I ran a lot when I was young and would do so, after work.
Running down my favorite route, on 148th Ave NE. as
it was well lit and I could see ahead.
I had my Sony Walkman on my hip and was listening to
an FM station. Probably rock and roll as the beat was,
for me, easier to make my run with the beat of the
As I tired, the tendency was for me to not lift my feet
as high as a normal stride. Apparently I was doing a
little shuffle and my toe caught a raised slab of the
sidewalk. At the time, I also played Soccer and had a
defense mechanism when hit or losing your balance.
I tripped and automatically went into a "tuck and roll"
and came back up to me feet. I quickly looked around
to see if I had been noticed. I wasn't.
Checked myself out, no damage and the Sony was still
cranking out a tune.
The next day at work I was relating my accident to a fellow
runner. He asked I had hurt myself. I said no, but as I
reached for the spot where my Walkman had been, I felt
a slight pain. Shortly after that I had acquired a small
bruise, that I swear had the word Sony, in my skin.
The moral of the story is to keep running, no matter what, as you
never know what is chasing you.
I want to travel. I want to go
to the land where the Wild Iris grows.
A peaceful place, with seas of blue.
I need to escape the thoughts of you.
You with brown eyes, silver wavy hair,
who's a joy in life is no longer there.
Dementia caused this change, I see.
You will soon no longer be with me.
The lung cancer was treated, cured just fine
but the Chemo treatment, took away your mind.
No memories of our past life and friends.
No longer the love as our life together, ends.
Your random thoughts, in early evening
are like scattering birds in a field.
There is little logic in your discussion;
nothing I understand nor can yield.
As stated before; in daytime your fine,
but when evening draws nigh, your mind
seems to wander; no place to go.
The questions you ask; are answers I don't know.
Someone I worked with
almost every day,
would come in asking of me,
a question or two.
My usual answer,
I would say "I don't remember,
but I'll look on my desk."
This happened many times,
not just a few.
She said to me with a very nice
smile, "I'll call you Al, short for
Alzheimer, if you keep saying
In my defense I would find the
item we discussed, providing
the answer, that was my stead.
A long time ago. Now an old
friend. I'm the old one.
Thank you for your patience
over the years and thank
you for resuming the
And you still have a better memory than I, my friend 💕
Difficult times can bring out the best in people—and as the coronavirus spreads across the nation, an epidemic of kindness has followed in its wake. Despite the challenge of social distancing, people are finding creative ways to stand by each other, even while standing apart.
Shortly after the “stay home” order, Kristan McCary of Ajax Café sprang into action. Her Port Hadlock restaurant announced free meals for curbside pickup on social media: “For as long as we are able, the Ajax will be serving no cost meals for those in need.” Soon thereafter, she offered free delivery to the housebound.
Maryland teenagers Matt Casertano and Dhruv Pai organized a grocery delivery service for senior citizens. After volunteering to shop for their own elderly neighbors, they realized they could help on a larger scale. Now seniors in their community can email shopping lists, and a nearby volunteer gets the groceries and leaves them at the front door.
Citizens nationwide have stepped up to feed our frontline healthcare providers. In D.C., Elena Tompkins and Sarah Cannova collect donations to buy meals for delivery to hospital workers, which also helps struggling restaurants. In Bremerton, Ed Van Gil started making large batches of home-cooked meals and personally delivering them to healthcare facilities—and when word of his good deed spread, a group of community volunteers joined in.
Many people also rely on spiritual sustenance, and churches have adapted by holding services inspired by drive-in theatres. The congregation assembles in cars, and the sermon—often delivered from “pulpits” designed for maximum visibility—is broadcast to their radios. In Ohio, Pastor Frank Carl stands 25 feet high in a scissor lift, while in Wisconsin, Pastor John Hanson preaches from atop a dump truck.
As countless celebrations for graduations, weddings, and birthdays have been cancelled, drive-by parades of family and friends have become the new norm. New Jersey native Charles Swody’s 100th birthday was no exception. The World War II veteran and retired local Fire Chief was honored with a festive motorcade through his neighborhood, complete with a fire engine in the lead—and his wife of 78 years at his side.
Such is the generosity and resilience of the human spirit. We’ve learned how to stay close, even from a safe distance. We’ve learned to spread love, not fear. And we’ve learned that no matter how far apart we are, we’re all in this together.
My grandfather worked for the Kittitas County,
Reclamation District. His responsibility was
managing the water flow at the Whipple Creek
Pumping Plant, in Badger Pocket.
There were a series of ditches and canals
carrying water to the farming country, East
The Highline Canal, moved water from Lake
Easton through Kittitas County.
