The Interview

“Welcome to Jerusalem this evening. Earlier today, we caught up with the spokesperson of a man executed 24-hours ago by the local authorities. He claims his client was innocent. But what about his political activities?”

“There are none, his only interest people.”

“So why execute him?”

“He threatens to upset their system.”

“But I thought you said he wasn’t political.”

“He isn’t. He’s about love and how we ought to treat one another.”

“That make no sense.”

“I know, right?”

You keep talking about this man in the present tense.”

“Yes, I do.”

“I’m not understanding.”

“You will come Monday.”


Debbie Carrington, 1958-2018

Odd that I was jus’ recently thumbing through a 1983 People magazine I’ve kept, where ‘Return of the Jedi’ actress Debbie Carrington talked about wearing an Ewok suit, comparing it to a sauna, requiring the crew to continually hand out Gatorade. So it comes as a real blow to my heart-strings to learn she has passed away.

The last time I heard from her was in early July 2017, when she told me that she was making an appearance at a venue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The first time I met Debbie, we were on the set of ‘Return of the Jedi,’ being filmed in the redwoods, near Smith River, California, north of Crescent City.

She was having a difficult time climbing over, under and through the undergrowth of the forest because of the Ewok costume she had on, so I offered to help her by carrying her from one place to another. That was the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

One evening, close to the wrapping up of filming, a bunch of extras, stand-ins and production crew gathered in a motel room in Brookings, Oregon (north of Smith River) and partied into the morning hours. Much debauchery that I cannot admit too, occurred that night.

She and I got so drunk that we went in the bathroom and fell asleep in the bathtub. When I woke up my left side was completely numb from where Debbie was sleeping against me, but that was okay – I drooled in hair, so we called it even.

Not many people know that aside from being an advocate for actors with disabilities (at 3-foot, ten-inches, she lived with dwarfism,) she had a degree in child psychology that she’d earned the University of California, Davis. She was good-natured unless you called her a ‘midget,’ or described her as ‘diminutive,’ then she’d politely educate you — because she was neither.

So once again I am feeling my age as I find that my friend, whose laughter and voice could carry over any size crowd, has passed away. God-speed, Debbie.

Skipping to My Lou

“[And] I am no longer competent at skipping.” – Robert Fulghum

After reading this single sentence, it got me to thinking, “Do I even remember how to skip anymore?” After all, I recall that as a child I used to skip all the time – especially if I were playing with my brother and sisters.

The following day, which happened to be one the rainiest days of the year in Northern Nevada, I challenged myself to find out. And much to my displeasure, I learned that I’d forgotten.

Instead of remaining defeated, I acted on my better nature, re-teaching myself how to skip. I am certain that my neighbors now think that my cheese has slipped off my cracker.

So what! I’ve never let a little embarrassment stop me from reaching a goal, no matter how insignificant it might seem to others.

It took about half-an-hour for the memory-muscles to return and before long I was sailing up and down the street like a pro. Perhaps, next time I’ll try my hand at cartwheels, followed by somersaults, then jumping rope.

First though, does anyone wanna join me in a game of tag?

Coop’s Recollection

“Nevada’s Black Rock glows perfectly white under a quarter moon at ten-thousand feet,” he told me, adding, “I can also say that mission was nearly flawless. Hell, my orders were to parachute from that 727 and that’s exactly what I did.”

Lighting yet another cigarette, “However, I didn’t like being used as a pawn in their money-making scheme. I mean they sure were pretty damned quick at getting those metal detectors and x-ray machines in to airports around the nation.”

“But what really gets me is how anyone can get D.B. out of a simple three-letter name like Dan,” he chuckled.

Farewell to ‘Dode’ Lockhart and Chuck Blackburn

Childhood has a way of slipping by in the most painful way — through the spector of death. I came to this conclusion again after finding the name’s of two people I’ve known, listed in the obituary section of Crescent City, California’s local paper.

Brad ‘Dode’ Lockhart and I went to Del Norte High together. He was born in Dallas, Oregon March 20, 1962. Born without the ability to grow hair, Dode took all the teasing dished out to him in stride and it’s became clear he still had his sense of humor about it, judging from the obituary photo in the paper, where he’s seen wearing a shirt reading, “I’m too sexy for my hair, that’s how come it isn’t there.”

The other passing is that of Chuck Blackburn who was born July 8, 1936, in North Creek, New York and died March 13, 2018 at the age of 81. Chuck was a real renaissance man as not only was he a Del Norte High School PE teacher for over three-decades, he was also a sport announcer,  a newspaper columnist, a county supervisor and an author.

It’s truly a blessing to have known both men — even if it were only for a short period in my life.

Getting O’Gilled

“Holy shit!” Jackson yelled as he came around the blind corner.  As if in slow motion, he watched as the child flipped through the air after bouncing off the grill of his truck.

Jackson felt an awful pit well up inside himself as he raced to the child’s side – that’s when he realized the child wasn’t a child after all – but a ‘little person.’ And this little person was a full-grown man.

The man was breathing, which was a relief to Jackson and he didn’t seem to have any cuts or broken bones. And since he was in the middle of the Redwood forest, Jackson knew his cellphone would be useless.

A minute or two later, the man opened his eyes, blinking hard as if he’d been sleeping and looked around, “What the feck happened?” he spoke in a thick Irish brogue.

“I hit you,” Jackson answered. He tried to get the little man to lay still, but ignoring any possible injuries, the man sat up, crawled to his knees and stood up.

“Well, diabhal!” the man exclaimed, “First time in over 400-years.”

More than a bit confused, Jackson asked, “Wha..?”

“Supposing now you’d like the gold?”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Oh, don’t play coy with me, boyo. You caught me and now you get the pot of gold.”

“Mister, I think you hit your head a little too hard.”

“You’re the one that hit my head,” the little man returned. Then he walked over to the side of the road and dragged from under the ferns, a two-gallon pot of gold coins, “Here, take it – you earned it fair and square.”

Looking down, Jackson felt his heart skip-a-beat, realizing they were real. When he lifted his head again, the little man had vanished.