Saturday, December 30, 2017

2018 IS NEAR

To all the many friends, both old and new, who have found these scribblings pleasurable, let me wish the very best for the coming annum.

Or, in other words . . .

Friday, December 29, 2017


Well, dear friends and Gentle Readers, it's nearly time once again to say goodbye to another year and make our plans for the next one.

I won't say New Year's Resolutions because I think we all know how those usually turn out.

But let's stop frowning and start smiling, o.k.?

I'm feeling driven.

If you're feeling like driving this weekend just remember all that good advice you've gotten (and ignored) over the years about the effects of alcohol on your judgement.

And the attitude of the officer who stops you!

I'll be staying in and safe for Amateur Night.

Whatever you decide, have a safe and exhilarating weekend and always remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oh, yeah)

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Once upon a time, many years ago, I was sitting at a crowded bar in Bismarck, North Dakota, sharing a drink with a friend I'd made.

His name was Cornell Wiley and he was an African-American musician who would come through town with his trio several times a year.

They were very popular and this was at a time when I was spending a lot of time in bars.

Suddenly the guy on the other side of me who'd probably spent too much time in the bar that evening poked me rudely in the shoulder.

When I turned he said "what are you doin' drinkin' with that colored guy?"

I glanced at Cornell, then turned back to the interloper and responded "Oh, I thought I was the colored guy."

Apparently that shut the intoxicated fellow up.

I've always had friends of races other than my own and I never thought a lot about it.

All of which is to introduce you to another friend of mine who commented on my Facebook post of yesterday.

His name is Ron Brooks and he was a sportscaster back in the 70's when we both worked at a t.v. station in Phoenix.

That's Brooksie dressed to the nines for some event, shaking hands with my pal Baseball Steve back in the day.

Ron and I learned that we shared a birthday and one year our office gal, Sally Rojo, brought a cake to work that she'd made for our birthday.

One side had white frosting, the other side had chocolate.

Everybody laughed and we all had a good time eating cake.

I just spoke on the phone with Ron this morning and figured this was a good time to surprise him with this picture.

Take care, brother!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Spotted on a residential street in Prescott Valley.

Preparing for New Year's Eve maybe?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


The legendary Diane Kalas and her Wonder Dog Rags stopped off at the manse for a visit on her way from Flagstaff back to Sun City today.

It's always nice to see friends during the holidays.

(l to r, DK, Rags & SWMBO)

Monday, December 25, 2017


We spent Christmas Eve with the BRD and her Beau Jack.

Their house was decorated lavishly with twinkly lights and a sizable collection of Santas.

One of the resident menagerie, Jet, didn't seem impressed.

Nor did Wrigley, grown old and mostly blind and deaf now.

I'm not proud of my photographic skills last night but I did get a nice mood shot of our hostess and host, I think.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Sunday, December 24, 2017


One of the biggest thrills of my 30+ years in broadcast journalism came back in the 1970's when I got a chance to interview John Wayne.

The meeting took place on the bayside patio of his home in Newport Beach, California.

The story that brought about the interview doesn't matter now, all these years later, but Wayne was as nice as could be to a couple of long-haired youngsters from Arizona.

But the other day I was surfing through the t.v. channels and came across a promo for "Christmas with the Duke".

All day and all night on the AMC channel there will be non-stop movies starring John Wayne.

Well I had to alert my friend, Timmer, who was the videographer with me on that day long ago.

He responded by sending me a picture of a picture that I took showing him with Wayne.

That's a blow-up of the picture that Tim has on the wall in his house.

Like I said, a couple of long-haired kids in the 70's.

The hair is much shorter and sparser now, the waistlines have expanded and John Wayne passed away not long after honoring us with that interview.

But I doubt if either one of us will ever forget that day.

And who knows, maybe we'll have to take a look at AMC tomorrow and see some of that shootin' and fightin' and lovin'.

Christmas with the Duke!


