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Tag Archive | "Roger Allen"

Year in Review: Gone but not forgotten


Roger Allen

Roger Allen

Many of us lost loved ones in 2013. However, there was one death that touched us all at the Post. It was the death of Roger Allen—the founder of the Post and father of our current publisher, Lois Allen.

Roger Allen, of Rockford, Michigan, and formerly of Cedar Springs, died Saturday, January 5 after a long battle with heart disease. He was 84.

He was well known in both communities as publisher of the Rockford Squire newspaper and founder of The Cedar Springs Post. He wrote a weekly column for both papers, and many people appreciated Roger’s wit and humor. It was one of the most popular pages in the newspaper. If his column didn’t run for some reason, people called and wanted to know where it was.

He bought the Squire when it was the Rockford Weekly Register and in bankruptcy in the early 1980s. He felt that it was important that the town’s oldest business and only newspaper stay in publication.

He bought the Squire while living in Cedar Springs, and his neighbors complained and told him they wanted a newspaper in Cedar Springs, too. (The Clipper was no longer printing.) So he founded the Cedar Springs Post in 1988 and turned over the reins to his wife, Alice, and daughter, Lois. His daughter Beth runs the Squire.

Roger wrote his weekly columns without fail for over 30 years. When he traveled, he called the column Roger on the Road, and when he was in town he called the column Main Street. His column always featured jokes, anecdotes and his own wry commentary on world events. After a heart surgery several years ago, he was no longer able to travel. He bought property in Rockford, built a house and lived out his last days there.

 

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Roger Allen


C-MEM-RogerAllen-webIn loving memory

Roger Allen

June 20, 1928 -January 3, 2013

 

We miss you Roger…

It’s been one whole year since I’ve seen your smile, heard your laugh, hugged you hard.

I have missed you every moment, of every day you have not been here. Sometimes, I pretend you’re still around. I pretend that you’re sitting at home busy doing next week’s column or visiting around town being a funny guy.

I miss you when I’m down and need to be cheered up. I miss you when I’m happy and want to share. I miss you in every way of every day ‘till the day I die, and can hug you once more.

your daughter, Lois

 

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roger on main streetArmageddon

Don’t know why, but the political convention season always makes me think about Armageddon. And, speaking of that…

Time after time, various folks have predicted the end of the world. The Millennium was one of the biggies, prediction-wise. Oops…not even the world’s computer programs came to an end. (Remember all those so-called “millennium bugs”?) So far, every day has gone by with a tomorrow to follow.

The latest prediction I’ve personally heard about is for December 21, 2012. Give credit for this one to the ancient Mayans and some imaginative moderns.

It goes like this: Events of 2012 are based on the ending date of the ancient Mayan Long Count Calendar. This is thought to end on December 21, 2012, signaling, of course, the end of days for real. Predictions of devastation and destruction abound. Some believe it wise to prepare for doomsday.

Considering the record of past predictions, I suggest planning on a cup of coffee and a good TV rerun show on December 21. If we’re wrong, all of us will be in the same boat, anyway. In my opinion, it’s likely to be just another ho-hum.

Just to make sure we don’t get too bored, the Mayan calendar worked in another end-of-times possibility 25,000 years from now.

Cure story

A man goes into a drug store and asks the pharmacist if he can give him something for the hiccups. The pharmacist promptly reaches out and slaps the man’s face.

“What the heck did you do that for?” yells the man.

“Well, you don’t have the hiccups anymore do you?” answers the pharmacist.

The man says, “No, I don’t, you dummy… But my wife out in the car still does!”

Taste story

When the store manager returned from lunch, he noticed his clerk’s hand was bandaged, but before he could ask about the bandage, the clerk had some very good news for him.

“Guess what, sir?” said the clerk. “I finally sold that terrible, ugly suit we’ve had so long!”

“Do you mean that repulsive pink-and-blue double-breasted thing?” asked the manager.

“That’s the one!”

“ Well, great!” said the manager. “I thought we’d never get rid of that monstrosity. It had to be the ugliest suit we’ve ever had. But tell me, why is your hand bandaged?”

“Oh,” the clerk replied, “after I sold the guy that suit, his seeing-eye dog bit me.”

Court story

A prospective juror in a Dallas District Court was surprised by the definition of voluntary manslaughter the judge gave the panel: “An intentional killing that occurs while the defendant is under the immediate influence of sudden passion arising from an adequate cause, such as when a spouse’s mate is found in a compromising position.”

During her interview, the jury candidate remarked, “During my first marriage, I came in and found my husband compromising with our next-door neighbor. All I did was divorce him. I had no idea that I could have shot him.”

She wasn’t selected for the jury.

 

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Roger on Main StreetNews department
All the news is bad. Going straight to the jokes:

Dog department
A guy is driving around the back roads of Montana and sees a sign in front of a broken-down house: “Talking Dog For Sale.” He rings the bell. The owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard.
The guy walks into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever. “You talk?” he asks.
“Yep,” replies the Lab.
It takes the guy a minute or two to recover from the shock of hearing a dog talk.
“Well,” answers the Lab, “I was pretty young when I discovered I could talk. I notified the CIA about it and they quickly offered me a job. They had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.
“For eight years I was one of their most valuable agents. But the jetting around tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger. It was time for a change. The airport hired me to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.
“Then I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.”
The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.
“Ten bucks,” says the owner.
“Ten bucks? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?”
“Because he’s a liar,” says the owner. “He’s never been out of the backyard.”

Advice department
A man goes to see his rabbi. “Rabbi, something terrible is happening and I have to talk with you about it.”
“What’s wrong?” says the rabbi.
“My wife is poisoning me,” answers the man.
Surprised, the rabbi asks, “How do you know?”
“I’m telling you she’s poisoning me!” says the man, obviously distressed. “I’m absolutely certain about it. What should I do?”
“Tell you what,” offers the rabbi. “Let me talk to her. I’ll see what I can find out and let you know.”
A week later, the Rabbi calls the man. “I spoke with your wife,” he says. “I spoke with her on the phone for three hours. You wanted to know what you should do, is that right?”
“Yes!” says the man. The rabbi looks him straight in the eye and says, “Take the poison.”

Dog department, continued
Entering a small country store, a stranger noticed a sign that said, “Danger, beware of the dog” posted on the door. Inside, he noticed a harmless old hound dog asleep on the floor beside the cash register.
“Is this the dog folks are supposed to beware of?” he asked the proprietor.
“Yep, that’s him,” came the reply.
The stranger couldn’t help but smile. “That certainly doesn’t look like a dangerous dog to me. Why the sign?”
“Because,” the owner explained, “Before I put up that sign, people kept tripping over him.”

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Main Street


Roger on Main StreetBehind the clouds
Behind the storm clouds that surrounded the debt ceiling bill, Americans found a silver lining: we all received a better idea of how Congress works (or doesn’t). The more we know about those guys, the better judgments we can make when it comes to re-election.
The actual passage of the bill, however, didn’t exactly bring silver linings. One of the three debt-rating agencies (Standard and Poor’s) went ahead and downgraded U.S. bonds anyway, to a bump below no-risk (first time in 70 years). One of S&P’s stated reasons was the ongoing political gridlock in Washington.
Maybe we should stick our tongue in our cheek and say that the debt ceiling storm clouds had a gold lining. S&P’s downgrade triggered a stock market plunge. Stocks down, gold up: investment money has to go somewhere. On Monday the price of gold climbed above $1,700 per ounce, an all-time record.
I’m taking tongue out of cheek so I can say Booooo. Standard and Poor’s called it right: Congress played chicken with America’s financial reputation.

