Monday, June 26, 2017


There is just something about a 
          morn in June, 
                 with its bright 
   blue sky, its cool mountain air, 
      and the perkiness of the 
plants and flowers...that calls me
      to arise...and be a part of it.

It is almost as if all nature 
      has had a good night of respite
(in the shade) from the "burning
      of the noonday heat
            and the burdens of 
    the day..." and is awake early 
and declaring the Glory of God!

I had gathered my beat-up
    little leather notebook, Cross
rolling-ball pen, and thrown on
      my summer weight flannel
Fillson shirt (these early June 
     mornings can be a bit cool), 
         and ensconced myself 
      with my hot coffee
  at the faded white lawn table
       over by the tomatoes
    and was surveying the
         interesting things
          all around me.

Through the neighborhood trees
      and houses I spied the
Sandia Mountains, five miles 
       east, and being still in shade
they were already majestic 
            but did not look 
like "watermelon" slices 
                    yet, this early.

A chicken hawk was gracefully
     soaring above on meager 
unseen updrafts...kind of looking 
        for some juicy earthly
     breakfast morsel, 
             like maybe a mouse!

As I sipped my coffee, I heard
     little bird noises 
       just across the white fence
in the piƱon tree...

Our two resident house finches, 
    little birds which hang out
regularly on our grain-feeder
    outside my writing window...

were flitting and flirting and
         pecking at each other....
from tree limb to limb they 
     hopped and frolickd....

That "bird-pecking" looked a 
    little bit like beak-smooching
to me.

Ah the bigger one, with the bright
     red head---the male--was
makng, oh such-tiny sounds as if---
     singing to the cute little
               girl bird...

Listen....I could barely hear:

He sounded he had
     taken peep lessons...

As I sipped and meditated, and
     took in the marvels of 
this early June day, I remembered
     Isaac Watt's song he 
wrote almost four centuries ago 
     paraphrasing Psalm.    ---

"And heaven and nature sing!"

and then I rememberd Haydn's 

"The heavens are telling the glory
       of God,
The wonder of His work displays
        the firmament."

And I wrote these thoughts down---
      in my beat-up leather
     they might fit into 
         a good poem---
    one of these days.
17 JUNE 17


Early this cool June  morning 
     I walked outside
carrying my coffee and favorite
           6 1/2 X 4 leather-bound volume
of Wordsworth's poems

The mountain air wafting gently in
      from the Sandia Mountains
five miles east
          was so fresh, so cool, so sweet,
and it flowed into my lungs
                    easily and gently

There seemed to be an all-enveloping
    quiet in the neighborhood
         No loud trash-trucks, 
 nor speeders were up yet... and the
       city tree-shredders had finally 
                  gone away

A robin, left-over from April, was
     hopping and pecking 
                       around on the 
         front lawn, after a fat worm

Our two resident blue jays were at 
     it again--having a big quarrel
(where else) -- in the very top
            of the tallest pine tree...

A few big white fluffy clouds were
     already billowing up 
over the "Watermelon Mountains,"
          as if anticipating the 
   forecast of 99 degrees today

A little bit of dew, though not much,
         glistened there on the 
                   front lawn
     in the cool...we could use 
             some rain...

Our tomato vines, planted in Earth 
     boxes, three weeks ago, 
        and hidden in the front yard
behind the white fence---
      this rare mountain morning---
      "Are dancing with joy, just 
            to be alive..."
as my dad once described his 

Underneath the lip of a tomato box
     if you know where to look---
         in a cool, moist place
     a mama and a baby snail
          happily cling, 
             upside down in their 
      shells, bothering no one...

The sun was just now peaking 
     thru Tijeras Canyon
and warmth was creeping in
        as I sat down at the
old faded white mesh table, 
            in the corner there
by the tomato plants...

I surveyed all these things and
          and marveled, just like
the be alive

Taking a sip of my now lukewarm
I opened the leather-bound 
and read:
     "The world is too much with us,
       Getting and spending, we
             lay waste our powers."

and then---
        "Trailing clouds of glory do
                  we come
           From heaven, which is our

It was going to be...a grand day.
16 JUNE 17


"He hath given us speech for endless palaver..."
T.S. Eliot

Somewhere...sometime, along the way---
              we Americans 
     have lost

 Fifteen million WWII vets, the "Greatest
         ...they have passed

The "Depression Kids" are not far behind

Fibber McGee and Molly, Red Skelton,
      Jack Benny, and Art Linkletter...
           gone from radio

John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory
      Peck, William Holden. Walter 
           Brennan, no more movies...

One Doolittle Raider is left from the
      "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo"

Missing from the "funnies" are old
       friends of our childhoods---
    Joe Palooka, Tarzan, Nancy,
        Blondie, and The 
                 Katzenjammer Kids...

