Home > Jack Hammer, Mallinak, Voegtlin > Jeff Voegtlin – Thinker of C-town

Jeff Voegtlin – Thinker of C-town

December 19, 2008

They say that Jeff thinks too much.  I can see why.  First, he has a blog by that name.  “You Think Too Much” he calls it.  And he punctuates that with an exclamation point, as if he were excited about the fact that he thinks too much.  I mean, he could put a period after it… that would make it matter of fact, a grave issue that really must be resolved through thinking less.  But he doesn’t use a period.  He could put a question mark after it… that would make it seem incredulous, the equivalent of saying, “Who, me?”  It might even make it seem doubtful, like he is not so sure.  Like he needs to think about it a little more before he decides whether or not he thinks too much.  But he doesn’t use a question mark either.  He uses an exclamation point.  George Will once compared the exclamation point to canned laughter.  F. Scott Fitzgerald compared it to laughing at your own joke.  And yet, there it is, plain as day.  Like he is applauding himself for such a trait.

Secondly, Jeff is bald.  Maybe you didn’t know this, but baldness is evidence that you think too much.  They say that if you are bald in the front, you are a thinker.  And if you are bald in the back, you are a lover.  But if you are bald in the front AND in the back, then you think you are a lover.  Take a look at his picture.  There it is, exhibit B, all wrapped up neat and tidy for the whole world to see.

Thirdly, Jeff doesn’t write very often.  That should be proof positive that he thinks too much.  He never gets around to posting because he spends too much time thinking about what he wants to post.  He thinks so much that the post is long gone, forgotten, vamoused, before he gets to his keyboard.

Fourthly, other people have told me that Jeff thinks too much.  In fact, if someone were to write a biography of Jeff, it would probably be entitled, “You Think too Much.”  Note that I didn’t put an exclamation point in the title of the biography.  If it were an autobiography, it would have an exclamation point.  But the biography would be more matter of fact.  Nine out of ten of Jeff’s friends and neighbors and family members say that he thinks too much.  And if my sources are correct, his wife Annette says that he thinks too much, too.  Of course, my sources said this on condition of anonymity, so I cannot reveal who they are.

Fifthly, if you’ve ever carried on a conversation with Jeff, then you know first hand that he thinks too much.  You might notice that, from time to time, he will say, “I think…”  There it is, plain as day.  An admission of guilt.  You heard it right out of his mouth.  What further evidence do we need?

Sixthly, whenever Jeff talks, he almost always will stop talking.  Further proof.  What do you think he is doing when he stops talking?  He’s thinking.  Sometimes, and I realize that this might be shocking to some in this more enlightened day and age, but sometimes, he thinks before he speaks.  We don’t say this in order to embarrass him, but it is the ugly truth.

Seventhly, I’m told that Jeff even thinks while he sleeps.  In fact, I am told that his mind never stops thinking.  Nor am I surprised by this.  After all, a guy with a brain can’t just let it rest.  And Jeff has a brain.  You can almost see it sticking out through the skin on the top of his head.  If you are around him when he lays his head back in the lazy boy and falls asleep in the middle of the day, you can almost hear an audible squeeking noise.  I for one believe the reports that say that Jeff thinks while he sleeps.  He has been known to have good ideas in the morning on occasion.  What else could that be the result of, but thinking while sleeping.  And who among us would not say that this is further evidence that Jeff thinks too much?

Eighthly, and I really hate to betray a friendship, but I have known Jeff for a long time, and I bear you my testimony as an eyewitness: Jeff thinks too much.  I’ve seen it.  But that will require me to tell you my story.

You see, I met Jeff when we were both in about the 8th or 9th grade.  He probably doesn’t remember this, but Jeff and his dad came down to my home church in Terre Haute.  His dad was there to preach and Jeff was there with him.  I think he was there to think.  In fact, that was the first time that I saw him thinking.  It was really obvious to my 8th or 9th grade mind, anyway, that that was indeed what was going on.

Throughout high school, I ran into Jeff on more than several occasions.  My high school played against his high school, for instance, in soccer.  We also wrestled against his high school.  Or, rather, we sacrificed our bodies to be pinned on Fairhaven’s legendary wrestling mats.  Jeff was on a wrestling team that went undefeated I think for four or five or six years.  Now, once again, people have tried to sweep this under the rug, but I have learned from my own private investigations the secrets of their success.  You might remember Foghorn Leghorn and that little chicken “Egghead, Jr.”  If you do, you probably remember that Egghead, Jr somehow managed to knock the cover off the baseball, through the magic of mathematical formulations.  You see, Jeff was, back then, Fairhaven’s secret weapon… little Egghead, Jr on the wrestling mats.  I didn’t catch on back then, being myself only a young stupid teenager.  But as soon as they told me about it, it all came together in my mind.  I can still remember Jeff, before each match, taking his teammates aside, whipping out his pencil and his little notepad, and scratching furiously.  Then, the guy would go out and just cream his opponent.

