They Come and They Go

I was a young, green technician.  Leonard was a battle-scarred veteran, that hired on in the middle fifties.

Leonard had been around for a long time. Long enough to see many managers come and go.  Just a few years away from a full pension, he didn’t scare easily.

It seemed his workplace was the proving ground for new managers. New managers introduced ceremoniously by parades of other managers. “I love a parade,” Leo muttered under his breath.

In the military, newly commissioned officers were called “jet jobs.”  Would this newbie adhere to the script? Probably. Crack down at first, to show who was in charge, then slack off a bit.

New managers started by riding along with specially selected employees. The purpose was to get acquainted, also, to suggest more efficient ways to work.

Leonard was wise to such tactics. He’d listen to suggestions, then explain pros and cons, why these new methods wouldn’t work in the real world.

Wait long enough, this manager would be gone–just like the rest of them. Kicked upstairs, transferred, or sent wherever. Because managers came and went–you could count on it.

Summer Replacements

Every summer, when prime time TV shows went on hiatus, out came summer replacements.  One example, the John Gary Show filled in for the Danny Kaye Show.

The replacement show must not have made much of an impression.  I don’t remember much about John Gary–except that he was a singer.  It would be safe to say, it was of the variety show genre.

Guest lists would have included the likes of Lola Falana, Sergio Franchi, and Liberace.  These old TV shows can easily be accessed on Me TV or on You Tube.

Three entertainers passed away recently–Doris Day, Tim Conway, and Peggy Lipton.  I’m more familiar with the work of the first two.  Nevertheless, their styles of acting, entertaining, will never be replaced.

Blackberry Quest

The beginning of hot weather always reminds me of this.


blackberriesDad’s blackberry quest began shortly after dawn one July morning under blue skies and puffy clouds.  A gallon glass jug, covered in moistened burlap, wrapped with binder twine, was filled with cool well water.  The receptacle, a two-and-a-half gallon bucket, carried, along with the water jug.

A straw hat provided the only shade.  Typically attired in bib overalls, blue chambray work shirt, and a blue or red bandana sticking out of his back pocket.  The bandana mopped perspiration and shooed away pesky bees and flies.

Accompanied by Tippy, faithful Shetland sheepdog, and a barn cat or two, the little party traipsed to a wild blackberry thicket–one of several scattered throughout the pasture.  Hereford cattle stared as they walked by.  They were more interested in cool pond water.  A bullfrog stopped and quickly resumed his basso profundo chorus.

By mid-morning the first bucket was filled.  Morning coolness had all but faded away.  Cicadas began their noisy revelry.  A drop of sweat ran down and came to a point at the end of dad’s nose.  He wiped his brow…

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Time to bring up the question again.


laughing gull

Fuggetaboutit–are you an idiot?  That’s what laughing gulls are supposed to do.

This wise guy gull’s about to unload on some unsuspecting tourists walking underneath; then, the joke’s on them.

I don’t want to talk about it.  It’s a stupid question.  Gulls are stupid.  You’re stupid.  Go away and stop bothering me.  They’re nothing but flying rats.  They’ll eat anything–even garbage.

That gull happens to be a talented comedian among birds.  …King of the one-liners–like Henny Youngman.  Whaddaya mean–Henny who?  You know–the guy with the violin.  You never heard of him?  I give up.  You just don’t get it.  It doesn’t matter that he’s laughing at his own jokes.  Give me a break, already.

There was a book written about a seagull–“Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”  Maybe this is him?  No, it couldn’t be–that book was written a long time ago.  This could be one of his relatives.

I know–he’s spotted some…

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Picture of the house at 101 E. Oak St., taken in 1953.


Bill, Jerry, Mom & George

“Mom, some men like Uncle Harvey don’t have any hair–why?”

Mom ignored the question as long as she could.

“Mom, Mom–daddy’s got lots of hair.  Mr. Wilson’s got a little bit of hair.  Why is that?”

“Why, Why?”  “What, What?”  Mom answered in frustration.  “I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because they scrub their heads with a wash rag.”

For most of my life up to young adulthood, I was very careful not to shampoo my hair with a washcloth.


Editor’s note:  I’m on the left, in the above picture.

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This falls under the category of getting messy with food.



Somewhere between wearable food and klutziness lies the mystery of the missing meatball.

It started when a delectable Italian meatball lunch sandwich met up with yours truly.  I paid for four happy meatballs.  Now, there were only three.  It was sad–because it was only there for a brief moment.

Meatballs can be difficult to keep under control–fair warning from me.  I hated the “On Top of Spaghetti” song about a poor meatball that embarked on an unplanned journey when somebody sneezed.

The sneezing part was gross and disgusting.  Wasn’t that why they had sneeze guards at salad bars?

The prodigal meatball was nowhere to be found.  What to do–crawl under the table on hands and knees?  The five-second rule had long passed–if anybody really followed it.

After paying the tab, getting ready to leave–there it was.  The saucy, recalcitrant missing meatball was on the floor under the back of my chair. …

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