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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

WC 113022 Morning Rituals


Today's challenge is what are my morning rituals?

The beauty of being semi-retired is that I don't have to wake up to a clock and rush to be at work on a certain time.

I drive to my friend's office on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. I live by the high school where I taught for ten years and if I want to get down the street in front of the school, I have to leave at 7:00am or 7:45 to avoid the school rush. If I had trouble sleeping and was up during the night, I might sleep to 8 and leave then. I spend from three to four hours in the office researching, writing, editing and sometimes looking for a topic to write on.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, if my wife doesn't have something planned for us, I go to the gym at 9, work out for an hour alternating between using an arm machine, treadmill and sit down elliptical, thirty minutes each, or swim in the pool, walking the length for 800 meters. Then I drive across the street and write in the library. It has a nice room with five tables with electrical plug-ins for my laptop and where I do most of my editing. 

Now for my rituals after I wake up and before I leave.

When I get up there's my medical routine. Take one pill, check my blood sugar, take shower (every other day), get dressed, put in hearing aids, put on glasses, check to see if Fitbit is charged, check my sleeping score. After thirty minutes take rest of pills, drink some water, eat breakfast.

Breakfast depends on my blood sugar, if it's low I can indulge in a green Chile cheese bagel and cream cheese. If its high I drink a glucose shake. If normal I have scrambled eggs, bacon, and regardless of my blood sugar I choose between twelve different types of tea for my only flavored beverage for the day, no sugar or sweetener. Water from then on. 

Go on with the rest of my day.

All of this is subject to change on my or wife's whim.

Sundays are for church, having a nice dinner at a number of favorite eating places, and watching the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

A Prayer For My Mountain


The mountain on the cover is an extinct volcano in west central New Mexico. In the 1960's and 70's tons of uranium was mined from here. It sits between the Navaho (Dine) reservation and the Laguna and Acoma Pueblos.

Men from the reservation and pueblos took jobs mining the yellow ore and within ten years were dying of various cancers. The mines shut down as demand for uranium declined, but the damage to the mountain and lives of all those who live around it never went away. 

By 2010 the mine owners wanted to restart mining operations. This short story is about the fight to stop reopening the mines.

Hank Bruce is a good friend. I've reviewed a number of his books and have enjoyed all he's written. This one touched my soul.

I spent the summer of 1973 working with FBC Grants which is a town at the foot of Mount Taylor on I-40 between Albuquerque and Gallup. The little town was booming. Trailers and RV's were parked everywhere, it was estimated that in ten years it would become as big as Albuquerque.

In that next ten years the town went bust and many who I met and worshiped with were dead, all dying of cancer. In the houses that the company built for the workers and their families they used uranium dust in the concrete of the floors.

I learned that from this book.

The prayer in the title is about a man who is diagnosed with cancer at the VA Hospital in Albuquerque. He returns to his home in Laguna Pueblo to live out his last few months. A medicine man gives him a prayer staff tells him he has to go to the sacred mountain, a different name in their language, and ask forgiveness for the damage he caused.

An Anglo family moves into an abandoned schoolhouse between Laguna and Grants, the husband suffered a heart attack and they lost everything. He, wife and young children must rebuild their lives. 

A medicine woman comes and welcomes them, she takes the husband around their property and teaches him how to pick seeds out of the pinecones what we call Pinon Nuts. She explains to the wife the different plants, if they are edible, medicinal qualities.

A family living not far from them also comes to welcome and share food from their garden. They have children the same age who become friends.

The medicine woman tells them that they are needed to save the mountain, as only they can convince the government to stop reopening the mines.

The man dying from cancer, the Hispanic family and the Anglo family then go up onto the mountain where they visit the scars left behind and pray for the mountain.

It ends with the speech Hank's wife, Tomi Jill Folk, gave in Congress in 2012 where she pleaded for the government to declare Mount Taylor a sacred mountain and stop all mining operations. Congress passed the bill.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

WC Favorite Media Platform


This week is favorite social media platform and why.

