Category Archives: A Pocket of Resistance

spate of spam

i am going through my files and finding some things i started under “ip” for “in progress.” i usually find they are no longer pertinent and simply delete them, but occasionally, i find one i like. This is one from 2009 i began then set aside. i added the last few lines today.

i do not like this spate of spam
received regardless of who i am
which arrives each day
by facebook post or in my email;
nor do i like these political posts
even if i agree
political posts are one-sided, mean
absolutely not for me
and
i’m tired such stuff
but i don’t know what to do
‘cause i like the social stuff
with friends i share;
i would say “knock it off”
but that doesn’t work
for folks who have their own agenda
without regard for friends who don’t.

so what’s a fellow to do?

103

He would have been 103 today. i can hear him laugh right now. i can see his hands. He liked the poem i wrote about his hands, asked me how i knew all of that stuff about him. i’m pretty sure i knew by looking at his hands. That poem is below. Above that and below this is a photo his granddaughter Kate posted the day he passed away. His not being here still hurts and always will. But it’s a good hurt. He was always good, above all else. As his friends told me time and time again, “Jimmy Jewell is a good man.”

Hands

When most folks meet him,
they notice steel blue eyes and agility;
his gaze, gait and movements
belie the ninety-five years;
but
those folks should look at his hands:
those hands could make Durer cry
with their history and the tales they tell.

His strength always was supple
beyond what was suggested from his slight build.
His hands are the delivery point of that strength.
His hands are not slight:
His hands are firm and thick and solid –
a handshake of destruction if he so desired, but
he has used them to repair the cars and our hearts;

His hands are marked by years of labor with
tire irons, jacks, wrenches, sledges, micrometers on
carburetors, axles, brake drums, distributors
(long before mechanics hooked up computers,
deciphering the monitor to replace “units”
for more money in an hour than he made in a month
when he started in ’34 before computers and units).

His hands pitched tents,
made the bulldozers run
in war
in the steaming, screaming sweat of
Bouganville, New Guinea, the Philippines.

His hands have nicks and scratches
turned into scars with
the passage of time:
a map of history, the human kind.

Veins and arteries stand out
on the back of his hands,
pumping life itself into his hands
and beyond;
the tales of grease and oil and grime,
cleaned by gasoline and goop and lava soap
are etched in his hands;

they are hands of labor,
hands of hard times,
hands of hope,
hands of kindness, caring, and love:
oh love, love, love, crazy love.

His hands speak of him with pride.
His hands belong
to the smartest man i know
who has lived life to the maximum,
but in balance, in control, in understanding,
gaining respect and love
far beyond those who claim smartness
for the money they earned
while he and his hands own smartness
like a well-kept plot of land
because he always has understood
what was really important
in the long run:
smarter than any man I know
with hands that tell the story
so well.

Bonita, California
September 28, 2009

A Place to Go

If you are down and out,
feeling low…

Well, go to the San Diego night time zoo.

We ate at Albert’s, the restaurant honoring one of the zoo’s first and perhaps most famous star before the pandas. He was one big gorilla. The restaurant named after him makes you feel like you are in the heart of African jungle. i had an Alesmith .394, the Tony Gwynn Tribute pale ale. Good stuff named with Tony’s incredible season batting average, which might have risen to over .400 had the player’s strike not shortened the season by over a month. Good fish and chips too.

We wandered a bit, and if you have season passes, wandering a bit is a good thing. Went down paths i had not been before. Saw two incredible eagles (see a later Sarah post, i hope). Then we stumbled upon this one exhibit that took our breath away. Sarah has better photos with George’s professional camera of those snow leopards than i do . i took these with my iphone:

Then i got this below. It doesn’t do justice to the incredible speed, litheness, and strength of this boy. To be there was to have your heart pause for just a moment. Yet even this can take your breath away:

2017-08-13 19.34.4

Oh no, i can’t seem to get it to work here. i’ll try and post it on Facebook with this link and fix it later…maybe.

Oh, escape to the zoo to feel like the world with its humans and the animals is all right. A visit will put you in better spirits and make you feel good.

“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”

My brother Joe shared this link, http://observer.com/2017/07/unpacking-the-absurd-logic-of-cultural-appropriation-and-what-it-will-cost-us-media-robbie-robertson/ on Facebook this evening.

