Dirty Shirley

It was about one month or so before high school graduation and my parent’s decided to treat me to a night out on the town. In Klamath, California, that meant either the radar base, Paul’s Cannery or Crivelli’s Bar in the Klamath Glen. That’s how I came to be sitting at a table with my folks when Mr. and Mrs. McKellar arrived with their daughter, Lisa.

Now, Lisa and I had been in the same grade throughout school beginning in kindergarten. When we were five-years old she developed a bloody nose, so severe she had to go to the school nurse and somehow I got the blame for causing it.

Mrs. Damm, who was principal at the time, called me to her office and I had to stand in the corner where I could be seen by everyone. Though I protested, it didn’t do me any good – so oh, well.

Later, in 7th grade, Lisa and I became co-conspirators along with Julie Van Dusen in the flooding of our classroom. The damage was so significant, that as the named-instigator, the school board kicked me out of public school for the entire year.

The following year, I teased Lisa so badly during recess that she took a swing at me with a baseball bat. I ducked, but poor Kristen Rose never saw it coming and she ended up with a nasty black-eye.

Yup…I went to the principle’s office for that one too. Ah, good times, good times.

Our parent’s ordered Shirley Temple drinks for Lisa and I, since we we’re underage. But somehow they turned into “Dirty Shirley’s” with a hefty shot of vodka.

After three or four of those, I was so overheated that I was in need of some fresh air. The rosiness in Lisa’s cheeks told me she was feeling the vodka’s affect too, so I asked if she wanted to join me.

We sat outside on the large cement porch, talking aimlessly for a while before falling into a silence. That’s when I started thinking about leaning over and kissing Lisa, but I chickened out, worried she’d slap my lips off my face.

Not enough booze, I guess.

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We’re in the Same Boat

Our Federal government, under Barack Obama, has spent millions of our taxpayer dollars to destabilize the government of Macedonia. Obama, working with George Soros and his ‘Open Society Foundation,’ used Ambassador Jess L. Baily to funnel large sums of U.S. dollars to the cause, which is a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The cash moved through the State Department and the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID.)For it’s part, USAID allocated about $5 million to various Soros groups in Macedonia since 2012, with another $9.5 million earmarked to intervene in the country’s governmental affairs.

Using this secret funding, the Open Society Foundation has been able to set up and fund dozens of groups within Macedonia. The groups then organized youth movements, created media events and produced violent protests to undermine the government with the end-result aimed at overthrowing it.

One of the Soros’ groups even went so far as to funded the translation and publication of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” into Macedonian. This book is a tactical manual of subversion and provides direct advice for radical street protests and proclaims Lucifer to be the first radical.

The country recently built a border fence to crackdown on an illegal immigration crisis that overwhelmed law enforcement agencies. Between 10,000 and 12,000 illegal aliens were crossing the Greek-Macedonian border daily at the peak of the European migration crisis.

This is one of Soros pet-projects, as he’s done everything in his power to diminish U.S. global power and increase in Muslim immigration. Soros even spent tens of millions of dollars to secretly support Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign through various groups with purposefully obscured ties to his different organizations.

Last month Utah Senator Mike Lee sent Baily a letter asking questions involving the U.S. Mission to Macedonia’s involvement in the political process and its connections to the Open Society Foundation, but Bailey, true to his former boss’ direction, continues to stonewall the senator. And unfortunately, the illegal money continues to flowing as Bailey has yet to be replaced by President Trump.

This should seem familiar to all of us, as the U.S. has been under the same attack since 2012.

Yellow and Blue

Kyle was six-years old when he began learning about his primary colors. Soon the lessons included which colors, when mixed together, made what other colors.

With this in mind, I picked him up from school for President’s Day weekend. And as usual, I tried to coax a conversation out of my normally quiet child by asking, “So what did you learn about today?”

To my surprise he quickly answered, “That yellow and blue make green.”

That was the extent of our chat for the next several minutes. Then, without warning, Kyle spurted out, “Oh, now I understand!” as if he had been pondering some great equation all day.

“What’s that?” I couldn’t help asking.

He smiled, “The sun is yellow and the sky is blue.”

“Uh-huh…” I responded.