There are two that I use. Blogger and Facebook.

I like blogger best; it is not as restricted as fb. On blogger I have friends like on Wednesday Challenge, and Top Ten Tuesday where we can converse on comments. We can post multiple pictures, tell stories, gripe, share good times and bad times. We can uplift each other in a relaxed atmosphere.

I have good friends like Yogi, Lydia, Audrey, and Berthold that are good for stimulating reads and conversation. I've read many a good book recommended by the challenges and friends. I get to share reviews of the books I've read and talk about my struggles while writing the story I'm on at the time. 

Facebook is limited, but not too restrictive yet, it's getting harder to keep up with the changes and a number of my friends keep getting sent to the doghouse for silly reasons. I haven't yet, but one friend shared a post and got clipped. I've had some shared posts removed and I couldn't even remember what it was.

It also has annoying ads. Take a look at one and a thousand just like it sprouts in seconds.  Groups are nice though, Writers2writers has a group, and we keep up with each other. My college and high school let me keep up with old friends too. My 50 HS reunion was much better as we were all able to communicate through them.

I've never done Twitter, or any of the others. My son wishes his daughter wasn't using one as its costing him a fortune in cosmetics.

Saturday, November 05, 2022

The Jewish Revolt Against Rome

 James Mace is the best writer of fictionalized history I've read. He has a broad palate of history and I've enjoyed many of them. The Three books I'm reviewing are of concern to me as they overlap with my writings.

These books are about the Jewish Revolt in AD 67. There are no fictionalized characters, every person in the story was actually there and mentioned in the books written at the time. The historian Josephus is prominent in the story as well as the accounts he wrote.

Book one starts with the procurator of Judea, Gessius Florus trying to stir up a rebellion so he can plunder the area. He succeeds, but after the revolt starts and he doesn't have the manpower to stop it, he flees back to Italy and leaves Rome to clean up his mess.

The governor of Judea then takes a single legion to Jerusalem, and nearly takes it, but he doesn't know how close they've come to undermining a wall and he leaves only to be ambushed in a mountain valley back to Caesaria. No matter how good the legion and its ability to fight, an incompetent commander could get them killed.

Reviewer's note here: Wikipedia doesn't mention this first attempt to put down the rebellion or the defeat of the 12th legion and losing their Eagle. My copy of Josephus is a condensed version and left this out as well. Mace used the complete version.

I wish I'd read these books while I was writing my books in this time period. 

A lone cohort was tasked with defending the closest port to Jerusalem, Ptolemais, 600 men with about 400 auxiliary cavalry is not much compared to the thousands of an army sent out from Jerusalem to capture the town and turn to piracy to hamper Rome's retribution.

This is James Mace at his best, describing both sides and their plans for the battle and then recounting how it unfolds.

After the Jewish army is not only defeated but routed when they outnumbered the Romans by 10 to 1. Explains how Rome's legion with its discipline and armor and a competent leader could conquer everything within its reach.

While waiting for Nero's response and his reluctance to give Vespasian command of suppressing this revolt, the various radical groups are explained. The Temple headed by the high priest, John of Giscala, a bandit that's raising an army in Galilee. Simon Giora, another bandit raising an army around Jerusalem and Eleazar of the Sicarii, (dagger men).

The high priest is willing to negotiate with Rome, knowing that Rome would destroy the country and enslave the population. He's murdered as a traitor.

The high priest's son takes over and Jerusalem is divided between four factions each trying to kill each other.

In short, the Jews are more willing to kill and fight each other than they are Rome. A dominant theme through all three books.

When Vespasian builds up his forces, he then invades Galilee. The siege of Jotapata is only a foretaste of what taking Jerusalem would be like. It took 47 days and many of his men's lives to take the town. They even used boiling oil, something that meant the invading army would spare no one inside as revenge. Vespasian does something very unexpected, he spares the life of Youseph ben Matthias, the leader of Jotapata that would normally be crucified. Youseph is Latinized to Josephus. He becomes the historian. In Judea he is the great traitor, as he gives the Romans valuable intel on what's happening in Jerusalem and the rest of Judea.

