For The Good Times (click on the song title)
For The Good Times (click on the song title)
Rainy Day People (Gordon Lightfoot cover) (click on the song title)
I Am…I Said (left click on the song title)
“Twas a full moon that knifed through the leafless Elms. As I walked down the
sidewalk, the shadows quietly moved, practicing looking spooky for the next
evening. The sky was crystal clear even though you could feel the blanket of
Most residents, in this Midwest country town of fifty-six hundred, had gone to
bed, after a day that started with early church, and then munching through the
noon, afternoon, and evening football games. I had napped through the afternoon
game so I could see the Vikings play in the evening game, played on the west coast.
They lost, but it was a good game. We know we’ll beat that coast team when they
have to play in the freezing snow in the Twin Cities. West coast teams just
aren’t built for the cold.
I needed to take a walk to settle my nerves and digest before I went to bed so,
I put on a wool cap, wool jacket, and gloves to fight off the shivers, unlocked
the screen door and stepped out. The moon was so bright, it didn’t feel like
10:30. A fine coating of frost was just beginning to form on everything and it
reflected moon beams into a million billion little sparkles, quietly.
This was good because tomorrow not only brought Monday night football, but was
Halloween. The kids would be able to see as they fanned out across the whole
town to collect their treasure.
I thought a walk to the ice skating rink, that wasn’t frozen yet, and back
seemed about right.
Halfway to the rink, the silence was shattered by the sound of breaking tree
limbs, a screech and a thump. It wasn’t a sidewalk thump; it was an almost
frozen ground thump. I figured an old limb that had become brittle from the
cold and weakened from the weight of the frost, had crashed through other limbs
on its way down.
I was partially right. As I approached a dark pile of something lying next to a
good size, shattered tree limb, the dark pile moaned and moved. I quickly
stopped my approach. I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into. A
chalky white face turned toward me out of the dark bundle.
“Hildi,” I exclaimed! “Did you get hit by that limb? Are you O.K.?” I then
approached quickly to help, and she offered up an arm.
“Do you need to go to the hospital? I’ll get my truck and be right back.”
“No, you can’t. I can’t. I’m all right, a little crooked but I’m all right.”
She said as she dusted herself off and put on her pointy hat. Then she picked
up a broom that was broken in two pieces. “I knew this was going to happen some
day! I’m gonna loose my license. I should have practiced out in the country a
little longer, before I came into town. I got started late.”
“What are you talking about Hildi? I can’t make one bit of sense out of
anything your saying. I better take you in!”
“John. Just stop for a second. If you don’t, I’ll have to stop you until you
realize what happened. What do you see?”
I was a little befuddled and confused but managed to spit out, “I see my
neighbor, Hildi the librarian, dressed in black, with a black cape, and a
pointy hat on her head, holding a broken broom.”
She didn’t say a word. She looked at the broom, then to the broken tree limb,
and then up into the tree about twenty feet up where the limb had come from.
Then she looked at me and waited.
I am a good ol’ country Christian widower. I live alone and don’t have to
converse or think fast if I don’t want to. I’d resigned myself to a life of
same ol’, same ol’. This was kind of a shock to my system. My thinker took a
second to get rolling but when it did, and I realized what she was trying to
tell me, my mouth went dry. My eyes must have told her it was time to speak.
She said, “Yes John, tomorrow is Halloween and I was practicing. I only ride
this thing once a year anymore. It’s my sworn duty. Somebody put a new
telephone wire across the street there and I swerved to miss it, misjudged my
speed, and ended up hitting that tree. The branch broke and I ended up here.
Then you came along. Promise me you won’t tell anyone what happened? Sorry
John, I’ve put you in a terrible position.”
I profoundly remarked, “I guess!” scratching the back of my neck and still
trying to digest everything.
She said, “I’ll make it up to you, I promise. What are you doing Tuesday
evening? I’ll be a little busy tomorrow.”
I am telling you, and you can believe it or not, she spun, snapped her fingers
and was gone. I was left standing next to a fallen limb at 10:45 on a Sunday
night, all by myself, and had been talking to …..no one. I did not finish my
walk and went straight home. My solid, predictable world was getting a little
When Tuesday evening rolled around, I bathed, shaved and put on my best flannel
shirt for no particular reason. I guess I just wanted to. I guess!
