There is just something about amorn in June,with its brightblue sky, its cool mountain air,and the perkiness of theplants and flowers...that calls meto arise...and be a part of it.It is almost as if all naturehas had a good night of respite(in the shade) from the "burningof the noonday heatand the burdens ofthe day..." and is awake earlyand declaring the Glory of God!I had gathered my beat-uplittle leather notebook, Crossrolling-ball pen, and thrown onmy summer weight flannelFillson shirt (these early Junemornings can be a bit cool),and ensconced myselfwith my hot coffeeat the faded white lawn tableover by the tomatoesand was surveying theinteresting thingsall around me.Through the neighborhood treesand houses I spied theSandia Mountains, five mileseast, and being still in shadethey were already majesticbut did not looklike "watermelon" slicesyet, this early.A chicken hawk was gracefullysoaring above on meagerunseen updrafts...kind of lookingfor some juicy earthlybreakfast morsel,like maybe a mouse!As I sipped my coffee, I heardlittle bird noisesjust across the white fencein the piñon tree...Our two resident house finches,little birds which hang outregularly on our grain-feederoutside my writing window...were flitting and flirting andpecking at each other....from tree limb to limb theyhopped and frolickd....That "bird-pecking" looked alittle bit like beak-smoochingto me.Ah the bigger one, with the brightred head---the male--wasmakng, oh such-tiny sounds as if---singing to the cute littlegirl bird...Listen....I could barely hear:"peep...a..peepa...peep...tra la...peepa..la...you...my...baba...la...la..peep..."He sounded good...like he hadtaken peep lessons...somewhere.As I sipped and meditated, andtook in the marvels ofthis early June day, I rememberedIsaac Watt's song hewrote almost four centuries agoparaphrasing Psalm. ---"And heaven and nature sing!"and then I rememberd Haydn's"CREATION:""The heavens are telling the gloryof God,The wonder of His work displaysthe firmament."And I wrote these thoughts down---in my beat-up leathernotebook---they might fit intoa good poem---one of these days.*******************BY MIL17 JUNE 17
Monday, June 26, 2017
Early this cool June morningI walked outsidecarrying my coffee and favorite6 1/2 X 4 leather-bound volumeof Wordsworth's poemsThe mountain air wafting gently infrom the Sandia Mountainsfive miles eastwas so fresh, so cool, so sweet,and it flowed into my lungseasily and gentlyThere seemed to be an all-envelopingquiet in the neighborhoodNo loud trash-trucks,motorcyclists,nor speeders were up yet... and thecity tree-shredders had finallygone awayA robin, left-over from April, washopping and peckingaround on thefront lawn, after a fat wormOur two resident blue jays were atit again--having a big quarrel(where else) -- in the very topof the tallest pine tree...A few big white fluffy clouds werealready billowing upover the "Watermelon Mountains,"as if anticipating theforecast of 99 degrees todayA little bit of dew, though not much,glistened there on thefront lawnin the cool...we could usesome rain...Our tomato vines, planted in Earthboxes, three weeks ago,and hidden in the front yardbehind the white fence---this rare mountain morning---"Are dancing with joy, justto be alive..."as my dad once described hisgarden.Underneath the lip of a tomato boxif you know where to look---in a cool, moist placea mama and a baby snailhappily cling,upside down in theirshells, bothering no one...The sun was just now peakingthru Tijeras Canyonand warmth was creeping inas I sat down at theold faded white mesh table,in the corner thereby the tomato plants...I surveyed all these things andmoreand marveled, just likethe tomatoes...to be aliveTaking a sip of my now lukewarmcoffeeI opened the leather-boundWordsworthand read:"The world is too much with us,Getting and spending, welay waste our powers."and then---"Trailing clouds of glory dowe comeFrom heaven, which is ourhome."It was going to be...a grand day.*****************BY MIL16 JUNE 17
"He hath given us speech for endless palaver..."
Somewhere...sometime, along the way---
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
Oh yes, we can talk...we're talkers
"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...
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
Basic happy things like that
Worse---have Americans lost their
belief in God?
and their judgment
25 JUNE 17
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Well I had one.Have you ever noticed that waiting takesforever?Have you ever noticed:The people who make you wait, neverapologize...ever.Why, would you believe that on twovisits to the same favorite doctor, I arrivedeach time fifteen minutes early (which theylove---why I don't know---) and had to waitforty more minutes...both times.Have you ever "gone and figured" that theworld's multitudinous waiting lines arefilled with mostly old folks....who have "paidtheir dues." They have fought the good fightand kept the faith...and they are oft tard and.......worn out...feeling miserable...and usuallycalled upon to wait...anywhere andeverywhere.Those pros who set appointments for theirservices owe it to their clients to so arrangetheir professional day, as to show efficiencyin their operation.Is packing their schedule to make up forno-shows---the answer?I know of a foot doctor's office where oneis lucky to be in and out in an hour andforty-five minutes.I will tell you an interesting story. (Have youever had a single doctor that you lookedfor a pain or ache as an excuse to visithim or her?)
