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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Monday, June 3, 2013


I had a Facebook conversation with a niece of mine last night.  When we were growing up, my brother and family were over at our house every Friday night and a lot of Sundays.  We had quite a collection of young'uns back then- I was the baby of my family by ten years, and so by the time I was, say, 10, I had 4 nieces and 2 nephews approximately my age, and another three nephews were either toddlers or on the way.  The closest in age were my oldest brother's two Daughters- one five months younger, the one I was talking to last night a year and a half.

Our chat was a brief memory lane of some of the things we remembered from back then.  And I thought that rather than digest the IRS scandal or the latest in gun control debates, I might share some of that memory with you. 

Often we started out rampaging around the yard on the three tricycles we had.  The tallest one was a garage sale clunker that Dad shot a coat of pale green primer on; the smallest had a banana seat, and thus was the favorite of even the longest legged of us.  Summer was a lot of fun;  catching lightning bugs, collecting the seed pads of some field weed we always called "butterbutts", rhubarb-leaf wars.  I remember a night spent on the swingset debating whether "heck" or "hell" was worse.  Rubbing down the slide with wax paper.  The porch swing, where we sat and consumed "clam chowder", a concoction of oreos, potato chips, Ritz crackers, and balls of wadded up bread.

Then inside for the weekly ritual of ice cream.  As we slowly stirred the ice cream into a frosty, we told stories of the six-inch-tall "Little Miss Muffet", who had a penchant for falling into sewers, toilets, etc., and being eaten by various animals only to be pooped out every week.

One week I remember the older niece bring the wild story of the Heptehedia, a supposedly prehistoric animal that had as many different forms as the imagination would allow.  We spent a night and a notebook drawing different kinds of this beast.  The only one I remember clearly was the one I concocted that had ram's horns and would swing by them from a branch in order to break open bee hives with its feet. 

Music was also a big thing.  I remember younger coming over one time with a notebook that had the Earth, Wind, and Fire lyric "Shine a star" written in every possible space.  Older was an Aerosmith fan.  One time on the way back from a trip to Florida, we each got a quarter to play one song on the camp's jukebox.  Older played Last Child, Younger of course played Shining Star, and budding ELO-head that I was played Strange Magic.

And watching TV!  The next best night to Christmas was the night each network did the preview show for the upcoming season's Saturday cartoon lineup.  Star Trek.  Tarzan.  Brady Bunch.  Partridge Family.  Room 222.  I remember one night during an ice storm that the power went off during the intro to The Real McCoys.  They were just at the last character, the littlest girl, when she faded away.  Here Come The Brides, because you couldn't miss Bobby Sherman...

Once Mom died when we were 13-14, the Friday nights and most of the Sundays disappeared.  Nobody got along quite so well with Dad and his drinking as with Mom.  And the family grew apart.  Drifted away.

My niece told me last night she was teaching college classes, "If you can believe that".  I told her I could believe, without hesitation.  I told her she probably figured I was still running around with a dishtowel "cape" pinned around my neck, yelling "Batmaaaaaaaan..."


Here's some pics from last week I haven't thrown out there yet due to the great flood.

A few of these about hit us in the head.  Either there was a nearby tree blooming above canopy level or Mrs. Squirrel didn't buy the mr.s "Sorry I'm late..." excuse.

This ground hog stood there till Scrappy was maybe fifteen feet away.  You think that idiot could figure out where he went?

Notice the leash line and guess for yourself.


And to wrap up tonight, Aussie Hockey!  Adelaide split her two with the Sydney Bears:  Saturday a 6-3 win featuring Wehebe Darge scoring four times; Sunday, it was the Bears 4-2 despite a 41-22 Ads advantage in shots.  Jon Koubek for Sydney had a pair of 1st period assists and a pair of 3rd period goals. 

Also splitting a pair were Perth and the Melbourne Mustangs.  Saturday, Perth was down 6-1 early in the second when Perth rallied; but despite outshooting the 'Stangs 24-5 in the third, Melbourne hung on-barely- for a 6-5 win.  Sunday, the Thunder had no mercy, hammering the 'Stangs 7-0 after 2 en route to a 9-3 win.  Joe Tolles, Matt Strueby, and Michael Foley each scored twice.

Newcastle had just the one game Saturday, beating the Melbourne Ice in OT.  the Ice took an early 3-0 lead, but then gave up 3 third period scores on just 9 shots, as they scored three times in a 5 1/2 minute span of the late second and early third periods.

The Ice Dogs finished Saturday action with a 5-3 win over Canberra which wasn't really that close.  Billy Cliff had a first period hat trick for the Dogs, and outshot Canberra 27-9 in the third.  The second period was a recurring brawl, and when the dust settled, 4 ten-minute misconducts and one game misconduct had been whistled.  The next day, league leading scorer Matt Puntereri (14g, 27 points), scored once in the first and two more in the third to send the Dogs and Ice into OT, with Jeff Baclig netting two for Melbourne.  But the Dogs win the shootout 2-1 for a 4-3 win, and a two-win weekend, while the Ice shake off an unusual two-loss weekend.

As a result, the Ice Dogs of Sydney now have a 23-21 lead over Newcastle in the standings, whilst the defending champ Ice fall to third, 6 points back.  the Bears trail by 8, the 'Stangs by 9, Perth by 11, the Ads by 14, and Canberra by 17.


  1. Thanks for sharing some precious memories. And you are fight about Bobby Sherman. Hadn't thought of him in years.

    1. Remember, I was living this around two girls. At least with David Cassidy, I liked the music.

  2. CWM:
    That's a great reflection on times once had and still cherished.

    There is a quote from the Movie The Punisher (2004) that goes:
    "Good memories can save your life."
    And that is SO very true.

    I can't believe my nephew in VA is a LIEUTENANT in his fire department.
    I remember him and I playing with his LEGOS in his parents' basement back in the late '80s.
    Where does the time go, and why can't get a smidge of it back now and then just for kicks?

    Excellent pictures, too. Hope the ground wasn't TOO soft under foot.

    Stay safe up there in the wonderful realm of Sambonia.

    1. Ground was fine, a little wet, but Scrappy likes it that way. And if I knew how to get those days back, we wouldn't need Time Machine.

  3. Your memories are so similar to my own. It makes me wish my kids lived closer to their family but the military doesn't work that way. Our choice, I know. Anyway, I enjoyed your pictures!!

    1. It's a sad fact that life is erosion. We build it up, it wears away. Memories are, I think, God's way of saying, I wish it didn't have to be this way...

  4. This is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your memories of family times. Such a pity it stopped happening after your mom died

    1. Just a reflection on Mom's character and our dysfunctionalness, I guess.