Pennies from Heaven

(re-run) When I was sixteen, I saved up my babysitting money and went downtown to Cottage Grove Avenue in Des Moines, where there was a head shop filled with incense, hanging beads, roach clips, black light posters and tie dye. Although I wasn’t a pothead (I didn’t smoke cigarettes either), I enjoyed the ambience of… Continue reading Pennies from Heaven

Pontoon Boat Disaster

(re-run) My parents didn’t swim. When we went on vacation at Clear Lake, and Dad wanted to take us out in a rented pontoon boat, my mom objected.  Dad won in the end, and the five kids put on our life jackets. I think my mom did, too. I am sure my dad didn’t wear… Continue reading Pontoon Boat Disaster

The Tennis Shoe and the Broken Window

It was senior year in high school. I was on my last semester of PE, my least favorite class. I maintained a straight-A average in all other classes. Not PE. It alternated between a B and a C. I was feeling good. We were in our next-to last unit, the physical fitness award. I already… Continue reading The Tennis Shoe and the Broken Window

Government Cheese and Pinto Beans

I was nine or ten when my mom took me and my younger siblings downtown to a place to get some free food for poor people.  Our dad was out of work for six weeks. My mother was humiliated. We waited in line until it was our turn. As the worker handed Mom her block… Continue reading Government Cheese and Pinto Beans

Laugh More, Worry Less

(re-run) The state is on fire, again. It seems that three of the last four years have been off the charts for wild fires. 2017 – Napa and Santa Rosa burned. Santa Barbara County, too. 2018 – Paradise, the town, was wiped off the map. 2019 – Because of heavier winter rainfall, the fires weren’t… Continue reading Laugh More, Worry Less

My First Taste of California

When I was in college, the spring of my sophomore year, I saw a poster for a summer job – “Earn $3000 in just three months.” Back in 1975, that was a lot of money. I went to the evening meeting on campus and found myself in a room with a dozen other “applicants.” After… Continue reading My First Taste of California

A Corny Tale

(re-run) It all started with a post on Facebook, showing how your average American doesn’t know how to shuck corn. If you are from Iowa in the 60’s, then you know how. We weren’t well off. As a matter of fact, people would give us bags of food, like homegrown apples, tomatoes, or corn. Our… Continue reading A Corny Tale