He Is Gone

A Tribute to Norman Eugene Hurt (13 Mar 1948 – 19 Oct 2011)

Copyright © 6 November 2011 by Bob Hurt. All rights reserved.


He is gone,

But he still lives on,

In every heart and mind

Of those he left behind.


Folks truly loved him much,

Because their souls he touched.

And he loved them so,

That they won’t let him go.


He gave their hearts a tickle

That always made them giggle.

Closer they would wriggle

Till he felt them jiggle.


Then he’d give a piercing look

And open up that book.

He’d speak into our hearts

Of our adventures in the stars


He’d share with us a dream

Of what our lives could mean

If we work to be like he

Who gave it up for you and me.


And then he’d say…


[Mountain Spiritual Rap interlude]


Night falls early in the desert of a life.

It cuts off the day like the edge of a knife.

Don’t wait till dark to do your day’s work,

Or you’ll lose the fruit of everything shirk.


[Back to the main tune…]


And now he is gone,

But he still lives on

In every heart and mind

Of those he left behind.



Farewell Norman Eugene Hurt (3/13/1948 – 10/19/2011)

Farewell Norman Eugene Hurt (3/13/1948 – 10/19/2011)

Our precious brother Norman Eugene Hurt, at the age of 63, passed away at about 7:30 PM, 19 October 2011 from lung complications resulting from radiation therapy for a cancer tumor under his left jaw over 3 years ago. He struggled with health problems in his jaw, throat, epiglottis, taste buds, saliva glands, and lungs since the radiation treatments. His darling daughter Ashley Marie Hurt survives him, as do brothers Robert M and Darryl H Hurt, and sisters Guyneth Kraus and Debra Tru. Brother Darryl has helped Ashley with administrative matters. Norman expressed the wish that his body go to the service of science, so no cremation or burial will occur. Ashley or others will schedule a collective celebration of Norman’s life.

I shall miss Norman till we meet again. He provided a glowing brightness in my life since his birth at my age of 5 in Houston, Texas. I loved him joyously his whole life as did everyone who met him. He lived with our family of parents and six children on England Street in Foster Place in Southeast Houston. I saw him as a delightful child, full of interest in and fascination about everything. He had a speech impediment till he had it corrected as an adult. At four he told me “Come quickly Wobuht, theahs a biwd unda the wagon!”. Family, friends, and neighbors doted on him, and of course the girls always loved him because he made them laugh and feel at home. As an adolescent, he s went to live at Buckner’s Baptist Children’s home where he spent his teenage years, worked for the campus radio station, and hobnobbed with a girlfriend or two. Our sisters Claudia and Debra lived there for a time too, and he loved them dearly. I went to visit him occasionally during my last year in high school in Oak Cliff (Dallas) in 1961, and gave him a bicycle to get around on. Norman moved back to Houston at 16, but decided soon to return to Buckner’s, and there he lived till he graduated from high school.

After taking a whirlwind round-trip tour to California in an old Volkswagen in the mid 1960’s with his orphanage buddy Fletcher Hurst, Norman joined the US Army in 1969. He became a clerk and typist for the Military Police and worked a year for a General in VietNam.

At the end of his single term of military service in 1971, Norman returned home to Houston. He moved to Fort Worth where he worked as assistant manager for the notorious Jim Hill of the notorious Cellar Club, a popular rock and roll night club. Norman contracted Hepatitis B, and Jim nursed him back to health. Norman returned to Houston and enrolled in the University of Houston while living in our mother’s home.

In that same year, Norman attended a seminar at the U of H intended to introduce students to The Urantia Book. Its teachings captivated Norman’s heart. He became a strong but subtle advocate of the book and its teachings for the remainder of his life. Norman pretty much lived his religion and delivered unselfish loving service to everyone he knew.

Norman spent several years earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, during which time he worked as a reporter for the U of H newspaper, The Cougar, and in the campus radio station. There he met and received inspiration from a CBS Records promotion manager who wanted radio stations to give their artists’ new records air time.

Around 1977 Norman became a Houston area Promotion Manager for CBS records. He spent several years at CBS promoting records for a variety of famous recording artists, and taking photographs and mingling with them during concert tours. Around 1984 Norman lost his CBS job in a massive company-wide layoff, and worked at a variety of jobs in the Houston area.

On 11 October 1984 Norman married Jeannie Sue Duke who gave birth to Ashley Marie in 1985. On 17 August 1988, Norman and Jeannie divorced. Thereafter Norman reared Ashley alone, and with the eager support of his mother, Ruby “Tommie” Hurt who cared for Ashley while Norman worked.

