Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I trust you are well. A recent event made me think again of you and I wanted to share it with you.
I am having more of my T. S. Elliot and Alford Lloyd Tennyson moments in friendships and memories--

I am including a quick email to a high school friend who was writing me to tell me the boy I had dropped off at St Louis so long ago--sometime in the winter of 1973 and he was then Confirmed in 1974--under Bishop Harris--my first Mass--had died recently and his funeral Mass was at St. Louis last week. We had long lost touch, but the video of his Tribute service brought back so many memories--and happily so many pleasant memories and as a result of his passing I am now hearing and reconnecting to many I have lost touch with over the last 30 years--very touching.

It has been very nice to be reacquainted with the original joy of seeking after and finding so many of the wonders of the Church--all there at St. Louis. Such a sweet, unexpected surprise of joy in remembering.

God bless,


Hi Danny,
So good to hear that you and your sons are doing well, in spite of the difficulties over the years with Jan and her decisions. I remember in HS you were very interested in Catholicism (didn't we drive with Mark Gilmer and Donna Perry to St. Louis church at night one time in somebody's VW, or did I dream that?) I was surprised to read you converted in 1998, when I thought it was 20+ years prior! I'm proud of the father you are, and it sounds like you have had a long and reflective spiritual journey over the years. What do you like/find in Catholicism that you didn't find in your former Baptist faith?

You may recall that I was Baptist for many years, but when I married Ed in 1977, he was Methodist, so I've been going with him to 1st UMC here ever since. It's okay - I deeply admire their commitment to mission work world-wide and tolerance, but on some levels (not all), I miss my Baptist days. I don't know if I'd ever go back to it, though, although the core beliefs are the same. My brother and family are Catholic, so we've had several worship experiences there with them over the years. Some of it I understand, all of it I deeply respect. My world view is there's room for all :)

Please don't be too hard on yourself for getting a bit out of shape over the years! It's a tough world out there, and we all have our comfort zones. I'm facing down a piece of carrot cake as we speak, and I truly hope my willpower to save it for a later date (in small bites!) wins out! But knowing me, I'll replace it with hot dogs, because those are also calling me (and chips, and watermelon...oh my...)

Take care of yourself and the boys, and keep being the good dad and good person you seem to be. I've enjoyed "typing" to you, so I hope you stay in touch!

Anne :)

Hi Anne,

Wow I have been taking back with so many memories since Donna emailed yesterday just before you on Mark's passing.

My charity is a bit weak for Bruce right now as I asked him about Mark last Summer at the Midway reunion for the 1970-1974 Classes and he only mentioned he was teaching in Chilton and when I asked if he had remained Catholic he said yes he had--did not mention him getting married or having the cancer---how I would have liked to catch up with him while he was still here and tell him how much he meant to me. And I would have driven down to honor his life for the Viewing or the Mass.

I just finished the Tribute video and Randy brought so many memories back to me--I was actually teaching a Bible study on Cardinal the night Mark ran his hand through Teresa's window and as soon as he had it stitched up--we talked all night long that night.

I have told the story far and wide of taking Mark and Teresa to St Louis and handing them over to the priest saying, "These two Baptist would like to be Catholic, can you help them?" It did not occur to me for over 30 years I do not even know how they got home--I left them there and walked off with the Rosary the priest gave me as a dumbfounded gift for bringing him a couple of Baptist and I still carry the medal Scapular medal he gave me. When Mark was confirmed the next spring that was the very first Mass I went to--so me taking him, him becoming Catholic, the priest giving me the gifts, and going back to the Church for his confirmation and then night after night all through the rest of High School was my beginning to the Church myself---I just wrote Randy a long note and asked for Mark's address so I can send a Mass card to his wife, and have a Mass up here said for him.

Yes, indeed we did go--I sat many late nights in that wonderful church, and I am so glad Mark continued to find comfort there and finished his funeral mass there--did they marry at St Louis? Was his wife Catholic--I saw they only married in 2006 and Donna thought he had been sick about 3 years--did they know each other long before his illness? Questions--tell what you know eh.

All of the songs he played at his Tribute brought back the vivid memories of our youth--the movie, the poem, the book--we had remained close in the things we loved although we lost touch these last 30 years---wow.
We may have not been the Great Generation, but we are what we are and who we are and our times have made us so.

God bless,


Hi Randy,

Anne and Donna just told me about Mark's passing. I am so sorry to not have the chance to connect with him again before losing him.

I saw Bruce at the 1970-1975 joint class reunion last year in Waco and asked about him, but he never let on he was ill and I just saw your FB page today to see you had mentioned him earlier in the month.

I would like very much to get his widows address and send a Mass card. I just finished watching the video and it brought back so many memories.
Mark came and found me at a party in Woodway the night he put his hand thorough Teresa's window and we talked almost the whole night that night with his wrist all bandaged up.

I have told the story about taking him and Teresa over to St Louis and dropping them off at the priest saying, "I have two Baptist kids that want to be Catholic, can you help them?..." and it took me 30 years to realize I dropped them off and never knew how they even got home that day from St Louis after talking to the priest. A year later when I went to his Confirmation again at St Louis was the very first Mass I attended and I still carry the medal Scapular medal he gave me but have long lost the rosary the priest gave me for bringing him two Baptist kids :)

I would have very much liked to have written him and driven down for his funeral Mass. I to have such memories of him and his VW and the love for hockey which I had never followed before meeting him. I do want to send a Mass card and have a lovely Mass said for him up here at the Cistercian Monastery which is a very fine Catholic Boys School in Dallas--you can see the Monastery on line--he would have liked it very much and they do the music in Latin.

I noticed they only married in 2006 and Donna thought he had been sick almost 3 years--had he known his wife much longer, did they have time together before the sickness--I would love to hear a bit more of his life--Bruce only told me he taught at Chilton last Summer which I thought was wonderful having driven through there many times and thought it was a sweet little Texas town.

I lost a very good friend up here--my mentor at 64 to the same cancer and it was a very hard death. I am very close to his widow and although it has been 3 years she is just now finding her own way again and is in fact leaving today for 36 days in Italy--I am so glad to see her getting out and onto something other than the routine she had always known.

Randy, any thoughts on his last few years would be very appreciated along with the address.

Thank you again for your touching tribute to such a long and continued friendship.

God bless,

Danny Vinzant

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