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Mike Weber nailed it; RIP, Mike


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I am sorry to learn of the death of my Marquette University High School (Milwaukee) classmate Mike Weber. I remember him fondly as one of the smartest guys in our class, a very tall and gangling and kind-natured young man. What I most remember about Mike, though, is how prescient he was.
 
On the day President Kennedy was shot, during our junior year, I came back to school in a cold driving rain (the storm that had migrated from Dalllas) from a drugstore where I had been listening to the radio reports. I arrived back just in time for our 1:30 (CST) Religion class. Incredibly, the scheduled topic that day was "The Ethics of Murder." The question was whether and how murder could ever be justified. Our Jesuit priest, Father Charles Shinners, I suppose numbly, didn't mention that Kennedy was rumored to be dead but just ploughed ahead with the topic. It's easy to say now that Father Shinners (the most brilliant priest in our school) could have adapted the class to fit the circumstances, but it seemed surreal to be having that discussion.
 
At about 1:40, the loudspeaker crackled on -- I still remember the dreaded sense of finality that caused me to feel -- and our principal, Reverend Daniel A. Laughlin, S.J., announced, "Word has just been confirmed of the assassination of President Kennedy. Let's stand and say a prayer for the repose of his soul." We did so, I made a note of what the principal said, and we resumed our chillingly abstract but strangely apropos theologizing with no further mention of that day's historical events . . . until a few minutes later when Mike Weber suddenly cried out, "Oh, no! LYNDON JOHNSON is president!" I vivdly remember Mike burying his head in his hands on his desk and keeping it there. The reality of the dark new world in which we were now living sank in as we went on talking numbly about murder. Ave atque vale, Mike. https://www.churchandchapel.com/obitua.../Michael-D-Weber...
Edited by Joseph McBride
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Thanks, Denny. Yes, Mike was the second smartest guy in our class,

after Dick Benka, with whom I saw DR. STRANGELOVE and learned

to understand and appreciate black comedy after Dick insisted we

sit through it a second time (the first time I had thought it was a scary

Cold War thriller). Mike was warmhearted and always friendly. The guys

at my high school treated me well, which was a relief after my hellish

grade school. And the Jesuits helped me learn critical, logical, skeptical

thinking.

Edited by Joseph McBride
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