The Great Big Test o’ Rempeness

“I could’ve been a Rempe!”  I’ve heard this from a number of people over the years.  In most cases*, the person speaking is attesting that they share much in common with the Rempe boys, love some of the old family stories, and would have enjoyed being raised in our household.

But there is more to being a Rempe than sharing genetic code or a general lack of common sense.  There is an ethos, a mentality, a philosophy that permeates the very being of a natural-born Rempe.

Do you have what it takes to be an honorary Rempe?  The following questionnaire will help determine your level of Rempeness.**  Points for each answer will be revealed in the answer code.  Please proceed with caution.
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Baptism of Samuel Rempe

There are many different ways to describe baptism.  It is a cleansing and forgiveness of sin.  It is an imparting of the Holy Spirit.  It is adoption as God’s child, and initiation into the one holy and apostolic Church.  It is the drowning of the “Old Adam,” and the promise of a new life lived in Christ.  Baptism is all of these things, and more.

On September 9, Samuel Robert Rempe was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia, and was welcomed into the Lord’s family.  Apparently, the old Adam was not too keen on the whole drowning thing, as Samuel cried pretty much through the whole ceremony.  (In a tactical error on our part, Beth and I found ourselves on one side of the baptismal font with a pacifier, with Grandmas Rempe and Friedrich on the other side holding said screaming infant.  I was tempted to relive my old basketball-playing days and transfer the pacifier with a well-placed hook shot, but I have my questions about mom’s hands, and I suspect that such a move would have been frowned upon in such a setting.)

Samuel was able to calm down long enough to take a few pictures after the service, and Grace and Caleb slowed down just long enough to remain in the frame for a couple of photos.  (Phase II: getting all the kids to look at the camera at the same time.  We hope to have this accomplished by Grace’s high school graduation.)

Thank you to all of you who were able to come out and join us on this blessed occasion.  For those of you who were unable to join us, here are a few photos.

Childhood Heroes and the Disappointments of Adulthood

Most of us can remember a time when we weren’t so jaded and beaten down by life.  These were days of great possibility, when life was what you made of it.  The future was something greatly anticipated, with new things to experience and lessons to learn.

Essex JohnsonIn these halcyon days of youth, we always saw the best in things, and in people.  It was okay to have heroes—individuals to whom we could look with unwavering admiration and affection, without the slightest hint of cynicism or fear that they might not be exactly as they appear.  To return to those days would be return to a time when “The Juice” was a reference to O.J. Simpson (football player, actor, and spokesperson), and had nothing to do with blood doping or anabolic steroids.

Unfortunately, with adulthood comes a knowledge of good and evil, and the understanding that those we held in such high esteem might not have deserved all the love we were all too willing to shower upon them.  (One needn’t look back too far.  A recent purge of collected Sports Illustrated magazines revealed many cover stories dedicated to the likes of Lance Armstrong, Joe Paterno, and Tiger Woods.  A particularly amusing cover from 2000 announced, “With Sammy [Sosa], Junior [Griffey], and Mac [McGwire], the juice is in the National League Central.”  Yes. Yes it was.)

The ’70s were a great time to grow up as a sports-crazy boy in Ohio.  The “Big Red Machine” in Cincinnati was arguably the best baseball team in history that didn’t call Yankee Stadium home.  In college football, Ohio State and Michigan were in the midst of the “ten year war” between Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler that would take an already heated rivalry off the charts in terms of intensity.  These teams boasted legendary names.  Bench.  Morgan.  Rose.  Griffin.  Tatum.  Gradishar.

While I loved all these guys, my first love was the expansion professional football team in Cincinnati.  And my favorite player was a slight tailback out of Grambling State University, all but forgotten for all but the most ardent of Bengal fans.

Continue reading “Childhood Heroes and the Disappointments of Adulthood”