Fall fishing

Fall fishing can be the best or the worst of fishing days. Some days the fish are so busy thinking about sex that forget to check our hooks. Other days it is like a buffet line, our finned friends will hit on anything. Sunny mornings can turn into a blustery wet afternoon.

So on this morning rendezvous at the lake, the fish failed to show.We started with worms, then proceeded to go through our fishing boxes trying every little thing we could. Eventually we started fishing worms again.

The day was cold. Bundled up and ready to leave, my fishing partner Doug nudged me. A recent arrival to our shore was a girl, ten minutes in and she was pulling  out a nice trout. We settled our belongings back down and started to fish with the thought that they were beginning to feed. They were, at the end of her pole. Our little damsel had quickly caught two more.

That did it, Doug gathered himself and proceeded over to wonder girl. They talked and he returned.

“What did she say?” I asked anxious to duplicate her success.

“I could not understand a word she said.” said Doug quite put out at the failed attempt to steal her secrets.

It wasn’t five minutes before she landed another, a big one.

That did it. This time it was my mission to discover her extraordinary luck.

” Hi , we are amazed at your luck this morning” With a blanket around her shoulders and her directed to her pole, she mumbled a sentence or two.

” I’m sorry, I didn’t get that.”

With a touch of distain, she spit into her hand, ” It helps to keep the worms warm.”

The Pose

One evening after a short wrestling practice, the basketball girls waited for the locker room. Wrestling coach at that time, I hurried the boys and left the locker room for a time. I heard screams from the entry to the locker room. There was laughter and smiles among the girls and the crowd that had gathered.

It seemed that when asked if the boys were dressed, the answer was yes, but as the girls entered, they found the muscular 98 pound wrestler bare-necked standing on the taping table in his best pose…

The girls got back at him by telling friends afterward that ‘there wasn’t much to see.”

Good Evaluation

I seemed to rolling along quite nicely in one of my basic math classes. I finished my lesson on the board and was moving from student to student to give individual instruction. I told two young cowboys to settle down and get busy. About two minutes later, they were beside me at another student’s desk.

One was bleeding from his forearm, the other with a face as white as a sheet. ” I told him to stop stabbing me with his pencil or I was going to stab him with my knife.”

As I worked to stop the bleeding from the cut, knife boy continued, ” He did it again and I poked him.” With the knife in my pocket, they accompanied me to the office, still best friends.

Later, my wife looked over the accident report, Your yearly evaluation is going to look real good, except for the stabbing…”

A snapshot

There is a man in front of me

He is old

His shoulders seem pinched and somewhat stooped

His hair, where it exists, is sparse

Where it is not, the landscape is mottled, a lifetime in the sun

The face is highly exhausted, his laugh lines are deep furrows locked in time

A slight paunch, but not bad for a man who values eating so highly

His choice for the morning is hot coffee and a sunny dawn

He strives to get his goals done for the day by lunch before he tires

An afternoon nap is on the agenda every day

His music and his garden are his soul foods

His wife is his best friend, she and he from the beginning of time

At night, he rests his bones, she comforts him and keeps him warm

They say memories occur when emotion is attached to an event

He is thankful for all those who provided emotion in his life

On the porch or in the garden, he relives those moments as if in a movie

His family is comforting and a blessing, but they need him less and less as it should be

Any thoughts of past importance are mostly in his head

Today is his birthday

As I back away from the mirror, I must remember that he is me

Well, come on old man. We still have some living to do…






Human Speed Trap

Wish me well, Monday morning I am going down to city hall and offer myself up as a speed trap at of course at $15 dollars an hour. I have done the research and they need my expertise.

When I am in the crosswalk , cars fly by without stopping. Often, they give a grimace an apology or mouth the words, ‘I’m sorry’. They are really saying,” My car is going so fast that I can’t stop, it is the car’s fault.”

Well, I did the  math; if you walk off 200 yards and you stopwatch the time through the 200 yards, you can measure their speed: (less than 9 sec, faster than 45mph), (less than 8.2 sec, faster than 50 mph) and so forth… There are way too many cars and trucks going 20 mph faster than posted.

So, if you ever see an old man sitting on a folding chair wearing a black and white striped referee’s shirt and holding a large chalkboard and a surplus radar gun, beware. Please note, the police issue black baseball cap is optional.

