Archive for May, 2006

Peter Carl Flitton

[This entry was originally posted on my MySpace blog. It was transferred to WordPress on 1/20/2013.]

In fifth grade, there was a new kid at school.  He wasn’t in my class, but I saw him around the Roosevelt Elementary playground.  Somehow, someway, I met this kid.  I think he may have been in my reading class, but the details don’t matter.  I overheard him on the playground quoting a song by “Weird Al” Yankovic and since I was a big fan of Al myself, I decided I would approach him.  I don’t remember what line he quoted or even what song it was from, but I remember that he said his name was Pete. 

Pete and I met on the playground a number of times after that and laughed over “Weird Al” songs.  I learned that he loved Star Wars and that he was a Christian and his father was a minister.  Pete and I got along very well during our fifth grade year and didn’t spend time together again until seventh grade because he went to a different school for sixth.  But before we parted ways for that year, we made a pact to someday visit the “Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” that Weird Al sang about.

Junior high came along and Pete and I shared a few classes.  I remember that during “free reading” times he would usually have a novelization of a Star Wars film and that for a book report one time he read an informational book on porcupines.

In high school Pete was in band.  He played tuba and declared the back of the room Tubaland.  I played timpani right next to Tubaland and Peter declared the Timpani Nation to be an ally of his friendly country.  The alliance was never severed.

Along with a number of friends, Peter and I finally made our journey to the ball of twine in Darwin, Minnesota.  We made it an annual trip.  The only time Peter missed was when he was in Mongolia.

Pete and I had a number of good talks.  We talked about girls, about working fast food (he at Subway, me at McDonald’s), and we talked about God.  He was one of the most level-headed teenagers I knew.  We watched anime in PJ’s basement, we teased our dear friend Bryan, we joked with Mr. Krieger about his Norwest Bank commercial, but at the same time Peter was completely serious about life and spirituality.  He taught me a thing or two about that. 

There are so many fond memories of this man that to type them all out would take up my entire hard drive.  I cannot remember ever seeing Pete angry.  I cannot ever remember a time in which Pete was too grumpy to laugh and smile.  So many times, he tried to cheer me up and to convince me that whatever I was angry about would pass away.  He was one of the funniest people I have ever known and he was so selfless.  My friend Peter was truly a once in a lifetime person.

On Tuesday May 30, my friend Peter escaped from his long and gruelling battle with cancer.  He leaves behind his beautiful wife Bethany, his siblings, his parents, his grandmother and a plethora of lives touched by his amazing influence.  He left his body behind and he has finally found a peaceful and completely painless existence.  We are sad for our own sakes.  We are sad that we no longer get to hear a new “ninja marshmallow” joke.  We are sad that we will never again endure a Star Wars or Planet of the Apes marathon with him.  We are sad that we will never hear him laugh again.  But even though we can not see him, he has not left us completely empty handed.  Peter’s positive outlook and his constant quest for laughter touched everyone who ever knew him.  The effect of his personal beauty will forever be imprinted on my heart.  He was one of my dear friends and I miss him.  But he’s not completely gone.  He never will be.

Categories: Uncategorized

I’ve just read a letter to the editor…

[This entry was originally posted on my MySpace blog. It was transferred to WordPress on 1/20/2013.]

I was browsing the Aberdeen American News website and I came across this recent letter to the editor:

Posted on Sun, Apr. 30, 2006

Band practice inappropriate

To the editor – We believe that a heavy metal band playing loudly all day at Melgaard Park is inappropriate and disturbs the peace. They disrupted morning services at Melgaard Park Baptist Church. They also banged all afternoon while our children where napping.

This was not a peaceful Sunday afternoon that we usually enjoy, and we don’t appreciate it at all. The band was horrible, beating away all morning and afternoon and screaming lyrics that could be heard inside our house. Heavy bass was first heard at 10:15 a.m. and continued to pound all through the afternoon, and still was going on as I wrote this letter at 5:17 p.m. My wife and I both had pounding headaches after what is usually a restful afternoon.

We have lived across from the beautiful park for almost four years and have loved every minute of it. In the past, Thursday evenings were designated as “band time” at the park bandshell, typically from about 6 to 9 p.m. Occasionally Northern State University and Aberdeen Central High School marching band practice is held at the park, sometimes as early as 7 a.m.

We have never complained or even felt that that any of this was out of line. But well over six hours of thumping drums? A citation for disturbing the peace should be issued. We are certain that there are others who feel as we do, and hope that they contact the proper leaders in this community so that this does not occur again.

Keith and Anne Miller

This letter is in reference to the “Spring Jam” that was held at Melgaard Park on Sunday, April 23.  I don’t know what time things actually started, but I know that it was slated to begin at noon and go until sundown.  For anybody that actually took a walk over there and saw what was going on, it was as my friend Josh said, “One of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in this town in a long time.”  It’s true that the music was loud.  That’s kind of what a concert in the park is though.  To the best of my knowledge the proper permission was given and the local noise ordinance does not go into effect until sundown, which is when the event ended.

In fact, police stopped by a couple times just see how things were going and to make sure people weren’t unruly.  None of the officers said anything about the noise.

But the thing that disturbs me about this is the fact that this community seems to be so hell-bent against original, local music.  It’s almost impossible to get gigs in this town unless you’re a cover band.  The only place where you can regularly see ORIGINAL music is at the Red Rooster Coffee House.  And as a band, it’s tough to play there alot because they can’t really afford to pay local bands.

So when my friend Spencer set up the concert in the park, it seemed like a great thing.  It really was a blast and everyone I’ve spoken to wants to see it become a regular event.  There was music, there was dancing, there was a great sense of community and fun, people threw frisbees, people brought their dogs, people brought their kids.  But every time something good is happening, there has to be some buzzkill to bring it down.

I understand this person’s complaint, that the noise was bothersome.  My previous neighbors were the loudest, most obnoxiously noisy people I’ve ever lived in close proximity to.  But the thing was, it was just a mild annoyance the first few times.  I wasn’t calling the cops or writing letters to the editor.

I’m sorry that this family didn’t get to enjoy the peaceful Sunday that they usually enjoy fifty-one other weekends of the year.  But it was ONE weekend, ONE day.  And it was a legitimate event.  It wasn’t some heavy metal band practicing for the purpose of pissing off churchgoers.  If you live across the street from a public place, you have to expect that public events are going to take place and maybe cause a bit of noise.  To say it was loud, I suppose is acceptible, but to blatantly insult the musicians taking part in this event makes me angry.  “The band was horrible…” 

Also, they really think that the same horrible heavy metal band was banging for six hours?  They really got headaches?  I think if it was loud enough to give them headaches that they’d at least be able to tell the difference between Discrepancies and Groove Reflex, who sound nothing alike. 

That being said, I DO find it amusing that the letter mentions how the thumping drums were still happening at 5:17 p.m.  That was me.  Junebug was playing from 5:00 until 6:00.  So I guess it was my kick drum that drove them over the edge.

Sorry folks.  Sorry that a couple hundred people finally had a wonderful musical experience in Aberdeen and you had to shit on it.


Categories: Uncategorized