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Butchy the Chicken Whisperer, chap 1.

If you remember the last time we got together I mentioned to you I was a chicken whisperer. I chose this vocation because wearing cheap wire rim glasses disqualifies me to be what I really wanted to be. Roy Rogers. Roy Rogers does not wear glasses. I wear glasses. And yes, broke them three or four times. Mostly in a tussle with another second grader. My folks were furious. Not with the other tussler but with me. Me someone who THINKS he should be Roy Rogers but a skilled chicken whisperer. So my tussling capabilities are limited. So off to Dr. Downs’s optic office for another pair. But the bottom line was I never wanted glasses in the first place. MY dad didn’t wear glasses. Tarzan didn’t wear glasses. Only Mrs. Block, my second grade teacher wore glasses. But she was over sixty-years old. Just a granny person needing glasses.

But when I wasn’t chicken whispering, me and my neighborhood friend Donnie were collection agents. A quick and dirty way to make easy money. Back then we collected glass soda bottles and traded them for hard cash. The twelve ounce glass bottle fetched and easy 2-cents. The quart size glass bottle gained us a nickel per bottle. This process would start early on Saturday mornings going house to house asking for empty soda bottles. At first we rang doorbells starting about 7-AM and quickly discovered people didn’t like coming to the door at seven Saturday morning. SLAM! The doors went. Some asked to go around the back in the alley and look in the trash bins. So Donnie and me did. Usually with some success. So we would collect enough bottles to make about 30-cents apiece. Then it was off to our personal banker. Joe Miller ran Miller’s Market on Olympic Boulevard and there we made our financial transactions. We would roll in a red wagon full of empty pop bottles and he would immediately pull out the correct change and place it firmly in our hands. Then We quickly went to the comic book section of Miller’s and chose one comic, two Double Bubble gums, a Snickers bar, and would hand back the hard earned cash to Joe Miller. He must have thought we were just financial wizards. “Firm but even handed”. No one would ever take advantage of me and Donnie for sure.

More about Butchy the Chicken Whisperer next time.

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We gotta do this.

It takes a village.
Actually it takes a significant population to do the heavy lifting.  It takes a significant number of people to fund a benevolent charity.  It takes money and volunteers to run a helping organization like the Red Cross or to support research for diabetes.
None the less, it will take a little bit from all of us to help the working poor and their children, the homeless, people with pre-existing medical conditions and the disabled to be able to afford health care.  It’s up to us to do the heavy lifting for those who are unable to help themselves.  It’s our moral responsibility.  America needs either Medicare for all or a single pay health care system.  Tell your congressperson we need this.  We all can help do this.  It’s not a political issue.  But we can do this together.  Millions of us can pitch in and do the heavy lifting.  Probably doing without a monthly pedicure, couple of streaming movies and a dinner out could pay for this.  

Homeroom was not for the faint of heart.

Second period.
At our junior high second period was always ‘Homeroom.’ Meaning we had an extra 30-minutes to discuss topics not related to the period’s curriculum. This was seventh grade 1956. The curriculum was metal shop. Our teacher was Mr. Leo Fanar. A tall balding man in his thirties and about six-foot two. He stood head and shoulders over we yet to be grown midget boys and looked down with serious intense dark eyes. We called him ‘chrome dome’ because of his shiny balding head. But never ever call him that in his presents. He had jet black hair below the timber line. A man of Lebanese descent but obviously born and raised in the United States. When we boys were in his presents Mr. Fanar always wore a long white shop coat. He seemed stern and direct. One would never take issue with Mr. Chrome Dome. He had a loud PA system voice and could be heard from one end of the shop to the other. When he spoke, we boys listened.
But back to this homeroom thing. Our homeroom activity started at the beginning of the period and always started off with the pledge of allegiance. Then Mr. Fanar would read the school’s morning bulletin. Before he would read the school bulletin, he would neatly use a ruler and cut out any announcements concerning religion. Such as announcements for Tri gray Y a faith based social club. Mr. Fanar would read the rest of the school bulletin then pass around any remaining faith-based announcements for we boys to read in private. He obviously believed in separation of church and state. Today, Evangelical leaders would not care for Mr. Fanar.
But Mr. Fanar was the only teacher I had that invited we shop boys to his nearby home for a after school backyard BBQ and picknick. Funny thing was Mr. Fanar asked for a volunteer to say a prayer of blessings before we dove into our hotdogs and chips.
In retrospect he certainly was one to respect and give we boys the straight scoop. We boys were in his class for only six-weeks and then moved on to other shop classes. I am almost sure Mr. Fanar at to laugh at the end of the day after spending all day with twelve- to fifteen-year-old boys who had no clue what life could bring. I sincerely hope Chrome Dome or Mr. Fanar had a rich and rewarding life. God bless him if he’s still around and RIP if he’s not.