My grandfather and grandmother lived in a large
house, near the pumping plant.
My cousins and I would spend many a Summer,
when we were younger; pre teen.
The Highline Canal was up the hill from the
house. There was a spillway that brought
water down to a basin, the water moved via a
short canal to the pumping plant, where it
was pumped up another hill to a ditch that
was East of the pumping plants.
Surplus water would pass through the
pumping plant and was distributed to the flatter
My cousins and I would fish from the ditch
or swim in the water, below the pumping plant.
Great memories from so long ago.
We would go east of the house and gather
petrified wood. We put that around the flower beds.
I wonder if it is still there?
She was sweet, with manners refine.
She was my first love,
Mind your manners, when out to dine.
Stay on the outside, when with ladies,
then you will be divine.
She taught me well
Treat people with respect,
do that all the time,
she said to me,
She raised me well;
my manners did shine,
Thank you Mother,
my favorite Adeline.
Sweet and true
Long ago, some TV Programs the
Ponderosa, Quick Draw McGraw,
and Have Gun Will Travel. Paladin with
Richard Boone; Adult cowboy stuff.
My friend and I were enamored
with these "Western Adventures, so
we both purchased replicas of
the Colt revolver. He bought
a Colt Single Shot Revolver and
I bought a Ruger Single Six.
Both were caliber .22 Long Rifle.
We made our own holsters and
would practice "fast drawing", daily.
Not face to face but side by side.
We were young and dumb, not stupid.
I remember one day, on the RR Tracks,
by the River. No one present except the
two of us. This time we had "live" ammo.
I must admit that, as we stood side by side,
ready to "draw" that I was a tad
faster than my friend. On this occasion ,
we drew and he beat me. I looked
at my friend and his gun hadn't
cleared his holster. There was a
wisp of smoke coming from his holster.
We saw a small circle in the fine grit,
near the track, along side his foot,
where the bullet had struck.
I recall that being the last day
we had a "fast draw" event.
I miss my friend. He's been gone
quite a few years, but when I think
of that time, it brings a smile.
Farewell my friend, for it may be soon
when I join you in the proverbial
room, sharing these stories
from our past. Miss you Gary.
This writing is just for you,
no one else, to read and say
the words I write on this screen,
makes my mind wake up
to all those things, you do.
If you write a comment
about a line or if this
writing strikes a chord
or rings a bell about an experience
that you recall, then I will succeed
in this writing that you read;
being more about you
and very little about me.
I sit here alone;
She's next to me.
Alone in my thoughts
of our life's reverie.
She speaks of the
past life of memory,
not of facts but,
"Do you remember?"
The questions she asks,
my mind cannot see,
without more facts;
who or where it might be.
Giving a place or name,
I say back to She;
I don't know comes back to me.
Answers like this or less,
end in each of our own misery.
My grandmother was born in
Palouse City, Washington Territory.
Something I never knew
until later in life.
A Pioneer? Probably so.
She worked her life away,
when not bearing children,
as a Station Agent/Telegrapher,
for the Northern Pacific Railroad.
As a young boy, I spent time in
a small station, that is no longer
on the RR tracks but was moved
by my Father to his property,
a short distance away.
I recall that the train was used
as a US Mail Carrier.
The train didn't stop to deliver the
mail but would throw it off, in bags,
to the Station Platform.
Picking up the mail was accomplished
by an arm that had the mail bags,
suspended, and a hook on the Mail
car would grab the bag. Mail was
sorted in the Mail car for delivery to
the next town for distribution.
I have great memories of that
Station and of my Grandmother
operating the telegraph key.
She retired from the Norther Pacific
many years ago.
My wife had worked at a large Eastside Hospital and one of her co-workers,
was a great friend. I'll call her VP, who had made many trips to Kauai for years.
At some point during these past years, VP, left her employer and moved to
Kauai, The Garden Isle.
VP had married a Kauai local, who worked at one of the Sugar Plantations. His nickname
was of course, Sugar.
We were invited to come and visit, which we did several times over these past years.
On one of our visits, VP said to both of us, "Tonight is Boys Night Out". She explained,
"every Tuesday the Boys would go to the back of the Koloa Town Market, where the owner
had built a Clubhouse". The Clubhouse had a stove, two refrigerators and two TV sets, a large
round table for the "Boys."
I was introduced to many of Sugar's friends, or Locals. I was treated like a special guest,
with offers of beer and a countless number of Pupu's . The locals would offer me many
different foods, some homemade and some purchased. I tasted everything offered, because
drinking beer and eating have always been to my liking.
Apparently I made a good impression.
