Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Retrospective

On the last day of 2013, a look back.  Do you remember that I told you it was not a "prime year," giving its factors as 1, 3, 11, 33, 61, 183, 671, and 2013?  Okay, so now it ends.  Not prime, perhaps, but not a bad year, either.  Oh, yes, there have been disasters, wars, turmoil, and grief.  Yet I write in terms of my personal survival of another transit of Old Sol by our puny planet.

As for the blog, it seems I have posted 298 times this year, far short of the one-time near-daily posting I once did.  And yet sufficient unto the cause, I find, is a number falling below the one-to-one correspondence level I once sought to achieve.  And I do not feel the least bit guilty about missing some days.  In point of fact, I find that taking time off now and then enhances the effort.  I think so anyway.

On a personal note, we are doing quite well in spite of the aging process which does take its toll, yet no more severely than we are able to cope with, praise be to God.  I will begin my ninth decade of life in a few months, should I live that long, and BBBH is only two or three laps behind me.  We are still able to care for ourselves, sweep the floor occasionally and dust once in a while.  You, of course, are welcome anytime you wish to drop by for a visit, but no white gloves, please.

As December closes out and January begins, we wish you well, and we wish you much happiness during the New Year.

Monday, December 30, 2013


Charles Weedon Westover recorded and released "Runaway" in 1961.  It charted number one in the US, in Australia, and in the UK.  Though he had a long and successful career, this was the only one of his singles that charted number one in the US and the UK, and one of three that did so in Australia.

Michigan boy made good.  Tragically died young (aged 55).

Charles W. Westover, December 30, 1934 - February 8, 1990  RIP

Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to Write

My sister who is a published novelist left this tidbit on her most recent book's facebook page.

"Use your imagination. Trust me, your lives are not interesting. Don't write them down." - W. P. Kinsella (Author of “Shoeless Joe” – adapted into the movie “Field of Dreams”)

Image: Media Canada

Personally, I had more or less subscribed to the "Write what you know" dictum, which has been variously ascribed to Mark Twain, William Faulkner, James Thurber, and Anonymous who predated them all.

Image: biography.com

Well, perhaps this explains why my sister is a published author and I am an unknown scribbler in flyover country.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kitty, Kitty!

We had a lovely visit with friends Stan and Pat a few evenings past.  Since our last visit in their home, both their kitty and their dog went to the Rainbow Bridge.  Thus they have acquired two new cats.

These felines are litter-mates.  Orange liked me, and came right up to me and asked for pets.  Very loving cat.  Black Ears would not get within two feet of me.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Laugh if You Must

This clip illustrates exactly why one should  be either a cat person, or a dog person.  Anyone who keeps a dog in the house and harbors a cat should be brought up on animal abuse charges.  Poor doggie!

The dog is a loving and noble beast.  He wishes no one any harm.  Were this not the case, those cats would be playing an entirely different game-- "Where's the Cat?"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The 21st Amendment #T

Did I ever tell you about the 21st Amendment?  Well, I shoun't have to tell you, on accounta you shoulda learned hit in school.  But, howsumever, I mought tell you about whut hit done for the Valley.  Well you do know that this fambly has been strong agin alcohol forever and ever, amen.  But what you haven't prolly thought about is that opposin' alcohol and supportin' prohibition ain't 'zactly the same thing.

Now I reckon I'm talkin' my own opinion here, so if'n your Granma, or your Aunt Grace express a differin' opinion, why jus' go along with 'em.  They not gonna change they minds.  Whut I believe is that when this nation outlawed alcohol, they done made outlaws out'n a big part a the population.  Bigger prollem than the law kin handle.  The on'y way to fix it is to repeal prohibition.  Which we done.  Done 'er in December of '33, and so New Year's Eve that year were a boozin' legal good time a drinkin' and whoopin' it up.  "Happy days are here again!"  Indeedy.  Now I don't hold with drinkin'.  Even the Bible say, "Wine is a mocker, an' strong drink is ragin'."  But I think people have to be responsible for theyselves.  And they for sure gonna drink if they want to, legal or not.

So Fred Beachum, ever'body call him "Freddy" you know, had a speakeasy over to Lamar.  Illegal as sin itself, but ever'body know hit were there, and ever'body whut want to drink know how to get there.  Well, Freddy see the handwritin' on the wall, so to speak, and when the states start ratifying that 21st, he start makin' plans not to go out of bidness, but how to continue bidness as usual, but in a legal way.  He know there'd be more competition, but he weren't worried none, on account he would be in on the ground floor, so to speak.  Well, Freddy bought hisself a farm out by Kornman.  Had a big ol' barn on the place, 'n he convert it into a nightclub, rolled and packed a big ol' field for parkin' and announce his grand openin' for New Year's Eve, 1933.

Party?  Why I guess so!  New York nor none a them big places have anythin' over on this county when it come to partyin'.   Ol' Sheriff Coleman and Lamar's own Mayor Grubbs did the ribbon cuttin' ceremony.  Sheriff hisself wielded the scissors!  Well, no, I warn't there, but ever'body still talkin' about hit clear unto the next New Year!

© 2013 David W. Lacy

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!
Our greetings, we had hoped, would be accompanied with a current picture.  The most recent such thing in which we both appear seems to have been taken on Easter Sunday, March 31.  So here it is.  We like to think we have not changed all that much in  the intervening nine months.

Easter commemorates the culmination of the Christmas Story, for without the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord, there would be no point in Christmas, for God sent His Son to effect our salvation through his death on the cross.  In conquering death and the grave on our behalf, Christ provided atonement for our sins.  It is the greatest Christmas gift ever given, or that will ever be given.  The gift is ours to receive.

We wish you the very best, and the Merriest of Christmases!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Party On!

Family Christmas gathering tonight, our place.  Wish us well.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Work Brickle: A Christmas Story

Did I ever tell you about your Uncle Mil's Christmas?  Well, Milford, he had a reputation around Lamar.  Ever' one said he was work brickle.  Wal' he warn't work brickle, he were more "boss brickle."  See, when he was still a teenager his older brother get him a job on the railroad.  Whut he done was he sat up with the switch engine in the yards, kept it stoked and the steam up durin' the night when it maybe warn't being used.  Wal' it were a fine job, pay was good and the hours were reg'lar if'n you didn't mind sittin' in the cab a the donkey all night.

So anyways, one Monday night as he come to work his boss, Nick Cartee, you know Nick, married Sue Ann Sumter from over to Hasty, Nick come up and say, "Hey, Mil.  This is your last week here.  Hate to lose you, but the company is sendin' you to Dodge.  You start over there next Monday.  'Course you hafta move over there, but ya get a bit more dough, and it's a move up.  No tellin' how far you go with the company, Kid."

"Nuts to that," says Mil.  "I quit right now.  I ain't a leavin' Lamar."

"Now, wait, now.  You got that firebox to keep up tonight.  And besides, jobs don't grow on trees."

"Fire it yourself."

So then Mil find work at the mill.  Mil at the mill.  Har!  Doin' pretty well, too, until his boss come around and give him a new assignment, and you might guess how that turn out.  Boss brickle, like I say.

Anyways, Mil take a few days to redd up around his own place, get a load a stuff to haul off to the dump.  He get to the dump and he see these trailers backin' in and thowin' off perfeckly good junk.  And a light go off in his head, like in the funny papers.  First thing you know, Mil is pickin' the place, stackin' stuff aside and haulin' hit home.  Now he sorts stuff, repairs stuff, peddles stuff hither and yon and dreckly he is makin' a pile of money.  Then, behol' one day he sees a scruffy bum poachin' on his territory, so to speak.  Now Mil ain't one for confront-ation, so he goes off to town to see the mayor.  Mayor Grubbs come up here from Oklahoma years ago, but that's another story.  Next thing you know, Mil have a contract givin' him rights to whatsoever people thow off over to the dump.  Now he is in business for sure, and no matter what folk say about him, he is workin' harder now than most anyone else in town, and the po-lice keepin' poachers out his territory!