Book Report.

February 1 2023
On this same date in 2003 I woke up to the news the Space shuttle Columbia broke apart on its re-entry over Texas and scattered it’s remains from Texas to Louisiana. I and others were about to graduate from the Guide dog school in San Rafael, California just north of San Francisco. Such bad news to begin that day.
Since then and recently I read the book “Bringing Columbia Home. A most sad but true accounting of how NASA workers, National guard, sheriff deputies, and volunteers attempted to collect the shuttle parts and human remains. Searching while being followed and badgered by the local and national media. Reporters hoping to report and photograph the twisted wreckage and gruesome remains. Then NASA’s later attempt to lay out the shuttle’s parts at the space center in Florida for engineers to examine.

The book title and authors:
Bringing Columbia home: the untold story of a lost space shuttle and her crew.
By Leinbach, Michael D; Crippen, Robert L; Collins, Eileen; Ward, Jonathan H

Library of Congress annotation:
Chronicle of the investigation of the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia over Texas on its return in 2003. Discusses the cause of the accident, interagency work protocols, and the contributions of volunteers, which allowed for the recovery of crew remains and forty percent of debris. Non-fiction 2018.

This is one job that requires a good recipe.

Working the Gig economy.
I often read in the newspapers ideas for generating extra income by working various odd jobs. Working a gig. Driving an Ober, dog walking, online tutoring, picking up and delivering restaurant meals, etc. Often supported by downloaded smart phone apps or downloading Zoom on your laptop. There are hundreds of job ideas on the net.
But this gig idea is not new. It’s been going on ever since people needed extra cash. My dad and his father sometimes needed extra cash.
This goes back to the mid-1920s. Living and working in southern rural Oklahoma paid very little and the need to generate extra cash took some creativity with a little bit of risk. My dad being the oldest boy at age 15 and along with his father would ride their horses down into the nearby “Holler” or the deep woods where several of their neighbors had what was described as “Moonshine stills.” Stills more or less hidden away so government people would not easily find them.
None the less, there would be Bubbling gurgling kettles or stills of distilled whisky. Often called moonshine or hooch or southern comfort. Or whatever. There would be a Five- or ten-gallon copper or stainless still Boiling bots with copper coils processing corn or fruit mash and heated by wood fires. All heated, distilled and later cooled down then bottled into glass or ceramic jugs and sold to most anyone for cash. Which was not that easy because of the laws of prohibition back then against illicit spirits. But typifying the idea of an early depression era gig economy.
What did you use to do in order to earn extra cash? I collected empty glass Coke or Pepsi bottles and redeemed them for two-cents each at our local grocery store. Usually made enough money to purchase a Batman comic book, one Baby Ruth candy bar, and two Double-Bubble bubble gums. All accomplished on a Saturday morning.

We had a wide panoramic view of Pearl Harbor until they built very tall Hotels in our view.

Honolulu Hawaii,

A fading orange sun was slowly sinking into the placid central blue Pacific.  The mournful sounds of Taps was sounding out from the distinctive white structure of the Arizona Memorial in the waters of Pearl Harbor.