In 1986 Norman began work for a Rainsoft water treatment system dealer. He served several dealers till he settled in at Quality Water Systems of Texas where he excelled in in-home sales and sales training and motivation. He helped make QWS the number one dealer in the world.

Norman bought a house in Northwest Houston around 1999.

In 2000, the Rainsoft parent company Aquion Partners recognized Norman as the number one salesman in the world. During his time at QWS Norman wrote many articles and speeches related to selling Rainsoft systems, and provided articles for Water Technology Magazine. His brother Robert featured Norman on web sites http://normanhurt.com, and http://rainsoft.com.

In 2004 Norman attended University of Houston again and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.

Norman guided his daughter wisely during her formative years, teaching her self-reliance, common sense, and the importance of standing up for herself while also treating others with respect. Norman had an infectious sense of humor, and insisted on making everyone feel at home in his presence. He said that his reading of How to Win Friends and Influence People as a teenager forever influenced his own attitude about treating people with with friendship and respect.

Norman encouraged Ashley to expand her world of knowledge, funding a summer in Europe to further her French studies and cultural experience, and providing a safe, sane environment for her to pursue her own Studio Artist degree program at the U of H, from which she graduates in December 2011.

In summer, 2011 Aquion Partners recognized Norman’s contributions by giving him a lifetime achievement award. In all, Norman gave 25 years as a salesman and manager for Rainsoft dealers.

In 2009 Norman noticed a sore area under his left jaw. A doctor diagnosed it as cancer. On the doctor’s advice, Norman accepted chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Apparently they cured the cancer, but the radiation killed him over a periof of three years of agonizing lock jaw, racking pain and discomfort, inability to taste, loss of saliva, inability to swallow food, and inability to control drainage into the lungs. The complications caused a blood infection in July 2009, and double pneumonia and a blood infection in early October 2011. Ashley took him to the Houston VA Medical Center on 2 October 2011 because he could not breathe well. The complications killed him today.

I know Norman’s soul rests in peace, and that he welcomed the liberation from suffering death could bring. He told me repeatedly he wanted the “plug pulled” rather than to live on life support. He said he wanted others to celebrate his life, not mourn his death. So, I celebrate, and invite all others to do likewise.

Norman Eugene Hurt beneficially, positively affected everyone his life touched. A truly good man has left us.

Note: I, Norman’s oldest brother Bob Hurt, request anyone with additions to make to the above commentary on his Norman’s life to send them to me by clicking the Email link below. I do not know all Norman’s friends, so any who receive this should forward it to others. I personally thank Bill McGraw, CEO of QWS, for his gracious and wise support of Norman during the years of Norman’s illness. Note also that I shall keep Norman’s personal web site alive indefinitely and post on it any comments people send me about him, his life, or his effect on their lives.

Bob Hurt

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Journey from Tipperary

Copyright © 28 September 2011 by Bob Hurt. All rights reserved.

We set off in dark of night from Tipperary,

Three of the girls I could, but two I couldn’t, carry.

The wee ones I nestled warmly in a potato sack.

Faith, I heaved those bulky treasures o’er my back,

While the bigger girls took bundles under arm.

We skittered from our loft at Widow’s Inn farm.

I had tried to save my wife Oh Lord I tried,

But she worsened in that terrible winter and died.

I couldn’t pay the fees for inn or car,

So we snuck out in the wee hours to go afar.

We skittered over rooftop – it covered us in soot-

And betook our torturous journey on foot.

The wind howled at our departure from the town.

We trekked the hills and woods; rain poured down.

We warmed us beside fires of sticks and peat,

And sucked cows’ milk freshly from the teat.

I made the girls smile with tales of elf and fairy,

To forget their mum, dead and cold in Tipperary.

Now and then we’d stop; I’d dry their tears;

Give hope for better lives; calm their fears.

In a week and more our travel finally ended;

The girls’ aching, broken hearts eventually mended.

I found farm work near Cleggan, by the sea

And a small cottage for my girls and me.

Though they all grew up, and fine men did marry,

Sure, we deeply miss her who stayed in Tipperary.


First Romantic Kiss

First Romantic Kiss

Copyright © 14 September 2011 by Bob Hurt. All rights reserved.

In hushed and velvet dark of sultry night,

My mind awhirl in urgent, fearsome fright,

Just shortly after we as one did dance,

She and I, we saw and took our chance,

I embraced her, breasts and waist and all,

She somewhat short, I somewhat tall,

On the walk beside the park, senses so alight,

In hushed and velvet dark of sultry night

I her timid lips did kiss and kiss,

Then stumbled home in shock and yearning bliss.

