Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Westward Ho!

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2012 at 12:51 am

September, 26, D-Day+3:  This is initial posting from my fancy-ass new iPad.  I do not plan to bore you with inessential details of my packing.   On a test pack, I find that carrying my drugs in their prescription bottles does leave room for underwear, so I should be OK.

October, 2, D Day -3: Crescent City, CA.  Air trip a breeze. Landed Portland early afternoon, trucked on up to Astoria, OR.  Riverfront lodging, great eats.  Festival for folks to cross Columbia River bridge.  Didn’t participate.

Sunday cruised coast. Too many damned rocks, vistas, dunes, lighthouses, waves.  Night at some neat town I can’t remember at the moment, great food, then more sNAND and sanother yet another day!

Yesterday, dunes, cliffs and sea lions until overnighting in Bandon. Walked 7 holes with Fatz on Pacific Dunes this morn. Too tired for much writing.  Soon, maybe.  Wahoo!



In Uncategorized on September 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Back in the day, Rickey Nelson had nothing on me besides good looks, a singing voice and a life lived in front of American eyes on television.  In other words, I was a “traveling man.”

I logged two golfing trips – Scotland and Ireland, the Bethlehem and Jerusalem of the links – with my pal Fatz, who was the original model for the Grinch.  He proved an amiable passenger in rental cars driven on the wrong side of the road.

We also ventured another time to Ireland, but on that trip, we were slowed by two sea anchors who damped our style.  One, whom I shall denominate “Billy Casper,” who is a boon companion of my youth, seriously lamed by the onset of marriage.  His ideal day overseas would have been to wake up, eat, golf, call home, eat, return to room, think a few hours about what he wanted to talk with his wife about the next day, then sleep.  He even whistled along to some Andrew Lloyd Webber being played over the restaurant stereo at supper one night. The other, whom I’ll designate “Billy Graham Lite,” has never recovered not from a misspent youth, but from a youth  that could have used a little more misspending.  Besides shopping for linen and wool, all he wanted to do was drink and sing and carouse until the cows came home.  That would have been okay, except in Ireland there are a hell of a lot more sheep than cows.  Fatz and I had to negotiate a happy medium between the two extremes, and let me tell you, Madame Zosima was a tough negotiator.  It plum wore us out.

I had kind of let the prospect of future trips with Fatz be put in the cupboard until about a month ago, when we found ourselves talking about this and that on the deck down at the lake.  I opined as how I’d really like some time to cruise the states I’ve not visited, but that it would take a hell of a lot of driving.  In any event, I would love to see the Pacific northwest and drive the northern coast of California.  To which Fatz opined that he could drive.

The offshoot is that on Saturday, September 29, we are winging it off to  Portland.  The rough itinerary is to land, thence:  Oregon coastal dunes, northern California coast, Napa Valley, skirt Sierra Nevada’s to Crater Lake, Columbia River gorge, Seattle and environs, and back to Portland.  Of course, everything is subject to change.

If I am not wearing myself out too much, I may post brief notes on our doings and whereabouts as we go.  They will be brief, since I am not packing my laptop – only my new iPad, on which I can only type so much.  And you’ll have to wait for pictures, since I will need sober concentration to download, upload, post and god knows what all that need to be done to make them viewable.

In any event, dat’s what’s happening, colts and coquettes.

Wish me well, or something!


Irony, O Irony!

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I ain’t too proud to say that I have become a rusting shell of  a man – the physical equivalent of a Yugo on cinder blocks in the alley behind a Goodwill Store in East St Louis.  Arms that used to carry panting babes up flights of stairs now ache under the weight of sleeves.  My force is no longer reckoned in terms of horsepower – I have the pull strength of a bleating lamb with a broken leg.  The other day, I sprained my back kicking an acorn off our front walk.  For all my body thought, I was kicking a brick wall.

Mail, I can usually carry, assuming the day’s delivery does not contain a phone book or Cabelas catalog.  Newspapers unburdened with holiday coupons do not tax my strength.  Even in combination, the two weights leave me a bit more spry than Dick Cheyney.  Which brings up the question of neighborliness.

My belief is that to be a good neighbor, you have to have neighbors.  Pitch in, help out, drink with them if you have to, but otherwise leave them alone.  These precepts were sorely tested a few weeks ago when our neighbors flew a big ole jet airliner out to LA to visit their son.  Since I promised Tommy I would not mention them by name, I will call them the “Whites.”  The Whites asked us to pick up their mail and papers while they were gone.

And so it came to pass that on a dark, windy and intermittently showery night, my wife asked me if I had remembered to pick up the White’s paper and mail. I hadn’t.  So I said I would.  And when she reminded me again fifteen minutes later, I assayed out of my chair and into the blustery night.

When it comes to newspapers. the Dispatch is usually about as light as its editorial content.  The carrier is usually good about tossing it onto the White’s front walk or stoop.  Though a fir tree blocks the light of the nearby street lamp, I did not think, even with my ECU football bad vision, that I would have any trouble finding the thing.

But it wasn’t on the path.  Nor on the stoop.  Nor did my toes encounter it as I shuffled back and forth in the wet grass on either side of the walkway.  So I checked the walkway again – nada!  I needed some light.  But I didn’t want to walk back to the house for a flashlight.  I pulled out cell phone.  When I flipped it open, I shone a pale light in an arc of about 5 inches.  Back and forth through the wet grass on either side of the walkway again, except this time I was hunched over like Quasimodo with scoliosis, flipping my cell phone open for 5 second faint gleamings of illumination.  Nothing again!  I sat on the step to commence weeping.  That’s when my elbow hit something solid.  There was a dark brown cardboard box on the porch, which my eyes had been unable to detect.  And behind it was the White’s paper.

So being a good neighbor, and even in my distraught condition  recognizing that the box was probably a delivery of some sort, I hefted it.  Not so big that I could not carry it.  And it wasn’t too heavy – maybe the weight of  toaster oven.  So I balanced it on my shoulder and carried the paper and tottered off across the White’s yard and down the bank – a short but steep walk – to the mailbox.  I’ve mentioned my diminished capacities?  Though I might be a Charles Atlas in a Sunday school nursery, in the real world I am John Q. Milquetoast.  By the time I stumbled up to the mailbox, I was a little light-headed and winded.

So I gathered in the White’s mail – statements for investment accounts, a Special Members mailing from Victoria’s Secret, and a 1963 Sears Catalog that had been misdelivered to Jorge Sanchez in Petaluma, CA, and was only now finding its way to the address on the original mailing tag – and hoisted the box onto my right shoulder and headed down the gravel drive toward our car port in what was now a near total darkness.  The wind picked up.  Lightning struck nearby.  Raindrops began to splatter.  I realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew, but soldiered on.  Only twice did I stumble and pitch sideways under my load.  Dammit, I persevered!  I AM……A GOOD NEIGHBOR!

Gasping for breath, my head reeling, I finally reached our old laundry room and dumped the load.   What wits as I’ve got returned.  Between heaves I studied the box, straining to determine what I’d been carrying.

“What took so long?” asked Deirdre when I finally made it back inside to the safety and comfort of our den.  “I was about ready to call the police.”

I described my travails.  And about the load.  I had carried.  On my back.  Hauling it down hill.  Toting it along our drive.

“So what was it?” she asked.

The answer – a piece of roller luggage!

I used to be a good neighbor.

Ciao, ya’ll.