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Wanna ride?

July 25, 2021

I thought this week’s Song Lyric Sunday would be simple: share a song about a car. There was Springsteen and Prince and Springsteen again. And again. And again. Chuck Berry, The Beatles. I thought about The Doobie Brothers. And then I thought about the Doobie Brothers again. I think I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t sung a song about a car and I’m not a singer. I thought about Molly Hatchet, about Deep Purple, and I thought about (and this is a really good song) Greg Brown and Tom Waits

I thought about others…

I briefly thought about a Greyhound bus and The Grateful Dead covering Chuck Berry’s The Promised Land

Thankfully I didn’t think about trains or I’d never get anywhere!

Or semi-trucks.

And then I thought, why am I thinking about cars when Jim’s prompt clearly says that Our theme this week is Automobile, Car, Jalopy, Vehicle and that’s when I thought about a motorcycle – because that’s a vehicle, right? – and this wonderful ballad from Richard Thompson from his Rumor and Sigh album, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning.

Wikipedia tells us Richard Thompson is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist and a lot of other interesting information. I can tell you that he’s a great singer, a great songwriter and is one of the best guitar players on the planet. And he’s funny.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy this “simple boy meets girl story” which is “complicated somewhat by the presence of a motorcycle”. If you like story songs, I think you’ll like it. If you watch the video I hope you like it more than the guitar player in the khaki pants on the far right.

Says Red Molly, to James, “Well that’s a fine motorbike.
A girl could feel special on any such like.”
Says James, to Red Molly, “My hat’s off to you, it’s a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952.

And I’ve seen you on the corners and cafes, it seems.
Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme.”
And he pulled her on behind, and down to Boxhill they’d ride.

Says James, to Red Molly, “Here’s a ring for your right hand.
But I’ll tell you in earnest I’m a dangerous man;
For I’ve fought with the law since I was seventeen.
I’ve robbed many a man to get my Vincent machine.

I thought this week’s Song Lyric Sunday would be simple: share a song about a car. There was Springsteen and Prince and Springsteen again. And again. And again. Dylan, The Beatles. I think I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t sung a song about a car and I’m not a singer. I thought The Doobie Brothers, Deep Purple, The Doobie Brothers again, or Greg Brown, or Tom Waits…

I thought about others…

And then I thought, why am I thinking about cars when Jim’s prompt clearly says that Our theme this week is Automobile, Car, Jalopy, Vehicle and that’s when I thought about a motorcycle – because that’s a vehicle, right? – and this wonderful ballad from Richard Thompson from his Rumor and Sigh album, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning.

Wikipedia tells us Richard Thompson is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist and a lot of other interesting information. I can tell you that he’s a great singer, a great songwriter and is one of the best guitar players on the planet. And he’s funny.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy this “simple boy meets girl story” which is “complicated somewhat by the presence of a motorcycle”. If you like story songs, I think you’ll like it.

Says Red Molly, to James, “Well that’s a fine motorbike.
A girl could feel special on any such like.”
Says James, to Red Molly, “My hat’s off to you, it’s a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952.

And I’ve seen you on the corners and cafes, it seems.
Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme.”
And he pulled her on behind, and down to Boxhill they’d ride.

Says James, to Red Molly, “Here’s a ring for your right hand.
But I’ll tell you in earnest I’m a dangerous man;
For I’ve fought with the law since I was seventeen.
I’ve robbed many a man to get my Vincent machine.

And now I’m twenty-one years, I might make twenty-two.
And I don’t mind dyin’ but for the love of you.
But if fate should break my stride, then I’ll give you my Vincent, to ride.”

“Come down Red Molly,” called Sargent McQuade.
“For they’ve taken young James Aidee for armed robbery.
Shotgun blast hit his chest, left nothing inside.
Oh, come down, Red Molly, to his dying bedside.”