The rest of the Galilee is taken and winter ends the campaigning season.

Word comes that Nero is dead.

The telling of the siege of Jotapata is gruesome enough, but nothing prepares the reader for the horrors of what happens in Jerusalem. Not about what the Romans did to those inside the walls of the city, but what the warring factions within the city did to each other.

Before the Romans resumed the war, two factions fought over the storage facilities of grain. Enough grain to feed a city of over half a million people for two or three years. Eleazar, the head of the Temple faction burns the whole granary to keep John of Giscala from controlling it.

John of Giscala then has Eleazar, murdered in front of the throngs offering sacrifice.

 It goes downhill from there.

Meanwhile Vespasian supports Galba as emperor who replaced Otho, who forced Nero to commit suicide, Vitellius then defeats and kills Galba, and Vespasian decides to march on Rome and become emperor. It's called the year of four emperors.

Vespasian's son Titus is given command of the forces tasked with taking Jerusalem.

Intrigue in Jerusalem, intrigue in Rome and confusion in the legions, as Titus is only 24 and has gone from being in command of a single legion to over 150,000 men.

The siege of Jerusalem is a worse horror story than anything Hollywood puts out around Halloween.

It's estimated that Jerusalem had from half a million or more residing in it. When the city was taken Rome enslaved 97,000. Only the wealthy survived just to become slaves. The rest died mostly from starvation, disease or were murdered for treason and dropped into a valley outside the walls to feed carrion. Battle hardened soldiers lost their lunch when the valley of rotting corpses was discovered. Reading this, pictures of liberated concentration camps after WWII came to mind.

Titus is awarded a triumph; his cousin mops up the Sciarii at Masada. The bandits at Masada are celebrated today for their defiance of committing suicide after the Romans breached the wall. They existed by robbing and killing the villages around them for food.

 Titus is granted a triumph, as he brings back the largest treasure trove up to that time in Rome's history, all taken from the Temple. Some of this is pictured on the Triumphal Arch of Titus in Rome.

The Flavians beome masters of Rome.

My review is a summation of what happens, but these books go into great detail and are written by a true master of storytelling.

Just adding this, Mace has a great book on the Battle of Waterloo.



Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Erene With Wolf Medicine

I've known Irene for over ten years. She wrote the textbooks for college Chicana studies and taught sociology for many years.
When we met at Southwest Writers and Writers2writers she was working on a series of books about her aunt and the life she led. Next, she wrote a book about the 7 women whose bodies were found on the West Mesa of Albuquerque. 
Before Covid W2W met at a local library, and we shared what we were working on. Erene, was in the beginning stages. It's her life story. Erene with an accent on the last e, is her name in Spanish.
Sadly, Covid ended our attempt at a writer's group. She posted on fb that her story is published. I didn't hesitate to order a copy on Amazon and read it.
She starts by saying that a wolf howled at the time she was born. Her family were subsistence farmers and ranchers in Northern w Mexico during the 1940's and 50's. Her Grandfather was from Taos Pueblo and in the Native American belief the wolf became her spirit animal. All through the book she relates to how she thinks and behaves the way a wolf pup behaves. 
This was not an easy story to tell on her part as she opens up old wounds in her life. She can have you laughing out loud on one page and crying on the next.
It's not an easy book to read as much of her life was a constant struggle from poverty, family pressure to conform to their culture, the demands of the Catholic Church, her fight to excel in learning, marriage, motherhood, divorce and earning her doctorate to becoming a university professor.
The one passage that best defines Irene, is where she's at a civil right rally for Chicano rights and she was told that she could not fight for women's rights until Chicano rights were recognized. When she got up to speak, she informed the audience that she was both and would fight for both.  Her lone wolf emerged triumphant that day.

