Saturday, November 28, 2015

Stout-hearted men; Christmas manifestations; Huge temptations; Wreath-time; Downtown animals

These times call for real men
who will fight for the rights they adore

(Nelson Eddy, 1940) 


Say It

Say that it is the continuous life
you desire, that one day might stretch into
the next without a seam, without seeming
to move one minute away from the past
or that in passing through whatever comes
you keep coming to the faces you love,
never leaving them entirely behind.
Say that it is simply a wish to waste
time forever, lingering with the friends
you’ve gathered together, a gradual
illumination traveling the spine,
eyes brimming with the moment that is now.
Say that it is the impulse of the soul
to endure forever. Say it again.

"Say It" by Joyce Sutphen 2015


Christmas manifestations 2015

Stilted views of a parade

A Salvation Army truck goes by.
The Army, among other things,
feeds the hungry.  

Mourning Doves receive food 
on the sill ouside the window.

(Banner on side of truck reads the parade theme:  
                                      Isle of Misfit Toys)

Current mayor waves at querulous spectators beneath the window;
the limestone pictured left has existed for over a million years;
everything is temporary,
some things last a little longer.

The mayor  does show up for the Xmas Parade
unlike - - - - -; 
we note from our stilted angle
that he doesn't wear a roof belt.

The cop at ground level doesn't seem to mind.

Rank hath its privileges


A horse wears Santa hat at a rakish angle through/over one ear.

.....and so on and so forth......

'Camo' blanket does double duty.
Woman at right sees her picture is being taken, we think.

A mother (?) digs and digs through her purse for change money
- it's in there somewhere ! -
to buy the child a glow-light amusement from a patient hawker.


HUGE temptation

From Laurie Dix Kari, Wasilla AK


Wreath-time thanksgiving


Downtown animals

 owner/proprietor of the pet salon
is right next door to the South St. Odd Fellows hall.
Our cat, KD, gets her nails done there.
We have referred friends to Angela for pet grooming
and have received abundant thanks for the information.

Angela is kind and gentle
something of a dog and cat 'whisperer'
loved by all, man or beast.

She carries pet products - a GOOD line -
just the things for your animal friend for Xmas.

Our eye was caught by these fine 
and I wouldn't be surprised
if Santa brings the black one
for KD Cat.

another species of downtown animal:

A case of incognition

A property managing company
forgets/overlooks the role of the Sewer Raccoons
subterranean foundation-ment
in their 'Heart of Downtown' flyer
that was recently taped to our door
here in the Putney/Odd Fellows.

All the residents got one.

It is a new quarterly newsletter, it said.
Among its features were Xmas cookie recipes
and an announcement that the apartments
in the brand new South St. Prairieville  building are - all but four -

Unmentioned in the flyer is that the Waukesha
raccoons have long  had an established meeting hall
at the central sewer intersection below the Heart of the Downtown
Rotunda, as it is currently known.

The raccoons for ages
even before the incarnation of the original  Waukesha post office
have met below grade at the site due to its central location, with sewer
arteries coming there from all directions,
a sort of a true heart by their definition.

We're pretty sure the management etc. pariarch has to be aware
of the raccoons merriments beneath his antique building

because some of his fortune was made
in sewer inspection cameras.

Unlike the Rotunda above,
the unglamorous dark lower sanctuary is lit by torchlight, 
though the leader of the society, the king,
is himself blind.

(To be cont'd)

 From 2009:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Right now...

Dee has taken our annual First Congo wreath,
removed the plastic red bow
and replaced it temporarily with
a royal blue ribbon for the approaching
first Sunday of Advent:

while we practice our words for the next issue
by working last Sunday's NYTimes crossword:

Enjoy your day of thanks tomorrow




this just in from my brother Les in North Carolina

It's a gift to be simple, a gift to be free...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ingrid, Casablanca and France; It's going to be OK; Foot warming, bread baking; More on mowers; Rory

By my lights

A week ago tonight
- we sit here presently on Thursday at 0300 hrs 11-19-15  -
we finished the last Sat.'s Raccoon piece
A Mowing I Would Not Forget.

