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Lynn Hummel column: Celebration and joy during troubled times

Detroit Lakes Newspapers columnist Lynn Hummel recently published his fourth book, "The Last Word," a collection of some of his favorite columns from the past 40 years.

I just watched the end of the World Series. What a joyful relief from the news — bombs mailed to national leaders and murders at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Grown men, millionaires mostly, hugging one another — whooping, hollering and celebrating like boys.

Who were they? The Boston Red Sox, winners of the World's Series of America's pastime — Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Dutch, Arubans, Dominicans, Taiwanese, and Venezuelans.

Over in the gloomy Las Angeles dugout, there were also Cubans, Japanese, South Koreans, Coracans and Canadians. They were white, black, brown and various other shades in between. They spoke in English, Spanish, and foreign accents of all varieties. There were no conspicuous Democrats or Republicans. How many were American citizens and how many were illegal immigrants or foreigners taking American jobs? None of that counted. This was just a happy celebration.

It's curious — people laugh when they are amused and they laugh when they are just happy and not laughing at a joke. Are there other reasons to laugh? I hope so. We need more.

Within minutes after the end of the game, the winners were wearing special caps that read "WORLD SERIES CHAMPS" and new hoodies that touted the same message. You just knew that over in the Dodger clubhouse there were special issue caps and hoodies for the Dodger champs too. But the Dodgers weren't champs (they came short in a four-one series) and those treasures will never come out of the boxes and will never see the light of day. Thousands of thousands of winning caps and jerseys will be sold to happy fans and none of the others will ever be printed.

The Red Sox manager praised the determination, courage and character of his team. Do winners have more character than losers? Is it a disgrace to finish in second place?

So, the winners and their fans now have bragging rights for a year. Innocent bragging can be fun, but the urge to brag has caused untold pain and injury going back to the beginning of time.

What I witnessed was nothing more than the scene of joy during a time of division, hate and tragedy. A moment of joy to forget the bad news around this period. We all need more scenes of joy.