Wednesday, December 3, 2014


A person must sometimes move quickly to hold people's attention. This can be tricky when everyone is talking a mile a minute. So, I found myself having to hurry through a "cute anecdote" on Thanksgiving day. I was talking about a pair of criminals, trying to describe them. Things were going fairly well, but I noticed Ken's and Brian's eyes were beginning to drift. I stepped up my delivery. When a person gets to a critical moment in a delivery he must be ready with an entertaining word or phrase. In sudden panic, I realized that "dirtbags" or "slimeballs" were not sufficient. My moment of truth was not a moment at all. It was my INSTANT of truth. I called them a pair of bloated slopheads. Brian and Ken almost fell on the floor with laughter. The others in the room were not that cruel to me, but they  knew full well what was going on. "BLOATED SLOPHEADS?"  "BLOATED SLOPHEADS?" The boys were apoplectic.Their reaction to my cute story took a lot more time than the story did. I tried to explain that an "instant" is a very short time. And, yes, I had paniced. I said that those guys were not bloated anyway. Druggies and drunks are often very thin because they don't eat well. This revelation brought on another wave of screaming (and vicious) laughter. The poor li'l fellers were wiping tears from their eyes. Ken called me a few days later. He suddenly remembered "slopheads" and it all started up again. He assured me that this one would outlast flagboy, Springville, controlled plane crashes and every other one of my moronic moments. Isn't fame supposed to be FUN? I dunno. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014


My gosh. My good gosh. I think my chilluns are ganging up on me. I glanced at the picture of the blobfish (my buddy) and I saw something almost heartbreaking. The blob is me. The BLOBFISH is truly me. I know dang well that you all did this on purpose. Don't look so surprised. The blobbin' blobfish has DROOL on the lower corner of his mouth. Yer Ma has been telling you that I drool. HASN'T she? So sad. Nothing is off limits.
Anyhoo, this an addendum to my previous post. Mary P. brought family members closer together. But my family unit had already been torn asunder. Mom left the day after I graduated high school. I didn't feel dumb because I barely got through high school. I merely could not imagine what life might ever hold  for me. I stayed with Dad because of plentiful work. When I found a new life in Price, Utah, none of us ever lived together again. Mom and Dad were probably baffled by my new life with my own Mary Poppins.
My parents were never comfy and close with us kids. I don't remember Dad ever telling me he loved me. Mom probably stopped being love/verbal when I was 6 or 7. They didn't need to say it. I knew that they both, in their own way, loved me beyond words to describe. A sad footnote to this is the fact that I may seem a bit slow in expressing my love for my kids. What do you expect from a man who finds his drool in full display on his blob?
Just before she died, Mom told us of the wonderful home we would all someday have together, across the river. Everyone thought the river was the Arkansas, just 200 yards from her house. But I knew better. That other Mary Poppins probably knew nothing of the extent that families CAN be rebuilt across the river or across the veil. Thanks for committing to hep in the yard..... d'Pa

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Saving Mister Banks

CAUTION!!!! If you have not seen Saving Mr. Banks and WANT to see it, proceed no further. I may ruin it for you. Jodi mentioned it to me when it first came out. I wanted to see it but life got in the way. I found out 2 days ago that she and Babs had neither one seen it. TSK. What a great movie. I think Babs has it so maybe we can all see it. Anyhoo, I saw it twice in about one week recently. It's just fabulous. It's all about Walt Disney, Mary Poppins and the lady (named Pam) who wrote the story. Pam had a disastrous childhood in Australia.
Her banker father, whom she loved very much, died a terrible alcoholic death when she was 5 or 6 years old. His nurse assured Pam that she would see her papa through his crisis. The nurse bore a strong physical resemblance to the character later known as Mary Poppins. Imagine Pam's pain when this nurse's promise failed. Note, then, that Mary Poppins was a person who had full control of everything. She could glide UP a banister. She had a magic umbrella. No earthly worry was a concern to Mary.
The movie slowly confirmed that Mr. Banks, in fantasy, was stable and perhaps heroic. Pam's work was all about preserving the image of her beloved father. Incredibly touching.
We saw Mary P. in about 1964 when it first came out. Fun movie, but nothing earth-shaking or life-changing at the time. But, watching Tom Hanks tell Pam that the entire story was about her own father and not the 2 cute children, I found myself relating in many ways.
I had not one, but two parents caught up in the tragedy of alcoholism. My dad was a hard workin' hard drinkin' hard fightin' fun lovin' hard rock miner. When a county commissioner died, some friends came to Dad asking him to finish that term, and then to run. When they were gone he said to Mom, "I can't do it. I'm too big a drinker." Eddie heard that sorrowful confession. I heard it from Eddie some 40 years later. After retirement, Dad quit drinking and died at about age 75.
Mom took to her drinking quietly, probably in desperation over a failing marriage. She spent the last few years of her life living back yard to back yard with her daughter, my sister, Mildred. Mildred was instrumental in helping Mom get rid of that awful monster, gin. Losing Mildred to cancer surely brought on her stroke and to her death at age 89.
I had no idea that my life had a loose parallel to Mary Poppins. I have become quite emotional and tearful in my advancing years. I am glad to be writing this instead of trying to verbalize it. I cried all the way through Saving Mr. Banks, especially as Walt Disney told Pam of his difficult young life in frozen Minnesota.
My life was without meaning or direction. I barely got through high school. I stumbled forward, knowing nothing about anything. When Mary Poppins arrived, without her umbrella, I married her. Life is great.

Saving Mr. Banks