The article moved me greatly.

i am sitting, yes sitting, in the sitting area in our backyard long after sunset. The sitting area is located in the south corner of our backyard. We have never enjoyed it enough, choosing to stay inside. It is a bit worn down and the carrot wood tree on one side now spans over most of the area. In the Southwest corner, this is a problem as sitting areas require a heating device of some sort in the evening for most of the year. My choice of a wood burning chimerea is no longer practical because of the overhanging branches of the carrot wood.

Still, i recently vowed to pass on televised baseball games and sit out here more often to write or just relax, usually listening to my old music on a bluetooth device.

Tonight, i stopped my writing efforts and my contemplation to check Facebook and found Joe’s shared link.

i would like to expand on my thoughts about Robbie Robertson, and wish Joe had done so because Joe is so much more of an elegant writer and much deeper thinker than i am. Knowing him, i’m sure he would have expressed my thoughts much better than i would have.

i am tired. It is not terribly late. i try to stay up until 10:30 p.m. every evening. Why? Well, i grew up with my father who watched television’s network prime time shows in our den every evening until the Cinderella ending of prime time at 10:00 p.m. CST or CDT. Then he would watch the Nashville half-hour news show. Then he would go to bed. i like the pattern of that routine, the rhythm, and try to emulate it.

Of course, i’m terrible at it. Sometimes, i stay up later, caught up in reading, writing, or a TV show. Sometimes i say the hell with it and go to bed much earlier. But following in my father’s footsteps continues to be my goal in this and many other ways.

So i sit and think about “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and the “cultural appropriation the Observer’s  article addressed.

It seems sad to me we actually have to discuss things like this. It has also occurred to me our country has become schizophrenically Victorian in nature and speaking out for freedom of expression, for trying to be culturally, politically, racially, ethically, and religiously unbiased can make one a societal leper.

But it is late and i can’t expand on this right now. i am old. i have seen the world change, some things for the better and some things for the worst. i have found i no longer expect my thoughts to be accepted. Old folks like me have locked themselves into their roles, their convictions and will not sway. The younger set is out to change the world and know, unflinchingly know just like their predecessors of young, yep, the old folks of now, they, these new youngsters are right and not only are resistant to input, they resent it.

But you know, ole Robbie Robertson caught the feeling of those who are disenfranchised with a beautiful, artistic expression of sentiment when he coined the lyrics of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

Right now, i feel pretty driven down myself.

A Story for the “Twilight Zone”

Apparently my sister-in-law had not heard of my encounter with a psychic. She was visiting us this afternoon when Maureen and Sarah brought up the subject. i had written most of two columns about the incident in my weekly column, “Notes from the Southwest Corner” in the Lebanon Democrat in 2009. i made copies of the two columns and gave them to Patsy. Considering i think it’s a pretty good tale, i have taken the parts of two columns addressing the subject. Here is the tale:

SAN DIEGO –I think I’ve found something in the Southwest corner, which is not available in Lebanon.

The only psychics I knew growing up in my home town were Gypsy fortune tellers at the Wilson County Fair over in the old fairgrounds on Coles Ferry Pike.

I never got my fortune read there. I was too skeptical and didn’t want to spend money when I could use it for another amusement ride or shot at winning a teddy bear.

A friend, who shall remain nameless, did have his fortune read. She told him he would soon have a relationship with a beautiful woman. They went to a local motel that night, perhaps validating her prediction.

When I searched the internet for Lebanon psychics, there was one in Mt. Juliet, but none in Lebanon. There were few folks who wanted to belong to psychic meeting groups, but no psychics were listed.

Psychic shops are plentiful in the Southwest corner. Several weeks ago, one finally opened in Bonita. My wife was driving to work when she spotted it and called me.

“I just passed an animal psychic office,” she related, “It’s a new business.”

I was not exactly sure how to reply. I’m an old Navy man and don’t put much weight on supernatural things, not even Davy Jones – I don’t care what Walt Disney, Johnny Depp, and “Pirates of the Caribbean” wants me to believe.

“Oh, that’s nice,” I finally responded.

She did not say much after that. I assumed she wanted me to take our dog there. After all, her sister had taken her dog to a “dog whisperer” years ago and claimed great results.

It was clear Maureen was thinking about doing something for our nine-year old dog Lena, who has developed digestive problems. I thought, “Why the heck not? After all, it could make an interesting column. Folks back home might like to read about a psychic adventure.”

Later, I went by the storefront, copied the phone number, and called to set up an appointment the next day.

When I told Maureen that evening, she denied having anything to do with it and then asked how much it would cost.

“You don’t want to know,” I wisely told her.

I did not say, “I know I don’t want you to know,” which is more accurate.

