Tuesday, December 28, 2010


2010's almost gone, and I'm the same age as the year I was born, something I (and a lot of others, I'm sure) never thought I'd see.
I miss being younger, miss not aching when I walk, having parts of me not work when and how I want them to. I miss my home, not just the where, but the when; somewhere between the ages of five and thirty-five is when I truly felt the most....what?
The most free? What about all the years of drugs, and depression?
The most at peace? I had my first suicidal thought at ten, and many afterwards.
The most content? I wanted so much, without knowing what it was I truly wanted.
My life was not horrible, compared to many, and I enjoyed a lot of it....this blog is a record of some of that. However, while I'm waxing nostalgic, I need to keep in mind certain things....
It's only by the grace of God that I'm still here, alive, sane, and healthy, certainly not due to my own efforts.
My time will not end when it ends here....I have a blessed eternity to anitcipate.
Even in the turmoil of this life, I am blessed.
2011 is nearly here, and Lord willing, I will be, as well.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I just finished spending almost three weeks laid up with an infected foot....I was stuck in the apartment because I couldn't walk, and there was no way to get the wheelchair downstairs. So, I had a lot of time by myself, and a lot of time to think.
I'm blessed...sometimes, I can't believe it. Here I am, turning fifty-five tomorrow, unemployed, overweight, uglier than an Adam Sandler film festival, but I know I'm blessed. I have the love of my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, and His promise of eternal salvation. If you don't have it, look into it; it's real, and we're not making it up.
If I died today, I could still say that I'd lived a full, eventful life, not always happy, pain free, or even free, but still there's not much I'd change. My family loves me, I've learned, taught, taken, recieved, loved, and are loved.
One special woman has chosen to spend her life with me....that was one of those things that I really didn't know how important that was to me until it, until she, was there. She loves ME, the Caliban of the NorthCoast, the clown, the joke....now, we're laughing together.
To everyone, Merry Christmas, and may your gifts be as special to you as mine are to me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


We've got a drive-in here in Whitney, a Sonic, where you pull in in your car, and a smiling young lady on skates brings you your meal. It's okay, but nothing like the places we had when I was little.

Lorain had several drive-in restaurants back then, all long gone. There was The Hoop, which had three outlets in Lorain, one on Kansas Avenue, as you came off the 21st Street Bridge on the east side, another at the corner of West Erie and Leavitt, and one on Route 254. The Big Dipper, my personal favorite, was at the corner of Colorado Road and Kansas Avenue. There was one in South Lorain, on Pearl Avenue, the name of which escapes me.
There's a Dog-N-Suds on 254, but to be honest, we didn't go there that much....as late as 1975, as far as I know from personal experience, they had a habit of serving whites before blacks, even if the blacks were there first. The ice cream stand in South Amherst had the same problem.
Still, I loved the drive-ins, the cool trays that hooked to your window, the girls with their smiles and ponytails, and the great food; my favorite meal then was a footlong, catsup only, fries or french-fried mushrooms, and a chocolate shake.
Ahhhh....Sonic, you are SO close....

Monday, November 22, 2010


This year, like last year, we're having Thanksgiving dinner at a buffet restaurant in Cleburne, a town not far from Whitney. The food there is excellent, and of course there's no hassle about cooking or cleaning up, but I miss the hustle and bustle of holiday meals prepared at home.

When I was little, my Ma and a couple aunts (generally MaryEllen and Delores) would spend the entire night in the kitchen, cooking such wonderful goodies. I could stay up and help, as long as I didn't make a mess. I stirred things, frosted cakes, and of course got to lick all the bowls I wanted.
There was turkey, naturally, and ham, mashed and sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, stuffing, rolls, cake, pies, and ice cream. And one year (I think I was eight), I got to make something of my own.
Aunt MaryEllen was making pies, and my job was to trim the uncooked crust around the rim of the pan. When I'd finished, she said, "Would you like to make something?" I did, but I wasn't sure what I could make.
She had me take the dough trimmings, roll them out into a flat sheet, then cut the dough into circles with a small jar lid. Then, she gave me a jar of apricot preserves, and told me to place a teaspoonful on each circle. Next, she showed me how to fold the sides of the circles over, to make a sort of tube holding the preserves. When we'd finished, we had about two dozen small pastries ready to be baked; they were served with the cakes and pies the next day, Thanksgiving .
Thank you, Auntie...y'know, I haven't made those since then; 'bout time, perhaps.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


