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72: A number of days and years to remember

November 5, 2011
The Mining Journal

The number 72 hadn't had significance for me until just the last week or so.

Its sudden appearance in widely flung connotations has gotten my attention.

Let's start with the most recent appearance first: 72 days. That's the length of celebrity Kim Kardashian's marriage before she filed for divorce earlier this week.

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First, let me say that other than the 2 billion "Kim's dream wedding" stories which appeared in magazines, on celebrity news shows and on The Associated Press newswire, the Kardashians are strangers to me.

And it's really none of my business that Ms. Kardashian and her groom, Kris Humphries, are on the rocks other than the 3 billion stories that "news" is generating.

Divorce is an ugly situation I wish on no one, but after a purported $10 million wedding, to have a marriage be over in just 72 days is pathetic.

Having never cared to be "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," the two-part wedding special wasn't ever in my viewing interests. The cynical part of me wonders if there will now be a multi-part divorce arc on the "reality" show.

It's all a public spectacle that's completely distasteful and totally sad.

Another 72: It's the years an Iowa couple had spent in marriage before passing away after a car accident last month. Norma and Gordon Yeager married in 1939. Reports were they held hands in intensive care before succumbing to their injuries exactly one hour apart in mid-October.

In the news reports I read, the couple's family said while like anyone, the two had some issues through the years, they worked hard on their marriage as each put the other's happiness at a premium.

What happened in the emergency room is symbolic of that commitment, I think.

"It was really strange, they were holding hands, and dad stopped breathing but I couldn't figure out what was going on because the heart monitor was still going, But we were like, 'he isn't breathing, how does he still have a heartbeat?' And she checked and everything and said that's because they were holding hands and it's going through them. Her heart was beating through him and picking it up," said son Dennis in one news report.

Added daughter Donna: "Neither one of them would've wanted to be without each other. I couldn't figure out how it was going to work. We were very blessed, honestly, that they went this way."

Married 72 years, together in every sense until the end. Now that's a story I wish the world would hear a billion times.

The other 72 was the Class of 1972 from my alma mater, Negaunee High School. That class lost one of its finest members quite suddenly Oct. 22 when Randy Paulson died of a heart attack.

While I didn't know Randy well, he was married to Mary St. Arnaud, one of my favorite people from Negaunee's Class of 1976, my tribe. They'd been wed for 13 years before Randy unexpectedly died and his passing got me to thinking how Randy was someone I took for granted.

He always had a smile on his face. He had incredible patience when dragged along to Class of 1976 gatherings, as he was just this past summer. He was a good guy in every sense, someone who was there for his family and his friends.

His passing is mourned by countless people, not just in Negaunee, but in the Detroit area, where he had made his home for many years. His loss made me regret never having told him just what a wonderful person he was.

As he's cheering on his Detroit Lions up in heaven, watching over his family, I hope Randy knows his humor and his kindness earned him a fan base back on earth.

He will be missed not just by the Class of 72, but by others. Forever.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is rprusi@miningjournal. net.



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