When she came to the hospital, there wasn’t much left.
He was runnin’ out of road. He was runnin’ out of breath.
But he smiled, to see her cry and said, “I’ll give you my Vincent to ride.”

Said James, “In my opinion, there’s nothing in this world
beats a ’52 Vincent and a Redheaded girl.
Now Triumphs and Nortons and Greevses won’t do, they don’t have a Soul like a Vincent ’52.”

And he reached for her hand and he slipped her the keys.
He said, “I’ve got no further use…for these. I see Angels on Ariels in leather and chrome,
Swoopin’ down from Heaven to carry me home.”

And he gave her one last kiss and died. And he gave her his Vincent to ride.


July 23, 2021

Between wildfires and drought, other than we need it badly, I don’t have much to say about today’s RDP prompt, RAIN. But I do have a lot of songs I like with the word “Rain” in the title. Here are some of them:

Purple Rain
Early Morning Rain
Box of Rain
Let it Rain
Who’ll Stop the Rain
Laughter in the Rain
Singin’ in the Rain
Fire and Rain

I guess I just realized that there are a lot of songs with the word “Rain” in the title. And now that I’m thinking about the word “Rainy”, there are more:

Rainy Days and Mondays
Rainy Day People
Rainy Day Woman (Waylon, not Dylan)
Here Comes that Rainy Day Feeling Again

Enough of this. I wonder if I like songs about rain because I’m a water sign? Or maybe I’m Only Happy When it Rains? Nah, that’s Garbage.

Charles Bukowski

a symphony orchestra.
there is a thunderstorm,
they are playing a Wagner overture
and the people leave their seats under the trees
and run inside to the pavilion
the women giggling, the men pretending calm,
wet cigarettes being thrown away,
Wagner plays on, and then they are all under the
pavilion. the birds even come in from the trees
and enter the pavilion and then it is the Hungarian
Rhapsody #2 by Lizst, and it still rains, but look,
one man sits alone in the rain
listening. the audience notices him. they turn
and look. the orchestra goes about its
business. the man sits in the night in the rain,
listening. there is something wrong with him,
isn’t there?
he came to hear the

So many rain songs, which one do I like the best right this minute to share? I like Springsteen and I like Prince and I like Purple Rain so when 1 + 1 +1 = 4 that’s what you go with.

In an afternoon

July 23, 2021

You sit on the bench facing the lake; the one on the concrete slab off the main path in the shade. Your eyes follow the breeze-blown straight line ripples, sun-sparkled, moving toward the lonely shore.

Occasionally a fish, or maybe a turtle pops to the surface creating quick concentric circles that blend with the straight waves.

Eventually the circles fade and the ripples return and the flow is restored.

The breeze sings through the leaves of the quaking aspen and gophers and squirrels skitter about staying busy.

Two swans drifting far off on the other side of the lake remind you what life is about.

Word of the Day challenge: SKITTER

We were still less-than-good

July 22, 2021

I played Little League baseball from ages 10 to 12. Like Major League Baseball, there was a minor league and a major league. I think they have actual age limits on the two leagues now, but when I played (which on some days feels like shortly after the game was invented in the late 1800’s) I remember there were young kids my age who were very good and who played on a major league team.

I was not one of those kids.

I was barely one of the kids who played on the minor league team.

For the most part (and to make myself feel better) the entire team was barely able to play on the minor league team. I don’t mean to paint a Bad News Bears picture, we weren’t comical or goofy or anything like that, we just weren’t very good.

The standout memory for me is a coach we had when I was 12. He was the dad of someone I’ve long forgotten and he was nothing like Walter Matthau. He thought we were better than we were, or that we could be better than we were or some such nonsense. At practices he would have us run the bases. He would have us shag fly balls . He would have us run laps around the outfield. He was a tyrant. (Tyrant is my old guy word, I have no idea if my young kid brain knew or registered that word or not). Despite the practices, we were still less-than-good players.

Considering my Little League experience it’s a wonder why I like baseball so much today.

