Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer 1963


Times Past Challenge – 6/16/18
Reflect on a big change in my lifetime.
560 or so words ( originally over 1200 )

Links posted at 

Summer 1963

The State Theater was located on the north side of College Avenue between Monroe and Adams Streets in Tallahassee, Florida.  It was just four blocks down from the Travelodge motel my father (G1) had just taken over after retiring from the US Air Force in the summer of 1963.  I (Boomer) remember it well.

Being from a military family who moved at the drop of a hat, exploration was first on my agenda.  Knowing the layout of the land was an imperative first step in acclimating to new surroundings.  Having a movie theater just down the street seemed  a good place to begin.  I would start there. 

The family's military lifestyle did not prepare any of us for the  nastier aspects of the world we would now exist in.  My parents had become used to the protective bubble a military life offered.  I was born on base and knew nothing else.  There was no such thing as segregation in my world up to that time.

I stepped up to the ticket window and bought a ticket. I remember the black woman inside the ticket booth asking me not once, but twice if I was sure I wanted to go into the theater.  I was adamant.  I was 12.  It was Saturday and I was burning daylight while the matinee was well into its first serial.  She handed me a ticket.  I went in, bought some popcorn and a coke and went into the theater.  Not long after I had settled into my seat, I sensed someone big sit down in the seat behind me.  They leaned over the back of the seat next to me and said, "Boy, are you sure you are in the right theater?"  

I turned and there was a very unfriendly looking black man staring at me hard.  I told him yes, I was in the right theater.  I lived just down the street at the Travelodge and my name was Mike.  I ended with "we just moved here."

"Son," his voice became friendlier, "you really are in the wrong theater. ....  You need to leave.  We don't want any trouble here."

I stood up and looked around.  It finally dawned on me there was not one white face there other than mine.  And it seemed to me all eyes were focused on me and not the screen.

I left and walked the four blocks back to the Travelodge.  When I got home, I told my dad I had been kicked out of the theater by a very scary black guy.  He looked at me.  He did not ask what I might have done to deserve getting the boot.  He just sighed and told me to blow it off, we would talk later.  I think he knew but had forgotten how the real world worked.


Thus began my exposure to the very real and ugly world of segregation in the US South in the early 1960's.  That summer I witnessed white people beating on black people while white police leaned on their cruisers and sucked on toothpicks.  I was shamed by a public librarian for drinking out of the wrong fountain.  I was told in no uncertain terms that my kind was not allowed to sit in the back of the bus.  And at a nearby rib joint, I was refused service again because I was white. It was an eye opening coming of age summer.  One I have never forgotten.

___________________________________

The years 1962 and 1963 were absolutely crammed with more seminal moments than the rest of my life combined.  The above is the one I revisit most often I think.

To attempt some structure to my memoir here, I decided to try just focusing on one event while offering just enough background to give the reader perspective.  I am not sold on my effort, but it is different than some of my other stream of consciousness posts or my based on facts fictional narratives.

Any criticism, comment or hey der's welcome.

___________________________________

Image from this site - and is not a copyrighted image

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Lonely Joe


Homophones - Use all four in one sentence.
519 Words

mail – postal delivery
male – masculine person

moose – a large elk
mousse – dessert of whipped cream and eggs

Lonely Joe

One day down to the local P.O., Bernard Bean, the postmaster, looked out to the parking lot.  Now Bernard was a good ole Mainer.  There weren’t much that could make him raise an eyebrow.   But what he saw in the parking lot that morning made both his eyebrows rise up, which in turn caused Alice Eaton , the local cat lady, to turn around and gasp.

There in the parking lot in all his glory was a male moose, his fur moussed up into spikes, standing on his hind legs in front of the mailbox.  Between his two front hooves, he held a large envelope.  The moose looked perplexed.

It takes an act of God to get Bernard to come out from behind his counter, what with him being a Mainer and a Federal employee to boot.  This situation he decided needed some personal attention.  He flipped up the passage part of the countertop.  The mail Alice was sorting flew into the air and scattered around the lobby. 

Outside, Bernard confronted the moose.  “Joe, what the Hell?  What’s up with the hair? You’re frightening Alice.”

Joe looked uncomfortable standing there on two legs sporting spiked hair.  “Well Bernie, Just want to mail this.”  He pushed the envelope in Bernard’s direction.  “Problem is I can’t open the mailbox.”

Bernard‘s gaze continued to pass over Joe’s huge body. The hint of a smile showed on his face.  His eyes began to glisten. “Jesus Joe, I’ll mail it for ya.  But really, what’s up with your fur.  Are the spikes hard?’’ Bernard reached out and felt one.

“No, they aren’t. Just a tad stiff.   But I tell you what, it cost me a fortune to buy enough packages of Paul Mitchell extra volume sculpting foam to spike up all the fur.”

“Well yeah, I can see that.”  Bernard just shook his head.  He took the package Joe offered him and turned it over so he could read the address.  He smiled and slid it into the box.

