Saturday, December 30, 2017

Have a sweet memoried New Year


When I was young

a very long time ago

to see my grandparents in Cedar Falls

I would sometimes go

and it was great

and it was jolly

but gramps axed chickens

he did; was no folly

He wore shaded visors and sleeve protectors

over his neck-tied shirtery

he once shot a bank rat

when as a teller felt murdery

Bonnie and Floyd robb-ed naught

Ames Iowa's little loanery

a bank with a screen door

and Ray wasn't squattery

"Watch out for that Ray

and his Dixian bravery!" said

awed street-dusted citizens

who checked at that door their worst knavery

and Ray's good wife Myrtle

served me oatmeal for breakfast

with a Shirley Temple pitcher

of 1930s cobalt blue


It did no good to try

getting past of me

I wanted just that

no other dawn fare would do for me

And so years went by

me visiting e'r so happily

smiling Shirley focused all

for me in her in blue lapis lazuli

By and by Grandma died

but she left S. Temple, to me

and Ray left his margin-written flag

guarded, for me

I did lose the pitcher

I did lose the flag

But I just Yule-time ordered 

a faded Shirley Temple pitcher

It's here; 

and, for me




Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Eve dinner tonight; Annual cookie baking; Trombonic introductions; New Helt in town; Does it rime?

Dee came home with a load of holiday groceries
and placed a solidly-frozen prize at my feet.

Our approaching Xmas Eve dinner
- King Crab -
is to be one of my favorite delicacies,
my partner/34 years wife joyfully said.



Dee and Cathy again embark on their cheery baking
this time at the Odd Fellows hall.

Cathy mouthes a Xmas Carol between bites.

Was is a bird?

No, it WAS a reindeer.

The event culminated with a carry-out fish dinner from Tallinger's on Sunset
brought in by Ed, Cathy's husband.  Scrumptuous!



This photo from a much earlier cookie baking
at DeGroot's


trombonic introductions
with plunger

and a reference to Frank Sinatra

Mnozl Brass




Born 12-18-17

to Aaron and Sarah Helt
the second grandchild of John and Cindy Helt
Bayview WI

Lyda Frances

The name is chosen from Lyda's mother's family.

It has nothing we know of to do with this
old favorite 'Lyda Rose' from the Broadway musical THE MUSIC MAN
but we will be thinking of it anyway.


Dad, Grandpa and Lyda

" get the sun back in the sky"

Wentworth Ave Bayview Xmas house this year
(with SRN trailer hitch liberties taken)


Does it rime?

In many ways 2017 was a year that never was
for the Waukesha Sewer Raccoon News.

We lift a year-end glass to approaching 2018
and wish everyone including ourselves

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A gaudy butterfly laid me, on a milkweed leaf she laid me; Unusual Christmas bird in the neighborhood; Tough sledding; OK

A GaudButterfly Laid Me

On a milkweed leaf she laid me
with no great hope of my success,
for I was just one of a hundred eggs
she deposited,
flitting, pausing, flitting, pausing,
my mother's abdomen arching
each time and putting us down;
we pinheads were merely something
that made her feel good
or the result of an act that did;
or not even that;
I don't know and will never know.

I ate my full engorgement of clean furrows
in the white-juiced leaves until I grew
to a fat temptation for predators
that eat the likes of me,
but the numbers had it
that I was one of the few who survived,
never got picked off in the hard
mandibles of life.

my disappointment was different;
I spun my waxy cocoon
according to pattern
and then, alas, instead of the transformation,
the metanoia,
I had my beauty taken from me
and my capsule gradually
turned black,
and as I lay dying inside,
rotting into a fetid inkiness,

a monarch's striving nature
nonetheless living still,
my little strength merged to
poke a pinhole in the bottom
of my enbindment, and by dint
of waning force I dripped this
message onto the leaf below,
and that is how you come
to read a distillation of all
I was ever to become,

 a quotation, nothing more, but by a higher power than I:
What we have to be
Is what we are - Thomas Merton

                                  [David Dix 7/06]

Dee and I were there, Gethsemene, KY Trappistary


Unusual Christmas bird
perched outside of Studebaker Garage
W. Main St. Waukesha in Dec. 2014


Earthly Present-Meager Christmas, 1943
but dressed up for the picture for Lt. Col. LV Dix


*Due to busy project scheduling
and a PC problem in addition
the Raccoon is abbreviated today.