For Ragtag Daily Prompt: SHAG

Go for a walk?

July 21, 2021

We all know that walking is good exercise, but there’s walking and then there’s walking. While I do the first because I sort of have to because I feel guilty if I don’t, it’s the second one I enjoy more and look forward to doing.

The second one, the walking, is walking in nature, and for me there’s not much that’s more enjoyable. I enjoy the peace and tranquility when walking among the trees and the rocks and the animals. I leave the music at home so the only distraction is whatever happens naturally. Sun, heat, clouds, cold, even rain, it doesn’t matter because as distractions go, they’re all quite minor.

Sometimes I’m focused on just strolling and taking photos, and other times I’m focused on walking nowhere but in a circle, and sometimes I’m focused on taking slow, mindful steps as described by Thich Nhat Hanh:

“We become aware of the contact between our feet and the ground. And we begin harmonise our steps with our breathing. We may take two or three steps as we breathe in, and then three or four steps as we breathe out. It will depend on your lungs and the natural rhythm of your steps.

As we continue walking, synchronising our breathing and our steps, we become aware of our whole body walking. We can relax any tension in our shoulders or arms, and feel what a miracle it is to be walking on Earth. We can open our ears to the sounds around us, and lift up our eyes to enjoy the trees, or the horizon, or the people around us. Aware of our five senses, we know we have arrived in the present moment. Every step can be nourishing and every step can be healing.

Walking in meditation means to walk in such a way that we know we are walking. We walk leisurely, enjoying every step. We become aware of the contact of our feet with the ground, and the flow of our breathing. We set ourselves free from our thinking—our regrets about the past, our fears and anxieties about the future, or our preoccupations in the present. We become 100% present with every step.” – The Art of Mindful Living

I confess I’m not very good at the whole mindful walking thing, but that’s ok.

Sometimes I stop and sit on a bench (assuming it’s not covered in moss or spider webs). Whatever I do I always notice the smells and the sounds and the colors and the shadows.

After a time at any of these, my racing and spinning thoughts eventually slow and coalesce into a warm, soft feeling of calm. Of positivity and invigoration. When that happens it’s nice. The feelings may not always last a long time, but they’re nice. And who knows, one day they might?


My personal ad

July 20, 2021

Everyone nowadays seems to be turning to online personal ad sites to meet someone. You probably know someone, or have seen a commercial, so you know what I’m talking about. I thought maybe it’s time I took the plunge so I wrote an ad and thought I’d share my first draft here for feedback.

Hi. I’m a good person and I don’t want to break the law. If you’d like to break away and break bread with me that’d be cool. We can go to that restaurant near where they’re getting ready to break ground for something or other. I’d suggest we eat somewhere where the food isn’t too bizarre because I wouldn’t want either of us to break into a cold sweat – or worse, break out in tears – over what to order. Heaven forbid either of us should be so nervous that we break out in a rash.

I should probably break the news to you at this point that my hope is that you’re a good conversationalist because I’m not and you’ll probably need to break the silence at some point. Or points. And if you don’t like that then it’d be ok for you to make a clean break.

And I have good manners, so you don’t have to worry about my having to break wind at any time.

If things work out then who knows, we might end up “Reelin’ and Rockin’ until the break of dawn”

(Ragtag Daily Prompt: BREAK)

Reelin’ and Rockin’ with the GOAT. All righty?

A year in review

July 19, 2021

For Girlie on the Edge‘s Six Sentence Stories for July 18, 2021.


The year was 1971.

Someone named D.B. Cooper hijacked a plane and parachuted with $200,000 in ransom money somewhere over southwestern Washington state never to be found.

Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Florida.

With the world reeling amid violence in Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan – hell, why write a list rather than just saying with violence raging pretty much anyplace in the world you can think of, John Lennon released the song Imagine.

One of the greatest blaxploitation movies in the history of the genre, a movie about a black private detective who was said to be “Hotter than Bond, cooler than Bullitt” titled “Shift”, was released to rave reviews.

