Friday, May 28, 2010


My friend UF Mike says that writing a blog is like digging a grave.
So I helped my friend Robin set herself up a blog this weekend. We got to the part where you name your blog and after much consideration she came up with a line from an Emily Dickinson poem:
“Dreaming in the Amber Rain”
and just to be a bit stylish, she decided to spell “Rain” as “Rayne”.
Then we worked on her profile for a bit and it got to be time to write a post.
As she thought about what her first post should be, I reflected a bit on her Blog Title, and after a few moments had to say to her:
“You know what Robin? I think maybe “Amber Rayne" sounds like a Porn Star name” to which she replied very indignantly “It does not”.
Then she accused me of being rude.

But I could see the wheels spinning in her mind, and as kindly as I could, I said “Maybe we better google it, just to make sure” and…”spit-spot”…the next thing we knew we were looking at a picture of Amber Rayne with a big ol' dick in her mouth.
As UF Mike says:
“You've got to build yourself a hole, then put something in it.”Oh, yeah.


I made the mistake of stopping by the house I grew up in back at Christmas, just for kicks.
Two little girls answered the door. I asked to speak to their dad. He came to the door, a humorless, mean, stout looking man with no expression on his face at all. He dfidn't exactly refuse to shake my hand, he just left me hanging.
Told him my story, how I'd grown up in this house.
"I planted that Redbud tree there" as I tuned to point to a huge tree in the center of his yard "It was a foot tall back in 71, had only one leaf!"
All I got was a blank stare.
"I love what you have done with the flower beds here, really nice!" I said, and gave him my best smile.
His frown deepened and he looked past me as if searching for my accomplice or perhaps a police officer he might flag down.
I mentioned how the front doorway looked great, there were new doors...
Admired the brick mailbox, asked had he done it himself.
He shook his head no and continued to stare me down.
Finally as I turned to leave, I asked if his girls went to Shady Oaks Elementary where I had gone to school so many years ago...
"No, we home school them" he says.
That explained everything.
Those poor girls.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Dick Cheney has announced a new plan to clean up the massive oil spill threatening the gulf Coast and vulnerable wetlands.
“We are rounding up cats” Cheney said “Housecats, farm cats, feral cats, kitty cats, and we intend to load them on shrimp boats and deploy them directly to the spill, then scoop them back up in the nets and take them to cat-cleanup centers”
Cheney explained that hair is the best absorbent available for cleaning up oil, and that “pound for pound, there is nothing hairier than a cat”.
PETA has yet to respond,


Saturday, May 08, 2010


Thanks Mom....
... for waiting the six hours for me to apologize for spitting in your face. I was three.
... for playing “Tarzan” with me and keeping a straight face, staying in character as I wrestled the giant snake to protect you, even though it was just a Vacuum cleaner hose.
...for the way you looked at me when I asked for that extra candy bar to share with Donna
...for yanking me out of the street while I played "Chicken" with the Hoodlum down the street in his '55 Chevy.
...for always calling me ‘Stephen” when I was in trouble, giving me a little time to brace myself.
...for the watch you gave me after I got home from sneaking out all night, saying 'Stevie, I want you to always know what time it is".
...for taking such good care of me after I moved back home to take care of you after your stroke.
...for laughing harder than I while Shila tickled me to tears on the couch.
...for “hanging on” long enough for me to get back home. Did you hear the wild geese?

My most indelible image of Mom is when she would ask me:
"When are you and Shila going to have a baby"
“Oh, Mom, I don’t know, sometime in a while, I guess...”
In her little girl singsong voice she would reply...
“Oh, Stevie, you just have to hurry...”
Then holding her arms as though she were cradling a baby she would say:
“...It would be so terrible if I didn’t get to hold her”
She missed it by a year and this is my most regrettable regret. How she knew our first would be a girl...well...mommas know everything!
All you youngsters out there, don’t let this happen.
And be nice to your mommas and ask them lotsa day you won't be able to ask 'em no more.

Mom died on December 1st, 1986. Dad was in a VA hospital with Alzheimers.
If there is someone responsible for letting Mom die first, thank you.
Very kind.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


"He never used the word “beauty” except in reference to a setter dog—beauty of words or music, of faith or rebellion, did not exist for him. He rather fancied large, ambitious, banal, red-and-gold sunsets, but he merely glanced at them as he straggled home, and remarked that they were “nice.” He believed that all Parisians, artists, millionaires, and socialists were immoral. His entire system of theology was comprised in the Bible, which he never read, and the Methodist Church, which he rarely attended; and he desired no system of economics beyond the current platform of the Republican party."
- Sinclair Lewis, The Job: An American Novel (1917)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Dad had served in the Air Force in WWII as a Mechanic and was attached to Patton in North Africa. He went on to Italy after Sicily fell and later to France.
"Available Jones" was the name of the plane that my Dads crew worked on. Beneath the lettering was the obligatory busty gal. This one was a Brunette, and she poses with her hair thrown back, one hand behind her head
The plane was a B-26, a medium range bomber.

