Monday, January 31, 2022

History Should Please Us

I made one resolution regarding 2022. I vowed to myself in private consultation that I would not allow the stupidity and madness of the latest political shenanigans of either side to chronically ruin every day of my weeks to come. No more room will be allowed in my mind than they deserve. My buttons will remain un-pushed and I will walk free from worry of things and events I have no control over. 

I did give myself an out in case internal pressures brought on by mass stupidity rise to levels that might cause me to blow a gasket. I am allowing myself a few, or maybe several; definitely more than a couple of posts a month to point up the latest madness thought up by the Right intended to make our lives here in the US even more unpleasant.

The Right is comprised of a bunch of whiny little bitches with no positive agenda. Their only goal is to tear us apart rather than working on bringing us together. Large and in charge Republican Buffoons like Florida governor, Ron DeSantis gleefully lead the onslaught. And meanwhile, the Left flounders around claiming to want progress but can't get out of their own way to even make a decent attempt. The dysfunction that has our leaders by the short hairs is the worst I have ever seen. 

Damn pitiful and inept group we have allowed to lead us. But I guess we would rather be led by dummies than vote for the best and brightest.

No better example of the Right's attempt to deny our past is the recent Bill 148, "Individual Freedom" currently racing through the Florida legislature. In a nutshell, the intent of the bill is to outlaw any historical references not whitewashed and approved by the White aristocracy that squats in the Capitol up in Tallahassee, affectionately known in some circles as "Almost Georgia". It uses back assward logic that any history that makes one uncomfortable about their race will not be allowed. It is a direct attack on CRT (Critical Race Theory). In essence, history will be relegated to the library stacks that hold fiction.

No matter what one thinks of CRT or other uncomfortable truths that paint an unflattering image of how some people treated other people; just this effort to sterilize our past is nothing but a move by the Right to push our country toward Authoritarian governance and further away from the Democracy we have fooled ourselves we have had the last 200 plus years.

History should be uncomfortable. If it is not, then it is nothing but propaganda.

Haven't we had our fill of propaganda yet?

Later ....................................................


I did not have to search for a song I thought Florida and DeSantis might want to use to replace that old worn out state tune "Old Folks at Home" ( "Suwanee River"). It's a tune by Sam Cooke that was popular when I lived in Florida as a child.  "What a Wonderful World"

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Words Are More Than Just Text


Part of the reason I like to write....... Or maybe, the main reason I like to write is that I truly enjoy the written word. I love combining words in such a way so I can connect with others and make sense. 

I do not like all words equally, what with many of them being beyond the comprehension of many folks like me. I do think all words carry equal weight. Words are either understood or not. 

There is no such thing as a bad word, just the poor usage of them. I should know. I often poorly use words, sometimes on purpose. Half the fun of playing with words is the combinations can be truly creative and awe inspiring. Or they can be nothing more than a moment or two of practice chords in front of my best audience, me.

Sadly, like guns, words in the wrong hands can also kill. Anyone who believes the old children's rhyme, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words shall never hurt me"; is living in a fool's paradise. Spoken or written, words have been directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions over the ages. With too many examples in our past, I will only point to the run up to the insurrection of January, 6th to illustrate my point perfectly. Words, written or spoken with evil purpose are the most dangerous weapons humans use on each other. All too often, catastrophic physical violence follows words of evil intent. 

Words are ambivalent and peaceable when just hanging out as an unorganized mob with no plan. They have no power by themselves. When they are manipulated, they can pack more power than the largest bomb. 

Words also have the capability to inspire people to change their world for the better, change their lives for the better, and bring joy that makes the reader's hair stand on end. 

There are so many words to choose from, I will never ever be able to complain about not having a word at hand to fit the special need I might have at the moment. That word may not be present on command, but I know somewhere it lurks waiting for me to yank it from the shadows.

A thoughtful collection of words to me is mental artistry that can inform, convey emotion, dig deep into a soul and tear it apart, or lift it to blissful heights. A pleasing collection of stories, essays, or articles are a visit to someone's personal museum.  Each story another vestibule filled with words that will hopefully leave a reader pleased they entered in the first place.

Which brings me to the point I meant to start off with when I first began writing this post back in 2015. The words I planned to use were lost as soon as I thought of them and probably became nothing but a stream of consciousness love note about words in general. 

And honestly, since I have picked up this unpublished post that has sat gathering dust since 2015, I have no clue what my original point was and at the moment no clue what my future point is going to be. I just want to finish at least one of the 500 posts that languish in the back forty where old unpublished posts go.