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

WC Sci-fi/fantasy world you'd like to visit


Hmmmm, what world would I like to visit? 

1. The Hobbit, I'd love to visit the Shire, and Rivendell. The rest of Middle Earth you can keep.

2. Dragon Riders of Pern, tame dragons and fire lizards.

3. Tony Roberts': Kastania Chronicles. One hell of an interesting empire, ruled by a very lusty Imperial family. Don't mess with a Bragalese Witch.

4. H. Beam Piper's The Fuzzie Papers. A wonderful world with a different sapient race.

5. J. A. Sutherland's  Into the Dark series. Traveling through space in sailing ships while navigating dark matter.

6. I'd be remiss if I left Star Trek, off the list 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

WC Have you had a real-life encounter with a ghost?


Today's challenge is: Have you had a real-life experience with a ghost?

The answer is no. I have been in some really spooky situations and places, but no ghost.

My wife told me that in the night she saw her father looking down on us, then we got a call that he died around that time.

Hank Bruce, a member of Writers2writers, and his wife Tomi Jill Folk (editor) have a new book out that I had the honor of being a beta reader. Tomi recounted that while visiting this archaeological site of a former pueblo, that while walking up to it from the road there is a small pool of water, and whenever they visit this place at the water, she can hear women and children splashing and playing there.

Dr. Irene Blea, also a member of Writers2writers, had finally published her autobiography. Before Covid when W2W was meeting we read and commented on each other's work, this was what she was working on. It's not available yet as e-book. She grew up in the 1940's and 50's on a subsistence farm/ranch in northern New Mexico in an extended family speaking Spanish and some Tiwa (Taos Pueblo). She mentions that at night the children would hear spirits and they never saw them because they hid under their blankets. 

In my book Vander's Magic Carpet, Eugene Vander's has just finished his invention of flying plates that can levitate any object, like a car and make it fly. He goes to the graves of his wife and daughter. They appear and he takes them on a magic carpet ride. That's as close as I've come to writing a ghost story or encountering a ghost.

Human Sacrifices has the protagonist seeing a demon chewing on gang bangers in a park. The demon she names Mal haunters her for part of the book, but I make it plain that she was suffering from Post-Traumatic Trauma Stress, and hallucinating from lack of sleep. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

WC: Fantasy animals you'd like to be real


That's and easy one for me, I want a fire lizard. Everyone is so caught up in dragons, especially since GOT. To me the most enjoyable books of Anne McCaffrey's Pern books were the Harper Hall books with Menolly as the protagonist.

Keep your fire breathing dragons, a nice friendly fire lizard that you can have a mental connection too is by far the best.

Another one would be the Luck Dragon from Never Ending Story. Not your typical dragon.

Then again there's Buckbeak, from Harry Potter. He may be a little too temperamental for the average person or family and with that appetite could be very expensive.

Wednesday, October 05, 2022


So much of Star Trek with its communicators, tablets, talking computers, medical technology has already happened.

No, we don't have warp drive, photon torpedoes and spaceships capable of traveling the galaxy with a crew of 500. 3D printing is coming close to fabricators, just not for food yet.

Of all the technology I would like the transporter. 

It would be great to step onto the pad and I'm in the office, or at the mall, or at Roadhouse Steakhouse. A few jumps and I'm visiting my brother in Oklahoma.

In voyager one of the women has a baby delivered by transporter. I remember all the women and they were the majority in the teacher's lounge saying, "That's the way to have a baby!" or words to that affect.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

A Friend in Need

 Aerial view of Del Norte High School, circa 1972. Today there is no parking lot, the main building is gone and what looks like a three-story office building dominates the side facing Montgomery Boulevard. Del Norte Baptist Church across the street is now completely hidden by apartment buildings.

In 1997 my parents drove to Pueblo, CO. to Dad's 50th reunion. Mom kidded him, saying "Did you really go to school with all those grey-haired women?"

Now it's my turn.

