When Werewolves Attack

Well, this is no good…

Watching a story from Destination Travel about a family whose cabin is besieged by a pack of (were) wolves. So into it, I didn’t know one of our dogs was outside.

As l got up to get some ice cream, the dog charged in through the dog door. Scared the crap out of me.

Jumped off the floor and landed wrong on my left foot. I sprained my ankle.

Scared the crap out of the dog too. Had to go fetch her from the side of the house…in the dark.

No more werewolf shows tonight.

Advertisements

Water and Words

For more than an hour I sat at the computer, screen blank. Not a word, not a letter, nothing. And I was beyond frustrated.

“Writer’s block,” I concluded as I got up and headed for a place I knew would help me get my ‘creative juices’ flowing again – the bathroom. No, not to take a dump – rather to shower and soak in the warmth of the water as it cascaded from my head to my feet and out the drain between them.

It’s been like this since I was a little kid – water and words. It didn’t matter whether it was the creek below my childhood home or a bathtub/shower stall — water and words.

Once toweled off, dressed and ready for action at the keyboard, I sat down and pounded out my first few lines, including a bit of dialog:

‘Sam sauntered down ‘C’ street from his office to his favorite watering-hole, the Sazerac Saloon. Finished for the day, is was time to commence with the personal frivolities of drinking whiskey, smoking fat, smelly stogies and telling lies.

“Well, okay,” Sam would later admit, “the Sazerac was one of many favorite establishments in this mining town.”‘

There I paused, taking a sip of what was now a cup of cold coffee, feeling a surge of renewed energy coming to me. I believed my patience was about to pay-off.

However, after a few more minutes, I moaned, “Shit! I got nothing.”

Feeling deflated for the time being, I set about reading from some of my favorite blogs, hoping to capture a spark of inspiration. Seven or eight postings later — and nyet.

So I concluded that I should pack it in for a while, find something else to do, return to my writing project later. I was out in the backyard on poop-patrol, cleaning up doggie-dookie, when I felt the need to jot down some words.

After finishing dookie-patrol, note in hand, I raced to the computer, turned it on and set about typing and editing my next paragraph.

‘It so happened that his day, his friend and drinking buddy, Tom from San Francisco was due in town on what passed for a stage in the newly minted state of Nevada. Sam had met Tom while stringing for his current employer, sending hefty telegrams daily over the Sierra mountain range for nearly three-years.’

As I worked to perfect the language, I was overcome with another case of ‘where-the-hell-do-I-go-from-here.’ By now I was doubly frustrated because I’d also forgotten how I had planned to wrap my story up as I’ve always ascribed to ‘knowing where you’re going, before getting there,’ when pen is in hand.

Later that night, after the lights were out and all were in bed, most of us asleep, I thought about my story. I ended up getting out of bed, returning to the computer and tapped out my third paragraph containing two sentences.

‘Sam was glad to be back where he believed he belonged, the raucous, noisy and sometimes dangerous hillside burg of Virginia City. He enjoyed the open surroundings to the confined streets and alleyways of San Francisco, to visiting the bigger city was always a ‘hoot’ in 29-year-old Sam’s opinion.’

Again, I smashed up against my writer’s block, threatening to erase the couple of hundred overworked  words I’d hashed out over the day. Then my Jedi voice warned, ‘Save your work, return to bed, you should.’

Happily, I listened because this morning as I was standing in the shower, allowing the hot water to soak in and cascade, a bright flash of ‘genius’ slammed into me.

Blam-O! Writer’s block, my Ass. Take that, Brain. Water wins again.

Plunk

It was our dog, Buddy, who alerted first. He sprang to his feet and emitted a low growl of warning, which caused me to wake up immediately.

“What is it, boy?” I asked stupidly, sleepily.

Then I heard it – a small sound, a plunking of an acoustic guitar’s string. “But how?” I thought, knowing that the only guitar I own sat in it’s stand in the other room.

By this time, Buddy is off the bed and standing in the bedroom doorway. And while I cannot see him, I’m certain his hackles are up and the short hairs between his shoulders are standing bristle straight.

I fumble for the light and again I hear the plunking of guitar strings.

This time though, I’m certain it’s coming from the room next and I’m ready to investigate. Turning on that bedroom’s light, I find our dog, Roxy, laying on the bed looking in the direction of the guitar.

I swear her facial expression screams: “So, you heard it, too? Please tell me you heard that, too.”

A cursory look at the guitar finds nothing out of the ordinary. I stand there, watching, listening, spending at least ten minutes, waiting, hoping, wishing I could see or hear an explanation for this puzzlement.

Nada, so I calm the dog’s down and invite Roxy to come sleep with Buddy and me – and we return to bed. Not another sound is heard for the rest of the morning.

As usual, I get up to feed the dogs and help my wife, Mary get off to work. I stop in to have a look at the guitar after she leaves and again, I find nothing singular about the thing.

After the sun rises, I decide to go in a really investigate the musical instrument. I pick it up and strum the strings – “Ooo, it’s really outta tune,” I tell myself.

Then I hear it – a faint scratching noise followed by a slight scurrying from inside the hollow cavity. I try to look into it through the soundport, the hole on the face of the guitar, but it’s too dark to see into.

I hear more scurrying, more scratching and then it comes to me.

Quickly, I race outside with the guitar and lay it face down in the grass. With in seconds, a gray ball of energy darts from under the wood and strings, making that mysterious sound in the night one more time before disappearing into the grass.

A mouse. It had climbed the guitar and using the strings, was investigating the soundport when it must have fallen in.

Mystery solved. Now it’s time to set a few mouse traps around the house as winter is coming.

Alice Morgan, 1931-2017

As I told a friend of mine, “’Adulting’ seems to be getting more and more difficult as we get older.” That’s because another fixture from my childhood has taken up residency in Heaven, as Alice Morgan passed away on October 17, 2017 in Crescent City, California.

On September 16, 1931, she was born in the Moses Creek area of Jackson County, North Carolina to Mary Jane and Jefferson Buchanan. Alice married Earl Morgan on July 1, 1948.

The Morgan’s moved to Klamath, California, in 1952 and later to Crescent City in 2014. They were blessed with son Jeff on their 15th wedding anniversary in 1963.

My first memories of Alice are through her husband, Earl. He was the Post Master in Klamath, for many years.

In fact, after the 1964 Christmas Flood that wiped out the town of Klamath for a second-time that year, the post office moved to the old Brizard’s building at the end of Redwood Drive. The Morgan’s lived across the parking lot and the street from there in the ‘big, white house,’ as it was known to us kids.

Having retired several years ago, she did not slow down. When Alice saw a need in the church and the community she took care of it.

She was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Crescent City, serving as Women’s Missions president, a Sunday School teacher an outreach leader, along with volunteering and ministering at the Crescent City Nursing and Rehab Center. She was also a senior Pen Pal to school children for many years, rang the bell for the Salvation Army, a member of the Redwood Cruiser Car Club, PTA, and RSVP program.

Alice worked at Trees of Mystery for many years where she worked with my mother. Alice also was a teacher’s assistant for 25 years, a number of those years spent at Margaret Keating School where Jeff and my brother Adam attended the same classes together.

Being raised in a Democrat home, she joined the Republican party, serving as Vice President, President and Chaplain of the Del Norte Republican Women. Alice also was a chairman of her district of the Republican Central Committee and held many open houses for candidates.

The final time I saw Alice was in July 2017, where we sat and talked and even prayed together. Even then, in the face of her illness she smiled and told me not to “worry about her. Worry about Earl and Jeff, if you must worry.”

Jus’ reflecting back on those too few hours, I feel tears slipping down my face. What an example to follow.

She’s survived by her husband Earl, son Jefferson and wife Sharae, foster son Mike Brown, sister-in-law Dot Buchanan, many nephews and nieces and a host of friends. Alice was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Huey Fremont, Claude Buchanan, sister Barbara and her Uncle and Aunt John and Lyda Wood.

Driven to Dance

A police officer pulled me over and asked, “Is everything okay, sir?”

I told him it was, then asked, “Why?”

He explained, “The way your were moving around in your seat, I thought you were have a problem.”

Smiling, I answered, “No. I was dancing to the song ‘Thriller,’ by Michael Jackson.” It is a lengthy song, so I knew it was on the radio still, so I turned it back on so he could hear it.

“Oh, okay,” he responded, “Have a good day and try not to dance while you’re driving.”

Turning the radio off again, I replied, “Yes, sir. Have a good day and stay safe.”