Bottom line, I just really like messing around with words.It's not the product so much as it is the production.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ........................................


Found a very nice tune to go with this post. Never heard of this band, Hawk Wilson or their tune, "Words". But the tune and video treatment seem appropriate. Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Alert Heat & Cooling Colts


My sister in law out in California sent us a box of old photos. Among the many Kodak moments from my past were the classic family shots every family ends up with gathering dust somewhere in a closet, the attic, or bottom drawer.

I transferred a few because they were not run of the mill, not duplicates, or they were ones I remembered but could not find among the thousands of pictures we already had here at Acton Up.

Buds, pals, best friends - I have made many over the years. Move around every year or so and that is what happens. I was never anywhere long enough to solidify a life long bond with anyone. I remember Johnny (on the right) because not only did we share good times, we shared some bad ones.  The bad ones I think cut a deeper scar in my memory track. I had been stepping around those scars for years until I saw this photo.. 

These two troublemakers were inseparable friends in 1961 and 1962. They played games together, got into trouble together, and generally helped each other through some rough times both were dealing with in their personal lives. 

This picture I remember being snapped by Johnny's father before our first little league game against each other's team. Neither one of us cared who won except for the bragging rights that would last until the next game. 

Johnny's dad however, pulled Johnny aside before he joined his team. He knelt down eye to eye with my friend and grabbed his forearms. I knew what was going on even if I could not hear their conversation. I had seen Johnny's father do this many times when disciplining his son in public. He would squeeze so hard, Johnny often came away with bruises that lasted for days. I never asked Johnny about it.

My team, the Alert Heat and Cooling Colts won that day. I hit a double knocking in the winning run.  Johnny came to school on Monday with a big bruise on the back of his neck his T shirt could not hide.  I asked him about it. He walked past me without a word.

I never did use my bragging rights.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..............................................

Monday, January 24, 2022

Believing Absurdities

"Those who can make you believe absurdities,"

"Can make you commit atrocities."

Voltaire is credited with this quote. And though his works are now often viewed as quaint and out of touch by many members of the modern day Intelligentsia club, without his words and the words of others from the Age of Enlightenment, we might not have our Constitution, never mind our Declaration of Independence.

Voltaire and his awesome collection of literary works is not my focus however. I am more interested in how his example is but more support for my mother's contention that:

 "There really is nothing new under the Sun"

She often invoked this adage when some event, usually horrible, found its way into the current events of the time. 

All the sins and evil of the eons of Human Existence have replayed countless times on every square foot of this planet. The technology may change. The location may change. But in the end, we dumb ass humans are continuing to practice the same kind of stupidity our knuckle dragging forebears thought of first.

The quote is a perfect example that is supported today by the current trend of absurdities that have this country in their grip. That the wave of absurdities continue to overwhelm common sense is the forebear for future evil in our lives. We are primed and ready to fall into a slump of astronomical proportions. The population of USA has foolishly chosen to believe our own myths without question and are now headed for real trouble. Instead of arguing over what is for dinner, we would rather argue over how our table is set. 

Any evil that comes Humanity's way will be well deserved. We will always own the resulting circumstances because we created the fruitful ground for the latest evil to sprout from.. The problem lies in the fact that our technology may have finally caught up to our evil aspirations and at some point, we might not bounce back.

Captain Stremba, my junior year english teacher in high school, wrote in my yearbook in 1969:

"Degeneration is around the corner ... Watch!"

He was right of course. Degeneration is one of the constants of Human existence.

Later ..........................................

Monday, January 17, 2022

The Water Tower

Every school I went to by the time I graduated high school (12) had tales, myths and outright lies that had become part and parcel of the soul of that school. Older students would regale younger students with the stories fed to them when they were underclassmen. Then they passed those narratives along, whether they were based in Reality or not. Let's face it, schools without the bullshit stories that go with them would just be sterile buildings we spent time in. 

The narratives came up wherever cadets gathered; the smokers, the dining room, at "Ten Hut' in the barracks hallways late at night when an officer had a hair across his butt about some nonsense or other.

Thankfully, where there are teenagers, there are many tall tales. All of them shared with each new student or cadet. The more they hear those stories, their version is likely to amp up the creepiness to a new level. Everything is fair game, including the stupidity and/or reputation of a past student, teacher or administrator. The Skin sure had some tales built around him. And don't get me started about the myth of Mickey DiMaggio.

Charlotte Hall was chock full of tall tales.  I have forgotten most I guess, but a few have stuck around. Some of my favorites were the whoppers I heard about the Water Tower.

