 29, 2022 at UnityPoint-Trinity Rock Island. Visitation will be at Wendt Funeral Home, Moline, IL, Friday, February 4, 2022, 4-7 pm with a memorial service beginning at 7 pm.

My Life - The Beginning

I was born at the Moline Public Hospital on November 8 1949. My father was Guy Lyle Johnson Sr. and my mother was Naomi Grace (Margo) Johnson (Boone. While under five years of age we lived downtown Rock Island, near the old Ben’s Gourmet House. This is where I saw the ghost of my grandmother Minnie.

I attended Wells Grade School from kindergarten to the third grade. I loved playing outdoors. I had a beautiful collie named Lady. Lady had two puppies, Sam and Teddy. We sold Sam to another family and poor little Teddy was run over while sleeping under a neighbors car. Lady was later killed by a passing furniture delivery truck. At the time we lived just off 53rd street in Moline. I loved living in the country and playing outside. It was then that my mothers daughter, Connie, came to live with us. She played her father against my mother for several years. She stayed with us for 2-3 years off and on before leaving. We only saw her when she wanted something. We moved and I attended Garfield Grade School, repeating the third grade and graduating the sixth grade. I was an average student who loved to read. I had a mixed breed collie named Bullets (named after Roy Rogers dog on tv) who later ran away never to be seen again. I did not enjoy my time at Wells but Garfield was a good time. Mrs. Forsyth, my third grade teacher was my favorite. I was honored to be one of her pall bearers when she passed. I had a special girl friend, Jill Johnson whose fathers first name was also “Guy.”

While at Garfield, I was present when the old Browning Field bleachers burnt down and I watched 23rd avenue go from a brick paved street to a concrete surface. Living near Wharton Field House, I attended many pro-wrestling events and basketball games, including the Harlem Globetrotters. My interest in firearms, shooting and hunting began at this time; I bought my first firearm, an M1 carbine, through mail order for $66.

Since I lived just across the border for school districts I was able to attend Calvin Coolidge Junior High. My time there was very good. I did well in sports, wrestling and football being my favorites. I won the heavy weight (158 lbs) city championship in ninth grade. I threw the shot and disc but never enjoyed them. My best all-time girl friend was Tracy Le. I had a classmate who had some family issues and my parents offered to take him into our home, his name was Donald Palmer. However, it did not work out as he could not adjust to our lifestyle. I have no idea what happened to him.

I went to Moline Senior High where my time there was very good. I played football and wrestled all three years, lettered in both. I dated Susanne Sandler (class of 67) and later Kathy Gyngard (RI, class of 67). During my junior year, I moved out of the house, never to return. It was during my senior year that Kathy became pregnant with my son Michael. I tried to join the Army but my high blood pressure prevented me from doing so. It was also during this time another girl (Pam Thompson) became pregnant with my daughter Ronda. After graduating from MHS, I married Kathy. It ended in divorce four years later. At that time, due to me being married, I did not acknowledge the existence of Ronda. Her mother did send me photos and updates but I was never involved in her younger years, a decision that I regret.

Out of high school, married and with a young son, I had a job at K-Mart which I left to work at JI Case in Rock Island. I worked there for 18 years leaving to open my own business, Moline Munitions. After my divorce from Kathy, I dated until I married Rhonda Kay Starr from Galesburg. She was a nurse at the time and the former girlfriend of my buddy, Mark Edwards. She was a good person and always game to try new things and easy to laugh. It was during our marriage that I opened my own business, which caused me to work 80-120 hours a week which tore our marriage apart, we divorced after 12 years. I met Janet Cobert, a sister of a classmate. I loved her with all my heart, but due to some unforeseen family circumstances, we divorced after only four years; my heart was badly broken. It was during this time I began working for the Illinois Department of Corrections while still maintaining my business for three more years before finally closing it down. I retired after 21 years as a Lt. And relief shift commander. I was the senior trainer, tact team member, pistol & rifle team member and IDOC sniper. While I was with IDOC I met and married Svetlana Prokove, we divorced after nine years. She was a very good woman but her high maintenance desires emotionally wore me out. The end of the relationship was apparent when we were on a trip to St. Louis where we had a disagreement which resulted in her taking a bus back to Coal Valley.

I met Syndee Martin in Madison, WI at a dive shop during one of my ice dives. We hit it off and had a very good time together. We married and she relocated from Wisconsin to Illinois. We built a life together and had our ups and downs as it goes with any relationship, she has stuck it out the longest. Our shared enthusiasm and commitment to car restorations kept us together.

After retirement I did visit twice, France, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Poland and Germany on a WWII tour. It was a wonderful trip, one of the highlights of my life. My trips to Russia were also special. Over the years I have been an NRA firearms instructor and a Master scuba diver. I have enjoyed reading and collecting firearms. My life has been shared with many dogs; Rollo, Mollie, the Meatloaf and Sneakers being the best.

Those that survive me are my wife, Syndee Martin, my daughter, Ronda (David) Michell of Charleston, SC along with my granddaughters, Avari (Marshall) Wells, Charleston, SC and Ariana Mitchell of Lexington, KY.

I was preceded in death by my parents and my son, Michael.

If you wish to make a donation in my memory please let them be made to the Milan Rifle Club, 9221 51st St W, Milan, IL. 61264.

Share memories, post photos or videos and express condolences here on my memory wall.

Over the years I have had some great friends, wonderful times and adventures. I’ve had a life.

Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, February 4th, 2022 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Wendt Funeral Home
    1811 15th Street Pl.
    Moline, IL 61265
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

1. Our God, our Help in ages past,

Our Hope for years to come,

Our Shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal Home!

2. Under the shadow of Thy throne

Thy saints have dwelt secure;

Sufficient is Thine arm alone,

And our defense is sure.

3. Before the hills in order stood

Or earth received her frame,

From everlasting Thou art God,

To endless years the same.

4. A thousand ages in Thy sight

Are like an evening gone,

Short as the watch that ends the night

Before the rising sun.

5. Thy word commands our flesh to dust:

"Return ye sons of men!"

All nations rose from earth at first

And turn to earth again.

6. Time, like an ever-rolling stream,

Bears all its sons away;

They fly forgotten as a dream

Dies at the opening day.

7. Like flowery fields the nations stand,

Pleased with the morning light;

The flowers beneath the mower's hand

Lie withering ere 'tis night.

8. Our God, our Help in ages past,

Our Hope for years to come,

Be Thou our Guard while troubles last

And our eternal Home!

The Lutheran Hymnal

Hymn #123

Text: Psalm 90

Author: Isaac Watts, 1719, ab.

Composer: William Croft, 1708

Tune: "St. Anne"