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Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star.
And t
he seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
   We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
   Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
   In the circle game.

Joni Mitchell

Life: What happens while you were making other plans
Adios to a grandfather and a grand-daughter who never met
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 8-30-2017 Sparks Tribune / Updated 8-31-2017 and 9-6-2017 / Expansions in blue

BRIGHT LIGHTS — Allison, Tara and Lauren at Allison's 2006 high school graduation. GrandPa Reno was in attendance. Allison went on to earn a four-year degree from the prestigious Academy of Arts in San Francisco, a B.A. in photography. Lauren became a world-class fashion designer while still in high school.

Andrew Dad:
The best analogy I can think of so far? This is like having a limb amputated without anesthesia. Literally ripped from the body. Afterwards, you see where the limb should be and the mind still gives you the sensation and feeling as if the limb is still there.

Grandpa Reno: When his wife died a year or so ago, comedian/actor Patton Oswalt [Agents of SHIELD] finally gave me the words for what I went thru when your mother Betty died and what you endure now: a "numb slog." The words themselves are so clumsy, ugly and difficult to say that I have trouble remembering them. Great if dark anti-poetry, indeed. Now I can finally feel a bit of what your mom felt on that awful 1978 Saturday when we were informed that your sister Debbie was lost. Betty exhaled a soul-wrenching sigh, then "She was so perfect!" Like Zorba, it was a simultaneous complaint and question to God. Gotta hunch you've been there.

Jake, old man. Change of plans.

I had intended this entire screed to memorialize your enlightened journalistic cantankerousness, including a potshot about Civil War re-enactors stepping on this weekend's Virginia City Labor Day weekend.

Then again, your adios soirée this Saturday steps on their veneration of the contemptible Confederacy, proving that you still retain power even after your passing.

I know you didn't much believe in this kind of stuff, but if the electricity that was once Professor Highton remains available, I have some work for you, dear friend.

A beautiful young lady named Tara Danielle Donlevy died last Saturday at a Phoenix, Ariz., hospital.

She was ironically admitted on my birthday last month.

She was recovering when complications of heart surgery called her number at 21.

As father to three daughters, you could identify with what her parents now endure.

Please look after their girl.

Forever FantasyLand

The grief of Zorba the Greek rings heavy in my head.

In his greatest film role, Anthony Quinn cried "Why do the young die? Why does anybody die?"

Zorba's uptight English colleague played by Alan Bates responds "I don't know."

Alexis Zorba: "What's the use of all your damn books if they can't answer that?"

Basil: "They tell me about the agony of men who can't answer questions like yours."

Zorba: "I spit on this agony!"

My first and last wife, Betty, made me a grandfather the day we married.

I saw her thru the death of her firstborn at age 19, a victim of rural Nevada medical malpractice after an auto accident.

When Tara was six or seven, Betty's number two son, another Andrew, took his family to his sister Debbie's Carson City grave.

When they returned to our house, little Tara asked her grandma to "bring her up. If I can hold her I can bring her back to life."


Her mother Tiffany said "she's always been like that."

Based on that sliver of a moment, I always thought she'd grow up to be a doctor or similar healer.

Perhaps she was in some fashion.

Alas, she could not heal herself.

You would have liked her, Jake.

And so here we remain.

As Nikos Kazantzakis channeled Zorba: "When my little boy Dimitri died...and everybody was, I got up and I danced.

"They said, 'Zorba is mad.' But it was the dancing — only the dancing that stopped the pain."

So maybe we should all dance as best we can, when we can,
every chance we can.

Even should it revive old aches and pains, it will remind us that we are alive, that we have lived well, and once felt shining reflections of love.

THE PRICE OF PASSAGE. My number 2 son Andrew Donlevy thanks all of those who have contributed to Tara's GoFundMe page to help with her final expenses.

You may also mail checks payable to Andrew Donlevy, 1480 E. Pecos Rd. #3025, Gilbert AZ 85295.

"The celebration of her life will be Saturday, September 9, at 3:00 p.m.," Andrew D. said.

"We have not selected a venue yet. We are measuring rsvp's.

"We have the chapel at the funeral home on hold and the club house at an aparment complex as well.

"It will be a happy time where people can share memories of Tara.

"There will be refreshments and (Tara's sister) Lauren's friend, who won last season's Cake Wars on Food Network, will be making a cake just for Tara," added Dear Old Dad.

Stay tuned for more info as it arrives.

Both Andrews thank you so very much.

Fade to black

"She wrapped my arm around her and wanted a picture of us. She also didn't want me to leave. She was scared."



SATURDAY SEPT. 2: Matriculate to an appreciation and adios for UNR journalism legend, eternal Sparks Tribune columnist and Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames Laureate Jake Highton (1931-2017).

It will appropriately happen for the pro-union professor on Labor Day weekend at 3:00 p.m. September 2 in the UNR library rotunda. (Bureaucrats call it a "knowledge center.") The great George Carlin warned about adding syllables and subtracting meaning. Profs. Highton and E.B. White would certainly concur.

Maybe we'll dance like Zorba said.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)

The grasshopper and the dragonfly
Adios to a grandfather and a grand-daughter who never met
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 9-6-2017 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

Andrew Barbano is a 48-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of and BallotBoxing.US and and As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

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Copyright © 1982-2017 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 48-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

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