Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This Is NOT a Warm and Fuzzy Feeling,,Book

This is NOT a warm and fuzzy feeling book.  It is an exercise in Brinda Carey's healing process descibing an incredible story that is not an isolated incident.  This situation is more "common" than the "cold".  The Boss is a retired CPS worker and it is a shocking fact that these cases are epicemic in numbers. 

A member of our East Texas Writers Guild, Brinda Carey takes you through her experiences of growing up being "abused"; in several ways. 

In addition to her story, the book is a virtual treasure trove of phone numbers, websites and other ways to connect to groups and associations to help curb this cancer on our society. I bought a book to give away,  I started reading it at the office and continued that night (reading my hardbound copy) until I finished the story.  The soft cover, I am  giving to anyone that asks for it.  If more than one asks for it, I will make a "number lot" and have someone at the office to draw the winning number.

Even if you don't buy the book, (but it is loaded with information on warning signs and other helpful information), please drop by her website and give her a note of support.  The won't take long..

Let me know if you are interested in the "free raffle".



Friday, July 13, 2012

Ok,, I am bite'n It Off

Bite'n off more than one can chew is sometimes right up my alley.  Zig Ziegler,  who is a master motivational speaker, once wrote in the foward of his upcoming book that he weighed much less than what he actually did at the time.  He figgered that in six months, at 2 pounds a day it would be a snap.  In fact, it would be so easy that he waited another 3 months to even start his diet.  Well, old Zig is never wrong in my book,,, This Old Codger decided that I needed a "playhouse".  A room, buidling, or hut down by the barn in which to do some "reed'n, rite'n and no rithmatic", so I mentioned this to The Boss.

"Ok, but what about the outside, covered reading deck that you promised to build for me?"  (Now you imagine her look for yourself.)

"OK, Dear,, but I was going to do that and not tell you and let it be a surprise."..(Now imagine the look I got with that.)  "But now I guess it won't be a surprise."  (Ok I know that is lame, but whadda ya gonna do?)

So, I have been working on her deck and it is coming along pretty much on schedule. 

I see you there a'thinkin',,,"what the hell does that have to do with Old Zig?  Well, I will tell you.  Zig talks about his momma trying to get him to do this, that and another, and she would say "Zig, you're just like Grandma's biscuits,,,she used to say 'they squated to rise and got caught in the squat'."  Ok, I will translate;  you have to push to keep going in order to reach your goal, so just like Zig saying that he weighed much lessat the time but had time to lose,  I have "named" my playhouse, (actually the design has developed into a larger room that will sleep one of my girl's families - with a small bathroom)..We'll just have to see how far i get with that.  So to "take my oversized bite "and see if I can chew it,  I am showing you the sign that I made that will hang on the front porch above my rocking chair...  Ok, time for me to "chew".  Now, I will have to hurry up with the "Grammy Deck", and get started on my project.  It wouldn't hurt if ya'll gave me a nudge of encourage every now and then by saying, "How's the hotel a'comin'?"  Rates will be reasonable  :)  :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Field of Dreams or just Day Dreams

Not much of a story… to most. We all know where most of the boundaries lie. We have all kinds of signs What is the speed limit? I dunno. Well look for a sign, Duffus. We all know they are there. It gives some sort of comfort to know they are there. Sometimes you have to LOOK. How did you learn what that road sign meant. Somebody probably told you. Others have to experiment and learn about the wonders of technology. Radar. Still in a way that is a sign. This posted photo is a sign. Now that you have glanced back at the pic and have asked yourself, “ Has he lost his ever loving mind”?

Nope, Yep, well I dunno, but here’s how it goes.

Back before color television and video games and every kind of sport imaginable, there was “little league” boy’s baseball. I know, I know all you weemen liber’s ( I got three daughters, remember?), ya’ll are going to say “We didn’t get to play baseball back then”. Well, that is a different story and different day.

The season was short, not like today, where the extra games, play-offs and such, go nearly all summer long. You got at it and got it over with, but in those few short seasons, each learned about guidelines. Rules- Rules- Rules. Why so many rules? I dunno. To keep honor and chaos in its rightful spot, I suppose, and at times it did.

You learned that the “Dads” were engineers, coaches, councilors, medics, and on and on. The field had been neglected for years. A Dad with a host of other Dads cleared brush and mowed until you could see where the old field was. Chicken wire was restrung on the back stop. I don’t know who paid for the chicken wire but I can tell you it was from the community.

Everyone’s Dad worked. Coaching time was after that. Part of the “coaching” was that if the coach was late or couldn’t make it, you practiced anyway, on your own. The Dads umpired. You didn’t give your Dad or anyone’s Dad any lip. You did not want to be “out” the second time. There was amble transportation. Yep; Moms and Dads. Somebody’s parent had to leave early. Yep, hitch a ride with somebody’s Mom or Dad. Maybe even eat supper with them. Do you see a pattern here?