But that is not all.  When I went to Fairhaven, of course, there was Jeff.  I joined the soccer team, which Jeff was also a part of.  And I learned something interesting in practices.  Here I would be, running frantically after the soccer ball when, whap! I would run into Jeff.  You see, I thought that Jeff was chasing the ball too, and I was running behind him.  But when I turned to find the ball, Jeff would stop.  Right there in the middle of the soccer field.  And whap!  I would run into him.  Now, at the time, I just thought that it was Jeff being an annoyance.  It almost seemed sometimes like he was trying to get me to run into him.  In fact, I could swear sometimes that he threw his shoulder back in order to knock me down.  But I have finally figured out what it was that Jeff was really doing.  He was thinking.  He was chasing that soccer ball, and all of a sudden, mid-stride, he thought of something.

Now, of course, Jeff has been a good friend through all these years.  And Jeff’s dad was my pastor through my college years and beyond.  In fact, Jeff’s dad was a great help and blessing to me in a time when I desperately needed spiritual guidance.  God used him greatly in my life, and I will always appreciate the man I call Preacher.  And, through various circumstances, I became very close friends with Preacher’s son and two sons-in-law.  Besides Kent, these are the closest friendships that I have outside of my marriage.

I only say all of that to help you understand that my testimony is not the testimony of some nosy neighbor with a pair of binoculars.  I have been around these guys.  The others think some, too.  But all things in moderation.  Jeff thinks all the time.  Not just some of the time.  I have seen it, through the years.  When we get together, we’ll go out to eat.  There sits Jeff, thinking.  We’ll get together and talk.  What does Jeff want to talk about?  He wants to talk about what he has been thinking about.

Not only that, but I have a man in my church who grew up with Jeff.  I mean went to Kindergarten with Jeff, and all the way through High School and college.  This man has often told me of the great respect that he has and always had for Jeff.  I can tell you, based on the testimony of this man, that Jeff has set a great example.  Most preacher’s kids drive me insane with their pompous arrogance.  You will never see that in Jeff.  He, much like his father, is as genuine as they come.  I like that about Jeff, and have always appreciated his friendship.  But I like it even more that his friends don’t think that this is just the face he puts on when he is around those who don’t really know him.  Those who know him best will tell you, that Jeff is the real deal.  He loves the Lord, he serves the Lord, he has made a real difference in the lives of those he has worked with.  And, they will tell you that he thinks too much.  When I mention to this man in my church that Jeff thinks too much, he just laughs.  I assume it is because he has so many stories he could tell that would, no doubt, confirm the awful truth.

So, there you have it folks.  You’ve heard of John Bunyan, Tinker of Bedford.  Here we have Jeff Voegtlin, Thinker of C-town.  But, for the final proof, maybe we should ask Jeff what he thinks.  Maybe he will tell us.  Or, perhaps he will tell us that he thinks that we’ve been thinking too much about how much he has been thinking.  Either way will serve our purpose, of course.

Categories: Jack Hammer, Mallinak, Voegtlin
  1. December 20, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    I think I like this post! A little levity levitieth the whole lump. Enjoyed it. And, it goes to show how little I think, when I knew Jeff had some relationship to Fairhaven, but I didn’t think to put Roger before the last name! 🙂 Boy, am I embarrassed. 🙂

  2. December 20, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    I’m thinking about how to respond. I’ll probably get it out some time this summer.

  3. December 20, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    And there you go thinking again.

    By the way, folks, that’s also how he got his PhD…


  4. December 20, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    A good friend of mine really enjoyed this post also. But he never has commented here. Maybe someday. I’ll have to think about how to get him to comment. He reads all the time, but no responses. Maybe he’s still thinking about it also?

    Oh, also it’s an Ed.D. You have to think harder to get one of those. 😉 Can’t just go find stuff and put it together for somebody. Ha, ha.

  5. Dave Mallinak
    December 22, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Tell your friend (do I know him?) that it is easier if you don’t think about it a whole lot before posting. Sorta like diving into the swimming pool. The longer you stand there staring at the water, the harder it is to jump in. Especially if the water is cold.

  6. January 24, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    You talk too much.

  1. January 23, 2009 at 8:05 am
  2. July 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm
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