It’s nice to enjoy the sun, not race it

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“I have a cold.”

“I hope you’re taking care of it.”

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“I am. I’ve had it for five days and it’s still as good as new.”


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: when you are seeing red, it’s hard to notice when the light changes.


I’ve learned

1. Waiting until it’s nearly empty before filling a fuel tank is called progastination.

2. Walnuts come from broken homes.

3. To err is human, to arr is pirate.


The news from Hartland

Heat goes off in Hacker’s Smoke Shop, leaving the owner with frozen pipes.

Police believe that the woman who has been using knitting needles to stab people’s posteriors is working from a pattern.

Buffalo ranch closes. Roaming charges became too high.


In awe of Alberta

I spoke in Red Deer. I went to Banff without knowing how to Banff. I talked to real cowboys. They didn’t twang a guitar and sing depressing songs. They worked with cows. They did a lot of herd work.


The three stages of man

1. How is the mother?

2. What a lovely bride.

3. How much did he leave her?


Cafe chronicles

I was having lunch with Gary Crumb of Matawan at the Village Inn. After we finished eating, Gary said, “It’s already Tuesday. I’d just as well take the rest of the week off.”

My mother said something similar. “Here it is Monday already. Tomorrow will be Tuesday. The day after is Wednesday. Then it’s Thursday, followed by Friday. The week is almost over and I haven’t done a thing.”

A friend says, “Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good night,” in case he doesn’t see the person he is greeting again that day.


It’s a beautiful world if we take the time to look

I watched the sunset over Vern Eide Chevrolet while I manned a Salvation Army kettle. It was beautiful. It’s nice to enjoy the sun instead of racing it. The world is a postcard. Not long before, I’d stopped at the 33 Mile Roadhouse on the Haines Highway. This home of the Super 33 Burger offers the last gas, propane and cigarettes in the United States. Some people think Alaska is so cold that new colors were added to the weather map to cover it. Others imagine that shoveling snow there is a Sisyphean effort. Alaska was once an imaginary place to me. I’d uncorked a bottle of Alaskan dreams with an insatiable appetite for the written word. I’d read my way there—books by John Muir, Jack London, Robert Service, Joe McGinniss and others.

Years ago, I went to Alaska for the first time. I keep going back. I like going where baked Alaska is called “baked here.”

“Alaska?” one of you is saying. “They eat whale meat and blubber there.”

You’d blubber, too, if you had to eat whale meat.


Did you know?

According to a survey done by Harris Interactive for Everest College, 73 percent of workers are stressed at work. The most stressful jobs, according to a survey by, are in order: 1). Enlisted military personnel 2). Military general 3). Firefighter 4). Commercial airline pilot 5). Public relations executive 6). Senior corporate executive 7). Photojournalist 8). Newspaper reporter 9).Taxi driver 10). Police officer. The least stressful job is a college professor.


Texas tales

Over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house we go. As soon as we leave, Grandma is on her way to Texas where winter coats are as scarce as rocking horse manure.

“Trespassers: If you hear a shot, it means I missed — this time.”

That’s a sign I saw in the Lone Star State, alongside a FM road, indicating “Farm to Market.” Freddy Fender’s image is on the water tower in San Benito. Freddy sang the hits “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” and “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.” Mesquite trees abound as a testament to their toughness. When the world ends, cockroaches and mesquite trees will survive.

Roy Bean was appointed justice of the peace for Pecos County in 1882. He settled at Eagle’s Nest Springs, which acquired a post office and a new name, Langtry, in honor of the English actress Lillie Langtry, whom Bean admired. Bean became known as an eccentric interpreter of the law. When a man carrying $40 and a pistol fell off a bridge, Bean fined the corpse $40 for carrying a concealed weapon. Although known as “The Hanging Judge,” there’s no evidence that Bean ever hanged anyone.


Meeting adjourned

Be kind. Just because.