My God! Fifty years go by in a blink and getting into contact with people I haven't rubbed shoulders in decades, all of a sudden, the memories come back. The sorrowful part is the number of classmates many I went through Junior High and High school with are no longer with us.

I read the names recognizing friends and foes, some since the size of our class was so large, I didn't know, but recognized their yearbook faces. One name stood out for me.

Class of 72:
KARDOKUS - Memorial services for Daniel Charles Kardokus will be held at 3 p.m., April 8 at New Life Chapel, Foursquare, 500 N. Washington. Daniel was born March 12, 1954 in Los Angeles, Calif., to Charles and Wilma (Palmer) Kardokus. He went to be with the Lord on March 21, 2001, at the age of 47

Danny and I had little in common. I was the athlete, and he was chubby and clumsy. I was always mentioned in the school paper sports section, he was never mentioned. We ran in completely different circles. In high school we didn't share many of the same classes.

What we did have in common was our faith. McKinley Junior High was 60% Hispanic. in 7th grade Danny and I were Anglo and didn't go to the same elementary schools, so we didn't have any friends. There is no grade in school worse than 7th grade and for both of us it was pure hell.

For that year he was the one person I could encourage, and he encouraged me by our belief in Jesus. He was Pentecostal and I was a Baptist. I went to the church across the street from the school. That didn't matter we shared a faith in Jesus.

In high school we met during lunch or before school and talked. He was effeminate in manner and speech. The jocks always gave me a funny look while we were laughing and joking together.

After graduation we lost contact. I went to college on a track scholarship and most of my high school classmates were out of my thoughts. Then a funny thing happened in 1989.

We had a Volkswagen Westphalia and, on a Saturday decided to go camping. Son was 8 and daughter 3. We drove to a state park not far from Albuquerque, pitched a tent for daughter to stay out of the sun and she had her toys to keep happy. We played a little baseball with plastic balls and bat with my son. That lasted about thirty minutes and we were attacked by gnats. A swarm of them and they were biting. Decided not to set up the badminton net. This wasn't fun anymore.

We packed up and went home. A few hours later I got a phone call, this was when we were in the phone book and had a land line. Danny called. He and his wife and two children were in town and their car broke down. His grandparent surprisingly lived a block away from wife's parents. He wanted to know if we could pick him up and drive them to the other side of the river.

It was a good thing we had the Westphalia, and we were back in town. We picked them up and took them to a diner for dinner then down to his grandparents. We had a great time catching up, his wife and mine talked, which is rare for my wife who is rather shy around strangers. His kids and our kids had a great time in the back of the van, good thing there weren't any seatbelt laws at that time. 

We stopped afterwards and paid a surprise visit to wife's parents. On the way home it was crazy, but did God send a plague of gnats so we would be there to help a friend in need?


 Today's challenge is: What is your least favorite chore and why?

Sorry if this is icky, but cleaning the bathroom is at the top.

My wife's attitude is, "You make the mess, you clean it up."

I have to do this chore not only at home, but at the office. Since I get to spend time writing for free, (I used to get paid, but pleadings are now done electronically) still I get the mail, let S. know if he needs to come in or not and keep the place clean. If you stay on top of it not a big deal.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

WC 091422 What makes you buy a book?

 Today's challenge is, what makes you pick up or buy a book?

1. It's recommended. I've bought a number of books mentioned in Top Ten Tuesday and Wednesday Challenge, as well as Berthold Gambrel.

2. The author. Tony Roberts, Mark Dawson, James Clavell, Tom Clancy, are recent authors that when they come out with a new book, I download it or buy it. I'm strictly e-book due to eyesight issues.

3. The bandwagon, if there is a current book that everyone is raving about and it's in a genre, I enjoy I'll give it a try. This is hit and miss. I've tried to read a book everyone was raving about and couldn't get past twenty pages.

4. The title or book cover catches my eye.

This is one, and I enjoyed it and all the others that followed.

