Finding Tim

by Charlie

Episode 241 - COVID

On the morning of January 23, 2020, I (Ronnie) sent a email to every member of the Gang, asking them to gather in the auditorium in the physics building at seven that evening. I added, "It's important," knowing that that would bring out everybody who was local in Grand Forks. I promised those not local with a report the next day.

Everybody gathered, and most seemed to have figured out that the new corona­virus disease being talked about on TV and in the press would be our subject for the evening.

I didn't know much, but laid out the facts as I knew them. "A corona­virus seems to have transferred from an animal, likely a bat, to humans in Wuhan, China. It's spreading in China, it's been identified in several other countries, and the first case was reported in the United States–in Washington state–two days ago. It's moving fast, and, frankly, it doesn't look to me like public health officials are moving as fast as the virus."

That started a lot of conversations and questions–most of which I couldn't answer. I did point out that we knew quite a bit about coronaviruses from our experience with SARS, MERS, and a couple of others. I told the group: "I think there are two very important things to note: Frist, it's going to be serious. And the less seriously health officials take it now, the more serious it's going to become. We needed travel restrictions days ago, and we haven't gotten them yet. Nobody's talking about the precautions we need to be taking. But the second thing is important for us here in North Dakota: We're off the beaten path. There are no direct flights from China to North Dakota. In fact, the only direct flights from the west coast are seasonal flights from Los Angeles, and this is out of season. It would be silly to say it's not going to get here, but it will be slower getting here than elsewhere in the U.S. and we may be able to learn from the experiences of others."

Someone asked, "What, if anything should we be doing now?"

"I honestly don't know. For sure, wash your hands a lot. That's easy, closes one obvious avenue of infection, and doesn't cost anything. At some point I think the question of wearing face masks will be discussed. Asian countries have encouraged mask wearing, but it's never been pushed in America. I think that may change if this keeps spreading.

"Obviously our group houses that hold more than one family are subject to spread if one person in the household gets infected."

Shel said, "Well, The Lighthouse has reduced its number a lot as the eighteen-year-olds have moved to the house they call The Outhouse."

Brian said, "Well, The Outhouse has seven residents. There are two houses which are rentals, and could be made available in June. Would the group like to divide up?"

Liam said, "Are any of you interested in moving?"

They all indicated their willingness–even enthusiasm, but Liam noticed that Sonnie looked unhappy. He said, "Sonny, you don't look happy about moving out."

"It's OK."

Woody said, "It obviously isn't OK."

Liam walked over to where Sonnie was sitting, sat next to him, and said, "If you'd like to stay with us, we'd be honored; we'd love to have you."

Sonnie brightened and Woody moved into the row of seats behind him, came up behind, put his hand on his shoulder and said, "The Three Musketeers." Sonnie squeezed his hand and looked very content.

After the meeting Woody and Liam talked. Liam asked, "What do you suppose Sonnie's feeling? Is he infatuated with us? Where does he think it will go?"

Woody said, "You know, he is kind of cute. He's smart. Let's invite him to sleep with us tonight. Let's see what happens."

When they suggested that to Sonnie, he looked like he's been struck by lightning. "You mean it?"

"You've been a GrandCOG all you life and you still ask questions like that?"

"Oh, God. What time?"

"Let's' all go to bed together, say about 9:30."

Back at my meeting, I continued: "This is rather tough, but I suggest that you try to limit your contacts outside the Gang, and not invite non-Gang members into your house. You teachers and students, it's going to be diffcult, but I really suggest you keep yourselves as isolated as possible. The virus is coming; we don't know when it will get here, and the only warning we will get is diseased and dying victims. We don't want to be among them."

That night Liam, Woody, and Sonnie went to bed together in the queen-size bed that Liam and Woody usually shared. There was only about a three year age difference between them–insignificant as things went among the Gang. Sonny lay between the two others and seemed completely content just to cuddle up to the two of them. The next morning, however, Sonnie wanted more than a cuddle. He kissed Liam and worked his way down to Liam's dick, which he proceeded to suck vigorously till he came; he then did the same to Woody. The two older boys took turns on Sonnie, until he came in Liam's mouth. Not a drop of anyone's cum escaped being consumed.

About a month went by and the relationship between the three boys had changed very little. Sonny slept with Liam and Woody every night, and they explored a variety of ways to pleasure each other. Finally, one night Woody asked Sonny, "Sonny, tell us, are you hoping that our relationship can become permanent?"

