Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Public Places, by Will Stanton


Gee willikers!  What am I supposed to write about the topic “Public Places?”  We all have been in public places many times all throughout our lives, unless one of us always has lived under a rock.  Were we expected to write about something we did that was wonderful and spectacular, or was it something embarrassing?  Regarding myself, I can't think of anything exciting enough to be worthy of describing.  I haven't led the most adventuresome life.

I assume by the term “public places,” the person who selected the topic was thinking of areas where there are lots of people around, where whatever occurred was witnessed by a large number of people.  Well, I can relate incidents that I witnessed or was told about that might have some modicum of interest to the listeners.  So, here goes.

When I was in college, I was friends with one guy, Jeff, and his younger brother, Jim.  They had very different personalities.  My friend often displayed a weird sense of humor; his brother always preferred to appear more serious - - - that is, until they were together.  Occasionally when they got together, the situation turned into a folie à deux, that is, a “madness shared by two.”  

Having been in Army ROTC, they both ended up as army lieutenants in Vietnam.  Jeff returned first and rather let himself go, not doing anything in particular, not bothering to shave, just taking it easy.  Prim Jim, however, returned in uniform expecting a similarly neatly dressed brother to pick him up at the airport.  Instead, Jeff appeared wearing an old, torn raincoat and looking bedraggled. Spotting Jim, he shuffled over to him, mimicking a demented Quasimodo.  Jim, already terribly embarrassed, became even more so when Jeff, imitating some kind of transient who was truly off his rocker, mumbled in a very loud voice, “Can you tell me where the really big planes are?”
  
Naturally, everyone within ear-shot turned around to look, regarding Jeff with great suspicion and discomfort.  I assume that this incident qualifies for happening in a very public place, an airport with hundreds of people around.  I hasten to mention that this occurred long before 911, so Jeff was not hauled off by the authorities.

Jeff and Jim also were rather disdainful of university-fraternities.  I recall one day their walking together past a row of fraternities where a large number of frat-brats were sitting out on their porches.  Now, this was back in the day when fear and disgust of homosexuals was far more prevalent than now.  Realizing that they were being watched, Jeff and Jim suddenly threw their arms around each other and began dancing gayly down the sidewalk, merrily singing.  The expressions on those frat-brat guys' faces were priceless, and I enjoyed seeing it all.

Speaking of gay, I wrote earlier about the gayest person I ever saw on campus.  In everyone's eyes, Peter was obviously gay.  He looked rather androgynous, had long golden hair, and was considered remarkably beautiful.  His choice of cute little clothes added to that perception.  But, Peter was far different from most gays at the time.  People found him to be so remarkable looking that he had gained a surprising sense of self-esteem and confidence. 

Usually, people simply stared at Peter in astonishment.  If anyone might have said something nasty to him, I imagine that Peter did not let it bother him.  He apparently rarely had any such experiences.  I do know of one occasion, however.

I recall one evening walking into a campus-bar where
both straight and a few gays went. I saw Peter entering ahead of me.  Once inside, some college-stud, sitting with his date, looked at Peter in complete disgust, and said in a loud voice, “Look, here comes a fagot!”  Everyone turned to look at the speaker and Peter.

As Peter passed by, and without hesitation, he spoke up loudly stating, “This man just called me a 'fagot.'  Yes, he called me a 'fagot.'  What is a 'fagot'?  Can someone tell me what a 'fagot' is?”  Everyone stared at the homophobic college-stud, whose face quickly had turned a deep red.  He then sank down in his chair, as though he wished he could disappear, thoroughly humiliated.   Peter, head held high, proceeded on by to seek out some friends.  There sure were a lot of people in that public place, and stud-guy sure drew a lot of attention to himself that he didn't plan on.

Last of all, I remember my trip to Fort Lauderdale for spring-break from college.  Late one afternoon and evening, I was at a night-spot on the beach.  In addition to lots of college guys, there also were some older, wealthy Cuban emigré-men, all enjoying themselves.  I noticed a young stud who looked no older than seventeen, very buff and very smooth, wearing a tiny swimming suit.  He occasionally dove elegantly, smoothly into a small swimming pool.  Then he would climb out, deliberately seeming to ignore the crowd, and quietly stroll around the rim of the pool as though he were on parade at a fashion-show.  He knew exactly what he was doing.  With regularity, one or other of the Cubans would walk over to him and slip a large-denomination bill into the boy's tiny swimsuit.  This went on for a while.  Finally, he must have received some rather impressive amount because he quietly proceeded to strip naked, stand for a moment to be admired, and then smoothly dove into the pool.