A few years later we returned for a visit with our friends. We had stayed with VP and Sugar
prior trips but this time they had moved to a smaller place. We stayed at a Condo
near Spouting Horn a "blow hole", if you will, where the surface would drive the sea water
up through the hole. But I digress.
Sugar said, "it's Boy's night out and I'll be late but you know where it is, so I will meet
I went to the store and purchased some Pupus and of course. a case of Bud Lite as that was
the beer of choice, at the Clubhouse.
I pulled into the parking lot behind the Market and was retrieving the beer and snacks from
the trunk of the rental, when I heard this voice. "Hey Jerry, where've you been? You want
I turned and saw an old friend, Suto, who I had met before. I was greeted by all the "Boys"
like a long, lost relative. It was fantastic and will always remain in my heart and memories
of the Kauai Boys.
Most of the "Boys" are now gone as are our friends, VP and Sugar.
My wife's Medical Condition prevents her from travelling to that beautiful, Garden Isle, Kauai.
I miss all of my wonderful friends.
Aloha and Mahalo for the friendship and these precious memories.
When I was young, so many years ago, I loved to fish. I would dig worms from the garden, put them in an empty tobacco tin, flat with lid. The tin was Prince Albert and was something you could put into your shirt pocket. No fish eggs for me for they probably were too expensive.
I used worms for bait but in the Summer when the Grasshoppers were plentiful, I would use them.
My Grandfather, managed the Whipple Creek Pumping Plant, which moved water up the hill via huge
pipes. The water came down the spill way from the Highline Canal, in an area called, "Badger Pocket."
The water not used for pumping, flowed through and went down a large ditch. Fishing was available above the Pumping Plant, just below and further down the ditch.
I would get my bait and walk to the area I wanted to fish. Casting out the offering, on a barbed hook, I would make an effort to lure the wily trout, to take a taste. If you felt a little tug, pull quick and hard on the line and set the hook. Usually a nice size fish, 10 to 12 inches long.
I wasn't always successful but the quiet, solitude and the beauty of the outdoors, was always enjoyed at a cost of nothing but our time. I miss those times and the people.
When I was a young boy, I like to read the comics in the Sunday paper, Seattle Times.
I would read those first. Even to this day, that the first thing I grab, our the Comics.
Fascinated, was I by the comic strip, Terry and the Pirates, by Milton Caniff.
Those readings when the World was at war, were read by myself, while laying on the floor.
Reading about Terry and his exploits, in Asia. One of the characters, in the strip was the
Dragon Lady. She was Asian, beautifully mysterious. Dangerous, but not truly evil. She
probably was evil but I was too naïve and young to know. It was at that time, in my young
life that I became fascinated by Asian women. Didn't know any but still the fascination.
I still have that fascination. When I see women of all Asian races, I am drawn to them, like
a moth to the flame. I can't explain that to you, nor will I try. Great memories of a child who
was fascinated by a cartoon character in a Comic Strip, at a young age. Go figure.
After World War II, my Father
purchase, The Orchard Trailer Park,
in Riverton Heights, about a
block off of Highway 99.
He had left his job at
Todd's Shipyard, where he was
an Electrician; a Supervisor.
He also built a small building,
on Highway 99, where he opened
a store selling electrical products.
I recall one product, a radio,
manufactured by Gilfillen.
I would ride my bicycle, with my
friends, South on Highway 99 to
Angle Lake to swim. On occasion
we would ride to Bow Lake, more
of a pond, and fish.
Bow Lake today, is where the
Hilton Hotel is located. It is across
Highway 99 from SeaTac International.
Several years ago, I attended a
meeting at the Hilton. When we
had a break, I walked out the back
and there it was. No rushes or
Cat Tails, or noticeable weeds.
My of my, what a change to
the Old Fishing Hole.
A conversation begins with a single word
mingling with others and is heard.
A string of thoughts, in the air,
a strong discussion in the World, everywhere.
No matter the language that is spoke;
spinning a story or telling a joke.
The words in the string can convey
what happened in life, every day.
When a chain of words, becomes broken
there is no discussion or even a token
of a hearty discourse; a complete thought
a frustration of what life has wrought.
Words not together, become a real mess,
causing both parties to suffer undue duress.
How to fix this, I am unsure
for with Dementia there is no cure.
A campfire ablaze,
wood popping sounds,
a metal grate,
over the fire.
Cast iron skillet.
Throw in some bacon,
fry and set aside,
then some eggs,
in they go with a sizzle.
Sunny side up or
over easy, if you have
the skill. Back with the
bacon to heat again.
Out to the plate for
a nice outdoor breakfast.
Those are the memories
that pop from my head,
remembering those wonderful
day of our youth.