Then the doorbell rang and I opened the door. It was our local librarian,
Hildi, with dangly earrings hanging and her hair up. She offered her arm and
told me she was ready to go to the Lantern Inn for “Ribs Night”.
The way I see it, I only had one choice. I could only say, “I’ll get the
I’ve composed a Rain Walking trilogy inspired by the Good, Better, Best products in catalogues. Here is the one I classified as Good.
I freely admit, I am no poet. Dabbler yes, poet no. I appreciate those that can paint with words better than I….rdd
I finally found someone
To rain walk with me.
After all this time,
How great it could be!
I had run into
An old girlfriend of mine,
Who said she’d aged
Like a fine bottle of wine.
So I took her along,
And it went well for a block.
She said the rain relaxed her
And, she started to talk.
She talked about her past life,
And what troubles she had,
Her mother in jail,
And the sins of her dad.
Then the wind came up,
And she began to complain
About her runny nose,
And the wet of the rain.
Now the only vehicle
Moving in town that day,
Hit the biggest puddle,
And threw it my way!
My shorts soaking wet,
Cold to the bone,
I’d had an earful so,
I took her home.
Never, never again,
Will I take someone along!
How could something so sweet,
Have gone so wrong?
© Copyright 2011 gottagosee (UN: gottagosee at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
gottagosee has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.
As told by Me, a Wandering Teller of Tales and Singer of Songs
In a world full of stories like a goose that lays golden eggs, frog princes, unicorns, and faeries, I’m going to tell of something you’ll find hard to believe, and to the best of my knowledge, is unquestionably true.
In a serene, and rarely spoken of, mountainous country in the interior of a vaguely known continent is a valley. From the bird’s eye view, this valley looks just like all of the many valleys on either side of it, except it’s quite a bit greener. The reason for the extra green is the part that you’ll find hard to believe.
One day, about two hundred years ago, a child was born to a, long thought barren, couple named Elle and Ferd. Their appearance was said to be Ogre-like but, to be sure, they weren’t Ogres. They did possess some of the lumpy characteristics and short, bent-over stature but; these were caused by centuries of manual labor in the fields and the isolation of their valley.
Elle and Ferd were members of a “kind” people that inhabited the middle valley of this mountain range’s series of valleys. Og valley people were rarely seen by anyone because a single two wheeled path passed by the entrance to each valley, which were like islands surrounded by mountains instead of water. All harvests were brought up the path to the only entrance of each island, and the harvests were picked up by sellers on their way the cities.
As far back as anyone could remember, the valley of Og out produced all of the other valleys both in size and the quality of the current harvest, whatever it might be. The reason for this anomaly was a closely guarded secret for decades.
Now that it is known, I can tell you, the Valley of Og’s bounty began a few years after the birth of a child.
Months before the birth of the boy, a dreaded Brown Tufted Honey Snatch, had entered the valley, made its way to the honey hives, ravaged them, and consumed the faeries’ entire winter cache’ of special honey.
Ferd discovered the destruction and quickly rebuilt the hives in time for the valley’s flowering season. The bees survived, the nectar was harvested, and turned into their special honey, averting a disaster for the faeries, and the people of Og.
The faeries were so grateful, they bestowed upon Elle and Ferd two gifts. One was the most precious gift the faeries could give. It was an enchanted child!
As the child grew, it was noticed where ever he whizzed, vegetation grew to enormous mass and height. Elle and Ferd, at first thought it was just their imagination, but as the boy grew up, so did their crops and trees. Enormously! The second gift from the Faeries.
Some of their neighbors noticed and remarked about the family’s continuous bountiful harvests. Elle and Ferd mentioned their discovery and what they suspected, to their neighbors.
It was decided “The Child”, would be loaned to the families that had land adjoining Elle and Ferd’s land, to see what would happen.
It worked! Each farm family produced the same amazing bounty. It didn’t seem to matter whether “The Child” whizzed directly on the specific plant or into the water supply for a whole crop. It worked! Everyone quietly celebrated the discovery. They wanted to keep their treasure a secret for as long as possible, for fear of exhausting the boy!