Well, I would say that night-spot certainly qualified as a public place, and he certainly drew attention from the crowd.  I can understand why, too.  Hey!  I'd be satisfied just having a body like that, even without all that money.

© 17 May 2016  

About the Author 

I have had a life-long fascination with people and their life stories.  I also realize that, although my own life has not brought me particular fame or fortune, I too have had some noteworthy experiences and, at times, unusual ones.  Since I joined this Story Time group, I have derived pleasure and satisfaction participating in the group.  I do put some thought and effort into my stories, and I hope that you find them interesting.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

One Summer Afternoon, by Ricky


During 1956 and 57, I spent my summer mornings and afternoons riding with my grandfather on his tractor as he worked the farm.  During the harvest season, I would ride on the hay wagon and help stack bales of hay as they came off the baler until the stacks became too high for me to lift; usually two bales high was all that I could handle.  If I wasn’t on the wagon, I would walk along the hay baler figuring out what all the different moving parts did to make the bales.  I certainly got lots of exercise.

One summer afternoon in 1963, my scout troop participated in a scout-show event in Placerville, the seat of government for El Dorado County, California.  That particular year, President Kennedy had honored the Marine Corps’ achievement of hiking 50-miles in 24-hours.  He then challenged the youth of the country to get physically fit.  Since “Physically Strong” is part of the Scout Oath, our troop chose the theme of “physical fitness” for the event. We conducted a few fitness events at the show.  Among them were scaling a wall-like barrier and fitness competitions such as push-ups and sit-ups, et cetera.

Naturally, in the months prior to the scout-show all scouts participated in physical fitness efforts so we could perform better than those other scouts who would accept the challenges of the tests.  With the help of our adult leaders, we also had to build the wall-like barrier and then practicing to become strong enough to get over it.

Now this bit of wall was made using 2x4’s for the frame and its supports, which were designed to make the barrier stable and not fall over when scouts were attempting to climb over the top.   Attached to the frame were a mix of 4-inch and 6-inch wide by ½-inch thick planks.  One of the planks was of the tongue-and-groove type, which resulted in a very thin “lip” or overhang between the two adjoining planks about 3-feet up from the bottom of the wall.  The whole apparatus was about 6-feet wide and 7-feet tall.  The wall’s design required the younger (meaning shorter) scouts to jump high and grab the top of the wall and then pull themselves up and swing their legs over the top and drop down the other side, thus building leg and upper body strength.  We provided a small ramp for the really short scouts to use until their leg muscles improved in strength.  On the back side we also placed a 4-inch thick mattress on the ground to cushion the landings or falls from the top of the wall. 

Once the wall was finished, we all gathered outside to test ourselves against the wall.  Scouts would repeatedly take turns scaling the wall, while I stood at the side of the landing area to assist in breaking the fall of anyone who had trouble.  Eventually, someone noticed that I was not taking a turn.  In all truthfulness, I had planned not to go over the wall and display just how weak my upper body really was.  Not only was I the Senior Patrol Leader, but also the oldest boy in the troop and I was very self-conscious.  However, once it was noticed, they all insisted I also go over the wall.

Consequently, I did some quick thinking and decided to give my arms a break.  So, I moved back from the wall and ran towards it gaining momentum and then jumped up and forward, placing my right foot on that little “lip” of space on the plank and lifting myself upwards with my leg only, grabbing the wall top with both hands while swinging my legs over the top, thus clearing the wall sideways by several inches, when my momentum promptly pulled my hands from the top and I fell to the mattress landing hard on my hands and knees.  No one was on that side of the wall and when I did not reappear immediately, the scoutmaster and several boys came around to see why.  Even with the bad landing I was okay; just a bit stunned.  Once they saw I was okay, everyone expressed their enjoyment of my “flying” over the wall and then they all tried to do it.  I felt that I had proven that I could do it, so I never did it again.  (That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.)  Now back to the scout-show.