Fridge joke
Doris went to see a psychiatrist about her husband.
Doctor, my husband has a problem. Almost every night now he dreams he’s a refrigerator.”
“My dear,” said the doc, “that’s not really a problem. A lot of people dream that they are somebody, or something, unusual…”
“Yes, but,” said Doris. “It’s also a problem for me. Jake sleeps with his mouth open and the light keeps me awake.”
Newspaper joke
A newspaper boy was standing on the corner with a large pile of papers, shouting, “Read all about it. Twenty-five people get cheated! Twenty-five people get cheated!” Curious, a man walked over, bought a paper, and checked the front page. What he saw was yesterday’s paper. “Hey, this is an old paper,” the man said. “Where’s the story about the big swindle?” The newspaper boy ignored him and went on calling out: “Read all about it! Twenty-six people get cheated!”

Dog joke
A man takes his rottweiler to the vet. “My dog’s cross-eyed,” he says. “Is there anything you can do for it?”
“Let’s have a look at him,” says the vet. So he picks up the dog and has a good look at its eyes. “Okay,” he says, “I’m going to have to put him down.”
“Just because he’s cross-eyed?” asks the man.
“No, because he’s heavy,” says the vet.

Wedding joke
George, age seven, was attending his first wedding with the family. After the service, a cousin remarked, “I wonder how many women a man can marry.”
“Sixteen,” George said.
The cousin was amazed that his little cousin had that kind of information. “How do you know?” he asked.
“Easy,” said George. “All you have to do is add it up. Remember what the preacher said: ‘Four better, four worse, four richer, and four poorer,’ and that makes sixteen.”

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Main Street


Roger on Main StreetDeficit reduction
“A nickel bag, please.” You won’t hear this at your corner drugstore anytime soon, but it would help the budget deficit. Prohibition of booze was repealed because almost everybody was drinking it anyway, and there was an excise tax on alcohol. We could make use of a similar tax on legally sold “recreational drugs.” Marijuana is almost legal already. If it’s sold in state stores and taxed, we’d have the money to treat those who abuse. Better yet, we’d end the crime created by the demand.
Afghanistan forever?
When is it time to withdraw, once and for all? The Obama administration is having an internal debate on that issue right now, trying to decide. A new poll by the Pew Research Center found that most Americans believe that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are the main expense driving the federal budget deficit. That is only partly true, but all of us should remember the cost includes human lives.
Afghanistan is already one of our longest wars. We want the Afghans to establish a democracy that functions. It would be a huge change and it may not work out. Egypt is another example of recent government change, but the Egyptians did it without America’s intervention. Maybe, or maybe not, Egypt will end up with a government that’s good for its people. Since it doesn’t seem to matter whether the U.S. gets involved or not, maybe we should let all countries, including Afghanistan and Iraq, play it out their own way.
Perfect choice
A girl visited a computer matchmaking service. “I’m looking for a suitable spouse. Can you help me?”
“What exactly are you looking for?”
“Well, let me see. Needs to be good-looking, polite, humorous, sporty, knowledgeable, and good at singing and dancing. Willing to be with me all day at home during my leisure time. Able to tell interesting stories but stays silent when I want to rest.”
The matchmaker entered the information into the computer and, in a matter of moments, handed the results to the woman.
The directive: “Buy a television.”
Bad luck
It was Palm Sunday. The family’s 6-year-old son had to stay home because of strep throat. When the rest of them returned from church carrying palm branches, the boy asked what they were for.
His mother explained, “People held them over Jesus’ head as he walked by.”
“Wouldn’t you know it,” the boy fumed. “The one Sunday I don’t go to church, and Jesus shows up!”
Bad business
A wealthy investor walks into a bank and says to the bank manager, “I’d like to speak with Mr. Reginald Jones, who I understand is a tried and trusted employee of yours.”
The manager says, “Yes, he certainly was trusted. And he will be tried as soon as we catch him.”

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Main Street


Roger on Main StreetAugust 14, 1935

What’s it like to get old in America? I’m an expert on this topic. Yep, aches, pains, and various ailments are part of it, but generally speaking, elderly Americans can afford food and shelter.
For most Americans, getting old once meant spending the remaining years in want after a lifetime of work. Then, on August 14, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. It rescued America’s elderly, at least from the worst kinds of poverty. No wonder we hear people voice distress about Social Security being not so secure.
The system isn’t broken; it has simply become obsolete because of our increased longevity. That’s a good thing! In 1935, the average lifetime was a lot shorter than now. My grandfather Allen retired and got one Social Security check before he died. I’ve received 216 (so far!).  He and I contributed part of our wages for the same length of time before retirement.
If we want to live longer and collect for a lifetime, we have to pay in more. Raising the age of retirement is one way, and a logical one. Another solution is to pay more in taxes while employed. I don’t think it would take punitive taxation to guarantee the Social Security safety net. Personally, I think it would be worth it.