It was the night before tragedy was to strike

We didn't know what was to occur
in today's world of barbary
that next night, Friday.

We heard the news as the world did
late Friday night,
the day before the issuance of the Raccoon.

We already had that issue together
- 'Put to bed' -
and we had been pleased with it, a light-hearted
manifestation from the Raccoon archives office
at the Odd Fellows in the Five Points,

where light floods in by day through a big skylight,
passing through blown-glass globes and stained glass.

When we rose obstensibly  to push the Send button
launching the SRN our wife said from bed, as she always does:
"Is it Raccoon time?"

"Yes," we responded in the lightening bedroom
 via its own skylight beginning to turn into the new day
"But - we said - "We don't think we can go
with the lawnmower thing we've written
in light of these horrendous shootings in Paris."

Dee said from her not fully awakened state
that she thought we should go with it.
We/I thought about it hard
and opted to.

By our lights
(see above photo)
we thought it would be okay.

Long before our health bout of 2005
we've sometimes labored under the influence 
of a sometimes off-track and trammeled mind.

The continued usage of the wheel chair
is symbolic of that.
We find it a good reminder of where we've been,
- the year-long road back -
 AND the height is just right for the old sewing machine
 we use for a desk.  It is comfortable, and facile too.

During the past week's unfoldings following the killings,
having to do with hard realities of French presidential
statements of resolve, world reaction
and the ongoing manhunts and ensuing dispatches,

it leads us to start off this Sat. Raccoon today
with an apology for our inappropriateness
as it turns out to have been.

Nobody has told us that, but it is my opinion.


When I was in 8th grade
living in Wash. DC with my dad
I took French in school.
It was a fine school and I drew my best grades ever.

I wish I could remember the excellent French teacher's name.

She taught us the French national anthem,
The Marseillaise
Allons Enfants De La Patrie
- "Arise you children of the fatherland" -
a stirring anthem I can still sing in French
to this very late day.

That memory has been running through my mind
as I filter the magnitude of this dangerous time
and how to cope with my predilections
of what should happen with this ISIS affrontery to the world.

And I think of the indelible live-forever movie
starring Ingrid Bergman and
Humphrey Bogart and
Claude Raines and Paul Henreid
as Victor Lazlo the hero

Especially the scene played below
of the defiant French night club one-up-manship
between the Nazi soldier/singers with their German drinking songs
and the French customers answering defiantly
with the Marseillaise, their national anthem.


In 1950 
five years after my divorced father had served
in the US Army as a Judge Advocate General
soldier and officer

thoughts of the French liberation in which he participated
following D Day were still vivid in his mind.
Dad told of the happy, crying and cheering French
when his Jeep columns rolled into the village
more on this next week

so it isn't hard for me now in 2015
to imagine another United States
"coming to the aid of" scenario.


"It's going to be OK"


Odd Fellows foot warming by the stove

Dee brings fresh bread from the oven
I use the 'painting' setting on the LVD II memorial Nikon that are fortunate to have


Raccoonist Rev. Leroy
sends picture of mower
in his shed on Overlook Lane, Waukesha.
The simple machine is still used.

Some intrepid measures
were taken by a few inventive types

This is what it was like for me with Surely

Some readers wrote in with comments
on last week's Surely piece, ex.:

Hi David,

     I have a "Surely" hanging in my garage.  Am always praying it won't fall on my car.   The mower hasn't been used
in probably 40 years.  Before buying my new gas mower last year I considered getting one like Ben's but I wanted
to try one out to be sure I could use it.   Ben is an inspiration to me.  Maybe when I retire I'll look for a used one.

Thanks for all the good articles,
Beth Lawson
more next week

Erin Dix
uses her mower (with Ben co-sharing, taking his turn)
in Appleton. WI  within walking distance to Lawrence University
where they both work.


New Cat In Town

Erin and Ben just adopted this kitty 
from the Appleton Humane Society.
They named her RORY.

Rory had been up for adoption
for six months.  She is 11.
When soulful looks were exchanged
all around
Ben and Erin elegantly selected her.

Rory loves her new owners
and the home they have provided for her.
She is inundated with love herself.