Farewell Fellow Traveler

Dean Bedekar joined the NOSHA board of directors and soon took on the position of treasurer. His education and work background were more than adequate for our not-too-complicated financial affairs. His business savvy soon became apparent when he suggested that from time to time we should organize fundraising campaigns to give us the wherewithal to attract well-known speakers, along with buying advertising, which in turn would increase interest in our programs, attract more members, and perpetuate and grow the organization. After several fellow board members discouraged the idea on the grounds that fundraising and “making money” was not in the organization’s DNA, his idea was filed in the “Good Intentions” drawer. He did not give up on the idea of making the most of our financial situation, however, and was helpful with improving it.

Being familiar with his business mindset, I thought nothing of asking him a question (probably inappropriately) about the massive data breach the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles suffered about a year ago. Citizens were being encouraged to diligently monitor their credit and bank accounts, and anywhere else  one’s information could be put to bad use, and even enrolling in outside online credit monitoring services. I asked Dean if he thought it was necessary, or planning on himself enrolling in one of these monitors. To this he said

“Who steals my purse steals trash.”

I was disarmed by his answer (which also sounded like a quotation from somewhere, and he used frequently to emphasize a point), and decided not to ask anymore about it, realizing that the more I asked about it the more it would lead to getting into his personal business. But I couldn’t help wondering what he could possibly have meant? That he didn’t have much money? Was he just talking in riddles to discourage my probing? Or, on a loftier plane, was he now downplaying some value or ethic concerning the accumulation of wealth?

It turns out that his curt quip to my question was from a longer quote by Iago, the villain in Shakespeare’s Othello

Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, 

Is the immediate jewel of their souls.

Who steals my purse steals trash;

’tis something, nothing; 

‘Twas mine, ’tis his,

and has been slave to thousands; 

But he that filches from me my good name 

Robs me of that which not enriches him,


And makes me poor indeed.

Dean would not need to worry about his good name in these quarters. We lost an honest man, trooper for truth, and a treasure of character—the dollars and cents be damned.


 Longtime NOSHA member and former board member Will Hunn thinks he has found some fitting literature to mark Dean’s exit, and I can’t disagree. These verses mimic Dean’s sardonic pronouncements that the nonsensical paradox of evil and good is a feature in all religions. Mr Hunn:

 In tribute to our friend, Dean, and in keeping with the tone of the approaching holiest day on the Christian calendar, I offer the following two moving and reverential poems by Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame:

 The Lord God Made Them All

All things dull and ugly

All creatures short and squat

All things rude and nasty

The Lord God made the lot.

Each little snake that poisons

Each little wasp that stings

He made their brutish venom

He made their horrid wings.

All things sick and cancerous

All evil great and small,

All things foul and dangerous

The Lord God made them all.

Each nasty little hornet

Each beastly little squid

Who made the spiky urchin?

Who made the sharks? He did!

All things scabbed and ulcerous

All pox both great and small

Putrid, foul and gangrenous

The Lord God made them all


Oh, Lord, Please Don’t Burn Us

“O Lord, please don’t burn us.

Don’t grill or toast your flock.

Don’t put us on the barbecue

Or simmer us in stock.

Don’t braise or bake or boil us

Or stir-fry us in a wok

Oh, please don’t lightly poach us

Or baste us with hot fat.

Don’t fricassee or roast us

Or boil us in a vat,

And please don’t stick thy servants, Lord,

In a Rotissomat”


Marty Bankson, ed.

April 7, 2024