"Oh, God, yes, but I don't suppose that's likely to happen."

"Why not?"

"You guys are together. You've been really nice to me this month, but you don't want to add me on a permanent basis."

"Why not?"

"Are you seriously thinking that we might be a three-way?"

Woody said, "I guess you're going to have to let Liam and me cogitate on that for a while and have a couple of long talks."

That night Sonny sensed that it would be a good idea if he slept somewhere else, and he did. Liam and Woody did talk, for a long time. Finally, Woody said, "So you'd be comfortable in a three-way with Sonnie? You know, Tim will tell you that you shouldn't make some kind of a trial commitment. Either we commit to Sonnie, or we don't. We don't say to him, 'We'll see if it works'."

Liam said, "I know. You know it's really wonderful to receive the kind of unconditional love we get from Sonnie. It's the same as I get from you."

"Can you give that kind of unconditional love to both of us?"

"Yes, I can. Can you?"

"Yes. Go get Sonnie. We need to talk."

"It's midnight."

"If Sonny thought that we'd made some kind of a decision and delayed just a moment in telling him, he'd never forgive us."

"If he's going to give us unconditional love, he'd have to forgive us."

"Just go get him."

When he came in Liam asked, "Sonny, are you able to give us totally unconditional love, for as long as we live. You know, we're talking about a lifetime commitment. Anything less is meaningless."

"Oh, yes. Unconditionally. Yes, yes. Does this mean what I think it means?"

"Yes, it does, Sonny. Woody and I are ready to make the same commit­ment to you. Welcome to the family."

Woody asked, "Where to we go from here?"

Liam said, "Tomorrow at dinner in The Lighthouse we announce the good news. Woody, The Lighthouse and the Gang aren't going to have a problem with this. Your parents may be a different matter."

"Considering the whirlwind that they've been sucked into since that weekend you visited in Ames, I don't think this will be much more that a little bump in the road. They're at the apartment here in Grand Forks less fre­quent­ly now, but the next time they're here and have us for dinner we'll simply ask them to add an extra place at the table. We'll explain at dinner."

It was early March when the Cramers were next in Grand Forks–it was also the last visit for a long time as COVID travel restrictions were arriving. The three boys were a little uneasy as the dinner at the Cramers' apartment began. Julia Cramer asked Woody, "To what do we owe the honor of enter­taining Sonny this evening?" She turned to Sonny, "We're delighted to have you, Sonny, but you're the first guest that Woody and Liam have invited to dinner, and we have to wonder what the occasion is."

Woody realized that it wasn't Sonny's job to explain his presence, and he spoke up, "Mom and Dad, this is Sonny, the son of Nels and Mary of The Lighthouse where Liam grew up and where I've lived with them since I moved to Grand Forks."

Julia said, "That's nice. I suspect there's more."

Liam decided that he should enter in, "Yes, there is. Over the last month or so we've realized that our relationship to Sonny is more than friendship. We've grown to love him, a lot. The three of us have decided we want to be a family and make our lives together."

Art Cramer, Woody's father, said, "Well, we knew from our first visit here that Liam, his family, and everyone that lives in The Lighthouse is a little off the wall. In fact, you seemed to be part of a much larger group that was equally off the wall. This announcement isn't any more off the wall than two teenagers talking about an Olympic Grand Slam. I guess the standard question would be, 'Are you sure?' but Julia and I've learned enough about you guys that I know we wouldn't be having this conversation if you weren't sure."

Julia said, "And I don't think this conversation is to ask permission, or even to ask for our blessing. It's to let us know what's going on. Right?"

Woody said, "Yes and no. It's true that the three of us have made a commitment to each other. So we aren't asking permission. But we are asking for your support and, in your word, your blessing."

Julia responded, "Woody you put that so nicely. Did the crowd in The Lighthouse teach you to be so politic?"

Liam said, "He always knew the right thing to say; that's how he caught me."

Julia said, "That's very kind Liam, but you didn't live with him as a young teenager."

Woody's father, Art, spoke next, "That's all well and good, and I did live through those years–they weren't bad; Woody's always been a good kid. Now it's time to say to Sonnie, 'Welcome to the family!'"

Julia didn't speak; she simply got up, went over to Sonny and hugged him. Sonny breathed a sigh of relief. For Liam and Woody it was an affir­mation that Woody's parents really did love them.

