Issue 305 August 29, 2015
I have been through a series of health problems, starting about July 1st and continuing to this date. Even had a major surgery a week ago (Aug. 20th) that has left me weaker than a kitten. And I’m still under my doctor’s edict not to lift anything over 10 pounds and not to fly off into the clear blue for two more weeks. Kinda feeling my age right now, if you catch my drift.
One thing about being sick, it sometimes results in a welcomed loss of weight. That is what has happened to me. I have gone from a weight of about 233 pounds on June 15th to my weight as of this morning of 216.2 pounds. So I am easing out of my XL clothes and into my L clothes. My official weight, back on my high school football and boxing teams in 1958, was a bony 155 pounds. That is not my goal, but I do hope to get down to less than 200 pounds on my 5’11” frame by December 31st.
On Thursday, my friend Kent Abel and I attended a weekly “brunch” on the east side of town for Christian men. I had to watch the time that day as I needed to be back when a furniture store was scheduled to deliver our new hideabed and two new recliners. So we left the brunch in plenty of time. I let Kent out at his house and drove a couple of blocks to our house. There were two cars parked in front of our house, so I wondered what might be going on.
MRS. CLAUS ASSAULTS PEGGY
One couple spoke to me as they were backing their car out of the drive. They told me that Peggy had a “little accident” that looked worse than it really was because she bled quite a bit. But they assured me she was okay. I entered our house to find another neighbor, retired nurse Bonnie Hamill. She, too, reassured me that Peggy was alright, “except for the bump on her head and a small cut.”
Here’s what had happened. Peggy decided to move a few things around in our living room before the furniture came. She removed some books from a bookshelf. And in doing so, she bumped the bookshelf. Atop the bookshelf we have a Mr. Santa Claus and Mrs. Santa dressed in western clothes. Mrs. Claus, also being a senior citizen, got off balance and fell from her perch and landed a little to the left of dead-center on Peggy’s head. Peggy was stunned, but thought she was okay . . . until she noticed blood dripping down on her blouse.
She rushed to the bathroom and put a cold washcloth on her cut/bump. Then she called Bonnie, one of the two retired nurses we know in our neighborhood. No answer.* So she called friends Bob and Jean L’Hullier, and they came right on down to help her. About that time Bonnie called back, learned what happened and rushed down. So Peggy had cleaned up a bit, even washed her hair, and stood there sheepishly with an icepack on her head.
*Another part of the story, was kinda funny. When Bonnie’s phone rang she was watching the final thrilling minutes of a “Perry Mason” detective TV show (from the 1950s). She didn’t want to miss the dramatic ending and not suspecting Peggy’s little emergency, she just let her leave a message. And then after Perry got his man to confess every gory detail of his crime, Bonnie returned the call. All’s well that ends well.
The first item in this section is a classic (i.e., old but much appreciated) poem by the one-and-only Baxter Black. A large animal veterinarian by education and training, he wandered into the entertainment field decades below. He has his own syndicated newspaper article, and his own syndicated TV program of cowboy poems, stories and music.
In addition, he has published many best-selling books of his poetry as well as a novel or two. And he plays the guitar, sings and writes songs. He is, you see, an ambidextrous, multitalented renaissance cowboy.
It has been my pleasure to have been a bit-player at several cowboy festivals where Baxter was the headliner. He can have his audiences rolling in the aisle with laughter at one point and then minutes later wiping tears from their eyes. The man is so animated on stage he makes the Energizer Bunny look like a snowman frozen in time.
Peggy took the above photo as we were traveling through Montana in late August of 2014. Yes, Virginia, many folks out west just love their Rocky Mountain Oysters (i.e., calf fries or calf testicles).
Horses can be awfully skittish critters. The first horse my dad bought for me, back in about 1953 on the Newhall Ranch (near present-day Santa Clarita, Calif.), was such a stead. Jody was a pretty chestnut-colored horse with some Quarter-horse blood, but she would panic if the wind blew a tumbleweed or a piece of paper into her view. The usual result was that she would do a quick sideways shuffle and my father or myself would get dumped on the ground. My dad finally got tired of that and figured out she was way too dangerous for a kid, so he sold her to another gent. And we heard that fellow sold it to a rodeo promoter.
I saw the above painting on the wall of a Longhorn Steakhouse in Sarasota, Florida recently. It brought back some precious moments from my youth when my late sister, Roberta, or my cousins Jerry or Roger (also deceased), would ride double.
The cow at right seems to be saying, “And folks say cattle are dumb animals. Look at the mess this horse got itself into.”
No, that was not Pat Brady in the above photo. It was the talented commedian, guitarist and singer “Lonesome” George Gobel. I found this photo, below, taken in 1950 when George and Roy and Dale were guests on Gene Autry’s nationally syndicated radio show.
Back to that photo, above, of Roy and Dale and “Pat Brady.” Pat Brady filled the role of bass fiddle player and comedian with the Sons of the Pioneers for several years, making an occasional movie with the band in Roy Roger’s films. Then in 1951 he became Roy’s Jeep-driving, comical sidekick on his popular TV show. And do you remember the name Pat gave to his dear ol’ cantankerous Jeep? Give up? Okay. It was . . . Nellybelle.
Peggy and I each grew up in southern California, so we experienced many earthquakes as well as the fierce Santa Anna winds which rushed from the desert to the Pacific. And after we were married we lived in Tennessee, Iowa and Oklahoma so we can tell you about close calls with tornadoes and blizzards and terrible ice storms. But, if this “tropical storm” holds together we may experience our very first hurricane about Sunday night or early Monday.
This pamplet, below, describes a pretty neat resource where you can download old photos of Florida. Sure would be helpful for historians, genealogists and other more normal folks like you and me.
Of Special Interest to
Plantation Grove MHP Residents:
Ralph Iscovacci has had some recent health issues, but has bounced back very well. Eunice tells me that Ralph will turn 87 on September 2nd. Other September birthdays include Traci Carsen (21st; Mrs. Keith Carsen; new residents) and Andrea Spafford.
LABOR DAY LUNCHEON
Geri Mack and her crew will host this luncheon on Labor Day — Monday, September 7th. They will serve BBQ ribs, Macaroni Salad, corn on the cob, rolls, desert and beverages. NOTE: Last day to sign up in the clubhouse is Tuesday, September 1st.
NEW TIME FOR COFFEE CLUB
Starting Saturday, Sept. 5th the Coffee Club will meet at 9:00 am each Saturday. This unanimous decision was made recently by the attending members. They also decided to change the time of the Thursday Coffee Club when it resumes on November 5th. The time change, from 8 am to 9 am, was made to encourage all those who don’t normally attend “because 8 am is too early.” Please join us right now at 9 am each Saturday. Just $1.00 for coffee, a donut and some real good fellowship with your neighbors.
HOME OWNER ASSOCIATION
Bob L’Hullier, our HOA treasurer, says that we will probably have four openings for HOA members to become members of the Board. Please talk with Bob or with Larry Locascio if you are interested.