Saturday, October 29, 2016

Windmill excursions; Endangered; Sampson, prize gorilla of Milw. Co. Zoo, dead; Other endangerments

Last Sunday we took another drive to Appleton
to hear our daughter Erin's Vento Winds orchestra concert.

This time we were driving her former Ford Fusion, a new car
for the Lincoln-locked, replacing the 1996 Town Car
that was expiring, though with heart of steel.

Still.  Alas, along with rust.

This low mileage 2008 model offers ever so much better
gasoline mileage.

At last Dee has a reasonable and practical
transport, the sort of car she has always been
much better suited to, but she drove our only car, 
the Lincoln way longer than we should have had it.

We sold it to a local garage owner and all-round
mechanic who could repair the many pending
mechanical needs,
and indeed has now done so.

So instead of the noble machine's likely
ending as a crunched cube in a scrap yard
it has received some added life

though the abysmal rusting out of the body
that got away from us when I was sick
signals cube-time on the horizon,
maybe soon, but the good news is ~ not just now.

Added life for the faithful servant.

John Wiesenthal, mechanic/buyer removes the old YIBAWE plates.
Look John up on the net.  He's a good man.

YIBAWEan history:

Dee and new car, at Culver's.


Top of page:

Our drive in the new Fusion took us through
the wind turbine farms along Hy 41.
Past Held's sausage.

We were into windpower many years ago.

Here you see the little man playing - thanks to harnessed
wind on Arcadian Ave - his banjo.
And stomping his foot.

The stronger the breeze, the faster he strummed and stomped.
The windmill blades were recycled metal Venetian blind
blades cut and tapered to size.

The figure and more delicate parts were fashioned
with a tin snip from old cake tins belonging to my grandmother.

The mechanism once blew down the street
during a windstorm.  Badly dented, nay, broken
yet it has been kept 
as a curiosity and is here
at the Odd Fellows hall as I type.

It is a talisman, a connection with a former time.

A newer model sprung up on a supposed wind-proofed
6 inch square beam,

See the wooden top cap.  That was specially made
with the right bearings for me by a friend, Mel Stark.

Even the 6 x 6 that held the weathervane
went the way of eventual unstoppable rot.  Blew over in another wind.

Even so, good old Mel Stark of the Congo
took the bent pieces and straightened them.
Also took an old dresser I'd stored for years
in the garage, and beautifully refinished it.

Mel has that windmill 
- for which he'd made the original finial bearings -
yet in service in his Northview Ave 'back 40'
where it still tells the truth as to wind
speed and direction.

I have the finial and part of the unrotted pole here with me/us.

I temporarily laid out the license plates on the floor.
Four YIBAWE plates from our car and truck
with Erin's two numeral plates off the Fusion.



(and this whiff of humor, albeit in a zoo enclosure)


On Zoos, 1981
Letter to Editor, Milw. Journal

For easier reading
we've divided this letter to the 1981 Milw. Journal
into two sections - direct your cursor up and down for a complete

First and third portion

  Second portion


Other endangerments
I have known

Ragtime’s Testicles

We had a cat who was a male
Whose habits and wants none could assail
Except in his dotage he’d flagrantly pee
In places inside where we’d smell, and then see

The vet said of that he could be easily fixed
By neutering him that scourge would be nixed
So I took him in and had the job done
And I told the vet I had a request, only one

That he save the testes in a small glass jar
For me to take home;  would not carry’t too far
They were to be sure Ragtime’s prized possessions
And I thought that to save them might stay any questions

Thus I placed in the ice box Ragtime’s yellow-gray orbs
In a small screw-top jar midst the food of all sorts
And with time in the way of fridges everywhere galore
The little jar got forgotten;  I knew it no more

I married Dee later, and she liked to clean
She tackled my icebox, threw out many things mean
But my sauces and condiments if questioned got left
For me to not lose so I’d be not bereft

Besides, the mystery jar took so little room
And didn’t look mouldy, formeldahyded safely from gloom
The contents looked like something that I might want to keep
So Dee, a good saver, said not a peep

Years later my father visited and in accord with his habit
Required a martini; he’d make it and have it
The gin and the vermouth were there in plain sight
But no garnishments, like olives, cheered  him that terrible night

He made do through searching, built a drink I’d have banned
And joined us in the living room, bare toothpicks in hand
And his brow it was furrowed as his lips he did smack
Saying, “Boy, your cocktail onions a wallop do pack!”

“They have a certain gristle I’m not used to having,
And the flavour, though pungent, I’d probably be halving;
How long have you had them?”  Though with dawning great dread
I said, “The cat that they came from is dead!”

[David Dix 4-18-2004]

Martini-drinking Dad