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.
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.
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks.
Peanuts from the sky.
It was a balmy weekday evening and the Los Angeles Angels were playing at Dodger stadium. We had box seats just behind and a bit left of Homeplate. Temperature was about 60-degreess and the air was calm. Perfect for a springtime evening major league baseball game. Never the less, when the Angels play Dodger stadium the Angels broadcast announcers tell their listeners the Angels are playing at Chavez Ravine. Sort of gives the Angels part ownership to this stadium. But not really. This was spring 1962 and the Los Angeles Angels shared the stadium with the Los Angeles Dodgers while the Dodgers were either off or out of town. Actually, The Dodgers and Walter O’Malley were co-owners. Chavez Ravine was just an area of Los Angeles where Dodger Stadium was built. And I must add, a magnificent stadium with a broad green grass outfield expanse with a well-kept dirt infield.
So, players were on the field and others in their respective dugouts. It was about second or third inning, field lights were bright, and the people in the stands were getting into the game. My friend Ron and I were chatting and watching the next batter warming up in the batting circle when we noticed bags of peanuts flying in the air. But I might mention, bags of peanuts often were tossed to fans desiring a little munch with their baseball. Often followed with flying quarters and fifty-cent coins back to the peanut vender. But wait, the bags kept coming in numbers and flying everywhere. All without coins being tossed back. So, I twisted my head around and saw a teetering man with a vender’s tray tossing willy-nilly bags of peanuts everywhere. Obviously, a drunken man yelling, “Free peanuts for everyone.” He must had bought the peanuts, the vender tray, and began his free roasted peanut enterprise. He kept tossing and yelling and all in a drunken wobble. But here came the spoilers. Stadium police came, grabbed him by both arms and waddled him out of the stadium.
But since then, I was thinking every good main event needs an interesting sideshow. We certainly got our money’s worth. Play ball!
A Gold en book report.
A fictionalized version of how Swedish John Sutter settled the Sacramento Valley in the 1840s. The building of Sutter’s fur trading mercantile and supply fort and his saw mill on the American River. The saw mill where gold was first found. All part of the great central valley of California. But anyway, the event that truly defined the golden state of California. Inducing the early migration of peoples from the east and Midwest plus adventurers coming from all over the globe to find their fortune.
A narration of how Sutter endeared himself to the Mexico ruling General and was able to receive a large land grant to establish a trading center for fur trappers and a hide tanning operation in the Sacramento Valley on the American River. With Sutter’s smooth tongue he gained the cooperation of the indigenous peoples, local Mexicans, and even the coming intrudings of the American army led by Major John C Freemont. The author takes the dry two-dimensional early California history and colors in a believable three-dimensional story that led to the famed Forty-niner gold miners and settlers of the golden state. Then colors in a bit of romance as well.
The book: “The American River by Gary McCarthy, historical fiction California history.
“John Augustus Sutter came to the wide and wild California country to build an empire. At his side was Morgan Beck, out to stake his own claim at the confluence of two powerful rivers, the Sacramento and the American. While the two adventurers follow new fortunes westward, the ill-fated Donner Party is mired in the grip of frozen death high in the Sierra Nevadas. Suddenly, Sutter and Beck are torn between the hot winds of revolution, and the desperate pleas of the trapped immigrant party. Little do they know of the icy horrors under the snows of the mountain pass. At stake is the greatest agricultural empire in California–Sutter’s Fort–on the banks of the wide American River.” Read this book. It is good.
I do not want to end up deep in the ocean.
It was proclaimed to be the tallest wooden frame roller coaster west of the Mississippi.
Had you driven south on Atlantic Boulevard back in the 1950s from East Los Angeles all the way to Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach you would have certainly notice the tall wooden structure known as the “Cyclone Racer.” Roller coaster tracks set on a white wooden frame rising approximately ten to twelve stories. Something approaching a hundred and ten feet up in the ocean’s salty air. Reaching speeds on its first downhill run almost 70-MPH With tracks jetting out over the ocean surf. Lore has it on one fateful day a couple of the coaster’s cars derailed and flew off into the ocean below. Some say people went down with the coaster car and were never found. Never mind the waters at the coaster’s edge was only ten feet deep. So, judge for yourself if the event was truth or apocryphal.