In the normal tradition of the valley, children were addressed as “Young Elle” or “Young Ferd” until their twelfth birthday. They were then named by making combinations of the name of their home, family, valley, or personality. It was decided to call the boy Wog to connect him with their valley. This is the name he would be known by, in the village and the valley, as long as the secret was kept. To the people, whose land connected to Elle and Ferd’s land, the boy would be known as ‘The Whizzer of Og’ (Wog)!
The boy kept on growing and the amount of whizzing he could do in a day, increased. He was remarkable! Soon, the whole valley benefited from the lad’s ability. It became extremely difficult to hide the reason for the fortune of Valley of Og.
Alas, the tale of Wog’s abilities eventually leaked into the next valley. The Valley of Od heard the rumor about the whizzing boy wonder and decided they would like to be whizzed on too!
One day, accompanied by a wagon of his remarkable “Mead” supply drawn by a donkey (mead is a beverage made from honey, water, malt, and yeast), Wog by himself, as usual, was busy doing his business, and happily humming.
Now the Valley of Og rarely had troubles and did not know evil. Wog was a strong, young man, so no one ever thought he would need to be protected.
Wog had few friends. His whizzer, and the job it did, intimidated most people including the fairer Ogidites, so for the time being, Wog would just drink his Mead by himself, wait a few moments, hum and whiz on the crops. On a normal day, he would go home at dusk to get rested for the next day’s work, regular as clockwork.
In the twilight of this late afternoon, just before Wog normally would leave for home, was nabbed by several hooded beings that had snuck up on the humming Wog. They threw a blanket over him and whisked him to their valley in a two wheeled cart. He did not offer resistance, as he did not know how to resist. He lay, bouncing in the bottom of the cart wondering what was happening, and where he was going.
The next morning, Elle and Ferd, became frantic when they found Wog had not slept in his bed. His Mead wagon and donkey were not in their shed. Not quite knowing what to do, Ferd ran to his neighbors, and into the village, telling of his missing son. It was decided the first thing to do was to search the valley. Everyone turned out for the search. It wasn’t long before they came upon Wog’s Mead wagon and donkey, quietly standing where left, waiting for the return of Wog.
In the next valley, that same day, Wog was introduced to the Od villagers. The leader of the hooded ones lied, and told his people that the “kind” people of The Valley of Og, had graciously loaned Wog to help them produce the greatest harvest they’d ever seen. The crowd cheered and set decorated tables for a feast and celebration.
Wog felt loved and wallowed in the attention. These Od people were throwing a party for Wog, something his village had never done.
The villagers in the Og valley had followed the two-wheeled cart tracks to the end of their valley, and found that the tracks turned left on the seller’s road. They left their valley and found it took another left into the next valley, the Valley of Od.
They went back to their own valley to plan. There were discussions by torchlight, meetings by candle light. They decided to enter the Valley of Od to recover their precious Wog.
Obviously, the secret of success, in the Valley of Og, was no longer a secret. They could call him his full name now. All of this uncustomary detective work and planning took time but, they managed to get ready for the retrieval attempt in a couple of days.
The morning after the celebration in the Village of Od, set out to see this miracle at work. The whole village followed “the hooded ones” and Wog to a field of strawberries close to town. Wog was supplied with all of their local mead he could drink.
There was stillness to the crowd, as the mead traveled. Wog began humming, and to energize the strawberry field, with a confident grin. At the sight and delivery pressure of his extraordinary whizzer, the crowd gasped at the wonder of it all. They had never seen such a thing!
Time after time, Wog went back to the supply of Mead, drank, waited and whizzed to the cheer of the crowd. When he felt his job was completed, with a little shake of his whizzer, and a nod of his head, to the hooded group’s leader, Wog and his entourage went back to the village to await the results. The villagers were stayed up all night excited and noisy. There wasn’t a celebration for Wog that night, but he was kept comfortable in a shed.
A young, handsome Od maiden, alone attended his needs. She brought warm blankets, food, and fresh straw for his bed. Not a word was spoken, but her attention was given in wide eyed wonder and admiration.
