Thursday, October 10, 2019


Memorial Service
Spring Hill Cemetery
Lynchburg, Virginia

Michael Ross McConnell
b. Thursday 10 July 1952
d. Orthodox Easter Sunday 27 April 2008 

I had to be in Chicago on 10:10:08 or I would have attended the Memorial Service. One last Ross adventure. A chance to meet his parents and members of the Ross community. 

At the Service his Father circulated a document which MJ described as a screed. 

“Screed” has distinctly negative connotations compared to “manifesto,” which is a more neutral term for a public declaration explaining the intentions behind a course of action (derived via Italian from the Latin verb “manifestare,” meaning “to make public”).

“Screed,” now used for a long, vehement denunciation in speech or writing, has had a number of semantic twists and turns in its history. When it first showed up in English sources in the 14th century, its meaning was quite different. It referred to a fragment or scrap, particularly a cut piece of paper, leather or fabric. The word apparently originated as a variant form of “shred” appearing in some local dialects of England.

‘Screed’ also had an independent meaning: A harsh, screeching noise, as from a poorly played fiddle or bagpipe.

“Screed” developed other regional meanings, such as a narrow parcel of land, a bordering strip or the frilled edge of a woman’s cap. Charlotte Brontë, in her 1848 novel “Shirley,” describes a “screed, or frill of the cap” which “stood a quarter of a yard broad round the face of the wearer.” Builders took “screed” in a more technical direction, to refer to a strip of plaster or wood used as a guide for accurate finishing.

In Scottish usage, “screed” took on yet another meaning: a long, tiresome list or a tedious bit of speech or writing. In a comic play from 1748 titled “The Double Traitor Roasted: A New Scots Opera,” one character lampoons the other’s flowery speech: “A Scots writer, by the Lord, for they cannot speak without a screed of Latin.”

As the use of “screed” for lengthy discourse became entrenched in the English lexicon, it accrued harsher tones, likely influenced by similar-sounding words like “scream” and “screech.” It likely helped that “screed” at the time also had an independent meaning in Scottish and Irish English for a harsh, screeching noise, as from a poorly played fiddle or bagpipe. In current usage, a “screed” isn’t simply tedious but suggests a bile-filled rant. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Ross @ 67

Michael Ross McConnell
b. Thursday 10 July 1952

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Michael Ross McConnell
b. Thursday 10 July 1952
d. Orthodox Easter Sunday 27 April 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019

#RIP Margaret Helen Kimja McConnell

Margaret Helen Kimja McConnell Obituary
Born 05 February 1961 in Seoul, Korea, died 27 January 2016 in West Hartford CT, Kim was the adopted daughter of David Graham McConnell and Virginia Langhorne Alexander (Buddy-photo, left) McConnell. After more than a year of their working through the system, Kim was officially adopted by proxy in Seoul, and was brought at six months of age in August of 1961 to Buddy at San Francisco International Airport by a Korean physician. Because the tiny infant was severely malnourished and afflicted with chicken pox, a highly contagious viral disease, the physician feared she would be denied admission by U.S. Customs. He managed to spirit her through Customs in a shoebox, then advised Buddy of Kim's precarious condition and the urgency of immediate medical attention. Buddy was left with a very sick infant and three older boys to manage, just as she was trying to finish moving into a new house in Los Altos, South of San Francisco. Not anticipating the infant's immediate arrival, Dave had returned to Columbus to close down his lab at Ohio State before taking a new job in Palo Alto. Kim's survival during her critical transition to America was due to Buddy's 'round-the-clock, weeks-long devotion to Kim's care, and the vital participation of a Los Altos pediatrician. After the family's return to Ohio, Kim received her pre-school and primary school education in Upper Arlington. Later, she received her secondary school education at Connecticut's Kent School, where she competed in varsity soccer and cross-country, and was a year-book photographer graduating in 1979. In 1987 she earned a BA in Sociology from the University of Hartford, and from May 1988 until September 1990 worked in accounting at Hartford's CIGNA insurance corporation. From her early thirties until her death, Kim struggled valiantly with systemic lupus erythematosus. She was predeceased by her adoptive mother (Buddy); three adoptive older brothers - Ross, Paul and Alex McConnell; and Alex's wife Sandra Grahn. She is survived by Alex's two sons Galen and Duncan McConnell, her stepmother Pat Barnes-McConnell, stepsisters Teresa Barnes Kilgore and Debora Barnes-Josiah, her adoptive father David, her uncle (Buddy's younger brother) James C. K. Alexander, four step-nieces or nephews and many good friends including Elise Lafosse and Laurel Gilmour Dempsey from Kent School, Helen and Tony Toland of West Hartford and Avon CT. Kim will be greatly missed by friends and family.

#RIP Alexander Murrell McConnell