He was that kind of likeable, efficientphysician. He had a sign up over thereceptionists' desk saying: "IF YOU HAVEBEEN WAITING MORE THAN TWENTYMINUTES, PLEASE INFORM US."They meant it too; tho' you might have towait some more in one of those numerous,mysterious rooms off the long hall. I likedthe doc anyway.He came in and checked the little bittybump on my nose, where the glasses hadrubbed...and said "Hmmm...we'll get thatlittle thing..." and he was gone.I lay there on that cold leather table withthe silly white paper on it...and no pillow...and after a while this cute nurse came inand 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 biggestHYPODEEMIC NERDLE on that tray I hadever seen...and you know, I didn't evengive it a second thought or worry a bit!For anyone with a first aid background likemine, I could immediately tell that an errorhad been made...for that little ol' bump onmy nose, you'd need TINY gadgets and aTEENSY needle with very little stuff in it.No, it was a mistake. There had to be a vetdown the hall that treated horses! Orsomething...to require such a dire needle...Well, guess what! I was wrong. There wasno horse doctor within a mile. That needlewas FOR ME. And he got the bump andmailed it in. And my nose was numb fordays....I stayed with those folks anyway; they hada good operation...and little waiting. Andme and the ladies at the front desk had arunning joke, for they had heard of mydisbelief and disdain for the BIG HYPO...I'd sign in and say: "I'll be waiting undermy car."They'd wink at each other and say to me;"That's okay Hon...one of us'll come andgitcha!"It wasn't bad under the car under thatshade tree, except the doc had toomuch gravel in his parking lot. It hurtmy back.*************MIL18 JUNE 17("tard..." sic)
'THAT CAMEL WAS BEHIND THE BED....THE WHOLE TIME..."
selected my favorite and most-colorfulmug and poured myself a cup of half-caff....settled down at my writing placeto muse a bit.At this early hour the temp was cooland the air was fresh and the "burningof the noontide heat" was yet todescend. BE, who read half the night,was still asleep.As I sat here, sipping and musing, myeyes settled on "Herbie," my foot-tallcamel statue.Herbie is a priceless friend (of sorts)because, you see, not only am I fondof camels, but he is the de facto cause/founder of MIL'S ANIMAL SHELF!The Longest Day---a good time toremember stuff...kinda like New Year'sDay----But let me digress here a momentand remind you of something. May Iborrow an expression fromEcclesiastes?"I looked, and under the sun,"could find no one in the world wholikes camels... (except me, and oneother.)Yes, I talked to people who had riddencamels at carnivals, circuses, balloonfestivals, Vidalia Onion sales, and eventhose world travelers who have beento Egypt and Australia...None of 'em liked camels. As the sayinggoes: "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 upon me...but have learnt about them...from books.A few years ago we ordered "A WALKACROSS THE GOBI" by Helen Thayer,age circa 64---a lady adventurer/traveler/writer. For the journey, she rented twocamels in Mongolia, and named them"Tom and Jerry."With her husband (nolens volens) in tow,and one camel loaded with 100 gallonsof water, they set out to cross 1600 milesof desert.One camel stumbled and spilled all theirwater in mid-trip. This was only one ofnumerous vicissitudes. But they made it!Tom and Jerry, who earned several yearsincome for their owner, were put out topasture over in Mongolia, almost as ifthey had won a big rich US horse race.Several years later, Thayer and husbandreturned to the country of their trip andwent to the Mongolian pasture of Tomand Jerry...and "hall-oo-ed" them afar offand they remembered and came running!For old time's sake...Not long after finishing that unforgettablebook, I asked BE of she'd be on thelookout, when out shopping, for a littlestatue of a camel to go on my writingdesk...because I thought so fondly of
those two camels...in the Thayer book.
Surprise: She disappeared somewhereand came back in three minutes withthe neatest foot-tall statue of a camelyou could ever imagine.She set it down in front of me and said:"You remember the Christmas when ourlittle son, Brian, thought it was a fineidea to give us a camel statue?""Well, it has been behind the bed eversince."I put it on the two 38" inch tallbookshelves here beside my writingtable and somehow people startedbringing and sending to me animalsof all kinds...until I had a real genuinewriter's animal shelf.(One animal missing seems to be asmall/medium skunk...but ah, "skunkscouts" are out there and looking.)The "other" camel-appreciator, besidesme is a lady over in Texas, who hasalways wanted to spend a long vacationin Egypt, visiting the pyramids, theSphinx, 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 tobehind-the-scenes-stuff; but here is alittle secret: This is the SECOND longestday piece.The first one was written yesterday onJune 20. And I liked it. But it had somepolitical overtones...very incisive andwise ones, I'll admit...but I think we haveall had enough politics for awhile.Don't you.Enjoy the cool fresh delightful breezesof 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
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
imaginations....in 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,
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...
....at the corner.
5 JUNE 17
Photo by Bob Snipes (who played there...)
"Oh I'm my own NotareeI'm my own NotareeIt sound funny I know,But it really is soOh, I'm my own No-ta-ree!"For you see...this thickenvelope came in the mail...Never mind, it was privatebig 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 thestreet... works at a bank...Ah, she'd retired.Allison, runs a big Title Company,closes houses, heavy-dutyknow-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-reeshanging from the rafters,right down there, right?""Well, no, it's just me and Ed...an' he's out-in-the-fieldall day long, practically,you know.""Can you take care of thisfor me, then?" RememberI have ten G's in yore bank!""Wal, I don't do much of nonotorizing...you see itbrings in no profit for thebank, and you know---bottom line and all, haha,I can see you a week fromThursday."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 companyI picked up forms, sent a feeto Santa Fe, got bonded, boughtmy labeler-thing (they don't mashanymore) an' I signed an' no-ta-reedthose six documents...and I reckon a suaver one never lived.. than me,and I was done with it---It was a right smarteasier than scouring the townfor a reluctant no-ta-ree..."Oh, I'm my own no-ta-ree,I'm my own no-ta-ree,It sounds funny I knowBut it really is so---I'm my own no-ta-ree."++++++++++++BY MIL17 APRIL 17