The sit-up area was one of our most popular events and many scouts from other troops took-up the challenge to see how many they could do.  In the end, Lyle Radtke from our troop took top honors.  Late in the morning, he came to the booth and accomplished 100 sit-ups, the most up to that time.  Lyle returned about an hour later and saw that some other scout had done 150.  This did not sit well with him, so he decided to “raise the bar” so high that no one else could cross it.  In about 20-minutes, Lyle completed another 300 sit-ups.  These were no bent-knee sit-ups, but full prone, hands behind your head and sit up and bending until your elbows touched your knees style sit-ups.  I watched him accomplish this feat.  It was like watching a pendulum.  He would flip forward and then flop back, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop a complete cycle taking about two-seconds.  He only began to slow down the pace as he approached the 290 count.  After he reached 300, he got up and walked away while we wrote his name and count on the butcher-paper display.  When I saw him in school the next day, he could not stand up straight as his abdominal muscles kept him bent over more than just slightly.

Also in 1963, the Lake Tahoe basin was experiencing a strong Indian Summer phenomena.  That year it did not snow or even get cold until well into January of 1964.  In fact, I have a photograph of our family standing in front of the tree in our backyard on Christmas day while wearing cutoffs and t-shirts.  In any case, this particular day changed everything for me.  It was November 22nd and I was in high school biology class taking an exam when another teacher, Al Hildinger, opened the door and yelled out that President Kennedy had been shot.  It was an hour or so later when we heard that he was dead.  The biology teacher made us all retake a different test the next day because according to him we all did extremely poorly on the first one the day before.

Some of my favorite summer afternoons were going to local parks, children’s museums, swimming pools, and touristy places like Disney World with my family.  All those memories are special to me and all are equally my favorite although perhaps each for slightly different reasons.

I suppose that since this group is about how we developed into the persons we are today and it also is about our sexual orientation, I should include something about sex as the weekly topic title just screams out for writing about those delicious summer days when romance developed.  So here is a bit of a teaser.  One summer afternoon, my wife and I were traveling from Lake Tahoe towards the coast when we decided to pull off the highway and take a small, dirt, forest road into the trees, lay out a blanket and get busy.  Once decided, we actually did it.

This past week, I had three wonderful days celebrating my new status of being old enough to be a senior citizen on every restaurant menu.  I am very grateful for those three days. 

© 17 June 2013 

About the Author 

 I was born in June of 1948 in Los Angeles, living first in Lawndale and then in Redondo Beach.  Just prior to turning 8 years old in 1956, I was sent to live with my grandparents on their farm in Isanti County, Minnesota for two years during which time my parents divorced.

When united with my mother and stepfather two years later in 1958, I lived first at Emerald Bay and then at South Lake Tahoe, California, graduating from South Tahoe High School in 1966.  After three tours of duty with the Air Force, I moved to Denver, Colorado where I lived with my wife and four children until her passing away from complications of breast cancer four days after the 9-11-2001 terrorist attack.

I came out as a gay man in the summer of 2010.   I find writing these memories to be therapeutic.

My story blog is, TheTahoeBoy.Blogspot.com.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Surprising and Compelling, by Phillip Hoyle


In the boys’ dorm at the church-related college I attended (actually an undergraduate co-educational seminary), guys spent an inordinate amount of time talking about their requirements in a mate. They wanted wives who were personable, outgoing, good with children and old folks, dedicated to Christian education, musically adept, and deeply spiritual. I found myself put off by their calculations that seemed like job descriptions for a ministerial assistant, not a life partner, and I wondered if any of them could ever be satisfied with the slim pickin’s at our tiny school. There just weren’t that many pianists. In this rarefied microcosm of the church, I wondered how anyone could judge the interest and ability related to children and elders. Perhaps spirituality could be observed there, but I doubted the accuracy of such evaluations in the religious hothouse of a miniscule Bible college. None of these standards seemed helpful. And what about the real young women? Did they count? Or was this decision process just another tired topic of a worn out bull session?