And thus began my hunger and my thirst

For kisses of which this became my first.

Force Government to Curb Lender Abuse

Florida Foreclosure Mediation Program Insufficient.

Copyright© 8 September 2011 by Bob Hurt. All rights reserved.

Back on 29 December 2009 the Florida Supremes ordered mediation for foreclosures:


The Florida Supreme Court yesterday adopted a mediation program to reach out to borrowers facing foreclosure, according to a court order. The bill may help aid distressed borrowers who are too far along in the foreclosure process to benefit from next year’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)

The Task Force on Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases was established in late March to respond to the nation’s third highest mortgage delinquency rate by state; its worst foreclosure inventory; and the most foreclosure starts in the nation. At the end of 2009, the state estimates 456,000 pending foreclosure cases statewide.

The 15-member task force issued a final report in August recommending the program and identifying a lack of communication between plaintiffs and borrowers as the largest impediment to early resolutions in the foreclosure process.

Under the statewide managed mediation program, all foreclosure cases in the state courts that involve residential property will be referred to mediation. (etc.)

I wrote this to the author of the above article:

Jon, try to understand why Lenders and borrowers don’t comm well during or prior to foreclosure:


You see, Jon, nearly all loans have a predatory nature, and foreclosure brings with it windfall profits through bilking of insurance agencies and FDIC.  In Florida 95% or more of single family homes have had over-inflated prices and appraisals for the last 4 decades because EVERYONE INVOLVED makes profits by it EXCEPT the Borrower.  SO all have MOTIVE to CHEAT the borrowers.  Appraisers have gladly gone along with the program.

Otherwise, Jon, (THINK about this) how could the residential realty values possibly have collapsed to 60% or 70% (still falsely inflated) of their prices 5 years ago?  Have you noticed the prices houses bring at foreclosure auctions?  Routinely 1/5 to 1/6 their 2006 price.   Why?  Because they collapsed closer to ACTUAL VALUES.

Lenders also want foreclosures to stimulate more Loan Modifications, the grandest scam since appraisal fraud.  Here borrowers desperate to save their overpriced homes from foreclosure negotiate a new loan at the SAME LOAN BALANCE (exorbitant) WITHOUT A VALID APPRAISAL (overpriced), and a FAT BALLOON a few years in the future, which the borrower will not have the resources to pay.  So the borrower will lose the house anyway.

Thus, lenders LOVE foreclosures.

Why do so many loan mod offers fall apart?  Because the servicer who offers it doesn’t own beneficial interest in the note, and must negotiate to buy it as junk paper after default forces the trustee to pull it out of the securitization trust.  Often someone else outbids the servicer and so the servicer has to withdraw the offer because without owning the interest in the note the servicer has no loan to modify.

See, Jon?  It’s a constant series of very clever scams.


Bottom line, the mediation program has zero practical value because it does not tackle the problem: Lenders cheated borrowers systematically for decades. THAT constitutes the problem.

Remember that the average American family moved every 7 years. That means those who could purchase a house with a mortgage would get a new mortgage (refinance) every 7 years. Lenders, greedy, wanted to shorten that time. Why? Because with a 30-year note, almost all of the first 7 years of payments constitutes INTEREST. For faster turnover of 3, 4, 5, or 6 years between new mortgages, lenders get an even bigger percentage of every payment as interest. They make ever bigger fortunes.

So they developed tricks like these (in addition to those I mentioned above):

