Today would have been our daughter Molly’s 33rd birthday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY!
Of course, I love her and miss her. Daily.
I heard via the almighty Internet (on FB) that her best childhood friend is pregnant!
With a boy.
While I wish she and her husband well, part of me always wanted to be a grandfather. And, of course, that never happened.
And I’m a little jealous.
I’m certain Molly is happy for them.
We lost MARK BELL.
My co-worker, shooting student, sounding board, reminder of things good, bon vivant, and loyal friend.
We had just attended Kevin Baker’s blogshoot the previous Sunday, and had spoken on the telephone, yesterday (four years ago – I cannot believe it’s been four years!).
Then his beloved wife Cathy called me tomorrow (four years ago) to tell me he had dropped dead from a heart attack suddenly yesterday.
Having almost lost Walter recently, this may be a little maudlin.
I don’t care.
PLEASE, tell the ones you love that you love them, and hug them, if at all possible.
Because you never know.
When I was visiting my Sister on Christmas Eve (accompanying my ex-wife, who is close with my niece and grand-nieces. Yeah, it’s weird, sometimes!) my ex told me she had been visiting earlier that day with her (deceased) youngest brother’s children. One of whom had a child, who married someone already with a child.
So, they are a step-parent, and by extension, I found out I am a great, great uncle!
Now I’m not particularly close to these folks, and don’t know over half of them, so my social obligation is limited.
But the label! And the fact it’s 2016! That makes me….(carry the one)….(removes sock to count toes)….going to be sixty-four this November!
And my ex already took note that I am graying (Thanks, M!)…
But, I am grateful for all I do have, and the fact I am on this side of the dirt nap.
So there’s that.
Tempus Fugit, my friends.
The third rock from the Sun has gone ’round yet again. And it’s reportedly now 2016!
Happy New Year?!
I must report, not much has changed for me in the past 365 days, save increased age and perceived infirmity.
Same (low) disability income, same crummy car, same rental room.
BUT, I continue to have friends and family, who support me spiritually, morally, and sometimes even financially!
And that has made all the difference!
My thanks to you all – you know who you are.
Who knows? Perhaps this year will be even better?
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As Don Benjamin (my high school English Lit. teacher) used to say when he’d (intentionally) run out his lesson plan:
“Well, here we are!”
My roommate did a fine job on the tree (which she also bargain purchased – it’s artificial!). Sadly, neither one of us has enough money to do the holiday up right.
And she’s visiting her daughter in Tucson, today.
I visited my Sister’s for Christmas Eve festivities – here is a pic of nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews and my sister sporting their silly socks! :-) ♫You put your left foot in…♫
I’ve the critters to keep me company today, and a traditional dinner of Italian food later for which to look.
Santa didn’t bring me the woman I asked for! Nor the guns!
But, I’ve a roof over my head, a 16-year-old car that sometimes works and fuzzy creatures to annoy, confound and entertain me.
And food for my belly.
Life is good – to all my friends, near and far, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
I accompanied my roommate while she ran a couple of bureaucratic errands the other day.
For company and moral support. Lots of taking numbers, sitting and waiting to be called, then more sitting. In the traditionally uncomfortable office stack chairs.
And I’d not visited governmental facilities is many years, in fact, since I’d been a private investigator. And this day I visited two, one federal, one State.
I’d forgotten, having been acclimated to the intrusion of airport searches, sobriety checkpoints et al, of the government building rights intrusions.
The federal facility was a low-key satellite facility. An armed security guard looking into women’s purses and asking all visitors if they had guns, knives, etc. Didn’t seem concerned with flashlights. Did want my roomie’s kubaton teargas projector to not go into the facility – I took it out the the car, and locked it up with the guns and knives.
The State court facility was not the main courthouse. I expected it to be more Mayberry-esque.
Armed guards. I had to empty my pockets into a tray for x-ray, AND walk through a scanner. AND remove my belt!
