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A date that hopefully still lives in infamy and birthdays
At the Mike
At the Mike.jpg

FDR called it ‘A date which will live in infamy’. 

But I am willing to bet, some 77 years later, more than half the people in the United States couldn’t tell you what major event happened on Dec. 7. You might set the lightbulb off in a few more heads if you add the year 1941.

For 60 years that date stood as the single largest loss of life (2403 lives lost) on American soil. Unfortunately, Sept. 11, 2001 (2977 lives lost) changed that. 

That is minus the 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston (6000+ lives) and 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires in San Francisco (3000+ lives).

So take some time Friday to remember that day. It changed the United States forever. From that day forward we truly became a world super power. The generation that fought in WWII and came after it was one of the greatest in the history of our country.

Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto allegedly said ‘I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.’ That is exactly what happened.

So I will look on Friday and see if I can find the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! It’s a good watch. Yeah, I like it better than the Pearl Harbor move.

Prep Thoughts

What a start for the Great Bend wrestlers. Going to the Wichita area and winning the first meet of the year. Not only did they win it, the won by more than 40 points. Now, some of the big boys – Goddard, Arkansas City and Maize, weren’t there but No. 7 Newton and Bishop Carroll were.

The Panthers remained No. 9 in the latest 5A rankings with four wrestlers ranked in the top six in their weight class. That includes my neighbor from across and down the street a bit, Drew Liles. He is ranked No. 4 at 120. 

The Panthers travel to Douglass this weekend before some duals in the Grand Island and Dodge City to close out the semester. Great Bend won’t be at home until a Jan 10 dual with Garden City. The Buffaloes are ranked No. 2 in 6A.

Former Barton 

Athlete/Coach update

Jack Owens is off to a pretty good start to his career as a head collegiate basketball coach. The former Barton assistant led the Miami (Ohio) to their best season in seven years in his initial season last year. The Redhawks went 16-18 last season that included a trip to the CBI post season tournament.

This year, in his quest for the school’s first winning season since 2008-09, Miami is off to a 4-4 start. Those four losses are at Butler, at Xavier, and a pair of games in the Bahamas to Pepperdine and Montana by a combined eight points.

The start of the Mid America Conference season is still a month away. While No. 17 Buffalo is the favorite to win the MAC East division, keep an eye out for the Redhawks to make a little noise. Miami returns four starts and eight lettermen from last year’s team. 

And Finally

The birthday season in fast approaching. Well, at least my immediate family, that is.

Mostly of them are in January, actually. My mother, mother-in-law, daughter and I all have January birthdays. Our dog Waffle has a birthday that month as well.

But today, December 6, is also a birthday. Two in fact.

It is my father-in-law Jerry’s birthday. He passed in August, so this will be the first birthday for him since his passing.

That makes for a rough day for my wife, her siblings and her mother. 

To try and make the day go easier, Crystal took the day off and we went to Pratt to get her mother Sharon last night. They are going to spend the day decorating the Christmas tree and the house. We held off doing that until today for that specific reason.

Hopefully it helps some.

Something I am still in awe over is the fact it is our new dog Bambi’s birthday today as well. We got her from the Humane Society less than a month after Jerry passed away. 

We got her home and were looking over her papers a couple days later and realized her birthday, too, was Dec. 6. It was like it was meant to be. She will be two, and believe me, still has a whole lot puppy in her.

She got in trouble for getting in the trash the other day and put in her kennel for a while. What did she do when she was let out? Go right back to the trash, which I then took out.

There must be something about being born on Dec. 6 and being stubborn. Jerry and Bambi have that in common.

So today will be full of ups and downs I’m certain. I’m also certain he will be watching down of the decorating and have an opinion on it. 

He always had his opinion on things.

Mike Marzolf is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at