Socialization. That term has just about worn me out. Play baseball for a season with these mentioned guidelines and you will get plenty of socialization. Who bats first? Who bats fourth? What is the difference? I know. Do you? Everybody gets to bat. You barely had enough to field the team anyway; wealthy, poor, and in between. “It’ll all even out in the end”; ( title of a great song a friend of mine wrote, different story and different day). You showed up every time. Practice or game, you were there because the others couldn’t play if you were not there to be part of the team.

I could go on and on, and probably will with a lot of stories about the “players” that I encountered on this field of dreams. Yep; quite a few of them too. About the PHOTO? Oh, like the story, not much. If you can use your imagination, you are looking from the home run fence back down the right field fence line. If you LOOK veeerrry closely, you will see HOME.  Yep, and a sign of the past.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Day The Earth Stood Still

The newspaper was lying openly on the coffee table. My father in law had left it open in order to ask if I knew the man in the photo. I did. He had made for me a couple signs. The detail is cut by a computer and they can be applied to a smooth surface. The article explained how he had bought the old movie theater. It had been storage building for an appliance store for many years and he hopes to renovate it back to a theater. It was known that I had an interest in saving old buildings of all sorts but movie houses were especially intriguing to me. I made a mental note to drive by and look at the progress myself.

The rumble of the diesel pickup engine died away and the Sunday morning was deathly quiet. I had a perfect parking spot; within twenty feet of the ticket booth. I sat in my truck listening to the clicking of the hot engine cooling. I got out of the truck and walked under the awning. An earnest smile stretched across my face. The last time I had been to this movie house was still fresh on my mind. I can’t remember the title but it was an English movie. It had a police chase scene that lasted most of the movie and I was forever confused about the siren noise. Years later I realized all European police cars made the same sound. I was a small boy, about ten or eleven years old. I was in the fourth grade. This was the same night the junior high building burned to the ground.

The front entrance was locked and the ticket window was boarded up. The side of the building had a large door used for the emergency exit. The construction men were using this door because of its location to the main theater. I turned the knob. It was unlocked and the door opened easily. A broken brick propped against the bottom held it open allowing a large shaft of sunlight through its opening. Stepping inside, it only took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust. There was no resemblance to its earlier years. Plaster had almost completely fallen away from the red brick structure wall. About a half dozen metal folding chairs haphazardly arranged themselves around an ancient wood burning heater. This must be what a dungeon must smell like. Dampness and mold mingled with wild animal excrement. What a mess.

Being careful of where I placed my steps, I made my way toward the concession stand area. Without warning the exit door slammed shut. The noise cracked off the brick wall and echoed back from when the stage one stood. Eternal blackness was complete. A person’s first instinct is to put their hand in front of their face. My hand was not there, or at least it was not visible. A touch to the forehead confirmed the darkness. Logic is an unarmed alley in the battle of panic. A mental retracing of my steps around broken glass, rusty nails and other debris hampered my ability to find the exit. Not even a sliver of light seeped its way around the rickety door frame. If I waited a few minutes, hopefully my eyesight would further adjust to the blackness. They did not adjust.

I have heard that when you lose one sense, another will compensate to make up for that loss. Surely that was happening. The atmospheric interpretation changed. The cool air felt filtered and refined. Pungent mold odors morphed toward a hint of corn oil. Visions of molten yellow butter laced around the distinct memory of popcorn. They obviously were cleaning the snack bar area and had yet to clear away the years of spilled ingredients. No? The sharp report of filth was lacking. Sliding my feet instead of taking steps, a stationary object obstructed my movement; I bumped my knee. Reaching forward, searching for identification, I recognized the feel of an upholstered seat back. The cloth was cool and dry to the touch. A brocade patter was consistent across the entire back. Moving my hand downward I could recognize the shape as being a seat familiar to most move houses I had visited. I stood until my balance was steadied. If I sat for a few minutes surely my vision would adapt. The seat was soft and comfortable. I rested my elbows on the arm rests.

Stone quietness has a way of screeching. This was not that. Electronic scratching erupted from the darkness straight ahead. I relaxed my grip on the arm rests. My hands were going numb. Instantly the white reflection was blinding…..


The screen faded to black. A soft blueish glow through frosted diffusing panels scatted along both wall casts a hazy hue throughout the theater. Small white lights at the end of each row of seats illuminated the carpeted isles toward the rear entrance. On the left east wall a white box with glowing red letters marked the side EXIT. My initial though; I will sit awhile and enjoy the event but the door opened and a bright shaft of sunlight eased its way into the chamber. The house lights dimmed. I knew it was time to go.

As I looked at the peeling paint from the stately marquee, I sat in my truck listening to the clicking of the hot engine cooling.