The next afternoon I took Lena and walked up the stairs to the psychic. The door was locked. I gave a sigh of relief thinking the saga had ended, but as we reached the bottom steps, a scraggly young man stuck his head out the door and motioned us to come back.

As we entered the sparsely furnished complex, the young man motioned again for us to go into a small room. There were two cheap outdoor chairs. A king piece from a chess set and a small dried flower were on a small wooden table.

Rosa, a young woman, introduced herself and asked quickly what I wanted for my dog out of the session.

“She’s an alpha female,” I told her, “and needs to be less aggressive with other dogs as well as people when they come to our door.

“She also has developed some digestive problems,” I added.

Rosa was scratching herself all over. I asked if she was all right. As Lena sniffed around the room, Rosa answered, “I just finished a session with two cats. I think I’m allergic. I thought it must be a tough job being an animal psychic if you are allergic to them.

“I can sense Lena has stomach problems,” she added, “I also sense she has a connection to King Tut.”

As I tried to digest this news about King Tut, she looked at me intently and asked, “Are you spiritual?”

Wondering why a psychic wouldn’t know this, I answered, “No, but my brother’s a minister. Does that count a little bit?”

She ignored my comment.

“I think we can fix Lena’s stomach problems in three sessions,” she explained, “It will require candles and a special green tea.”

She added, “It will cost $185…cash.”

I demurred. Then she said she would waive the cost of the initial meeting.

To be honest, I did want to pay the money, but I really wanted to know more about Lena being connected to King Tut…and after all, i wanted to write this column.

I did pay the $185 for the three psychic sessions for Lena.

I took Lena home, went to the bank, and returned to the psychic studio with the cash. Lena’s psychic was not there.

Another young woman gladly took my money and my telephone number.

“I’m psychic too,” she informed me proudly. “I was here when you brought in your dog. I could sense she was having stomach problems.”

I did not ask if she sensed it by reading the notes from Rosa.

On Saturday, Rosa called and asked if she could speak to my wife about her dreams. I demurred, “Maureen is not interested in pursuing this. Call me tomorrow.”

After several days of silence, I called Rosa.

“I’ve been trying to reach you,” Rosa informed me, but Sunday, I left my notes up north and could not find your number.”

Silently, I thought, “If you are psychic, wouldn’t you be able to discern it, or at least look it up in the telephone directory?”

Rosa continued, “My study of Lena showed me she was a cat in the King Tut era.”

I thought cats were sacred or something back then and maybe Lena was sacred for King Tut. This sounds like a movie to me.

“Two lives ago, Lena was human and had some terrible stomach problems,” Rosa interrupted my thoughts, “This is causing her problems now.

“She will die a painful death if you don’t resolve them,” she continued, “A vet would charge you at least $4000 for treatment, and they won’t know until it’s too late,” she predicted ominously.

“So what should we do,” I questioned hesitantly.

“If you can bring her in for about two hours daily next week, I will commune with her and do a special massage,” she detailed, “and you will have to burn candles around her and a couple of other things.”

Before I could ask about the “other things,” she continued, “It will only be $1100. We should be able to get everything worked out in about six weeks of sessions.”

I had reached my psychic threshold.

“You know Rosa I must clear this with my wife.” I’m sure Rosa understood. She’s a psychic.

I have not called back.

Random Thoughts on an Early Monday Morning

i awoke even earlier than usual. i went to bed early last night. In the depth of the morning darkness, i tried to go back to sleep to no avail because random thoughts kept filling up my head. Many of those thoughts seem to come from nowhere, not my experience, not from anywhere. They were pretty good, good enough to write about.

So i got up to do just that: write about those random thoughts. Of course, by the time i got to my desk and computer, i had forgotten damn near everyone of them.

However, there were a couple i remembered:

For about twenty-two years, my primary purpose in life was to meet the Navy’s Mission: “To conduct operations at sea in support of national policy.”

They’ve gussied up that mission statement since then. It now reads “To maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.”

In other words, the Navy has given itself more leeway to do other things besides support the national policy.

The new statement is much more political, bureaucratic, and undoubtedly modified with legal concerns.

i liked the old one.

i did that, meeting the mission, the old one. Twenty-two years or so.

It made life easy. Everything else fell in line with following that mission statement. It truly was the way i lived.

Then i retired. I bumbled around for quite a while. At first, it was easy. Sarah was born the day i retired. i didn’t write it out, or even qualify it in my mind, but my new mission for that period of time was to take care of Sarah. Then, we got a care-giver, Karen Escobedo. Perfect. Lived about three blocks away. She turned into more, giving Sarah a look at life with children across the board in race, religion, countries, and even children with disabilities.