The Cyclone Racer was part of the Long Beach Pike. An amusement park just down from the Long Beach Navy base. The Pike was a favorite of the sailors and were attracted to its many amusement rides along with the midway with its bars, freak shows tattoo parlors, and girly shows.
But me, being an eleven-year-old sibling of an older brother who often dared me to do things I didn’t wish to do, wasn’t easy. Observing this frightful looking “fun ride” from afar and it’s down hill run with coaster cars full of screaming and howling kids and sailors with arms high in the air as they rapidly descended straight down to a certain fate was proof enough to run far away from this evil thing. No sir! Not me. You won’t get me on that death train. Never the less the coaster ride could help your heart rate triple its beat in just a few short minutes. No no no, not me!
However, my brother kept calling me chicken when I refused to ride on the roller coaster. Then he said he would even pay for my ride. So, I gave in and called him on his offer. But told him I would not hold my hands in the air as others do on the big downhill run. So off we went into the sky and it all was horrific as I had expected. It took everything I could to keep my bladder from unloading. Then when we finished the high-speed convoluted twists and turns and came to the end and got off, my brother disappeared. I was determined to choke him but he ran away. All in all, I am lucky to be alive today.
I’d rather eat Play-Doh.
What about avocado toast?
My lovely wife loves avocado toast. I don’t! I do not like its mooshy texture and wall paper paste taste. So here is my recommendation for an alternative. We’ll just call it banana toast. Banana toast only if no one else has already invented banana toast. This is how I would prepare banana toast:
One tablespoon melted butter
One teaspoon confectionary sugar or powder sugar.
One pinch salt
One pinch cinnamon
One half of a ripe spotted banana.
Put all ingredients into a two-cup glass measuring cup and combine and moosh all opponents. Once thoroughly mixed then spread paste-like banana ooze onto a crunchy slice of wheat or white toast. Maybe even on cinnamon raisin toast. The spread should be a paste and not a pudding.
Oh man. Can’t wait to try this magnificent spread at my next breakfast. What do you think?
Take your avocado and guac it!
So, this is Boston?
A trip to the park 1987.
We walked down to Brookline Village and caught the ‘T’ with the intent of traveling towards downtown Boston. The MTA train that travels above and below street level through Beantown. The same subway that “Charlie” was stuck on and his fate will never be learned, as sung by the Kingston Trio.
But anyway, we were headed for Tremont Street stop with the intent of walking to the Boston Commons. America’s first city park. Certainly, a heavily visited place by out-of-town visitors like ourselves. So, wife, youngest daughter, and myself then ventured into the famed park. There was the ‘Swan Boats” with a dozen passengers circling on a waterway around the Commons. Down the way a father/daughter were playing, If my memory serve me, a violin and accordion and regaling the few listeners standing nearby. So, we walked around the fifty-acre park. Trees, bushes, and all manner of shrub adorned the park. It was early summer and a public place couldn’t be more beautiful.
Then we found the place our three-year-old daughter came for. A splash pad. A fountain shooting twenty or thirty feet into the air. A fine spray covered the entire pad and kids of all ages were screaming and yelling in the showery mist.
Wife and I found park benches to sit and watch our daughter scream and frolic in the fountain’s cooling mist.
Wife and I were talking about her classes she was taking at Simmons College. A well-regarded college amongst dozens of colleges and universities in Boston. Boston’s greatest export is its institutions of higher learning. Harvard, Boston College, MIT, Boston University, etc.
Then I noticed out from the corner of my eye a man fully clothed walking out from the splash pad soaking wet. He was a man of a smallish stature looking straight at me with his narrow eyes and broad forehead. Looking very much like someone from the Kennedy family. He then sat down on the bench next to me and sat there for a moment while still dripping puddles.
Then as passersby walked in front of the ‘splashpad man’ he would point his finger directly at them and say something like, “Did you know John F Kennedy was our 35th president?” Or, as others passed by a still pointing at them, “Did you know John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas on November 22, 1963?” And it continued on with him pointing at random people as they passed in front of the very wet man.