Now kids around town make fun of Mil, you know, because he is always pickin' and not always in a bidness suit, you might say.  You know how it goes, "Dirty Mil, dirty Mil, live on top a garbage hill." But Mil is shrewd, and he know which folk thow stuff out, and which ones never show up at his workplace.

Then a really cold and blustery Christmas Eve come along and ever'body stayin' cozy in they houses.  But lo! On Christmas mornin' folk at twenty-five, thirty houses find the most wonderful collection a toys on they front steps.  Santa done come, and no one saw hit happen.  Well, there was some talk around town.  But when the same thing happen again the next Christmas Eve, people really start to wonder who is blessin' them thisa way.  It is fine for the kids to believe it is Santa, but we know better.

So on the next 24th a December, three, four a the guys make it up amongst theyselves to find out once and for all who the Secret Santa is.  By postin' theyselves around town, keepin' a low profile, so to speak, Frank Chambers, you know Frank, has the weldin' shop back a the school?  Frank finely 'bout 'leven o'clock spot Santa at work down on South 4th Street.  Busted!  Hit were Milford.  Now whilst Mil was makin' his own livin' sortin' and sellin' rags and metal and all sort a junk, he was collectin' toys and takin' 'em home where he spend his evenin's repairin' and paintin' and makin' those toys just like new!  And on Christmas Eve he was brightenin' the lives of a whole passel a kids who he know warn't likely to get much fer Christmas.

© 2013 David W. Lacy

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

The writer of this beautiful Christmas hymn, Charles Wesley, was featured on STSTT a year ago.   You will find a bit about his life by following the link.

I was privileged to attend the wedding of son Douglas and Joanie several years ago in Christ Church, St. Simons Island.  This church commemorates the work of Charles Wesley and his brother, John. You may read more about this church here.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Firsts and Last

Image:  Wikipedia

December 17, 1903  Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, and Kitty Hawk, NC
December 17, 1955  David and Frieda, and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
December 17, 1969  Air Force closes “Project Blue Book.” We are alone or we are not.
December 17, 2013  110 years since “First Flight.” 
    58 years since I first joined the ranks of married folk. 
    44 years since we have given any official attention to UFOs.
    But you can always watch the History Channel!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Where are Ted and Ralph?

Let's get the answer to the question out of the way.  They are doubtless in the Hereafter.  The question remaining is this:  Did they arrive there on December 16, 1937, or did they meet their demise at some later date?

This is certain.  Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe, convicted bank robbers, shattered the illusion that escape from Alcatraz was impossible, for on that December day in 1937 they did escape the confines of that fortress.  Whether or not escape and survival to live another day is possible is still debated, though there were fourteen escape attempts involving thirty-six prisoners. 

Officially both men are presumed to have died in their attempt to defeat the waters separating them from the mainland.  Unofficially many supposed sightings and encounters with the men have been recorded and investigated.   In either event, both were born well over a century ago. so we may safely assume that society is free of any threat from either of them at this late date.  Three others in addition to Roe and Cole have been presumed drowned in escape attempts.

Sources: alcatrazhistory.com 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Is the relationship based on love, or is it based on symbiosis?  Referring here to all sorts of relationships, husband/wife, parent/child, friend/friend.

What did you ever do for me?
Well, I raised you, fed you, clothed you.  I supported your college education.
That's ancient history.  What have you done for me lately?
I bailed you out of an awkward financial situation last week, and took care of your children while you dealt with the matter.
That's ancient history.  What have you done for me lately?

It is not enough that you have done infinitely much for me in the past; that is history.  What have you done for me lately?
This relationship is based on symbiosis.  The "child" is in it for what she can get out of it; the parent is in it for the eternal hope of appreciation.

This is not working.

I suspect that too often we attempt to maintain the same kind of relationship with Jesus.

What have you ever done for me, Lord?
I gave my life to atone for your sins, that you might have eternal life.
That's ancient history.  What have you done for me lately?

That relationship is not working, either.

And that is not the fault of the Savior.

I wrote this little piece two or three months ago, then parked it over on my private blog.  I feel now is the time to place it here.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


 Looking out the window.

Front yard.

 Birch tree.

 Apple tree.

  Catalpa trees.
Why? Why aren't we in Texas?

Friday, December 13, 2013


My jacket has a zipper,
it's slick as it can be.
Closing it keeps me comfy
in the winter-time, you see.

But darn!  I can't work my zipper.
Oh, snap!

Herewith we have illustrated the zipper tale with a photo of a portion of my favorite winter jacket, down-filled, cozy and defiant of winter's windy blasts.  The jacket is replete with many zippers, each functioning to keep the occupant warm, or the owner's possessions safe.

The "Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure" was conceived by Elias Howe of sewing machine inventing fame in 1851.  He didn't do anything much with his idea.  But along came Whitcomb Judson who improved on the idea and patented his "Clasp Locker" in 1893.  He marketed the product, but with small success.

Then along came Gideon Sundback who went to work for Judson's company and who in 1917 patented the closure in form much as we know it today.  It was first dubbed "Zipper," though, by the B.F. Goodrich Company which utilized it as closure for galoshes.  For a long time, the zipper's primary use was for footwear and tobacco pouches.  It was not until the late thirties that fashion designers finally caught on.1

Thus with this introduction, we are ready to return to the bit of doggerel with which the piece opened.  As a boy, of course, I buttoned my fly much in the same manner as I buttoned my shirt, teaching my little fingers the intricacies of grasping the placket and twisting the button carefully as I guided it through the buttonhole.  I am sure you can imagine the elation I experienced when I finally got trousers with a zipper!2  This started a life-long appreciation for this type closure, and I became quite adept not only at using them myself, but at assisting tiny tots (being a father and an elementary school teacher), and at unclogging and repairing the things.

Of course, therefore, I am stunned and saddened, nay, amazed and angry, to find that I can no longer work the zippers on my jackets.  And the fly is becoming a hassle as well.  Had you encountered the little me seventy-five years ago and noted that my fly was open, you could pretty much be assured that the boy was in too much of a hurry to complete the job properly.  Should you encounter a doddering old man shuffling along with his habiliments in a state of disarray, be considerate.  Life is not a bowl of cherries, and zipping is not always an easy glide.3

1 info gleaned from about.com
2 Some people still pay extra to get the old-fashioned button flies.  Well, different strokes.
3The zipper difficulty I have is basically with my winter jackets.  The memory difficulty I have basically applies to everything.  Oh, dear.  This is Friday the Thirteenth.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Trouble in Paradise

Did I tell you about the time Mack joined the Marines? Mack was plum sick and tired of that passel of kids runnin' around the house, and his Ma just never seemed to have enough of 'em, good Lord. There warn't nothin' to do around here fer him to earn his way, and he warn't gonna be no farmer. Enough generations of farmin' in the fambly past. Not for him, nosiree. So Mack went all the way up to Pueblo to enroll in the military. Got in, too, and they sent him off to somewheres back east for basic. Parris Island, I think it was. And then, you know what the Marines always say, “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.” Well, shore 'nuf 'bout this time there's trouble a brewin' in Nickerocka, or sommers like that. So off they ship Mack, to fight his country's battles, on the land or on the sea.

Well, they all get down there, Mack's unit, I mean. They sittin' around down there on they hindsides three, four months, daydreamin' and wooshin' they was some action. So anyways, or at least so he tol' it, one Sattidy Mack sittin' around thinkin' about Nancy Woodson, you recollect Nancy; she was from over to Walsh, she was. Her Dad was Ned Woodson, big man, own most of Baca County and serve in the legislature up to Denver several years. So Mack mought dream, if he like, but Nancy later married Jason Sloan. You recollect the Sloans, but that's fodder fer a different mill.

So ol' Mack got so itchy he get a pass and go into Manakwa, or whatever that big town down in that godforsaken place is called. Found a cute little trick, too, so to speak. Seems she give him a good time and a whole lot more than he bargained for, 'cause when he got home a bit later, he bring company with him.

 Mack's older brother, Wayne, you know Wayne, he was purty wise to the ways a the world. Married now and settled down, had a good job, two kids already an' 'nother on the way. Wayne married Marcella Sims from over to Wichita, and Wayne had met her over there one time when the company send him down there to fix a problem the locals couldn't seem to handle. Anyways, there's another tale for another time. Wayne, all confidential-like, and the lovin' brother that he was, tole Mack about the ol' match-'n-icepick cure for what ailed him. Mack was not amused, ya mought say. So anyhow, he went on over to Doc Barrett, all red-faced and stammerin.' Doc give him some stinky salve and some harsh directions. Upbraided him too, and foreswore him to walk the straight and narrow henceforth and forevermore. Hit took care of him right good.

So then after a good while, Mack married Nadine Winters, though she never held no truck with Mack's people. Couldn't abide thet fambly, and how she ever fell in with Mack, I got no idee. So I guess she wheedled and cajoled Mack to get out of the Plains until they up and moved plum out to San Francisco. Fambly later heard Mack had a good job in the shipyards, but they never heard it from Mack or Nadie.

© 2013 David W. Lacy

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Eating Out

In the restaurant this evening I observed the two booths to my right and across the aisle.  During the time of such observation, each blue person made two trips to the buffet.  Each pink person sat eyes attentively glued to the owners' respective cell phones.

These folks were not kids.  The couple in the near-booth were sixtyish; the other couple probably mid-thirties.

I take my entertainment where I find it.  Bwahaha!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Looking Good

While I was not watching Sunday Morning, I was in the other room attending to a minor task which allowed me to listen to the program with one ear, and the requisite half-mind it takes to follow tv programming.

The segment was about someone named Ethan Hawke whom the interviewer referred to as "the face of Generation X."  The first thing that caught my ear was Mr. Hawke's statement to the effect that when one was shooting pool, for instance, the important thing is not to make the shot, but to look good while making the effort.

Yes.  Characterization of Generation X.  The accomplishment, or failure to accomplish, is not important so long as one looks good in the endeavor.  Form over substance.

The subject capped the interview with a summary of his philosophy.  Succinctly stated, he said that if one pursues his art with dedication it is all good, whether or not the efforts culminate in achievement.

Draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Annual Reminder Rerun

This post from a previous year is offered again because I  believe that those who forget the lessons of the  past are doomed to repeat the mistakes that lead to disaster.  

Each year on this date I post a reminder of a very significant and sobering event in our history.  Because this particular item from three years ago expresses exactly why I do this, I am re-posting today.

On this day I reflect that I was seven years of age when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. I remember people discussing this horrible event. Of course over the years I learned a great deal more about it. My point regarding this personal observation is this. Most people younger than I have no personal memory of Pearl Harbor, and a very high percentage of people today are younger than I. So if the memory is to be kept alive, it must be inculcated into the minds of the coming generations.

Collectively, we forget at the peril of freedom and the life of the nation.

USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, HI. Directly behind is USS Missouri and to the left, USS Peleliu. I have had the sobering experience of visiting the Memorial, and at an earlier date I was privileged to board the Missouri when she was in Bremerton before she was recommissioned.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ford V-8 #T

Did I ever tell you about the time Clyde Barrow tuk Gene's car?  (Yes, Uncle Jep, I thought, you have told me at least a dozen times.  But I said nothing.)  Well, Gene, he was workin' over to Syracuse at the bakery, you know, in '32, I think it was, and him and Raejean had just had their first kid.  Girl, she was.  Can't recollect right now whut they called her, but I'll think of it dreckly.  So anyways, Gene was doin' well for hard times, and he had just traded his A Model Ford for a nearly-new V-8.  Charles Simmons from over to Granada had bought it, spankin' new and the first year Ford sell a eight cylinder.  Well, crunch time come for ol' Simmons sooner'n he expected when his wife fall ill, and he need doctors and medicines and such more'n he need a new car.