The stories were wild and bizarre. So and so fell from it 30 years ago. A guy was so crazy, he danced on the ball at the top. And another guy climbed it every week for the whole school year. The creativity used building the legend was excellent.

What made the Water Tower so enticing was it had a ladder. Demerits and track time were issued if caught climbing that ladder.  The same penalties went for sneaking out after taps. Who could resist such temptation? Some of us at Charlotte Hall were still learning that rules were not meant to be broken. Climbing the Water Tower was the poster child of that learning curve.

I remember climbing the water tower at least three times in my three years at CH. Twice as a Junior and once as a drunken Senior, though that time was cut short when a wave of sanity came over me and I stopped about half way up. Apparently, I was not drunk enough.

The other two times were with troublemakers I hung out with. I climbed once with Snake and I think Gary Edwards. We made it to the catwalk that encircled the tower. We marveled at the view and smoked cigarettes for a few minutes and then came down. All of us decided that becoming famous and part of the school lore was not worth dancing on the ball at the top.

The tower climb that I remember best was the night Joe Kneas and I climbed the tower. He had come to Charlotte Hall as a Junior, so firing him up with tales that never happened did not phase him much. Seems I remember not much phased Joe.

One day he asked about the water tower and had I ever climbed it. I told him I had. He asked me if I wanted to do it again. That was my opening to fill him in on my version of the history of the water tower.  

"Okay, tonight, let's do it." He was dead serious, no fooling around. He had a mission now and John was going to come back, mission accomplished. His goal was to touch the ball.

That night we climbed the tower. Once we reached the catwalk I went around the back of the tank and lit up a cigarette. Joe did not follow. I became curious, so I snubbed my butt out and circled back to the front where the ladder that climbed the tank was. Scrawny Joe was at the top just climbing onto the slanted ladder that ended at the ball and the manhole at the top of the tank.

I was impressed. I was suddenly also very nervous. Instead of moments of false bravado and conveniently finding an excuse to go no further, here was Joe already on the slanted ladder. Damn! Now I felt pressure to climb that ladder also. So I did, a very slow rung at a time with hugs on each one in between. You know that ladder looked awful rickety and unsafe at that altitude. But since Joe had already disappeared over the edge of the roof and was nowhere to be seen, I followed him sure we were both going to go splat, flat, like a collapsed top hat.

 As I reached the transition from vertical to inclined, I could see Joe sitting on the ladder above me facing outward with a cigarette stuck in his mouth. Double Damn. I really felt some pressure now. I made it four or five rungs up the roof of the tank and stopped. That was as far as I was going to go. Meanwhile Joe casually finished his cigarette, flicked the butt out over the equipment shed below and turned around to climb down. I did not witness Joe actually touching the ball, I feel surely he did. 

I would later hang out with Joe some the next summer after graduation. He was one of the most interesting people I ever met. His last words written on his picture in my senior yearbook was , "P.S. See you in Vietnam."

I always wondered if he ended up there.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ................................

Friday, January 14, 2022

Lying Truth Reborn


Lying Truth

Facts injected with conjecture and foregone conclusions,

 Cast Truth aside in pursuit of knee jerked solutions.

 Lost in a sea of deception,

 Specious goals are massaged by lying hands,

 Replacing Honesty with Truth’s ugly step sister,

 The Half Truth.


 The Midway Squawkers and Snake Oil Salesmen

 Insist and demand the Half Truth into our lives

 Hoping their deception lasts long enough

 For them to cash in their nickels and dimes.


 Assaulted long enough,

 We allow recent lies to become our New Truth.

 Delusion casts itself in stone

 Brain dead populations dance around it

 Happy as if they had brains.


I first wrote this as a Flash fiction 100 word composition quite awhile ago. I have now converted it into a poem with some minor changes. It is no longer 100 words, it is now 99 words.

I thought given the current political moods clashing and thrashing worse than ever, re-posting it here and now might just impart how I feel regarding the current crop of leaders and their lackeys.


So I had no problem locating an appropriate tune for this post. 

"Lyin Eyes" by the Eagles will do just fine.


The Image at top is an enhanced photo taken in Stalingrad during World War ll. 

It is titled " Barmalej " (Children dancing around Crocodile )

Thursday, January 13, 2022


What does one do when they wake up at dark thirty in the morning and cannot get back to sleep? When tossing and turning has worn out its welcome, I just get up and find something to do. There is always something useful to do at 2:30 AM. And there is always something less useful but more fun to do. Guess which way I went?

That's right. Being useful has its limits. I decided to scroll through the thousands of images I have saved in my computer these last 20 years. I came across this image.

Immediately, Emily came to mind.

Emily Johnson (not her real name BTW) lived a block away from me when I lived on Roosevelt Street in Bethesda, Maryland back in 1966. I was in ninth grade.

Emily was a full grown woman in her twenties. She lived with her parents. She had Down syndrome and was the most pleasant and friendly human I had ever known. What a sweetheart. Everyone in the neighborhood liked her and looked out for her. 

Her only issue I guess was when it was warm and her dad set out sprinklers, she would sneak out, strip, and dance in the sprinklers buck naked. All the neighbors handled it well. Most everyone had the Johnson's phone number handy and would call and say something like, "Emily's out in the sprinklers again." And that was the extent of it. Nobody got their panties in a bunch.

One Saturday morning while I was busy chained to tools of torture mistakenly known as garden tools, a fancy large automobile pulled up to the curb next to me while I was edging the sidewalk in front of our house. I hated that damn edger. Once my dad failed to secure the evil steel blade and it came off while I was using it. Scared the shit out of me. 

Anyway, the drivers window slid down and a well dressed lady wearing winged sunglasses leaned out and said, "Oh Boy?" She stuck out her well adorned hand with the perfect nails that precisely matched her come hither red lipstick liberally applied to the perimeter of her mouth. With a snobbish wave of her hand, she summoned me closer.

I felt the hairs on my neck rise up and the chip I always had handy at that age began to rise from its nook on my shoulder. 

I had been well trained though  and said, " How can I help you Maaaam?'

"I am a real estate agent with Shannon and Luchs ( they were real)."

Totally unimpressed, I just said, "Okay, so what?"

She took off her sunglasses with a flourish. Her eyes were slits as I assumed she was deciding how to deal with such insolence. Her face relaxed; her problem was more important than dressing down a surly teenager.

"Well sonny, I have to show a house over on Hempstead Avenue. You know, the next block over."

"Yeah, I know where Hempstead is. Again, so what?"

I could tell she was not getting from me what she expected. So I smiled.

From her pursed lips, "I would like to use your phone, if that would be possible."


"I want to call the police. There is a young woman frolicking in a sprinkler on the front lawn of the house next door to the one I am showing today. It's a disgrace. The Police need to be notified."

"Oh, that's Emily. She's not right in the head. She doesn't mean any harm. No need for the cops."

" Well she is scaring away my clients. She should be arrested for indecent exposure at the very least. Besides aren't there institutions for people like her?"

I can remember barely keeping myself under any kind of control. I still lashed out.

"Lady, fuck no, you can't use our phone and you are a heartless bitch. I will call the Johnson's and they will gather Emily up and hide her in the house for you."

Real Estate lady opened her mouth and closed it. She then slammed the car into drive and peeled out. 

I turned my back on her hasty retreat and headed into my house to call the Johnson's. But I took my sweet time. Emily deserved a few more minutes doing what she loved.

Keep it'tween the ditches ......................................


It was tough to find a video about dancing in sprinklers. It took awhile, but I think the search was worth it. I hope you think so too. This "Twin Baby Moose in Sprinkler" - I do not recognize the tune but its a pleasant enough tune. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Boardwalk

The truck slammed into the loading dock behind Thrasher's Fries with a bang.  "Here ya go fellas, Ocean City."   

Porko and Phil grinned.  They had really lucked out.  One ride from the DC Beltway all the way to OC was as good as it got.  All they had to do now was help the driver unload 40,000 pounds of potatoes.

Just over three hours later, Phil finally located the one hundred pound bag of Idaho's finest they had been looking for.  Of course it was the last one on the truck.  Phil muscled that last bag out to the pallet sitting on the dock.  Porko was busy trying to figure how many bags it took to total 40,000 pounds.

"Let's see.........10 bags is ...uh .... 1000 pounds..... 20 bags would....................."

"Jesus Porko, you are such a dumb ass.  400 bags, you bonehead.  And since you are lazy to boot, that would mean you carried maybe 50.  I carried the rest."

Porko sat on the last skid of potatoes and lit a cigarette.  He tipped his head back and blew a large plume into the air.  "Yeah, I'm a lazy bastard.  Good thing I brought you along."  He grinned at Phil.

