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The New Yorker Bashes Eagle Scouts!

The New Yorker magazine, in an article on Rex Tillerson, notes that The Secretary of State was once an Eagle Scout, and gratuitously describes Eagles as “an elite class of ‘servant-leaders distinguished by obsessive, nerdish attainment.”


I am guessing that the peckish author, Dexter Filkins, never made it past Tenderfoot.

To be an Eagle Scout you have to earn twenty-one merit badges (tests of skill) including Life-Saving, Swimming, Camping, and First Aid, subjects that have a few practical uses no matter how old or pretentious you become.

The Boy Scout leaders at Camp Chank-tun-un-gi were usually Eagles as well as, in many cases, well-known athletes in local city high schools.

The publisher who brought out my first best-seller, Going All The Way, added to the bio I submitted for the novel’s jacket copy that I was an Eagle Scout. He evidently regarded it as a notable accomplishment, even for a writer. If Mr. Filkins ever tried Scouting, it’s obvious he didn’t go all the way.




The Winners of the annual Vonnegut Writing Prize

I am proud to honor Arrine McCaw and Andrew Gomes, the winners of the annual Vonnegut Writing Prize of $1,000 at Shortridge High School, donated by the children of Kurt Vonnegut. Ms. McCaw plans to go to The University of Southern Indiana, while Mr. Gomes is on his way to Purdue

I was happy to give each of them a copy of If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Vonnegut’s Graduation Speeches and Other Words to Live By.

Kurt Vonnegut was always proud of being a Shortridge grad, and so am I.
When I first met Kurt in 1963, people asked me afterwards “Did you talk about writing?”
“No,” I said “We talked about Shrotridge!”


Bill Hampton Gets Hall of Fame Call

Photographer / Brian Brosmer

Former Crispus Attucks guard will be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

Here are two women who grew up in Indianapolis talking about their father: Tanya: “He’s a lot of fun. We danced, and we still dance! When I come back to Indy we put on Marvin Gaye and Al Green and we dance. Here, he was an athlete and he had two girls who are very girly – not the athletic type. He has a good, kind heart. We were spoiled.”

Tina:  “Our dad just adored us. He was very thoughtful, and he expected a lot. We took ballet, but he showed us how to drive a nail and use a saw. He’d be out there in the backyard turning cartwheels with us. He wanted us to be strong. When we didn’t make good grades or do our chores we had privileges taken away. We couldn’t just go anywhere we wanted to go, we had a lot of guidance.”

Their dad, Bill Hampton, will be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

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Dan Wakefield

Dan Wakefield