Wog could hear the celebration and wondered where the Od villager’s attention he’d received the night before was! He eventually reasoned they were waiting to see the results of his talent. Then, he would be their hero, and forever celebrated in this valley.
Early in the morning of the next day, the people from the Valley of Og quietly shuffled into the Valley of Od, with their farm implements held high above their heads, silhouettes in the dawn. Fighting was not their nature, but this had to be done, as “The Whizzer” was needed back at home. New crops had been planted. Time was short. Bravely, they marched on!
A crowd gathered outside of the shed, and Wog was escorted out. In anticipation, there was controlled, nervous applause.
To the field of strawberries they went, the back of the crowd straining to see in the dawn light. As they approached the strawberry field, the throng slowed. Something was wrong! At the corner of the field, they came to a dead, silent stop and stood still.
The whole field of berry plants was wilted. Wog had never seen anything like it before.
The owner of the field yelled something, high pitched, with an attitude. The hooded ones and the gathering of Od valley people grumbled and began to mill about angrily.
Wog was approached several times by different groups looking for an answer. All Wog could do was look astonished, shrug his shoulders shift his eyes from the people to the field and back again.
Soon, the groups of villagers began to suspect the legend was untrue. Wog had failed and didn’t have any magical powers or answers. The disappointed gathering headed back toward their village mumbling, while the hooded ones gathered in a circle meeting. Wog was left standing, alone, again.
The “hooded ones” agreed, the legend of Wog was not true, for he had destroyed an entire strawberry field in one evening. It was then decided; the Valley of Od no longer had a need to keep him. They got their two wheeled cart and escorted Wog to the end of their valley. Well, almost to the end of their valley! On the way, they met the armed villagers from the Valley of Og.
Abandoning the cart and Wog, they ran for their lives toward their own village. The cart, Wog, and an unremarkable pile of straw in the corner of the cart were happily escorted home by the group of successful Og warriors.
The return of The Whizzer of Og, as Wog could now be known, was the second celebration Wog had seen in three days. This time it was his own kind, his own village, with people who knew his abilities. There was a lot of hugs and smiles between Wog, his parents, and amongst all in the Valley of Og.
Wog noticed the self-celebration by the farmers of Og. He also remembered that before he’d been kidnapped, few people talked to him, and he had made few friends. They were friendly of course, and smiled, but, other than having him whiz for them, most didn’t want to have much to do with Wog.
The leader of Og took Wog by the arm and helped him up into the cart that brought him back from his ordeal. The bundle of straw in the back corner exploded and out came the little Od girl. She ran into the crowd, a trail of straw drifting to the ground behind her.
The look of surprise on the leader’s face was quickly dismissed by an irritated shrug of his shoulders, as he was anxious to get back to his prepared speech.
He proudly raised Wog’s arms in the air as you would raise a trophy. Everyone cheered as he was displayed.
Then, Wog surprised them. With all of his courage, Wog spoke up. He never spoke up, but now, he finally had something important to say. The leader of Og stepped down to give Wog the audience.
He first thanked them for bringing him back home. He then told them about how the people of the Valley of Od held a party for him when they thought he would be able to make their crops as bountiful as Og’s crops. Then, when he failed, he told them how they quickly turned against him.
He told the silent crowd, that the Odidites did not love Wog for who he was, but only for what he could do for them.
Wog asked the people if this was how they felt?
There was complete silence while the people of Og measured themselves.
One person somewhere in the crowd started a chant. Overcoming their shame, two, and then three spoke up. Soon everyone was applauding, cheering, and chanting “Wog, Wog, Wog!”
The handsome little Odidite, with straw in her hair and an admiring smile, took one step out of the crowd toward the wagon. A surprised Whizzer smiled back at her then quickly regained his composure. While the crowd was cheering, Wog stepped down from the wagon to hold her hand. The Governor of Wog stepped back up in the wagon.
As the leader of the village and the Valley of Og, he declared a festival every year, on this day, from now on, to celebrate the gift of Wog. He shall be called fully “The Whizzer of Og” and, his name shall be proudly displayed on a sign at the entrance to their valley. It shall declare:
There was a secret kept by the Og Valley fairies!
