The History of Jack Gator’s Name

In the beginning (Jack’s favorite three words) Jack was enthralled with fiddle contests, playing in country swing bands and always admired excellent fiddlers. After all, in his middle twenties he lived in the neighborhood of ’40 acres of musicians’ He wrote a column on those times. It is available at the web site. Http://www It was publisheda few years ago in the Intercounty Leader.

There was such a panoply of musicians that Jack had the privilege to hang out and play with. Peter Ostrushko. Brian Wicklund, Craig Ruble, Pop Wagner, Mary Dushane to name a few! Mary wound up on the Prairie Home Companion. She played at Jack’s wedding along with Bill Hinkley, Kevin Mcmullin and Jack. We surrounded Julie in her gorgeous wedding gown and played Helsa Dem Hardemma, a Swedish waltz. What a heritage of being surrounded with music for years.

When Jack was living up north in Wisconsin, he began competing and judging in fiddle contests. When asked by the newspaper to come up with a photo, the only thing Jack could find was a drawing of a young alligator playing a fiddle. He was leaning back on his tail in the cartoon. The nickname of Mr. Gator stuck. Jack even had license plates proclaiming ‘MR GATOR’ Such fun silliness.

Much later a fellow writer (Jesse Selin) drew the Gator picture and then we had to come up with a first name. A masculine one with punch. Jack’s favorite author, C.S.Lewis was nicknamed Jack, and it fit.

Jack’s real name is Norman Eric Peterson. Sort of Scandinavian. Images of sandbakkels, fattigman, lefese an of course, barrels of lye filled with lutefisk come to mind. The cookies are hard to spell and hardly anyone knows about them. Local church basement cooks, however, know these things. These images are first to come to mind and don’t seem masculine (except for the lutefisk ocean crossing ordeal) Not that Norm is ashamed of Norway and Sweden’s images, there just isn’t that instant familiar image of Norm in most of us. Friendly and as a child, a bit rough and tumble. So, the name stuck and you, dear reader, are too. It also helps for the third person writing and as Jack says; “The names are changed to protect the guilty.”

So there you have it. Jack did indeed have a rough and tumble life with prison escapes, FBI encounters, Top Secret rank, Luftwaffe pilots, Russian surface missiles and facing down danger with it all. The name fits. (He does not own a battle axe.) He is Just a slightly dense Norwegian that is ready to sail to the new land. And risk his life to do so. Adventure seems to be a trait of Norwegians and Swedes. They like to work hard too.

Words and history combined with a lot of trauma. Jack likes to write to entertain, intrigue and show those narrow escapes. All of it happened due to shape a man able to witness the saving grace of Jesus. It’s pretty good, Jack Gator

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

A Roman citizen who exemplified rule for the greater good, Civic Modesty, Virtue and Humility. Several times he controlled the Roman Empire and led it to a succesful fulfillment of long term vision and intelligent use of resources and strength. He lived around500 BC. After ruling the empire several times and putting back on track of civilization (Ending the reliance upon the state) he retired and went back to his small farm.

Very much akin to our own George Washington who made certain that our nation stood by the constitution, after this was accomplished he also went back to his farm (voluntarily retirement) in Mount Vernon.

The obvious problem then, and now, is the outlook of time. Quick satisfaction of desire or long term growth and security. We are faced with this decision now in our nation. Is it growth in essential ways? Or do we wish for the things and ways that seem to satisfy our now?

Quick fix and keeping the populace settled (somewhat) and the offering of government supply and direction. Also a lot of ‘fake news’ to stir the pot of desire. We have all seen the anxiety in our neighbors for things that are not long term goals but in perceived wealth and safety (perceived). Jack will not pontificate of these things. They are simple things and easily seen, if we desire honesty and use the intelligence we have been given.

Stimulus cash that is dolled out to make us believe in a benign economy, entertaining conflict on the airwaves or through fibre optic high speed computers. Jack’s desktop is pages long every morning of answers to satisfying images. A new electric powered car (with a power grid able to keep them charged?) Lowering the price of gasoline by a dime by releasing two days worth of national emergency oil.

How about getting another and another shot of security which is akin to the finger in the dike by a small vision that promises and cannot deliver. Backed up of course by fear mongering. ‘Bring out your dead’ It will probably be you. Keep those shields up Scotty! Isolate and tremble. Your saviors in the capitol will let you know when it is safe. Life is not safe, never was. Again, as C.S. Lewis penned it so brilliantly about our Lord: “Is He safe? Of course not, He’s a lion..but He’s good”

It would seem quite a few people are getting aware that it isn’t safe out there. After all, we rely on lines of paint to keep us from deadly forces of impact. Does that seem safe? If I wear a paper mask that does not allow me to breath or see, I will be safe against people. “Buy this one! It fits perfectly!” (unless it isn’t needed) We are in a hurry to pick up that deal, that stimulus check. Survival food and enough ammunition to fight off ‘those people’

Gold and silver bars and coins to trade for your miserable, isolated and fear filled life. Cincinnatus and George Washington knew a lot of these things and with their virtue and honesty, helped us out of our situation.

We need that sort of attitude today. Modesty and the greater good visions. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator


The morning ritual, perhaps a few of us look forward to it. It ends with the half cup and half caff and a screen at eye level. Jack often wonders at the medical frame straighteners that are taxed with the continual efforts to adjust us to these times. You know the posture. Head tipped forward, about 25 to 30 degrees, left hand upraised and the digits of the right tapping on the small rectangle of plastic.

“Hi Eddie, what’s going on this morning?” “Ed?” Oh hi Jack, I was just checking my account.

The isolation of the postures of those around us. Walking, sitting on a bench perhaps or strap hanging on the metro. It has become a reservoir of escape and capture even on Jack’s email in the morning ritual. An interesting article on a Sunday lecture series is delayed a little bit by advertising that pops up.

We all know how it works and sometimes there is a short escape with a click down in the lower right of the screen that says; ‘Skip ads’ Or perhaps an X off the the right that deletes the ad. Jack has noticed sometimes the ad pops back up. Golly, Jack just wanted to read that article in the New York Bad Times about the collapse of civilization and an opinion of an expert on technical issues with the pending doom.

Old news articles, pulled off with a simple copy and paste. Here’s the news and it isn’t pretty. The immediate thought about that lecture or sermon diminishes to fear. Images of young thugs staring at your car as it is stopped at the red light. Red means danger close. Images of that property that is not selling as fast as it should because the market is skewed. Fear of an empty shelf at the destination locked into the GPS. Why was it always toilet paper that is the first thing missing, even at the two dollar store? “It’s those truckers! It’s the inflation causing something I don’t understand!

The good reporter/bad reporter sets us up for the ads hooked into the online reading. “Invest! Diversify! There is a way to guarantee the future for you and your family!” Another go-round on the roundabout of collapsing faith. Looking at failure and perhaps death by ingestion of food that does not contribute to nutrition. Fake food. Fake news.

As it was said thousands of years ago, there is nothing new under the sun. Same old game we play when we loose faith in the life given to us by the solid reliable source of all knowledge. Where is our Lord and Master? You know, I am doubting things and I am going to make sure every base is covered!

Diversify. There are other ways to make certain of my survival! ‘This offer is solid gold! It will get you through the hard times you have even been promised by that leader who seems to have disappeared ”Bullion. Shiny and eternally so. Secure as the bank. Diversify and survive. Nothing new under the sun.

Is it pretty good or is it just fear and lack of trust? Jack Gator