Tuesday, October 13, 2015


When I was a younger man I liked to get on top of things.

Like buildings.

It started, I believe, when I was a little kid.

I liked to climb trees.

I had a favorite place in what I called "the big tree" in a weedy alley a few houses away from ours in Stanley, North Dakota, where I grew up.

I would climb up there and, sheltered and hidden by the leaves, sit for hours, some times reading a book, some times just looking out over "my realm" and living in my imagination.

Some years later I became an amateur radio operator and climbed on various roofs to string antennas.

Being up on roofs never lost its fascination for me.

The views from above were fascinating to me and made me feel somehow powerful.

I remember once in Phoenix during an evening with friends, Timmer and Beaner, I climbed to our roof to get a better look at a distant lightning storm.

My wife and my friends refused to join me and only got me to come down when I "needed" a cigarette.

(I smoked in those days as did everyone else.)

But old age and the infirmities it brings have put a stop to my climbing.

So this rang a bell with me.

As one of my heroes, the late Kurt Vonnegut, would say - "so it goes."