Sunday, June 12, 2016


Saturday was a special day in Prescott for Western History buffs.

Four prominent writers formed a panel for a discussion and book signing at the Peregrine book store.

The room, which can hold about 100 people, was standing room only for the event.

The authors, shown here from left to right, are Bob Boze Bell, Paul Hedren, Paul Andrew Hutton and Robert Marshal Utley.

Bell is well-known as a native of Kingman, an artist and a writer, and the owner and publisher of True West magazine in Cave Creek.

Hedren is retired as superintendent of the National Park Service and the author of a new book, "Powder River: Disastrous Opening of the Great Sioux War".

Hutton is a professor at the University of New Mexico, a television personality and the author of "The Apache Wars".

And Utley is the former Chief Historian for the National Park Service and the author of nearly two dozen books, including his latest which compares the lives of Billy the Kid and the Irish activist attempting to overthrow Queen Victoria's rule in Australia, Ned Kelly.

Each of the four men gave presentations on their work and on Western history.

One interesting note was when Bell was asked by a member of the audience if he had any knowledge of the outlaw and member of the James gang, Cole Younger,  having spent time in Arizona.

Bell said he had never heard that but promised to research it.

All in all, for aficionados of the history of the Old West, a most satisfying afternoon.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


I'll bet after yesterday's liquor-infused Friday Funnies, if you noticed today's title you would have been expecting something with Cognac, Cointreau and Lemon Juice, wouldn't you?

You'd be wrong, as Howard Cosell would have said.

What you get instead is this.

They pulled up beside me at a traffic light on my way back from Prescott this afternoon.

It looked a wee bit uncomfortable.

Friday, June 10, 2016


There was a bit of an earthquake over in Southern California early this morning.

Doesn't look like any damage or injuries have been reported but that's always a great excuse to play one of my favorite rock and roll tunes.

If you felt the shaker, that ought to make you feel better.

And now on to the regular Friday Funnies.

Ah, I see Maxine is still worrying about that earthquake.

And her daughter, maybe?

And her drink of choice?

As for the health reasons for drinking alcohol?

You've seen me talk on this blog about my love for the beach life.  

Here's why.

Some people, however, prefer the mountains.

It's a little early to be drinking as I write this in Arizona.

But remember what Jimmy Buffet wrote: "It's Always 5 o'clock Somewhere!"

With those intoxicating thoughts, I wish you an invigorating weekend and always keep grinning!

Here kitty-kitty.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


I was at my doctor's office for an annual wellness visit a couple of days ago and his nurse measured my height.

It came in as 6 feet and one-half inch.


I was 6 foot 2 for most of my life!

In this picture from my boyhood you can see why.

It's those l-o-n-g legs.

That's one of my cousins, Bluegrass Bonnie, posing with me.

Baseball Steve and I have had a running argument for years about which of us was taller.

I always was except when he wore his high-heels.

Cowboy boots, that is.

But about a year ago I was measured at 6 foot 1.

So I ceded the title to him, even without his boots.

When the doctor came in to talk with me he said "You're really tall."

I told him I used to be 6 foot 2 but that I'm now compressing in my advanced years.

We both agreed that it was the result of years of gravity pushing on me.

I'll go with that.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016


The patriarch of the Gambel's Quail family always gets up high on a bush or a tree or a wall when the young'uns are out perambulating around.

Keeping an eye out for potential danger.

Meantime, mi gato azul keeps an eye on the birdbath.

Incidentally, the blue cat is not named after the tapas restaurant in Prescott, run by my friend Barry Barbe.

But you might stop in for a bite once in awhile.

I haven't been there for a long time but I love the place.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


As the temperatures hover in the upper 90's I am finding our bird bath more and more frequented by the birds of the area.

They come in all sizes, from the tiny Goldfinch above to the larger warbler below.

And the camp-robbing Jays are showing up more often now that they've learned about it.

Earlier in the week a Gambel's Quail approached it but then ambled away.

We've had the Rufous Towhee drinking and bathing in the basin.

We had a very surprise visitor one day with a hawk perched on the edge.

Mourning doves pay their visits.

And yesterday, just for an instant, there was a big-assed PIGEON who jumped up and cooled off his feet.

As I was grabbing for the camera he flew away so you have to take my word for that one.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


It is June fourth, 2016, and I have a fan blowing on me as I sit typing this.

It's cool, even as the indoor/outdoor thermometer resting near me says it isn't.

It seems early this year.

The Weather Gods tell me the average high temperature for this date is 83.

But in 1996, just 20 years ago, the mercury soared to 98.

We've topped that already today and the period of highest heat is still several hours away.

And the official beginning of summer is still 16 days into the future.

This is, after all, an era of much publicity about Global Warming.

It causes my mind to drift into the distant, murky past.

To period of time when an uncle had a cabin on tiny Camp Lake in Minnesota, near to the gigantic Mille Lacs Lake.

It was only about 100 miles north of his home in Minneapolis.

But it was a wonderland to a young boy from North Dakota when we would make our occasional visits there.

My aunt Alla had fixed up the interior to resemble a small lodge, with knotty pine walls and breakfast nook.

My brother and I and our cousins loved the lake.

Boyhood then was something like this*.

Yes, memories of those days long ago provide a spirit of cooling when the temperature scorches us here in sun-blessed Arizona.

*This picture doesn't come from my family. It was only borrowed from the World Wide Web to illustrate a memory.

Friday, June 3, 2016


O.K., neighbors, put those garbage dumpsters back by your houses.

Monday was a holiday so the truck won't be around until tomorrow.


I feel so much better.

With that out of the way, it's on to the Friday Funnies!

And there will ALWAYS be an Ireland, right?

(Oh, that's England?  Never mind.)

Thank you to the contributors among my Gentle Readers, have a specially splendid weekend and remember to always keep a little laughter in your heart.

Here, kitty-kitty.


Thursday, June 2, 2016


Back in 1972, I was preparing to leave WIBC Radio in Indianapolis for an uncertain future in Phoenix.

One day in the newsroom as I stretched my very long legs I was joined by my young colleague, Tom Cochrun, (behind me) and the wizard of our associated FM radio station, WNAP.

That long-haired goofball was the legendary Cris Conner, also known on the air as Moto Groove.

Sorry about the exposure. The picture was an old Polaroid taken against a bright window behind us.

You will notice that Tom and I are properly clad in our neckties and striped shirts while Cris (one of the resident hippies from the station called The Buzzard) is in his much more comfortable tee shirt.

That may account for his big smile.

Tom and Cris have both been inducted into the Indiana Broadcasting Hall of Fame for their years in Indianapolis.

Good guys.  Good memories.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


The temperature rose to 92 degrees F. here today.

By Saturday, it's supposed to top out at 103 before skidding back into the 80's by the end of next week.

But it's not bad.

I was just sitting out on the patio at 85 degrees or so and there was a cooling breeze blowing and a relative humidity of around 11 per cent.

Contrast that with Key Largo, where my blogger friend Stephen, aka The Chubby Chatterbox, was recently with it's humidity of 100 per cent!

So, like they say, "it's a dry heat."


Think of the poor citizens of Phoenix, just 80 to 90 miles from where I live.

On Saturday, the Weather Gods say their forecast high temperature will be 117 degrees Fahrenheit.

To those of you who live in a Centigrade/Celsius universe, that equates to around 47 degrees C.

And that, my friends, is hot.

Hot by any standard.

As hot as the open door of a blast furnace.

And it's only June.

But I was looking through some pictures from the home I grew up in, in North Dakota, today and I offer them as contrast.

And perhaps relief to my Phoenix friends.

Now granted, I exaggerate the contrast.

Judging from the wreath on the front door, this was sometime in December of a time long ago.

But still.

This is why I no longer live in North Dakota.

You don't have to shovel sunshine.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


I worked for a radio station in Indianapolis from 1969 to 1972.

I started in late April, just after my 29th birthday, and I had no idea what I was getting into.

The Indy 500 is always in late May, around the Memorial Day weekend, and the track is open for the entire month of May as race crews practice and fine tune their cars getting ready for Qualifying Day when only 33 drivers and cars will make the field.

My friend from North Dakota had gone to work at the same radio station about three months before me.

One day we went out to the track to watch the practice sessions.

With our media passes we were allowed to walk right out onto pit row.

So there is the blond-maned and bearded Orly Knutson, known on the radio as The Happy Norwegian.

And, as I have said before, that really was his name.

People often asked him if it was real and his response was always the same - "If I wanted to make up a name for the radio, do you think I'd pick something like Orly Knutson?"

Orly retired after 50 years on the radio in various markets.

Monday, May 30, 2016


At the house with the red door

Sunday, May 29, 2016


Within sight of my house!

Saturday, May 28, 2016


You're possibly wondering why I call this photo post "Goldie".

If you're old enough, it's really quite easy to figure out.

In 1969, this young actress was in a movie that earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

The actress is Goldie Hawn.

And the movie was "Cactus Flower".

And now you know the rest of the story.

(Oh, and for you younger Gentle Readers, she is the mother of actors Oliver Hudson, Wyatt Russell, and Kate Hudson.)

Friday, May 27, 2016


Here we go again.

Get your chuckler ready.

And with that pleasant thought we will bid you adieu.

Contributors: thanks!

To everyone, enjoy the long weekend and always remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty.


Thursday, May 26, 2016


Many people I've met have had a favorite uncle, a sometimes mysterious, romantic character who seemed as if he came out of a novel.

Mine was my late uncle, Zenas Howland Taylor.

He was born in Faribault, Minnesota in 1899.

But he moved to California, probably in the 1920's and spent the rest of his life in San Francisco.

About his name.

He was named for an ancestor, Zenas Howland (actually there were two of them in that family tree) who was a direct descendant of John Howland of the Mayflower group.

Zeke, as my dad sometimes called him, was an accountant and eventually became the head accountant for San Francisco's Water Department.

For the youngsters who may be reading here, those devices in front of him were an adding machine, a forerunner to today's computers, and a dial telephone.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor Zenas enlisted in the army (at age 42) and served in Burma and India.

Many in the family thought he was crazy to join the army at his age but he felt he had a patriotic duty.

His nickname in the army was "Pops".

He was a sergeant when he was discharged.

During his lifetime in San Francisco, Zenas joined the Olympic Club and won many medals in swimming competitions.

From what I've heard, he was also a pretty good handball player.

He was a bit of a "health nut", swimming in San Francisco Bay year round, hiking in Yosemite Park and worshipping the sun whenever he could.

He told me once that he used to spend 15 or 20 minutes sunning on top of the downtown Olympic Club during his noon lunch hours whenever the sky was clear.

But in his later years, perhaps dating back to his days in Burma and India, he also enjoyed a daquiri with his wife before dinner each evening.

He was 83 when he died.