The name of this entry is such because that's what we all called this particular event, due to the shape we were in for this gig.
It was September of '77 (or '78) and we were still deep into our party-animal phases. I don't know all the particulars of how Mike(McDowell) and them got booked for this show, or why they, for one night only, fused two bands together under the name "Star", but, there it was. Star was headlining, following Cobra, a Latin-jazz / rock group from Lorain, and Course of the Electric Messenger, an out-of-town fusion band.
The event reminded me of one of those Marvel Summer Special issues they used to put out, guest- starring everyone-my MOTHER was there, along with every head and Martian in the area, it seemed.
The music was great....Cobra and Course funked the place up royal, and Star blasted the wigs back on the whole crowd...a good time was had by all.
There was one unusual event....after the show, someone fell into the orchestra pit. They weren't hurt, but no one seems to remember who it was, although everyone who was there afterwards remembers it happening.
Perhaps it was me....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


My wife and I were discussing my habit of being a smartmouth this morning....personally, I've never seen it as a problem.
I've always been a smartmouth...I was small for my age in school, plus I'd been skipped a grade, which meant I wasn't going to be much of a fighter. However, I had a quick wit, and scads of role models, everyone from Ghoulardi to Steve Allen to the Man From U.N.C.L.E. had a smart mouth...it was cool.
We'd have putdown contests in school, just for fun....we had certain rules to go by, 4-X, if someone's mother was dead, we didn't crack on her. The idea was to keep your cool, and respond with something equally (or better) witty.
I will admit, I sometimes used wit to push people away, like the time I asked a nosy classmate, "Say, Judy, if your brother needs a pair of socks, does he reach down the front of your dress?" It had the desired effect....she never dipped in my business again, although I got a trip to the office for that.
I've gotten older, and I don't rag on people like that anymore, although sometimes, I'll get that "heads-up-display" with all the cunning things I COULD'VE said in my mind. To be honest, I'm content to keep my mouth shut, rather than hurt someone's feelings. I still like ragging on the tv people....they can't hear me!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I'm probably being childish, and it probably won't do any good, but I'm pissed....the yutzes at Channel 8 in Dallas have dropped "THIS"Network, in favor of bad home-improvement shows and infomercials. I e-mailed the station, but I'll be suprised if I even get an answer.
"THIS" showed cool movies....yeh, sometimes over and over, but it was better than most of what's on. Old Westerns, horror films, blaxploitation, and movies I'd never even heard of before, "THIS" showed them all; they'd just recently started running "ELVIRA'S MOVIE MACARBE" on the weekends.
What the #^##* is wrong with people?

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I've mentioned my love of monster movies more than once here; as a red-blooded American boy of the mid-20th century, it'd almost be de rigueur.
A large part of that was the magazine, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, which I read from the age of ten until its demise seventeen years later. The copy illustrated here is the first one I ever bought myself, having read borrowed or newsstand copies before.
Forrest J Ackerman, the Editor, was like that uncle who bought you toys and ice cream when no one else would....I remember getting his phone number (213) 666-6326 (or MOONFAN, as it was often put in FM) I called him a number of times, generally getting the answering machine, as Forry traveled a great deal, but occasionally reaching him. I remember back in the fall of '74, calling him whilst a dinner party was in progress...I could hear the unmistakeable voice of Vincent Price in the background, telling a joke. I asked Forry who was there, and he said, "oh, a few friends....Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury...." "Forry, please, would you call one of them to the phone?" "Now, Alan" he said, " you wouldn't want me to do that; that would be rude". He was right, of course.
Every other month, I plunked down my coins for this shared experience, celebrating the love of the unusual, and those who made it possible. FM folded in 1983, one issue shy of its 25th Anniversary. It has been revived, without Forry, who passed away in 2008, but I've never bothered to read it....it's not the same, nor am I.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I'm grateful for many things since moving to Texas, my wife, the friendly peoople, but one thing that definitely comes to mind is the weather, especially in the winter.