Saturday, December 23, 2017


SWMBO called my attention to something in the back yard the other day.

The tree that stands there had finally lost nearly all of its leaves and the afternoon sun was casting a shadow of the tree on the concrete block wall at the rear of our property.

I took a photograph of it.

It was somewhat striking but then I wanted to crop it down to show just the wall and I found some enhancement techniques available in the photo editing suite.

So I tried this one.

That sort of cast a bluish hue over it and emphasized the shadows a bit more.

Then there was another filter called for whatever reason by the name "Zeke".

This one really changes the look of the photo, adding a golden tint but also a certain graininess.

I can't decide which I like better.

What's your favorite?

Friday, December 22, 2017


Ah, Gentle Readers, I guess you know what time it is.

That's right.

Just about time to begin your Christmas shopping.

Lessee . . . .

Whew, you contributors nearly wore me out this holiday season.

But that's fine, keep it up.

In the meantime, this is it - the big holiday weekend so let me wish you all the very merriest of Christmases, lots of goodies under the tree AND on the table.

Raise a glass and always remember to keep on laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oh, you knew it didn't you.)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Well, Gentle Readers, it doesn't seem like I've had much to say this week.

It's been kind of musical.

So, I figured as I inspected my brain pan today, why not continue.

And since it's getting close to Christmas I figured a song about the man of the season would be timely.

No, not Santa Claus, you heathens.

The other guy.

Here's an early John Prine to tell you about him.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


I'm glad some of you Gentle Readers enjoyed the story of Eden Brent and Abie Boogaloo Ames yesterday.

Boogaloo is not with us anymore but Ms. Brent is and she played a tribute to him at the Montreal Jazz Festival back in 2009.

Turn up your audio and then stand back!

Oh, and BTW, this gets a special send-out to Baseball Steve who I know loves this song.

Monday, December 18, 2017


I ran across this bit of "harmony" today and thought I'd share it with you.


Sunday, December 17, 2017


Judy and I were watching "The Sound of Music" on television tonight and she reminded me that she watched it with my father in our home in Phoenix at a time I was covering (as a news person) the Republican National Convention in Detroit.

That was in 1980.

A night or two later my father died in his sleep.

So it's a bittersweet memory for her.

And then, yesterday afternoon, we got a phone call telling us that an old friend from our Mexico days had died.

She was Betty Houser and never a better friend had I than she.

This is the only picture I could find though I know I have others somewhere.

It was taken at a chili festival in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico back in the 1980's.

She was a very close friend of my good friend, Walter Nixon, from those days.

Betty moved around a lot.

She came to Prescott and then to Chino Valley for awhile after we all came back from Mexico.

She helped us put our Prescott Valley bookstore together, finishing boards for the many bookshelves back in the 1990's.

Betty was what I called a Yellow Dog Democrat, meaning she'd vote for a Democrat even if they had to run a yellow dog on the ticket.

In the last twenty years or so she lived in Olympia, Washington.

We'd talk on the telephone once or twice a year, usually about politics.

Her daughter told me yesterday that she was delighted by the recent Democratic win in Alabama.

She told her daughter she'd had a wonderful life but she was tired and ready to move on.

She died in her sleep, only weeks from her 93rd birthday.

I'll miss her.

Friday, December 15, 2017


I've discovered I'm psychic.

I know what you're thinking.

"Oh I wonder what he'll come up with this week."

Am I right?

Sure I am.

Well, here it goes then, with the flavor of the current scene in the world.

Speaking of flavor . . .

If you're puzzled by that last one then just check out the next one.

Last week's statue comics resulted in a couple more coming over the transom.

(What's a transom?  Oh, Google it.)

Here's a bonus kitty pic for the week as you set out your Christmas decorations.

All right, you can go on with what you were doing now.

I know what it was . . I'm psychic you know.

You were planning an exuberant weekend full of sweetness as you nosh on the holiday goodies you had baked to give away as gifts

Just remember . . . always keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .