Norman

Norman

Norman

Some kids

Some kids

The past few weeks have been saddening for me, mostly because a boy I grew up with and have known all my life passed away. Norman was seventy-one years old when he died and was the oldest of and the leader of the community kids with whom I played. Norman was my main influence to join the National Rifle Association when I was young. He had a great sense of humor which the rest of us had to pay for in sometimes embarrassing situations. He lived a good life and had a great family. The color photo is his obituary photo for the newspaper and the other one is part of our gang from the mid-1950’s. Norman is the tallest and I am the long-legged kid at his side. Others are his brother, his two cousins, and his sister. The photo was made in my grandmother’s front yard and his family’s home is the white house just over Norman’s left shoulder. Losing someone such as a life-long friend is the most difficult part of growing old; much more difficult than any physical infirmities. The memories are cherished but the reality of the present is a bit overwhelming.

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Published in: on May 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm  Comments (4)  
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Memorial Friday

No plans for this holiday weekend but hope to get away on Sunday or Monday for a picnic somewhere around Watauga Lake; the moderately high elevation keeps the air temperature from being overly hot and it can be very comfortable amongst the big trees. All I need to do is find a shady spot that is crutch accessible.
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I am trying to make the transition from being a story teller to a story writer; it isn’t as easy as it may sound. Yesterday I put more than two thousand words to virtual paper as I wrote my little tale of boys night out. That is probably an hour’s worth of work for a half-ass typist, but it was just over four hours work for me, a one-fingered pecker. I also try to edit as I go. I trashed my outline and basically began all over except for what I posted on this blog Wednesday. I was typing the story as I thought of it; not too easy for a one-track mind but I was never good with outlines. Past what I wrote on the 25th, most of the remainder is dialogue. All I need now is a decent finish which I already have on my mind, and a rousing beginning to get the reader interested. I still have to set up the bar fight, but that should be fairly easy. I will sit on it for a few days and go over it again, trying to iron out the worst wrinkles. Sooner or later I will say enough and post what I consider as a finished story, although I will never be completely happy with it. Even if no one else cares for it; I will be as proud of it as if I had laid a golden egg called the Pulitzer.

Nohow, here is a bit of the dialogue; it begins with Slim speaking:

“How do you know it was the old woman instead of one of the girls?”
“Hells bells! I know because I found her ass when I went looking for my wallet! Jeez!”
“You found her ass?” I used my most incredulous tone of voice.
“Aw shit, Slim.” His tone was pleading. “The old girl was wearing one of those fake rubber asses; I felt it when I was dancing with her back in the bar.”
Zeke was becoming a bit calmer and asked for another smoke. My head was throbbing in every direction and the body aches were becoming almost unbearable, but I couldn’t quit on the man; inquisition is good for the soul and I wanted his soul laying bare on the seat between us.
He gave me a sideways look as I handed him the cigarette.
“Okay; when I went back after my billfold, I lit my lighter and saw her ass laying on the floor beside the bed.”
Before I could mull that over and ask another question he blurted “She had rubber tits, too.”
If not for the pain wracking my poor body, I would surely have burst out with laughter; his admission was just too freaking sweet.
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I am not trying to be sexist nor am I putting down little old ladies in the story. If there was not some truth to the tale, I probably would not tell it; many things are what they are. I once owned a black truck with chrome wheels. During my electrician and tramping years my nickname was “Slim”. I used to work on powerhouse construction. I once saw a bar similar to the one I described. In a bar, I indeed saw and old woman much like the one I invented and she indeed took a friend of mine to her room for a romp; he was 33 years old and she was in her late 60’s … at least. I lived in many boarding houses. I once did have the dry heaves so bad that I passed out.

Mark, Tammy, and Mike … Peace and Happiness to bless your reunion.
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Jola … I hope you make it back to Warsaw and the family safe and sound.
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Have a memorable Holiday weekend, everyone.

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm  Comments (8)  
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Things that go “thump” in the night