So Gene has this ol' Model A and some cash whut he and Raejean have jarred away in a hidey-hole an' he takes and swap the A for the V-8, give Simmons some boot.  Long, hard time for Simmons and the Missus, but as it turns out, after a long while, she gets well, and they move off to Cally-forney along of the Palmers.  Well, hit was a hot July mornin', fifth or sixth, I think, 'cause we had just done with the Fourth.  Gene was in his new Ford toolin' along to the bakery in Syracuse when he sees the headlights of a car comin' up ahind him.  Hit purty rare he see another car on the road at this unearthly hour, seein's how he had to be to work by 3:30 in the mornin'.  Well, thet car come right up ahind, but hit never offer to pass.

Gene get to Syracuse and pull the car up in front the bakery, and th'other car come right up and stop in backa him.  People start spillin' out that car, an ever' one an 'em had a gun and two an 'em had, you know, like duffel bags.  They come right up as Gene was a gettin' out his car and this first guy says, "We need your car."  Well, easy to see Gene ain't arguin' with no one.  "How's it fixed for gas?" the guy asks.  "Filled it in Holly yestiddy," says Gene.  So two a the women get in front and two guys and another woman get in the back.  Then Clyde says, Gene know by now it was Clyde Barrow, "You get in there, too."  So Gene clumb in, his heart tearin' out for Toledo, he was that skeered.  Well, four in back were a crowd, but Clyde slam the door and get in the driver's seat, put 'er in gear, and tear out on down the road.

They gone maybe six, eight mile when Gene get gumption enough to say, "Say, you don't need me.  Cain't ya just let me out?"  Clyde says, "Shut up.  She ain't shot no one yet today," indicatin' the woman aside him.  Gene know now that it is Bonnie, I mean ever' newspaper in the land has been runnin' they pitchers fer months.  Gene think she don't look too well, though, but he ain't taken no chances, so he shut up.

These people talkin' amongst theyselves just lak Gene ain't even there; and that worry Gene some, 'cause they were talkin' about they plans, how they driven all the way from Pueblo and will need to stop somewhere to replenish they supplies, so to speak, afore they get to Denison.  Gene figure now they can't well leave him a witness and he like to have never been more afeered for his life.  Nor never since, neither.  Anyway, Gene tryin' to calm his mind figgers out that the one they call Buck is with Blanche, they are a couple.  Then the girl called Billie who seems the most nervous of the bunch is with W.D.  And a course, Bonnie and Clyde are the infamous Bonnie and Clyde.

Well, they get to Lakin, pass on through, and drive on.  After maybe ten miles or so, somewhere atween Lakin and Garden, Clyde pulls over and stops the car.  He steps out, opens the rear door, tells Gene to get out.  At this point, right here, right now, Gene thinks, I am dead.  So he gets out.

Clyde says, "You got any money?"  Gene stammers, "Jes', jes' only a dollar and a quarter."  So then Clyde reach in his pocket, pulls out a wad and peels off a five-dollar bill.  "Here," he growls, "mought could he'p you get back home; and don't you be talkin' to no coppers about us, hear?"  He gets back in the car, peels rubber as he accelerates.  "Man, what a car!"  Gene thinks, "And she ain't mine no more."

Gene were wrong, though.  That car was later found abandoned in Buffalo, Oklahoma and Gene finely got 'er back.  Ava, hit was.  Gene and Raejean named they daughter Ava.

© 2013 David W. Lacy

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Three Weeks from Today, Folks

 We attended the Tuesday evening get-together with friends.  Our restaurant of choice is always the same.  And why not?  On Tuesdays all citizens of a certain age are treated to one-third off the menu price of all items thereon displayed.  Typically, while one of us is engaged with the hostess in securing seating, the other checks out the buffet.  Then at table,

"What's on the buffet tonight?"
"Same old, same old."

