July 8th 2016

Quid agis mane? (A “Good Morning” greeting to you in Latin !!!)

This week 43 years ago, I was struggling. I was a young sailor living in Norfolk, Va with a younger girl from Kentucky who I had met in Miami on Christmas leave. We fell hard from the first sight. By the time she was 18, I had some how saved enough money to get her to Va and into an apartment on Raleigh Avenue in Ghent. My 350 Honda was now wrecked back in Miami so I was hitchhiking to the boat each day. We walked everywhere or depended upon friends to drive us any distance. We were together for almost a year before we would get our first car together – a 1961 Ford Falcon Stationwagon that our friend Larry named “Chort”. This particular week, we had finished up the last of the tuna and noodles and I think we were down to our last can or soup or thing of yogurt. We had no prospects for more income unless… we got married. The Navy would pay us a whole $105 extra each month if we were married. So we made a deal to get married because neither of us wanted to be without each other, ever, again. All of our friends thought we were crazy. My friend Eric volunteered to drive us to the Marriage Commissioners office and thus became our best man. My first choice for best man would have been Larry but he was gone on a Disney World vacation by the time we decided to get hitched. Eric and I had work all night Tuesday to get off in time to make it to the Marriage Commissioners office for our appointment on that Wednesday afternoon. We were still about 15 minutes late. The whole “ceremony” was surreal probably due to sheer exhaustion. I remember the man was ugly and angry with us because we were late. Well, he was angry because we were late. I am not sure how he got so ugly. The whole thing was on fast forward once he stopped lecturing on how impolite it was to be late for appointments. The next thing I knew we were in front of our little apartment entrance with Eric speeding off in his pea green retired milk truck. I am not sure how I found the energy but I picked up my new bride and carried her across the threshold. We were met there by our elderly landlady who informed us that we were being evicted because we were unmarried sinners and she wouldn’t have that under her roof. We tried to explain that we just became un-sinners or at least only sinning about being late for our marriage but she wasn’t having any of it. I gave up and said that I wasn’t going anywhere but to sleep. And that’s what I did. I marched my dead-tired young ass up those stairs and into our bedroom and fell down and slept. At 5am the next morning when I got up to hitch hike into the boat, Tippy said she had sat next to me in bed for a couple of hours trying to wake me up but I was out cold. I said that I was sorry, gave her her second kiss as a married woman and walked down to Hampton Blvd. to hitch hike to D&S Piers where my boat was parked. I was thinking about the party we would have when we got our allowance increase and how lucky we were. The boat was headed out into the harbor to test some gear when we picked up a Russian Submarine and followed it to Cuba. I didn’t seem my new bride for almost 3 months and the Navy didn’t know she was my wife so she couldn’t find out anything about me till I got to Cuba and our letters got sent out. I also tried to call her from Cuba which was complicated not only because I was using ham radio based MARS network but by the fact that we didn’t have a phone so I just called friends hoping she might be there. It wasn’t helped by the fact that by then she was on a bus back to Miami. I actually was able to visit her mom in Miami as well. I arrived about 4 hours after Tippy had left on another bus to come back to Norfolk, because she didn’t want me to think that she had left me when I came home. We finally connected by phone when my boat pulled into Key West a week or so after we both left Miami. Every time I tell that story I have to laugh. Our married lives together could not have started in a more convoluted way if someone had designed it. Through it all, we just found ways to push through the hard parts, and cherish the magic of finding each other in a world where it is so very easy to get lost. Thank you Tippy.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I learned that there is this new stripping product that is completely inert (no fumes, you can handle with your hands without fear of a long painful chemical burning death!) that works pretty good. Its called EZ Strip. Read the directions and shake well before apply.
• I learned that my hosting service does not include back ups. So the entire Kitchen Drawer was lost last week. I can recreate the UJTs but not the quotes. I am sorry. I still do not know how it was deleted.

Website Update
• 2nd Week “New” Vocabulary quiz!
• Created new Kitchen Drawer page. If you can remember any of the quotes feel free to add them or if you have any that you like in particular just add them as well. I will be adding the old UJT updates.

Writing and Painting Update:
• I did some sketches of my backyard this week in between sanding and stripping the furniture. Its been so long since I put anytime in with my art, its a little daunting. I am not even sure where I am on the edit ..I need to regroup completely on that challenge.

• I am observing the domain of doggies. Since moving back to Chula Vista, Chewy had continued his fondness for the backyard and has firmly established it as his domain. Georgie, the true queen of Chula Vista is comfortable in both the house and the yard but has graciously allowed Chewy to rule over the back yard. There have been several “discussions” and “negotiations” during the months since we arrived. The matter is settled. Chewy is happiest when he is outside, sitting in the way of or barking at the sprinklers or lazing his day away tucked under the bamboo next to the bridge over the pond listening to the waterfall. Life is good.

Music Update:

• Bruce Cockburn – The End of All Rivers — This is just a beautiful display of guitar magic that makes me think of fairies dancing on beads of morning rain splashed on the leaves of the trees in a deep green forest…close your eyes .. you can see them too.
• Bryan Adams – This Time — From the Vinyl!!! This is a deep cut from this wayward Canadian on his, “Cuts Like A Knife” album.
• Leo Kottke – Poor Boy — From the Vinyl!!! This guy’s playing has always fascinated me. From his Mudlark album, this one is an instrumental but he has a great voice too.
• Tim Flannery – Telegraph Hill — This boy is s a pretty good troubadour for a retired professional ball player. For music, is images that you hear. This is just a sweet song that you might hear on some country store front porch loading the truck with feed and seed, smiling at your neighbors as you head back out to the hard work back on the farm.
• Jimmy Buffett – Off To See the Lizard — Brother Jimmy singing that magic tropical gospel that has made us smile for all these years. I love the sound of steel drums. There is just something freeing in the sound they make.
• Traveling Wilbur’s – Handle With Care – To me these boys will always be one of the great Supergroups. They played together because they could and wanted to. You can feel the joy they shared with every song. This is a .m4p format file and I always have trouble getting them to play in Safari but they work fine in Firefox. Please let me know if you have problems. with them.
• Jackson Browne – Yeah Yeah— I am not sure you all know what I do to pick the songs I put on this old UJT radio show. First, I fall in love with a song that I hear. Then I go back through all the songs that I have put on to make sure that I haven’t played it for you within the past year or so. Well when, checking on this one, I realized just how many JB songs that I have shared this way. I am sure that says something about me but I am not sure what is exactly. This is another one that I feel in love with from his, “Standing in the Breach” album.
• James Taylor – Walking Man From the Vinyl!!! Here is another fella that I seem to feature a great deal here in UJTland. This is the first song that James wrote about his dad and was the title track on his album released1974. I have always loved the song. Just something about it pulled me in. I hope you do too.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; And always remember … The best is yet to come!

As always, thank you for being my friend!