EDIT: I’ve just received word that the movie was titled “Shaft”, not “Shift”; and I also learned that I don’t have a seventh sentence in which to tell you that the theme song from the movie, “Theme from Shift Shaft” received an Academy Award for best original song for writer and performer Gandolf “Gandy” Fitch.

In an afternoon

July 19, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

July 15, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the word meltdown. You can use it to describe an event or emotional reaction. You can create a new meaning or explore the word origin. You can Go where the prompt leads!

In an afternoon

Business is slow. You’re not one to argue so when Colby tells you to take the afternoon you listen.

At the park you take a bench by the lake. You read, toss peanuts to pigeons. You doze.

Waking, you look around, get your bearings. You see Colby about 20 yards away, on a bench perpendicular to yours. His back is to you. He leans left and you see your wife. You see her laugh; touch his cheek.

You see them kiss.

Your wife. Your job. Your boss.

A life lost in an afternoon.

The meltdown happens in the car.


Put in the corner

July 18, 2021

I like writing prompts. Maybe that’s not clear; I don’t particularly like writing the word “prompts”, I like words that prompt you to write.

I don’t know about you, but when I read a prompt, and assuming it’s a word I understand ( 🙂 ), I try and write about the first thing that comes to mind. Usually it’s a story or a thought about something, and sometimes it’s a memoir, and not often enough it’s a poem of some sort.

When I read today’s Word of the Day prompt: NOBODY, the first thing that came to mind was Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing saying, “Nobody puts baby in the corner” so here I am. I liked Dirty Dancing, but not near enough to try and write fanfic about a weekend afternoon dance lesson with Penny Johnson, so I’ll just say I liked the movie and share a clip.

If you haven’t seen the movie then don’t watch the clip below. If you have seen the movie then it’s safe, you can watch it and listen to the Oscar winning song and remember how much you loved, or hated, the story. And if you’re one of the people who loved it, it’s ok if you cry a little bit.

The music of heartbreak

July 18, 2021

For Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday the theme this week is Breakup songs. If you’re a music lover I think you’ll enjoy this prompt because it gives you the chance to discover some new music. Every week I find someone who posted something I’ve never heard before and I like that.

The number of love songs and breakup songs might be as numerous as the stars in the sky. I’ve read that there are 100 billion stars in the Milky Way so removing love songs brings the choices down to about 50 billion, give or take.

I whittled my choice of breakup song down to these finalists:

For irreverent/funny breakup song: Song for the Dumped by Ben Folds Five
For maudlin breakup song: Bluer than Blue by Michael Johnson
For nice breakup song: If You See Her, Say Hello by Bob Dylan
For angry breakup song: (with apologies to Alanis Morissette) Idiot Wind by Bob Dylan
Honorable mention: (with a nod to Jim’s blog title and apologies to Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin fans) Heartbreaker by Grand Funk Railroad

My choice for overall best breakup song is Hasten Down the Wind written, and performed below, by an  underappreciated* poet and songwriter, Warren Zevon.

Those are my five choices out of 50 billion for best breakup songs and I leave the other 49,999,999,994 for another time. Ask me tomorrow and any number of them could change.

Warren’s Hasten Down the Wind is a simple and beautiful tale of a love that both people know just isn’t working out but one that they neither one of them really want to give up on. The short song bounces briefly between the dialogue and the narrator’s thoughts, a relationship still on and a relationship over, before the narrator realizes what needs to happen in the final verse. And pay attention to an equally beautiful slide guitar solo by David Lindley. If you have a very good ear you’ll hear Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers singing harmony vocals. Warren was a piano player and musical director for the Everly Brothers, and for Phil’s solo band after the brothers split, early in his career.

A (sometimes macabre) storyteller, Warren touched our hearts and our souls, he made us laugh and he made us cry, he made us think.

Hasten Down the Wind was the title of Linda Ronstadt’s seventh album, and while her cover is beautiful, I don’t think it carries any of the emotion of Warren’s version. Linda Ronstadt opened a closed this album with covers of two songs – Lose Again and Someone to Lay Down Beside Me – which were both written by another favorite songwriter, Karla Bonoff.

*Underappreciated because he’s never been inducted into the Songwriter Hall of Fame.

Word up (SOC)

July 17, 2021

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “least-favorite word.” Use your least-favorite word in your post. If you can’t decide on one, use a word that just really bugs you. Enjoy!


First words that come to mind are “should” and “must”, but those have some genuine use so I don’t know if either are my least favorite word or not but they certainly bug me. And can make me feel bad. Bad? Maybe make me feel poorly is better?

Fuck. That’s my word. The activity is fun, although when labeled as such it becomes somewhat vulgar and cheap, so it’s even still not that great in that use. Do you really want to ‘fuck’ someone you love? And as a noun or an adjective, verb or adverb, I don’t really care for it. Bottom line, I think it’s classless and unoriginal. Hackneyed. I know someone who has bad knees. Back to fuck… a friend sent me a video link to some doctor sitting in his car and ranting into his phone at the end of his day and his experience that day with a patient who didn’t believe in COVID vaccinations and every fourth word from this guy was fuck or fucking. I’m glad he’s not my doctor. There are a lot of good movies that I enjoy like Big Lebowski, Reservoir Dogs, Good Will Hunting, that use fuck a lot and while I’ll still watch them, they’re a little less enjoyable than something like Casablanca, For Me & My Gal or Harvey. Actually, I find most movies less enjoyable than those last three. And others. That’s it for my stream of consciousness for this Saturday. Usually I go on for longer but I guess I don’t have any consciousness today. Or any conscience. I hope your consciousness is good consciousness. And no self-consciousness.

Sunday’s groceries

July 16, 2021

I was heading out to the grocery store on Sunday afternoon when my neighbor snuck up on me as I was backing the car out of the garage.

I rolled down the window.

“Hi Brad. Going to the store?” she said.

I’m not a huge believer in coincidence so it has to be metaphysical. Or my next door neighbor is maybe a psychic? Or she has my house under surveillance.

“I am. You need anything, Rona?”

“Well, if you don’t mind I could some Half and Half?” she asked.

“It’s not a problem. A pint?”

“A quart if they have it.”

“Sounds good,” I said. “I’ll be back in about an hour.”

“Oh, and organic if they have it.”

“If they have it.”

“If they have it.”

+ + +

Turns out they didn’t have it. Or not where I thought it should be.

I saw someone stocking half gallons of milk through from the back room so I opened the door and stuck my head between the shelves and asked if they had it.

“Half and Half?” he said.

“Yes. A quart. And organic, if you have it.”

“Yeah, we have it.”

“Great,” I said and smiled.

He smiled back.

A somewhat awkward pause.

“Can you tell me where it is?”

“Sure. The organic Half and Half, way over there on the other side of the frozen aisle,” he said pointing to the middle of the store.

“Thanks,” I said.

He mumbled an acknowledgment and went back to filling the shelves.

+ + +

I pulled in the driveway where Rona was waiting for me. How she knew, I have no idea. I rolled down the window.

“You said you’d be about an hour,” she said in answer to the question I thought.

“Am I on time?” I asked.

“Oh that doesn’t matter. What is time anyway?”

I smiled and handed her a small bag with her Half and Half. “Here you go Rona, a quart of Half and Half.”

She took the bag and looked inside. “And organic! They had it.”

“They had it.”

“Let me run inside and get my purse, dear, and I’ll be right back. You don’t have anything melting in the back seat, do you? I don’t want your food to melt.”

“Oh, everything’s ok back there. And don’t get your purse. The Half and Half is on me,” I said.

She smiled. “You’re such sweetheart, Brad.”

I smiled. “You’re going to make me blush,” I said. “Enjoy the Half and Half, Rona.”

I watched her walk back into her house and then pulled into my garage. I grabbed my bag of groceries out of the back seat and felt a melting package of frozen butternut squash risotto starting to poke it’s way through the soft brown paper.


For Ragtag Daily Prompt: HALFWAY

Wanna help?

July 14, 2021

I turned on the news yesterday evening when I was making dinner and I heard a story about the Minnesota Wild hockey team and learned the team bought out the contracts of two of their star players, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

I don’t understand the hows and the whys of managing a sports team, but based on what I heard both players had signed 13-year contracts in 2012 worth $98 million dollars each and apparently both players are now going to receive a check or something for the final four years of their contracts.

A lot of money, eh?

What got me most about the story was the station sent a reporter out to ask some kids what they thought about the release of these two popular players. These were kids fresh off the practice ice with sweaty hair and decked out in their hockey uniforms and I thought why am I supposed to care what 14-year-old youth hockey players think about multi-millionaire hockey players? Sure, they have a right to their opinions, but why are they relevant, or interesting?

Better, I thought, the station should have sent a reporter out into the field to interview some kids didn’t get breakfast that morning. Or whose parents don’t have the extra money to pay for the expenses involved in a child playing youth hockey. Maybe a quick 1-on-1 with a child whose parents might be working three or four jobs between them to simply put food on the table. Or if they dared, maybe a kid whose home is the back seat of a car.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be rich or that athletes shouldn’t make millions, and I’m not saying they shouldn’t have reported the story of the two players because it is news. I’m saying that if the station is going to step away from news and reality and use resources to interview some children who are fortunate in life, why not use some resources to interview some children who aren’t so fortunate.

Maybe in the interest of public service and community education the news station should have followed up this story of excess and wealth with a quick 60 seconds to remind everyone of the other people who live here, people we see and interact with every day. The people who don’t make the sexy stories. The adults who live under bridges and sleep in bus shelters. The children living in poverty and food insecure households. The households that can barely afford food and clothes and essentials, let along hockey skates. The adults who can’t read a book written at an 8th grade level and the children who can’t read at all.

Of course we can’t rely on the media or on others to fix problems. We can only rely on ourselves. Wanna help?

More to Life

July 14, 2021

Regardless of the season, the neighbor house on Emerson was the place everyone went.

We called it the “Brick” for obvious reasons, and everyone went there because, to be honest, there weren’t a lot of things to do in Glenview that didn’t involve standing on a corner or risk getting beat up by guys with combed back hair who wore t-shirts and jeans; an activity I seemed to be quite good at: the getting beat up, not the standing.

The Brick had a gym, a basketball court, and a baseball diamond that was converted to skating and hockey rinks in the winter, a kitchen, and a huge room with a lot of different games and crafts and I guess you would call that a multi-purpose room today.

The Brick is where I discovered boxing after Sam, a volunteer coach, convinced me to join the local Golden Gloves chapter when he said, “Don’t matter if you’re small, Artie, that don’t mean nothing; unless maybe you like getting teased and beat up by them hoods, huh?” and I didn’t have a good answer for him.

It turned out Sam was right because after three months I wasn’t scared anymore, and even though I still got beat up, it wasn’t as often, and I was able to give as well as take which was a good feeling.

The Brick also hosted dances on Saturday nights, and it was at one of those dances in mid-November, right about the time the boards were going up in the outfield to get ready for skating and hockey, that I met Eileen Malinsky and that’s when I began to learn that there was more to life than baseball, bullies, boxing and the Brick.


For Girlie on the Edge‘s Six Sentence Stories for Independence Day 2021.

Wednesday morning

July 14, 2021

Just as  the morning sun topped the trees,
cutting through the early warmth
I felt the slightest kiss of a cool breeze;
not more than a puff and then gone.