When we are all present and accounted for, the waitress takes our orders.  She has already placed our drinks in front of us, because she knows exactly that it will be two waters with lemon, a lemonade, and an iced tea.

 There was something new though, but not on the buffet.  The Christmas tree is up!  Shortly before we were finished with our meal and the conversation, Mike and Sally, co-workers of mine in a life long ago, entered and were seated at the table next.  Greetings, pleasantries and a bit of chit-chat.  Then as we were rising from table ready to depart, BBBH said to Sally, "Shopping done yet?"  The look on Sally's face was precious.  You have heard the expression, "Her jaw dropped."  Truth.  Sally's jaw literally dropped.

So I sweetened it a bit by saying, "Such a short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Can you believe it is only 21 days until Christmas?"

Sally retorted, "I have no idea who was responsible for making that arrangement, but I can tell you one thing.  It was a man."

 We took our leave, and thought to drive through the park to check on the state of Christmas decor there.  We saw these, among many other displays.

 The secular

and the religious symbols of Christmas peacefully co-existing.

Very nice.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Transistor Sister

Had a flashback, a memory of my little sister when she was perhaps twelve years of age.  So I wrote a little note to her.

Dear Ilene,
Having the MusicChoice tuned to classic country, as is my wont, the play cycle brought around Charly McClain’s “She’s Got a Radio Heart.”  And somehow whenever I hear this song, I picture you as a child on South Hackley Street.  It seems to me that at some point in your life you won a “transistor radio” from a local station.  Is this not true? Or is my memory really as faulty as I sometimes fear?  These thoughts, of course, led me through the technological progress of the dissemination of music to the young set of the distaff gender.  The transistor started it all, and it paralleled the “45” in the bedroom.  So time passes, and we have the tape players, and the accompanying “boom boxes” which were truly too bulky and unwieldy for the girls, so soon enough we saw the young males (gasp!) toting them around.
These soon enough, or at least eventually, gave way to the digital reproduction of music and miniaturization.  Voila! the MP3 and its ilk overtook us.  Or took us over.  And now.  And now we have the ubiquitous bastardization of all communications technologies, the “smart phone” with which not only is every young girl equipped, but with which everyone is equipped.  Except me, of course.
So did I dream this? I do know that I just woke up from a dozing eye-closed state.
It’s a noisy world!
Love you,

Thinking about this a bit more, I seem to recall that the "project" which won her the radio was to count the number of times the letter "e" appeared in a certain section of the local newspaper.  But again, a long time ago, in a land far away.

Ilene with her newest grandchild, and first granddaughter. ------>

Shortly after posting this, I received this response which indicates that my memory was only half faulty:

I did indeed win a transistor radio for writing Sunshine Bakers as many times as possible on a postcard.  I think the grand prize was something bigger, a record player or some such. But I won the radio with Dad's help. We worked hard on that post card, using a magnifying glass and sharpening the pencil over and over.  I have progressed through the various technological cycles and now have a smart phone. I like it almost as much as did my transistor, but the sentiment is not there. Ah sweet memories!
Much Love,


Monday, December 2, 2013

Wilbur Visits Wiener

Our Wiener had a visitor during our Thanksgiving party yesterday.  This is Wilbur.  Wilbur is a former cage-mate of Wiener.  They enjoyed the visit with each other.

Wilbur is camera shy.  When he sees someone pick up a camera, he will hide behind someone or something.  So I consider it a coup that I was able to steal these images of him.

The people?  Oh, the people.  We had nine guests, so eleven for dinner.  And there were two more dogs as well.  Fun times.

Yes, Wilbur is a dachshund, silky hair and all.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Keep on Turning

“Consider the blinded beast that turns the wheel of the mill, which though it sees not, neither knows what it does, yet does a great work in grinding the corn, and although the mule does not taste of the flour, yet its Master receives the fruit, and many people benefit from the mule’s trudging labor."  --Miguel de Molinos, 1575