I grew up on the NorthCoast, and you'd think I would've gotten used to cold, wind-chill, and lake -effect weather; uh-uh. I HATE cold, question the very sanity of those who love playing in snow, and wrestled with Seasonal Affective Disorder for most of my life.

I can still remember when I first realized it. I was seven, down at the foot of the driveway, building a snowman. I'm patting more snow on top of its head when, like a light being turned on, reality blew in.

  • I'm standing in cold, wet snow.
  • It's still snowing.
  • I'm actually HANDLING this cold, wet stuff.
  • I'm out of my gourd.

Ever since then, winter has been four months and change of bummer, particularly on the NorthCoast, where winter hits like Godzilla on a Tokyo weekend. Later for that.

It's snowed twice since I got here, and it's gotten down to about twenty degrees....thank you, Lord.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Halloween is two days away, and I miss being of an age to trick-or-treat. It's not the candy-I can get that anytime- but the sheer adventure of the evening.

I imagine most places, kids don't go door to door at night anymore, just because of the way things are. we'd go, generally a couple days before the holiday itself, starting out just past sunset, which was a big part of the thrill....usually, we had to be at least in the yard at sunset.
Mainly, we worked our own neighborhood, although some years, Ma piled us into the station wagon and took us different places. I remember one year being taken to the house of the man who'd be my 7th grade Science teacher, as he'd been my mother's. We'd have big paper grocery bags, which of course got harder and harder to carry as the night wore on....eventually, we'd wend our way home.
Once there, everything was dumped out on the dining room table, and sorted. Apples, loosely-wrapped candy and such was always discarded. Store-wrapped sweets, money, and the odd toy, we got to keep. There was always so much stuff that no one complained about the discarding of some of it.
Here in Whitney, small town that it is, kids might still go out at night.....to be honest, I really didn't notice last year.
That'd be nice.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I decided it was about time to spotlight my signifigant other, my partner, my friend, my wife, Tracy Jean. That's her, sitting in front of her twin, Mary, and with me at the bus station in Cleveland. Right now, she's sitting next to me at a library computer; we can't afford one of our own just yet.
I think my mother would've not only approved of Tracy, they would've been good friends...she's an old-fashioned girl, good hearted, loving, mindful of God, country, and those around her. Generally, women my mother saw me with were likely to be self-destructive she-people who really didn't love me, or themselves, even.
We laugh a lot together, something that was missing from my life, REAL laughter, not the sardonic braying of the hiply tragic ghosts that haunt what passes for popular society. I'm really Andy Griffith inside, and Tracy Jean helps me to see that that's all right. We love a lot, the solid love that's an act of will rather than sensation.
I wish Ma could've seen her; Ma, and so many others who despaired over what would become of me.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I've been tastin' my mother's cooking in my mind the past few days, and I'm kinda wondering why, and why now.

My mother wasn't a fantastic cook, nor was she a dreadful one. Rather, she turned out good, hearty meals that I still remember fondly, forty-some years later.

We ate a lot of what's called "down-home" cooking, which was (is) fine with me... I adore fried chicken, porkchops, corn bread, and mashed potatoes; indeed, I could probably eat those items for a straight month without getting tired. Spaghetti was another favorite, as was kielbasi (Polish sausage, to the uninitiated), macaroni and cheese, and meat loaf. Her hamburgers were always well-done (I prefer rare), but always good.

That's the key, I think- it was her cooking, with her personality and love mixed in with the other ingredients. Not the best, but what I knew, and loved; I'd rather have that. No matter the budget, she managed to keep three growing boys, herself, and the dog and cat well- fed over the years.

Thank you, Mama; Lord willing, I'll put my feet under your table again, when this day is over forever, and the new Day dawns.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I wrote of this place before, and I promised to tell more about it; with Halloween approaching, I figure this is the time.

I moved into the building in June of '87. The rental space consisted of two single rooms, one at the front and one at the rear of the second floor(I occupied the front one), two three-room apartments, each with a living room, kitchen, and bedroom, and two bathrooms, shared by the tenants; at the time, both of the apartments and the other single room were occupied.

Over the next year, several things happened....the other tenants moved, and the landlord, who also owned (and lived in ) the tv repair shop on the first floor, became ill...he was moved to a nursing home, where he subsequently died, his son taking over the property, although he lived a ways away-he'd had the shop closed and padlocked, and rarely came around.

The strange things began happening about two months after John's death....I didn't have a phone, so John allowed me to give out his number. If I got a call, he'd bang on the ceiling with a broom handle, and I'd knock on the floor with my cane to let him know I was coming down.

Early one evening, about 6:30, I was watching the news when I distinctly heard three sharp raps from the floor. I snatched up my cane, rapped twice, and started out the door-I was halfway down the front stairs before I wondered just who-or what-had made the noise.

Over the next three years, literally hundreds of out-of-the-ordinary things happened at 1444 Broadway, pretty much a daily occurrence. One Friday evening, after I'd moved (with permission) into the larger front apartment, I was sitting in my living room, waiting for my friend Dave and his wife, Buddi, to arrive, to spend the weekend, as they often did. I heard the door at the end of the hall swing open, the bell above it jingle, and the sounds of voices and footsteps coming down the hall. I walked to the door, opened it, and looked down the hall...which was empty, the door still shut.

We captured voices and strange noises on tape, took photos which bore odd images invisible to the eye, candles would light by themselves, Christmas lights which weren't designed to blink would, in time to music, when spoken to, half the string, all of it. My digital clock began to run backwards, something the manufacturer said was impossible. One night, I'd set up my coffeemaker in anticipation of Dave, his wife, and Lisa, one of Buddi's friends coming. they came, and as we were carrying groceries and stuff into the apartment, I heard the Mr. Coffee bubbling, and smelled the coffe brewing- I assumed Dave had turned it on, as there was already water and coffee in it. When I looked, the carafe was empty, bone dry, and the machine still switched off. Dave also heard and smelled this, and assumed I'd turned it on. Buddi and Lisa, neither of whom drank coffee, smelled and heard nothing.

I finally moved out in July of '91. My stuff was at Dave's for the moment, and I was set to move to Cleveland in early September. I locked my apartment, and the back door, and came down the front stairs, and locked the front door. I pushed the keys through the mail slot, hearing them land on the other side, and walked downtown to run some errands.

Coming past 1444 a couple hours later, I noticed the keys lying on the stoop...I'd checked to make sure they'd gone through the mail slot, and they had.
I admit to being relieved when I heard that the place had been torn down. As a Christian, I don't believe that the dead return as ghosts, but I DO believe that demonic forces oftimes cause such phenomena to confuse humans about the afterlife, and their relationship to it. This, I know-strange things went on at 1444 Broadway between October of 1988 and July of 1991, things I'd rather leave alone.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


When I was a kid, I never believed in Santa Claus, because we went Christmas shopping with my mother; besides, young scientist that I was, I knew no man that fat would fit down our chimney.
However, there WERE a few really strange things I did believe....
Most people stir coffee, tea, etc. clockwise...so, I believed that if you stirred it anti-clockwise, it would unmix.
I heard someone use the phrase, "skeleton in the closet" when I was about six, so I became convinced that there was one in our upstairs hall closet, waiting to jump out and grab me as I walked down the hall to bed.
I also believed in the Toilet Monster, a creature that lived in the pipes, and was awakened by the sound of the toilet flushing at night, and would try to get you if you weren't fast enough.
I believed that the stockboys who worked at the supermarket had the additional task of going out and shooting the Thanksgiving turkeys sold in the store.
I believed that thunder was angels bowling....thanks, Mom; storms weren't as scary.
I believed that the phone ringing at night was dead people trying to call you...thanks a lot, Rod Serling, and my cousin, Todd.
I thought mechanical fortune tellers were alive; they still give me the lightweight creeps.
The Dreamland Theater had its restrooms in the basement, and to get to the men's room, you had to pass these three red steel doors, with padlocks on them; I was positive that that's where the monsters were kept between pictures. Once, as I was coming back from the restroom, I noticed that the farthest away door was unlocked...as I walked (carefully) past it, it began to open, and I ran like a missile up the stairs.
I stopped believing in such silly things as an adult...although I still cringe a bit if a phone rings at night.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

MARVEL, 1960's

Now, I'm sure some folks may wonder why I've written a blog on Marvel, when I just wrote one on comic books...

The best answer is, you hadda be there.

Picture this-it's the early sixties, and you're a regular comics reader. If you're a guy, you're probably reading DC, the home of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, etc. You've been reading them for a few years, and they're okay, but a bit, well...generic.

Bad guy shows up.

Hero shows up, to stop bad guy.

Bad guy throws some kinda monkey wrench into hero's plans.

Hero goes home, paces, talks to butler, dog, whatever.

Hero sees (hears, smells, whatever) something that gives him....AN IDEA!

Hero faces bad guy again, uses idea to defeat him.

Hero flies (swings, runs, drives, swims) away, whilst delivering witty / cute tag line.

For Wonder Woman, read, "heroine".

Yawnsville, daddy-o.

Suddenly, you see a strange title on the racks, or someone lets you read their new comic, and you're blown away....

A hero makes money using his powers, but can't cash the check because he has no I.D. with his codename on it.

One of the strongest men in the world has a teenage gang harassing him, 'cause they dig him; he's from the 'hood, after all.

And so much more.
What really made Marvel special back then was not just the stories, or the art, but the Marvel Bullpen, and their relationship to the fans, the Marvelites....
STAN the Man LEE
Jazzy JOHNNY ROMITA, and all the rest, those magical grown-ups who had such a ball turning out this modern American folklore, and making us a welcome part of it. Sure, DC had Letters pages in its comics, but they were nothing like Marvel. The Marvel Letters pages were like a big treehouse, where anyone who could climb up was welcome, and had a voice, not to mention that they were just downright fun.
Marvel has changed, and to be honest, I don't like some of what they've done in the past few years. However, Uncle Stan is still around, the films recall the magic of those days, and we Original FrontFacers have long memories.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Strictly speaking, I don't read comic books anymore; I occasionally read graphic novels, which are sometimes made up of stories from particular comics, and I enjoy the live-action and animated films put out by DC and Marvel. However....
There's nothing like going into the local candy store, or drugstore, or wherever, and seeing new comic books on the racks. Even if your favorite titles aren't in sight, you're inspired to dig through the racks until you find them, or the counterguy says, in an exasperated tone, "Hey, this ain't a library...you gonna BUY sumthin'?"
The bright colors. The title logos. The cover art, sometimes having nothing at all to do with the story inside-this was what dimes were for, to buy these gems of fantasy and wonder, crafted just for you. The tingly thrill of pulling each desired title from its niche, wanting to read them right there, but wanting to wait until you reached the comfort and privacy of your room or favorite space. Savoring each story, cheering inside as the hero defeats the bad guys, saves the city, or the world, or maybe just the girl, and still managing to keep his secret identity intact.
Comics have changed a lot, and I fell off the merry-go-round at some point. The animated versions of DC's heroes and Marvel's live-action films seem pretty close to the characters I lovingly read for twenty-five years, fallen, flawed people with the desire to do good, and to uphold justice, not by concensus or committee, but by simple, basic right and wrong.
That, it has always seemed to me, is the way to go.