As I observed this from the lanai   from the back of our townhouse overlooking all of Pearl Harbor a tingling sensation traveled down my spine when witnessing this mostly calm ocean panorama.  It was hard to imagine an early morning sky back in 1941 with hundreds of planes buzzing about and bombs exploding and the USS Arizona sinking into the harbor taking hundreds of seamen down with it to their watery grave.

This personal recollection was dated Sunday December 7, 1972.  A little more than thirty-years after that day President Roosevelt declared “a day that would live in infamy.”.  I’ll never forget this attention-arresting moment.

Chuck Ayers

They came to Tulsa instead.

Tulsa Ok 1976:
An Asian couple with children moved in next door to us on 54th street. They originally came from Hong Kong and wanted to leave there before the British signed over Hong Kong to mainland China. They came via California. Moving to southern California first. They were David and Fanny Li (pronounce Lee). They took on Americanized first names because Mr. Li said most Americans could not pronounce their Chinese names. Their two children’s names were given Joseph and Josephine.
When in California they had to decide whether to move to Tulsa, where Mrs. Li had cousins or to Vancouver, BC where a large contingency of Asians live. Mrs. Li cousin owned and operated an Asian restaurant nearby. However, David worked for the city of Tulsa and she with a private company. He in accounting and she as office help. But to make a long story short, they first lived in Monterey Park, California. The very same place where many were ruthlessly shot and killed.
The family made very good neighbors. I am glad they came to Tulsa instead of staying in Monterey Park. Thank God.

The stammering bumbling POUS

G W Bush.
Why is George W Bush off into retirement bliss when he created havoc for Afghanistan and Iraq and huge tax expense for we middle-class Americans. Sue him for all he’s worth. Send him into homelessness and poverty. He and his administration created a major part of our national debt and is the primary reason middle easterners hate us. Had he not taken office as President of the United States in 2001, 9-11 would not have happened. I’m sure of it.
He was just a bumbling frat boy the GOP could easily control like a puppet on strings.
View the movie “W.”

What does this have to do with my science class?

Ranching is not for me.
Junior high L A County 1958.
I had Mr. Macintyre’s eight grade science class fourth period just before lunch break. We were all just settling in at our desks when Mr. Byerman, a tall red hair and bespectacled no non-sense teacher with a public-address speaker like voice came to Mac’s science class and requested that all boys follow him up to the audio/visual room in an upper room above the second story of the building. This interruption was no surprise to Mr. Mac. So off we went. About a dozen of us teen boys. Mr. Byerman was not only my previous seventh-grade math teacher but the audio/visual manager/operator at our school as well.
We made our way upstairs to a darkened room, found a chair to sit in and sat down. Shortly there began a movie projecting from a large Bell and Howell movie projector at the rear of the room on to a roll-down screen and the movie began with no explanation from Mr. Byerman.
Suddenly there appeared on the screen a field of cows grazing and mooing. Then all of a sudden, a large bull with long horns mounted a girl cow. Couldn’t really tell what was going on. I asked a boy sitting next to me what is this all about. He said not really sure but shut-up and watch. Some others seemed as confused as I was. I really don’t want to be a cow farmer. Charlie, just shut up and watch. This same scene appeared once again. Then the so-called movie ended. Again, without explanation from Mr. Byerman.
I gave it some thought and concluded we had no room in our backyard to raise cows. There was a grassy space in the back about fifty by twenty feet of grass. My mom’s clothesline was back there and would not be a good place to grow cows. My mother while hanging out wet laundry might step in some cow stuff and track it back into our house. What a smelly mess that would be.
It took many years after to figure out what Mr. Byerman was trying to tell us. Someone mentioned it all about the birds and the bees. Then I had to figure out the meaning of “the birds and the bees.” Whew! Growing up in those days was not easy.