After I successfully walked through, as I was re-dressing, I announced, “Fourth Amendment, Schmorth Amendment!” to no one in particular.
I’d considered asking to see their warrant prior to the process, but I really wanted to go inside and thought that might be thought of as
argumentative combative confrontational.
(See – I told you!)
My Life’s friendships are made up of many folks. But an inordinate number (for whatever reason) are named either Bob (Robert) or David (Dave)!
Who knows why?
I was walking to McClintock High School to attend a Summer School session (having missed my first Freshman semester because of the onset of my leg disability) and wanting to complete high school in 3 1/2 years to stay with my class.
Turned out, a number of other Tempe High students were also attending McClintock’s Summer Session. And walking more-or-less the same way to school.
Conversations ensued. It was about a mile-and-a-half from my house, and an 0700 start time, so it was early, ‘cooler’ (AZ summertime) and we were bored kids.
And friendships developed. One was with David M., who had to walk an additional 1/2 mile to get to where I was. Not to be confused with Dave the
genius mechanic, or David the artist college-roommate.
And we walked together to Summer School, and back on the return trip. And became fast friends.
David was smart, funny, musically-talented (playing piano by sound!). He was a school A/V guy and a photographer. And we both liked the same stuff. Magic tricks, philosophy and girls.
Not necessarily in that order.
And it was David who introduced me to the Firesign Theatre and Cheech & Chong!
And I introduced him to the magic club. And other the neighborhood guys became his friends, as well.
We palled around together all through high school, and into college.
His parents were divorced, and his mother was religiously conservative. She seemed to like me, but objected to the magic club, as there were things just not right there (in her mind.) She called playing cards The Devil’s pasteboards!
I remember both of us liking to listen to Jethro Tull. His dad was putting an addition on his house, and we used to sit in the unfinished rooms (for the acoustics) to play flute. I, self-taught with a rented one – he bought his and could play rings around me. Accompanying Jethro Tull’s Aqualung, again, with David playing by ear! He even held it wrong (not knowing any better) – both hands facing backward (fife-like) – and could STILL sound better! And actually play!
He was going to marry once. They canceled it at the last minute – I never did find out why.
And, as with many other friends, we drifted apart.
He has a common last name, and I’ve been unable to re-connect with him via social media for this reason.
Wherever he is, I wish him well!
Regular readers of this blog are familiar with my dislike of this holiday. NOT with the sentiment! :-)
Make certain you hold each other close, honor each other, show each other you care and respect each other at todays gatherings.
And tell them you love them.
It’s not such a bad idea other days of the year, as well.
Because you never know…
And, it’s a good idea to make a list, even if it’s just in your head, of those things and people for which you are grateful.
I’ve a roof over my head, food in my belly, and a car – albeit a beater car. But she runs (kinda)!
Many people don’t have such things.
And today’s feast is traditional with me:
Salad, garlic toast, and mostaccioli!
and Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends, family and blogfriends™!
I’ve posted before about my childhood foray in legerdemain. Magic. Sleight-of-hand. Conjuring.
While I enjoyed a certain status in my childhood neighborhood – performing at kid’s birthday parties, and all – it was a lonely proposition. There were no other kids nearby who loved magic as I did. Of course, this was pre-Internet. And I was too young to drive and go into Phoenix to the Rabbits In Our Hats Club.
The Summer between junior high and high school my leg disability developed. Crutches and a leg brace for a year. And I missed my first semester of high school as a result. I was hanging around the neighborhood a lot, including my friends – most of whom were younger than I.
And something magical happened. We formed a magic club!
Looking back, it might have been because I was the oldest and that was my thing, but who knows?
We named it THE MYSTIC CRYSTAL. The name gleaned from the song Aquarius lyrics ♫Mystic Crystal revelations…♫.
Jim, his younger brother John, John’s best friend Steve, and, later, David M and Ken.
There was a constitution, officers, dues, meetings, a newsletter and food!