Why did Wog’s talents fail in the Valley of Od? Why did his ability work so well in the Valley of Og?
The secret of course was the second gift from the faeries, I didn’t tell you about.
The Mead was made with the faerie honey from the hives that Ferd had repaired. That honey was enchanted. The more Wog whizzed on the flowers fueled by the mead made from the honey, made from the flowers he whizzed on, the more powerful his whizzing became.
This enchanted honey plus the extraordinary talents of the child, combined to create the magic for the Valley of Og, and one of the greatest stories ever told.
That’s not the end of the story!
When The Whizzer introduced the little Odidite to the people of Og, she was accepted into the community. She was the first of another valley accepted by the Ogidites, as far back as memories could remember.
The Whizzer of Og and the brave little Odidite were inseparable. Elle and Ferd added a room for her, and in essence, she became their daughter.
There was a celebration in the Valley of Og. The pair of Wog and Mow (Mate of the Whizzer) were joined forever.
(More time passes.)
The sign at the entrance to the Valley of Og now reads:
All of this because of a kind man’s good deed and a thank you from the Faeries.
(I reserve the right to add a couple more of the little whizzers to the Valley of Od at a later date)
I haven’t been home in thirteen years. The little mid-west town, of now forty five hundred, felt strange, nostalgic, nauseatingly exciting.
“I need to slow down!” I said to myself. “It’s only Twenty here.” The sign went behind me on the right. That speed limit hadn’t changed.
I stayed to the right as the “main drag” curved to the left. The cemetery was straight ahead. It’s guaranteed to be where I left it. I think my home town has lost enough people now, that the names count in the cemetery equals the “above ground” that are still living here.
Just before the cemetery’s wrought iron gate and the wrought iron overhead that says CEMETERY, is a sharp left by-pass that puts me back on the highway through town.
I must have used this turn-around five-thousand times in my ’53, sometimes searching, sometimes with my date close by my side.
Whoa, there’s a Casey’s Quick Stop, and there’s one of my classmates sitting out front in his coveralls having a soda pop. He’s supervising the traffic today.
To myself, “Slow down, idiot! You are going to be contributing to the deputy’s retirement fund like the people you read about in the mailed newspaper.”
Back in Tucson, if you don’t drive fifty-five in the forty-five mph zone, someone will run right up your tail pipe.
Two stoplights? We have two stoplights! There’s the one at Main Street and now, one at the highways intersection. It seems strange to stop where I’ve never had to stop before. Oh well, I waited for the green and drove on to the west edge of town.
“There it is The Town House Supper Club.”
The now chipped and hail damaged road sign at one time announced:
Now Playing Wed, Fri, Sat
JB and Soda
Smorgasbord Every Fri 5-7
It was a standing joke that I was the “da” in the name. The club owner/band leaders initials were JB, and the piano player Doug, quickly claimed the “So”.
Our band had a chance to go on the road so, the business was sold. It survived about a year. After twelve years of every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with our band, it died the slow death of loneliness.
I heard someone turned it into an antique barn for a while, but the steakhouse was built on a slough and the building began to sink in one corner. I think it was suicide.
“Pull in. No, don’t pull in. Oh damn, I pulled in.”
They’re hauling everything out.
Look! They are rolling out a worn down piano.
It’s, it’s the one Doug played. There’s the pink “Teddy Bear” decal on the side.
Who would have believed this would be happening the one moment I pulled into memory lane?
(I hear in my mind)
Don’t wanna be….Your Teddy Bear.
I fell in to a burnin’ ring of fire!
That old piano was always a bit out of tune. But, this was good because, it made our music sound a little bit honky tonk which, added to the ambience of the place. It must have sounded ok because we packed the house with the best, hardest playing, and hardest working people in the world for a pile of years.
I walked up to the open front door of the now empty building. I didn’t get two steps in, and I could smell the stale beer smell that came up from the floor or out of the walls and ceiling.
At first, I thought it was the silence allowing the music in my memories to fire off at a tremendous, deafening pace. Then, I could see vapors of the dancers, dancing in front of me and my drums, and grinning. I could hear the echoes of the class reunion in the party room to the left. I thought I heard my name mentioned somewhere in that reunion crowd.