Springtime brought the announcement that the Tokyo games would be postponed for a year. The few athletes that had qualified at that time would retain their qualification for the 2021 games, but all of the sports that our North Dakotans were involved in had Trials that had not yet occurred, so the whole process was put off for a year. The North Dakotans had an advantage over much of the country and the world: North Dakota was much less impacted by COVID than other places, and it closed down much less. So aspiring Olympic athletes were able to continue their practice more or less uninterrupted.

However, by June the case load began to increase in North Dakota. North Dakota wasn't immune to the mask controversies that plagued the rest of the nation. Grand Forks was lucky. Under the leadership of Liddy and the School of Medicine, masks were pretty well accepted in Grand Forks. The university community made up a large percentage of the town, and they were strongly in favor of masks. As a result, the infection rate was much lower in Grand Forks than elsewhere in the state.

As cases started to rise I got the Gang together once more. My advice: wear a mask anytime you're indoors with a stranger or someone whose COVID status is uncertain. I discussed "bubbles" and indicated that it was fine if each house considered itself a bubble, but there was no way that the entire Gang could be a bubble. There were too many that had to be involved with jobs, schools, and so forth to consider the Gang to be one unit.

We saw cases rise over the summer, but by fall the infection rate, hospitalization rate, and most importantly the number of deaths was way back down. My advice was not to let up, but to breathe easier. With vaccines on the way, I advised everyone to not vary their routine until they were fully vaccinated. No one in the Gang was an anti-vaxer, and the Gang was totally unsympathetic to those who wouldn't get vaccinated.

Sharon, Kyle, and I were very discouraged by the overall vaccination rate in the country. I pointed out that we weren't likely to reach "herd immunity" which is defined as the point at which any given person with the disease transmits it to less than one other person. At the height of the pandemic the transmission rate was something like three. I pointed out, "I'm not worried that the lack of herd immunity will infect a lot of people that refuse to get vaccinated. As they point out, that's their right. I am fearful for those individuals who, for medical reasons, or because they're children, cannot be vaccinated. Herd immunity is how we protect them. It's criminal that we allow people to opt out of vaccination." If I'd had my way, I think I would've deputized the vax-cops and given everybody a choice: vax or jail (with other anti-vaxers).

The university announced in June of 2020 that no unvaccinated person would be allowed on campus. Cards would be checked. Liddy, with Tim in full support, was determined that UND wouldn't be the site of a COVID-19 spike!

There was life in Grand Forks in spite of COVID. To Sharon, Kyle and me one of the more intriguing things was the arrival of a new three-way. The idea that Liam and Woody had, in just about a month, decided that Sonnie would be part of their lives was amazing. It'd taken Sharon, Kyle and me years to come to that conclusion–the next generation was really quite spectacular. As soon as we heard of their commitment we invited them to dinner, along with Fyn, Arnie and Marge–the three three-ways in the Gang, each representing a different generation.

The conversation was quite interesting. Liam admitted, right off the bat, that the examples of the other two three-ways had made it much easier for them to think of it as a reasonable option. Sonnie jumped right in and said, "I looked at the two of them and simply couldn't imagine going through life not being a part of their lives. They're wonderful. When they invited me to be a part of their lives I simply swooned. It's been wonderful, and it's going to be wonderful forever."

Woody said, "That about sums it up. He clearly wanted us, and with very little thought we realized that we wanted him. There's been no hesi­tation."

Marge said, "It took the three of us a long time to realize that we were already part of a three-way and just hadn't realized it. I think what these kids had going for them was an environment that put a three-way forward as a reasonable way for people to relate. The wider society doesn't see that, but in the Gang we do."

I said, "OK, Liam and Woody, you're members of the Gang. It's time to make Sonnie a member as well. I'll get the ball rolling."

That took a conversation with Tim and Charlie, an email to the entire Gang, and an agreement that it would be a Zoom-Ceremony broadcast from Gangland. Prior to that Sid had invited Sonnie for dinner and a "sitting." Sid told Sonnie, "We do a portrait whenever we have a new Gang member. Recently, people have joined in groups, but you're a single, since Liam and Woody are already members and have had their portraits done." With that Sid stripped naked and indicated that Sonnie should do the same. Sid continued, "Any idea of just what kind of erotic or pornographic pose you'd like to present?"

"Not really."

