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Granite Falls / Lifes Outtakes

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 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    April 2, 2014

An Instrument Of Embarrassment

Steve had a sharp mind and an ear for music that few people experience. But he lacked something that almost all other musicians quickly master. He could not read music. He had never needed to. His good friend, John, always sat by him, and would show...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    March 5, 2014

A Crazy Scoutmaster

February is scout month, and it always reminds me of the 18 boys that were in my troop when I was scoutmaster. On one particular evening, we were just starting scouts when a new boy came in. He looked lost, so I went over to greet him. “May I help...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    February 5, 2014

A funeral and a memory

I went to a funeral this week for my former high school teacher, Sam Christiansen. It brought back lots of memories, some different than you might expect. The main one was not even from school. It was from the summer before my junior year. That...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    December 4, 2013

Experience Is The Edge

Lenny came rushing into my first hour class waving a newspaper. “Howard, have you seen the newspaper?” “Why, are you in the funny pages?” I asked. He rolled his eyes. “Ha, ha. Very funny. I have a mind not to show you, now.” “Yeah,”...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    November 6, 2013

We are all in this together

Liza stared at the young man, Mr. Winthrop, who stood at her door. The fear and concern shown in his face. “Please?” he begged. “Please, won’t you come? I’m afraid my wife and baby will die without your help.” Liza had grown up in the...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    August 29, 2013

Life's Outtakes

Courage To Stand Up To Friends When I stood up to my friends, defending a new girl at my school, the janitor, Mr. Bandon, saw the whole thing. He told me that it can take more courage to stand up to friends than to enemies. That was when he showed...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    January 28, 2013

Life's Outtakes

Henry had been the heavy-weight wrestling national champion the year before I joined the college team. He was a big, handsome, Tongan man with brown skin and bear-like paws for hands. He was jovial and amicable. Everyone liked Henry. Jim was tall wit...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    January 7, 2013

Life's outtakes

My wife and I decided we needed a new car for her to drive. It wasn’t that our little pickup had quit running or was having any mechanical problems. It was just that it had a tendency to choose to be an off road vehicle, even when we...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    December 3, 2012

Life's Outtakes

It was my second Thanksgiving far from home. I was invited to dinner by a family that I dearly loved. Norma, the mother, was a wonderful lady. Though she was blind, nothing much slowed her down. She ran her home with efficiency and precision. But...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    October 1, 2012

Life's Outtakes

My older children were in the marching band, so it was only natural that we should attend the homecoming game to watch them perform at half time. None of my sons played football. Nor did any of my daughters, in case you wondered. All of my children...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    August 31, 2012

How to get out of band class

My son, Scott, found a trumpet in a second-hand store. The sign on it said that it didn’t work, and it was priced low accordingly. He pulled it out of its case and looked it over. It was a top-name brand, and looked to be in almost new conditio...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    March 6, 2012

Life's Outtakes

I stopped to pick up a video and ran into Lenny, whom I hadn’t seen in years. He greeted me, and then he asked, “Do you remember in sixth grade when Mrs. M. paddled you?” I asked him why that was the thing he always remembered...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    December 30, 2011

Liffe's Outtakes

My wife, Donna, was new to the orchestra she was playing in and wanted to make friends with everyone. She introduced herself to each person, and most were friendly and chatted with her. But the bassoonist didn’t so much as smile when Donna...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    November 29, 2011

Dynamite In Small Packages

It was my first practice with my baseball team of five- and six-year-olds. As Brin stepped to the plate for her first time at bat, I heard her father yell “Don’t forget, Brin, dynamite comes in small packages. Show ‘em how...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    October 31, 2011

Dynamite In Small Packages

It was my first practice with my baseball team of five- and six-year-olds. As Brin stepped to the plate for her first time at bat, I heard her father yell “Don’t forget, Brin, dynamite comes in small packages. Show ‘em how...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    August 5, 2011

Keeping A Promise

I had recently arrived in New York and met the group of young men I was going to be working with. I had heard that they often played tricks on the new arrivals, so I was wary. We had a regional meeting coming up, and the more experienced young men...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    March 29, 2011

The Unknown Child

The story of how we first became foster parents has its roots much earlier than our first foster child. It all started with an unknown child that lived almost next door. We had lived in the neighborhood for two years before our daughter started kinde...

 
 By Daris Howard    Granite Falls    February 1, 2011

I've never had a bad day

One of my colleagues at the university where I work, Dr. Garth Waddoups, is one of the most positive people I know. One day he shared the reason with the professors and the students. He started by asking if anyone had had a bad day. Many students...