I was aware of the women at the school. My first year there I saw musical talent in a couple of them but not a personality I could imagine surviving in any of them. The second year my roommate told me about a new student who was very spiritual (his word). He thought I should meet her. We met. She certainly was spirited (but of course that might not meet some criteria of spiritual). We both liked Coca Cola so started having some Coke dates as they were called. In our conversations and interactions I observed and really liked her deep independence. And her! Eventually we married and enjoyed a loving, peaceful, and event-filled life together for twenty-nine years. She turned out to be spectacularly able as a minister herself but with no tolerance for the endless meetings that characterize church work in large congregations. But all that that was years ago. I separated from my wife and left my career as a minister.

I then moved into a new gay life and wondered about things like dating and relationships. I had affairs with men before and figured they might hold some clues for me. For instance, the first guy I really fell in love with surprised me with his nasal sometimes whiny voice and effeminate gestures. I wasn’t really put off by them but surprised that I was perhaps even attracted to them? We shared similar educational backgrounds; both saw ourselves as liberal, both on the same vocational track, both married, and both obviously interested in one another. We laughed easily and wanted to spend time together, time alone together.

The second guy I got very into surprised me by being chubby. Still I found compelling his humor, smile, energy, and openness to me. I enjoyed his pursuit of me and saw how his access to our home (being first a friend of my wife) to be advantageous. And as we moved into sexual intimacy, his positioning away from romantic feelings seemed wise for I was not planning to break up my family.

The third guy surprised me with his tall and skinny stature, his emotionalism, his idealism in love, and his overly-deep needs. One friend aptly described him as a black hole of need. I found especially compelling his art and music talents, his business and financial sense, his attraction to me, and his mental and emotional intensity. I also loved him.

In the years after my separation from my wife, the fourth guy surprised me with his nasal whine, and eventually with his not being out to his family. His compelling traits included his droll humor, art, cleanliness, network of friends, and interest in sex. Of course, there was his attraction to me and mine to him. With him I developed my first full-out, live-in relationship with a man I loved.

The fifth guy surprised me with his high-pitched scratchy voice that I found cute and his lack of money management that I found strange in a person with a business degree. He thrillingly compelled me with his personal beauty, openness, exotic background, deep interest in sex, and his sense of freedom. We deeply loved one another.

There were many more factors and influences in all these gay relationships, and there were a few other men over the years, men with whom I never lived but did attain an important sense of connection. In compiling my list of surprising and compelling traits I found out that I don’t have much of a list of preferences, certainly not ones for a bull session! I also saw clearly that I like the less ordinary—those unexpected surprises discovered in almost any person—and I respond favorably to bright humor. I like to be liked—call it love. That’s what I consider it. More than  that, my current partnership with Jim shows me I like being connected with family, like not worrying over the financial habits of my partner, and like the thing I am best at—accommodating myself to the diverse lives of those with whom I choose to live.

© 22 July 2014 

About the Author 

Phillip Hoyle lives in Denver and spends his time writing, painting, and socializing. In general he keeps busy with groups of writers and artists. Following thirty-two years in church work and fifteen in a therapeutic massage practice, he now focuses on creating beauty. He volunteers at The Center leading the SAGE program “Telling Your Story.”

Friday, August 26, 2016

Raindrops, by Gillian


How can it be that any time I hear the word rain, I am immediately transported back to my youthful years in Britain    I must say, though, that in my memories of rain there and then, raindrops are not writ large. In my memories, rain does not arrive in gentle, single, drops.  It comes in more or less solid sheets which saw and slap disdainfully at any exposed skin and soak all clothing in mere seconds. But that is the essence of raindrops, is it not? Like oh so many things, they are relatively unnoticed in ones and twos but when they gather together - watch out!

Where I lived, at least, umbrellas were rarely seen. They serve little purpose against slashing, driving rain which comes from a different direction instantly and often. And anyway, in a farming community, who has hands free to handle flailing umbrellas? Might as well expect to see firemen and soldiers huddled beneath the things.

Much more practical to 'bundle up' against the weather the best you can; a rain hat of some variety, a completely waterproof plastic or oilskin coat over your other clothes providing layers for warmth as well as dryness, and a pair of sturdy rubber boots up to your knees. And all that might be effective against mere raindrops, but against those horizontal waves of water it stands no chance. A few moments of exposure and the water is pouring down inside collar and boots, the only difference being that your clothes are getting soaked from the inside out rather than from the outside in.

But, other than cricket and tennis, I rarely recall anything being cancelled because of rain. Well, you'd never get to do anything, would you? I remember county shows with apparently obliviously-contented sheep and cattle steaming in the pouring rain, while critical farmers proclaimed their opinions and puffed hopelessly on pipes which sizzled sullenly, all hint of flame long extinguished. Meanwhile we kids slipped and slid and frolicked and rolled in the wonderful sticky, stinky, mud, and would have felt quite cheated should the sun have had the temerity to drive away the rain.

It is a truly rare thing to hear a Brit complain about the rain.

'Grand drop of rain, this,' they'll say, appreciatively, and the completely serious response will be, 'Ay. Good for the garden.'

Has nobody noticed that it's been absolutely bucketing down for a week now and every garden is awash? I actually believe it's some kind of national collective denial over how bad the weather in Britain actually is. A wit once remarked that the difference between summer and winter there is that the rain isn't quite as cold in the summer. I truly do enjoy rain, but then I live in Colorado where a 'grand drop of rain' really can be a rare and beautiful thing.

I usually trawl the internet for quotes, when we have a topic such as this one. One of many rather gooey sickly-sweet ones I came across, was; life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain. Which, I guess, makes the Brits the best dancers in the world.
  
© 16 Apr 2016 

About the Author 
  

 I was born and raised in England. After graduation from college there, I moved to the U.S. and, having discovered Colorado, never left. I have lived in the Denver-Boulder area since 1965, working for 30-years at IBM. I married, raised four stepchildren, then got divorced after finally, in my forties, accepting myself as a lesbian. I have been with my wonderful partner Betsy for thirty-years. We have been married since 2013.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Choices - Illustrated T-Shirts, by Will Stanton




In many years of my observing how people dress, especially young people, I have found that they very often advertise their personalities and beliefs by their choices of T-shirts with pictures and messages.  Other than wearing obligatory T-shirts with the logos of the places where some of them work, peoples' choices of T-shirts are as varied as are the people themselves.

Maybe it should not be surprising to me that many young guys wear T-shirts that display bold profanity, especially that over-used, four-letter word.  I also don't understand so many people's fascination with skulls.  Some of the images, as well, often are obscene.  Back in the days when one Neanderthal used to be friends with me, his Christmas gift to me was a four-panel, boldly colored T-shirt displaying bare butts and four kinds of farts.  I'm not quite sure why he felt I would find this T-shirt charming, but it certainly does represent the way he thinks.

T-shirts with sports logos are very popular among a certain group of people whose lives revolve around mega-businesses posing as sports teams.  Naturally in Denver, I see beer-drinking fat guys and spindly legged septuagenarians proudly wearing overly-expensive Broncos T-shirts, hats, or coats.  The more cosmopolitan wear international soccer shirts.    

A certain kind of people seem compelled to wear clothes with political statements.  At the time of this writing, there appear to be a large number of people sporting T-shirts and ball-caps stating “Trump - - Make America Great Again,” which sounds to me to be an oxymoron.

I never have cared to wear T-shirts out in public.  To begin with, most of them have no pockets.  I need places to stow my cell-phone, along with a number of other items that do not fit conveniently into my pants pockets.  Still, I once bought a knit shirt with collars that displayed the Gryffindor emblem; but that was a hundred pounds ago, and I don't wear it.

My friend John seems to prefer wearing T-shirts as often as possible, so I found for him one with an elegantly painted scene of timber-wolves, similar to the picture here.  Also, we both enjoyed the comedy-movie “Moonrise Kingdom” that included a whole pack of boys who were members of the fictional “Khaki Scouts of North America;” so I found where he could acquire one on-line, and he soon was wearing it.
  
 







Some -T-shirts messages occasionally are clever, such as, “Never judge a book by its movie.”  Then, there were, “I'm a virgin.  This is an old T-shirt;” “I'm not gay, but $20 is $20;” and “Duct tape can't fix stupid, but it can muffle it.”  My mother was an English teacher, and she taught me that I always should remember and use good English.  So, I suppose one T-shirt appropriate for me would be the one I saw that says, “I'm silently correcting your grammar.”   For those with an interest in Roman history, there was the one that stated, “I'm being raised by wolves;” and it included a drawing of Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she-wolf.

