Monday, May 21, 2018

Good morning to you! Today is Monday, May 21, 2018, a day that starts out cloudy, ends up sunny, and opens the door to a sequence of warm days, with highs that go 76 today, 83 tomorrow, and 81 the next day. Sunrise 5:33 AM, sunset 8:41 PM.

We’ll get to the inevitable, but first let’s see how many people agree that the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was, oddly, a great American moment. Here’s a biracial American woman being embraced into the blue-blooded belly of British royalty, marrying the very son of the imminent King Charles and justly-sainted Diana, Princess of Wales. My K103 colleague Stacey Lynn posted that “…the whole time I’m thinking how Harry’s mom would’ve loved every non-royal thing about Meghan.” Rather than coming into his world and leaving her world behind, she brought it with her. I woke up at 4 AM to watch it expecting to be lulled back to sleep, but was soon riveted by the eloquent black pastor filling the cathedral’s acoustics with a message of love and social justice and quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, then a gospel choir’s soothing “Stand By Me.” This was diverse, unstuffy, and rich in content–all American attributes that had some of the stiff-upper-lip crowd shifting in their seats. It made me proud of my country, to see our good side shown to the world.

We have to deal with this: It’s two decades to the day since a 15-year-old who will remain nameless here committed a horrendous gun crime inside Thurston High School in the Oregon town of Springfield. It’s three days since the same thing happened in Santa Fe, Texas. I guarantee there’s not a kid in America who isn’t worried about it happening to them. It’s become so common that school administrators can now access a pre-produced parental advice sheet they can download and quickly post on their websites, as that Texas district just did. And it’s good advice, including listening carefully, gently correcting misinformation, reviewing and updating safety plans, pointing out heroic behavior, and this: Limiting media exposure. For your kids’ sake and yours. Young ears do not have calluses filtering things out yet. They will. (I’m mindful of that on the air, but we still have to talk about it. We’re on in lots of school buses. There are sound bites I won’t play, descriptors I won’t use, repetitions I omit. And I’m in the camp of generally not using the name. Of course it’s symbolic. Social media is where these flames are fanned).

Other items:

A wrong-way driver on I-5 in Southern Oregon hit a car carrying three Eagle Point High School seniors, girls, who were set to graduate in June. No survivors.

A vivid and spectacular scene on Hawaii’s Big Island, as red molten lava from Kilauea is crossing a highway and splashing mightily into the cooler Pacific Ocean, creating a weird and dangerous acidic steam that contains microscopic shards of glass which can travel with the wind. And a blob of lava hit a man as he sat on his porch, seriously injuring his leg.

This is exceedingly rare: a cougar attacked two bicyclists in the mountains east of Seattle– killing one and dragging him off to its den. The other cyclist, also bitten, pedaled miles before he could get a cell signal and call for help. Wildlife agents say the cyclists did what you’re supposed to do if a cougar threatens: they faced it, shouted, even swung a bike at it, and it ran off…but it came back. Authorities tracked the cougar and killed it.

President Trump is “demanding” the Justice Department investigate whether the FBI placed a “spy” in his campaign in 2016 for his political purposes. The New York Times reports, “In fact, the F.B.I. sent the informant only after receiving evidence that the advisers had suspicious contacts linked to Russia.”

Stormy Daniels declined to press charges against a man who smacked her in the face with his wallet, as she performed at a strip club in Bend. He later explained that he was “being wasted,” apologized, and said, “she’s really nice.” Meantime, in Tualatin, she collected thousands of dollars by auctioning off, literally, the shirt she was wearing. Many of the patrons, including most in the front row, were women who came to support he

President George H.W. Bush, who seemed to be ready to follow Barbara into whatever lies beyond just a few weeks ago, vowed that he would go to the family place in Kennebunkport for the summer. Yesterday, his son Jeb tweeted that “my beloved Dad made it.” People lined the streets and waved flags as his motorcade went by.

Let’s see if I can find a few headlines to lighten the day.

–“Two pilots spend savings on plane to rescue migrants in Mediterranean Sea”

–“NASA’s new exoplanet hunter snaps 200,000+ stars in its first photo”

–Golfer hits first hole-in-one aged 93 during last ever round”

–“You think Meghan Markle had a meteoric rise? Her rescue dog, Guy the beagle, is now a freakin’ royal dog”

Thank you to the many Paul Simon concertgoers who filed live reports, reviews, and even videos in real time on the Saturday night thread here. You really took us there. Eagles concert tomorrow night–let’s do the same thing!

Wrapping up. I was sipping a Pelican Brewing Mosaic IPA on the deck, which overlooks a small valley. Suddenly in the distance across the dell, perhaps a half a mile away, I hear an amplified piano. Noodling pleasantly. Then…it breaks into the Wedding March. And I distinctly hear the amplified voice of a man intoning, “Dearly beloved,” before trailing off into an indistinguishable mutter. That’s followed by a different male saying some words, and then a female, and then complete silence for two minutes. And then the sound…of a large motorcycle roaring off onto the highway, carrying the newlywed bride and groom!

So, for better or worse, that’s our report today!

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