Two Stooges

Before heading to the Confetti Plant, my wife always loves me reading the Super Quiz in the Seattle Times while she’s dolling herself up for a hard day of ripping paper. There is a different subject each day. Usually, it’s Science, Geography, food or Ice Dancing. Today’s subject was, “The Bible”.  That’s a tough one, since we’ve not been to church since the Bible was written.

The first question was, “What were the actual names of the three wise men?”  Without hesitation, she answered, “Larry Moe, and Curly.”  It was brilliant.  I fell down on our bathroom floor with amusement.

Me, being a simpleton, would have answered, “Gold, Frankenstein, and Murry.”

One out of three ain’t bad.




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Intros and Concussions

Sometimes, the best introduction ends with a  great concussion.

Some of my brothers picked on me.  Since I was the youngest, it was pretty fun for them to  perform acts of unkindness.  Hanging me up from a tree while serving a two year sentence in leg braces was only one form.  Personally, I preferred tamed fighting as opposed to emotional abuse.  Far to0 young to match their wits or humiliation approaches, I chose the barbarian approach…  Fighting.  As one of  my brothers  once said, no one wins in a fight.  So true.  It’s senseless, mindless, and you wind up with a broken nose, concussion, or blood from your opponent causing your mother to do an extra load of laundry.

Not sustaining a broken nose, as I am aware of, the concussions and blood were true, and I deserved some of them.

I love my brothers and am glad I didn’t mess with my six older sisters.  That would have been concussion central.  I love them as well.  They all taught me how to be strong, compassionate, and how to gamble.

We were and are a family, and I wouldn’t choose anyone else to help me along in that pasture of ultimate kindness.  There really was no bullying, just blood and love, and a few concussions.

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Do you Believe in Basements?….Yes!

No skates.  No Ice.  Just tennis shoes and clubs.

The Winter Olympics isn’t just about figure skating around a rink.  With remorse, I was forced by my sisters to watch ice skating.  Although knowing zero about figure skating or hockey, I preferred ice cream and ice hockey.

After witnessing the “Miracle on Ice”, in 1980, my brothers and friends became interested in the sport.  None of us had skates, but my father accumulated a load of golf clubs from many of the doctors working with him.  They provided the clubs as a form of tithing or charity.  After the 1980 Winter Olympics, we used the clubs as hockey sticks and the used golf balls as pucks.

While still wearing a leg brace at the time, I was forced to be the goalie.  Coincidentally, Jim Craig, the USA goalie, was my favorite player on the USA team.  I used a worn downed catcher’s mitt to defend our goal.  The mitt should have surrounded my face.  I took more golf balls off me from the basement floor than Frazier took hits from Ali.  Someone taking a putter and hitting a golfball into your forehead is just flat out embarrassing.  Can you at least pull out a three wood or even an eight iron.

Staggering back, it was glorious.  It may have been dangerous, but it sure was fun.

No brain, no pain. No goals.  Just use your head.

Perhaps, we’ll see another miracle this year.







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The Buffett

Cheeseburgers can become paradise.

Although I didn’t love the song by Jimmy Buffett, “Cheese Burger in Paradise”, I learned to love his music and free beer.  So did my wife.

People believe Disney Land is the happiest place on earth.  I beg to differ.  For one night, a Jimmy Buffett concert in the glorious sun tanned coconut city of Seattle, he made it the happiest place on earth.

My wife had no interest in attending this concert.  She only knew two of his songs.  I told her to trust me.  She did and didn’t regret it.  It wasn’t just the music which was terrific, and additionally not the entertainment, equally as terrific…. It was the atmosphere.  People were happy.  Every paying guest was relishing in what can be good and peaceful in this world.  There were no tears…Only smiles and people handing you beers.  We felt as though we were at the most peaceful colosseum in Rome.  Jimmy and his band made you, for two hours, forget how ugly this wonderful country can be.

Facing difficult times, sometimes we forget about the paradise we, as Americans, created. I hope and pray this current cheeseburger can once again become a paradise.


Britt’s husband

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Child Two

Johnny Appleseed was one tough cuss.  My good friend worked on a stage with my future wife in an elementary school performing in front of an angry mob infested with parents crying about their son not receiving the lead role.  The parents were only verbally abusive.  I didn’t know him at the time, but my current friend’s fellow students took it a bit further.

The posse, or “stage toughs” attempting to wrangle him back to his bleachers in the fourth grade didn’t know who they were gambling with.  He was Johnny Appleseed.  I guess you could call it method acting, now referred to in Spokane as Meth acting.

One of his stage competitors, his understudy, was wildly sore when he didn’t land the part, and Nathan did.  When losing the part, the second Johnny Appleseed hired a local bully to hold Nathan’s arms behind his back so the understudy could beat the crap out of him, hoping Nathan would concede.  Well, Nathan was tougher than they thought.  He delivered an award winning performance and even mentioned Child One, my future wife, in his acceptance speech.  Nathan still hasn’t forgiven the boy who beat him up.

Those child elementary actors are none to be trifled with.

Don’t mess with Johnny.


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Tired of Crying

I just told a good friend of mine I’m tired of crying.

Recently, I lost a brother and a friend.  Now, we are losing a mother who only has twelve children left.

I will cry, but she will prefer me, and many others, to laugh………

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Child One

At the age of ten, a girl, who would later become my wife, was an aspiring actress.  After one performance, she then became an expiring actress.  In the off broadway elementary play, “Johnny Appleseed”, she played the part of “child one”.  I always found it funny or interesting when directors or even writers don’t provide names for some of the characters.  Not only do you not have any right to be in the elementary show business, we won’t even give you a proper name.

Britt, embarrassed, disclosed this information to me when we met at the age of thirteen.      I take this stuff seriously.  She was a terrific friend and would do anything for me. Likewise, I’d do anything for her.  That director is currently buried somewhere in Las Vegas, and she never made it to Broadway.

Her only line was, “Pa, Pa! Johnny Appleseed is coming.”

When she exited the stage, Britt was greeted by her parents.  They didn’t mention one thing about her performance which wasn’t award winning.  They did talk about their day at work.  As tough as she was and is, she wasn’t crushed by her critics, or lack there of.  She chose to move on to other ventures.

Currently working at a potato farm in Idaho, Britt is satisfied, and we are never hungry.  So, I guess you could say she did make it off Broadway.


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Game One: Brats and Onions

Unable to attend game one of the 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros,  I celebrated it with my wife with grilled onions and brats.

Two of my best friends, Mark and Trevor St. Johnsonville Brats were in attendance.


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Game Three

My wife, brothers, and friends are watching the World Series tonight, and it doesn’t matter who wins or loses.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for a team, but the fun of the atmosphere may provide pleasure for those suffering in our country no matter the outcome.


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Turn on the Lights

Light poles weren’t easy to come around in Spokane, Washington in the ninety seventies.  They weren’t even easy to hide behind on a night when lights were required.

My late brother, Steve, although mostly revered for his wrestling talents, was also just as talented on the baseball diamond.  Too young to witness him playing, I can only recount some of his past through friends’ voices and my siblings’ memories.

While being recruited by college baseball coaches, Steve forbid our father from coming to any of his games.  Our father was not one who said anything during the game.  He would, however, discuss your batting average after the game.

Steve believed if our father was at the game, his batting average would drop dramatically.  Since he believed it, Steve was correct. He didn’t perform well when our father was watching.  Therefore, Steve asked dad to stop coming to all of his games.  Dad loved baseball and didn’t respect his son’s wishes.

One evening, after going to confession, my father thought it would’t be a terrible sin to show up to his games if he used camouflage.  It was the light pole which almost provided it.

Steve was playing centerfield, and our father was hiding behind the light pole directly behind him.  Steve sniffed him out and called him out.  “Dad! I know you’re hiding behind the pole!”

Dad found somewhere else to hide, Steve quit playing baseball after high school, and went on to win a National Collegiate Wrestling Championship .

Dad knew nothing about wrestling, but I know he was proud.



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