Desert Crossing

The squad made their way across the open desert.  Progress was achingly slow as the lone mine-sweeping operator encountered partially buried objects that he couldn’t identify.

“What the hell are they, L-T?” the Sergeant asked the new Lieutenant.

Shaking his head from side to side, the L-T responded, “I have no frickin’ idea.”

Sarge added, “Crazy as it sounds, they kinda remind me of desiccating whale carcasses.”

“Way the hell out here in no-man’s land?” the L-T challenged, “Don’t be…”

That’s when Muffin, the family’s house cat, buried the green plastic figures – along with its fresh turd – in the litter-box.

The Red Headed Giants of Lovelock

While thumbing through an old Nevada history book, I happened on a story called “Washoe Giant Killer.” It brought back to mind the time when, with a TV news reporter friend, we started looking into the Redheaded Giants of Lovelock, Nevada. She and I were both intrigued by the remains of giant’s found around the world and especially how they might tie into our local ‘giants’ tales.

My intrigue was further fed by the surfacing of a colored photograph of what’s thought to be a gigantic hand print left embedded in a rock within on of the area caves. This picture shows someone hold an oversized knife next to the imprint and I wanted to learn who took it along with where and when.

As for the article, “Washoe Giant Killers,” the claim’s made that an Indian was fishing along the Truckee River between Vista and Wadsworth when confronted by a giant wanting the all the fish he’d speared. Members of the tribe eventually ran the giant off.

Later the tribe members decided to track the giant, eventually locating several camps and attacking them. Apparently the giants didn’t have weapons like bows and arrows, spears or flint knives and used large rocks instead to fend off their attackers.

To this day, both Washoe and Paiute elders can still point out large piles of rocks they say the giants amassed to defend themselves with. These piles can be found near Pyramid Lake, around Nixon, Nevada – but only with tribal permission.

While the Washoe say they vanquished the Giants, the Paiute say these Giants, whom they call the Si-Te-Cah or ‘tule-eaters’ were cannibals. Paiute legend also says these giants came from a distant island by crossing the ocean on rafts built from the tule plant.

The Paiute also say the Si-Te-Cah waged war on the tribe as well as their neighboring tribes and finally, after years of warring, the tribes united against the giants and began to hunt and kill them. They chased the last remaining giants into a cave and once cornered, the various tribes took turns manning a fire at the cave entrance, suffocating and burning alive the Si-Te-Cah.

The tribes then sealed off the mouth of the cave. They were all but forgotten about until 1886, when a mining engineer named John T. Reid heard the tale from the Paiutes while prospecting near Lovelock. They eventually took him to see the cave.

Reid was unable to begin digging himself, but in 1911 a company started by miners David Pugh and James Hart began excavating the cave’s guano deposits. A year later, an official excavation began through the University of California, with another taking place in 1924.

Reading through the expeditions notes from both digs, they recovered thousands of artifacts including the mummified remains of ‘several red-haired giants’ and a pair of 15 inch-long well-worn leather moccasins. In a 1931 article, with an accompanying photograph, published in the Nevada Review-Miner, a couple of giant skeletons were found buried in a dry lake bed close to Lovelock.

The notes describe the remains as measuring eight-and-a-half and 10 feet in height,  and mummified in a way similar to those of the ancient Egyptians. This brought me to think that these remains could be Nephilim – the offspring of the ‘Sons of God’ with the ‘daughters of men,’ as spoken of in Genesis.

Three days before being told to ‘drop it,’ I found myself standing in a private home of a woman who had some of the most unusual artifacts I’ve ever seen in my life. A skull, larger than a basketball and a mandible so big that it literally fit around my jaw, with the mandibular joints extending beyond the back of my head.

The woman, a caretaker of these items, had been given permission to show me them as long as I didn’t disclose where they were being kept and didn’t try and take photographs of them. I immediately agreed to both conditions, knowing that it had to be a tribal elder with some formidable clout who gave the caretaker permission.

Following my person viewing, I was standing in the checkout line of the Spanish Springs Walmart, when an extremely large man, obviously Native American in origin, quietly stepped behind me a whispered, “Drop it or else.” As I turned to look at him, he walked away and out of the store without even looking back.

Instantly, I knew he was talking about the Red Headed Giants of Lovelock. And while I can’t state for a certain fact that her departure was part of all this, a short while after I was warned-off, my friend left her job as a TV news reporter.