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Born to Serve Honorably

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By H. Dale Cook

Dale Cook made an adventure out of all of life from transporting a block of ice in his wagon across a highway at age five to leading the high school band, flying P-51 Mustangs, trying lawsuits, advising the first Oklahoma Republican governor, running a Washington bureaucracy, and dispensing justice as a federal judge. His sense of integrity, duty, honor, and love of country guides his approach to the many challenges he faces. His quiet, unassuming storytelling, sprinkled with humor and joy, teaches life lessons he invites us to share.

After his death, the following was discovered in one of his computer files:

When Ben Franklin was trying to decide whether to publish his memoirs from early years, he submitted his writing to several friends. Benjamin Vaughan wrote back:

“The little private incidents which you will also have to relate will have considerable use, as we want above all things rules of prudence in ordinary affairs; and it will be curious to see how you have acted in these. It will be so far a sort of key to life and explain many things that all men ought to have once explained to them to give them a chance of becoming wise by foresight. The nearest things to having experience of one’s own is to have other people’s affairs brought before us in a shape that is interesting; this is sure to happen from your pen; your affairs and management will have an air of simplicity or importance that will not fail to strike; and I am convinced you have conducted them with as much originality as if you had been conducting discussions in politics or philosophy; and what more worthy of experiments and system (its importance and its errors considered) than human life?"

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