Loud exclamations came from across the pool and then a splash. Someone had been thrown in. I glanced over and saw Josh in the middle of the action, so naturally went to help.
These were Marines and I was not, somehow I ended up in the pool too along with several others. I called it “friendly fire” because the way I remember it, Josh's friend Javier gave a guy in front of me a shove, the guy bumped me, took me by surprise, I slipped and splash, I was in the drink.
One of the officer's broke it up and lent me a hand, back onto the patio.
“Sorry sir. These kids are filled with piss and vinegar...we'll get to the bottom of it and the culprits will pay.”
“Not a big deal. If these guys weren't fighters I'd be more concerned.”
“Still they need to learn that there's a time and place for that. Around the pool with family visiting is not the right place.”
“Got me there. If my son is involved go easy on him, he's a quick learner.” The officer smiled and joined another CO in uncovering what happened.
In mid-January of 1978 Jamie, Karen and I went cross country skiing above Rollinsville, near the east portal of the Moffat Tunnel.
Something got Jamie going on one of his philosophical tirades and much to his chagrin Karen interjected a totally different viewpoint.
They went on for quite some time debating hot social, moral and religious topics.
Would we make it out of there alive?
When he got to Chicago, he looked up "McNutt" in the phone book. Sure enough Olive’s address was listed. She no longer lived off the Northwest Highway, but he took a cab to her new place.
She wasn’t there, so Charles talked to some of her neighbors, Olive went out west to visit Jerry and his family. Charles couldn’t believe it! Jerry was married and had seven kids of his own, in Denver, Colorado!
Bill lived somewhere close in the Chicago area. From what he could gather, it sounded as if five of the children lived up in Wisconsin and one of the girls moved down south somewhere.
"Well I’ll be hanged! They all turned out just fine!" An enormous weight seemed to be removed from Charles. He had been carrying around the guilt of leaving for over 20 years and if ever he told someone about what he had done, they treated him like he was a monster. But here was proof that by his leaving, the kids fought through the hardship and moved on with their lives.
"See Elsie, I did keep my end of the bargain." He felt as if his job was done and he could die in peace now.
Jerry "Punky" with his own brood of seven! He planned to go back to California, with a stop in Colorado to locate Jerry and his family.
After mass at home the phone rang right as they entered. Lynn, their youngest sister raced to answer it in the kitchen.
“Luke it's for you!” she yelled without covering the mouthpiece.
“Must be your girlfriend,” Jean his 14 year old sister teased.
“Children stop fighting,” their mother commanded.
“Hello,” Luke answered the phone.
“Hey Luke do you want to get together and play some b'ball?” It was Dan Sylean a friend from school.
“Yeah, let me check. Mom can I go out with Dan to play some ball?” His mom was on the other side of the kitchen preparing lunch.
“You need to eat first, after that it's fine.”
Nick walked by, “No son you can't play basketball. You suck.”
“Shut up Nick,” Luke went back to the phone, “Ok I can play after I eat Dan.”
“Do you always tell your big brother to shut up?” Dan asked.
“Only when I have to. When and where do we meet?”
“2 o'clock at Schafer's, see you there.” Luke ran up to their room to change and then back down to the kitchen to eat 2 sandwiches, pickles, chips and a salad.
His dad seated at the table asked as Luke got up to leave, “You playing football in the snow?”
“Not today dad. We're playing basketball at Schafer's. We have football practice tomorrow.”
A strange feeling came over him at the base of North Mountain, like he had been here before and was returning to his roots. Compared to the mountains west of Denver, this was barely a foothill, but there was something else that he felt and couldn’t explain.
Tears welled up in his eyes. Why? He wiped them away and walked up the main trail.
Something scampered through the underbrush to his right. He couldn’t see it--probably a rabbit. Several large Saguaro’s were guarding the trail, they were much bigger than he expected. All of this vegetation was new to him. He wanted to learn as much as possible about every living thing in this desert.
He had never taken in the aroma’s of the desert, it smelled better than home cooking!
This trail was quite rocky and hard to walk on, made even worse by the shoes that he wore. Mack didn’t care, this was heaven! The trail turned out to be a small loop, that was perfect for today though, because he didn’t want to go too far. Before he made it back to the main trail a large jack-rabbit scampered across his path about 30 feet ahead. This creature was over twice as big as the rabbits he saw in Colorado, with big floppy ears that nearly touched the ground. It made its’ way up a mound to Mack’s left and attempted to hide behind a small rock. Mack could still see it and after a few seconds it made its’ way over the ridge and out of sight.
He stood motionless for a few more minutes, taking in the sights, smells and sounds of the desert.
I would like to welcome to our earth Emri Jack, my new grandson!
Welcome and may you have a wonderful life!!
Thursday morning found me over at Fast Eddie’s diner, Phoenix’s equivalent to Great Scott’s. Breakfast was good and cheap: $5.50 including tip, how could that be beat?!
That was after the meeting and following that I was off to the Cholla branch of the library to check emails. Karen called and we discussed our finances, our friend Susan was over with Karen, trying to help us put together a plan.
After that instead of just sitting at home, I went for an afternoon hike in the heat. While hiking around Piestewa Peak I reflected on my life there in Phoenix. I had gone ahead and become a member of the Smokin’ Oldies group. I was in the process of becoming a member of Freeway Baptist too. These were ways of combatting the loneliness.
Another way was to get out and hike--I loved this! In fact I was hiking so much that my German made hiking shoes were falling apart. I continued to hike until I fell apart.
Fidgety with nothing to do. So Write. Write about nothing.
Nothing. This is a very interesting subject, in that nothing has to be something! Is this an oxy-moron?
Or am I?
I equate this with attempting to solve the mystery of life.
Wait I’m off the subject!
What was the subject?
No, what is the predicate.
No, nothing was the subject.
Nothing is an adjective in that case.
No, nothing was what I was writing about.
Yeah, I can tell!
Anyway the latest developments in the life of Inkslinger are:
Nothing!? Come on now buddy, there has to be something!
Not really. What is a guy like me writing anyhow? Volumes are filled with nothing. If I keep up at my present rate, they will dedicate an entire library to me when I die.
"The Inkslinger Library of Nothing"
Hundreds of shelves filled with thousands of notebooks. Aisle upon aisle, upstairs and basement. These notebooks have writing in them, but they take you nowhere. No exotic beaches. No towering mountain ranges. No dessert. No deserts either...well maybe one....