  1. Add the first year or two of insurances and taxes into the loan amount. This lets the borrower make payments for a year or two between 10% and 20% smaller than payments in succeeding years which must include escrow amounts for taxes and insurance. At the end of the first or second year, the borrower get hits with the higher payment. Most already spent everything they made and that made it impossible for them to pay the higher mortgage payment. As a consequence, many headed for foreclosure because they simply could not afford their houses.
  2. The FED lowers interest rates and many people rush to buy a new house because now they can afford more house with the same payment. Many related loans have adjustable interest rates. When the lending market improves and interest rates go up, the borrower has to pay the higher interest and can no longer afford the house. So the borrower heads for foreclosure.
  3. The mortgage broker or lender will falsify the loan application, particularly in the area of family income, to make to seem that the unqualified borrower qualifies for the loan. The borrower buys the house but soon realizes the inability to make the monthly payments, and heads for foreclosure.
  4. Lenders, mortgage brokers, realtors, sellers, and appraisers conspire wittingly or unwittingly to drive the prices of houses way up high, way above the actual replacement cost, income capitalization, and market value. Almost everybody pays 30% to 50% more for houses than they should. This fact, along with loan application falsification, constitute the most opportune grounds for loan fraud litigation against the lender and the lender’s agents.
  5. The lenders do such shenanigans and frauds on such a wide scale that it collapses realty values and causes massive job loss. Now many borrowers cannot afford their house payments and they head to foreclosure.
  6. Lenders and courts conspire to put the burden of equity loss from the above collapse onto the shoulders of borrowers rather than on the shoulders of the more sophisticated investors who caused the collapse: the lenders. Courts should force lenders to cram down their unconscionable loans to the present value of the realty minus all paid in equity, and then restart the mortgage at the present remaining term.
  7. Lenders and the courts conspire to create a public policy that allows lenders to use the borrower’s chattel in commerce without compensating the borrower for it. The chattel consists of the promissory note, the mortgage note. This document belongs to the borrower and the holder in due course (the lender or assignee for value) must return that chattel to the owner/maker upon satisfaction of the terms of the note. Meanwhile the lender may sell and assign beneficial interest in the note, but not the note itself, unless an borrower agreement confers ownership of the note to the lender. Mortgages typically allow the lender to sell the note, but that can only happen if the lender pays the owner of the note (that is the maker/borrower) for it, and mortgage agreements stipulate no contradiction to that point. When the lender or assignee fraudulently securitizes the note and the trustee becomes the holder in due course. The so-called trust (not really a trust, but an LLC) and associated beneficiaries of the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA) earn a fortune from the sale of security certificates, but never pay the borrower a penny of that money, nor include the borrower in any of the enormous associated tax benefits. They thereby massively cheat the borrower.
  8. Fractional reserve lending, deficit spending, and widespread abuse of the Article I Section 10 mandate for the states to use Gold and Silver Coin as tender in payments of debt both conspire to destroy the wealth of the people by diminishing the value of savings over time, and by making it impossible for people to amass wealth based on precious minerals as traditional, government supported mediums of exchange.

The People of America need to take swift action to toss legislators and judges who refuse to reign in such abuse by lenders, servicers, trustees, realtors, appraisers, mortgage brokers, and realty sellers. The People need to make it plain that the note belongs forever to the maker, and all money a holder earns from it directly or indirectly belongs to the maker.

Bob Hurt        My Blog
2460 Persian Drive #70
Clearwater, FL 33763
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A Man’s Breakfast

Copyright © 3 September 2011 by Bob Hurt. All rights reserved.
photo of jugito
Jugito, Hungry

Cocomanga approached the breakfast table where I starved with my back to the morning sun.  She had tied her short, kimono-style red silk robe loosely shut.  The sash drooped at her hips.  Long, wavy black hair stood in a pile on her head.  Tawdry tendrils curled in a cascade to olive cheeks.  A rich redness graced her lips.  The kimono revealed cleavage, lots of it.  She looked tousled, irresistible.  I wanted to reach into the shadows of that kimono and…

“Here’s that ‘Man’s Breakfast’ you wanted, Jugito,” she said with a cute red smile and an impish wink. The plate made a clinking sound against the steel candy dish as she set it on the table. Her teeth glistened white in the sunshine as she grinned at me.

Her other hand held a white folded napkin. I admired the artistic contrast with her long red nails. I had manicured them to perfection the day before as we sat among the palms by the pool. She flicked the napkin to unfold it, eyed the place in my lap where she wanted it, then tossed it there. Her glance lingered there, then she raised her face to look me straight into the eyes, emotionless, smoldering, intent. I knew what she wanted after breakfast.

Those and other things I thought as I sat at my computer waiting for the laptop drivers for Vinnie’s Latitude D600 to download from Dell’s website. I didn’t mention the thoughts to Vinnie, of course. He sat restless in a chair near mine. He stared at the lifeless computer screen as though mesmerized.  I understood his unease when I heard his stomach growl.

I looked at the time on the computer screen. It showed 2 PM. Where the hell had Cocomanga gone? My cell phone rang.  I looked at the inbound number on its tiny screen.  Yep, Cocomanga calling. I picked up the 3-year-old Nokia 6301.  I pressed its center button to answer the call.

“Yes, Darling?” I responded expectantly.

“Jugito, I’m in the hot tub with Shelby. I just wanted to let you know that I arrived safely.” So, she had packed up and driven to Orlando while I slept till afternoon. I considered that thoughtful. Vinnie would have considered it rude for a wife to leave without the husband’s permission, or at least a fare-thee-well. I noticed him scowling and shaking his head as if to say “Unbelievable. That Jugito is whupped!”