Friday, September 17, 2010


So sue me...I love bad cinema.

It probably stems from being exposed to Ghoulardi at the age of seven, and all the other purveyors of cinecheese that warped my young mind.

The fact that pot and bad movies go together so well didn't hurt, either.

Back in the mid-70's, on Saturday afternoon, I'd head over to Mike's, or Dave's, and we'd tune in "MAD THEATER"on Channel 43 at noon; Super-Host would run two movies back to back, along with his arch commentary about local and national government (Supe's Sivics). We'd fire up a joint or the bong, and get mellow.

At four, 43 would show another movie, generally also horror or SF; we'd raid the fridge, or walk up to the store for munchies. "STAR TREK" came on at six, and "SPACE:1999" at seven.

"THE STAR MOVIE" began at eight, and was also often a trip...we'd get lit again, and hit the streets at ten, well-buzzed and happy.
In the 80's, Lorain Twin Cinema began Dollar Night on Monday and Wednesday -we'd catch horror, SF, and action-adventure flicks, and vote amongst us as to how much of a dollar the movie was worth.
Today, of course, I can rent DVDs of really awful movies (or buy them), and I don't get high anymore, but I still love cheese...having YouTube on computer and THIS Network on TV helps.
Generally, watching these films is a solo experience these days; my friends are a thousand miles away, or passed on. However, I lift my glass to absent friends, and shout "GO GO GODZILLA!", as the Big G hits the Big T again.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