5. Book by blogger friend or a local author I know from Southwest Writers or Writers2writers.

Hank Bruce, Dr. Irene Blea, Jonathan Miller, Joseph Badal, Paula Paul, Berthold Gambrel, Audrey Driscol and others.

6. Twice a year the downtown library in the basement lets you buy books by the bag at only six dollars a bag. My only exception to hard copy books, I pick hard cover where the print is bigger.

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

WC: Favorite Plot Line


Today's challenge is my favorite plot line to read or watch.

I'm going to toot my own horn here. My favorite plot line is Redemption.

Optimus is a hard living, strong drinking Roman legionnaire only interested in his basic needs and pleasure.

He's assigned to guard a pesky Jew while awaiting trial. The Apostle Paul.

 He is converted to Christianity and his life is transformed. He marries and fathers two sons. He stops getting drunk and gambling and tries to right the wrongs he committed before his conversion.

While serving in the Praetorian Guard along with other Believers in The Way plots to place a Christian on the Eagle Throne.

Eugene Vanders is a happily married university professor with a fifteen-year-old daughter. He's well respected and is content.

His house is invaded by the police, and they plant drugs in order to arrest him. He's tried and sentenced to three years in minimum security. He loses his reputation, livelihood, and while in jail his wife is raped and murdered, his daughter commits suicide. (I did not describe these events.)

He tells to judge while sentenced that he will make Billy the Kid look like a boy scout and vows he will make all those who ruined his life pay for what they did.

He was working with simi conductor material and had come up with an idea to create lift by electrifying small holes creating mini tornados.

Once out of prison along with his dorm mates they create Magic Carpet Inc. and start using the Magic Carpet plates to make cars fly.

As he becomes rich with his new invention, he is able to uncover the police chief's policy called plan B, that when a raid finds nothing, they plant evidence. 

In the book Vander's never kills anyone, he forgives those who ruined his life, and he makes society pay in order to regain what he lost. Berthold Gambrel in his review called Vander's the anti-Walter White.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Penguins at the Rio Grande Zoo

 Last week wife, daughter and I went to the Zoo. First time for us to see the new Penguin exhibit.

You can't use flash to take pictures, so I used video on my regular camera. 

Here's what you see when you first walk in.

Be sure to click on the button in the lower right-hand corner to see full screen

Here's one of the exhibits. Look at all the different kinds of Penguins!

Here's some frolicking.

WC Plot Line


Today's challenge is: Plot line or theme you refuse to watch.

I watched one season of Criminal Minds. Wife and I decided we did not want to understand or think like serial killers.

I watched Psycho as a teenager. That was enough, no mad slasher movies that tally up dead teenagers caught having sex.

I've watched almost all of Alfred Hitchcock's other movies and not had a problem.

I'm turned off by what passes as humor in movies today. Someone playing with a man's intestines thinking it's a movie prop is sad, not funny. Seeing women trying on bride's maid's dresses and having diarrhea is gross not funny.

I watched Carrie and have never read anything of Steven King's horror books or seen any other of his movies. My brother made me watch The Green Mile while I visited him, I could have done without the part of the guy being electrocuted painfully. I do own a copy of his book on writing.

I enjoyed reading Anne Rice's vampire, mummies, and other supernatural books, she wasn't gross or trying to freak you out. Her historical novels Cry to Heaven and Feast of All Saints are wonderful. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

TTT: Microhistory


Today's topic a school freeby, I'm joining Lydia in doing micro history, As per Wikipedia, microhistory “is the intensive historical investigation of a well defined smaller unit of research (most often a single event, the community of a village, a family or a person)

Wow biography is micro history, who knew.

Guess what, I Maury qualifies. The life and times of truly great scientist who changed transportation on the oceans dramatically. He is the father of Oceanography.

Other biographies come to mind:

William Manchester's American Caesar, biography of Douglas McArthur.

Elizabeth Jenkin's Elizabeth the Great, biography of Queen Elizabeth I.

