Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
"We all live in a yellow submarine,
a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine,
We all live in a yellow submarine,
a yellow submarine, a yellow subm . . ."
Are you quite sure?
Never mind, then.
I told you it was different. To see the other creations click here.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I haven't posted since Monday. Living on my Mag 6, you say.
Well, not really. I just haven't had a thing to say. I've been watching the NCAA basketball tournament and following, with glee, the fortunes of Butler's Bulldogs, which are in the Final 4 next week.
I've been keeping tabs on a friend, who is in the hospital.
I've been reading "Game Change". It's a book in the likes of those written by Theodore H. White but it's more superficial. Maybe it's perfect for this era but it's fun, with lots of gossip on the 2008 presidential race.
And I've watched a couple of movies - "The Men Who Stare at Goats" - a totally mindless hour and a half but a bit funny; and "Broken Embraces" - with the perfectly lovely Penelope Cruz and her favorite director, Pedro Almodovar. That one was better.
So, you see, I've been kind of busy. I'll be back.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I passed through the gates at the institution for the criminally insane, past thick iron bars, past stolid armed guards. I was told bluntly to stop, to raise my arms and was frisked thoroughly. As the guards eyed me, seemingly hostile, I felt a nervous tremor in my stomach. I was not a threat but they didn’t know that. They knew only that I was here to visit one of their most dangerous prisoners.
Burt Jensen had been born in a tarpaper shack on a dirt poor northern Wisconsin farm. He lived through his childhood in that shack with only a small iron stove for heat, sleeping on a ragged pad with one blanket on the floor in one corner of the single room that housed them all. His mother had died giving birth to him. He had one brother four years older, who used to beat him nearly every day and steal food from the tin plate on which he ate. Those were the good days. The day his father, Olav, didn’t beat him.
One night they both beat him, kicked him into a small bundle and left him on his pallet while they laughed and drank the evil smelling alcohol they brewed out of potatoes. Later that night, after they had passed out, he took a knife and cut both of their throats.
When the police came to take him away, he was hollow-eyed and chanting, over and over
Cops call it
That’s all the authorities ever got out of him. Just that mad rhyme. That was all he had ever spoken since that horrible night.
So now he was here. In the bowels of this huge grey institution. And so was I.
I was a reporter. After months and months of effort, I finally had been granted this opportunity to talk to Burt Jensen. Was I fearful? Oh, yes. Even in spite of knowing that he would be shackled, hand and foot, and I would be "protected" by the armed guard in the same room.
So I entered. And waited. The room was empty except for a small wooden table and two straight-backed wooden chairs.
I jumped as I heard the door clang open. And Burt Jensen came in, with a guard holding tightly to one arm. His dark hair was disheveled and hung down on his forehead. His eyes were on the floor. The guard roughly pushed him down into the chair by the table opposite me. I sat and, slowly, his eyes rose to my face. They were blank.
My long sought interview was a disaster. Burt Jensen didn’t answer any of my questions, he didn’t respond at all, he just stared. Not at me, exactly, but through me. He sat still for the entire time, just staring.
Finally, I had enough. I gave up. I turned off my recorder, looked at the guard and nodded. He took Burt Jensen’s arm and raised him from his chair. And I turned to leave. As my back turned, I heard, for the first time, Burt Jensen’s voice.
Nails in his arms,
Spear in his side,
I stood there, stunned, as he repeated the words over and over again as the guard shouldered him down the hall. His words grew fainter as my hands gripped the edge of the table in an effort to stop the trembling.
This is the sixth in series of weekly writing exercises initiated by Willow, who posts a photo and invites people to write a poem or a story or an essay based on it. You can learn more and read other entrants' writings at Magpie Tales.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
My favorite line from his obituary in today's New York Times reads as follows:
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
They are, from left to right, Larry, Cousin Bonnie, Clayton and LaLonnie.
Monday, March 15, 2010
It never worked very well. It was supposed to be controlled by nerves in what was left of his arm. But it didn’t. When he wanted to put it forth to grasp another’s hand, it frequently shot up the middle finger in what was thought to be an obscene gesture.
This is the fifth in a series of writing tests based on photo prompts put forth by Willow. You can read other entrants' offerings at Magpie Tales.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Arizona State University's basketball team was passed over for the N.C.A.A. tournament today. The N.I.T. tournament picked them as the #1 seed. The University of Arizona was passed over by both tournaments.
Glenn Beck has suggested that anyone who is a member of a religion that supports "social justice" shoud leave it. Beck is a member of the Mormon Church. No word yet on when he's leaving it.
The "media" is saying this is crunch week for the Obama administration's push for health care reform. Time will tell.
The weather is warming here in Arizona. The forecast is for the 60's all week. I'm ready.
That is all.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
By 5 o'clock this afternoon it was 50 degrees and the weather person says it will reach 60 tomorrow.
How can a person achieve any stability in his life if the weather can't?
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
"What the hell is that thing?"
"It’s an elephant."
"Awfully small elephant."
"It’s a baby. A young one."
"Well why do you have it? You carry it with you all the time."
"It brings me good luck."
"Good luck! We’ve been in this damned prison for nearly 27 years! Some good luck."
"But we’re still alive aren’t we?"
"Sometimes I wonder about that."
"Have to keep on believing though. One of these days it’s all going to get better."
"Yeah, one of these days we’re gonna die and then it all WILL be better."
"Ah, now, you’ve got to have hope. Be like the elephant."
"Ha! How long does an elephant live?"
"They say it can live for some 70 years."
"Yeah, and how old are you now? 72?"
"Oh not quite. But I still have hope."
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Several weeks later – the guard opens the cell door. It is February 11th, 1990. After 27 years, Nelson Mandela and his cellmate are released from prison. Mandela leaves the small elephant on the sill of his barred window, smiles and walks out into a changed world.
It has been questioned as to whether this story is true or not. One fact is accurate. Nelson Mandela was released from prison on February 11th, 1990 after 27 years of confinement. The rest . . . is all my imagination.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Yesterday I was bragging to some friends back East that it was pushing 60 degrees here. This morning, it became evident that rain had fallen during the night. And a little while ago . . . WHAT? SNOW? AGAIN? YeGods!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Meantime, down at Glassford Hill Road and Lakeshore Drive, another project is underway. This, I am told, will be a Maverick service station and store.