As I was on my way to work, I passed a woman in a Chevy pickup truck. We smiled at each other and I thought nothing more of it.
Then as we were stopped at a traffic light, I looked in my rear view mirror, where I saw her behind me. She appeared to be fumbling around with something in the cab of the truck.
I thought maybe she was searching for something in her purse.
Suddenly she got out of her truck and rushed up to my truck window. She handed me a slip of paper and said, “Call me!”
I looked at the paper and saw a phone number, scribbled underneath the name Shannon.
The light turned from red to green as I tucked the piece of paper in my shirt pocket. I put the incident in the back of my mind to concentrate on driving.
Later at the station, I remembered the slip of paper and pulled it from my pocket. I looked it over and let my “teenaged brain” skip for joy at the idea of Shannon, a woman half my age, wanting me to call her.
Then I allowed my “old man” body to return me to reality. I smiled at Shannon’s flattery, then tossed her number in the trash can.
More than a few people have made comments about poor in-depth media coverage of Nevada’s midterm election cycle. Well, it’s not for a lack of trying on my part.
I broke a story that should have been on par with any national news item out there. I discovered that Senator Harry Reid held a political rally out side the polling place of the Joe Crowley Student Union on the University of Reno, Nevada.
It is illegal to hold political rallies in, near or around polling places in Nevada. But according to Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller, there are no voting irregularities.
Furthermore, it appears all media outlets, local, regional and national, chose to ignore this news item.
That aside, I have created an in-depth list of items of interest in this year’s midterm election. While I’ll create the dots, I’ll let you connect them.
- Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is closely aligned with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN.)
- ACORN leaders in Nevada have been linked to voter fraud, even going so far as to register the Dallas Cowboys as Nevada voters.
- SEIU holds the contract in Clark County, Nevada to service the county’s electronic voting machines.
- That contract was authorized by the Clark County Commission, which is chaired Rory Reid.
- Rory Reid is the son of Senator Harry Reid.
- Recent polling data shows Harry Reid is unable to carry rural Nevada, while he is expected to carry more populated Clark County.
- Reid’s son Rory, is a gubernatorial candidate in Nevada and is behind in polls by 19-percent.
And before you beat me up over assailing the Reid’s, SEIU and ACORN, remember I was fired from a newspaper job after blasting a Republican judicial candidate for trying to silence the press over his failing campaign. Finally, if I got here, where are the rest of the media-types?
Before I had to report for duty at Warren AFB, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I had two weeks of leave. I was at home, doing my best to be a kid once more before I had to pick-up the mantle of adulthood on a permanent basis.
My day had been spent working in the yard with both Mom and Dad. I had mowed both the front and backyards and helped pull weeds from the flower beds as well.
It was late afternoon when we knocked off for the day in order to have dinner. Afterwards all the kids in the neighborhood had planned to gather for a large game of hide-and-go-seek and I was looking forward to the fun.
While I don’t recall who was it at the time, I do remember I took off running towards the northwest corner of the house. I had planned to crawl under the house in order to hide.
However, I never made it that far. Instead I found a nasty surprise laying in the yard jus’ a couple feet from the corner of the house.
It was a hoe, and I had stepped on its upright blade. The handle shot upward and slammed into the right-side of my face.
This caused a chain-reaction as I found myself angling at a full-sprint into the corner of the building with the left-side of my face. From there I careened headlong into one of the redwood fence posts that ran along the side of our home.
While I don’t fully remember hitting the post face first, I do recall waking up with a jolt after laying in the fresh-cut grass for about a minute. By this time, everyone was standing around me wondering if I was dead or a live.
Suddenly, I didn’t feel much like playing anymore. Instead, Mom spent the next hour and a half pulling redwood slivers from my forehead and by the next morning, both my eyes were blackened.
It’s what I get for leaving the hoe laying in the grass.
Last night, sleep was punctuated by several unusual dreams. In one, Mom was giving me advice on my current writing project.
“Tommy,” she said to me, “You’re not a novelist — you’re a storyteller.”
Mary and I were on the outskirts of the Mojave National Preserve. It was after midnight and we were the only vehicle that we could see along the long, flat stretch of Interstate 15.
We were on our way back to Ramona, where the bride’s family lives. I was planning to stay the night and make the return trip to Las Vegas the following morning.
At the time I was driving my 1972 VW Beetle. While it didn’t look like much, it had proved to be a very trustworthy vehicle having made several road trips up and down the coast of California and then across the deserts into southern Nevada.
The moon wasn’t full, but full enough to show the outline of the desert as it stretched out before us. The bride was half-sleeping as I drove on into the early morning.
Without warning, a large object flew out of the darkness from our right and slammed into the car. The object seemed to engulf us in its thousands of tentacle like branches as I fought it for control of the wheel.
The bride screamed as I jammed on the brakes. Our car jerked to the left than shot back to the right and then off the roadway.
Jus’ as the vehicle slid to a stop in the loose dirt and sand, the object that had been clinging to it, slipped away into the night. We sat there for a couple of minutes asking each other, “What the hell was that?!”
That early morning we pulled into her parents driveway jus’ as the sun was coming up. As she went inside, I stopped to inspect my car.
Trapped in the frame, on the mirrors, in the bonnet,and the hood were fragments of a dried brush-like material. After examining it for a minute, it dawned on me, we had been the victim of a huge random car-swallowing tumble weed.
It was a regular overcast day when the one hundred or so scouts gathered on the newly constructed Tsunami Landing. Each scout, whether a Boy Scout or Cub Scout, was given an 3-foot by five-foot American flag on a standard to hold during the upcoming ceremony.
We were gathered for the dedication of the landing to the lives that were lost when a tsunami swept through the tiny seaside city. Before officials took to the podium, we were all given a brief lesson in how to maintain our ranks and how to hold the standards.
Our instructions were simple: when the American and California state flags were presented to the crowd, we were to come to attention. After the flags were placed in their respective holders on either side of the podium, we were to go to parade rest, meaning our feet shoulder width apart, our left hand behind our back and the flag we were each holding, dipped forward the full length of our arm.
While there were several speakers that day, the one who stands out the most was Congressman Don Clausen. Not only was he the event’s main speaker, he was also the catalyst behind getting federal funding to creat a high wave break to protect both the harbor and dock, but also the town.
Congressman Clausen was also the driving power to secure monies to help rebuild the nearly 70 city blocks affected by the tsunami. He was eventually voted out of office in the early 1980s.
Every time I return to the north coast, I try to visit Tsunami Landing. I also toss a couple of coins in the multi-concrete seagull festooned fountain that adorns the center of the plaza, thankful I was a part of that historical day so long ago.
Where Mom found the special glass, I will never know. What I do know is that every time I had a friend over for dinner for the first, time she’d drag it from the cupboard for them to use.
The special glass was modified with four tiny slits about half an inch from the rim and set inside a recess that hid them from quick identification. The slightest tip of the glass inevitably caused whatever was being drank from the glass to dribble down the chin of the unsuspecting victim.
One such victim was Diana Webster.
She was given the glass one night, filled with milk and try as she might, she couldn’t keep from dripping milk all over her hand, her chin, her dinner plate and eventually her shirt. Mom finally offered to get her another glass, but Diana told her no as she continued to try to overcome her sudden “leak at the lips.”
We would all stop eating every time she picked up the glass, knowing the outcome would be the same. She’d dribble, and we’d all laugh, including her.
It continued like this until the glass was empty. That’s when Mom got her a new glass and let her in on the secret.
Diana laughed, and then responded, “Thank goodness, I thought I was gonna have to go back to a baby bottle and start over!”