A few yards away a squirrel was watching me.
I stopped and watched him. “Did you feel it too?”
He looked away as if to disagree.
I tossed him a peanut and he was gone.

My question remained.

I walked and thought about summer trickling away.


For Ragtag Daily Prompt: TRICKLE (verbs are ok, right?)


July 11, 2021

For Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday the theme this week is Bugs. Not the cute bunny kind, but the creepy, crawly kind.

My choice is this song from Creedence Clearwater Revival off their fifth, and most popular, album, Cosmo’s Factory.

The original album version of Ramble Tamble is a little over seven minutes. The version I attached below is the radio edit of the song which brought it down to a tidy three and half minutes for AM radio play. The lyrics are intact and what was removed was about three minutes of a bluesy, trippy, instrumental jam and a really great guitar solo. The edit comes at the 1:55 minute mark. You can listen to the album cut HERE.

Radio edits were common way back when and I think the first song that didn’t get cut for airplay was The Beatles’ Hey Jude. Other notable songs that escaped the time edit were Stairway to Heaven and American Pie. Possibly the most notorious radio edit was Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. The album version was just over 17 minutes and filled the entire second side of the album; the single played on the radio was just under three minutes. Every once in a while stations would play the long version and it was probably during the DJ’s meal break.

I think I’m rambling.

Ramble Tamble is a rocking account of a guy who’s just trying to stay one step ahead of life. Considering the lyrics are as relevant today as they were when the album was released 51 years ago this past week, I’m not sure he made it.

Sadly, the band didn’t make it. Plagued by egos and artistic differences, the band broke up after only four years together. Lucky for us they left behind a string of amazing rock and roll that still sounds fresh today.

Down the road I go
Down the road I go

There’s mud in the water
Roach in the cellar
Bugs in the sugar
Mortgage on the home
Mortgage on the home

There’s garbage on the sidewalk
Highways in the backyard
Police on the corner
Mortgage on the car
Mortgage on the car

Down the road I go

They’re sellin’ independence
Actors in the White House
Acid indigestion
Mortgage on my life
Mortgage on my life

Down the road I go

Ramble tamble
Ramble tamble
Ramble tamble

Lyrics: John Fogerty

8 things about yesterday’s cars

July 10, 2021

Yesterday’s cars drove all day on $1.50 worth of gasoline.

Yesterday’s dads taught yesterday’s sons how to drive in empty parking lots. How to release a clutch so the car wouldn’t jerk and stall. How to parallel park.

Yesterday’s sons listened to everything yesterday’s dads said about driving and kept what they thought was important and let go of the rest.

Yesterday’s moms intuited that yesterday’s sons might do exactly that and worried every time yesterday’s sons left in the car.

Yesterday’s moms would say “Drive careful” and yesterday’s sons would answer, “Yeah, mom.”

Yesterday’s sons lied and drove faster than the speed limit, did burnouts in parking lots, picked up hitchhikers, drove on city sidewalks, kicked up dust on backcountry roads, drank beer, and played the radio too loud.

Yesterday’s sons kissed yesterday’s girls in yesterday’s cars.

Yesterday’s cars were pretty good cars.


1, 2, 3, 4 . . .

Hope (SOC)

July 10, 2021

Linda hosts Stream of Consciousness Saturday. This week’s prompt is “hope.” Use one, use them both, but try to put one in your first sentence. Bonus points if you use the other in your last sentence.