It was time for me to bumble some more. Somewhere in all of that bumbling, i finally came up with my new mission statement: “To lead a good life, do the right thing, be a good man.” i can’t be the judge of how well i’ve adhered to that mission. i’ll let others do that after i’m gone. But i try.

Yet sometimes, i think it was easier with the Navy. i could be a good guy, sympathetic, understanding, fair, compliant, obedient, bad guy, tough, mean and angry, even unfair, cool, decisive. You see, i was to be whatever it took to meet the mission.

With my new mission, i often just sort of plug along being me, not adapting to meet my mission. Not good. It is hard to go against the grain, not modify my actions and behavior to meet my mission, especially when someone else’s interests and concerns are involved.

And in the Navy, my mission included driving large steam ships at sea.

It was glorious and easy compared to trying to lead a good life, do the right thing, be a good man.

One observation occurring after my Navy years. It never was an issue back then. After all, i had no time to consider such things when my primary goal was to meet the Navy’s mission:

Unconditional love and conditional love do not mix well.

“Way Too Skinny for Me”

After my post about our evening at the Belly Up Tavern last Sunday, my sister-in-law, Patsy Boggs, asked me to retell the story of how Maureen and i met. When i searched my archived posts, i realized the post about that momentous occasion had been one of the posts lost in the great crash of my website provider. Well, it’s a pretty good story, and it has resulted in 34 years together come tomorrow. That’s July 30. 1983. So here we go:

It was early March 1982. i was the Weapons Officer of the USS Okinawa (LPH 3) homeported in San Diego. The Weapons Officer billet was titled “First Lieutenant” on other amphibious helicopter carriers. Regardless, it meant i was charge in pretty much everything not aviation, engineering, operations, or supply related.

One of those responsibilities was being in charge of the quarterdeck where all visitors entered the ship. From previous regimes, we had a large red torah that spanned the entrance into the helicopter deck below the flight deck. It was impressive, but Captain Dave Rogers called me to his cabin one afternoon. “Jim, I want our quarterdeck to be the best quarterdeck on the base. I want it to be the most impressive and known to be the best by everyone homeported here.”

I, of course, replied, “Aye, Aye, Sir!”

i discussed how we could make the quarterdeck renowned  across the waterfront with my division officers and Boatswain Warrant Officer 4 (CWO4) Ellis. The Bosun had a bit of a beer gut. He was married to a wonderful Filipino woman who macraméd  a lanyard for the boatswain pipe the bosun gave me. She was about 4’8″ and almost that wide. Great lady, just a bit wide.

We came up with the idea of a sitting area next to the quarterdeck. At the time, when guests or visitors came aboard, they had to wait for the watch to contact whomever they were there to see. That sailor or officer would have to come to the quarterdeck to escort the visitor. Often, the time it took to get to the quarterdeck was lengthy.

So we decided we could create a sitting area with panels, some chairs, maybe a sofa, and hang framed photographs about the Oki on the walls. That way, the visitor wouldn’t have to stand around in the working bay of the helicopter deck. Great idea.

We had to decide where and how to get panels. Since the Bosun and his first class were going to make a supply run Friday, the next day, i asked them to check out panels while they were on their run. Liberty call was early and the Bosun and his first class left around 1300. They were dressed in their standard liberty civies. The Bosun had on Levis with a blue tee shirt with his thick black hair combed back as much as it could to resemble a ducktail. His first class had on his biker’s jeans, white tee shirt with a leather jacket and a silver chain dangling down from the jeans. He had straw blond hair also combed back and the gap of a missing tooth was the final touch. They left for their mission.

i had a bunch of paperwork to work through and continued on after liberty call. The bosun came into the office with several boxes of toilet paper (i never understood why he didn’t get it through supply).

“i didn’t think you would be coming back to the ship, Bosun,” i remarked.

“Well, i didn’t want to keep this stuff at home over the weekend,” he replied.

“Did you find any panels?”

“Well sir, we went to Dixieline (a local lumber and home center). They didn’t have them, but they told us to go to Parron-Hall.”

“Parron-Hall?” i puzzled.

“Yes sir. They’re an office furniture place downtown across from the county admin building. We went there, but that place was way too classy for us. They had desks in the showroom worth more than my house.

“You are gonna have to go down there and see about them panels.”

“Aww, come on, Bosun, i have a lot on my plate.”

