Monday, February 28, 2011

Sleep Well, Doughboy.

Frank Buckles passed away. Feb. 27, 2011 at 110 years old. He was the last surviving US Veteran of WWI.

From out of this world: something happened to me about him on the very day of his passing that convinced me once again that in doing this book about soldiers, I am but a conduit. Stay tuned. But right now there are no words except these: Thank you for your service. Sleep well, Doughboy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Friday Night

Remember in like 7th grade or maybe even Sophomore year the importance of Friday night? School was officially done for the week, so either it would be pizza with friends or a sleep-over or a dance at school. Or bowling. Or a 4-H club meeting. Or maybe there would be a party and the guy you had a crush on would be there. Homework and other maladies could demon stay gone for 2 days.

Also, for just about every family in my working class town, Friday was payday, which explained the free spending on pizza and Cokes and 45s. I'm not trying to suggest that those were the good old days and I miss them but . . .

I was surprised some years ago, how Friday night came to mind when putting together reasons why in my adult life I sometimes felt such aching emptiness. What was it about Fridays, since I still occasionally eat pizza and go bowling -- not much though. I concluded it was that sense of completion coupled with a 'job-well-done' payday, neither of which I've really had yet because this graphic novel trilogy is not yet finished. True, there have been pleasantries along the way for Books I & II and believe me, I am truly grateful. But  . . . . . . . .

Sometimes it seems like I'm still back at Monday morning, although in reality I know I'm pulling along a slow Thursday. But I want so much for Friday night to come. And to help bring it home, I've called in Coach Taylor from that excellent series "Friday Night Lights". 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just like the cowboys

Dad -- 91 years old and the subject of my trilogy, has a dislocated shoulder. Apparently, he pulled a tarp off a pile of termite ridden old oak during a sub-zero snowstorm, wrestled the damn thing indoors and into the basement to dry out but fell while attempting to throw it over a 114 year old cast iron bathtub. His shoulder slammed onto a protruding rocker of an antique rocking chair.  He dislocated his shoulder, but the wooden rocker prevented a fracture, which would have happened if he had hit the cement floor.
This happened on a Monday. So he went upstairs and complained a little to my Mom about it and she did nothing but tell him to put ice on it. All night he didn't feel right. Next day, he told the visiting nurse. She put ice on it and suggested he let my sister know. She lives nearby. Wednesday my sister looked at it and said she thought he needed to put heat on it. That night he started really complaining. By Thursday, his shoulder had swollen up with a knot the size of a cantaloupe. That's the first I heard of it by email through my sister, who thought he would be OK with rest, ice & heat.
So I called Dad with the message GO TO THE ER NOW!!!!!!! "No, but I'll go over to the VA."
He waited for Justin to come the next day (Friday). Jud drove over in my place because I was under the weather. He & Dad (who insisted on driving) went to the VA (in Danville, IL) where they discovered he had a dislocated shoulder with torn rotator cuff.
Dad thought that wasn't nothin'. That we should just put a foot into his armpit and pull, like they do with the cowboys. Only he's 91 and they won't do that to a guy his age.  So, "The doctor put me in a goddamn straight jacket (put him in a sling). To hell with that!"
So now he sits there with his arm out of its socket, watching westerns, kicking back an occasional shot of whiskey and waits for the season to change. Just like the cowboys.