Oh yes, we can talk...we're talkers
     for sure; 
          "He hath given us speech 
        for endless palaver."
   T.S. Eliot nailed it, years ago.

We're "electronic talkers!"

Oh yes, we can spend money
     if we want to, and borrow
         it if we don't have it...
               the gov't.

Oh yes, in our inane groping for
     we are ever coming up with
          new gender variations,
    requiring endless new bathrooms;
        we're apparently not satisfied 
            with plain old:
                  "man and woman."

Oh yes, we have been reminded
     of the "progress we have made!"
"What progress?" I ask you.

On our way... to where?

Ah, but we have also lost
     our front porches, where folks
sat on summer nights after
         supper---with the women
still wearing their wet aprons...
          waving at kids as 
     they roller skated and neighbors
               out strolling...

Basic happy things like that

Worse---have Americans lost their
      belief in God?

and their judgment 


their perception?
25 JUNE 17

Wednesday, June 21, 2017



Have you ever noticed that waiting takes

Have you ever noticed:
     The people who make you wait, never

Why, would you believe that on two 
visits to the same favorite doctor, I arrived 
each time fifteen minutes early (which they 
love---why I don't know---) and had to wait 
forty more minutes...both times.

Have you ever "gone and figured" that the
world's multitudinous waiting lines are 
filled with mostly old folks....who have "paid
their dues." They have fought the good fight
and kept the faith...and they are oft tard and...

....worn out...feeling miserable...and usually
called upon to wait...anywhere and 

Those pros who set appointments for their 
services owe it to their clients to so arrange
their professional day, as to show efficiency
in their operation.

Is packing their schedule to make up for
no-shows---the answer?

I know of a foot doctor's office where one
is lucky to be in and out in an hour and 
forty-five minutes.

I will tell you an interesting story. (Have you
ever had a single doctor that you looked
for a pain or ache as an excuse to visit 
him or her?)
         Well I had one.
He was that kind of likeable, efficient
physician. He had a sign up over the
receptionists' desk saying: "IF YOU HAVE 

They meant it too; tho' you might have to
wait some more in one of those numerous,
mysterious rooms off the long hall. I liked
the doc anyway.

He came in and checked the little bitty
bump on my nose, where the glasses had
rubbed...and said "Hmmm...we'll get that 
little thing..." and he was gone.

I lay there on that cold leather table with
the silly white paper on it...and no pillow...
and after a while this cute nurse came in
and I was taken with her...and watching
her and she put down this awful tray filled 
with E-VIL looking clinky, chrome, 
implements...and a "needle" and she left.

After she was gone I noticed the biggest
HYPODEEMIC NERDLE on that tray I had
ever seen...and you know, I didn't even
give it a second thought or worry a bit!

For anyone with a first aid background like 
mine, I could immediately tell that an error
had been made...for that little ol' bump on 
my nose, you'd need TINY gadgets and a 
TEENSY needle with very little stuff in it.

No, it was a mistake. There had to be a vet
down the hall that treated horses! Or require such a dire needle...

Well, guess what! I was wrong. There was 
no horse doctor within a mile. That needle 
was FOR ME. And he got the bump and 
mailed it in. And my nose was numb for 

I stayed with those folks anyway; they had 
a good operation...and little waiting. And
me and the ladies at the front desk had a
running joke, for they had heard of my
disbelief and disdain for the BIG HYPO...

I'd sign in and say: "I'll be waiting under 
my car."

They'd wink at each other and say to me;
"That's okay of us'll come and

It wasn't bad under the car under that 
shade tree, except the doc had too 
much gravel in his parking lot. It hurt
my back.
18 JUNE 17
("tard..." sic)



On this "longest day of the year," I 
selected my favorite and most-colorful
mug and poured myself a cup of half-
caff....settled down at my writing place
to muse a bit.

At this early hour the temp was cool 
and the air was fresh and the "burning 
of the noontide heat"  was yet to 
descend. BE, who read half the night,
was still asleep.

As I sat here, sipping and musing, my
eyes settled on "Herbie," my foot-tall
camel statue.

Herbie is a priceless friend (of sorts)
because, you see, not only am I fond
of camels, but he is the de facto cause/
founder of MIL'S ANIMAL SHELF!

The Longest Day---a good time to 
remember stuff...kinda like New Year's

But let me digress here a moment 
and remind you of something. May I
borrow an expression from 

"I looked, and under the sun," 
could find no one in the world who 
likes camels... (except me, and one 

Yes, I talked to people who had ridden
camels at carnivals, circuses, balloon
festivals, Vidalia Onion sales, and even
those world travelers who have been
to Egypt and Australia...

None of 'em liked camels. As the saying 
goes: "I kid you not." Not a one!

"They're stubborn."
     "They spit on you."
           "They rare up."
                 "They have bad tempers."
"They stink."
      "They need to gargle."
            "They are contrary."
                 "I like my dog, better."
"Give me a buckin' bronc, anytime."

Now I confess, I'be never ridden one,
nor petted one, nor had one throw up
on me...but have learnt about them...
from books.

A few years ago we ordered "A WALK
ACROSS THE GOBI" by Helen Thayer,
age circa 64---a lady adventurer/traveler/
writer.  For the journey, she rented two 
camels in Mongolia, and named them
"Tom and Jerry."

With her husband (nolens volens) in tow,
and one camel loaded with 100 gallons
of water, they set out to cross 1600 miles
of desert. 

One camel stumbled and spilled all their
water in mid-trip. This was only one of
numerous vicissitudes. But they made it!

Tom and Jerry, who earned several years
income for their owner, were put out to
pasture over in Mongolia, almost as if
they had won a big rich US horse race.

Several years later, Thayer and husband
returned to the country of their trip and
went to the Mongolian pasture of Tom 
and Jerry...and "hall-oo-ed" them afar off
and they remembered and came running!
For old time's sake...

Not long after finishing that unforgettable 
book, I asked BE of she'd be on the 
lookout, when out shopping, for a little
statue of a camel to go on my writing 
desk...because I thought so fondly of 
those two the Thayer book.

Surprise: She disappeared somewhere 
and came back in three minutes with 
the neatest foot-tall statue of a camel
you could ever imagine.

She set it down in front of me and said:
"You remember the Christmas when our
little son, Brian, thought it was a fine 
idea to give us a camel statue?"

"Well, it has been behind the bed ever

I put it on the two 38" inch tall
bookshelves here beside my writing 
table and somehow people started
bringing and sending to me animals
of all kinds...until I had a real genuine
writer's animal shelf.

(One animal missing seems to be a
small/medium skunk...but ah, "skunk
scouts" are out there and looking.)

The "other" camel-appreciator, besides
me is a lady over in Texas, who has 
always wanted to spend a long vacation
in Egypt, visiting the pyramids, the 
Sphinx, the Nile---riding her own camel.

Alas, it has not happened for her as yet,
but I did obtain a nice drawing of a 
"camel at a carnival," and sent it to her.

Now, you readers aren't always privy to
behind-the-scenes-stuff; but here is a 
little secret: This is the SECOND longest
day piece.

The first one was written yesterday on 
June 20. And I liked it. But it had some
political overtones...very incisive and 
wise ones, I'll admit...but I think we have
all had enough politics for awhile.

Don't you.

Enjoy the cool fresh delightful breezes
of the old Gobi, on this...the longest day.


Monday, June 5, 2017


1100 Reid Street, CLOVIS, N.M.   MIL'S HOME, 1940'S
                  ---WHITE HOUSE, ON CORNER---

We moved into a really nice little brand-new two-BR home
that long-ago day of October 3, 1940. The address was 1100
Reid, Clovis, N.M.  I figure it was almost seventy-seven years

It was a well-built house with interior plaster walls,  real
hard wood floors, floor furnace heat, and a big picture window
in front with many panes. It had a wooden shingle roof and
was stuccoed all over with off-white.

It was an attractive neighborhood eventually stretching behind
the new Clovis Memorial Hospital---all the way to 14th Street.

That early fall day we moved in is memorable because every-
thing in the house smelled new---the paint, the varnish, the
walls...and for some reason my parents elected to go to the
Curry County Fair that night and we bought some orange
slices somewhere.

We lived there all through the WWII years and eventually our
home had elm trees, all around the  front and sides. As in the
manner of folks of that time, we had a cow/horse barn and pen,
a chicken house, rabbit hutches, and a Victory Garden.

We may have had a pig or two...once. In those days, we must
remember, many were fresh off being raised in a farm.

The elms trees grew to twenty feet tall or higher in just a few
years. We little kids were notoriously "suspicious" of everything
and spent much time siting up in these trees amongst the cool
leaves---spying on the world.

I believe it was 1941 when the wettest year in Clovis' history
occurred. That fall it rained and rained and water backed up
out of the dry lake bed at the end of 14th Street, and people
had boats out on vacant lots NW of us..

After a good shower, water would just come gushing down
our curb at 1100. We'd cut boats out of 2X4's and float 'em

There was no TV in those starved-for-recreation times. We
 had to be our own entertainment and use our imaginations.
We had comic books galore, radio programs on week nights
until 9 p.m. (static permitting), and of course our Saturday
afternoon westerns, serials, Tarzan and Charlie Chan movies.