Charles W. Ferguson's Naked to Mine Enemies, biography of Cardinal Wolsey.

Topical micro history would be:

Basil Lidell Hart's Strategy and World War II.

John Keegan's Face of Battle, World War I, Fields of Battle, and History of War.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

In Remembrance of My Twin.


Coming Storm by Anne Littlewolf.


It's hard to start telling everyone about my spiritual twin. 

We met at Wayland Baptist College as freshmen in 1972. At that time, she was Patricia (Pat) Penny. Her father was pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Farmington, NM. 

For six months I lived in Farmington and attended that church. That led to our introduction, and that's all you needed with Trish, as we called her.

She never met a stranger. She was friendly with everyone and hard not to like.

Our names were so close that professors and other students would get confused. I was called by her last name and she mine. We laughed about it and decided we must be twins. From then on, we called each other twin.

We were both history/English majors and chess players. We talked a lot of history and played a lot of chess over those years.

Till the last time we met and laughed over lunch we talked about Mrs. Jamar's Literature classes and living and dying by Kate Turabian's style book for term papers. 

She liked to crochet in the TV room of the Sub to relax. Two of her closest friends kidded her about be a granny and she started talking like a cranky woman, they imitated her, and it caught on. They decided they were a sorority sisters in Omicron Beta, it stood for Old Biddies. She was the last one, Judy passed in 2019, Nora in 2021.

One time she was in the TV room all alone and watching Englebert Humperdinck in concert. Two guys came in and changed the channel to a football game. They never knew what hit them. 

Judy was my first wife. She was engaged to David, but his mother broke them up. We started dating and Trish became engaged to David. Both our marriages ended in divorce. She had a daughter named Karen Sue, and she is now working at the Smithsonian Institute in D. C.

I remember in Spring of 1976; we had a class together. She was six months pregnant and showing. The class was held in an old auditorium in Gates Hall. We sat in theater seats. I'd sit next to her trying to take notes without a desk and fussed at her as she used her tummy, that it she had an advantage.

We graduated and lost touch. I didn't go to the 10th class reunion, and she wasn't there for the 20th. Nora told me she was in an abusive marriage. At our 30th reunion, she wasn't there, but Nora had her phone number and e-mail.

She legally changed her name to Ann Littlewolf, was remarried and living in Gunnison, CO. We got in contact, and she drove down for a twin reunion. It was like thirty years never happened.

Linda and I drove up and spent a night and got to see her horses, then went on to Nebraska to visit Linda's brother and family. it's a long drive from Gunnison to Lincoln.

For a while she taught at BIA schools in the Four Corner's area but quit to become an artist.

She had horses and they were her life. She and her husband rode them, and she bought an 1890 Surrey that she fixed up and trained her horse to pull. They'd ride it at county fairs in the area and take friends out on rides. 

She wrote and illustrated a children's book. 

She was living with a man, and was driving, as they were talking, he slumped and died from an aneurism. The book was her catharsis. How she learned to go through grief and go on. I particularly like how she handled loss.

APS has a place where teachers can mass produce work. You just had to pay for the materials used. I took her pages and had them copied on card stock, laminated and bound. She could only afford twenty copies, but at Kinkos it would have been three times the cost. 

They sold out very fast. I sold some at book signings. I sold two to a cancer doctor, he said he'd put them in his waiting room.

I retired and couldn't use APS anymore, so I desktop published them. My printer couldn't use cardstock, so they were on regular paper, and I couldn't laminate them, but they were easy to copy and with a square hole binder were easy to publish.

She came down with some of her artwork and found a cafe in Old Town that would let her put up paintings on commission. Coming Storm was one of them, the others were paintings on tree bark.

I would from time to time go into the cafe and check on them for her. She called and said the guy who owned the cafe's phone was disconnected. I went down to the place it had been gutted. Nothing was left on the wall. The paintings were gone most likely tossed in the trash by the new owner when he started renovating.

She gave me two of her paintings that I framed and have on my wall at home. The first one I call Aspens in Colorado.

The other one is Line Wolf. 

She came down here as the altitude in Gunnison was becoming a problem. She stayed with Mom while her husband was selling their place and trying to find a place for them and their horses. Mom was having some medical problems and she moved in with another lady in the Baptist community. 
They settled in Tijeras Canyon, not far from Albuquerque. I talked her into redoing Finn and Flipper as a coloring book. She did and I've published a number of them.

When Mom sold her townhouse and moved into senior living, she and her husband help with the move. Mom loved Anne like her own daughter.

Anne's church's choir on one Sunday a month would stop and the Senior living place and sing. I took Mom to church, and she insisted after I got her back that we listen to the choir, and Anne naturally made me sing with them.

We kept up with each other on Face Book, it was easier to message than e-mail. Every few months we'd meet at a restaurant and catch up. I always made sure Linda came too. They became friends,

Covid stopped any attempt at selling copies. When my mother went into hospice, I gave what remaining copies to the kind ladies who helped my mother with her last days. They were grateful.

A year ago, we met at Papa Filipe's, laughed a lot and had a good time. A couple of months later she stopped messaging, e-mailing or answering her phone.

In November she wrote an e-mail saying she'd been ill and couldn't work on her art, she'd shifted from oil to colored pencil and crayon. They were amazing.

In February another e-mail said she had an aggressive cancer. I had no way to contact her directly. I started checking the Journal's online obits, but never saw one. Today I finally called the church where she was on the governing council, and they told me she passed on April 10. If there was an obit in the paper, I never saw it. 

When she lived in Gunnison, she painted a mural at a nursing home in the ward for Alzheimer's patients. It was a mountain scene with a fence and a gate across the door. They had trouble with the patients getting out, with the gate there they stopped trying.

Those who bought her work was John Denver and Ricky Skaggs. Ann and her husband went to a festival in Windstar, CO. This is where John Denver's legacy is preserved. She took a number of paintings and gave them for the foundation to sell. They chose two paintings of Eagles to put on a wall.

She had her work in a number of places in Edgewood on I-40 and she'd let me know whenever one of her works sold.

She will be sorely missed. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

WC One day in my past.


Today's challenge is where I would spend one day in my past.

Picture is of the first NAIA Texoma conference championships in May 1974. The runner I was passing was from Australia running for Dallas Baptist. I beat him in the mile, and he lapped me in the three-mile.

Oooh a tough one.

There is one day that changed everything for me. I can't give the actual date, but here's what happened.

It was between nationals at the 1974 cross country championships, where I ran the race of my life, and the start of track season in February 1975.

I went out on an eight-mile run and felt good. Coming back to campus. I went up to the back door of the gym and found it was locked. I stupidly did an about face, like taught in my high school AFJROTC class. Something twisted in my right knee.

Also, stupidly I applied a heating pad to it when I got back to the dorm. A few years later sports doctors advised ice when a swelling injury occurs.

To train for the mile and three mile takes two or three days a week in long distance like an eight-mile run. Usually Monday and Wednesday, Tuesdays and Thursday for interval runs, 16 220's with a walk that distance between, 8 440's win a one lap walk or 4 880's with one lap walk. This is to keep speed up for the sprint at the end of the race.

What I found about my knee was that on intervals where I was running fast, I didn't feel anything. On over distance I had a nagging ache. Running that way was like water torture.

By the time the season started I was still in good condition, but in a month my conditioning was gone. My times and places suffered. The coach dropped me from the team.

I had been running track since 7th grade, earned a track scholarship and now junior year in college and it was all over.

Since then, I've seen pro football players injured the same way, they plant their foot and twist to change direction and they go down career over. Tony Dorsett did it in practice with the Denver Broncos, Bam Morris (Atlanta Falcons) did it on national TV against the Cowboys.

If could get in a time machine I'd tell the young fool, don't go to that door.

Then again, maybe I'd tell myself not to get married to my first wife in May of 1975.