They were talking on the news about another move to legalize pot in California....to be honest, I don't really have a strong stance on it, one way or another.
I smoked pot for years, the last time being about eighteen or so months ago. By that time, I wasn't smoking it daily, as I once had, or even weekly, nor was it something I felt I HAD to have. I looked at it as I look at the occasional beer I might drink, something I do once in a while, not to excess (the Bible prohibits drunkenness, not alcohol use), and I don't see it as something I'm contemplating in the near future.
For me, the fact that pot is currently illegal is the sticking point; as a Christian, I'm supposed to shy away at lawbreaking, as long as the law does not oppose the Word, 4-X, if there were suddenly a law requiring public worship to Obama, I'd defy it, privately and publicly, for worship is to be given only to God through Christ Jesus. I didn't always feel this way about it, but I'm more comfortable leaving it alone.
If pot ever becomes legal, I'd consider taking it up again, with the same self-restrictions I place on alcohol ; indeed, if it comes to overall safety, I'd give pot the edge. I wouldn't smoke it looking to fill a hole in my life (BT-DT-GTTS), but just as a relaxant. I don't crave the high, but I'm not above being nostalgic about the feeling.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Yes, I am a Christian, and a fundamentalist, at that; basically, all that means is that I believe that the Bible is literally true, i.e. if Genesis says that everything was created in six days, I believe that...why not? We're talking about capital-G God, here.
To be a fundamentalist Christian means to believe that (A) man is a fallen creature, in need of salvation, (B) faith in Christ is the only means of salvation, not any other belief, and (C), some things are just plainWRONG in the eyes of God, and man saying that they're okay counts for nothing.
Having said these things, let's talk about what Christianity DOESN'T mean....
(A)-It doesn't mean that jews, muslims, homosexuals, etc. are going to Hell because of what they are...if they go, it's because of what they do not have, that saving relationship with Christ.
(B)-It doesn't mean that I'm to hate people. 4-X, I don't hate muslims, but I hate islam, because it's decieving people into Hell, same for mormons, jehovah's witnesses, satanists, whatever.
(C)- It doesn't mean that I'm somehow "better" than people who're not saved. I still have my sin nature, and I sin daily; we all do. The ONLY difference is that I have believed in Christ, that He is the Son of God, and God, the Son, that He came to earth as a human, lived, bled, suffered, died, and rose again, to pay man's sin debt.
(D)- I don't witness to people because I want to "force my beliefs on them", or because I hate them...I can't force anyone to believe anything. And, if I hated other people, I'd simply remain silent about Christ, and watch them trip merrily off to Hell.
Ask the Holy Spirit for knowledge, and understanding....if you're sincere, you will recieve it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Sometimes, you just gotta do what you feel is right, regardless. I must admit, I would've handled this differently now, but at the time, it seemed the way to go.
My dog, Nipper, had no leash or collar, or a licence. I figured, he faithfully followed me everywhere and behaved himself, so what's the use of binding him up? As far as the licence, I saw it as just more Big Brother interference.
Anyway, one day he and I are at the store along with Ralph, the beagle from next door. The three of us are walking back when I spot this low-slung, dirty blue city truck-THE DOGCATCHER! I shout, "RUN, guys", and we take off for home, Ralph racing up on his porch, Nip and I ducking in our front door. Thing is, the Kraut saw us, and came straight to my house.
He couldn't take Nip; we were in the house, and it was a first offense, but he issued me a citation, to appear in court the following Monday.
So, there I was , before the Honorable Valentine Toth, explaining why my dog didn't need any of these things, and why I, as a citizen of this great country, didn't believe in them. Judge Toth listened patiently, then explained to me how, my beliefs notwithstanding, the law was the law, and I was fined ten dollars.
At the time, I didn't have ten bucks, nor was I inclined to hand it over anyhow. The Judge said, "Mr. Hopewell, you may pay the fine, or spend a day in jail." With the strains of "One Tin Soldier" ringing in my ears, I stuck out my wrists for the bailiff.
The worst part was all the razzing I took for going to jail over a dog. Thing is, Nip was my friend, and sometimes, you make the hard choice for a friend, and for a principle.
Y'know, had I a friend like Nipper today....I might do it again.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I miss school.
True, by high school, some of the fun of it had worn off, but I miss that anticipation of a new year, new class, teacher, new students, sometimes.
Until the fifth grade, I went to school with the same kids...then we moved, and I spent a year getting used not only to new kids, but a new grade school-4-X, you ate lunch at the school, rather than going home for lunch, as before. Near the end of sixth grade, we moved back to the original area, and when I started Junior High in the fall, it was with kids from both grade schools I'd attended.
Hawthorne was an old school, and a lot of the teachers had been there when my mother had been a student. Still, just the novelty of going to different rooms with different teachers for each subject made it interesting.
To be honest, I wasn't a very good student then... I'd sorta dropped out of participation in society, not a smart choice, but it was the one I made. I still learned, and enjoyed learning- I just didn't do homework.
It's almost expected to say that kids today have it easier in school than we did, but I disagree. We didn't have to face drugs, people with guns, and the thousand and one factions that attempt to lay claim to the souls of children today, not to mention apathetic teachers and agenda-driven school boards.
If I had the chance to go back today, and do it over....I wouldn't.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I grew up with Cleveland as our Big Neighbor to the East, and spent time there, visiting relatives and such...I never thought I'd live there.

As it developed, I had an opportunity to work for a man who had an apartment building on Cleveland's East Side and, as I was unemployed, took the job. I spent four depressing years living on the corner of 81st and Superior, dodging crack heads and bangers, and wondering how people lived like this.

One Sunday morning, I walked out my front door, planning to buy some coffee. As I stood there, gathering my early-morning wits, I noticed a large vehicle rounding the corner. Behold, it was nothing less than Lolly the Trolley, with a load of tourists carrying a load of cameras, as if they were in Yellowstone.


Large cities are psychotic, and seem to have a similar effect upon their residents. It'd take me days to describe all the ways that Cleveland pegs the nutso meter, but I've neither time nor inclination. Remember, it's a cool place, but repeated exposure can cause cancer in laboratory equipment.
Life here in Whitney is slower, and the people are merely eccentric, rather than psychotic...just looking at all that sky is worth the price of admission.
I DO miss some things, but they're just things; I've gained so much more here.