Sid said, "Well, I have an idea. I talked to Woody and he says you have a very special talent."

"Oh, no, what did he tell you?"

"That you're flexible enough, and have a long enough dick, to be able to suck your own dick. Let's see."

Sonnie stood there a while, and realized that Sid was quite serious. And it was a feat that he was able to perform. He said to Sid, "Get me hard; use your hands."

Sid did as requested. Sonnie gently pushed Sid away, and bent over easily putting his lips around the head ot his penis. He slowly moved up and down, speeding up gradually. All of a sudden he stood up straight and his dick was spewing cum onto the floor. Sid had been sketching like mad and one of the more interesting Gangland portraits was cast in stone (really, oil).

The joining ceremony involved Liam and Woody putting the number 153 on Sonnie's buns; Sid showing off the new portrait; several Gang members demanding proof that this wasn't Sid's imagination; and Sonnie proving it wasn't with Liam and Woody starting him off with a really serious stiffy.

As I was writing this, something Pete said reminded me that there was more to the story of Hank and Faye. One evening when Hank, Pete, and Faye were in the aerie, doing what they liked to do in the aerie, Faye raised a new subject. "I've learned a lot about the sex rules of your Gang, especially the rule about no adult-child sex. It seems to me that I've heard of a number of examples when watching across the adult-child barrier was allowed. Parents have watched children and vice versa, but I guess they were all adults at the time. There are other stories of watching across the age line."

Hank asked Faye, "Where is this heading?"

"I want to watch Liam, Woody, and Sonnie have sex. Especially Liam."

"Wow, that's really pushing the boundaries."

"I know. But I also know that you guys're all experts at pushing boundaries."

Hank said, "I'd have to run this past Charlie first."

"Why Charlie?"

"He's the lawyer of the Gang. He knows better than anyone what the possible consequences might be."

Hank was in my office the next moring, posing his question. I was aware that from time to time there'd been "watching." I didn't see any particular problem with it. Clearly everybody that was aware of it would be totally circumspect. Further, I wasn't sure that any crime would be committed. As long as Hank and Faye kept their clothes on, one could argue that it was "educational." After all, that was what we had said about Franklin's mastur­bation lessons.

The next question for Hank was whether Liam, Woody, and Sonnie would cooperate. He was pretty sure they would. He went over to The Out­house, explained the background (including the fact that Faye'd been attracted to Liam for some time, especially when he was in parading around the pool in his skimpy diving swim suit), and asked if they would cooperate. Liam looked at Woody and Sonnie, got affirmative nods, and said, "OK, at The Outhouse or in the aerie?"

Hank said, "In the aerie. And I know Pete won't forgive us if he isn't included."

Sonnie said, "The more the merrier."

It was arranged for the next night. Faye, Hank, and Pete were waiting in the aerie, sitting at about the middle of the big bed. The three older boys came in and Sonnie took the lead by stripping naked and laying on the bed not far from Faye. Then Woody stripped and knelt near Sonnie, on the side away from the audience. The Liam stripped to the waist, walked over toward Faye, and said, "I understand that I'm really the object of your interest. Well, while I still have my pants on you can fiddle around a little–but you have to stay above the waist."

Hank wasn't sure that Faye was going to hold it together, but she stood up in front of Liam, massaged his nipples, sucked them, and then they kissed. Faye drove her tongue in Liam's mouth as far as she could and Liam returned the favor. They hugged, and it was clear that their connected pelvises were trading favors. But it went no further. Liam went over to where Woody and Sonnie were waiting, took off his shoes, pants, and underpants–with all of the sexual innuendo that he could muster. Then he and Woody took turns sucking Sonnie. He came in Woody's mouth, and Woody spit it out on Sonnie's belly, and Liam licked it up. Then they moved to Woody, and Sonnie and Liam used their hands, trading off, one on his dick and one on his balls. He came quickly, and again Liam licked him clean.

Then it was Liam's turn. He stood in a spread eagle position, his dick pointing straight at Faye. Woody came from behind and tickled his balls untiil he came, shooting his cum straight at Faye, but not reaching her. He said to Faye, "I'm cold. Could you help me get my clothes on?"

With that he tossed her his underpants, walked over to her, gestured for her to hold them as he stepped into them, and then she pulled them up. We all noticed that her hands slipped a couple of times and brushed parts that were supposed to be off-limits, but nobody said a thing and nobody minded. That was repeated for his pants. She nibbled on his nipples a while before she buttoned his shirt. While this was going on, Sonnie and Woody got dressed. Then Liam said, "Turn about's fair play."