The driver came through the dock doors with his pallet jack.  "Last one guys."  He jacked up the pallet and swung it around.  "Give me a few minutes and I'll be back with fries and some pop.  Thrasher's fries are the best there is you know.  You guys did a great job.  I'll make it back to B-more by dark."  He yanked hard on the pallet jack and disappeared through the doors.


"You know the kid working the peeling machine at Thrashers told me he and his buddy usually get $40 each to help unload.  We got $15.  What a rip off."

Sitting on the boardwalk at Ninth Street with his bare feet in the sand, Phil looked at Porko and shook his head.

"The man gave us a ride.  He paid us, fed us, and you complain?  You aren’t just lazy, you're an inconsiderate whiner to boot."

"But $15 each?  Slave wages.   The sooner I find a rich woman ........."

"Can it Porko.   You are so full of shit."

"Yeah least I'm not still a cherry like you."

"Screwin your sister don't count."

Porko shoved Phil off the boardwalk onto the soft sand.

"You take that back.  It was her buddy I nailed.  You know that."

Phil was not smiling.   His virginity hung heavy on his mind.  Jeez, he was 17 and still seducing his hand.  Phil stopped thinking about it.  He was resigned to the notion of dying at age 80 un-laid and grumpy. 

"You fellows want some weed?"

Porko jumped.  "What the Hell man?  Don't sneak up on us like that."

Still on the sand and on his back, Phil strained to see over the edge of the boardwalk. A scruffy hippy wearing blue tinted granny glasses was standing behind Porko.  Phil hopped up on the boardwalk

"Uh, sure man, we’re always looking for weed.  How much and what kind?" .

"Hold it Phil.  We don't know this guy.  He could be a narc."

"Porko, shut up.  So what if he's a narc.  It's just weed."

The hippy grimaced.  “Man, if I was a narc, would I be selling weed?

Porko considered this.  “Uh, I guess not man.  Whatja got?”

“ Nickel bags of Commercial or Sinse.  Mersh is $10, $15 for the Sinse.”

Phil and Porko huddled.  Pockets were checked.  Mumbled words exchanged.

“Look fellas, I ain’t got all day.  You want some weed or not?”

Phil turned.  “ Two nickels of Sinse.”  He reached in his pocket.

“Jesus guy, not here.  Let’s take it over there.”  The hippy nodded towards a narrow alley separating a couple of souvenir shops.


“Where the Hell did you get $50?”  Porko studied Phil’s face.

“The truck driver gave it to me.”

“He gave you $50?  What the Hell man?  He gave me….”

Phil smiled.  “Yeah, he gave you $15.  Told me you weren’t worth even that much.  But who cares anyway?  We have weed, we’re baked and we can still eat tonight.  This trip to OC without the parents is working out just great.” 

Phil passed the joint to Porko and laid back on the sand.  A wave broke over his legs, creating a rush that slowly worked its way up his spine, ending in a full body shiver.  Who cared if school started in a couple of weeks?  Who cared what happened tomorrow?  Tonight he was free and stoned.  Life did not get any better than this.

Phil turned his head toward Porko. Porko was holding the joint and staring at it. He was not smoking it.

“Damn Porko, if you ain’t gonna smoke that doob, don’t Bogart it. Pass it back over to me asshole."


The Boardwalk – fictionalized memoir from 1969 - @ 800 words

A tale that is mostly true. Expect "Part 2" at some point. Those 6 days were full of seminal moments.


Of course I can't forget some music to help set the tone - The Drifters',  "Under the Boardwalk"  will do just fine. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022


At some point in their lives, many folks will choose a song they feel puts their life into a perspective they can lean on the rest of their days. An anthem of sorts they carry with them as they slay the dragons of Life and make love to the World at large.

When I was a full of piss and vinegar twenty something, I decided I was an adult now. I was sure I had outgrown the hormone infused uncertainties of post pubescent youth and was ready to fully enter the adult world and kick some ass.

But I had to have a plan. Didn't every adult have a plan? Didn't I need a direction, some goals to reach for?

As was my nature back in the day, I only struggled for like five minutes attempting to find the answer. The one thing that had remained constant in my life so far had been the spontaneity and my lack of considering consequences. I falsely concluded that loose dog philosophies had gotten me through the many dangerous stupidities of my childhood. So why fix something that ain't  broke?

Yeah, I was sure I was an adult now. ........... Right. 

As soon as I had filed my "No Plan" plan away safely in a dark, dusty corner of my mind, I spent many moments, days, and weeks trying to come up with the anthem that described me and my plan for the next so many years I managed to stay topside and out of the ground.