It was more than just memories. The place was talking to me. It almost seemed like a homecoming celebration was going on. When the dancers stopped to look in my direction, my heart began to pound.
I’m watering up. I gotta go.
“I told you not to come out here!” I consciously said to myself, scared.
As I turned to leave, I kicked an old beer bottle that must have come out of hiding during the emptying of the building. This, a real, tangible, noisy ghost had managed to hide from everyone else until this moment.
It spun and tumbled across the dining area, then skidded across the dance floor right through the dancers. The dancer’s eyes followed it as it came to rest against the riser of the old stage. When it hit, the brown bottle stood on its bottom with the label facing me as if to salute, Grain Belt Beer, another relic.
I don’t even remember going through the doorway.
I do remember the bead of sweat on my upper lip and the tremble in my hand as I put the key in the ignition.
Another Friday already!
Today, I’ll open with one of the truths about White Men.
I just hate to take the responsibility, but it’s got to be said sooner or later … so I’ll stick my neck out there and say it.
All other genders and colors are forcing out our superiority.
We’ve tried to stay humble and loveable, but you continue trying to take advantage of these kind traits, so now it’s time to let go of the leash we keep on keeping on ourselves, and let the truth flow!!!
We’re not going to take this anymore.
It’s time to take back our schools, our ethic, our ethnic and lead again.
Back UP the learning curve we go.
You were going to be left behind one way or another, so we might as well quit fooling around and make it less painless for you.
Oh there we go again, trying to be kind, but … it’s really over.
Santa Clause is white, God is White, the Constitution is White, and the White House is White! Sorry life to keep up sith us is such a struggle
We didn’t and don’t do this on purpose.
It’s the natural order of things.
So my first piece of advice for for you today is:Yes, Woke is some sort of awakening, but not even half way to be awakened. You still have a long ways to go.
Instead of attempting to bring us down to your level, why don’t you make it easy on yourself and just go along with advancement, tough as it is, and maybe in a couple of generations of learning our language, math, history, natural sciences, truths, and facing honesty without the help of tribal smoke, you can make it!
We are extremely pleased of those of you that have broken away and see it all clearly.
Welcome! It’s so nice to have you see what we see!
So, sorry about this truth this morning. I’ve only had one cup of coffee!
Maybe the 2nd cup will bring me back to reality and realize that I might as well watch the current state of affairs wear itself down, get a White leader back in there to survive the years as we watch you fade away, wise up or slowly get DNA’d out of existance. LOL rdd
Finishing my (grow up) years of 11 to boarding the bus for the Navy, Milbank offerred a quiet place for quiet people. Not for me! Those years for me were filled with trial and error, learning from my mistakes, and wonderment. I wondered as I wandered there, seen by everyone, remembered by most. You could wake up in the morning there and walk downtown where everyone remembered everything from the day before! When you screwed up ... you owned it forever! Well, at least, until the rememberers died, and you managed to blend a bit better. I find it curious that living in Tucson, you could make a decision wobble, get in your vehicle and drive away from it, and it would be forgotten amongst the thousands of personality, learning, and mental wobbles going on at the same time! Now, as I look back, I can see the 'wobbles' going on all around me in the village of wobbles. They had their own prairie village brand, absolutely!!!! Even I remember personality wobbles that didn't seem too important, so immersed in my own day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute self. Even here in Tucson, I had a few learning wobbles, corrected, adjusted, and witnessed by few. Admonishing myself or not, I walked away never to let that situation happen again. Forgotten in moments, minutes, hours or days, soooooo much people noise was going on that little Ron goes on smarter, a little more worldly and full of experiences that we get caught up in and that we had nothing to do with. I am one that is happier this way. I don't carry so much baggage anymore because no one really cares. I only matter because I stay under the radar of the ambient noise of all of those other baggage carriers. And it's true ... I 'wobble' much less. This month, I turn 72. I simply do not have the energy or time to 'wobble' much anymore and if I do, I might not even notice!!!! LOLOLOLOL
Here’s a sound track I made for Scott (click on his name below)