Famous comedy-writer Bruce Vilanch, who for years was in high demand by many Hollywood celebrities to write truly funny jokes for them, reportedly had closets containing thousands of custom-made T-shirts with his original comedic quips.  Another person with a huge number of T-shirts (but also including regular shirts, jackets, ball-caps) is my acquaintance Larry who has suffered his whole life with trains-on-the-brains.  I have to admit, however, that many of the train images are quite eye-catching.  Any railroad will do, but he especially is fond of anything with Union Pacific.  There also is a shirt for frustrated computer-users that states, “My computer beat me at chess, but it was no match at Karate;” and it portrays an angry user kicking the hell out of his computer.
     
 










I know people who are nuts about dogs or cats, and there are plenty of T-shirts with pictures of them.  To this day, the cartoon-dog Snoopy still is popular.  I am somewhat puzzled by how many people wish to display images implying death.  Are these people nihilistic?  I suppose that it's inevitable these days that many shirts announce pro-marijuana slogans.  And of course, some people wish to declare their great admiration for various “rock-noisicians.“

Some people choose T-shirts with portraits of cultural icons.  Someone in my book club once gave me a T-shirt with the name and image of the writer Kafka on it.  I wore it once or twice when he was around, merely out of politeness.  I've seen T-shirts with pictures of James Dean on them.  Now that's going back in time, but he is still cool. 

Going back even further in time, there still are people, both in  Russia and elsewhere, who have feelings for the murdered Romanov royals and wear T-shirts with elegant images of Czar Nicholas II or his son Alexei.  Then, I recall seeing a humorous shirt that was captioned, “Marx, Lenin.”  In this case, however, the pictures were of Groucho Marx and John Lenin.


I wouldn't be surprised that, within this group, there is at least one person who is a fan of
the Australian hard-rock band AC/DC.  I saw an inspirationally conceived T-shirt that states in big, bold letters, “AC/DC.”  Above that, however, are portraits of the Serbian-American, genius-inventor Nikola Tesla and DC-proponent Thomas Edison.  I thought this one to be quite clever.  Of course, AC/DC has another connotation as well. 


Logically, the vast majority of T-shirts are created to make money.  Considering that fact, I would think that a company first conducts market-research to determine that there is a large enough market to cover the manufacturing cost and to make a profit.


If that is the case, I am surprised
by the apparent popularity of the T-shirt I stumbled upon that sports a large symbol of the 12th Hitler-Youth Panzer Division. Do boys actually buy and wear those T-shirts?  They either don't care what people think, or they are demonstrating that typical teenage irrational boldness. 


There are some remarkably creative images that some T-shirt-artists have come up with.  For example, I found an image of one that appears to eliminate the stomach section of one's torso and replaces it with an image of just a section of spine, a little creepy but very effective.  


Good music is a particular passion of mine, so those T-shirts with music-related pictures and captions have captured my attention.  There was one of Beethoven with his quotation, “To play without passion is inexcusable.” 

Then there was the rather cute one for members of boys' choirs.  Printed on it was a musical treble clef, and below it the caption read, “Here comes treble!”

I mentioned once before in an earlier piece that, some time ago, I met a waiter whose musical passion was the more obscure and currently less popular genre of Baroque opera.  His father was an opera-tenor; and he, too, was unusually passionate about Baroque vocal music. Their greatest opera-hero was the superlative soprano-castrato Carlo Broschi, stage-name “Farinelli.” 

He very much wanted to have some high-quality T-shirts printed up with Farinelli's portrait.  When he told me the caption that he wished to print below the picture, I concluded that it took first prize for irony: “It take balls to be a castrato.”    

So, those were only a few examples of T-shirt choices. For fun, I really would like to look into Bruce Vilanch's T-shirt closet.  I could take pictures of some really funny images and captions. 

Also, I suppose if I were to wake up tomorrow morning to find that I had turned into some teenage kid, I might consider wearing T-shirts.  That's not likely.  I'll stick with boring shirts with pockets, buttons, and collars.

