Our Best Stuff on Policing, 2024, and the Debt Ceiling Fight

Demonstrators march through downtown Memphis protesting the death of Tyre Nichols on January 28, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Hello and happy Saturday. This edition of the Dispatch Weekly is coming to you from Athens, Ohio, where I am visiting our son for the weekend. He’s a freshman at Ohio University, and I’m waxing a little nostalgic because it just so happens that it’s my alma mater. His dorm is close to the dorms I lived in my first two years, and so now he realizes I wasn’t joking when I said we really did walk uphill both ways to class. 

I’ve seen a range of reactions the last few years as friends and acquaintances went through the roller coaster of senior year and graduation and sending their kids away to college. It made me wonder how we would feel when the time came. And as independent as our son is, it still felt weird when we dropped him off. Had it really been that long since he was a toddler playing with trains, since he’d played tee-ball and learned to ride a bike, since he let me read the entire Harry Potter series to him? It didn’t feel like it.

And yet, after getting used to the house being a little quieter and getting over losing an on-call chauffeur who happily gave his brothers rides to practices or friends’ houses, I was okay with him being a few hours away. I think I figured out why this weekend. 

We’ve raised our kids in the Cincinnati area, but I grew up in a small town in northeast Ohio. More generations than I can remember, on both sides of my family, had done the same. I went to the same elementary school as my mom, attended dances at the same youth center where she’d been a lifeguard. When my parents told stories about their childhoods, I could picture them because I knew the streets and neighborhoods they were talking about. 

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