Since I had forsaken my college education half way through my third year to climb behind the wheel of the big trucks, I needed a song that embraced my new "I was sure it will last a lifetime" career. One day I pulled up next to a red sports car at a light in Baltimore, Maryland. The driver and his passenger were rocking out to Little Feat's "Willin". 

I knew in that instant I had found my anthem. It became the song of the rest of my trip from there to the the grave I hope to never see coming.

"I've been warped by the rain, driven by the snow"
"I'm drunk and dirty, don't you know"
"And I'm still, willin' "

This tune still makes me choke up every time I hear it. It was and still is my bible; my instruction manual for finding that other path I took at every fork in my road.

And eventually I included a slogan,  

Keep it 'tween the ditches .....................  


Post Script - It would not be fair if I did not include the tune "Willin", written by Lowell George and performed to perfection by his band - Little Feat - Enjoy!

Monday, January 03, 2022

The House That Jack Built


Okay.............. I admit I enjoy a well done movie that disturbs me, makes me think, frightens me, and leaves me wondering what the hell did I just watch. "The House that Jack Built", a 2018 movie directed by Lars von Trier, was just such a movie. I have not decided yet whether I liked it or was just truly horrified by it. 

It is not a run of the mill serial killer movie filled with gratuitous blood and guts. It has blood and guts big time, but it all fits. Played wonderfully by Matt Dillion, the movie needs the over the top violence of the main character Jack to flush out the depth of his insanity.  It is two hours of some of the best creepiness to come down the pike since "Silence of the Lambs".

Told in 5 episodes or incidents, we watch Jack's progression from rookie serial killer in the first incident to the master of  the craft 12 years later when he determines he has nothing new to prove and well ........ he makes his last journey because as he says, "I want to see it all."

I think this is a movie I will need to watch again to really figure out what I can take away from it. The plot is convoluted as is the dialog. There are many messages in it I have not nailed down yet. The ending reminds me of Dante's "Inferno".

If you enjoy being creeped out, it is playing on AMC+.

Later ..........................................................


Naturally I chose a song from the movie wrapped into a trailer. A cover of "Hit the Road Jack" performed by Buster Poindexter.

And if you feel up to it, watch the following trailer set to "David Bowie's, "Fame".

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Auld Lang Syne

So I hope everyone had a Happy New Year. I certainly did. My wife and I spent it with my daughter Lis and her man at their condo in Plymouth, NH playing the Mad Magazine card game. No craziness, no running naked through her neighborhood; nary a decibel above 75 was heard outside the condo.

The reality of my last ten or so New Year's Eve celebrations is it has become a struggle to stay awake to watch the ball drop. And truth be told, I have not been successful a number of times in recent years. But last night I managed to last until; oh, must have been at least ten minutes after the toast at midnight before we all wrapped up our last game and went to our respective beds. 

I have always had a somewhat jaded view of New Years. I never considered it held more promise for the future that followed it. Just a convenient two days made available for us to be loose dogs for a night. As long as no one was hurt, the fallout was usually minimal. I say usually. 

There was that one time I tried to sleep in a tree, uh, well, I woke up the next morning laying on the bundled roots at the base of that tree and it took my back a couple of weeks to work out the kinks. Witnesses to my stupidity said I almost made it the fifteen feet to the first branch, but for some unknown reason I let go and landed hard. As I was still breathing, they left me there and moved the party back in the house. 

When I was young and numb, my whole focus was on the party. Thinking about changing anything or promising to mend my hedonist ways had no place in my life. It was a party night that afforded me a whole twenty four hours of recovery time so I could show up at work on the Second bright eyed and bushy tailed. 

At some point early in my marriage, the parties became more intimate with less people and I rarely stayed up long enough to watch the sun come up on the 1st. When Lis was old enough to sit still in a movie theater, the next twenty or so New Year's Eves were spent at the movies. It became a wonderful family tradition that kept the adults responsible and out of trouble.

When My wife and I settled into the empty nest routine over a decade ago, the family tradition became just a reason to get together and enjoy each other's company. And it is odd. While I partied hardy with the best of them back in the day, the new year's celebration I covet the most are the more recent ones. Sharing the evening with friends and/or family is so much more important to me now than anything I did when I was younger. Because now, I know there is a finite number of new years to come.

Hope 2022 brings what you wish for and that if nothing else, it is a year you can look back on fondly.

Keep it 'tween the ditches, 


Naturally, no tribute to the new year would be complete without Guy Lombardo and the Royal Candians' rendition of  "Auld Lang Syne". This song always made my mom cry.