© 07 May 2016 

About the Author 

I have had a life-long fascination with people and their life stories.  I also realize that, although my own life has not brought me particular fame or fortune, I too have had some noteworthy experiences and, at times, unusual ones.  Since I joined this Story Time group, I have derived pleasure and satisfaction participating in the group.  I do put some thought and effort into my stories, and I hope that you find them interesting.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Time, by Ricky


“It’s about time.  It’s about space.  About two men in the strangest place.*. . .” 

Well, it’s about time! 
Have you been waiting a long time?  I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, but the time got away from me.  Do you know where it went?
No I don’t, for time waits for no one. 
Can I catch it if I hurry? 
No.  Time marches on. 
But perhaps, if I run? 
No.  Time also flies on wings of lightning so don’t let it pass you by.

My minister once quoted God as saying, “Time exists for the convenience of man.”  Personally, I find it inconvenient as I’m often not on-time, sometimes I’m in-time, but never late for a timely meal. 

What is time anyway?  I have heard that time is that property of physics, which keeps everything from happening all at once.  If there were no time, life would be short indeed.

A famous Air Force general once told his staff, “Don’t worry, if you can’t get your work assignments completed between 0800 and 1700, you can always finish them from 1700 to 0800.” 

It is said that “time is money.”  I have very little money so I guess that’s why I have no time.  If I don’t have time to do something correctly the first time, how will I ever find the time to do it over?  

Do you have the time?
Not really.  I have two watches so I’m never sure what time it is. 

Riddle me this: “Time flies, but you can’t.  They don’t travel in straight lines.” 
“Holy Mollie, Batman.” 
“Don’t swear Robin.” 

Will the Dynamic Duo solve that puzzle?  Tune in next week; same bat time; same bat station. 

Well, it’s time to end our show, so say goodnight, Gracie.
“Goodnight everyone.”
 
After all is said and done, it’s still about time

Time’s up.

*To hear the original TV theme song “It’s About Time” click on the link below.

© 20 May 2013 

About the Author 

I was born in June of 1948 in Los Angeles, living first in Lawndale and then in Redondo Beach.  Just prior to turning 8 years old in 1956, I was sent to live with my grandparents on their farm in Isanti County, Minnesota for two years during which time my parents divorced.

When united with my mother and stepfather two years later in 1958, I lived first at Emerald Bay and then at South Lake Tahoe, California, graduating from South Tahoe High School in 1966.  After three tours of duty with the Air Force, I moved to Denver, Colorado where I lived with my wife and four children until her passing away from complications of breast cancer four days after the 9-11-2001 terrorist attack.

I came out as a gay man in the summer of 2010.   I find writing these memories to be therapeutic.

My story blog is, TheTahoeBoy.Blogspot.com.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Memorial Day, by Ray S


It is hard to remember the real reason for this national holiday, especially considering all the events that have been tacked on to this Monday celebration. Originally a day of remembrance of Americas’ war veterans and families, was simply called “Decoration Day.”

But, due to becoming a three-day holiday by US Government decree, it soon became a day of numerous other activities. No longer just an annual trip to the cemetery but a stop at the shopping mall, used car lot, picnic and/or campgrounds, beach, and of course sporting events, most importantly the Indianapolis 500.

So here we gather to celebrate besides all of the above, also each other’s friendship and sharing so many diverse stories. “The best of times is now.” And right now is the time to remember all of our fallen comrades for their sacrifices in the name of patriotic cause, whatever that may be and according to someone’s needs or belief.

In light of that, probably each of us can recall a friend, family member, or loved one lost in one of our country’s causes or conflicts, whether self-inflicted or in self-defense.

The question that keeps growing larger and more insistent in my mind is WHY MUST IT BE?

Certainly our nation’s graveyards record the names of our forefathers and foremothers. But why must the cemeteries and memorials be filled with men and women sent to their graves by war? It is an unanswerable question that humanity has pondered forever. The seeming obvious solutions are, as we have seen, impracticable. What a waste in the name of nationalism, religions, or some sociopath’s conquest of the masses’ minds.

These are the very many colors of my Decoration Day: a time to remember and again as I have written, a time to rejoice in one another. Submitted humbly and with love to all of you, I remain sincerely ME.

© 30 May 2016 

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