Leap of Dave Summer Reading Program

Leap of Dave Summer Reading Program
Summer Reading Program: May 29th Through September 5th


I see a young boy Saying He's going to run away. Deep inside, It's already happened. Ronny Dibbern (Grade 8) From Ten-Second Rainshowers: Poems by young people. Compiled by Sanford Lynne

Friday, November 11, 2022

Keith Roller Played With a Full Deck and the Cards He was Dealt.

 My brother Keith was born on this day in 1970.  He passed away in April of 2013 at the age of 38 from a heart attack while in a nursing home in Elgin.  He died a few weeks  before he was scheduled to return home to his wife and kids. 

Today, he would have turned 52.  There is really very little significance to a 52nd birthday, but a few years ago I manufactured a little significance by referring to it as the full deck birthday.  This is because a card deck traditionally has 52 cards.  Today would have been Keith's full deck birthday.

My brother had social, emotional, physical, and mental health challenges on his brief time here,  One could say that the deck was stacked against him.  To judge him for his challenges, as many did,  would be not only unfair but would rob you of knowing one of the kindest, smartest, funniest people you would ever encounter.

In his short life, he graduated college, fell in love, married and fathered 2 children who he showered love on.  While it seems cruel that they hardly remember him, his legacy of kindness, passion, and creativity continues in them. 

I was an older brother to Keith, I was also his youth group leader when he was in high school.  I guess I was something of a model and an example to him.  In many ways he was an example and even a teacher  to me and although his life on earth is over the memories and the lessons continue. 


Earlier this year,  I started 2 sonnets with the same line: The time were given is quite brief.  It started as just an exercise,  It became much more than that when the 2nd poem became about Keith.  As today is not only Keith's birthday but also Poetry Friday.  I thought I would share it again here.  

Death of a Brother

14 lines after 13 years

The time we're given  is quite brief
For some, it's much too short
One April morn I got the report
I'd lost my brother Keith

Such news was so beyond belief
That I had no retort
Of snappy comebacks, I'd fallen short
So anguished by my grief

My brother died in a nursing home
At the age of thirty-eight
While he was watching M*A*S*H

13 years later as I write this poem
Though my grief is not as great
My heart still bears the gash

Buffy Silverman is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday.

Monday, October 24, 2022

A song about Middle School

My Friend Allen Levi is one of the most prolific music artists that no one has ever heard. He performs one song called You'll be famous when your dead" I'm not sure that he wants to be or ever will be famous. But if he ever does catch on, his 16 albums on Spotify will keep the public saturated for a while. I had been listening to one song from each of his albums on Spotify for the past 15 days now, so today when I was grading papers after work, I put the only one on Spotify that I hadn't heard a song from yet and listened to it in it's entirety. The album called People in my Town is a kind of a concept album. Levi interviews people in his town (thus the title), writes a song based on the interview and then plays them back to back on the album. Here is the title track from the album that introduces the concept ...

 . In about the middle Allen interviews a middle school teacher who had been deeply effected by his teachers when he was in middle school. Levi then performs a touching song about the dedicated teachers who love on students. When I first heard this album, I kind of glossed over this song as I was not a professional teacher at the time. The song resonates much more with me now as I am a long term substitute in a middle school setting. But I think this song should resonate with anyone who has worked with young people either as a parent, an educator, or any type of yout leader. If these songs or interviews have resonated with you in anyway consider going tot he bandcamp platform and purchasing these songs or perhaps the full album or maybe sample some more of Allen's music.  WHo knows? You might make him famous before he's dead.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Keith Green and Rich Mullins celebrate another posthumous birthday.

In the world of Contemporary Music their are few bigger names than Keith Green and Rich Mullins. Admittedly, there are literally  bigger names as the aforementioned take up only 5 combined syllables and fit comfortably  on the 1/3 of the first line of this text.  Their actual names may be small but their impact on the lives of believers has been great indeed,

Keith Green share many of the same attributes including the same birthday, today, October 21st (Keith in 1953, and Rich in 1955). They were both gifted musicians and lyricists.  They both were outspoken in their faith and counter cultural in their approach to ministry.  They also died very young in vehicular accidents.  

Due to a plane crash in 1982, Keith Green did not live to see his 30th birthday and Mullins who covered a Green song on the 1992 tribute album No Compromise died in a car crash in 1997, just over a month before his 42nd birthday.  


Green before his conversion to Christianity was headed to a career as a rock and roll teen sensation.  The below footage is from a guest appearance on the panel show I've got a Secret when he was 11 years old.  After revealing his secret The youngster performs one of the songs he composed.  


It is no secret that the music, the vulnerability, and the passion of both Green and Mullins has informed my own journey.  It is fitting that they shared the same birthday , the same passion for Christ and the same method of expressing that passion.  They also share a place in my heart for how their music and ministry still inspires me to this day.