“Okay, Sweetheart. Tell the grandchildren, the kids, and Ed that I love them, and have a good time,” I encouraged. Cocomanga had divorced Ed 23 years earlier for personal reasons that few knew. He lived with their son, his wife, and the three grandchildren a two-hour drive to the east.

“Love you,” we said to one another, and I disconnected the call.

“Why don’t you go get something to eat and we’ll finish this later?” Vinnie asked, more like a command than a question.

“Yeah, I’m hungry too, I said. I’ll call you when I get the drivers installed and your laptop on the internet, okay?”

“Sure. Catch you later,” Vinnie replied, as he headed for the door.

With Vinnie gone and visions in my mind of Cocomanga in her kimono, I padded barefoot into the kitchen and prepared a Man’s Breakfast:

  • Two toasted, buttered slices of homemade South African sourdough bread
  • Strawberry jam
  • Three Jumbo eggs sautéed sunny-side-up and steamed to perfection, salted and peppered
  • ¼ of a Kielbasa Polish Sausage, thickly sliced, and microwaved covered and in a little water at half power for 4 minutes.
  • Cup of milk with a straw so I don’t get it on my beard

I took my time eating it while watching World Champion Track and Field events from Daewoo South Korea on television. The food tasted absolutely delicious. I felt gratified.

Nearly. Occasionally I felt that yearning as my mind drifted to Cocomanga in her kimono. I didn’t consider the image as good as the real thing, but at least I got my Man’s Breakfast.


In this blog photo you might notice that I have grown a beard. I thought I’d write briefly about it.

First of all, I call your attention to Ogden Nash’s 1942 answer (below) to the age-old conundrum of whether a man should

  • Shave before bathing, or
  • Bathe before shaving.

I believe I have put that question to rest, for I haven’t shaved at all for at least a year. But, I have bathed at least every few days all my adult life, and every day for most of it.

I write about a puzzlement. Some of my whiskers seem to obey some growth limit like my eyebrows and nose hairs do. Others seem to grow longer and longer while the days, weeks, and months roll by, as the hair on my head (except for the balding spot) does. Also, my beard has turned gray, but the hair on my head above the sideburns has stayed light brown.

As to the differing lengths of facial hair, I have discovered the following state of growth:

  • Moustache above center of lips – 1 ½ inches
  • Moustache above corners of lips – 3 inches
  • Cheek whiskers – 6 inches
  • Zappa (whiskers in the center under the lower lip) – 2 inches
  • Upper chin whiskers – 3 inches
  • Whiskers under front of chin – 6 inches
  • Whiskers under back of chin and on neck – 8 inches

I didn’t measure with a ruler. I approximated the lengths by holding my right thumb against my skin and pulling the whisker with my left hand and stretching my right forefinger out to the end of the whiskers. My hand spans 9 ¾ inches from tip of thumb to tip of little finger, so I eyeball it pretty well against that grand standard.

These measurements suggest that my cheek and neck whiskers will keep growing longer and longer till I cut it or die, but my moustache never will get so long that I can twirl it at the ends to hold it back and out of my food and milk.

Before noticing this, I imagined that my moustache might grow to 6 or 8 inches. Now I doubt it. And I had dreamed of having a longish Zappa maybe 4 to 6 inches. I guess I can forget that dream.

Of course, http://www.latisse.com/ promotes LATISSE® ophthalmic solution as a treatment for hypotrichosis. They claim it will make eyelashes grow longer, thicker and darker. So, maybe I can use it on my moustache and zappa. What do you think? Should I go for it?

——- by Ogden Nash ——


First published in The New Yorker, 8/29/1942
Some people shave before bathing.
And about people who bathe before shaving they are scathing.
While those who bathe before shaving,
Well, they imply that those who shave before bathing are misbehaving.
Suppose you shave before bathing, well the advantage is that you don’t
have to make a special job of washing the lather afterwards, it
just floats off with the rest of your accumulations in the tub.
But the disadvantage is that before bathing your skin is hard and dry
and your beard confronts the razor like a grizzly bear defending its cub.
Well then, suppose you bathe before shaving, well the advantage is that
after bathing your skin is soft and moist and your beard positively
begs for the blade.
But the disadvantage is that to get the lather off you have to wash your
face all over again at the basin almost immediately after washing
in the tub, which is a duplication of effort that leaves me spotless
but dismayed.
The referee reports, gentlemen, that Fate has loaded the dice,
Since your only choice is between walking around all day with a sore
chin or washing your face twice.
So I will now go and get a shave from a smug man in a crisp white coat,
And I will disrupt his smugness by asking him about his private life, does
he bathe before shaving or shave before bathing, and then I will die
either of laughing or of a clean cut throat.

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