Use it or lose it

A woman was talking on the phone with a friend: “My body has gotten totally out of shape. I got my doctor’s permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided on an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got those leotards on, the class was over.”

Two more old folks

An elderly couple, childhood sweethearts, had married and settled down in the old neighborhood.
To celebrate their fiftieth anniversary, they take a stroll down to their old school. Holding hands, they find the desk they shared. There he had carved, “I love you, Sally.”
On the way back home, a bag of money falls out of an armored car practically at their feet. Sally quickly picks it up. They don’t know what to do with it so they carry it home with them. She counts the money and discovers it’s $50,000.
John says, “We’ve got to give it back.”
Sally says, “Finders keepers,” stuffs the money back into the bag, and hides it up in the attic.
The next day, two FBI agents go door-to-door in the neighborhood, looking for the money. They knock on John and Sally’s door. “Pardon me,” one says, “but did either of you find some money that fell out of an armored car yesterday?”
Sally says, “No.”
John says, “She’s lying. She hid it up in the attic.”
Sally says, “Don’t believe him. He’s getting senile.”
But the agents sit John down for questioning: “Tell us the story from the beginning.”
“Well,” John says, “when Sally and I were walking home from school yesterday…”
At this, the FBI guy looks at his partner and says, “We’re outta here….”

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Roger on Main StreetReal housewives

I’ve been wanting to write a TV show.  I think “Real Housewives of Newaygo County” might be the right title.  I  hope Hollywood doesn’t get there first.

George Washington

The conflict in Libya reminds me a bit of the American Revolution.  A rag-tag bunch of dissidents is up against the established government and military.  It’s much like the Colonies against Great Britain.  What they really need right now is Washington to lead the troops.  And the French Fleet!

Jig saw

Maybe Libya will end up split into two countries.  A lot of that going around.  We have North and South Korea; North and South Viet Nam; A dozen little countries in Africa.  The Soviet Union scattered.  We had Ireland and Great Britain.   And even the United States and Canada.  I wonder if China will ever split up?

Adult supervision

Sam: Dad, would you do my math homework for me?
Dad: No, son, it wouldn’t be right.
Sam: Well, at least you could try.

Vocabulary

A mother carefully explained to her young daughter how children were created. She used the expression “carrying a child” instead of “pregnant,” but the girl seemed satisfied.
Sometime later, a terrible fire broke out in the neighborhood, and the girl stood by watching. Here is how she described the scene to her parents: “There was this big fire, and a fireman ran into the house, and when he came out, he was pregnant.”

Grand Theft Auto

A blonde dials 911 to report that her car has been broken into.  She is hysterical as she explains her situation to the dispatcher. “They’ve stolen the dashboard, the steering wheel, the brake pedal, and even the accelerator!” she cries.
The 911 dispatcher says, “Stay calm. An officer is on the way. He will be there in two minutes.”
Before the police get to the crime scene, however, the 911 dispatcher’s telephone rings a second time, and the same blonde is on the line again.
“Never mind,” giggles the blonde, “I got in the back seat by mistake.”

Last words

Two husbands were discussing their married lives. Although happily married, they admitted that there were arguments sometimes. Then Chad said, “I’ve made one great discovery. I know how to always have the last word.”
“Wow!’ said Sherman, “How did you manage that?”
“It’s easy,” replied Chad. “My last word is always ‘Yes, Dear.’”

Tough day

A businessman dragged himself home and barely made it to his chair before he dropped exhausted.
His sympathetic wife was right there with a tall cool drink and a comforting word. “My, you look tired,” she said. “You must have had a hard day today. What happened to make you so exhausted?”
“It was terrible,” her husband said. “The computer broke down and all of us had to do our own thinking.”