As soon as said person gets a reading from the gun, he will write the speed in large letters on the chalkboard so said occupant can read it. The speed monitor will then record the license number in his official spiral notebook and text the dispatcher.

The sheer fear of seeing the striped shirt seated ahead would surely bring the front tires of the speeding beast to it’s knees.


The Mascot

My parents split up when I was 15. I spent the next year with my mother in California in a much larger town than I was used to. With no one that I knew, the large high school made me seem insignificant very quickly. In the small high school that I left in Colorado I was popular and played all the sports. But for the Bears in California, I was the 5th string quarterback.That allowed me to be the backup to the quarterback that got killed at every practice facing the 1st team defense. There were several times that I was looking out the earhole of my helmet after getting blasted by the starting team studs. I did earn a little respect in that I was ready every practice to be protected by the the worst blockers on the team, maybe the universe.

When basketball practice began, my best sport by the way, I faced the possibility of getting cut. An air force base was nearby, providing the majority of the team to be athletic black players. Because I came from a small high school, I had been given more attention than some of the players trying out. Many were playground players, out of control and hard to control. The coach was well-organized, keeping tally of all the things he expected. With quick hands and good fundamentals, I was the 15th player on a team of 15. There were two white players, the coach’s son and me. He was the best player, the best student, and the quietest person on the team. In modern times I might have been called the token white player.

Ivory, a tall black player who didn’t play football, toyed with my name.

“We have a whiteman playing for us,” he said , his eyes big with delight. “Us po’ colored boys have a chance now for sure.”

The only thing I could do well at this level is pass. The other guards wanted to do their thing before they passed the ball. There was no 3-point line as of yet, so the coaches wanted the ball inside to the big post players. With good timing and quick, accurate passes, I got to play in a lot of the scrimmage games. Of course, I had to put up with purposely hard screens, being bypassed by teammates when open, and sometimes even tripping.

One day, I came to practice with a pair of white ‘Chuck Taylor’ converse basketball shoes. At this time, they were the ultimate. Most of the rest of the team came over to watch me lace-up.

“Are these going to make you jump higher?”, questioned Ivory. Everyone laughed.

“Oh, I’m sure that they will,” I said with mock serious. I then ran up and down the court, a few steps each way. “look how fast I can run now.” expressing a silly giddiness. Several slapped my back as they passed by to prepare for drills. That was the first time that I knew I was the mascot.

I got to play in five games, always at the end of the game and always with less than one minute to play, once with 18 seconds to play. The team always ‘woohooed’ when I entered the game. I made two free throws during one game, that was my only shooting and my only scoring for the year.

Our campus was a series of yellow stuccoed buildings , California-style. There were covered passageways between the building, some quite narrow. One day between classes. I  was halfway through a passageway before I discovered I was right in the middle of a vicious black gang fight, both exits were clogged , everyone crowded in to watch. I hugged my books in front of me and flattened against the wall. One fighter was knocked into me, causing both of us to fall. He was immediately kicked in the face. Blood splattered all over the place.

The kicker and another of his gang were running out of targets, they both looked down at me. Suddenly , somebody pulled me up by the back of my collar, a letter jacket stepped forward slightly in front of me. The fighters hesitated looking at the pair of letter jackets surrounding me.

“Whoa,” said Ivory sternly staring at the pair. “He’s one of us.”



The N word

It happened last week, I couldn’t believe it. I am a good guy, often read the good book. It broke my heart that someone would think to use that word against me.

They called me the ‘N’ word I am still in shock. Yes , you heard it. They called me a ‘ Neanderthal’! I signed up with that 23andme outfit to discover all the great people in my lineage. They came back with the fact that I’ve more Neanderthal DNA than 90% of the world’s population. So you think that you have had trouble with race, color, or culture, be happy that you’re not a damned Neanderthal like me.

Now I know why my eyebrows curl all over my forehead. I know why I love golf, I get to use a club. I now know why calculus was such a wreck, because I am a Neanderthal. I now know why I love Barbecue, my tribe has always eaten bones with their hands. I now know why I have a reddish beard, it came from those northern European caves where they went at it day and night to provide the DNA for the futuristic specimen such as myself.

So there you have it, I act like a Neanderthal because I am one…