All aboard. People I very much appreciate:

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Why I Love Buddy Guy

I was out beside the busy road this morning, hauling the trash can and green waste bin back through our gate and up our little lane, when I saw a familiar face doing the same next house over,  then a familiar smile. D.W. doesn't live there, but his mother does --I help her when her pump goes flooey. D.W. does everything else. We waved and walked toward each other, met there in the gravel between highway and ditch and asked how each other was.

Hope you enjoy this compassionate song as much as I, down the years:Buddy Guy, "Done Got  Old"

He was the first kid I met when my family moved to the Vineyard area in 1959. He was 11 and I was 10. The little country school we attended had three grades to a classroom, so we saw each other all the time. 

Now we are somewhat older. He takes turns with other relatives to help his mom, so I glimpse him from time to time and had to ask how he was doing. 

He said, "Well, I had cancer two years back and open-heart surgery a few months ago."

I replied, "I had heart surgery 12 years ago and cancer over the summer."

"Well Geo.,"he said."We always did things backways around from each other."

"There was always some common ground, D.W. What've you  got now?"


"Hey, me too! Got an inhaler? A nebulizer?" 

"Yep and yep." 

"D.W., I've been repairing a bench out back and have to sit down every ten minutes."

"I been clearing mom's garage and doing the same thing. That's why I have a sit-down desk job now, Geo."

"That's why I retired...couldn't get a desk job."

We looked earnestly and happily at each other, then collided in a hug. Cars whizzed by, busy-busy-busy, while two old men embraced on a country road. All those frantic commuters --I hope such happy hugs are in their futures.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Looking Backward

In every small town, there's a town beneath the surface...and another town beneath that, etc. I was told that in a small town, by somebody yelling in a hole. I went to high school in that town a very very long time ago. Here is a photo of the class president giving the valedictorian address at commencement.
Excerpt: "Get out there and eat stuff!
                  Eat it RAW!"

"Rah, rah, rah!" We chorused, and the cheerleaders cheered, "Sis boom bah, eat stuff Rawwww!"

Although I am not accustomed to, or adept in the form of personal essay, this exercise in reminiscing has been helpful --having been troubled with something lately but forget what...oh yes, my memory.

I'll close with an admission. Memory and imagination are facets of the same living jewel. Whether I pulled my Jurassic  classmate up from the past or he pulled me down, is a subject still under discussion. To find out which or both of us small-town students were displaced, like principals in a fairytale --forgotten by the world-- consult the American Field Service records under "Temporal Exchange Students (prehistoric file)".

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Torquing Locknuts Clockwise

Yes, it is I, Geo., torquing nuts on a new wagon assembled by Norma to bring our groceries in from the gate. Since my illness made shopping trips hard this summer, Norma arranged to have Belair Nob Hill Market drive things to our house. Our old wagon wore out, so we got a new one. I like it but it's all locknuts --life is like that sometimes.

It's still hard for me to exert myself, but I have a compelling message in pain: Nobody is alone. One wishes one could travel into the past and change things for the better, but there's no safe way to do it --except, perhaps, by memory. What we need to do, exerting ourselves --even in pain-- is work presently to repair the future. I learn this from people like Father Kelly. Please listen; you might be astonished at his voice:
Father Ray Kelly,"Everybody Hurts"

So, we take up the implements of improvement, adjust them, tighten them down to their jobs and in love, despite discomfort, hold on.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Leaf and Raindrop

"Hello, Geo."

"Over here and up a little."
"You're a Privet leaf?"
"A Privet leaf and a raindrop. It sprinkled this morning!"

"I don't follow."
"Well, leaves convert sunlight into energy --it's how we live. Ordinarily we don't know what's going on around us but in just the right kind of sprinkle, we get a raindrop gathered and the whole world is refracted into our works."
"You see images?"
"We see all images, everything that transpires."

"Only those activities that concern our observers. We leaves have no individual brains, you see."

"Ok, it's just finished summer here in California. What does it look like where summer persists?"

"Oh, you mean the seaside resorts of our planet! Lots of hot beaches: children at sandcastles, bathing beauties, families at pic-nics and old diseased colonels creeping around in the sun."

"And what of us, leaf, you and me?"

"The farther one walks toward the light, one's shadow grows up the wall --until past the light...well..."

"Geo., we get confused thinking about then."

"Sorry, my brain has a mind of its own." 
"What does your brain tell you now?"

"That we rename Lady Liberty (Fr. Marianne) or Gaia and replace the National anthem with this: (Help me Rhonda--Beach Boys)

"So, which one do you mean, Geo.? Gaia or Marianne?"

"Any division of the two."

"Who fired you up to this, Geo.?"
"Just a treefrog sitting on a fountain spout."
"Geo., you've had a hard summer. Maybe you should go lie down now." 

