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Last updated: August 24. 2013 11:54PM - 158 Views

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Although Faber Birren died more than two decades ago, he is still acknowledged, albeit posthumously, as the foremost authority on colors, primarily how they impact us and what they reveal about us.At the time of his passing in 1988 at the venerable age of 88, he’d authored 24 books about the hues that many of us, like me, sometimes take for granted. I first heard of Birren years ago when I attended a lecture during a teacher in-service about his theories on the influence that colors have on the work environment. I remember the lecture was interesting, but, since I really wasn’t in charge of painting my own classroom, I wasn’t really sure what to do with the information.Birren also wrote quite a bit about what people’s preference for certain colors suggest about their personalities. He believed those who favor red tend to be extroverts, you know, those folks who just love to take a big old bite out of life and let the juices run down their chins. He felt orange lovers are, by and large, good-natured and quite social while those whose favorite color is green are very outspoken and great lovers of freedom.As far as the color pink, Birren believed that those who count it as their favorite have a capacity for great affection but also possess a rather naïve belief that life should be conducted without either trials or tribulations.Saturday night at an event called “It’s a Pink Thing,” hosted by the Knights of Columbus in its banquet facility, I saw that capacity for affection when trials and tribulations do present themselves in someone’s life.The event, chaired jointly and so very capably by Barb Cooley and Sandy Connell and worked by wave after wave of volunteers, was a fundraiser for one of the sweetest people you’ll ever want to meet.Allison Lee Buehler is a 26-year-old wife of a very good guy named Brandon, a mother of a cute little guy named Logan, and the loving daughter and daughter-in-law of Diane and Jim Lee and Deb and Jim Buehler and, also, a friend to hundreds. Oh, and by the way, she will also, one day soon, be a breast cancer survivor. I believe that with every fiber of my being and with every prayer I offer up.The night featured pasta dinners donated by a local restaurateur whose heart is as big as a healthy appetite to which I know he’d admit, John Heaphy; both silent and live auctions; games of chance; a generous amount of beer; and two different live musical acts.My role was, along with the Rev. Dave Ross, to conduct the live auction. Whenever the Knights of Columbus needs someone who won’t flinch behind a microphone and can occasionally use his big mouth for something other than a place to park his foot, I often get a call.Ross did the first two items, demonstrating the same histrionic flair as he’s shown from the pulpit for more years than he’d probably care to admit, before another engagement called. That left me the last dozen items. Thanks, Dave, for the hoarseness I had most of Sunday! There were weeklong condo stays donated by compassionate people who own places in Gatlinburg, Tenn., Fort Myers, Fla., St. Augustine, Fla., and Cape Cod, Mass.; Lima Central Catholic High School wall signs; a .22-caliber rifle and nifty-looking 9 mm Glock with a pink insert in the hand grip; and an autographed picture of Mickey Mantle.The capacity crowd that attended the event made the job that I committed to as soon as Allison’s Aunt Linda Cummings asked me made the auctioning challenging because of the noise a capacity crowd can generate without even trying. But, thanks to some very capable spotters I had out in the crowd, we got the items sold, all for amounts that were either at or far in excess of the valued prices.As I stood on that stage, I saw that color, that pink thing, in such abundance. It was on T-shirts. It was on athletic shoes. It was on the do-rags worn by the guys who worked the crowd with tip books in hand. And, it was on the rubber wrist bands that read, “We are with you, Allison. Be strong,” the same wristband I have on as I type this column.And, that’s when I realized the power of pink and, also, when I saw, yet again, how a small-town community can step up when it is time to aid someone like Allison, who now knows that life is sometimes both a trial and a tribulation.While, like color expert Faber Birren, who once upon a time told his readers that those who favor pink possess the capacity to demonstrate great affection, my birth town is Chicago, there are moments like those that filled Saturday night that I am both humbled and honored to call Lima my real hometown.



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