Joie de Vivre – Keeping the Spirit of Louisiana in the Retirement Years

ER Nurses Extraordinaire

ER Nurses Extraordinaire

 

At the time of beginning the writing of this story, my wife is living the very first day of retirement from a 37 year nursing career.  The plan is to set up a snowbird arrangement between Phoenix and Cincinnati.  The motorcycle has been sold, the house has been ‘decluttered’ and we now have it up for sale.  Continue reading

The Stand – Teaching My Paperboy an Important Life Lesson

We learn Karate so we don't have to fight

We learn Karate so we don’t have to fight

As I wrote about in (this story) we boys need to pay attention and learn when and when not to fight.  It’s one of our more important lessons to learn.  There are times when it becomes very important to stand your ground.  By that, I don’t mean that you should go looking for fights or even that arguments should result in battles.  Those of you who’ve hung in there with me for many stories know that I’m not a fighter.  If I have to fight, I have to feel threatened or perhaps someone I care about is being threatened.  And if I do fight, look out because I will not fight fair. Continue reading

They Say that Breaking Up is Hard to Do – Skating Rink Romance Drama

Ah, the familiar skating sign in Hamilton

Ah, the familiar skating sign in Hamilton

In our high school years, is there anything more stressful, more demanding or more public than our love lives?  If you ‘go with someone’, everyone knows about it.  Breakup; it’s buzzed from ear to ear in a rate equaling the speed of a Japanese bullet train.  Today it’s even more public and faster; relationships begin at school, (or maybe Tinder if you’re older), they’re  announced in Facebook, (sometimes with a “marriage”), and break ups are coordinated in Facebook so as to help the breakup end cordially, without additional drama.  In my day, it was no less stressful, but the act of breaking up was not as immediate as it is today.  Oh no – you got to see it coming, carefully stalking you like a cheetah on a gazelle and then when you knew that it was all over, BAM, your heart was suddenly being chewed on. Continue reading

Two More Laps – Part Two

A Landmark in my memory

A Landmark in my memory

And now….the exciting conclusion to last week’s story, Two More Laps

I remember that each time a new face would come out to greet me, I would shout out an important declaration – “TWO MORE LAPS!”  Apparently the accountant in me felt the need to express the solution in terms of a precise numerical declaration.  I’m not sure how long I had been walking when 5 or 6 wet bodies came out to get me with the purpose of tossing me into the pool.  Likely they felt a drenching was what was needed for sobering me up.

I was so drunk that I was scared.  I tried to look as sober and straight faced as I could to the wet one of the group who had a reputation for being level-headed.  That was a guy named Ricky.  The guys had all had me lifted and were making our way to the pool.  “Ricky – I don’t know if I can get out.”  I’m certain Ricky had a few to drink, just as everyone else in the group, but my statement had the desired sobering effect because Ricky immediately got in front of the group and said, “hey guys, this might not be such a good idea.  Let’s leave Rob alone out here, let him keep walking.”  There were some moans and groans but they trusted Ricky’s judgment and set me down.  Continue reading

Two More Laps – Part One

I love you man.  No, I love you man!

I love you man. No, I love you man!

This would be the second time, (or third if I count a party at the Menzer house in high school), that I drank uncontrollably, but FINALLY learned a lesson.  It goes down in my personal journals as my most stupid drinking night (as an adult).  My ‘first’ bad night occurred many years earlier and I have to claim teenager-ignorance otherwise it would be my most stupid.  I offer it here if you’d enjoy reading (link).  I didn’t know my limit and it resulted in a rough night.  I remembered my lesson learned from this experience until I forgot about it 16-17 years later.  This is that story, offered in two parts.  Look for the conclusion next week. Continue reading

Where the Hell did my Car Go? – More High School Pranks

Little Red Pinto

Little Red Pinto

In stories like egg wars and What’s that Smell (read me), I’ve written about practical jokes and harmless pranking.  Hopefully your high school weekend and summer evenings in high school contained as much jocularity, frivolity (and carnal pleasures?) as mine did.  In high school, we can’t wait to be older and when we get old, we miss our younger years like crazy. Continue reading

Bedtime on Prytania – Boys will be Boys

The Clan

The Clan

Growing up in a household of eleven people is a real challenge during certain parts of the day.  Mealtime was always interesting, but you already know that if you read the first epic adventure about our family (read me).  Our sleeping arrangements were interesting as well as the house we lived in had originally been built as only a two bedroom, two story.  Maybe it could be considered a three bedroom as there was also a tiny third bedroom upstairs at the rear and it could sleep one comfortably – we stretched it into sleeping two small ones of course.  In fact, when we first moved into that house, that small bedroom was my room.  It appears that it had once been used to sleep a visitor or extended family member too because it had a kitchen sink and cabinets built into it (leading to its smaller size originally).

As a family of eleven, the aforementioned tiny bedroom belonged to the two youngest girls, Lori and Janelle.  The middle bedroom was the largest sized and slept the remaining three girls, Bobbi, JoAnn and Toni.  That left us four boys for the forward bedroom facing the street.  Given we had 9 kids, an uneven number, this is the only arrangement that would work – the sex with 5 had to use the tiny bedroom and couldn’t be split up by the middle bedroom.  We boys each had our own single bed.  There was a set of bunk beds for Mike and Felix.  Steve and I shared a set of trundle-beds.  Continue reading

Leonard the Grinch – Peace in Death

The Grinch

The Grinch

My first real job where I collected a regular paycheck as a kid was when I got hired on at Taco Bell – I was 18.  I intend to write a couple of stories dedicated entirely to different aspects of those few years of early adulthood, but this story today is dedicated to one of the characters I met while working there – Leonard Collier. Continue reading

Egg Wars & Aunt Edna – More Stupid Things We Did in High School

Such a waste of an omelette

Such a waste of an omelette

If you were to ask me what the dumbest thing I ever did in my life was, I’d struggle with the response because I’ve done a LOT of stupid things. I’m much better today, but in younger years I had always been that type of person who didn’t ask others for their advice or opinion before taking action. I would learn from my mistakes. Learning from your mistakes is a good thing, but what if that thing you’re doing is so stupid that you don’t get a chance to learn from it? I suppose I have more than my fair share of those types of dumb things. This is a story of one crazy night of high school antics which included one of those stupid acts; an act that could have gone badly and yet again, here I am to tell about it.

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Foreigner 1977 – Worst Concert Ever

Their first album - sure wish I had gotten to see them Live

Their first album – sure wish I had gotten to see them Live

All of my concert attendances have been fun and memorable events except for one – Foreigner 1977, Miami University of Ohio. I will be a bit embarrassed to share this story but I vowed to myself to keep my stories honest and factual and to bare as much as possible without hurting anyone and without implicating myself for the relevant authorities who might desire to get back at me for beating my first speeding ticket (read me).  Also, I love my wife so I need to be extremely careful not to implicate her in anything damaging…..I cannot afford a divorce lawyer.

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