“Joe, you shouldn’t have to go this route, sniffing around floozies in some desperate singles mag.  There’s plenty of ladies right here in town I am sure would be proud to ……………….”  Bernard could not keep a straight face.  He began laughing and continued laughing as he went back into the P.O.

Bernard’s laugh cut through Joe like a knife.  The young bull moose was not used to being the butt of any joke, what with him standing seven feet tall and tipping the scales at a respectable 1350 pounds.  He thought the spike look made him even more intimidating, especially when he forced his lips into a snarl. 

Joe admired himself in the big picture window on the front of the P.O. “What cow could resist this awesome specimen,” he thought? Joe decided he liked what he saw and he was sure the ladies would not be able to resist.  He turned around and dropped to his four legs.  Joe lifted his head and puffed up his chest.   With a head toss and a fart, he trotted off into the woods across the road.
______________________________

This is my first flash challenge effort on Mindlovemisery

Saturday, June 9, 2018

A Jazzy Gizmo


Prediction Flash Challenge - Due June 15, 2018
100 words or less - Prompts - Apparatus, Jazz, Deduct

Cyrus stood at the bus stop carefully cradling his latest invention in both arms.  Standing behind and to the left of Cyrus, a street person fidgeted and mumbled unintelligibly.

Street Guy shuffled around and faced Cyrus.  “What’s with the jazzy gizmo bub?” 

Cyrus’ face contorted as he stepped back.  “Sir, this is a carefully constructed scientific apparatus.  Deduct forethought and purpose and what you end up with is something created by accident and happy mishap.  That would be your jazzy gizmo.”

“I guess there’s no point small talking is there?”  Street Guy pulled a knife out.  “Give me your wallet.”
_______________________________

Image courtesy of Henrik Pienge Jakobson

Friday, June 8, 2018

Man Glisten


Carrot Ranch – 99 words about “Man Glisten”

Due June 12, 2018

Joyce looked up at her husband John and said, “Oh great.  Look what you’ve done now?”


Oblivious to verbal cues, John just looked at Joyce and grunted.

“Hey, snap out of it.  I think we’re done here.  ………….. Would you please move.  Your sweat is dripping on me.” 

“Huh?”  John’s eyes said, “Nobody home.”  He composed himself.  “My Sweat? What about those sweaty handprints you left on me?

Joyce smiled at John.  “Women don’t sweat, they glow.”

“I see. ………… men don’t sweat either.  We glisten. …. Now let’s move on.  These fence posts aren’t going to plant themselves.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Crime in 99

Prompt – Story involving Wet Ink literally or figuratively

Crime in 99

Outwardly, Harold was a picture of calm as the cop pressed his hand into the ink saturated blotter.

Sgt. Pine handed Harold a towel.  “Confirmation prints, Mr. Jenkins.”

“Confirmation prints?” Harold stopped wiping his hands. His stomach knotted. 

"You mean elimination prints, yes?" Harold felt his blood begin to rush.

“No sir. ... Confirmation ……. You said you saw the victim through the window and never went inside, right?”

“Uh, Yes,…that’s right.”

“Well, we found a print with a nick running through it.    We think the perp cut himself recently.”  The Cop’s eyes sparkled.


Harold slowly turned over his hand.
_______________________

This one came relatively easy this time.  Might have been the prompt.  But I do enjoy the fact it fell in place so well.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Prosperity

100 words or less
Prompt – clot, feather, third

Prosperity – 99 words

His first two rides before the grand opening of Manhattan’s new subway had been gentile affairs.  Proper ladies in feather festooned hats drinking tea and eating delicate biscuits in one car, while gentlemen in tails smoked fat cigars in another. Henry was sure the future belonged to steel.  Steel would bring prosperity to those with vision and a better life for all. 


That was six months ago.  Today, on his third ride with paying customers, Henry decided that if being crammed in with this sweltering clot of humanity was prosperity, he was not interested.  Then someone stole his wallet.
______________________________

Not sure why I have struggled so much this week with my flash.  From past experience though, I know I should keep on keepin on.  Frustration is not a reason to quit.  Pure laziness is, but not frustration.

Later ............................................

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ray, Arizona



Carrot Ranch Challenge – 1/4/18
99 words exactly – Prompt – Copper Country

Ray, Arizona

Atop Teapot Mesa, a Great Spirit cast sad eyes over the mile deep mine below.  He had witnessed mountains grow tall and rivers gouge deep.  He had never seen creatures as destructive as these puny humans busy carving out the base of his home.  Did they not understand they were only hastening their own destruction? 

Great Spirit shrugged.  He was but a witness tasked with remembering all that he saw and reporting back to Her.  He was her eyes.  It would be up to Her how to handle these ingrates and the overwhelming insults they heap onto her back.
______________________________

This was a tougher prompt than I thought it would be.  Started at least 5 different takes.  This is what I ended up with.

Later ............................
___________________

Image credited to wikimedia