Our officer’s titles all were prefaced with the beginning The Great Almighty (in an effort to resemble a men’s lodge or secret society). I.E. the treasurer was The Great Almighty Keeper of the Dough! :-)
We met monthly, rotating through the respective member’s homes.
Practicing magic, hanging-out, BS-ing, eating food, talking about girls. Sometimes (if a piano was present) David M. would play for our amusement. We made a club sign, silk-screened t-shirts (which we erroneously called bowling shirts) and spent much time goofing-off.
And we attended the annual International Brotherhood of Magicians chapter banquet.
And we would discuss and plan our first magic show, at length.
But we never performed, as a club!
Some of us did some charity shows; some made a few bucks semi-pro.
But we just never got around to performing as a group. Certainly family and school activities took precedent.
Upon reflection, I, for one, continue to be astounded that all of our parents allowed us to get together, monthly, often on a school-night, to eat snacks and goof around as only boys in junior high and high school can!
I guess they saw it as harmless fun, versus popping our collars, wearing leather jackets and smoking cigarettes on the corner until all hours of the morning.
The club lasted from 1966 to 1971. And we all eventually went our separate ways. College, marriage, children, divorce. Life.
Afterward, Ken did perform for a few years professionally as a clown! At least one of us made the cut…
Long-time readers of my drivel will recall I seem to have attracted an inordinate number of friends, relatives and acquaintances named either BOB or DAVE. (One guy was even named Robert Davidson!)
This is about yet another Bob…
I met Bob P. when he was a guard supervisor for B**** Security. The Captain. It was his function to travel to all the guard posts, usually at night, making certain the security guard had arrived for duty, was in uniform, awake and not intoxicated. And to obtain a replacement should a guard call in sick, or just not show up. Or, replace the guard himself, if no one was available.
He got to know me, as I was one of the ‘regulars’ who showed up for duty, knew his job, and had some kind of education. He obtained permission from upper company management to make me his ‘second-in-command’. I became a lieutenant, obtained a small raise, and while continuing to work at my regular guard post three days a week, was tasked with doing the supervisor’s job the other two days. The idea was so that Bob could get two days off. Many ‘adventures’ ensued.
Bob was a large man, and had a deep, booming voice. And loved to listen to and sing operatic music – in spite of the fact he had been born in the South. Seriously, in another life, he could have been a professional singer or an announcer.
But, as it is with many people, Bob had a phobia. His was getting up in front of groups of people(!) Doing a long stint in the Air Force and traveling the World failed to cure him of that.
I followed Bob from B****, to D******* Security, and ultimately to TMCCC (in 1987). He knew I’d both education and experience in investigation, and figured if he could do it, I could.
He loved movies, and was the first of the people I knew to buy a VCR! It was a Magnavox, ran on vacuum tubes, and weighed a ton! I believe it cost around $1000 (in 1975). It took VHS-sized tapes, but the recording system had yet to be standardized. He had hundreds he’d recorded off television that were unwatchable when the machine burned up in the mid-80s. Lot’s of sci-fi and John Wayne.
We also shot competitively together in a league of armed security guards he helped form. He reloaded much of the ammo we used. We engaged in friendly competition – sometimes he would win; sometimes I would.
We worked together @ TMCCC for a number of years as credit card fraud investigators. He became involved in a number of ‘beefs’ with management and left the company, returning to physical security. He divorced his second wife, and married a younger woman. Then decided to move out-of-state and return to his Southern routes as a farmer.
We lost touch with one another. Ultimately, utilizing the Internet, I determined he had passed away from a heart attack in Las Vegas(!?) in 2005. I never found out what happened to his wife.
The reason all this came to mind was I remembered celebrating his 50th birthday, with a few other close friends. He had been born October 30, 1939, simultaneous with the Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of The War Of The Worlds. He would sometimes claim he was brought here by the Martians.
He was certainly out-of-this world.
I miss you, Bob. You were a good friend.