Hank and Pete knew this was coming, but it was a total surprise to Faye. Hank said, "I think they want you to take your clothes off, Faye."

Faye was completely flustered, but she did manage to get her clothes off. Then Hank aimed his tongue at her clit, and she exploded almost instantly. Liam said, "That was quick. Thank you for the show." The three older boys left

Faye looked at Hank and said, "My God, that was fantastic. I can't believe that you arranged that. And Liam is almost as sexy as you are Hank. Now get your clothes off and let me suck you." He did. She did.

Hank ended the evening by saying to Faye, "You're going to have to have an eighteenth birthday before anything like that happens again."

Faye said, "As long as I have you Hank, and you too, Pete, I can live till I'm eighteen. But, Hank, you're going to have to live with the fact that I have wonderful fantasies about Liam. Oh, yes, I'll add that his dick isn't half as big as I fantasized."

The next time Hank, Pete, and Faye were together in the aerie, Faye said, "I want to see you two do that trick that Liam did, standing spread eagled and getting aroused from behind."

Pete said, "OK, we'll try it. But you have to be naked and close enough to get hit by Hank's cum."

They tried it, and it worked. Twice. Once for Hank and once for Pete. They tried it on Faye as well, but without anything for her body to shoot, it wasn't very exciting.

I'll also note that Liam, Woody, and Sonnie tried it as well, and they liked it. They'd dreamed it up to give Faye the best possible view of Liam having an orgasm, but they found they enjoyed it. It got to be a game to see who could hit the target person's mouth with the cum of the boy whose balls he was tickling. Sometimes it was hard to get a person aroused just tickling his balls; on those occasions fingers would slip to the underside of a penis, and things would heat up.

Liam did comment to Woody and Sonnie, and also to Hank, that he was eager for Faye to have her eighteenth birthday!

Not many people were aware of these goings on, but Hank and Pete thought they should tell their dads. It was specifically agreed that Faye wouldn't share the story with her parents; everybody agreed that it had to stay within the Gang. Hank learned later that his dads had invited Liam, Woody, and Sonnie to put on the same show for them. They took the emphasis off of Liam, but essentially gave Brian and Shel the same show. However, it ended differently, as Shel and Brian stripped off their clothes and started a free-for-all. Hank and Pete would have to wait until they were eighteen before they could get a repeat of the Liam-Woody-Sonnie show!

I won't keep you in suspence regarding the outcomes at the swimming and diving Trials. However, I need to explain a couple of things about the Trials that affected our swimmers and divers. First, the swimming Trials would be divided into Wave I and Wave II. This was done to reduce the size of these events to lessen the chance of COVID-19. The rules were complicated, but the general idea was to bring to Wave I new contenders and have existing leaders in the sport come to Wave II, where they would be joined with only the top swimmers from Wave I. While this did reduce the size of the initial event, it also dramatically reduced the possible COVID exposure of current top swimmers to the large numbers of new contenders.

All of our swimmers were fairly new to top level competition and would begin with Wave I held in Omaha June 4 to 7. Those that were the in the top two of any event would compete June 13 to 20 in Omaha, the dates depend­ing on their event. However, there was a problem: several of the swimmers were also divers and were eager to attend both the swimming and diving Trials. The diving Trials were in Indianapolis from June 6 to 13–a one-day overlap that could screw up somebody's chances. We wouldn't know until final schedules were published. Of course, if in Wave I the swimmers didn't qualify for Wave II, the problem vanished.

Liam and Woody had staked their claim to platform diving, so the rest of the men knew they would have to compete off the springboard in order to get a chance to go to Tokyo. To no one's surprise, Liam and Woody would be the top two U.S. platform divers in Tokyo. If there was any surprise registered, it was that they weren't competing in more events. When asked why, they simply replied that they had achieved what they had set out to achive. The obvious question was, if that were true, why were they competing off the platform? Their answer was always, "That's personal."