I met a woman named Hope. This was pre-COVID. I wonder if we didn’t think much about hope back then because we didn’t have to? Unless it was ‘I hope I get that raise’ or ‘I hope I make that light’ or I hope they put a lot of mushrooms on that pizza’. I don’t meet anyone now. She was squirrely. Dodgy. She was other words that end in ‘y’ that I’m not thinking of right now. Where are all the adjectives when you need one? That’s adjectives for you. Flaky. She was, adjectives aren’t. Well, flaky is. Also good looking. I’m not going to describe her because then I’d have to think too much but if you look up and to the right – they say people look up and to the right when they’re thinking – then you can visualize someone that you think is good looking and she looked like that and for purposes of this SOC that’ll be good enough. Unless you’re a woman and you’re thinking of a man. That won’t work because Hope didn’t look like a man. Anyway, she was good looking. And maybe loony. And it’s so easy to get lost in someone’s looks and then say things you don’t want to say and do things you don’t want to do and wind up somewhere you don’t want to be. (Featherbrained just came to mind) So Hope was a wonderful reminder that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Unless you’re a used book appraiser in which case it would be necessary.

I like stream of consciousness writing. I learned about it in a Community Ed writing class I took a long time ago and the instructor recognized it as a valuable tool and encouraged everyone to use it. We all had to do it before each class. This was back when writing was done by holding a narrow tube filled with ink in one’s fingers and then moving it across a sheet of paper to form letters and words and eventually sentences and paragraphs. It was messy but not anymore because if I make a typo now then Word, compulsive little writing cleaner that it is, cleans it up and changes it to the right word. Sometimes. Most of the time it does that. Compulsive little writer that I am I like that.

I also like Railroad Earth. Have you ever listened to them? They play a mix of folk, bluegrass, country, rock and they jam a lot. They’re good. Look for them on Youtube. They took their name from the Jack Kerouac stream of consciousness poem October in the Railroad Earth. Have you ever read the poem? I personally don’t understand it.


Here’s a song. I thought of it this morning because the word “hope” is in the title. It’s a good song and I love how the story (at least by my interpretation) takes place completely in the writer’s thoughts and it totally imagined.


July 9, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

July 8, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features feathers. It can be a single feather or more. Where did the feather come from? Does it hold meaning to the character or story? Go where the prompt leads!


I bought a parakeet with green and yellow feathers.
They put it in a box.
At home I put it into a birdcage I got at a garage sale.

The parakeet looked around.
Shortly, it became anxious.
For two days it did nothing but climb up and down the sides of the cage and scream.

Pretty bird. Scared bird.

I became anxious.
Neither of us slept.
I put it into the box and returned it.

“Sorry,” I said.

Maybe another parakeet died in the cage and my parakeet knew?
Maybe I should have cleaned the cage.
Hindsight, they say.


It was inevitable

July 8, 2021

I’m not sure I believe in destiny. I’m also not sure I believe in free will. I know I don’t believe in pro-wrestling and I’m pretty sure I don’t believe the Minnesota Twins will ever have another successful season with their current management and coaching staff.

I’m not sure what I believe in. And that’s maybe not a good thing.

I think I might believe love is fate. Or am I cynical and think it might be fateful?

"He woke up, the room was bare,
he didn’t see her anywhere.
He told himself he didn’t care, pushed the window open wide.
Felt an emptiness inside to which he just could not relate,
brought on by a simple twist of fate." - Bob Dylan, Simple Twist of Fate

Action and result, cause and effect. I like that. Like negative thoughts or deeds creates negativity in the body and in one’s life. Loving thoughts and deeds create positivity in the body and in one’s life. Yes, I like that. Is that fate?

I have no idea what any of it means. I’m not a philosopher, I just like to think a lot.

Charles Bukowski was a little more pragmatic in his view of destiny. From his poem, “The Poetry Reading“.

I quit, that's it, I'm finished.
And later in my room there's scotch and beer:
the blood of a coward.
This then will be my destiny:
scrabbling for pennies in tiny dark halls,
reading poems I have long since become tired of. - Charles Bukowski, The Poetry Reading

Speaking of philosophy, I’ve never read anything about Karl Marx but I know he was a philosopher. And it bothers me that he gets so much attention while his sister, Anya, is totally ignored. As the inventor of the starting pistol I think she deserves much greater recognition.

As does Groucho Marx, my favorite philosopher. “If you speak when angry, you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.”

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