In the Spring of 1970 Dad took me to see the movie "PATTON". He was so proud to take me and I was proud to see it with him.
To this day I enjoy the movie because it brings back memories of Dad and how he and his fellows truly saved the world. George C. Scott is outstanding as the General known as "Ol Blood and Guts". One of my favorite scenes is while he is in charge of Occupying Forces in Berlin immediately after Germany surrenders. He is on the phone with Eisenhauer I suppose, talking about the Russians and he tells him, regarding the Russians
"Up till now we have been fighting the wrong people; you say the word and I'll start a fight with those Communist Bastards and make it look like their fault"
Eisenhaeur hung up on him.
The solution was to build a wall through the middle of Berlin that would later, much later, be torn down.

After the Movie, Dad and I sat in the theater and he told me a few War stories before we left.
In the Parking lot of the theatre there was a car with an "America: Love it or Leave it" bumper sticker.
Right next to it was another car with a bumper sticker that read "Richard Nixon is a War Criminal".
Dad and I didn't know it as we walked out of the Theatre but the country was about to sink right out from under us.
Donovan had that song "Atlantis" that was #1 for so long. It was about a country that had sunk
"way down below the Ocean"
and took all these great people with it.
"Hail Atlantis"

America was well into "Incense and Peppermints", Nehru jackets and Earth Shoes, Paisley and Pot and “Sock-It -To -Me-Baby”.
We had Goldie Hawn and Tiny Tim and Hunter Thompson.
We also had Archie Bunker.
The Anti-War Movement by Students was well under way and on the horizon loomed an event so great that many of those that had been unsure about the War, and the protest, would become fanatics against the War. Up to and including Businessmen, housewives, and former members of the Establishment.
And for the kids in my class who would miss the draft, it was evidence enough not to trust anyone over 30.

I can think of few more ghastly images than the ones that came out of Kent State University on May 4, 1970. I thought of posting the heart-wrenching photo 0f the girl on her knees with that confused and pleading posture, but I won't.
CSN&Y sang the headlines..."Four Dead in Ohio"

The shootings became a defining event of the Vietnam War era.
Vietnam was right here, in the classroom, across the nation, up your street. It was no longer waiting at the curb in the form of a draft notice, it was knockin on your door.
It wasn't some disturbed and darkened mind with a gun on Campus doing the killing as we see these days.
It was our very own National Guard sent there to "Restore Order" .

It is said that the Kings of Atlantis became the Gods of Greek mythology whose goal was the peaceful existence of all the nations and that Atlantis was the region where man first rose from a state of barbarism to civilization.
Stephen King has a book called "Hearts in Atlantis". He likens the students back then to the Antlanteans from the Myth. I recommend it highly.... Mr. King is known for horror, which this book is not. Its more about kids trying to grow up and in doing so losing their belief in a place called Atlantis, where everything is Saturday Morning Groovy, to find that there are still little pieces of dreams and hopes and hearts 40 years later.
Hail Atlantis.

What did I learn from Kent State when I was only 13 years old? I learned that I could change because, quite frankly, like a lot of people after Kent State, I thought maybe those kids deserved it, deserved getting shot. It took a few weeks for it to sink in, and for me to decide that NO! it wasn’t OK for armed troops to come to Kent State or Central Junior High or L.D. Bell and start firing their weapons into the crowd no matter what.
I learned that WE COULD change the world, that it ‘s dying to get better.
I had a teacher that year, she was a mod lookin' hippie teacher with posters of Jimi and Janis on her classroom wall, along with a poster that said ‘War is not healthy for children and other living things” and I imagine she had a lot of friends in the ‘Nam, and that maybe she even went on protests and that maybe she even went to Kent State and I couldn’t hardly imagine her, with that long blonde hair, getting shot for speaking out. Miss Cantrell, she was an Atlantian.
As much as that day sticks to me, I can't imagine how it must stick to Miss Cantrell.
Like her brothers that spent time in the 'Nam, I hope she has found a way to "get over".
The hippies were definitely Atlantians.
I think Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy were Atlantians.
I think in a way, even ol LBJ, who said he didn’t want to be President anymore, grew his hair out and became Atlantian.

Dad hated to think we had been fighting a useless War, and like a lot of patriots, it took years for him to become an Atlantian.
I like to think that maybe he did.
"When your continent starts to sink underneath your feet it really does a number on your head." Hail, Atlantis.

Monday, May 03, 2010


"Where could I live better? Below, the brothel caters to the flesh. And there is the church which forgives sin. And there is the hospital where we die."
C.V. Cavafy