And sometimes a good sword-fighting "show." With us, it was..
"go to the show..." not "go to the movies."

Thus our domiciles, backyards, front yards,  trees, bushes, and 
sometimes roof-tops---became the venues, the sets, the locales
for action scenarios of all kinds that we would devise in our order to have entertainment...and not die of 

Now we all know that any self-respecting venue for action
events, scenes, occurrences (or movies) requires water---a lake
or a river or an ocean

After all, even the Coliseum of Roman times, out on dry land, 
often had naval battles enacted within its walls! With an ocean!

It just so happened that in the summer of 1940, when my dad was
planting his lawn, that inadvertently a sizeable low place was left
there by the front corner of the house....and he planted clover, and
our lawn was always about half clover.

When this "low spot" matured and was filled with water, it made
a nice "clovery lake." maybe five inches deep. Slick and slippery!

So on many hot summer afternoons in Clovis, where there was no
air conditioning at that time--- and with the B24's training to go off
and fight overseas---as they were droning around the outskirts of 
town---we were having marvelously cool times...splashing in that 
"low place" at the corner of our lawn.

We wore either cut-offs or swim suits.

"SEE---I'm a Jap Zero shot down and crashing! " SPLASH!

"SEE---he plugs me with his six-shooter and I fall off my horse!" 

"SEE---my car is on fire and I have to leap out!" SPLASH!

Now I reckon every little boy should have a "low place"
somewhere that he can fill with water. Or do kids play the
same way nowadays?

One day in 1980 I was back in Clovis for a visit and I drove

my old childhood home of WWII Days...a place where we 
played and played as I have noted....and a happy place of
many Fibber McGee and Molly, Red Skelton, People Are
Funny, Bob Hope,  What's My Line?, The Hit Parade, and more...
Also radio shows, Monopoly, Lincoln Logs,  Tinker Toys,
Chinese Checkers...

There was a truck out front...the door was open...and the 
house was being remodeled. I knocked and chatted with
the remodeler, and walked throughout the house.

It had not changed much since we left 32 years before. The
kitchen linoleum was the same...the hardwood floors had new 
varnish and looked like new...the two driveway windows 
were open all the way...the ones from where we heard FDR's 
fireside chats wafting out on warm summer nights...

The old house was in pretty good shape after giving shelter
and warmth for a good many years.

The elms trees were all gone. Someone had let the lawns
die up and down the block. There was no grass, or very 
little, down the street.

The years had come along also for me...I had a fine family
and responsibilities that occupied my mind...and things to
do and promises to keep....and so I visited with the 
technician and wistfully walked out...

....but I regret to tell you...I forgot to check and see if our
low spot that we lived so much in those hot simpler
early times of life...was still there... the corner.
5 JUNE 17
Photo by Bob Snipes (who played there...)
    CIRCA 2015



NOTARY PUBLIC Coroplast SIGN with Grommets 8"x12" Horizontal Blue on ...

"Oh I'm my own Notaree
    I'm my own Notaree
It sound funny I know,
     But it really is so
Oh, I'm my own No-ta-ree!"

For you see...this thick
    envelope came in the mail...
Never mind, it was private
    big business---
an' I hadta' sign six times...

Oh yes, six times I hadta' sign...
    "Piece o' cake," I laughed,
"Piece o' cake I sang"
     "For there are many No-ta-rees!"

So we called Pat-see 'cross the
     street... works at a bank...
Ah, she'd retired.

Allison, runs a big Title Company,
     closes houses, heavy-duty
know-how lady, and a no-ta-ree...
     off pescando en Cancun.

Where else, called my bank...
     I knew the manager...
"Hey  An-dee you got no-ta-rees
     hanging from the rafters,
right down there, right?"

"Well, no, it's just me and Ed...
     an' he's out-in-the-field
all day long, practically, 
     you know."

"Can you take care of this
      for me, then?" Remember
I have ten G's in yore bank!"

"Wal, I don't do much of no see it
brings in no profit for the
     bank, and you know---
bottom line and all, haha,
     I can see you a week from

I was ticked off and I lied:
    "Hey, An -dee, I just recalled---
my brother-in-law is a no-ta-ree.."
      (Shame on me, I had fibbed.)

At the office supply company
    I picked up forms, sent a fee
to Santa Fe, got bonded, bought
    my labeler-thing (they don't mash
anymore) an' I signed an' no-ta-reed
    those six documents...

and I reckon a suaver one never lived..                  than me,
    and I was done with it---
It was a right smart
    easier than scouring the town
for a reluctant no-ta-ree...

"Oh, I'm my own no-ta-ree,
     I'm my own no-ta-ree,
It sounds funny I know 
     But it really is so---
I'm my own no-ta-ree."
17 APRIL 17