Interesting books just out of reachPublished 4:03pm Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting
“Why do you wear such an ugly tie?”
“It’s my favorite.”
“It has food stains all over it.”
“That’s why it’s my favorite tie.”
Driving by the Bruces
I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: I remember when car trouble was something other than being unable to pay for the gas.
1. I’d better laugh at myself because others are laughing at me.
2. I became a grown-up when my first reaction to someone falling down became concern rather than laughter.
3. Every defendant should be required to go to trial looking just as he or she did when arrested.
No butts about recycling
I took a carload of recycling to the place where one takes a carload of recycling. As I put the paper and plastic into their respective bins, I was happy to see that much recycling had been done. As I prepared to leave, I saw a pile of cigarette filters on the ground. I spotted another pile of filters not 20 feet away. People emptied their vehicles’ ashtrays near the recycling bins. Various sources say that it takes 18 months to 10 years for a cigarette filter to decompose. I hoped that someone not only felt guilty for dumping the cigarette filters, but also looked as guilty as a cat with feathers on its chin.
I don’t like to be shelfish, but…
I walked into a bookstore in Kearney, Neb.
A young clerk met me near the door and asked, “Are you finding everything okay?”
“Pardon me,” I stuttered out in response, grinning like a sackful of opossum heads.
“Sorry,” she said, realizing I hadn’t had a chance to find anything okay or otherwise, “force of habit.”
I love bookstores. There is knowledge, imagination, and consistency on the shelves. The consistency is that books remain on the wrong shelves for me. When I was short, the ones I wanted to look at were on the highest shelves. Now that I am tall and creaky-kneed, the books that grab my interest are on the lowest shelves.
Small town chronicles
Walt Popp of Hastings is a biologist. He and his wife moved, with their three toddlers, from New York City to Grand Marais. It was the first time either of them had lived in a small town. Shortly after the move, Mrs. Popp visited the Grand Marais post office with her 2-year old son and 6-month old twins in tow. She was greeted by the postal clerk, “You must be the new biologist’s wife. You won’t need any stamps. Your husband bought some this morning.”
Mrs. Popp was learning what living in a small town is like.
It’s a bumpy road
Gas prices were higher than a cat’s back. I was moving about the country. Travel can be perilous. I once rode in a Dodge Ram. I couldn’t help wondering if the vehicle knew when to Dodge and when to Ram. This time, I was traveling down a washboard road in Nebraska. The gravel was rough enough that I found 10 miles per hour the maximum speed I could drive and keep all my fillings in place. I came to a bend in the road. There was a sign with a directional arrow indicating that the speed limit on the curve was 15 miles per hour. I considered speeding up, but thought better of it.
Did you know?
The state with the highest median age is Maine. Utah has the lowest.
Starting with the next school year, Kentucky will join Illinois in having bass fishing as a varsity sport.
While speaking during the sandhill crane migration in Kearney, Nebraska, I visited Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary near the Platte River. The sanctuary has 15,000 human visitors during the 6-week period that the cranes visit. Rowe Sanctuary offers blinds that are opportunities to be near the cranes without disturbing them. After feeding in the abundant cornfields, flock follows flock to a night roost on sandbars in the Platte. Their river dance forced me to measure my pleasure in miles. Friends and I gathered in a blind to get a close look at the spectacle. I watched intently as the birds flew in. The cranes became a beautiful bouquet in which the flowers arranged themselves. I listened to the cranes. Their calls are voices of antiquity — the sound of nature calling. I’ve been in the blinds many times and have learned that it is possible to put the genie back into the bottle.
Be kind. Someone needs you to be.