We will be back next week
with a fuller menu.

Thoughts, inspirations flow...
Stew Tolbert, ATTN:

Friday, December 15, 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Mexican manger juxtaposed on andiron welding, with candlewax; ~ Merry Christmas ~ ; Seed; Seed man; + Good seed catalog; Starry starry night; What a crock

We have chosen our Christmas card
for this year.  The postal service reaps benefits again.

The subject has a small inexpensive (scrap?) wooden likely peasant-made
Mexican manger scene standing atop a heavy cut-steel andiron 
modified by the welder into  a candle holder.  
Real melted wax is included in the image.

The fireplace cast iron remnant weighs a ton.
But the simple manger scene is as a matchbox comparatively.
Light as a feather.

To us, a proper heavy and weightless theme for this Yule.


A greeting card from another year:
Raccoon Christmas card from friends Tom and Malena Koplin 2009


In a related shape
an old faded gourd
painted blue as a tree ornament
got accidentally cast off at curbside
with the drying discard.

It was found by a squirrel
and dug into in a curious spiral
 - round redounds -
until the marauder found its treasure -
edible tasty seeds.


Hank White Owl Waschow
friend since the 1950s at high School
was a Native American aficionado.

b. 1936 d. 2010 
my age

We stayed in touch over the years.
We had many adventures at WHS
including the short-lived  Gruvna Club.
Readers, see former 1954 classmate Carol Lombardi re that

When Dee and I planned to marry, 11-11-83
White Owl Hank provided the elements
of worship, which were readily adapted
by our cleric friend Rev. John Helt UCC.

Helt, recently retired as a pastor has remained
our close friend also for years.

Seedman Hank


More on seeds

Dee got this very worth $19. seed catalog in the mail this week.

Rear cover page

Page 3 inside front

Page 2 inside the front 


Starry starry night


What a crock

Diminishing Returns
From the Spring
Waukesha Mineral Water
Sixty years ago 
- 70 YEARS NOW -

I was sent to the Silurian Spring vestige
Weekly, to get water bubbling up from the ground
Through a plain pipe;
No finialed, turreted monuments around then,
No platformed exotic encirclements
 No delicate parasols, in the after-days;
But for the history keepers to thankfully tell us,
- See below footnote -
Gone is the heraldry of Waukesha
As the vaunted Saratoga of the West,
The intricate and ornate vaultings,
 Carves and turnings
The Victorian porticos
 Resort and spa hostelries
Drawing Chicagoans, New Yorkers,
By railroad
To the little Waukesha Wisconsin’s
Painted depot boards
All splintered and demolished by hasty people
In a hurry for advancing modernity
Where celebrity and gossamer
 Once lavishly held forth;
Lofty and mystical spring names
Like Almanaris, Arcadian, Bethesda,
Clysmic, Fountain Crescent,
 Horeb, Hygeia, Mineral Rock,
Orchard, Roxo, Silurian, Solarian,
 White Rock

