Saturday, August 9, 2008

1922-2011 Rest Your Heart, Dear Woman

 **** I don't have a new thing to write.  My sister called about an hur ago.... my mother passed away peacefully about an hour ago.  I think I am going to be gone from the pages for awhile.  I've posted this before.... and I will do it one more time.  Love you, Mom.

I have a copy of an old newspaper photograph from 1956 that shows a car wreck that occurred on Easter Sunday 1956 on a remote stretch of highway about two miles west to the intersection of highway 21 and 49.

The caption under the photo said that the wife of the driver of one of the three cars involved is still visible in the wreckage. It said that she was the mother of four children, ages seven, five, three and a baby ten months old who were also in the pictured Chevy station wagon.

A longer article explains that there was also a car with six sailors from the Great Lakes Naval Station and a third vehicle containing a young couple from nearby Berlin, WI and their four young children.

It was raining and the road was muddy and someone lost control, something happened and one car hit another and spun out and hit the station wagon head on. A local farm wife is quoted in the article as as saying that she and her husband heard the crash and went out, "picking up babies in the rain."

The nearest town, Berlin, is 15 miles away. The phones in 1956 were rotary dial and most rural phones shared 'party-line' connections. It took some time for the one ambulance in Berlin to arrive at the scene. The article said that most of the 17 injured that needed hospitalization were transported by private vehicles. It must have taken even longer, on an Easter Sunday afternoon, for the photographer of the local weekly newspaper to be located and for him to get to the site and take a photo of the woman in the Chevy station wagon who was presumed dead. There were breathing people to take care of first. There were babies in the rain.

I often wonder, when I look at that photo, how long she was in that car before someone realized that my mother was indeed alive and breathing.

I'm not sure how long my father was hospitalized but Mom did not leave the hospital until the following Thanksgiving. We were sent to live with various relatives and were not re-united as a family until about a year or so later. I know my father went back to his job in Marshfield on crutches with his wife in a hospital 85 miles away and his children scattered.

The thing of it is, it was never considered a big deal in my family. Really. I mean we knew the story and had heard the lore, but life just went on. My sister and brothers and I never thought of our parents as 'handicapped'........ they just walked 'funny'. They never complained. I know that there was no big buckeroo insurance settlement ....that all Mom's subsequent operations wiped out whatever money they had. But it wasn't a BIG DEAL. It just was what it was and we went on. They didn't TEACH us what family was...... they lived it. They got all four of us through college.... we never took vacations....we didn't do a lot of things. But they were always proud of us. That Dad had seven years where one of his sons was a starter on the football team.....that his daughter was the first in the family to graduate from college and become a TEACHER! Damn! He thought that that was the stuff!

They showed us that life was continuity, love, connection, determination, perseverance,lottsa love........ and even more...... humor.

Dad died nine years ago from complications during surgery to fix his leg. The operation precipitated a heart attack. The last time I saw him he was connected to tubes and machines &shit. Couldn't talk. He scribbled me a note that I should tell him a joke. I did. About a Rabbi and a Priest and a Minister. He liked those.

We are getting together tomorrow to celebrate the 85 birthday of the woman in the photo. Fifty some years of walking 'funny' has left her in a wheel chair. She still lives in her own home ( with a lot of assistance) and still does not complain. We get as many of the grandchildren and great grandchildren together as we can. We barbecue chicken and brats and burgers and corn...... and give her what she wants every year for her birthday................................

all of the 'Rain Babies' in one place.

We also chip in and buy her a six-pack. She thinks it's funny. Breaks her up.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Wowser World Wide Weekend Weport

In late breaking news...... John McCain is set to address a Banana conference in Duluth, Minnesota. Over two hundred bananas are expected to attended. Countless others will parody the speech on-line. When asked if he ever reads the Wowser World Wide Weekend Weport the senile Senator said:

"I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don't expect to be a great communicator, I don't expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need."
--New York Times interview, July 13, 2008

Topless Bananas at Peeling for Peace Rally
The esteemed Senator was also asked about his stance on illegal immigration and in a heated argument with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), concerning immigration legislation said
"Fuck you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room."
The daffy, zany, fun-loving Senator also asks all concerned citizens to report suspected illegal aliens.
He is also proposing putting up a 20,000 ft fence around Mars to prevent the flow of illegal aliens into the US.
"Fucking aliens," the astute legislator was heard to exclaim.
typical illegal alien

"I was a POW and that qualifies me to say whatever the fuck I want! And if some goddam left-wing shithead doesn't like it..... well then he can vote for the nigger!"

When asked if he did not think that his comments were racist, the metamucil chugging, ex-lax eating campaigner stated that yes, he was a racist....

"..and I am determined to win this race! But first, I really need to take a shit. Where's the John?"

Cindy McCain was not present at the rally; reports are that she was fellating a banana.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

JOHN McCAIN "I Love My Wife's Hooters"


In an effort to improve relations between the United States and The European Union, Sen. McCain made brief remarks before more than 20,000 bikers Monday night at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

“As you may know, not long ago a couple hundred thousand Berliners made a lot of noise for my opponent. I will take the roar of 50,000 Sturgisers any day, any day my friends,” McCain exclaimed to roars from the crowd.

"Eich ben ein Sturgiser!", the bemused, white haired campainer shouted.

“I was looking at the Sturgis schedule and noticed that you have a beauty pageant and so I encouraged Cindy to compete. I told her, with a little luck, she could be the only woman ever to serve as both the First Bitch and Miss Buffalo Chip,” he said to cheers.

"And you should see the tits on this bitch! They hardly sag at all!", the lecherous old geek was heard to screech.

" And, frankly, I love buffalo chips. I love everything buffalo.... buffalo wings, Buffalo Bob...... and if elected I will work diligently to bring a National Hockey League team to Buffalo, New York. I must say, though, that I particularly like buffalo chips with ranch dressing."

When the Senator was informed that Buffalo Chips are thrown, not ingested, the Senator whimsically replied, " I don't give a shit. Eat 'em, throw em, who cares?"

*Buffalo dung is sometimes referred to by the name nik-nik.

It has also come to be used, especially in Lakota, to refer to lies or broken promises

(especially by the U.S. government).

It probably attained this sense by association with the English "BS".

Senator McCain is next expected to campaign in British Columbia in efforts to improve ties with England.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Best in Life

Once upon sometime ago in the desolate dreariness of North Central Wisconsin's sand country there lived a humble, widowed Mother Potato. Father Potato had died a horrific death in the terrible Trans-Fat Wars of 2005, crisped at a young age at Wendy's in Green Bay. His beloved Sweetie-Potato was left broken hearted to raise three young daughters.

The life of a single spud raising three young girls is trying and difficult at best but in the harsh land of the Jack Pine and Burr Oak, amongst the semi-literate raccoons and opposums, trials and tribulations can descend on the heart of even the hardiest of tubers like a death cloud of mosquitos and suck all joy from it.

The sweltering humid summers confound all rational thought like a smothering of gravy and the cruel winter drifts, frigid wind freeze destiny and hope like an Amana Freezer.

Her days were and her years went. The soul of Mother Potato wilted. She could no longer sustain herself and the girls. The struggle and the drudge had become too much. Feeling constantly half-baked, she thought, is no way to live.
So there came a day when she gathered the girls and explained that the time had come for them to go and grow lives of their own. She had taught them as much as she could, nutured them with love, nourished them with miracle-gro during their formative years; it was all good, but time to let go. They were kindly and handsome young Spud women and Mother Potato felt they would do well with a little seasoning from the outside world.

"Take care, My Loves!" She called after them as they walked the lane away from the faded slat board cottage.
" Be good! Watch your peelings! Be careful on the road and don't get mashed!"
Tears welled in her eyes as she watched them disappear into the sunset. Still she called after them, sobbing.

"Be wary of strange Onions! Be aware and look out for evil Garlic and weird Leeks! Trust the Pumpkins and the Squash, but never anyone named McDonald!"

It was the best she could do and it was best that it was done, but still the sadness of the departure and the reality of life without her beloved young ones hung like a fungus around her heart.

Cards and letters would arrive from the girls routinely. Mother Potato drew solace from them. Comfort. She came to feel, deep in her roots, that her own existence had been good, as difficult as it had been, it was still a life full of simple joy, and starch and fiber.
Then, one day, a long and descriptive letter arrived from the eldest daughter. She was well, things were good. She had traveled west and had met a husband- a Baker from Idaho.
"Ah," thought Mother Potato, "a Baker from Idaho! They are great potatoes! Rich in history and horticulture! My daughter has done well!"

Not long after another letter arrived from the middle daughter. She had traveled north and had also found love. A Russet from Antigo. She loved him dearly and they were soon to wed.
"Well," mused Mother Potato. " A Wisconsin Russet. A working class spud, to be sure, and perhaps a little grainy, but all-in-all, dependable, reliable folk. She will be taken care of and loved."
Then, in good time, a third missive arrived from the youngest. Her best and brightest. Her gem and joy. She had traveled east to the big city and there, amongst the bustle and the butter, had also found romance. An enclosed photo showed a young Spudling gaudily adorned with parsley and chives. Looking somewhat racy.... Frenchy-fied. The letter explained that there would be no marriage with the man she had met.... it was an affair.....with Bill O'Reilly!

" Bill O'Reilly," Mother Potato moaned. Why the man has not character! No substance! No Roots! No flavor! This is the most unkindest cut! I feel just shredded! Why..... Bill O'Reilly is nothing...................but...............a common Tater!"

Mother Potato never did recover from the shock. She withered and died of the Blight the following spring.


Even the best in life can go.....

Au Gratin.

Sinister Sara

OK. I am going to do a shameless, bald faced, straight up advertising plug...... for not only my favorite bartender..... but one of the sweetest, neatest, smileyest kiddos that I know.

She has been pouring Red Seal ale for me for a couple of years now at Oblio's and has become a very good friend.
The Deal is...... she is doing some really neat artie tote bags and stuff.... hand made....since she graduated from college and I told her I would post some of her stuff.
She had a shop on the square, just down from the coffee shop, but decided to close that and work from her home studio and sell on line.
Well, gees, I told her I would do some freebie advertising, with the implicit agreement that I would get a free beer for every bag she sold through my recommendation.... so if you visit her site and really really really decide that there is someone you love who absolutely needs one of the neat-o, spiffy keen kreations
( or if you just cannot go through life without one of your own...)

Be sure to mention that good old okjimm sent you.
So check out her on-line stuff..... just click on the lamb.... or send her a note about custom creations.......
And you travel through life, support your friends. They may buy you a beer!

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