“No sir, you are gonna have to go down there. It’s on Ash Street.”

Then he added, ” You know sir, the woman who waited on us was really pretty. i noticed she didn’t have a ring on her finger. i’m pretty sure she’s single.

“And she’s way too skinny for me.”

Epilogue

Maureen, 1983

Midday on Monday, i drove down to Parron-Hall Office Materials. i asked the receptionist to see the person who had given her business card to Bosun. i stood at the entrance to the showroom. She came walking across with the sun shining in the window behind her (think Glenn Close in “The Natural” only prettier). She claims i had my piss cutter on my head. That, of course, is not correct: i am a country boy from Lebanon, Tennessee raised correctly by my parents and, by the way, an officer and a gentleman. My hat was off.

We had numerous discussions about the panels, which required about four or five “business” lunches over the five or six weeks for the panels to arrive. When the deal was done, i asked for that date to see John Lee Hooker at the Belly Up. We attended several events over the summer including sailing with JD in the “Fly a Kite” race where we became (or at least JD became) a legend. We went out to dinner too many times to count.

And, as i have noted before, one night up in Mission Hills, i was driving and just pulled over and parked in a residential area overlooking one of canyons. We talked. And i realized we thought a lot a like. It took until early February before we determined it was, as they say, it was meant to be.

So, that’s the story, Patsy, and that wedding took place thirty-four years ago on July 30, 1983.

i think it was pretty cool. Thanks, Bosun Ellis for determining she was way too skinny for you.

Tiburon, 2013
Hong Kong, 1993

 

 

 

 

 

La Quinta, 2017

Strange Brew

This was begun after we went to the Belly Up Tavern this past Sunday evening and completed over the next few days. There is at least one other post related to this one.

It is past midnight. Old men should have been in bed a long time ago. But tonight was different. 34 years of marriage.

We planned it about three months ago. We paid way more than we are comfortable for the tickets. We were going to cancel. Then, we said to each other, “What the hell; let’s do it.”

It wasn’t even the right date. Hell, it wasn’t even the right weekend. The wedding occurred on a hot afternoon on July 30, 1983 on Taft Street in Lemon Grove, Ray Boggs’ home where Maureen grew up . But a lot the event seemed to fit with our celebration.

The event was at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach where we went on our first official date. I had maneuvered to have quite a few “business lunches” right after i met her, but we were professional and even i shied away from anything more than a business relationship.

Then the partitions were delivered (as per her sister’s request, i will retell meeting Maureen later), and after two months of business, the deal was sealed. That day in her office, i asked her for our first date.

“Would you like to go see John Lee Hooker?” i asked.

“Who’s that?” she questioned. i sensed reluctance.

“He’s one of the legends in the blues,” i replied hoping to get her more interested.

“What’s the blues?” she asked.

“It’s the best,” i replied.

Surprisingly, she said, “Okay. But you have to understand i have a primary relationship.”

“What’s that?” i asked honestly.

After she explained primary relationships, and i told her about the blues, we worked out the arrangement. She met us at Lou Rehberger’s apartment in Solana Beach. Lou, his date, JD Waits and his date, and Maureen and i went to the Belly Up Tavern. John Lee Hooker was the main attraction that Saturday night. He didn’t disappoint.

The following Monday night, JD and his date, Maureen and i returned for Doc Watson’s performance.

Maureen was introduced to Blues and Bluegrass within three nights. She loved it. There were other dates to events but most of our summer, usually two or more nights a week, we went out to dinner. There was some reluctance to further the relationship on both sides. i was a very single lieutenant commander in San Diego with an apartment on Coronado and very pleased with my status. She, as you might remember, had a primary relationship.

But that wasn’t going real well for her and one of her closest friends asked her about that “sailor boy.”

We were married about ten months later. Thirty-four years ago.

When we came back to San Diego after an incredibly rewarding and final operational tour for me as executive officer of the USS Yosemite and the first year together in our marriage in Jacksonville, Florida, we again went to see John Lee Hooker at the Belly Up. He was even better than the first time.

We went one more time in the late 1980’s to see Taj Mahal. We weren’t disappointed but other factors including the Belly Up being on the opposite north/south ends of the county kept us away.

About a dozen years ago, we went to see a BB King concert in the outdoor stage a couple of miles south of us. We both saw Susan Tedeschi for the first time, and Maureen saw Buddy Guy for the first time. Unfortunately. Buddy’s lead-in show wasn’t over until after 10:30, which meant BB wouldn’t start until almost midnight. Maureen had a workday the next day. We bailed. We did see BB and Albert King at Humphrey’s. Maureen’s conversion to Blues lover was complete.

