Saturday, March 22, 2014

Guest Columnist!

Doug Vermillion, of Anderson, IL, knows the Dalai Lama.  

"My departent supervisor at Anderson High School, Dr. Jack Nicholson, was a very traveled man whose expertise in Asian history and culture were highly respected.  He and his wife had become friends of the Dalai Lama. 

Jack once hosted the Dalai Lama for a visit the leader made to our city during which he spent several hours meeting with students at our school. 

The one thing I distinctly remember from our first encounter is that we learned we share the same birthday - July 6th - although he is some years older than I.  He will be 79 years old this year and, from what I read, his health appears to be quite good.  I do not remember what year our first introduction occurred, but I believe it was in the late '80s.

The Dalai Lama's brother opened what I'm told was the very first Mongolian-Tibetan restaurant in the U.S. - it is named The Snow Lion and is still a popular dining spot in Bloomington, IN.  The Dalai Lama often visited Bloomington both as a dignitary and as a brother and he would invite my colleague Jack and his wife to join him.

On occasion, Jack would invite a few colleagues and I would attend when possible as I was always fascinated by the Dalai Lama.  He spoke impeccable English, was a brilliant man (as was Jack) and enjoyed in engaging in discussions of philosophy and faith. 

Blooming, IN, has been almost as an American home to the Dalai Lama whenever he visits the USA and the Bloomington community supported the establishment of the Tibetan-Mongolian Buddhist Cutural Center and several Tibetan Buddhist temples to serve Tibetan students and immigrants to the community."

:Wyatt Earp's Vendetta Posse Rider" by Peter Brand (with research by Doug Vermillion) is available at   $25

"For more than 60 years, may Old West historians were of the mistaken belief that the true identity of Texas Jack Vermillion was that of one John Wilson Vermillion of Virginia."  Wrongly, as it turns out.  The real man?  Buy the book and find out!

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