"Okey Dokey!"

Saturday, September 8, 2018


Here is a Normaphoto of me working with a horse-shoe pillow and an ice-pack several days ago, trying to get my neck reduced to normal contours. It is my own post-surgery  exercise after undergoing a routine decapitation --during which my head came off, rolled down the hospital hall and escaped onto Broadway. It was returned by a middle school soccer team that was practicing in its path.

Human cells are programmed to put themselves together in certain ways. When that directive is confounded, terrible things happen and that was what was wrong with me. Correcting it is science and magic --and knowing where to look for it. That's all I know right now.  This week I'll know more. We're all in this together. Ora pro nobis.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Darwin Doorbooger on Security Patrol

Darwin Doorbooger patrols the index of time, event horizon and memory along the pumphouse  door sill and sidereal mentation. I rely on him a lot and am glad I didn't mash him years ago.

During a 1948 speech by Harry Truman in Bremerton, Washington, a supporter famously yelled, "Give 'em hell, Harry!"

Four years later, my father recounted the quote at the supper table and I was enthralled. I asked, "Daddy, what did Hairy say?"

"Hmmm. Something like, 'that's what I'm going to do'."

"And he got to be President, right?"

"Yes, son. Still is. President Harry Truman."

"Don't he have a middle name?"

" Just 'S."

I was pitched into deep thought, even for a pre-literate child. Hairy Ass Truman? Sounded to me like one dangerously tough guy --if his parents named him Hairy Ass...

But Darwin Doorbooger gently interrupted. "Geo., I just turned around and looked at the padlock. It's a long crawl down and, happily for you, this doorway isn't getting any shorter. Oh yeah, and neither one of us is a toad, ok?"
Then Eisenhower got elected. Hey, Darwin, slow down! Hold it, rest a moment. Timeline's going too fast.

"Aw, ok."
"Ok, Darwin, hold still. We're in the 1950s now and have a new president. When Truman presided, I couldn't read. Then, Ike came in and, like magic, I could --and write too! I still like Ike and am forever grateful."

"Yeah, yeah. Let's move on to the weird stuff, Geo. On to the 60s when Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty started cross-dressing and waging 'undeclared wars' and piloting international belligerence."

"Can't we skip that part, Darwin, please?"

"Only if you play the song --you know, the SONG!"


Roger Miller, "My Uncle used to love me but she died"

"OK! Now tell what you just went through."

"Dear Readers, Youtube changed all the stuff you have to do to put a clip on Blogger, overnight. It took me  a whole bottle of pinot noir and ALL my native savvy to untangle their improvement. I went to Youtube, found Roger and did all the usual things. Didn't work. However, if you find yourself in a similar position, take heed of the Blogger icon on their "share" bit. Hit that and you'll make progress. I forget a lot of what I did and all of what I said but believe success was mine. We'll know for sure when I hit "publish".

Darwin got tired of waiting and hopped off to eat bugs.

And, everybody, keep on the sunny side.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Interview With A Time Traveler

[Please excuse accidental publishing of this post earlier this afternoon with only a couple sentences completed. I'm still in recuperation mode and doped to the gills. Wheee! Sorry, that just slipped out.]
I found the time traveler at my own kitchen table. He didn't look well.  I asked, "What's wrong?"

TT: I've been ill lately, recuperating on a diet of vegetables, mainly.
Geo.: So I see. What sort of illness?
TT: Oh, the kind timetravelers get when they stop any where or any when and try to settle down.
Geo.: How long have you been traveling?
TT: 68 years, all forward. 
Geo.: No Backward?
TT: Oooh I wish. You need superluminal speed to send anything back in time and I'm just not up to it.
Geo.: What about positrons?
TT: Antiparticles of electrons?
Geo: Or electrons going back in time. I've never heard a firm answer. Both descriptions work in physical calculations.
TT: Explain.
Geo.: We send electrons as modulated electromagnetic waves into the future all the time --radio, tv etc. Why not generate positrons, modulate their wavelength and send them into the past?
TT: Because, in the grace and cruelty of time, there are some things we're not meant to do.
Geo: That's absurd, we could repair so much past damage!
TT: Typical thought of a backwoods hick! What was your zip code in your home town, Geo.?
Geo.: Uh, e-i-e-i-o.
TT: And what is your current occupation?
Geo.: Teaching applied hornet-dodging at our south door.
TT: And what are your most ancient ancestors?
Geo.: Fossil remains on primordial plains.
TT: And if you could send a message to them --perhaps to improve their hygiene. What would that be?
Geo.: Uh, lavatories?
TT: These are people who have only mineral content now. If you were similarly fossilized, what would you expel in a lavatory?
Geo.: Lava!
TT: Excuse me, I must be vegetating on now.