Mike Hendricks

Mike at Night

Mike Hendricks recently retires as social science, criminal justice instructor at McCook Community College.


Some different things

Friday, July 26, 2013

I was talking to someone I've known since I moved here and a person I consider a friend earlier this week when he complimented me on last week's column, saying he especially enjoyed it because he thought I was in danger of becoming too prejudiced in the other direction. He is much more of a conservative Republican than I am a liberal Democrat but that's a blind spot he and so many others can't see. When we see our own values and perspectives as right, good, and desirable, anyone who sees the world in a different way is seen to be wrong and it never enters our mind that the people we're putting down and criticizing see us the same way. Consequently, members of both parties are baffled and confused by the other party's inability or refusal to see things the correct way. That's why solving problems through political action has been stopped dead in its tracks.


The tragedy at Fuller's Restaurant was heartbreaking for the people directly involved with the operation of Fuller's and those who care about them. Many of the employees are now out of a job, the building is a total loss, and many area residents are out of a place to eat their meals. And, to add insult to injury, there were some comments on Facebook in the days following the fire that were neither complimentary nor supportive.

There's something in some people's socialization that compels them to kick people when they're down instead of offering a helping hand and I saw a few comments like that in the days that followed the accident. People who say these kinds of things are not the people most of us would want to call our friends.


I watched two documentaries on HBO this week that would make many people in the world sick to their stomachs. One detailed a home invasion in Connecticut that resulted in a teenage-girl and her much younger sister being tied to their beds and sexually molested before being doused with gasoline and set on fire after their mother had been strangled to death. The father had been beaten severely but managed to escape through a basement window as their house was going up in flames. This all occurred after one of the intruders had accompanied the mother to the bank where she withdrew $15,000 and gave it to her assailant. Amazingly, the sexual assaults and murders occurred after the money had been secured.

The second documentary involved the brutal assault that ended in the death of a gay male college student in Laramie, Wyoming.

Two 'good ole boys' took him out to a field overlooking Laramie, tied him to a tree, beat him unconscious, took his shoes and left him to die which he did a few days later. Not because of what he had done but because of who he was: a gay man. This case was similar to the black man who was tied to the back of a pick-up truck in Texas and driven for over a mile until he was decapitated just because he was a person of color.

Pure evil lurks in the hearts of some men.


Finally, on a positive note, I'm driving to Lincoln today to see my good friend Ron Crowe who is still hospitalized after suffering severe brain trauma almost a month ago when he fell on his head. According to his son, Kerry, after a tough two or three weeks, Ron finally seems to be on the road to recovery, although it's expected that road will be a long one.

Kerry took him outside in a wheelchair the other day for the first time since his accident and posted a photo of him on Facebook. Except for the expected weight loss, he looked pretty good, and Kerry says he's progressing slowly. He's able to do some things for himself that he previously couldn't do and his speech and awareness of his surroundings are improving. I'm anxious to see him and tell him about all the thoughts and prayers that are being sent to him every single day by people around here who care about him as much as I do.

After I visit him, I'm spending the night at Embassy Suites in Lincoln. I'll do their complimentary manager's happy hour, walk across the street and have some prime rib at Misty's, then get up in the morning, enjoy their complimentary breakfast and come back home. I haven't had a day away from McCook since college was over and with it starting back up in less than a month, I'm looking forward to seeing my dear friend and then relaxing in a place other than my apartment, if only for one night.

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