Rick Lakin

Look at what the wind blew in



You never know when change is right around the corner or what will come your way with the wind.

In June when we had a brief but severe storm with heavy winds our power was out for nearly 24 hours. Saturday morning we decided to go out for breakfast since we couldn’t fix our usual breakfast at home. After driving around for nearly 45 minutes and finding most restaurants were also without power we finally ended up at The Creekside Café in Gahanna which was one of the few places open. They were overwhelmed with hungry people, including us, so we took the first two seats available which were at the counter.

I meet a new friend

We usually don’t sit at the counter but at this point we would have sat almost anywhere just to get some breakfast. Sitting next to me was an obvious electronic freak since he was reading from his Kindle and checking his phone for updates. He then showed me a radar map that showed the location of the storm and how fast it had traveled toward the east coast. Not known for being bashful, I struck up a conversation and asked what he did. He said he was a retired math teacher and statistician from San Diego. I replied that he was the exact opposite from me in that he worked with numbers and I worked with words.

He asked about me and my background and I happily talked about my blog, children’s books and other writings. When he asked about my web site I said that I didn’t have one and needed to do that but had not had the time to teach myself all that is involved in setting one up. Well, as they say, as luck would have it, he was a web designer! By the end of breakfast he knew all about my goals and, coincidentally, he had the skills to make things happen. Before we parted he gave me an address and said for me to check the site in the afternoon and he would have a sample web site for me to see.

New web/blog site

Now, my friends, you are on the new site. Let me introduce my new friend and colleague, Rick Lakin. Rick lives in San Diego but is a Westerville native. He enjoys coming here in the summers to remember what green looks like and to renew acquaintances.

Here is Rick’s bio:

Retired Math Teacher pursuing a second career as a web designer using WordPress, a videographer, a TV sports statistician, a sports public address announcer, a photographer, a Toastmaster and anything else that I can learn in a few hours.

I am so excited about this new site and I can’t wait to try out all the new bells and whistles. There are a lot more things we will be able to do here that I couldn’t do on the other site, including purchasing my books. Soon we will have a page describing my books and an easy way to purchase them. There is also something very exciting coming in the future that has been a long-time dream of mine.

Running into Rick that morning wasn’t just a coincidence; it was an answer to a prayer. Imagine running into someone from across the country with the ability to do just what I wanted and for a reasonable price. He was able to do everything I needed to get me started in a new direction of my career. And the best part of it is he is not only knowledgeable but also easy to work with. If any of my readers are interested in a web site, leave me a message and I will put you in touch with Rick.

Even though I am located at a new web address you won’t have to change any settings because you will be automatically redirected to the new site.

The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, you never know what changes will blow in with the wind. You might say my “…answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.”


The Second Child

Below is a reblog of a post titled The Second Child by Rick Lakin posted by permission of the author. There has been a lot in the news lately about the Jerry Sandusky trial and the Freeh Report, which was an attempt by Penn State to understand how this tragedy happened, but The Second Child puts a more human emphasis on the events. After the first child was abused, how and why was the second child endangered?


The Second Child


Published July 13, 2012 | By Rick Lakin


On December 6, 2011, I posted this response to this story by Pat Lalama . It appears that my ideas then were a bit prescient.



I enjoyed your Penn State article. I believe that Jerry Sandusky is toast. At the end of all of this, Sandusky will spend the bulk of his remaining life behind bars. I believe, though, that the real tragedy is the first part of that statement. Jerry Sandusky’s conviction will most probably be the end of this tragedy. After that, on the one hand, you will have a group of men who will live out their lives as wealthy men and on the other, the sons and daughters who will suffer at the hands of those who were hurt by Sandusky as the chain of abuse continues untreated and unbroken.

The real story here is one that will be unreported and yet is an all too common one. This is a case where you find an abuser at the center of a closely knit, financially lucrative, organization that can be characterized as an old-fashioned good old boys club. The question that needs to be answered in order that it will never happen again is not why did Jerry Sandusky abuse 8 or 10 or 20 or hundreds of kids? The real question is how Sandusky was allowed to abuse a second child after it became known that he had abused a first child.
Jerry Sandusky is singularly guilty of abusing every child up to a point but after the first time it was even whispered among the members of the community that some abuse had occurred, the members of the Penn State and Second Mile organizations share the responsibility, liability, and guilt for every instance of abuse that followed.

Natural disasters can seldom be prevented and happen instantaneously. Human tragedies such as Penn State that happen over a long period can and should be prevented. It takes courage, resolve of even the most inconsequential person at the low end of the totem pole and an institutional attitude that everyone is responsible for doing the right thing, that protecting the clients is above protecting the institution and that everyone will listen when anyone steps up and points out the Emperor’s lack of clothing.
The upcoming Jerry Sandusky trial will draw massive ratings, it will cause serious huffing and puffing about the evils of old white men who abuse little children and it will salve the indignant righteousness of the vicious pundits. It will do absolutely nothing to protect a youngster in the future who is put in the hands of another fine, upstanding member of an organization, similar to Second Mile who sacrifices his time and money to provide opportunities to those less fortunate but who is also a serial child abuser.
Unfortunately, then, the 24 hour, scandal-hungry, fact-starved, yellow-tinted media machine will solve the case of the many children in the Penn State scandal but leave unreported and uncorrected the story of the second child.