Then in all seriousness, he stated as if it were a matter of fact: “So that’s why the grass is green! Duh!”

Marjorie Buckskin, 1953-2017

Marjorie Buckskin passed away February 21, 2017, in Crescent City, California, following a short illness. She was diagnosed with uterine cancer in July 2016 and had finished six weeks of radiation on January 10th.margie buckskin It was during a check up in February, that doctors found the disease had metastasized, attacking her bones, making them weak. She told me that she was to undergo a hysterectomy in the final week of this month.

We were next door neighbors on Redwood Drive in Klamath for nearly five-years. Margie was a foster child who lived with the Babb family.the babb family The fact that eight-years separated us in age never occurred to me. Margie, to put it in the simplest terms, was one of the neighborhood kids, which describes my world at the time, so when my parent had their social get-togethers, she was the only ‘kid’ invited.

This used to bug me as I laid awake during these parties and listen as the ‘adults’ talked into the wee-hours of the morning. Looking back, I have a feeling that those gatherings may have been the catalyst for her life’s work as the topic of social change was spoken of often.

Margie, for the most part was quiet and reserved, but she had a laugh that was as loud as it was jolly. Whereas, kids in the neighbor often said they could hear my mom yelling at us kids while they were standing the street, I could hear Margie laughing from the Babb’s family room, while standing in my backyard.

She graduated from Del Norte High School in 1972 and moved away shortly thereafter. I hadn’t seen or spoke to her until I saw a post from a friend on Facebook, calling for emotional support for her in the face of a devastating disease.marjorie-babb-1972-2

Born in Crescent City, December 22, 1953, Margie served on the Yurok Tribal Council for more than a decade advocating for youth, health care and tribal elders. She was elected as representative of the Yurok Tribe’s north district in 1999 and was re-elected three times as well as being elected as vice chairperson in 2009.

During her time on the council, Margie participated in the signing of the first Klamath River dam removal agreement. She also helped the tribe re-acquire more than 20,000 acres of ancestral territory along the banks of the Klamath River.

We spoke to one another for the first time in 45-years around the first of February, and though in good spirit, she sounded weak, out of breath and tired, and excused herself after 20 minutes. It was good to hear her voice and her laughter as we talked about being kids and growing where and how we did.

While I am saddened by Margie’s death I know she’s in Heaven with her foster parents, Marie and Charlie. And though I don’t know Margie’s children, I offer them my sincerest and most heartfelt condolences along with Christine Jeffers, Margaret Martinez and Charlene Davis, who were Margie’s sisters for those five years that she lived in the same home, next to ours.

A Message Amid the Photos

It’s been 14 days since I was last able to blog because my computer completely died. I have been writing notes and thoughts down in long hand and now must decide whether or no to type them up and post them to the date they were first written.

In that time a number of things have gone on including more snow for Northern Nevada, leading to more flooding, especially to the outlying area’s of the Reno and Sparks area. We also had Mary’s cousin Susan come over from the Oroville, California area with a bunch of family photographs she wanted out of the flood zone, if the Oroville Dam or any of the many, nearby levees failed.

Yes, the Oroville Dam is having some major problems as the spillway has crumbled at it’s midsection, causing water to go in differing directions. And since it is really uncontrolled it can cause erosion and undercut either the dam or a levee, and since Susan lives lower than both, her home is prone to flash flooding.

Having her here, having the family pictures her has been very enjoyable. I love looking a photographs even if I don’t know the majority of the people in them, since they are my wife’s family.

Included in all of this is a paperwork that Susan didn’t realize she had. One paper was her father’s orders to transit from Brisbane, Australia to Manila in the Philippines in 1946 along with another that showed that for the year 1945 he made less than $500 for the entire year as a Merchant Marine.

This got me to thinking about the ‘Greatest Generation,” as Tom Brokaw called those men and women who not only lived through the depression, but beat back Nazism, Fascism, and Imperialism during World War II.

Seeing this piece of paper with such a lackluster amount on it gives me pause and forced me to ask the harder question of ‘Did that near-generational poverty cause some of the problems we are faced with today?’

