The Racist and the Ficus Tree

When I was young, the one black boy in my elementary school was my classmate. His name was Teddy. This was white-white-white Iowa in the 60’s.  My first grade teacher, Mrs. Van Cura, got angry at the class one day for misbehaving and said, “Whoever doesn’t behave will have to play with Teddy at recess.”… Continue reading The Racist and the Ficus Tree

Cornhole, some Critters, and a Ghost on her Phone

Yesterday was the annual singles’ club party/picnic at one guy’s lush estate in Hayward.  I picked up my girlfriend, and we let the GPS woman’s voice direct us down Five Canyons Road to a bunch of turns until we finally found the place. I’d been there many times before but always as a passenger, never… Continue reading Cornhole, some Critters, and a Ghost on her Phone

Landing In the Dog House

When you’re in the dog house, you are in trouble. You’ve done something bad. As a child, I was never in the dog house because we didn’t have one. We didn’t even have a dog. My mother had her own strain of weird expressions that she said to us kids on a regular basis, probably… Continue reading Landing In the Dog House

A Corny Tale

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 job… Continue reading A Corny Tale

Machu – whatchu?

It was 1977. I was finishing up ten weeks of student teaching in an American oil school in Caracas, Venezuela. My roommate, Christy, wanted to travel for two weeks before we went home to the states. She wanted to visit Machu Picchu in Peru. I’d never heard of it. “It’s the lost city of the… Continue reading Machu – whatchu?

Best Ed Sullivan Show Ever

Carol grew up in in Pueblo, Colorado. They called it the little Pittsburg of the West. Her dad was a steelworker. Her mom was a lab tech phlebotomist at the hospital. Whenever one of the kids got sick, her mom would bring home a hypodermic needle in her purse to draw some blood. “To see… Continue reading Best Ed Sullivan Show Ever