All aboard. People I very much appreciate:

Monday, May 20, 2019

Field-Elf Enigma

In 1963, I was a Boy Scout. Mr. Taliaferro, our scoutmaster, arranged a troop bike ride into the foothills. We would meet at 6 a.m. at Sierra Enterprise School and set out at daybreak. I lived only 5 miles away but somehow got rambuctious and set out an hour early. I parked my bike in the rack and made my way to the gate beside the principal's office. Mr. Mollett, the custodian and bus driver, always locked the chain with a foot and a half of play so people could get in. I did, stood on the outdoor ramp, and waited for others to arrive. I settled back against a steel pole and watched light gather at the gate. Then, I saw it.

A tiny head peeked out of the gloom, looked all round --at me too!-- then dashed across the dim-lit concrete ramp. Another followed and another, five in all. These were tiny, well-proportioned humanoids --nearly 2 feet tall-- with very strong, very fast legs.
All the crazy conduiting behind him is mine from the 1980s decade --a time of monetary conservation when I would chisel things out of felled trees. He's been on the washing machine in the porch since last Saturday. Norma's Mom is clearing her home and returned it to us for re-gifting. I gave it to them in 1990 to enhance their wonderful garden --in which Norma and I had our wedding 20 years earlier. Norma transferred him to her studio to be packed for shipment to our Daughter, who requested it.

When Field-elf was still under construction, we had (one of many) visits from Sally (childhood friend of Daughter) and her parents. Her Dad grew up on a farm near the school mentioned above and asked me about the carving. I told him the story. He said not many Occidentals knew about the Yōsei (supernatural little ones) but, as a kid, he was sent out early in the morning to chase them off the crops.


Daughter, all grown up now and living back East, should receive it next week. 


Friday, May 17, 2019

Jeremiad, or Just a Rough Spot?

A jeremiad is kind of scriptural catalogue of lamentations produced by the prophet Jeremiah and his editor, Baruch ben Neriah about 2500 years ago. It is a genre that cannot be exaggerated. I have tried. A photo:
This doodle is reminiscent of a conversation I had with another hick, the fence-hopping twangy kind. He'd wander over while I was rebuilding this crumbly old farmhouse and drawl at me. We saw a "V" formation of geese fly over and he twanged, "Why is one side of the 'V' always longer than t'other?"

I replied, "I don't know. Does anyone?"

He said,"I do:  More geese on that side."

Then he died. No, I wasn't involved. Happened months later. But it got me thinking of jeremiads. We have modest ones throughout our lives. We become sad or alarmed.

When we learn the South Pole has no government, we worry that it exists in a state of antarcty. I refuse to move there and likewise distrust the motives of those who want to "save me from myself."

In short, we've had some sadness here (not a jeremiad yet). However I urge this assumption upon all readers: You have a smile that brightens the world, that captures the affection of all who are lucky enough to see it... write me.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


Here is a Normaphoto of a bug she found under a pile of rakings:
Its butt is resting on a eucalyptus leaf. Eucalyptus leaves are about 2 and 1/2 inches long. I would estimate bug's length 2 inches. I believe it is some sort of beetle who, like all Nature's creatures, needs to be as big as it must be to do its job. I have owned a beetle:
It was a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. I drove this Bug for 35 years. One incredibly early morning I was on interstate 5 headed to work and something strange happened. The car behind me roared onto the left lane and started honking. I rolled my window down. He did too. He pointed and yelled, "Man, your engine's on fire!"

I yelled,"Thank you!" and pulled over.

I sat for a moment, and gathered my gear, then my registration from sunvisor pocket, then prudently stepped out of the Bug. Turned on my cell phone. I called work.

Our supernaturally efficient office manager answered and said "I'm watching 'Eye In The Sky' news right now. I'll patch you in to the fire dept."

They answered, "Oh, we know where you are!"

Then I called Norma, told her I might be late coming home. She said, "The kids are watching you on the news right now. Wave to the helicopter. Oh! They're thrilled!"

Tow truck driver dropped me off at work, but not before asking why I was a little teary-eyed. I told him, "My wife and I had our first date in that car --I took her to see the San Francisco production of "Hair" in 1969. Got married a year later."

He got a little teary-eyed too and reached over to give me a right-arm hug. "Dangerous, beautiful years, bro."

Triple-A drivers are always right. Wish I had one to ask what kind of beetle Norma found in the brush pile.