The case of the friday night studier

As I mentioned, many of us liked to let go a bit on friday (as well as saturday) nights. When gathering the gang and trying to figure out what to do, we often tried to recruit a certain classmate whom we will call Jack for the purposes of this anecdote. Now Jack was  quite personable and was an enjoyable and humorous guy to party with. Then I started to notice that he frequently didn’t come along with us, but rather took a stack of books to the law library on friday nights. We would try and convince him to go and he would say stuff along the lines of “Listen guys, I’m not as smart as you are. I’m just not getting the material, I gotta work on it more.”

So, this goes on and after grades come out at some point we find he is like third in the class. Well, live and learn…. Jack gave us much to admire and envy.


The case of the estate planning class discussion of a murder-suicide

One of the wonderful things about attending Hamline Law School in the early 1980s was the presence of professor M. Arnold Lyons, formerly a founding partner of the Robins, Lyons, and Davis law firm–which has evolved into a world-famous litigation firm which I believe is now called Robins, Kaplan, Miller, and Ciresi.

Arnie was an elderly man, his head and shoulders bent forward due to some affliction of age. He taught a very popular estate planning course in one of the 90 seat amphitheaters. For some reason (I heard about this second hand from a number of those present), the course discussion lead him to describe a famous murder case where a prominent dentist living in the wealthy community of North Oaks, for inexplicable reasons, killed his family with a hammer and then killed himself.

Arnie drew a floor plan of the dentist’s house on the whiteboard, stick figures indicating where the bodies were found, and squiggly red lines to indicate blood trails. Well at some point, this became too much for one of the students and he passed out. The student was described as falling out of his chair such that his feet were sticking up in the air and his head down on the ground.

Hearing the commotion, Arnie turned and asked what had happened. Once the unconscious student was explained, he peered above his glasses at the class and matter of factly asked “Shall I continue?” The students said yes, and he returned to the board to finish his drawing and story.

A couple more notes on Arnie. I would visit his office from time to time to chat. One on occasion he told me that one of his partners (I can’t remember if it was Mr. Robins or Mr. Davis) was such a good rainmaker that when this man was being inducted into the military and standing nude in a line of nude men waiting to get their immunization shots, he signed up the doctor, who was giving the shots, as a client.

Another time, Arnie was sad that his barber of 30 years had died. At that time I found this sort of thing hard to fathom and exclaimed that I hadn’t done anything for 30 years. Now I envy a man who can have the same barber for 30 years.

Arnie was much beloved by the student body, and won professor of the year perhaps twice during my three years at Hamline.

The Steadfast Patrolman

I recall having lunch with a retired police officer a few years ago. He recounted this story from his early days as a patrolman and husband.

He was on routine patrol late one night when he noticed some sort of disturbance at a motel. A woman in a fur coat was standing outside the door of a motel room yelling. Then she hopped in her car and sped off. I think she was driving a cadillac convertible, but that may be my embelleshment. He pulled her over for speeding and when he got to her car, a stunningly beautiful young woman tearfully recounted how she had a big argument with her husband on her wedding night. She then asked if she could get out of the speeding ticket, and opened her fur coat, revealing she was completely nude underneath. He took it in for a second and said “Please leave, right now!” I got the sense he was worried about how long his conscience could restrain his passions if she stuck around.

After a long and wonderful marriage, his wife died, and he never married again. A modest and faithful man, I am proud to count this patrolman among my friends.

************* Let’s put some Nathan Hales here *****************

As a young programmer, I was reviewing some assembler code and I noted something like this:

  • LA   R6,STDHD
  • BALR R4,R6
  • BAS13     SR   R4,R4

I was used to seeing asterisks as a means of setting out comments, but I asked Sherm what the Nathan Hale part meant. He explained that Nathan Hale, an early American Revolutionary War patriot, prior to his execution by the British, was famously heard to exclaim “I regret that I have but one as-te-risk for my country!” 😉

My mother remembers her father’s death, April 10.

My grandpa, Adolph Bachman, was much beloved, and is much missed by me. I remember t00-26 years ago I was in my second year of law school, back at the apartment, when I heard the message my mom left informing me of his death. Here is what mom had to say today:

Today, April 10, brought a special memory back to me.  26 years ago, my Dad died.  You may remember that he LOVED Martins and made houses for them.  He often donated them to nursing homes and others.  When my mom, my sister and I were in the funeral home arranging for his funeral, the Administrator of the Lennox nursing home came in to tell us a special story.  He said that when Daddy gave him the Martin house, he instructed him to have it cleaned and ready to put up on April 10 as that’s the day the Martins will return.  He looked out and sure enough, the Martins were coming back.  Then he heard on the radio that our Dad died that same day and he saw that we were at the funeral home and he came to tell us that story.  We were so thrilled.  It made the day happier.  When the funeral director asked us what kind of flowers we wanted for his coffin, we looked at each other and said  “He wasn’t a flower person. What shall we do?”  The director said another choice could be wheat.  Our hearts were again happy.  He was definitely a wheat person. So his coffin and his grave had wheat for the birds to enjoy.
    Thanks for sharing this love memory with me.