Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rac-you-pine; House guest; Lee Holland; Celebrations

On pins and needles
with many in this Republican bastion
of Waukesha County
sticking pins in our Democratic effigies
and hoping for 'their' best and 'our' worst,

At the Odd Fellows hall
we had confidence that the nation 
- the multi-contextual voters of this vast land -
would thread the needle

and they did!

We had three lights, our only effect, 
in our windows
having just studied Parker Palmer's
Healing the Heart of Democracy
thus pulling in our horns;

Our Paul Revere signal:
Blue if by Democrat
Red if by Republican
and White, completing an American 
void-of-color or presence-of-all-colors

Our  preference,
was, from the street level,
not clearly known.

But the old Indian bank, years ago
converted to a lamp
shone all of its 25 watts,
yielding a blue cast to that window.

Our guest at the Odd Fellows.

Bob Heeschen
my old 1958-1962 US Army compatriate
came down from St. Paul MN
to be with us on election night,

and took this picture of Dee and me
 the morning after.


Former Special Agent Robert Heeschen
brought an old discovered box of black and white
Minox spy camera images he'd long ago taken
and shared them with us during his visit on election eve.

He had a picture of yours-truly taken near the guard shack
of the Army Reserve base we had our mutual 113th CIC Group office
nestled within, at 
Bryn Mawr and Kedzie Aves, Chicago, IL.

I spent 4.5 years there with the US Army,
in plain clothes as an investigator and agent
pursuing clandestine operations, very heady work
for a 25 year old.

First, there was passing a stringent background check,
something I would never get the green light on today.

Bob had the guts to photograph his
(federal agent) badge and credentials
with his Minox.

I don't think we were supposed to duplicate
those, but h-e-r-r-r-e-'-s BOB'S!
Mine was identical.

we got to Army Counter-Intelligence training at  Fort Holabird MD, we,
as incoming soldiers, had to undergo
traditional basic training.

At Fort Leonard Wood MO in 1958
I learned to march and run with full pack
and rifle and do obstacle courses
and charge at sandbag dummies
shrieking KILL-KILL-KILL
as we plunged our bayonets
and twisted them
to the eventual satisfaction 
of the drill sergeant,
a cursing, foul-mouthed devil-man.

All the while, our company commander
a gung-ho 2nd Lieutenant
assured the two of us who were supposed
to be going for our further education
at 'college-campus' Holabird 
where we were to shed our 
uniforms for good, what  we had enlisted for,
 that we should LISTEN-UP
because there was no way
~in hell ~
we were going to be going there!

We were preparing for WAR somewhere
(Korea flaring up? Etc.)
which would pre-empt any idyllic plans
we might have had.

But at the end of the eight week ordeal
-US Army Basic Training -
that would color my attitudes forever
we did get to go to Holabird.
No kill, kill, kill.

The rest was classified.

PS:  Our superior in the Chicago office
was Capt. Leland Holland
who many years later was to be
one of the Iranian Hostages.



(Beatles, Money Can't Buy You Love)

and/or read this:


The view across the Five Points from us at the Odd Fellows
in July;
Soon thereafter, the unknown occupant(s) took down the snake blanket 
but added another Romney sign.
Today, the Romney signs are both down
but the Don't Tread On Me blanket still hangs in
the right window.

Message rec'd.

Let's emphasize something positive about this image:

Moments before I clicked the camera shutter, a city truck had paused and
stuck one American flag in the socket just above the bead shop awning.
It is a double socket and two flags could have been inserted.
Maybe the presence of the flag in the window behind it negated
a triple effort.

 Veterans Day, the purpose of the flags, 11/11 is coming up.  We NEVER forget that date
here, for it also marks our wedding anniversary,
a knot tied by Eagle Scout Rev. Dr. John Helt with whom I had breakfast
this very morning (11/9) next door and down from the snake window, at Dave's Cafe.

John married us on 11/11/83, Veterans Day, so we've been married
29 years.  John brought gifts in commemoration.

And as if having election day and an anniversary in one week
were not enough festivity at the Odd Fellows, add in that Dee also had her birthday
in this busy week.

She got many birthday cards, several from church friends,
each one with a personal message in tenderly-placed script of how much she means to
 the senders.  We are indeed all very lucky to have her!



Haiku #89

The cat plays
   with a fake mouse—
         she knows.
Rehn Kovacic

We soon will acquire a different cat
to take up where Mona left off.
A birthday/anniversary event.


look at this:

The local newspaper finally ran the article by John Schoenknecht
about the truly great archaeological dig next door to us in the former
National Bank building, one of the Five Points in the downtown.

A mosaic one guesses will be beautiful to eventually see was
painstakingly revealed under inches of overlying concrete, thanks
to building owners, the Huelsman family.

A thus-far unidentified store outlet will be going in, that will be allegedly
purveying health products and services  to the thirsty downtown looking
for refreshment, and antidotes to vacancies wherever they can be aptly found.

Berg, the raccoon landlords at present, are again to be congratulated
for their pursuits on behalf of their interests which are blessedly Waukesha's!

Yards distant from the soon to be revealed Huelsman bank bldg mosaic
now behind an under-construction new door entrance, hangs this stained glass
panel of the same Waukesha City Seal.  It is in our center window overlooking
The Five Points.

Marked with a green arrow, the name of the artist friend, the late Bob Uchner, 
is unobtrusively etched.  We bought it from Bob at the time after he'd made
 a series of these seals for the infamous gazebo, currently reposing
out of the way, near the Waukesha State Bank.

Writer/historian John Schoenknecht, who did the piece on the National Bank
exposition in the Freeman, knew I would be very delighted to learn 
of such a revelation.

We are friends, and he once, as editor of the LANDMARK
quarterly of the Waukesha Historical Society published
this poem we wrote, which seems germane to the subject overall:

In Waukesha

We don’t think about it very much anymore
but the ghosts of native Americans might;
we walk, or alas, drive their ancient trading trails
paved many times over;
even our later inter-urban streetcar tracks
are now out of sight,

buried like their lightly-beaten paths
by time and poured concrete
and newcomers can’t get the gist of traveling downtown,
can’t figure these streets out because so many diagonals
cut through strangely, they say.

But it was all so simple then
for the woodland people
to follow their converging spoke-like paths
to the now downtown five points trading posts
No doubt

going through thick woods
from their outlying settlements,
intending to live forever in their homeland
upon which they trod so gently

Pioneers built great improvements
on their sacred burial grounds
and cannons stand in the library park
passing time’s additions, tentatively,

muddying the purer water of days
dim to us, unknown;

But not to the ghosts
who watched flowing streams
clear away many other silty stirrings
only for a moment hiding customary clarity

We are being watched by these patient spirits
these spector ‘savages’ who knew so much.
Their way to our downtown
is abiding.