Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

[friday]

December 13, 2013

Ode to a man named Merlyn

He crept up to the curb in his maroon Oldsmobile – an angel with wheels instead of wings.

The slight 90-year-old parked and shuffled over to me. Up close, I could see the tufts of white, wiry hair on his head and the big grin on his face.

“Did they tell you who I am?” he asked. “I’m Merlyn Raikes who makes no mistakes.”

He immediately started laughing, tickled by his own tagline.

Of course, I knew who he was. He was my boyfriend’s grandfather, and he happened to live near the newspaper I had just interviewed with.

He declared that I couldn’t leave town until I had dined at Happy Burger, one of his favorite spots. So he took me there.

We ate, and he talked. He alternated between telling stories and telling jokes.

“What’s the difference between unlawful and illegal?” he asked.

One’s something you do wrong. The other is a sick bird.

Again, he laughed at his own joke. It was a hearty guffaw, a sweet melody.

We parted ways after dinner, and the following day I made the four-hour trek back to Southern Indiana where I lived. Before I got home, though, I got a call from the bosses at the Pharos Tribune. The job was mine if I wanted it.

I was suddenly torn. I needed a job, but I was a broke college grad then, and I didn’t know if I even had enough money to move out on my own.

While I worried and fretted, the angel in the Oldsmobile showed up again. Merlyn opened up his home for me – a gesture I’ll never feel I deserved.

He cleared out a bedroom and told me I could stay, rent free, as long as I needed.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
[friday]
  • Rethinking pot edibles MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Move over, pot brownies.The proliferation of marijuana edibles for both medical and recreational purposes is giving rise to a cottage industry of baked goods, candies, infused oils, cookbooks and classes that promises a slow bu

    July 22, 2014

  • Marques Bunn Kokomo native returning for hometown comedy show A comedian who grew up in Kokomo is back in his hometown performing all weekend – his second time here this year.Marques Bunn opens for longtime friend and fellow comedian Troy Davis at Laugh House Kokomo downtown. There are shows at 8 p.m. today and

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • This week's best bets 1) Rockin' in the park Stray Cat, Lee Rocker and Band performs a free show Saturday night at Foster Park, so don't miss it. The show goes from 7 to 10:30 p.m. and features special guests Tony Funk and the Homewreckers. Lee Rocker made his mark singin

    July 18, 2014

  • Editor's Picks 1) The Nutcracker Show Ron White performs his Nutcracker show at Honeywell Center in Wabash Saturday night. Ron “Tater Salad” White first rose to fame as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Now, as a chart-t

    July 18, 2014

  • Ziliak, Lindsey Searching for my lovable goof He busted a move on the dance floor while wearing a woman’s straw hat, and I couldn’t help but chuckle. They say that girls want to marry men like their fathers. For years, I swore that wasn’t true. Then one day I realized it actually was. That means

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editor's Picks 1) Everyone's favorite ogre Footlite Musicals in Indianapolis presents Shrek the Musical at 8 p.m. today and Saturday at 1847 N. Alabama St. The musical, based on the Oscar winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of ev

    July 11, 2014

  • This week's best bets 1) Fair Entertainment Check out local acts Shiny Penny, Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel and The Time Travelers at the Howard County 4-H Fair throughout the weekend. Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel and The Time Travelers take the stage tonight, with Mik

    July 11, 2014

  • NWS - duckderby 33 Rubber ducks are back at Kokomo Beach On Thursday 2,000 tiny, rubber ducks will race down the lazy river at Kokomo Beach to raise money for an organization that may be one of Kokomo’s best-kept secrets. Jamey Henderson said there are still many people who don’t know what Samaritan Caregi

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Trapeze Flying high at the circus

    Carson Gerber takes a less-than-graceful turn on the trapeze.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • This week's best bets 1) Live music downtown Bands will perform live at Foster Park all weekend as part of the Haynes Apperson Festival, celebrating Kokomo's heritage. Crowd favorite Here Come the Mummies perform tonight with special guest 26 West. Bands take the stage at

    July 4, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller