Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
John advises he will assume the helm there on June 28th after completing his interim call at his current church in Highland, Indiana.
These are rarified tidings, fit - and ripe - to print in the raccoon news!
That the Helts expect to be residing on Hogback Road in the shadow of Holy Hill is additional good news. That has been a favorite ride for years and years (and years), especially in the fall when the colors are at their peak, and when the late Mrs. Zinn used to have the art fair under the fruit-bearing trees at her apple orchard, with her goats in attendance. We hope John will be able to have his miniature goats once more.
Also, a favorite restaurant, The Alpine Retreat on Freiss Road was a great destination. There are many reasons to rejoice.
Something had to be done to acknowledge this event. I lay awake thinking about these portents and, pondered: what gift could I give? Then I had it. Leaping out of bed at 2 AM I put my emerald shamrock suspenders on the bed beside the sleeping Mona and over Denise with the plan of presenting them to John. They're as good as his right now!
In fact, John and Cindy, wedded to each other in nearly lock-step, footprint-sharing, three offspring-bearing partnership, can wear them together if they want to. And if they do I will be giving them a big hug myself.
The raccoon news appreciates this scoop presented by Mr. Helt, the man who married us 25+ years ago. See previous smoke signal.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Fortunately I was able to find that song First of May on U Tube. Click on the URL below and enjoy. The emotion aroused by these old songs cannot be described. Click to enlarge print.
This is the erstwhile "bughouse" we constructed against the garage in 1986. A careful look at the above photo shows the little carved date sign in the upper middle - 1986. Elaborately built by an unskilled hand, we sought refuge from backyard mosquitoes in there and had a friendly environment.
The bughouse outlived its usefulness primarily when the commercial building next door rented to a day care center for emotionally-challenged kids, and built their playground directly west on the other side of our fence. Cacophony reigns when the screaming children are outside acting out their plights within a small pebbled confinement.
So we use the bughouse for storage of miscellany now.
In earlier days, when our children were growing up in the late 80's and 90's - pre-day care center - they had a fun time and a secret-ish play house, with imaginings they concocted that are unknown to us. Now in disrepair, the bughouse shows the ravages of time, with punctured screening, peeling paint, and during the months I was in the hospital with my heart trouble a tree fell and skinned off the rain gutter and part of the shake shingle roof, visible in the photo below.
The fallen windmill scupture that spun for years atop a 6 x 6 timber in the front side yard lies bent on the ground. But even though the blades are askew it still spins in the wind, a tribute to the balance and the bearings.
At this time of year, before the greening-up just starting, everything looks a little dismal.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
to raccooner Stew of eastern Ohio
for this enlightenment on proper
maintenance of the INSIDE of
our computer screen. We thought
some Windex on the outside was
all that is needed.......
Sunday, March 22, 2009
A Coon's Age
I was being driven by my chauffeur
Wife this morning to Kalypso’s
Formerly Jennifer’s which was
Formerly Dutchland Dairy which was
Formerly Hyde’s Grocery Store and other ventures
In my longening life here in Waukesha
And I said something about not having
Seen somebody “in a coon’s age”
Speaking of a long time
Which set us to wondering:
Just what is meant by “a coon’s age”?
And are we speaking of raccoons?
Who used to be African-Americans
Who used to be Negroes
Who used to be
From a different country
If raccoons are involved in the
Etymology of the saying
It puts one to wondering
Just how long does a raccoon live?
The sewer raccoons about which I’ve written,
The ones who come out of the storm grate
At the corner of Colton & Arcadian after nightfall
And who I believe have a sub-society
Run pretty spry
Or feisty some might say
So I don’t think they’re real old
But the ones I see could be the young-uns
Sent out from the throne chambers
Of the really old coons
To do the tribal re-con and gathering
There might be some really old
Old coons down there
With long beards
Shillelagh canes and ear trumpets
And they could be blind like moles
For not having seen the light of day
In so long;
And I bet early settlers in Prairieville
Speculated on them being l-o-n-g underground
Those old coons
The ones they hadn’t seen in a coon’s age.
Blacks live about as long as whites do
If they’re lucky
But that’s a whole nuther subject.
Some will read this and cluck their tongues
But I come from a twisted era when
Lawn ornament jockey boys’ heads
Weren’t painted white
And if you started out with
Eenie-meany-meiny-moe you finished up
With a nigger being caught by the toe.
So in my privater ruminations
as I bridge the generations
The White-Out is extraneous
And my pancakes are indeed silently buttered
By fast-running tigers
Chased by Little Black Sambo
Yet, I’m damn careful
Who I talk like this to.
A race was the poorer for concepts like that.
It was the pond I was born into
And had to swim to get to this
Coon’s age from which I’ll attrition out.
Someday; not today.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Uncle Skippy, pictured above, his 2nd son, 2nd to this editor, executes and promulgates wonderful trombone in his own right; and my son David Jr rocked with Nick Contorno's Kettle Moraine HS band, on trombone. And HIS son, Mike, is on the high road to trombone accomplishment also.
Here are Uncle Skippy's clips:
This artist is a friend of Skip's from when, years ago, they attended the Navy school of music ahead of playing in the Navy Band together. Naus now teaches jazz at the Boston Berkley School.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
He is about 10 years older than I am,
But I am also his Uncle David
- as we do address each other -;
I drove into his woods to see him this morning
And he didn’t appear at home.
For years I’ve always knocked and entered
The back door (behind him in this photo)
But since his wife Sunny died a year ago
And he lives alone
I haven’t been out there as much.
You would think the opposite would obtain
But it hasn’t;
I knocked and when Uncle Norm
Didn’t come to the door I cracked it open
And hollered in.
He didn’t answer, so I went inside and
Shouted some more, including up the stairs
To the bedrooms.
No answer, all quiet. Too quiet?
His car was in the drive;
Maybe he was out walking in the woods.
I took a seat and sipped the coffee
I came with.
Eventually, there was a sound from upstairs.
I hollered again up the stairwell.
Uncle Norm hollered back: “Who is it?”
I told him and he laughed
And said he'd been in the shower,
would be down.
He came down
Into the dining room
Where I was sitting
Next to the Night-Blooming Serius,
A favorite plant of Sunny’s she'd cultivated
Norm was in flannel boxers
And with a towel wrapped around
His hair, ‘sahib’ style,
He grinned a welcome.
We had a good talk
And then after about a half hour
I got up to leave,
And by his age-old habit he said he would
Walk me out to my car.
I believed Uncle Norm was
Glad I stopped in,
Like old times.
Both Norm and Sunny are artists.
Norm a painter and Sunny a potter and
Mushroom sketcher, clay sculptor
Norm’s greatest heartache is
Not having Sunny to talk to anymore.
I met them in 1960.
Soon after we became each other’s uncles.
One of the things I really like about
Is that no matter what I may do,
And I’ve done some bad things,
He is always in my corner.
Like a friendly cork, floating
Over a temporarily sunk bottle.
He’s Norman, my uncle,
And my friend.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009