Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Words that Rhyme or Don't LOL .!

Words that Rhyme or Don'r LOL.!

Lost in the coldness of my room,the fan rolls cockeyed on plastic and metal arms and the airconditioner is too cold for the covers and I lie there aching from the fun I had in youth now the broken down joints of a has been man fed and nourished now by my memories,remembrances and whats left between my ears not affected by ancestral infirmaties. I used to secretly cry at very emotional things and cheer for the underdog.Now I cry for any reason for it all is emotional now.The act of barely living takes all my strength,to die has just become more palatable although the manner is frightening or shall I say future ,the future manner.
Life is short do a job you love if ya can,don't try to do it all save a little of yoursef for the sunset. There are a few stairs to climb to see grandkids,there are miles to drive to see familly and whats the point of seeing the grand canyon if your in terrible pain.
Put down the cigs cause your gonna have to breath to make it to the kitchen. Ya need to be lucid to take insulin and meds.
Nursing homes have their place but to me they are dying factories where living wills are really a death notice on which to mark your X.
Don't write me that I sound depressed,these are the words of pain and breathlessness and fatique.I still have some reserves to fall back on so dont be sad,hug a loved one and at the least fix that broken fan. LOL--------------Papa

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Collection of a few lost Stories combined together

MY Lousy Month,the Flip side

I look on the bad side and if anything goes right I appreciate it more.
Such was the case of the terrible month I just had.

Medicare still sucks but we found salvation in Wallmart,Americas retail giant.THey have 4.00 scrips and after reading the list of things available I can get most of my meds from them.
Another of the challenges was my oxygen and checking Craigs list may have answered that. THere is a nearly new Ivacare oxygen concentrator that a guy has for 500.00 or best offer.
We dont have 500 but we have 300.00 and we are the only person to call about it. It was given to the man by his father who went main stream with his oxygen to LOX.My wife just left to go make the offer to him. If she is successful my Oxygen supply will be taken care of and not a pricey insuarance claim each month any more.
Publix grocery stores are advertising their antibiotics for free. I use 1 and it will be covered at n/c.
THere are a couple more meds that have no generic equivalent. They are so expensive too. I take back what I said--there is one with no generic equivalent.It's Lyrica a med for the damaged nerves in my diabetic feet.If I want Lyrica it will cost me hundreds of dollors or if I spend 1300 more with medicare/Humana I can get it for 60.00 for a monthly supply.
My insulin is another matter. If I paid for it we are looking at 1000 per mo.There is supposed to be a plan with most of the drug companies to get insulin either free of lsss money and we have to write off about it.
THe other thing causing me stress is this crummy flu that hangs on seemingly forever. It still is but my joy about the meds makes me notice it less.
THe sons going through divorce is still happening but we have nor yelled and screamed at his wife when she called here to pick a fight. Marty was very calm and matter of fact. When his wife threatened to get out son fired somehow Marty said oh well, I guess he would have to get another job LOL.When she threatened to withold the grandkids from us Marty said that would make her sad but she would fight to have that honor restored.Marty rebutted everything she said so she hung up and told everyone Marty was mean.They haven't seen mean till she tries to withold those kids.Our oldest son is at our house and doing great. He seems more relaxed and knows he is in a place where all love him. He currently is at the park at a bench in a shady area creating his next cyber genius software idea.
THe son in the Carolinas is going through divorce as well and he always says everything is good.He is so pleased to be away from his controlling wife that everyday is like a holliday.
THe tooth ache which has been killing me is not quite as bad since I got some antibiotics to take away the infection. I have an 830 an appointment tomorrow to have it pulled but I'm going to cancel.
Why cancel?I hate going to the dentist and the only time I go is when the pain is so bad,no matter what they do to me it couldn't hurt any worse. I am at that stage and got some med. I am tired and don't wanna go in the a.m so early. I will take the rest of the med and go on a Friday. I realize I am putting this off. I am using my wifes dentist and I dont know her.I was hurt so bad when I was like 14 by a Winter Park Florida dentist.He drilled directly into a nerve and I shot outta that chair like in a rocket. No torture done by any country could have hurt any worse that that and since then I hate dentist,trust none of them,make them give me extra shots of pain killer and still am wondering if the unthinkable could happen again.
It is a beautiful day and I feel 20% better than the last writing entitled my Lousy MOnth. THe Codgerman---Rickl

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Friday March 6, 2009

Bullys-Rat Face,and Chinaman

In the 8th grade I looked a lot like the dude whith his hand at his face on the beach blanket getting sand kicked on him by the hulking muscle bound bully at the beach. I had brown hair with a cow lick like alphalfa and you could count all the ribs in my body.
I was the perfect weakling target for the class bully Alan F-----l.Alan was nearly his adult size in the 8th grade he was a smoker and carried his pride and joy zippo lighter around and was always flipping the lid open and shut,just to let all know that he was lurking on the premesis.
Alan sat behind me in mechanical drawing class and one day had his opening. He plopped his book on my desk and then said out loud in the class,Green what ya doin stealing my book.I put his book back on his desk and said I didn't steal it you put it there,then he said you calling me a liar Green?
He proceeded to proclaim that after school he was going to beat me up.
I was a bit of a wreck and was clock watching that day and when the last bell rang I scrambled to the bike rack and got my english racer western auto bike with the pump and water bottle and headed home,there was no sign of Alan as I pumped harder I was already hyperventillating.
Suddenly I was knocked to the ground. Alan came out from behind some bushes and knocked over my bike and me onto the pavement.He kicked in the spokes on my bike and then started on me. He put that dam ligher in his right hand and started to slug me with it and I was bleeding and was getting really hurt with each blow.
Just as suddenly as the attack started it was interrupted by a guy named Hilliyard who hollered at Alan that he was gonna kick his azz which he did. Hilliyard was an athlete and stronger than Alan and about the same size. Hilliyard hollered at me to get home which I did but had to walk the bike. Hilliyard beat Alans butt and they both sat down laughing and smoked a cigarette together after.
I was humiliated and it got worse when I limped home and mom saw my condidtion and then dad came in and they made me tell them what where when why how and who.Dad called Alans father and ask them to come to our house and I cringed nooo please dont do that,you'll make it worse!!Before Alan and his father got there dad gave me the ya gotta stand up for yourself speech or these bulleys will always bother ya.
I had already decided that no human being was going to do me that way again no matter what happened to me I was gonna fight back with all I had.
Alan and his father came over and they made Alan appologize and I could see the look in his eye. He was gonna go for the kill at school the next day .
THe next day in class Alan had the chair behind me and we were back in the left corner.I couldn't see Alan so he was able to start his lighter and he heated the lid of it till it was red hot and slapped it onto my calf of my left leg. I hollered from being burned and in one motion knocked Alan off his desk dumping the mechanical drawing table on top of him. I picked up the T Square and whailed on him with that them kicked him then jumped on him and started slugging his face. The teacher pulled me off and Alan went to the principals office.
Prior to my retribution I was being teased in PE cause my mom put a picture in the Orlando Sentinel of a sailfish I caught down in South Florida. I was looking into the sun and my eyes were squinting.There was a guy who hung out with the bullies and he was called Rat Face.
He saw the pic and started calling me chinaman and chinc and others took it up and I was harrassed in PE.
When I stood up to Alan ,he never bothered me again nor did Rat Face call me chinaman any more.I have remained true to my vow not to shy away from protecting myself and even though I lost twice I won more times when those situations developed in life.
I saw Alan years later in Club Juana a club owned by a fellow classmate at the Jr High where all this happened,he looked a liitle apprehesive as I approahed him. By now I had out grown him and was not the weakling I once was. I bought him a beer. THe Codgerman

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Monday February 23, 2009

Welcome to Wild and Wonderful West Va.

The wife chose our first rental in West Va. It was
> picked
> > out of necessity.Our money was running out.She rented
> a
> > small mobil home on top of a mountain.For the sake of
> having
> > the nomenclature correct it was a hill,A bump in the
> earth
> > less than 1000 feet tall.
> > The owner was a nurse who worked in Charleston W.Va.
> She
> > had two charming teenager daughters--he said tongue in
> > cheek.
> > Their father and her husband had tragically died
> recently
> > and the girls didn't want to live in the house
> cause it
> > brought bad memories.
> > It was for this reason that the lady was willing to
> take 2
> > weeks rent and part of the deposit for us to move in
> and I
> > would draw 300.00 from my job to come out of the first
> > monthly check.
> > This little mobil home sat right up on the top of this
> hill
> > and from the front porch you could see the whole area
> and in
> > the distance we had a clear view of interstate 79.
> > It was a beautiful lot and had an awesome view of the
> last
> > remnants of oranges browns reds and yellows as the
> last
> > leaves of Fall slipped to the ground laying bare the
> > skelitized trees of Winter.
> > From the ground level of the hill the road up to the
> house
> > was terraced.After the first rise and then flat spot
> was a
> > red house on the left,our neighbor the Burdetts.I had
> not
> > met them yet but their name was clearly and evenly
> attached
> > to their mailbox.
> > At the top of the hill was our trailer and off to our
> left
> > quite a ways were the Gandees with a pretty little A
> frame
> > and nice 4 wheel drive Nissan.
> > We were proud of our little home on top of the
> world,even
> > though we had to burn our trash and carry the 50
> gallon drum
> > to the bottom of the hill for pick up.We started with
> 1
> > mattress and a pile of blankets and our little black
> and
> > white sayno 12 inch t.v and the pots and pans and
> silverware
> > and of course our light weight Florida cloths.
> > The mattress was donated by a man whose house we
> checked
> > out but it wasnt available for a month. He ask if we
> had any
> > furnitre and we said no.
> > He gave us the mattress which he used to stick in his
> pick
> > up for deer season. He also gave me an old shotgun to
> use
> > for hunting and safety.
> > There aren't many places where people do that for
> ya
> > and ya dont even have a house yet!
> >
> > I forget to put the year on my stories---this all
> happened
> > in Nov 1980
> >
> > I worked with my district manager for a couple of
> weeks. He
> > was staying in the holliday Inn in Charleston. He was
> a nice
> > guy and was from Ohio,can't remember the town off
> > hand.The day came where we would go up to Parkersburg.
> > Parkersburg was up near Ohio and was North of
> Charleston
> > and I would stay at he Holliday Inn across the bridge
> and
> > Bob would stay at the Ramada on this side of the
> bridge. I
> > would work the small towms off of interstate 77 on my
> way to
> > Parkersburg.
> > I worked my way up the small towns and it was
> interesting
> > and the people were nice. The old saleman had not
> missed a
> > beat selling to all of our companies accounts with his
> new
> > company. I was furious,for I had moved to West Va. to
> take
> > over an account that paid more money or so they told
> me. I
> > then learned that the ex-salesman had started his on
> tape
> > business with all my supposed customers. He even had a
> whse.
> > and a delivery truck.
> > They knew it to that he had done it and there was no
> law
> > protecting me from him as it was a right to work
> state.I was
> > screwed,all I could go was undercut his prices and try
> to
> > get some accounts back but at lower prices I would be
> > loosing money. This was not good!The ex salesman was a
> West
> > Virginian and that means a lot there. I tried telling
> people
> > he had done me wrong but the customers liked him and
> were
> > pleased to help him in his new business venture.
> > When I met Bob that night for dinner I was not very
> happy.
> > It seemed that the two Bobs were friends from 5 years
> of
> > working together.The best the company could do for me
> was
> > give a Holliday Inn credit card to use as I went
> around the
> > state.Just that token amazed me they just paid a
> monthly
> > salary and bonuses at the end of the year.The credit
> card
> > would help since I had the whole state to cover in my
> > territory.
> >
> > The next morning brought a very big surprise. After
> > breakfast Bob said you drive today and I said sure
> till I
> > walked into the lobby and snow was coming down, it had
> > already covered the roads. I told Bob I had to get gas
> in my
> > car and would meet him out front.I walked into the
> parking
> > lot very tentatively. I had never driven in snow in my
> life
> > I put new tires on my car before we left Florida but
> not
> > snow tires.The filling station was across the four
> lane
> > road. I couldn't even back out of the parking
> space,the
> > rear end kept going sideways.
> > I tried to gingerly ease down to the edge of the road
> so I
> > could get out to the center median. I started sliding
> and
> > ended up on the middle of the road with cars coming.I
> tried
> > to give it gas and get out of the way but spun in a
> circle.I
> > was cussing and crying and yelling at the same time
> and
> > people were doing the same to me LOL.
> > I finally figured out that slower was better and
> somehow
> > got pointed across the street and when the traffic
> slacked
> > off I gentley gave gas and scooted across the highway
> and
> > couldn't stop for the turn in to the gas station
> and
> > kept going past it.It was a dead end road and it took
> me
> > forever to get turned around.I headed back and tried
> to turn
> > left into the gas station but spun 180 degrees and my
> rear
> > end was in a ladies yard right up next to her porch.
> Before
> > I could try to get off her yard she emerged from her
> house
> > and saw my Florida tag and started laughing at me .
> > She said ya got the wrong kinda tires for up here
> buddy.!!!
> > I thanked her and got out of her yard and was headed
> for
> > the gas pumps sideways and the car would not stop.I
> just
> > gently toed the brakes and the car slid up next to the
> > island and didn't jump it. MY heart was in my
> throat and
> > I knew one thing for sure. I was not--I repeat,I was
> not
> > going to drive around Ohio and West Va this day no
> matter
> > whether I got fired or not. I was totally scared to
> death
> > and need some practice .
> > I barely made it to the front of the holliday Inn
> where Bob
> > was waiting. He had witnessed what went on and was
> laughing
> > himslf sick!
> > He started to get in and I said no way,period I'll
> give
> > you gas but I am not driving on these roads another
> inch
> > untill they are cleared and I can try to get home over
> 100
> > miles. I drove around with Bob and promised him I
> would do
> > some practicing and get out there in it.
> > Bob left at around 1 p.m to go to Ohio and I limped
> around
> > about 2 hours and hit the salt trucks,behind them
> heading
> > home slowley petrified to give any gas hardly.
> > Interstate 77 and then 79 were cleared partially
> enough for
> > me to drive in the tires paths.I made it the 100 plus
> miles
> > and onto throughfare ave and the gradual climb up to
> where
> > the bottom of out hill started.I stopped at the bottom
> and
> > surveyed our hill. It was solid snow covered all the
> way to
> > the top. I could see steam rising from heat on at our
> house
> > way on top of the mountain.Our road to the top was
> covered
> > in about 3 inches of snow.
> > I backed up slightly as a hill was behind me and got a
> > running start and hit our pristine snow covered road
> with
> > all the steam I could muster and even though I fish
> tailed
> > slightly I almost made it to the first flat but not
> quite.
> > There was a sickening feeling that overcame me as by
> big ole
> > yellow Pontiac Catalina started sliding backwards and
> > picking up speed. I had a deep gulley to my left and a
> rock
> > and dirt wall to right. I could not go flying down the
> hill
> > and out into the road and off the other mountain. I
> had to
> > crash the car into the rock and dirt wall to my right
> and
> > stop the car. I did and the collision caused the car
> to
> > stop,scratched my right rear quarter panel and busted
> out
> > one of the tail lights. It was the first time I had
> ever
> > delibertley crashed a car.
> > I was 1/4 of the way up the mountain and blocking the
> road.
> > I got the car away from the rock and dirt wall and
> started
> > sliding again and crashed the car but was a little
> further
> > toward the bottom of the hill.I tried one more time
> and
> > broke the rest of the tail-light. I was close enough
> to the
> > bottom that on the next attempt I pulled out into the
> road
> > and prepared for my next assault on the summit.
> > This time I backed further back and got a running
> start and
> > turned right and had the car floor boarded and the
> wheels
> > were spinning on the snow and I made it up to the
> flats by
> > the neighbors and should have stayed there but I
> didn't.
> > I tried for the top and my house!!I made it part way
> up the
> > incline and started sliding back but when I hit the
> flat
> > spot I kept going picking up speed--there was no where
> to
> > pull over and I hit the steepest part of the hill and
> was
> > really moving. I started spinning the steering wheel
> right
> > and left and spun the opposite direction this time off
> the
> > left side if the hill down into a deep gulley!When the
> snow
> > stopped flying and I finally focused -my car was
> standing on
> > end and I was looking out the front window looking at
> the
> > clouds float by.
> > I just sat there as if I was in the space shuttle on
> the
> > launch pad ready to take off.I heard a voice and I
> thought
> > angels were calling me. I just sat looking at the
> clouds
> > hearing someone calling to me and realized someone was
> > calling to me from outside the car. It was a farmer on
> a
> > blue Ford Tractor. I put my electric window down and
> he
> > said. I've been watching you for a while and
> wondered if
> > ya needed a hand. He yanked my pontiac out of the
> gulley
> > and told me I would have to park at the bottom of the
> hill
> > and walk to the top of the mountain to my house.
> > I did what he said and I was exhausted when I got to
> the
> > top to tell Marty the story.
> > I had to go back down the mountain to tape my tail
> light
> > together again and remount it.
> > I had dinner,talked to Marty about the territory about
> the
> > ex-saleman taking all the customers starting his own
> > business with them.
> > No matter what I had to work so I went to bed. I had
> to get
> > up at 5 a.m. and drive to Beckely and Bluefield West
> Va. in
> > the morning.
> > I woke and put on my suit but unbeknownst to me the
> snow
> > had turned to ice over night. I stepped one foot onto
> the
> > road going down and I sled to my butt and down I went.
> I had
> > my leggs in the air and my butt was catching hell from
> > little rocks in the snow and past the lower flat I
> flew just
> > like I was on a fast sled. I careened down the
> mountain
> > going flat out my briefcase busted open and paperwork
> and
> > tape samples littered the mountain road to our house
> and at
> > the bottom I finally stopped in a 1 foot deep slush
> hole. My
> > suit was ruined ,briefcase ruined,contents ruined and
> I
> > screamed at the top of my lungs--------WELCOME TO WILD
> Codger
> > Man

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Monday February 16, 2009

The Monster Garden

The Monster Garden

We answered the ad of a Mr. Sam Naylor for a house to rent in Clendenin West Va.The ad read Jinny Lynn house on the Elk river 250 per mo.
The house had a huge yard and was on the top of the hill over looking the beautiful river. The house however was falling in and was rather depressing looking. The Sam Naylor charactor was one in a million,as gregarious as they come.He showed up in bib overals had a boys haircut and was as friendly as if you were related to him.
We said no to the jinny Lynn house but he immediately interjected that he had another house we would love!He described it as a farm house on Big Sandy Creek,had an out building and 125 acres and was a old farm House with 1 1/2 stories and came with free gas.
I didn't even ask how much, I said lets go look at it,and up the road we went.
We followed Sams brown Nissan and exited hwy 79 at the # 25 exit which said Amma. We followed down to the bottom of the hill and then turned right. The Exxon station and a car wash were to the left.
We found ourselves on a dirt road,a small creek on our left. It had rained in the not so distant past and the road was bumpy. The road veered to the right past an old farm on our left and the road here had been partially covered in large chunks of rock to make the often muddy road passable in the rain or winter.
The brown Nissan 510 kicked up a dust cloud as I pressed my pontiac to keep up on the rough rock strewn road. I figured I would have a flat before we got there.
We arrived at the driveway to the house and pulled into the yard behind the house. The house sat near a small blue metal bridge and from hence forth would be known as the house beside the blue bridge.
Sam showed us the house and exclaimed that if we rented it he needed to keep a small room off the back left corner for himself. That room had a sink bathroom and stove. He explained that he would be out there working on the farm,cutting grass and brush and trees and mending fences.
I didn't mind that arrangement at all. He was a really nice guy.
Sam gave us the grand tour of the place and it certainly was a pleasure to the eye..
The creek ran right in front of the house and actually fronted a lot of the farm going down a quite a ways and then making a sharp right and then down some more turning right again. The creek eventually ended up in the town of Clendenin emptying into the Elk river.
The farm house was not much to look at but it was still solid. The upstairs was bare wood which was very dark.There were remnants of mutiple layers of wall paper that had been applied over the years.
Old timey ceramic gas heaters were both upstairs and down and put off a lot of heat. There of course was free gas. Sam made me a flat price offer for the place which would include the balance of the utilities.
I just tried to call my wife and ask her how much we paid. She didn't answer so I will guess and tell all later. I say 385.00 per month.
Sam was very excited about the place and its possibilities. He said we would love it and he also said that he would use his new orange Kubota Tractor to plow us a beautiful garden right there by the creek. Sam related that no one had plowed that bottom in over 15 years and it should make an incredible garden!!. He further stated that we needed a second garden right up by the house for taters onions carrots and I said I wanted to grow some big max pumpkins .
We moved into the farm house by the blue bridge and made ourselves at home.
There was a chicken coup near the house,a small wooden building with a door. Down at the end of the property was a hog pen and we were excited to get some chickens and a couple pigs.
We moved in Feb and there was a little winter left so Sam couldn't plow us that garden till winter was over.
We had an apple tree at the entrance to the driveway and a last minute April frost killed the buds /flowers that had come out. We never did see an apple on that tree.
Our closest neighbor lived up the creek past the blue bridge we would later meet them and they were an amazing couple. Mr. and Mrs Helmick.
Their house like ours was right on the creek and Mrs Helmick said there were muskies in that little river as long as your leg. She said she would sit and watch them frolic around in the eddy she had in front of her house.
There was another neighbor across from our house and up a 30 foot embankment and back some distance. We never did meet them but heard about him. A govt agency from the state came in with special trucks and hauled away one truck load after another of 10 foot marijauna plants and they also took the mans cultivating tools. He got furious and put an ad in the Spencer paper that said that was the only cash crop that paid anything lol.
Our first weekend I sat on the front porch--the river was up from heavy rains and flowing really fast. Sam had given me a single shot 22 to use and a bunch of old shells he had. I sat on my West Va. farm house porch and shot bottles and things floating down the river. Marty was in the kitchen fixin vittles LOL. I thought I would get in practice talking country!
Marty had a little experience with gardens having helped her dad Big George with their's in Alabama when she was young.I also had limited experience having grown 2 very small gardens in Maryland when I was 8 and 9 years old.Neither one of us was really ready for what awaited us and at the moment the garden was just a plan yet unfullfilled.
Marty and I lay in bed one night and decided what we were going to grow.
We decided to have the basics first,half runner beans. I had never heard of them but Sam said they were good so be it.We wanted okra cabbage,corn and tomatoes,peas and potatoes. We wanted squash and carrots and pumpkins and peanuts LOL. Martys sister sent her peanuts to grow. We didn't know if they would work in West Va. but what the hey .
Martys sister in Ca. also sent some special potatoes that ya dig a hole and put the potaoe in then fill the hole with hay and ya just keep picking the potatoes and more grow in their place. Martys sister loved gardens and had them herself in Redding Ca.She also sent us okra that grew very large.We had others things that escape my memory now.
The next few days I picked Sams brain about different vegetables and he said ya better get some tomatoe plants to put out.
I learned about a couple who had a greenhouse up Grannies creek and I went there and bought a couple flats.We took care of them in the house untill we could transplant them in the garden.
We visited with the Helmicks and just talking to them was like opening a time capsule. She was 92 and he was 89. The first time I saw her at 92,her legs were sticking out of a chevy hood and she was doing car maintenance herself I could not believe it.I came by her house another time and she was up on the roof repairing something. I kid you not old timey dress and all doing roofing!
Mrs Helmick gave us all kinds of helpful suggestions about things and one was to take the tomatoe bedding plants when we put them in the garden and cover them with 1/2 of a milk jug. That was it was like they were in a protective little greenhouse,protected from wind and rain and even cold a little.
Wonderful Mrs. Helmick had taught school her whole life and her husband worked for the public works dept. of the city of Clendenin and retired from there.I wish we had known them longer and recorded our conversations.

We also decided to grow some water melons and popcorn.

One day when the winter had finally slipped away till the next year I came home from work to find Sam busy plowing our garden and what a garden it was!I think he got carried away on that Kubota.The garden was about 110 yards long by 60 yards wide and the one by the house was big as well but not as big as the main garden.
Since I now knew the demensions of the Monster Garden I could plan how much space would be devoted to the various vegetables.Corn was the most with about 5 rows 110 yards each.Beans were a big project I got poles and spaced them 10 feet apart and drove them in the ground and got twine and made a spider web design for the beans to grow up on.
I also made climbing trellices for the tomatoes. I got more poles which were 4 inches in diameter and ran them down 1/2 a row to have climbing trellices for the okra which I pre-maid.
We transplanted the tomatoes to the garden and covered each one with the top half of a gallon milk jug. When they grew they would have a tall trellice to climb and I could further support them with twine.
Marty and I were Florida newcomer flatlanders and were determined,even though we didn't have much experience,to have a beautful garden anyway.
I figured out how much space for everything. We had never grown squash so didn't know how many plants to have we just randomley selected 40 hills.
We planted 1/2 a row with water mellons and just 10 feet to try the peanuts her sister had sent LOL.We had 2x60 feet of cabbage.we put out 48 tomatoe plants.
We planted peas and had a long row of them -they ended a disaster will explain shortly.
I made a planning chart for the Monster Garden how many feet for each item and the seed store in charleston said bring it and they would sell me how many seeds for the space I had allocated. I said thank you.
I went to the seed store and showed them my planner and they helped me choose some of the vegetables. I selected a hardy corn that grew 10 feet tall.By the time my sales person was done filling my order I had spent 74.00 for seeds and then got 10 bags of lime and 10 bags of fertilizer that the guy recomended. I also purchased 150 feet of hose 3/4 inch and some bug spray and a few other things.
I hauled it all home to my Monster Garden. The next day was Sat. and Marty and I planted everything the same day with no particular knowledge of how long each item took to grow.
Marty made a simple error on a couple things that really caused a big problem. On the peas she read the instructions which stated plant 15 seeds to the foot. She thought each foot she had to drop 15 seeds into the hole. She did the same with the carrots and something else which escapes my memory.I will tell later how all this turned out.
Now we also had the garden by the house. It was planted in mostly taters,2 types. It was in this garden that I planted a couple hills with Big Max Pumpkins.I was determined to grow some giant pumpkins like ya see on T.V although I didn't know how exactly. I got cow manure from the cow Sam had and used that and also nursed the pumkin plants and other things with miracle grow.
Me and Marty worked so hard on the Monster Garden,we wanted people driving by to notice how nice it looked.It was a thrill to see these tiny plants break the surface and greet the above earth world. It was about this time that Sam came to me with a proposition. He showed me a catalog of chickens and pointed at this picture of a big gold/yellow chicken called a Buff Orpington. He said they weren't egg layers but got really big and should be good to butcher to put chicken in the freezer.He said we could buy 1 gross of them ,144 chickens and split the price. They were coming from another state,Ca. I think.They were to be put into the chicken coup.
Sam gave us some more instuctions. He said we needed to get a pressure cooker and some canning jars and a freezer for a garden that large. He gave us a few canning jars and I went to K-Mart and purchased 144 which seemed like a lot to me LOL.I also found an old pressure cooker at a yard sale and found a 25 cubic foot freezer which looked like new for 200.00.
We were cruising. We had a plan and it was coming together niceley.
Sam told me that when the garden came in we would have a ton of canning to do and that a pressure cooker would not be fast enough,that we should get one of those giant round wash tubs like they used to bathe kids in and when we started to can vegetables we would set a fire under the giant wash tub which would be filled with water and let it burn all night till the water was boiling and put the canning jars in it and the lids would seal. He also said that when the chickens got old enough we would have to heat a 50 gallon metal barrel until it was boiling and ya dip the killed chickens into the boiling water and then it made it easier to pull the feathers off.
My life got into its regular routine. I worked all day in Charleston and surrounding areas selling and came home and worked the garden.
I howed and fertilized and watered and worked into the night. I did not get tired cause it was such a thrill to do. It was looking beautful.
The chickens came and they were so cute and ran around and pecked the feed we gave them plus what they found like bugs etc.I limed fertilized and used miracle grow on everything.
The vegetable plants were growing so fast and so were those darn chickens. They got huge fast and soon were too large for the hen house,just too many giant yellow chickens so we had to open the hen house door and they dispersed through the garden like locust laying bare the fields. There were not yet any veggies for them to eat except for the big max pumpkins and the tomatoe plants which were coming in. I tried shooing them away with a broom. At night I would go collect 1/2 of the birds and put them in the hen house-which was a pain in the neck. Those darn chickens were causing havoc!
The chickens were destroying my big max pumpkins,they each looked like they ad been scarred all over and it stunted their growth.
The chickens were eating our tomatoes and it was funny to watch cause they would jump in the air to reach the tomatoes--which eventually climbed up trellices almost 10 feet high.
I discussed the problem with Sam who said your gonna have to butcher the chickens. We had 144 huge chickens and the thought of all that work boiling a 50 gallon barrel of water killing and plucking them suddenly did not appeal to Sam. He said you can have my half of the chickens I dont want them.
There I was a hillbilly newcomer from the Florida Flatlands and I was faced with this awesome task with no help from my mentor.
I gathered the family around and discussed our predicament. They all had to help in this butchering operation.
Initally filling and heating a 50 gallon drum of water was a pain in the patuckus. Do you know how long it takes to boil 5 gallons of water?
It took part of one day and all day the next finding and putting wood under it constantly.
Jason tended to the fire and Todd and I were to kill the chickens.
Todd would be in the hen house and hand me out one,we had a stump there and I had a hatchet and I would have to chop off their heads and just throw them to the side to bleed and then Marty and Jason would dip them in the boiling water and pull off the feathers.
It only took a few mins to make Todd and I's work area look like a terrible massacre. I wacked off their heads but they didn't die right away they ran around the flopped around their wings were flapping like cracy and blood was spreading all over the area like Freedy Kruger and Jason and the species chick and jack the ripper had all been there working their dasterdly deeds.
Marty and Jason fell behind in the plucking and chicken bodies started to pile up. They flopped around all over my garden and I kid you not it was turning red from the blood. Me and Todd were covered in chicken blood. Marty was griping about those damn chickens.
This job took into the night. I finally stopped killing chickens and helped pluck them. Feathers were everywhere--it looked like 300 people had a pillow fight with feather pillows that busted.The feathers stuck to us to the chicken blood. We all looked like murderers.
The next day Marty cooked some of those chickens and they were disgusting. They were as tough as leather and tasted terrible. We tried cooking themin the pressure cooker and they didn't taste any better.
All that work and damage for nothing. They were strickly a show chicken with no redeeming qualities other than they were pretty.
All that work for nothing plus my damaged big max and tomatoes.
Our garden looked magnificent from the road as cars went by. I could see people checking it out and felt pride in our work.
Everything was growing it seemd at the same rate,the corn was shooting up in the air and it was so tall and healthy.The beans were growing like crazy and the big long trelice I made wa working like a charm.WE had so many tomatoes it was amazing and the okra was getig big and the squash. Oh MY God the Squash. had no idea one squash plant would put off so many squash and we had planted 40 hills of squash !!!
The cucumbers we planted went crazy as well and the Zuchinni. Everything was growing and coming in at once.
We were in a terible crisis. I estimated we had 4000 ears of corn coming in . It was sweet yellow corn and the stalks were 10 feet in the air.
We canned 144 jars and didnt even scratch the surface of the garden.WE need about 1000 jars or more plus the freezer.
We had a wheel barrow of squash every morning. We had mountains of 1/2 runner beans and on and on.
I put signs out front corn 10 cents an ear and pumkins 5.00 that were 30 pounds. and free signes for stuff.We filled every canning jar and the entire freezer and still had mountains of food. We called everyone we knew the phone number for to come get free veggies.
We missed the land lady I did't like from our previous house up on the mountain and she heard that we invited all these people to get free veggies but hadn't called her. She got her daughters to start making prank calls to our house saying all kinds of nasty things and threats which really had us upset cause the calls kept coming . We were harrassed day and night and it was very un-nerving. We called the phone company for help amd kept racking my brain to figure out who it was.One day the girl made a mistake and mentioned someone I knew that lived the next house down from them and I figured out who it was. When they called again I said her name and I was reporting her and her sister and mother for harrassment on the phone. The phone went click and we never got another call.
The garden was depleted except for ears of coen left on the stalks which turned hard and various shaded wand was cool in decorating. The peanuts whichonly had 10 feet actually grew and were huge,2/3 inches long.
The water mellons did not grow more that 8/10 inches for some reason. Te were bushes because all the seeds went into the same hole LOL,even at that rate we still had plenty.
We stacked the corn stalks and the old dried corn and big max pumpkins in front of the house for a Halloween decoration.
The vegetbles were amazingly good,so much better than store bought and I loved the half runner neans. I had never been a big fan of green beans but these tasted so good I wanted them with every meal.
We made some big time mistakes. We bought useless chickens that were just for looks. We planted everything at once and everything came in at once which was more than we could handal. The garden was too big and we were not set up to sell veggies on the side of the road.
We did something wrong with the water mellons and planted the peas and carrots incorrectly.
We wasted a bunch of food that we couldn't give away in time.
There is one last story I will leave yall with regarding the Monster Garden!.
We had some giant big Max pumkins that didn't sell. I didn't mean to sell them when we set up the halloween display but people stopped and ask if they could buy them. I sold them for 3/5 and 10 dollors.
Marty said she would make us some pumpkin pies. It had been since she was a child and watched her mother make them but she would give it a try.
I picked the biggest best one left and we cut off the top and scooped out all the indide and boiled it down removing the seeds and that giant pumpkin on made 3 scraggly pies that were stringy and didn't taste very good. Marty called Mrs Helmick to ask her what she did wrong and Marty fianlly got an answer when Mrs. Helmick stopped laughing. She said Honey your supposed to us the pumkin rhine to make pumpkin pie. With a pumpkin that size you could easily make 15 delicious pies. We started laughing ourselves--then Marty remembered it was the pumkin rhine ya use.
The whole thing was hillarious. WE had given Sam one of the pies the bad ones and he politely said it was good LOL--good ole Sam. W e gave hime a good pie too lol !!!! He end Eic (Rick) Green The Codger man

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Recent Posts
The Dark Hills
MY Lousy Month,the Flip side
Bullys-Rat Face,and Chinaman
Welcome to Wild and Wonderful West Va.
The Monster Garden
Bits and Pieces entry #-2
The Canal From Hell
Recurring Dreams
Remembrances of Ron and his times
What it's like to go rabbit hunting.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fast Summary of the Wild Years in the Navy

dated amd partied and dated and partied and dated and partied.
I did not do one thing constructive other than attain rank as fast as I could and spend the money on dates and parties.
I had a roomate who got his pilots license while I was dating and partieing and he also got his associates degree while I dated and partied.I was a total idiot.
I finally bought a car,a 1959 Chevy Bellair,Royal Blue with a 409 cu inch V-8. The only problem was it had a 348 cu inch motor with a cracked block. I paid 500.00 for this car and it started smoking like a chimmney after 5 miles and the owner went running with the money and never saw him again.
It was a Ca. car with no rust and a guy with an engine gave me 500.00 for the car as it was.
I then bought a 56 Chevy with as fiberglass lift up front end and a fiberglass trunk,a red and white tuck and rolled interior a 289 bored out to 301 with a hurst shifter and a 3/4 duntoff cam and a big 4 barrel carbureator and the promise that it would beat a Corvette in the 1/4 mile.I drove the car from where I bought it and came up to the road to the base,turned right and a Officer in a Vette pulled up alongside--this is the gosh awful truth--he reeved his engine---I reeved mine. I popped the clutch and got him out of the hole,shifted into second and blew the transmission to hell.
I did not have money for another transmission -but a guy loved the car and gave me my 500.00 back and he towed the car to Illinoise as he was getting out of the Navy.
I took the 500.00 and went to a car dealership in Beeville and bought a TR4A Triumpth,British Racing Green --English Sportscar and had small monthly payments. It had
wire wheels and over drive,wood grain dash and a white top.
It was a sharp little car and I finally ha a way around and my choices improved considerably. more later Rick the Codgerman

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Wild Navy Years part 4

When your in your 20's life is pretty much the pursuit of women--
It is just about the basics-finding them getting to know them and going as far as ya can.I mean we Sailors have stood on corners watching cars go by and whistling at or hollering at women. In the 60's ya had to watch one thing that you were actually hollering at a woman---problem was men in the 60's had long hair,many of them.
We were down in Corpus in 66 when a car went by with 2 chicks--I hollered they looked and it was 2 dudes who needed shaves LOL --I was totally embarassed.
I met many of the girls I dated at dances. If you can boogie down you can do OK with the ladies.
I made a number of trips to Mexico but never felt good about it. It was rarely a good sexual experience,kinda pitiful actually. I was always frightened I might catch something and that scared me a lot.Quite frankly sex without attachement of some degree is not very good.I became very selective with the spanish girls I dated. I quit going to Mexico. I dated one girl who was friends with my room mates girlfriend and I went on double dates with them. Her name was Lupe and she was a very nice person,attractive but a little too quiet for my taste.
My room mate Tom dated a girl named Nancy who was Spanish and had married a sailor who died. Nancy had a small cottage/cabin and we had many parties there where we got together with our friends. It was at that house that I tried Scotch for the first time and did not like it,and here I was part scotch LOL. It was the first time someone told me this line---It's an aquired taste---LOL it certainly is lol!! Rick

Sunday, May 17, 2009

part 2 my single Navy Years Eric Gone Wild

The Wild and the Normal

When I first arrived at Beeville I was an E-3 and I didn't get much of a paycheck.
I did the normal things with my small amount of money,blew it all in nothing flat,drinking at the club,eating on payday at a nice restaurant downtown Beeville or getting with the guys going to Mexico,walking like gunslingers down the nuevo Lareado streets,trading budweisers for sex or listening to Jimmy Buffet,Cheeseburger in paradise while sitting at the Mexican bar on Sunday waiting for the prostitutes to come back to the club after Mass.
I felt a little ashamed about that but when your in your 20's restricted your whole life and away from home for the first time ya find yourself doing things like that.
If we weren't in Mexico we were at a beer joint off base,there were only 3 back in those days,the Little brown Jug which was small but had some incredible local talent singing and passing the hat. The Flamingo Bar--had the pink Flamingos on the sign and it was more geared to dancing to the classic country western standards-a few of my favorite songs were 4 walls,Spanish eyes etc.
The Lone Star truck driver used to set us up with free beer if we were there when he was.
I preferred Budweiser and Miller Light--could not stand Pabst or Hamms or Pearl.
Coors was a special treat. I didn't drink mixed drinks in bars,too expensive and I never did like getting drunk but I disobeyed my own dislike more times than I wish to count.
The other bar in town was often my hangout. The Zebra Lounge. It was on the ground floor of the Kohler Hotel. It was either owned or managed by two elderly ladies,sisters who must have been in their 80's. They may have even owned the Hotel for all I remember.
Those ladies liked me from the gitgo,I was polite and gentlemanly like I was brought up.
The Zebra was the scene of story entiled Rexall Rick the Drugstore cowboy and would later on be my employer for a part time job. I will tell ya more about that later.
I loved to eat a good meal! Mom was not much of a cook when I grew up,I found myself eating out a lot in my life. Beeville had three places I hung out in a lot,no I should have said 4 places,but 1 of them ya needed a car and it had curb service. It was the outdoor greasy spoon that the officers hung out at trying to pick up the local girls.
The first place was a Mexican rest. It was a Tex Mex style and I loved it. I cannot remember the name--all thiswas transpiring around 1966.Thenext rest. was an Italain place and it was awesome. It was small,I went there a lot and often it was not crowded.
Thelocal businesse's really depended on the base-and here's why 16000 sailors and 5000 towns people,most of the people in the town did not like sailors except for the revenue.
Most young sailors made very little money. There were little loan companies with loan shark interest rates. Borrow 50.00 till payday pay back 100.00. There were even sailors running slush funds out of their lockers for big bucks.The guys didn't like those guys very much.
There was another rest. I went to a lot as well. It was across the railroad tracks in the Mexican part of town and it was authentic Mexican food and again was awesome.
I grew up eating at my Grandmother Campbells house every Sunday after Church,when mom could get dad to go. My Grandmothers Grandfather was an Italian man from Sicily and he taught his wife who taught her daughter and son who in turn taught their kids to cook Italain> My Grandmother was maybe one of the greatest cooks in the entire world.
My mom rest her soul was not a cook,her job which she certainly relished was to look good everday and talk on the phone. She had to make dinner but no one really ever wanted to eat it but a couple dishes were passable. Chipped beef on toast,and spagetti. She made a liver dish that made me hate liver my entire life.I tried to hide it under the mashed potatoes or green beans but she always caught me. Me and Brother Ron had to get the lectures about the starving kids in Europe eating out of garbage cans. That story did not make that liver which was still alive taste any better LOL.
I said in an earlier story that I worked my whole life and I did. My formal jobs started at 14,my informal jobs started at 5 or 6,those were the raking leaves mowing yards with push mowers which had no motors just us lOL.
Grandad loved teaching grandkids the art of making money from him. I think he liked giving us money but wanted us to learn to work for it--oh he loved going around and suddenly whipping out a 50 cent piece and giving it to us as well or a silver dollor. Why did we blow those on candy so fast ,ormodel airplanes made of Balsa or slinkys or marbles or tops .
I worked and always had money,I even worked at the school yards in the summer as a councelor teaching kids arts and crafts which my Grandparents or aunt Bonnie taught us.
It must have been a plan from God so I would have money to buy a good meal when one wasn't available at home!!
OK back to the base. I wasn't always acting a fool in Mexico chasing women sometimes I did it in Beeville if I could hitch a ride to town with a buddy. I had buddies with some nice cars and I quiclkly learned to keep them as friends by helping them find women. It wasn't that I was so good looking it was that I was not afraid to talk to girls and I loveds dancing. I had grown up in Winter Park Florida in Jr. Cottillon ,where I danced my life away at functions. I always had money for dates so when I got to Beeville I did what came naturally.
The main problem was the town was so small and the few eligable girls who were not Mexican would not go out with sailors and if they did it was with a young officer.
Enlisted men 16,000 strong were left to date some locals or some girls they would meet at the elisted mens club. These were girls who came for some of the small surrounding towns on Fri and Sat nights. More later amigos==ol Ricardo is sleepy

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Wild Life and Normal life before meeting my future Wife

My 3 1/2 years before I met my wife the years in the Navy were part of my wild side.
Like I said before I didn't let grass grow under my feet as my Grandmother Campbell used to say. I stayed busy at being a sailor boy.
The first few months were spent on the base mainly,we were working 17 hour days on the flight line and I was a plane captain.I was responsible for preparing the bird ( Jet) F11A for take off.We fueled the aircraft,we disconnected tie downs,we took the intake covers off,topped off the hydraulic reservoirs,prepared the pilots seat for plane entry (harnesses and lap belts properly positioned). We visually inspected the aircraft for any static leaks ( Leaks happening without PSI pressure applied).We checked the brake pads and the tires and the aircraft skin for popped rivets or broken metal or cracks.We cleaned the canopy inside and out.
When the pilot arrived at the tarmac we would tell him about any annomolies we had noticed. We assisted the pilot into the aircraft and helped him get situated.
If there were any static leaks we would observe them when the aircraft was turned up and report via hand signals to the pilot that the plane was up or down --down meaning could not fly this day.The pilots themselves could down an aircraft anytime before or after take off.
When our pilot was ready he would twirl his hands in a circular motion meaning turn this bird up( which means start the Jet engine which was a J65. The plane captain would obtain a huffer unit we called them--a big wind blowing machine which when hooked to a female receptacle under the side of the belly via a 4/6 inch hose. This action would turn the turbine blades and start the jet aircraft.
When the aircraft was running we would do an inspection at the pilots direction checking air foil and moveable rudder and slats and speed brakes and wheel wells and nose wheel well for hydraulic leaks and each inspection would be a thumbs up and if there were a thumbs down the bird would be shut down-visually inspected and generally written up as to the problem or potential problem for the shop to look at.
We also hooked up electric to the aircraft to help start them so the pilot could read his instruments as well while going through pre flight checks.
Hydraulic leaks can happen anywhere and actually bleed out of the aircraft skin.
When the aircraft had passed its inspection while running the last thing to do was pull the chocks from under the wheels and then direct the aircraft out of its parking place by hand signals to the pilot. The nose wheel on the F11A's were hydraulic and moveab le with a positioning switch in the cockpit.WE would give a sweeping motion with ourarms sending the bird down the taxi way and the last thing is the plane captain and the pilot would salute one another.-----------more later Rich the Codger

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This is not all she wrote


My dad, rest his soul--had various expressions--for instance "For Crying Out Loud"--now dad was born in 1923--another was he called strangers when addressing them---hey Chief--which is one I can't stand for some reason--another was hey Mack--not especially courteous but used by a lot of people.---another favorite of the masses--hey buddy.
He liked to say that things didn't amount to a hill of beans--tell that to the baked bean guy and his dog!!
Certain things strike my funny bone--for instance--your driving along and see a sign that reads " Draw Bridge"--have you ever seen someone with an easel and a chair sittin there drawing the darn thing?
Here's another---slow children--well help um out for cryin out loud--or give um some geritol to speed um up!!
Another biggie-----Stop A Head---I've never seen one yet--have yall?
Deer Crossing??? I've seen football players thanking the powers to be for their good fortune to make a touchdown but never have I seen a Deer crossing himself or herself or well you know----You Know!! night yall---Codger alias Eric

A Kids Gotta have Wheels

The Bicycle

There was an incinerator across from our apartments--when I was a kid and one day I looked over and there was a burned up bicycle on top of the hill--tires burned off-seat burned off and fenders.
I didn't have a bicycle so I went over there-picked it up and straddled it-stood up on the metal things that used to have peddles and down the hill I went on that charred wreck of a bike--I crashed at the bottom but didn't care--wow was that fun--unbeknownst to me my dad had gotten home and was looking out the window at me--riding that burned up bicycle--and told mom--we gotta buy that boy a bike.
They went to Sears and came home with a beautiful red and white bicycle--a 26 incher----I was thrilled to death but I couldn't reach the peddles-they traded for a 24 incher-it had red and white tassles from the red handal bars--a beautiful bike--and to me it was like a fancy sportscar--and gave me the ability to travel---my dad and mom were so good to me---I had that wonderful bike till I was 16 years old-in Florida--and dad bought me another--an English racer--and after that a Lambretta 250 delux scooter-that would do 70 m.p.h-and after that a car he paid 35.00 for which I helped him rebuild and drove till I joined the Navy. Dad knew the importance of transportation to a young boy--I love and miss yall----Eric

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Way things are Going

I feel bad today but know there are those who feel worse.
It's getting harder to write when lying under the covers sounds like more fun.
I'm only at age 18/19 in my memoirs. I think I'm hesitating because a lot of my mistakes are coming and am not excited about revealing them.
As I wish my kids to be better than I so I wish them to learn from my mistakes and do better themselves.
I'm trying to improve my mind,the new spanish word for the day is postre--it means desert,I'll take key lime pie thank you.
I think I can read people.I have spent so much time trying to sell to folks that I can tell they're mind set on the issues.I wasted a lot of valuable sales time coming back on Thursday to get the order when I knew in my heaqrt of hearts that when the guy said he would buy Thursday he was just saying a mis-truth to get rid of me,
It's a pet peeve of mine--so I call them on it--just to watch them squirm. There I am Thurday,order pad in hand saying hey its me I"m back as per your request to write that order LOL.They're memory suddenly fails them and they start hemmmmming and Hawwwwwing and turning red and stuff. I give them this--I trusted you look and feeling of hurt and betrayl look-and get every bit of my lost time and order I did my part routine and wasted my time to call you out sukka!!
To their credit they never backed down and ordered out of shame--nor did they admmit to saying they would order to get rid of me.Perhaps they will think twice twice before doing it again.-------------------Right!!!!. The Codger Rick

Sunday, May 3, 2009

salesman coming!!!

A few minutes of nostalgia

Morning all---just a few thoughts about the Waldorf apts in Arlington where I spent four years from age 3 till 7--
We had ice cold milk delivered to our front door--I guess ya better be home or it would be cottage cheese--
Pity the poor salesman coming to that complex--there was some kind of warning system--at this apt--this beehive of activity--would suddenly become deafly quiet--what no one home--we were all taught to be silent and maybe the guy would go away----EXCEPT--THE FULLER BRUSH MAN--oh my god he was given the red carpet treatment--ya know why? Cause he gave the ladies freebies---whoa there--not that kind of freebie--free combs-and kitchen gadgets--everyone loved the Fuller Brush Man.
For all yall that are now used to going to the doctor--where they herd you in--put about 6 in little rooms and the doc makes little 2 minute stops and then they herd in the next 6---not so back in my old days--the 40's and at least my early 50's---the doctors came right to your house---you heard right----to your house--you didn't even have to get outta bed---now how's that for service.
That's it for the morning post--as they say---gotta make hay while the sunshines-----The Codger
Hornets,Clippers,Cryslers,and the PAN

Grandfather C--liked autos a lot--and was always buying them--Hudson Hornets,Packard Clippers and Cryslers--and others--he would give us grand kids the royal tour of the new cars including all the technical knowledge--I think Clippers had hydraulic shocks that you could adjust from the car--and Hudsons had some great transmission. When Grandad drove to South Florida every year for the Winter he seemed to have a new car each time---and describe the ride and fuel useage etc. He loved his cars----another family member loved his as well--he is the family member no one told us about--Great Uncle Samuel Conner Pandolfo--G Grandmother Lenas brother--just type it in on the computer under his name----or his car---The Pan---and you will see why they didn't tell us--but I think he was railroaded----Eric the Codge---go to pan towners web site--history of pan auto to read about uncle Sam Pandolfo
Rick the Codger

Look What I found Mom!!

Oh look mom there's a horses head on the package

Third grade was really a year of discovery for me--we had moved to Edgewater Maryland part way through the second grade and I was so close to my school--I just had to walk across a field and one small road and I was there-
One day I was walking home and discovered a small package on the side of the road.The package had a horse's head on it--a Trojan horse.
I thought it was cool-cause I liked horse's--I walked in the door hollering--mom look what I found--what is it----and she went nuts hollering at me---"Where did you find that young man"--I said the side of the road--and I asked her again what is it--she thought for a minute and calmly said--they're jar lid covers for keeping things fresh--but these are dirty now I'm throwing them away--sounded good to me--that was that! Eric

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rexall Rick The Drugstore Cowboy part 5

Drugstore Cowboy part#5----1967

During the coming week I bought a new pair of Levis that were the proper length,got a friend from Oklahoma to shape my hat for me and cleaned my car--I was looking forward to going to this rodeo and feeling like I was a member of the community-----what's funny about all this is--that many years later in my 50's I would learn that a huge amount of my ancestry had come from Texas--they were early pioneers and ranchers--and town builders--I was trying to be something that was already in my blood--I just didn't know it.
The big day came and I drove to Skidmore--and this little rodeo arena was filling up fast--it was kind of exciting--I found a seat and started scanning the stands for my new friends--after a while I saw them and they waved---The announcer was talking about all the upcoming action---I inquired from someone near me about what the term jackpot meant--and basically --you pay an entry fee per event and ride--the livestock people use it as practice for their animals---and the cowboys to work out for the upcoming season.
I was settling in nicely--when I noticed my new friends collecting money from people in the stands--they were working their way towards me--I said hi guys--and they said " Rick how are ya, ready to see how real cowboys spend their time?" I said sure am---they said they were raising money for a friend in need would I like to contribute--I said sure and gave them a five.
The bareback bronc riding would be the first event--and as that gate sprang open these powerful mounts would jump and twist and do amazing gyrations to to throw their riders-often slamming them to the ground in a heap--this was not a sport for a candy ass--you had to be tough and strong---I was enjoying the action and respecting the world of the cowboy--when suddenly two guys behind me grabbed my shoulders and said "get up cowboy, it's your turn"--my turn for what was my reply--
You wanted to be a cowboy--now your gonna get your chance--these were my new friends-I guess I was gonna pay for that night in the Zeebra Lounge--I tried to move my feet South but my body was moving North toward the chutes--you have got to be kidding me--you said you liked to ride, we've paid your entry fee---One of them handed me a rawhide
glove and said put it on --the other was giving me the two minute course in bronc riding 101--saying a rope will go around the horse and you will slide your glove under it and get as tight a grip as you can--when the gate is opened -just hang on for dear life--and use your free arm for balance--
By now I was nearing the chute--and that horse was going crazy--slamming back and forth--trying to leap out of there--I said Oh No--there gonna kill me--some one gave me some of that sticky stuff--Rossin to put in the glove--about that time the announcer got into the action---oh brother---he said " Ladies and Gentleman--we have a real treat for yall today--riding his first bronc-- is a member of our Naval community at Chase Field--his name is Rick and he hails from Orlando Florida---he's been given the name of Rexall Rick the drugstore cowboy--and he'll be riding the horse known as killer--lets give him a big hand and wish him well--I got a push from behind as I climbed the fence to straddle the horse---forced my hand under the rope which was very tight--one of those fools poured beer in that horses ear---which really infuriated him--even more--my new friends said good luck cowboy and laughed---the gate swung open--and that's where my memory has a lapse---when I came to a millisecond later--I was being drug backward by my arms and my boots were making little grooves in the sand---I said what happened----they said that horse bucked once and you flew into the air-flipped --and landed on the top of your head--knocking you out--it have been the shortest ride of the day.
I sold my cowboy cloths to get a generator for my car--became friends with those guys and went out to their ranch house to eat and go hunting many times--They had some good looking girlfriends but ya wouldn't know it--cause they talked about their horses more than their ladies--but I wasn't gonna fall for that trap--I don't believe the end result would be that healthy. The Codge

Rexall Rick The Drugstore Cowboy part #4

Drugstore Cowboy part #4

My bull riders hat was so tall it hit the convertible top so I had to lay it on the seat--the 5 miles went fast and soon I was at the back parking lot to the Zeebra Lounge. I put my hat on-tilted it back a bit--yeah I looked good--oh yeah one last detail--I picked up a hand of dirt and rubbed it on the new Levis--ahh shoot--even cowboys gotta buy new pants once and a while--I headed on into the bar--my heart was beating kinda fast--if I screwed this up I might get the crap beat outta me.
I walked through the pool room into the main lounge--there were only 4 people in the place-a lady bartender and 3 ranch hands sitting at a table---I sat down at the bar and ordered a Lonestar--I liked Bud but thought it would be better to drink a Texas Beer--The song playing on the jukebox was Pretty Eyes--I took a sip of my ice cold beer and hadn't even put the bottle down when the invitation came-------Hey Buddy--would ya like to join us over here!
My blood ran cold but I turned and said--Sure--thanks a lot. to the ranchers at the table behind me--they pulled out a chair and I sat down--and the small talk started--We haven't seen you around here-are ya new in town? Why yes I am---! " where do ya work"? I had to use the ranch name earlier than I planned--so I said it--and then the conversation turned to catle--I was holding my own--or so I thought when I used a term that was incorrect---I said Bull Cow--you would have thought time stood still--as quiet as the place got--one of the ranchers went over and unplugged the juke box--they all stood up and over me and balled up their fist--I thought I was gonna get the shi----beat outta me--instead they all started laughing--and patting me on the back--they had me pegged as a sailor boy the minute I walked into the place------"Why you ask" first my levis were riding high up on the sides of my Atlas Boots instead of all the way down even with the bottom of the heels on the boots---next--my hat wasn't bent properly and I also hadaled it incorrectly--next--I was clean shaven --hair was credit card lenght--hands were not rough--only sailors bought cloths from H.I.S-----Ya know what they liked my guts--I drank and talked with them a few hours and actually got an invitation from them--they said " Rick--how would you like to see some real cowboys in action--they told me to come to the town of Skidmore the following weekend to what they called a jackpot rodeo--the town was only 10 miles from Beeville---I went back to the base feeling quite proud of myself--I had me some new friends--but lord have mercy--I had no idea what I was about to get into. Rick the codgerman

Rexall Rick The Drugstore Cowboy part3

Drugstore Cowboy part #3

I spent my first few months in Beeville--the leisure activity part--hanging out at the club--going to movies--and to town--mainly checking out some restaurants--there was a good Italian and a good Mexican place--I really enjoyed just sitting down and having a good meal.
I went down to Corpus and stayed at the YMCA--they had rooms for 2.15 per night--it was just a bed but what else do ya need--and I went to the USO--and that was nice--there were some pretty girls who would talk to ya or dance----also someone played piano and it was like a bit of home--
I really wanted to get to know some folks back in Beeville--the towns people had such a negative view of sailors--I had to figure a way to meet some locals--I figured if they got to know me I could find a few friends.
There was something else I needed---a car---wheels transpo----tation!
I got busy on that aspect right away--I bought a 59 Chevy bellair with a 409 cu. inch engine---a beautiful blue with white interior--500.00 bucks--the guy ran away after I bought it--I found out on the way back to the base why--the car started smoking--it was filled with stp--cause it had a cracked block--it started smoking like a chimney and further more it was not a 409 as advertised but a 348---Welcome to the real world sailor boy!!
I was really depressed--untill a guy offered me 500.00 for the car--saying he had a motor for it--it was a Ca. car and had no rust--I had my money back--now car buying attempt number 2----------
Word got around about me wanting a car--and this guy contacted me-who had just gotten out of the Air Force--probably a friend of the guy who sold me the Bellair---he said he had a deal for me--I just about flipped when I saw it--it was a 56 Chevy -The whole front end was fiberglass as was the trunk--it was white car and had red and white tuck and rolled interior-done down in Mexico-the engine was a 289 bored out to 301--with a Hurst four speed and a 411 rear end and a 3/4 Duntoff cam --and some kind of cool carbureator--anyway the guy said it would blow away a Corvette.I gave him my 500.00 so fast your head would spin-----
I kid you not--here's what happened next--I started the car up and drove it to the road to the base--about the time I turned the corner an officer sporting a Vette pulled up on my left and gave me the look--I jacked that car up and slammed it into gear and we were even -then came 2nd--and I pulled slightly ahead--I rammed it into 3rd and tore the trannie to hell--I pulled over and had the car towed to a garage and didn't have the money for a transmisson--but a guy liked the car so much he gave me the 500.00 for it as is -- the guy had just gotten out of the Navy and towed the car back to Indiana.
Ok yall--I need a car--this is getting ridiculous-.
The next car I saw was a beautiful Mint Green 56 Chevy--original in every way and had chrome reverse wheels--nice tires---the guy was on leave--I couldn't get up with him---
I went down town to the Chevy dealer and looked at cars and found my car----it had been traded in by an officer--it was a beautiful British Racing green Triumpth TR4A--with over drive and a four speed--whew yeah--it ran like a top the payments were low-I was in business.
The next project cloths---to look more like a local--I went to the H.I.S store and bought a bull riders hat--Atlas boots,new Levis,a western belt,shirt and a vest..yee haaa baby--I'm becoming a cowboy.
I told the guys in the barracks that I was going to the Zeebra Lounge and try to fool some locals--that I was a ranch hand--someone knew the name of a ranch and I would use it if asked--
I put on my new duds --got in my sportscar and headed the 5 miles to town--to try out my scam at the Zeebra Lounge--which was part of the Kohler hotel. more later the Codge

Rexall Rick The Drug Store Cowboy part #2

Rexall Rick the Drugstore Cowboy part#2

I arrived in Beeville--and saw the main drag--it was an old town--small shops,not much to it--there wasn't a way to the base--I was directed to a ride stand---the guy said sit there and anyone heading out to the base may stop and give you a ride---That ride stand was the best advertisement around for buying a car--it seems that the gay guys cruised the ride stand looking for action--a good indication was getting a ride and a mile or two toward the base a hand grabs your leg and you get a more than friendly invitation--which was followed by a long walk after a short refusal.
Luckily a Chief stopped and gave me a ride------
I reported in--that's Navy talk for reporting in! I was assigned a barracks--which was empty--the Master at Arms said the guys were at a Squadron beer bust over at the ball field--and I should go there--which I did--I met my chief who welcomed me aboard--handing me a beer--he said do you enjoy drinking G------I said "yes"---that was funny--a guy at the gas station back home bought me my first beer before I left--yeah I guess I was an offical drinker.The Chief said good--I don't trust non drinkers.
I was assigned a cube--/which means room and also assigned a room mate-got to play a little poker that night in the rec room--loosing my butt as usual--but found out from the guys that you had to leave town to have a good time--that Beeville offered nothing-no girls except midnight Mary--they just laughed when I ask who she was--saying you'll find out.
I didn't have a car--very little rank and very small paychecks--the base had a club with very inexpensive drinks--and girls did come from the surrounding towns to the base dances--also there was a movie theatre that cost 35 cents--a 10 lane bowling alley--a base exchange-and special services checked out recreational items like tents and stuff.
I was assigned to the 1st Lt's div--while I waited a permanent job location----1st Lt's--cleaned the hangar and bathrooms and other such lovely details---I knew I was going to the hydraulics shop why I was second in my class---WRONG--Mr. Propellar head--I was assigned to the flightline as a plane captain--which sounds cool but is the bottom rung on the line but none the less an important job--all are when jet aircraft and lives are at stake.
I'm going to save all this info for another story and get back to the Rexall Rick----story--
I caught rides to town and checked it out--mainly the 3 bars--the little brown jug--the flamingo and the Zeebra Lounge--all of which were filled with guys--mainly sailors--no women--they had guys coming by playing country western music and passing a hat--and let me tell yall--they were all good--makes you wonder about the fine line of making and not making the music field as a vocation---
------------------------------------------more later---the Codge

Rexall Rick the Drugstore Cowboy

Rexall Rick the Drugstore Cowboy part # 1

I don't freak out if a new place is said to be terrible--by new place I mean a town where you've gone to take a job--because the way I feel about it is --every place has its positives--you just--- as the Marines say " adapt and overcome".
Such was the case when I received my Navy orders out of bootcamp---first I was to report to Memphis Tenn. where i would attend Jet Hydraulics Sch---Then I would go to Beeville Texas,Squadron 26-and be assigned.
I had a chance to talk to a number of old salts who told me about the many great duty stations I might be assigned to---Rhoda Spain--The Phillipines,Hw.,San Diego--etc etc---so Beevile Texas was not on that list--so I went around asking guys--"what about this place" no one knew--and then finally a guy knew!--He said I'm sorry for you --that place sucks--telephone poles, and cows and three eligible girls in town and 16,000 sailors, 3 beer joints and nothin but churches and cemeterys--and the towns people hate sailors!!
Well now that was a ringing endorsement--but my first thoughts were--hey --this is Texas--cowboys--and hunting--horses,fishing--jack rabbits--mexican food--hey this might not be too bad. You see the thought process--girls with southern accents--dark haired beautiful senoritas----
I went off to Tenn. and went to A school--I never really wanted to be a hydraulic mechanic--but the Navy in all their wisdom said I had an apptitude for it--my dad would be glad to hear that--since I never really wanted to learn that stuff from him--I got second in my class--if that didn't beat all!! I couldn't stand mechanics and I go and get 2nd in my class.
I went on leave after A school--dad and I talked Hydraulics and he was amazed I knew so much--that did make me feel good-perhaps he might change his mind on me not amounting to a hill of beans-comment he made back in 1st grade.
My leave came to an end and I flew to Corpus and had to catch a bus to Beeville, only 50 miles up the road--I know one thing--Corpus was pretty--there was a USO right across the street from the bus station and a YMCA--I would remember that--
I was waiting for the bus to Beeville--in my dress blues--and I got a bite to eat at the little rest. next to the bus station--and I heard an expression I had never heard before--the waitress said do you want to cut the beans--I said I don't care I can eat them whole--she just gave me a weird look!
My bus came and north I went--the scenery was not much to look at--dust blowin--raggedy little trees-pickup trucks and cows and barbed wire--that's OK--maybe some good hunting--and fishing--horseback riding--real mexican food--shoot I wouldn't be far from Mexico the country!Think positve---yeah that's right--think positive!

Rick The Codger

My Writing Inspiration

Writing Inspiration

I had a teacher in elementary school possibly 5th grade who told me I should be a writer--I had written a poem about where oil comes from--and she thought it was good and inspired me to write----
In the 10th grade I got 2nd place in an essay contest-"What America means to me" and I wrote a fiction story and was encouraged to write by an english teacher.
I also like art---but my parents told me--artist and writers starve to death--and I should forget that--
In 1992-I wrote some non fiction stories--and sent them to various publishers to say I had done it--and I actually received the famous rejection letters although some were encouraging sounding--and it was exciting to get the letters--they said---good story--not done in a new way--or a different way--
I stopped sending the samples of my work and forgot about it--and then one day a letter of acceptance came for one of my stories--and it was published in a small N.E magazine--and I was actually paid---3 free copies of the mag--and later my Florida home town published one of my works in the city paper---so as minor as it was --I was published. on the first attempt---I mainly write for the family history--have two or three novels n mind--perhaps I will start one here on the blog The Codger

First Times Happen Once LOL!!!

The First Time

The First Time

The first time I was kissed by a girl was on the playground in elementary school-she did a kiss and run--I told my buds, dumb girl but said it with a smile on my face.
The first time I kissed a girl was when I was 14--I was a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol and we had a hayride--and my date was a wonderful girl named Joan, slim and shy and very sweet--we made out in the hay and it was so nice,her lips were like sugar and the feeling was something I had never felt before.
My first date was when I was 13, a girl scout dance--my best friend Nancy was the scout and her mother called my mother and ask if I could es-court their daughter to the dance--It was so exciting but also scary cause I could not dance---Nancy was my best friend and to this day my oldest friend--I have known her since 2nd grade---and she will be a future story--called The Black Haired Girl----Nancy spent the 6 weeks leading up to the dance--teaching me how to dance--and we also practiced me coming to the door and greeting her parents and me pulling her chair at the table and me opening the door to the car to let her in and having small talk etc.--preparation, preparation preparation---The end result was----We Won the Jitterbug Contest, The Stroll contest and got second in the Continental and after that I started looking at my best friend and fishing buddy in a different way
but we moved after that --from Maryland to Florida and I lost track of my best friend for the next 43 years--until I found her a few years ago--I got to tell her what her friendship had meant to me and we are now in communication again, me and my Little Black haired girl.
There were a lot of first times and most are very memorable--The first time driving,flying,making love-and the first funeral and memorial service,the first time being dumped,speaking to an audience--etc---many evoke strong feelings --felt for the first time.
This my first time Blogging and I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts and reading yalls. The Codge

Do Nice Guys Finish Last?

Goody Two Shoes

I basically grew up a goody two shoes, with very strict parents--so when I got in trouble in 2nd grade for pulling a girls hair and daydreaming--you would have thought it was the end of the world--the girl hit me with a book first---and day dream I did--my mind a million miles away--I was in the worse reading group and the worst writing group--and had to go to special classes cause I could not pronounce my SSS'S-properly--and as often as I type words backwards probably had dislexia all these years as well.The spin I put on it is--if I am dislectic and still passed maybe I was really almost a genius.
I bring up all this cause I was so good--I didn't want to disappoint my parents--I was actually petrified to fail--The failing started early--I had to take a test to see if I could go into first grade at age 6--because of the way my birthday fell--well they put me in a setting with other kids and because I wouldn't play house with the girls--and preferred to draw airplanes by myself--they told my parents I didn't mix well and would have to wait till I was 7 to start 1st grade--I still remember the hurtful thing my dad said about it--he said"Gloria,that boy is not going to amount to a hill of beans"--He was darn near right--but at least my boys have because I didn't make such statements about them-just stressed you can be anything you want to be--and they are all doing fantastic---more later Codger

Hey Ghost!! Give Me a Hand

A Small Freaky Experience

I just have a few minutes and thought I would relate a strange experience I had as a child.
I was about6/7 years old and went over to visit my first cousin--it was their practice to take an afternoon nap--the kids that is---wasn't my practice but whatever the adult said-you know---so off to the room I went.
It was a nice room--four poster bed--no canopy--and there was a piano in the room--the door was shut--plenty of light came in from the window and I was lying on my side sort of staring at the piano which was in my field of vision---when all of a sudden a hand appeared--palm out just above the left back edge of the piano--and the hand moved from left to right--from one end of the piano to the other--it was a large hand--not a childs--a mans hand--when it got to the end it was gone--I didn't cry out--but have never forgotten it--some 54 years later. That's it------The Codge

When it Rains it Pours

Black Thursday

It was a pleasantly cool day in early May in Florida--the day held great possibilities-but first I had to mow the grass --I was getting the lawn mower out and could hear the melodic sounds of my brother Ron and my dad having a discussion on whether my brother could drive dads new car to school.
My brother had just gotten his license over the weekend and wanted to give his friends a ride to school--dad in his wisdom said no.
Dads new car was a Ford Falcon Squire Wagon--the one with the fake wood on the sides and a 289 Cu In- V-8. He had just gotten the car and didn't want to sacrifice it right away to the young and often adventuress younger son--I thought to myself--good choice dad.Dads car pool showed up and dad was off to work--and brother Ron was throwing a sales pitch on mom before the car pool was out of sight.Mom as usual buckled under the pressure and off to school went brother Ron and the Ford.---I started the mower and began to cut the front yard.The temperature dropped and it got a bit windy and I thought we were about to get an early morning shower-suddenly a gust hit followed by a loud crashing sound------the new surfboard that dad had bought my brother came spiraling out of the rafters in the carport-and had hit the concrete breaking the surfboard in half---OH brother dad was gonna freak!!---About the same time the lawnmower quit and I went to get fuel and I filled it up spilling quite a bit on the top in the process. When I pulled the cord to start the mower --it caught on fire--I freaked thinking it was gonna burn up and grabbed the closest material to dump on the fire---SAND--which I dumped on the burning running lawnmower engine--yeah I got fire out--and the motor quit running and wouldn't restart-----OH we're just getting started here folks--almost on cue--mom came running out of the house hollering that Ron and his friends were in the emergency room--because they had been in an auto accident---there were no serious injuries---it seems my brother made a U-turn on a curve --and was hit broadside by a car doing 60 m.p.h--it bent the wagon into a U shape--lucky that kids were not killed--It seems my brother had forgotten one of his friends and was turning to go back and get him.
I had to drive 25 miles to pick dad up at work--Dad was relieved as we all were that none of them were seriously hurt--save scratches and sore muscles--then I told him about the surfboard and the lawnmower--
Dad and his ulcer decided to go to the coast and fish for a while on the Titusville Pier---he called and borrowed his cousins Ford wagon for the trip---On the way back from fishing dad met a car coming from the opposite direction--the car was flashing his lights off and on--dad slowed and then saw why the light flashing was happening---a huge cow was charging head on with dad in his lane---they hit instantly--the cow died and the wagon was destroyed and dad narrowly escaped injury as the cow nearly came through the windshield.
This all happened on what we now call Black Thursday in the family.

The final toll
2 slight injuries
2 totaled cars
a totaled surfboard
a ruined lawnmower
an agitated ulcer
and I think a new insurance company
and yet another remembrance from the 1960's
Eric the Codger

Caught Naked

My Most Embarrasing Moment--

In the 11th grade--our gym finally got modern and got a washer and dryer--and bingo we had nice clean towels--We came in off the field and showered and the coach hollered at me to go get the towels from the back--yes I was as I came into the world--naked as a Jay Bird--when I ran to the back office--as soon as I entered the room where the towels were the door between gyms opened and in came one of the girls to get their towels--she was dressed I wasn't--I did a fast about face and hauled butt--which she also got a look at-
When we changed classes we had to walk by the bleachers and all the girls gym class was sitting there--and of course word had spread and all these girls started snickering and laughing-when I walked by--and untill the day I graduated I heard the little jokes and teasing. The Codge

My First Wheels

1 grain of sand one infinite beach

Wednesday February 15, 2006

The Bicycle

There was an incinerator across from our apartments--when I was a kid and one day I looked over and there was a burned up bicycle on top of the hill--tires burned off-seat burned off and fenders.
I didn't have a bicycle so I went over there-picked it up and straddled it-stood up on the metal things that used to have peddles and down the hill I went on that charred wreck of a bike--I crashed at the bottom but didn't care--wow was that fun--unbeknownst to me my dad had gotten home and was looking out the window at me--riding that burned up bicycle--and told mom--we gotta buy that boy a bike.
They went to Sears and came home with a beautiful red and white bicycle--a 26 incher----I was thrilled to death but I couldn't reach the peddles-they traded for a 24 incher-it had red and white tassles from the red handal bars--a beautiful bike--and to me it was like a fancy sportscar--and gave me the ability to travel---my dad and mom were so good to me---I had that wonderful bike till I was 16 years old-in Florida--and dad bought me another--an English racer--and after that a Lambretta 250 delux scooter-that would do 70 m.p.h-and after that a car he paid 35.00 for which I helped him rebuild and drove till I joined the Navy. Dad knew the importance of transportation to a young boy--I love and miss yall----Eric