Finally, and not too soon, our daughter walked away from the splash pad and indicated she had enough. So, we dried her off and walked back to the subway entrance and got on the train and made our way back to wife’s temporary home in Brookline. Yes, just another ordinary day in Boston.
The removal of early California history.
In my little town I grew up in there was an adobe structure very much like the Spanish missions of early California. It sat far back about a hundred yards from the nearby boulevard. It was something like an apartment or dormitory building instead. An adobe dwelling that was framed with leafy cypress and eucalyptus trees. Giving the appearance of a peaceful place to live. Some did say it was a Catholic convent. A dwelling for Nuns. It had a classic wavy stucco over stone or brick and was a two story with a red tile roof and wide Roman arches on the lower level. Lower level also with a tile roof. Architecture Pretty much from the early post Spanish Colonial influence. Certainly, worth saving and placing on a historical registry.
But, nope! It was completely torn down to the dirt level. It is now the parking lot for the city hall and police department. Oh, so sad.
Do not bother me while i’m writing my novel.
I have decided to write a book.
Since I have some modest writing skills, I shall author a novel. A murder mystery about opposing interests that despise each other’s narrow interests. Almost like warring mob families intended on destroying each other. Godfather, step aside. This is a battle of turf and territory. If one opposing clan moves in on the same common ground as the other, then a great cataclysmic irruption will certainly follow.
I will smartly title the novel, “The Pickleball Murders.” Warring mafioso-like families attempting to either defend the entire court or share half the court with the ruthless Pickleball family. Wise guys versus the despised guys. Neatly uniformed tennis players battling worn and tattered Pickleball players. Stand by. All these ugly family wars coming soon.
Romance in the parts bins.
My first job.
It was my first job after getting married. I started to work in the parts and service department at Sears Sacramento 1965. My new boss, Mr. Cole said it doesn’t pay much but come and get it. So, I started in September a few days after our honeymoon.
Mr. Cole had already had an earlier career and retired as Chief Petty Officer in the Navy. When I started my new Sears job Mr. Cole appeared to me about early sixties and probably had already worked at Sears for the previous 20-years. I would almost always see him in white dress shirt and tie. Often with his sleeves rolled up. He was a good man and was most fair with we underlings. He gave us this advice, “Don’t bring your home problems to work and don’t take work problems home.” But anyway, my job required very little skill and for the most part was done with little thought. Find the part for the customer on the micro-film machine then go to the racks and find the part or write out an order it for him. Parts for sears small and large appliances, TVs and small engine driven mowers, outboard engines and more. Vacuumed tubes, resistors, and CRT picture tubes. Engine belts, crank start rope, washer hoses and more.
Now there was this lady who had a dispatch desk just outside the parts department and near the appliance repair department. I forgot her name but she appeared to be late fifties and kept her hair darkened with coloring. In the mornings her desk was surrounded by inside and outside repair men getting their orders for the day for TV or appliance repairs. I’m sure she loved the attention. If not annoyed.
So, one day I was attempting to find a part for a clothe washer and Had to go into the appliance repair department around the corner and see if was in the racks in that department. A place other in my parts group seldom go. So, I was rounding the corner of the racks of parts and noticed Mr. Cole in full embrace with the lady with the colored hair. I pretended to ignore their surprise release from a passionate kiss and just go on about my business. I really didn’t give it much thought and went back to the customer at the front counter. I never told anyone of this parts department romance. But I’m sure like went on well after I had left Sacramento and moved to L A to attend Pepperdine University. I just hope Mr. Cole had retired happy.
This is an audio test
Take me for a ride baby.
By C. Ayers
Oh, so alluring she was.
Her shape, her style, and
Just the sexy purring sound she makes
draws me closer and closer to her shapely body.
How will I ever
explain this To my wife.
If I’m seen with this
Most bewitching Beauty, my wife will
Leaving me for sure.
So, I drove my new love Back to the
Harley dealer and
Got a refund.
I might try
An E-bike next time.