The four twins had a great time at the Trials. Tyler had found that freestyle was his best stroke. He and Waleed had talked, well in advance, and agreed that it wouldn't be a good idea for them to compete against each other. So Tyler entered the 100-meter freestyle, coming in second, and Waleed entered the 200- meter, his best distance. That earned them both a trip to Wave II, where Tyler managed to make the team for Tokyo. Tyler took his best shot at springboard diving, but came in fifth, so he wouldn't be both a swimmer and diver in Tokyo. Waleed came in fourth in the 200-meter, so wouldn't be heading for Tokyo. To Tim's delight, he took it very well, saying, and seeming to mean it, that it was a privilege and honor to have come in fourth in the Wave II Trials, and he would be back in three years (Thanks to COVID, the next Olympics, Paris, were only three years off).

Taylor found that his best stroke, butterfly, would conflict with his diving. Since he was much more confident in his diving skills than his butterfly, he didn't compete in the swimming Trials. He did secure the second position in springboard diving, and so would be off to Tokyo.

Marilyn swam the butterfly and dove from the springboard. She was able to qualify in the 100-meter butterfly, but came in sixth on the springboard.

Carolyn swam the breast stroke, coming in fourth in the 100-meter and seventh in the 200-meter in Wave I. But she struck it rich off the springboard and came in third, capturing a place in Tokyo. All four twins had earned a trip to Tokyo, but they were disappointed that not one of them would be both a diver and a swimmer in Japan. Tim got a hint of that, took them all aside, read them the riot act–telling them that a trip to the Olympics was an incredible achievement and they had damn well be both happy and excited about that. They were repentant, saying that they'd really dreamed that one of them would make it as both a swimmer and diver. Tim said, "OK, you get points for dreaming a group dream, and I know you would all have been excited if any one of you had made the double; but not being excited isn't the same as being disappointed."

"We get it, Uncle Tim. And we know we're damn lucky to have all four qualified in something." Any one of them could've said that; they all meant it.

John Smith didn't make it as a diver, but he did as a trampolinist–the first in that sport out of North Dakota. Only two slots were available for each gender and he captured the second men's slot. His making it to Tokyo had been a long shot, but he'd practiced like the devil and was unbelivably happy to win the slot. He admitted that his emphasis on the trampoline had probably cost him the diving slot, but he didn't care; he was on his way to the Olympic Games!

June Cummings had two shots at qualifying at backstroke: 100-meter and 200-meter. She almost made it at the 100-meter distrance, but missed with a fourth place in Wave I. She made in to Wave II at 200 meters. Her 200-meter race in Wave II was unbelievably exciting, a real heart-stopper. June and a woman from Indiana University were neck and neck for the entire race. When the buzzer went off no one was sure who'd won, it was so close. The electronic timer showed two one-hundredths of a second between them, and June had won! With that victory, she secured the only first place win that any of our swimmers had achieved.

Myra was our last chance for someone to be both a swimmer and a diver in Tokyo! She was entered in both the springboard and platform diving and the individual medley. She made it to Wave II in the individual medley and went on to a third place in Wave II, qualifying her for a trip to Tokyo. At the diving Trials she failed to make the finals off the springboard, but she was in fourth place going into the finals off the platform. She got the famous dinner with Tim between the semi-finals and finals, and he worked his magic. She came in second off the platform, doing the most difficult set of dives of all the finalists, and doing them extraordinarily well. A little arithmetic showed that had she selected slightly easier dives, and done them just as well, she would've come in fourth! As Tim always said, "Dive selection is the key; you don't want to be beaten by arithmetic. You want to win with arithmetic." And win she did. As far as we knew, she was the first competitor to compete in both swimming and diving at a single Olympics!

Eight of our ten swimmers and divers'd qualified for the Tokyo Games, an almost unheard of success. Tim, Billy, Willie, and the coaches were bouncing off the walls and ceiling. Indiana had three swimmers and one diver going. Tim would've been giving his old nemisis from IU the business, but Ralph Billings had died a few years before. It was fall of 2015 and he'd walked over to the IU natatorium to watch the new crop of first year divers. As he sat in a chair, poolside, he simply slumped over and that was that. Not since Fred Milson had anyone we knew died a more perfect death. Wild horses couldn't keep Tim away from his funeral, and in fact he was asked to speak. He told of a many-year relationship of friendly competition as well as love and admiration. He had a hard time finishing without breaking up; there were real tears in his eyes. He told me later, "Charlie, it's the end of a era."

In addition to our eight divers, John Smith would represent the United States on the trampoline.

North Dakota continued to be a force to be reckoned with at the Olympic Games!

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