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Main Street


Roger on Main StreetThe bright side

Lately I’ve made an effort to look and listen for good news. For example, weather forecasts are a lot better than they used to be. Nowadays the weather people not only tell us that it’s going to snow, but what time it will start. (Check this out for yourself; they’re usually right.)
The President’s speech at the memorial service in Tucson drew praise from both sides of the political divide. Although the occasion was sad, the President’s remarks may have been a step toward healing.
Medical news is getting better, too. A vaccine exists for shingles. It saves countless episodes of pain for thousands of people. Flu vaccines target most of the common strains, and this year the vaccine formulation also works against H1N1. And in Tucson, Congresswoman Giffords, shot through the brain, may actually recover. Credit goes to quick and expert medical care and her own fortitude. Sunday night her condition was upgraded from “critical” to “serious.”
That old saying, “Watch the donut, not the hole,” can add a little cheerfulness to the news.

Lost in space

A plane was on its way to Chicago when a blonde in economy class got up and moved to the first class section. The flight attendant asked to see her ticket, then told her that since she paid only for economy class, she would have to sit there.
The blonde replied, “I’m blonde, I’m beautiful, and I’m going to Chicago. I’ll stay right here.”
The attendant spoke to the pilot’s cabin: “A woman from economy is sitting in first class and won’t move.”
The co-pilot came back to explain that she’d have to return to the seat she paid for. “Nope,” said the girl. “I’m blonde, I’m beautiful, I’m going to Chicago and I’m staying right here.”
The co-pilot advised the pilot that he should have the police waiting when they landed to arrest the blonde woman who refused to follow the rules.
“You say she’s a blonde?” said the pilot. “I’ll handle this. I’m married to a blonde and I speak their language.”
Back in the first class cabin, he whispered something in the girl’s ear. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, and walked back to her seat in economy.
The flight attendant and co-pilot were amazed. “What did you say?” they asked.
“As I said, I speak ‘blonde,’” said the pilot. “I simply told her, ‘First Class isn’t going to Chicago.’”

2011 going on 2012

You know you’re well into the twenty-first century when:
1. You’ve just tried to enter your password on the microwave.
2. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
3. You call your son’s beeper to let him know it’s time to eat. He emails you back from his bedroom: “What’s for dinner?”
4. Your daughter sells Girl Scout cookies via her web site.
5. Your grandmother asks you to send her a JPEG file of your newborn so she can create a screen saver.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home

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Roger on Main Street


Main St. by Roger AllenPromises, promises

A long, furious, and expensive political campaign is behind us and Congress has quit for the year. I don’t expect the new guys to meet all their promises. They’ll have lots of excuses for why important things can’t be done and why it’s somebody else’s fault.

Order in the Court

Next to politics, it seems like some of the best absurdist humor comes out of courtrooms. I didn’t want you to miss any of these samples:
***
ATTORNEY:  What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS:     He said, “Where am I, Cathy?”
ATTORNEY:  And why did that upset you?
WITNESS:     My name is Susan.
***
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis disease, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS:     Yes.
ATTORNEY:  And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS:     I forget….
ATTORNEY:  You forget?  Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
***
ATTORNEY:  Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS:  Did you actually pass the bar exam?
***
ATTORNEY:  The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS:      He’s 20, much like your IQ.
***
ATTORNEY:  Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS:     Are you kidding me?
***
ATTORNEY:  She had three children, right?
WITNESS:     Yes.
ATTORNEY:  How many were boys?
WITNESS:    None.
ATTORNEY:   Were there any girls?
WITNESS:      Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
***
ATTORNEY:  How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS:     By death.
ATTORNEY:  And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS:     Take a guess.
***
ATTORNEY:  Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS:     He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY:  Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS:     Unless the circus was in town I’m going with male.
***
ATTORNEY:  Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice that I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS:  No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
***
ATTORNEY:  Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS:     All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
***
ATTORNEY:  Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS:     The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY:  And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS:     If not, he was by the time I finished.

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