Sgt. Alvarez with Maggie
(Readers: I wrote this story based on an event nine years ago, glad to update it a bit.)
Eighty words bridged seven thousand miles.
“Write to a soldier and cheer them up,” said Mrs. Larsen, while coordinating a holiday writing campaign for her fourth grade class. My daughter, Maggie, carefully focused on the task. Her vocabulary simple, the paragraphs consisted of short-syllable action words. She wrote about her hobbies, family, school, and pets. Her letter was boxed with sixty others and mailed, destination unknown. ”You may not hear back,” I told her, “but we’re proud you tried.” Continue reading “Veteran Pen Pal Comes Knocking at Door” »
“I am part of everything that I have read.” Theodore Roosevelt
Hold the date trivia nerds. Box up the Scrabble game and come out for a good time. It’s a big night for big brains and bigger laughs.
What is the name of the dog on RCA’s old logo?
Name the mutt on October 25.
Which state is the first state and the diamond state?
State your answer October 25, in a Big room.
What type of animal is the sire, or father, of a mule?
It’s asinine to say. The answer is Top Secret. Continue reading “Sierra Nevada Brewery Hosts 13th Annual Trivia Bee for Literacy” »
Lin, ready to get wet
“A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.“ Proverbs 31:10
I hadn’t hugged her for years. Not because of a jealous mate, but because one of us had cooties. Lin had bad blood in her bones.
“Good thing I can’t kiss you,” I said. “You’d fall in love with me.” She laughed. Continue reading “Faith, Friends and Fortitude” »
They are kids with wrinkled skin who wear plenty of attitude.
Shuttle vans park outside the main entrance to cart them to and fro, whether to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping or to the movies. Panel doors slide open and wheel chair ramps pop out. After the cargos load, the vans are off and about.
Inside I walk by a greeter who sits across a gym. The gym is supervised by physical and occupational therapists, young 30-somethings coaching and pushing their clientele. Racks of two pound dumbbells line the walls. I observe old guys and gals stretching elastic bands, and the therapists stretching them. Continue reading “Hanging Out With Old Attitudes” »
“So God has a lava lamp. I’m cool with that.” Tom Bodett, pitchman for Motel 6
He made a career pitching hotel rooms.
In the mid 1980’s Tom Bodett lived in Homer, Alaska, the southernmost town in the state’s highway system. An outpost 200 miles south of Anchorage at the end of the road, Bodett was a writer, building contractor, and commentator on local National Public Radio (NPR). Bodett was discovered by a Dallas based advertising agency promoting a hotel chain in the midst of rebranding, Motel 6. Agency representatives heard one of Bodett’s stories and hired him to promote the chain, exclaiming “he sounded like the kind of person that stay’s there.” Bodett’s initial Motel 6 ads were test marketed in Texas and California. Needless to say, the Motel 6 brand was built around a guy who promised to “leave the light on for you.” Continue reading “It’s Summer. Time to Pitch.” »
To all Vets and to all who are still active military, thank you.
(Published in Hockey Player Magazine, April 2019)
Zero, ten, two isn’t a bike lock combination. It was last season’s hockey record. My Blazers suffered more takedowns last Fall than MMA wrestlers. The losses really sucked when we went 1-12 a few years back. But 0-10-2 really, really, sucks. Continue reading “Beer League Hockey Has No Free Agency” »
“We either laugh or we lie face down in the carpet weeping.” Leigh Anne Jasheway
I first reached out to her after Labor Day. My in-box chimed when I received her message, Leigh Anne Jasheway was game to be interviewed as part of my Humor Project. “It’s almost Thanksgiving,” she wrote, “You’re already behind…. in something.”
Three years ago I stumbled upon Jasheway while road-tripping to Eugene, Oregon. I helped my kid, an Oregon Duck, move into her coop. Between grocery runs I read an article in the Eugene-Register Guard about mutts. The writer, owner of a dachshund pack, lamented how her four-inched legged beasts were reputed neighborhood park beggars. Continue reading “Leigh Anne Jasheway Accidently Keeps Them Laughing” »
No costume. No props. No excuses.
When I re-booted my writing career six years ago my goal was to get regular gigs and earn a passive self-sustaining income from writing. My writing income isn’t even passive-aggressive. Continue reading “Etc. Guy Hockey Story to be Performed Live” »
”On vacations we hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings.” Erma Bombeck
Suntan lotion sales melt at forty degrees north. Especially in January when jackets cover skin. But compared to my buddy, O’Malley Nanook of Fairbanks, I have it easy. Located two-hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle, O’Malley covers up with flannel, mittens and parkas woven from caribou hide. This week’s forecast for O’Malley features balmy nights at 25 below, cold enough to freeze antifreeze. Continue reading “January Tanning at 40 Degrees North” »