Serving Roseau County for over 100 Years - The Official Roseau County Newspaper

Some Special People In these Unordinary Times

I remember the accident south of Wannaska on Highway 89 in July 1994 when Cody Warne's life forever changed in a car accident in which his dad, Scott, was killed and Cody became a quadriplegic unable to breathe on his own.

Later, in January 1995, he was transferred from Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul to Roseau Area Hospital.

That's when I met him at the hospital, and he definitely wasn't feeling sorry for himself.

"Wanna play a game?" he said with a mischievous smile and then proceeded to kick my ass in some computer games several times.

Luckily, we weren't playing for money or the little bandit would have sent me home broke.

He died on May 18 at age 36 and lived a good life with great help from the pros he was surrounded by.

He was no shut-in.

Hell, no!

Cody lived in the Twin Cities and was right where the action is.

He was a Twins fan and loved sports except for the Minnesota Vikings and probably because they're born losers.

He was at all the venues and could discuss who should be traded and for whom.

We collaborated on a number of pieces over the years, and I last chatted with him about six months ago.

We talked sports.

That's not accurate.

He talked sports and I listened. Cody knew the line-ups, the coaches, the screw-ups, and he was colorful.

Even as an elementary student in Roseau, he was never just a kid. He was sharp and mature.

I never saw him sad.

He didn't show it if he was. He had to have remembered running around and doing all sorts of fun things before that accident when he was six.

He grew up fast.

During those interviews over the years, he was a character and showed character.

He had various nicknames for his younger siblings, all of which were a riot.

In fact, right after his sister Kali was born in Roseau while he was at Gillette, he wanted to trade her for a boy.

"Not possible," said his mother.

Then, he wanted to change her name to Tylenol as I reported on page 3 in the Roseau Times-Region on December 23, 1994.

And he stated why.

"Because girls are a pill and they give you headaches!"

This past Sunday, retired RHS principal, Terry "Gotzy" Gotziaman tipped his hat to Cody.

"He was a great kid and really smart," he said, adding that Cody was a class act and it had been a great pleasure knowing him.

Cody touched a lot of people, including many students at Roseau High School for his adaptability and grace.

The Fighting Sullivans

It was decades ago that I first read about the five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo, Iowa, who died on the same ship, the USS Juneau, a light cruiser, when it was torpedoed and sank during the Guadalcanal Campaign on November 13, 1942, near the Solomon Islands.

As reported in the Irish Star, a fine Irish paper, of which I am a quarter Irish and therefore qualify for Irish citizenship once I fill out the necessary paperwork, I plan to visit Dublin and drink several pints in honor of the fine Sullivan brothers - George (born 1914), Frank (1916), Joe (1918), Matt (1919), and Al (1922).

What a great sacrifice from the sons of Thomas and Alleta Sullivan.

The Fighting Sullivan Brothers became national heroes after their deaths. President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a letter of condolence to their parents, while Pope Pius XII sent a religious medal and rosary with his message of regret.

It was further noted that their deaths resulted in a new Navy policy that discouraged family members from serving together on the same ship.

Smart Kids

I don't care what race and nationality - white, black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American. Or if they are natural born or naturalized American citizens.

They're one of us.

It's always the headlines that stand out.

2 teens won $50,000 for inventing a device that can filter toxic microplastics from water

Meet Victoria Ou and Justin Huang, both 17, from Woodlands, Texas.

According to the article they invented a device that will help address "one of the most pervasive and challenging forms of pollution on Earth: microplastics."

Smart Asian-American kids!

"It's the first filtration system to successfully use ultrasound to filter microplastics from water.

The damn stuff is everywhere.

If you're old enough, you can remember when meats were wrapped in white paper and not plastic wrap.

By some estimates, we each inhale and ingest a credit card's worth of plastic per week. Then it can end up in our lungs, blood, breastmilk, and testicles.

In two words, we're screwed - although I prefer the more colorful word for screwed.

One Helluva Guy

I've always liked scamps, even ex-cons who make good later in life. They put a smile on life.

If I didn't have a fascination with obituaries, I would have missed the following obit in The Hollywood Reporter.

Richard Foronjy, Convicted Criminal Turned Character Actor, Dies at 86

What caught my eye was he had appeared in "Midnight Run" - a great piece with just enough swearing to make me smile repeatedly.

Please watch the DVD and invite some good and proper Baptists to enjoy it on your TV.

It's beautiful!

Lots of laughs and great dialogue.

His stage name is Richard Foronjy, but he's Italian and spent 8 plus years in joints like Sing Sing and Attica prisons.

Foronjy said he was arrested more than 20 times for "forgery, bank robbery, credit card ripoffs, assorted crimes and skullduggery...guilty of almost everything except drugs and homicide," he said in a 1987 interview with UPI's Vernon Scott.

He got out of prison when he was 32 and recalled that he had been an angry kid growing up.

"It was in the days before computers, and I thought I could make an easy living forging checks and credit cards. Then, I began robbing candy stores," he said.

Then he graduated to robbing banks, a good source of cash.

"My first bank job brought me $170,000 - a lot more than Willie Sutton ever got. I spent the money lavishly and went to Europe."

He got caught robbing an attorney with a pistol and was sentenced to prison.

He found redemption at Sing Sing and read more than 500 books and learned how to type in prison.

One night he was watching "Kojak" on the group room TV and had a sudden revelation.

He told himself that if Telly Savalas could be an actor, so could he.

And he did, specializing in portraying cops and crooks!

He was a colorful character actor.

His four kids knew best!

"His journey as a father was marked by challenges and complexities," his family noted.

 

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