diminished into antiquity
like the detritus of
a briefly upswept vortex,
soiled newspapers and flyers
scattered, blown by a departed train
The hefty claims for the curative properties
Of Waukesha spring water were de-claimed;
No longer did wealthy foreigners
Disembark at the town train depots for
Halcyon days of taking the cures
In charming, unlike anywhere else
 Waukesha surroundings;
It was indeed something different to come here
Even sometimes sitting in big tubs
Having also poison-sucking Waukesha mud
(Yes, even our mud)
 packed to their chins by freshly-clad nurse attendants
  while sipping the mystical, magical
And ever-tendered
Waukesha Water
Bearing labels of be-gauzied winged nymphs;
Those were days of caveat-emptor in
Reckless, truth-stretching advertising;
Claims were made without legal constraint
Allowing the water entrepreneurs,
The stockholders
To boast, to fable, to inscribe
On enthralling and storied bottle labels
Downright cures for diabetes, Bright’s disease,
Gravel, dyspepsia, rheumatism, jaundice,
Indigestion, costiveness, dysentery,
Chills, and nervous and sick headaches.
Those cures were just at nearby  
Inscrutably-boweled Silurian Spring;
Elsewhere in Waukesha you could get
other systemic-trickling, enigmatic spring waters
offering remedial panaceas for gout, dropsy,
water sure to be diaphoretic, anti-emetic,
even thirst allaying (!)
and a lessening of nausea and gastric distress,
Not to mention a cure for all liver and kidney diseases.
I would come home those 60 years ago
Pulling a coaster wagon of filled variously improvised
Water holders
From the constantly running pipe
of the Silurian Spring,
A  plain pipe then in an inglorious recessed, concreted
 Uncelebrated stair well
of about 6 feet deep in the Silurian park
To the immediate east of the Soo Line
railroad depot
The pipe now cemented over
I would tug my Zep wagon up the slow incline of Silurian park
– now called “Waukesha Springs” but in name only –
across Hartwell,one block down Beechwood
and one block to our corner at Arcadian
and Colton street
There my job was to take the storage
 Containers down into our cool basement
And  refill our table-worthy
National Brotherhood of Potters brand
 Ice-box water jug, with the All-seeing Eye
Trademark on the bottom, the sprays of Oriental Poppies
Painted in the glazed tan background on the two broad sides
It was and it still is a lovely crock,
A yawning hollow to hold and hallow
A curved yet overall rectangular shape that
Allowed for cozy nesting among
Other ice-cooled perishables.
We’d put it right up against the melting ice
To insure a shockingly cold drink
Now the ice box morphed into an electric refrigerator, and   
It may contain cans of superfluous diet soda
and fruit juices
But, stay, for the plainest, most rewarding
Truly thirst-quenching drink
I’ll have some deep gulps of still crystalline
Waukesha tap water
Now direct from of the sink  faucet
But still held in
The chilly crock;
The squeaky cork-lined lid
Still making the heavy clay clunk
Of ceramic meeting ceramic when seated
As it always did
Waukesha water is warned to be
at the opposite extreme of greatness
And unflourished writings from the water utility warn
Warn of toxic radium levels now
-         by now we must nearly glow in the dark  –
and the earth below and the vastness above
Are tainted, soiled with pollutants;
But  old Waukeshans
Are game old fish
With shredded fins, and
We swim in the pond we were given;
These are post-Saratoga days
And we had it good;
What of those to come?
They won’t have,
They will never have
The Brotherhood of Potters
Crock that held
The stuff of conjurers
Next to a fifty pound
Block of ice
[David Dix 3-19-07]

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Pick ups I have known; a Grandson married ; Means Rest a MD house to grow in ; Ecumenics in home marketing; Open-cat-carry

This is the first pick-up truck I've known.
It was constructed by my now deceased father and uncles
in the playroom attic at 2009 Clay St., Cedar Falls Iowa.

I own it today.  It travels with me.

It is made of a Gilbert Erector set kit out of wheels, nuts, bolts,
gears and punched sheet steel pieces.

Its chipped colored metal and some accumulated dust
portray for me the shadows of gleeful four brothers, all to serve
later in WW II, playing together in the semi-dark gables
of that plain Four Square Prairie School Iowa dwelling.

Here, later Dixes gather at the old homestead, long sold, decorated
by the present owners for Xmas.  The central flag in the front yard
that we raised and lowered daily during the war as family patriots is still there.


The second pick-up was a Ford 150.  I took Erin camping
at Peninsula State Park in it in 1987.


Chris Dix, grandson, married to Katie Gardalapee


Means Rest, Pleasant Valley MD
is a house to grow up in

 Gramaw and Poppy Means of Means Rest

For easiest reading enlarge the three dot icon upper right corner to 250% or so


UCC Minister David Hansen
engages /sale promoter St. Joseph
statue to effectuate house sale.

With assistance of Wis. Realtor David Dix
the custom works, a sale is made.


Pistol packin' Mama