No, I am not attacking the Greatest Generation, as I think most men and women who returned from battle (including the factory workers, etc.) did what any parent did – and that is shower their children with things. These children, whom we call “Baby Boomers,’ grew up with having nearly all their expectations met, from basic education, to outstanding medical care when needed, to faster, more powerful cars to larger and more energy-efficient homes – all items their parents did without for much of their childhood.

It crosses my mind that Baby Boomers like me, are at fault for this crop of adults we call the ‘Millennial Generation.’ For the most part we had the good life as children and in an attempt to pass it on to our kids, we created a ‘false utopia’ for the majority of our children, from participation trophies to gold stars for simply turning in a school assignment on-time.

What I am trying to say is that each generation passes something along to the next, whether good or bad, and it is time we took responsibility for how our society is crumbling in front of us. God help us, if we don’t.

 

Cursive

Perhaps the toughest part of fatherhood for me was keeping a straight face when my insides were trying to burst from an eruption of laughter. Mind you, it wasn’t very often that I had to correct Kyle as he had a natural compass that directed him right from wrong and it rarely failed.

One early afternoon, when Kyle was seven or eight, he was in his room playing a Spider-Man video. I was in the living room reading when I heard him drop a loud and angry f-bomb.

Quietly, but quickly I hurried down the hallway, asking, “What did you say?”

Kyle looked up at me in a sheepish way and said it again. He then explained that he got mad at the game and it popped out of his mouth by accident. He followed it up with a sincere apology and stated he wouldn’t happen again.

Satisfied, I let him off the hook and we each returned to our activities – he playing his video, I reading a book. A few minutes later he came wandering down the hall with a look on his face that said he was thinking hard about something.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“I don’t understand,” Kyle began, “You’ve been teaching me how to write in cursive, but I’m not allowed to talk in cursive.”

“Talking in cursive?” I queried.

“Yeah, you know – saying bad words,” he answered.

I smiled, “You mean cursing.”

Kyle frowned and in a serious tone, responded, “No. It’s cursive.”

Knowing I should explain the difference to him, I couldn’t help myself as I was curious about how he came to the idea that cussing was cursive, so I asked, “How so?”

“Fuck is fancy talking, like cursive is fancy writing,” he stated flatly.

Yes, I knew right then I had some explaining to do. But it would have to wait as I busted a gut trying hard not to laugh.

When the Mountain Did Move

It began yesterday when I stopped at the store to buy myself a pair of new suspenders – bright red one to replace my broken black ones. They reminded me of my step-dad, Delmar Middleton, who wore red suspenders all the time.

The memory slipped from my mind until this morning. That’s when I read a note from Pastor Paula White-Cain that said: “Mountains don’t move unless you speak to them.”

That’s when I knew I had to write about an incident that involved Del, my mom and me one morning back in 1993. The three of us went into the hills to an area recently cleared by some large logging outfit, to cut up some deadfall for my folk’s fireplace.

Del and Mom were on the down side of the road, the part we had jus’ travelled up and I was on the upside with Del’s winch-equipped truck. I had jus’ finish setting the choke on a thick branch-sized log and was awaiting Del’s signal to fire up the winch.

As the winch tugged and the choke tightened, the log failed to move. Thinking I had misset the damned thing, I turned off the winch and started back up the hillside.

Del hollered at me to go back and crank the winch up all the way. I could hear he and Mom talking as she wondered if the winch had enough power to do the job.

“Oh, yeah, “Del exclaimed, “It’s got enough juice to move a mountain.”

Right then I threw the thing into max-power and watched as the log shifted and started to slide down the hill. As if moved, I noticed that the dirt beneath it was also moving.

“Mudslide!” I yelled, but by that time Mom and Del were racing down the road.

Not wishing to be outdone, I took off in the opposite direction, leaving the winch in gear. Had I tried to get around to the front of the tuck to power it off, I probably would’ve been run over or sliced into by the cable as it violently shifted farther down hill from the vehicle.

As we watch, the truck began to bounce up and down, moving a couple of inches at a time, then by a foot or two. By the time the mudslide and truck stopped, the log was jammed against the grille of the truck and the truck was hanging off the edge of the gaping wound that replaces the road and hillside.

It took us a couple of hours to get the truck back up onto the roadway and the rest of the day to find another way off the hill. We teased Del the rest of the day, warning him to be careful how he invoked God’s word.