I once had a friend named Friend; at least I will call him that to protect the innocent. Friend was a good man, never met a stranger, and would give anyone the shirt off his back. Friend was very much the salt of the earth type. I didn’t know Friend but for just a few years, however during those years, we became as close as chums could be. Friend and his lovely wife and sweet child moved from another state to East Tennessee to work and that is where I met him; he and I were employed at the same place in the same department. Friend, like the rest of our circle of acquaintances, liked to drink beer. He also liked Mexican food, the hotter the better. We all know that when sufficient beer is mixed with plenty of spicy food inside the human gut, explosive gas discharges usually occur. Friend was no exception to the laws of nature, in fact, he practiced those laws with a determined fervor. Mr. and Mrs. Friend bought a house not too far from where they worked; a pleasant brick rancher a little larger than the norm but all-in-all, about like most of us owned back then. The house had a full basement, unfinished, but with a good concrete floor and a high ceiling, and Friend bought the home with the purpose of sometime putting in a pool table. Until a pool table could be had, he settled on a table tennis platform; more commonly known as a ping-pong table. We had many hours of fun at Friends house, listening to music, drinking beer, and playing ping-pong. Friend like nachos; simple nachos made with Doritos covered with bean dip, some American or cheddar cheese, and a slice of jalapeno pepper and baked in the oven. He or Mrs. Friend made pans of them at a time and we all loved them. One mid-night after I got off from work, a bunch of us were together at Friend’s doing our regular thing of ping-pong, talking back and forth about this and that, eating Friend’s nachos, drinking beer, and being what we considered as “cool”. None of our ladies were present; civilized people were in bed doing their nightly things, but if Mrs. Friend and child Friend could sleep through the racket, they must have been drugged. During the merriment, Friend hurriedly left us, heading up the stairs; there was no bathroom at that time in the basement. Upstairs were two bathrooms as best as I remember, one in what would normally have been the master bedroom and one on down the hall. Friend kept the master bedroom as a guest room and he and Mrs. Friend slept at the other end of the house. Friend was in somewhat of a hurry that night as he climbed the several steps toward relief; the beer and nachos were working their magic. We heard the somewhat loud fan in the guest bathroom come on, and a few minutes later we heard one of his glorious farts that rattle floors and walls and cause galvanized nails to instantly rust. Have you ever heard a loud outboard boat motor being tested in a barrel of water; that gurgling rattle that puts every loose object within ten feet into a vibrating frenzy? Friend must have had twin motors running that night. The ping-pong game ceased, the music was muted, and all talking stopped. We looked at each other with awe and wonder. The bathroom was almost directly over our heads, and the plastic drain pipe fed over us to the wall nearest the table and down it and finally exiting through the floor to the outside world. When Friend flushed the toilet, we heard the most disturbing noise yet. It began with a thump, and the thumps kept getting closer together and louder as they approached us, sounding like a piece of wall stud flopping over and over as it was pushed through the waste conduit by the rushing water; plap-flop; plap-plap flop. The “thing” finally hit the elbow of the pipe with a heartier than ever thunk and we heard no more from it except a muted thud as it turned through the final elbow beneath the solid floor toward the city sewer system. We all looked at each other and shook our heads in amazement as I started toward the steps to go up and see if Friend lived through the defecation of anything so sinister sounding. Just as I started up, the top door opened and Friend came nonchalantly down. As he neared the bottom step, we all eyeballed him to see if everything was there and someone asked him if he had flushed a beer bottle down the loo. When he said he hadn’t, we all stood and gave him a round of well deserved applause and back-pats. Apparently when he finished his business and flushed the commode, the noise from the tank, plus that of water running in the sink when he washed his hands, and the loud exhaust fan kept him from hearing the turd from hell slapping its way to freedom along the walls of the pipe. He grinned and said it was only a tiny poot, figuring the wall rattling fart was why we were paying him homage. He didn’t quite believe us as we told him what we witnessed with our ears. The party quickly broke up after that—there was nothing could happen to top that event—with everyone heading for their homes and beds and loving wives.
This is a true story but is not a great story; it just had to be told.
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Have a great weekend.

Published in: on May 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm  Comments (9)  
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Here Comes Peter Cottontail …

I wish people like frumpy Donald Trump could live in the real world for a year or so. Barack Obama is my president whether I like or dislike his policies and job performance. I wonder why Mr. Trump never complained about George W. Bush being born with only a nubbin for a brain, or about Ronald Reagan being born without a heart. In his comic strip, Doonesbury, Gary Trudeau has been revealing how The Donald appears to real middle-class people. However, Trump does carry all the qualifications of a successful politician; windbag.
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Rain today; should be fine weather Saturday and Sunday; Saturday I have to wait around for the satellite TV people to come out and change our dishes and receivers. Sunday may be a go for shooting if my knee agrees.

Alice left the following comment on my Easter at grandma’s house post:

Ken
Love the Easter stories. Mine was always going to a sunrise service.
Then we had the dinner at my grandmothers and hiding the eggs.
Now I still love going to a sunrise service. My church serves breakfast after the sunrise service. Make is worth getting up early.
I still love chocolate Easter Bunnies.

I think the chocolate Easter bunnies are favorite memories of of most grownups; even more than the Peeps. Yep, I always tried to con my children and grandchildren out of their chocolate bunnies.
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Happy Day, my friends!

Published in: on April 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm  Comments (8)  
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Happy Birthday, Jola!

Happy Birthday, Jola!
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Barack Obama—as I understand the scenario—was elected to the office of U.S. President on his platform of real change. So far the only major changes I can see are his backing down on his campaign promises by giving in to weak-kneed wimps in his own party and the lies and whines of the Republican party which has swung so far to the Right that it would surely shock our Founding Fathers. Will someone who cares more for this nation than he or she covets his own political ass please attempt to run for the office. Mr. Obama is becoming more of an embarrassment to America each time he opens his mouth. That sounds much like George W. Bush in the raw.
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Yesterday I found an online recipe for Carolyn which called for cut-up pea pods. It took a few minutes of patient explaining to make her understand that peas grow inside living, green pods much the same as beans; I ultimately googled a pic for her.  She was raised a city girl; at least she knows how to cook veggies to perfection.
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May your Wednesday worts be wonderful.

 

Published in: on April 13, 2011 at 11:44 am  Comments (7)  
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