Looking Deep Into the Ocean

By Ronald Blubaugh ’60

I used to wonder how people learned they had been diagnosed with cancer. Was it the first thing the doctor said after closing the door? Could they tell from the doctor’s facial expression? Once told, how did the patient react: Stunned silence? Tears? Nausea? When I found out, I was sitting at my desk at work, talking on the telephone. My urologist had told me to call him at 1 p.m., three days after a biopsy was taken of my prostate. When he came on the line, he said simply, “I’m afraid they did find some cancer.”…

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Back When My Rooster Was The Best

By Ronald Blubaugh '60

If ever there was a year in need of Easter it was 1943. World War II was in full fury, the end not yet in sight. At home my parents spoke in whispered voices about distant battles, about high school friends and neighbors’ sons who would not return.

That year, my parents and I lived at The Cherry Place, an old farmhouse just south of Derby, Kansas, near where the road to Mulvane took a hard left turn. When I drove by the house with my wife years later, she remarked that the cherry trees must have died. There never were any cherry trees, I told her. The house was owned by Mrs. Cherry, and in the Kansas way of talking that made her house The Cherry Place.…

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What Our Lives Will Be

By Ronald Blubaugh ’60

We sat by the gate, my oldest daughter and I, waiting for the plane that would return her to Texas. This was not the return trip I had envisioned two years earlier, when at my urging she had gone to Austin to get a master’s degree in music. I had expected that she would return to Northern California. Now after a brief post-graduation visit home, she was returning to Austin, to stay.…

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