Then we saw the advertisement for Buddy Guy. At the Belly Up. Done deal.

Since our first forays up north, the Belly Up and Humphrey’s have become the rage. People fight to get into the concerts. Neither is the laid back fun place to enjoy good music they used to be. Now they are events. That means, of course, they have become outrageously expensive. It also meant there are long lines to get in. At the Belly Up, it appears they have reduced the seating and raised the attendance capacity. Seats in the middle have been taken out for perimeter tiered seating. It is so small it is still okay, but now there are over half of the crowd standing in the middle. For up to four hours. That’s after a half-hour to 90-minute wait in line. Not for this old folk.

But then, we were inside. i sat with this beautiful woman in the place where we had our first date in 1982. i put my arm around her. i did not do that 35 years ago. We listened to the blues like we did back then. John Lee Hooker is gone. BB King and Albert King are gone. Damn near all, if not all of those blues legends are gone. Buddy Guy was a bit different, a guitar wizard and more akin to Jimi Hendrix than Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter. But the backbone of his guitar playing was the blues and he’s back.

It was just about right for our celebration.

Yet as we looked around, there was something just not quite right about the scene itself. Other than the bass and lead/rhythm guitarist and, of course, Buddy, the crowd of 600, the maximum, may have included a couple people who weren’t pale of skin, but i didn’t see them. The entire audience was pretty much middle and older “white” folks, perhaps remembering earlier times, perhaps there because it was a “go-to” event.

Old chubby men in cargo shorts, bad Hawaiian shirts, and pork-pie straw hats, bobbed their heads in appreciation but out of rhythm (think Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor in the bathroom scene of “Silver Streak”). These old men wore flip flops or white tennis shoes with white socks. Old women in knock-off muumuus and Birkenstock sandals swayed, also in questionable rhythm. The younger set in their forties (there may have been a few dipping into their thirties, but again, i didn’t see them) crowded around the two bars and were swigging them down like it was a race. They were talking in groups, not too engrossed in the music.

i mean this was Buddy Guy. His lead-in was this eighteen-year old “white” kid guitar phenom named Quinn Sullivan. He was good, real good, fast like Buddy. Buddy showed his eighty with talk of giving back, getting along, and a number of trips to his coffee cup at the back of the set while the band played breaks. He still has the guitar playing and the showmanship, using more profanity to shock and induce nervous laughter. But he is Buddy Guy.

The young folks would love him. The folks with darker skin would love him. Where were they?

The world changes. Places i love become popular, a few try to remain the same but seldom do. Prices rise. Worse, crowds searching for the new “in” make them…well, crowded and noisy. Sorta like cars: i buy one i really like. They become popular. The car makers make ’em plusher, add electronics, take away the sports ride so they will ride smoother, modernize the straight stick, and of course, raise the prices.

Maureen at Sierra Robles winery in Warner Springs, the day before we went to the Belly Up.

But for one evening celebrating an incredible 12,791 days of pretty much joy sharing my life with this elegant woman sitting next to me who is getting down, clapping in time, moving with the young Quinn’s and Buddy’s guitar playing, it’s okay. i’m not into those old “white” folks. Hell, i’m not even one of them. i’m an old blues nut, appreciating what has evolved from its roots. And to do so with Maureen makes just about perfect.

100

She would have been 100 today.

She had that Prichard grit right up to the very end, when she said, “You make the decision. I’m tired of making decisions.” With the support and counsel of my sister Martha — Joe, trying to get home from Ireland later supported and agreed — i made the decision. Mid-morning, the next day, she was gone. We all knew she was where she wanted to be. With him.

It has been a little over three years. i was going to include a bunch of photos of her from the farm on Hunter’s Point Pike to basketball player to war momma (me) to her with her family, that would be us including the two siblings who continue to make me proud, and some of her throughout her life, but quite frankly, it was getting difficult to find the ones i wanted. She would understand that. She had some problems with new technology and photos. Didn’t like it. So after a full day, i sat here considering what to do.

After all, it is her 100th birthday.

Earlier, my brother and my niece posted photos of her. Good photos. i really don’t need to do that now.

And i won’t write a lot about her. i think anyone who has read some of my stuff knows.

i will just go to bed thinking about her and what a wonderful impact she had on so many. And there were two who just always seemed to glow when they were with her.

and

Happy Birthday, Mother. You remain wonderful.