Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ash Dive



Slyde arrived at Franklin Flying Field, right on schedule. He sat in the grass as his friends gathered in a circle and plotted how best to dump him from a Cessna.

“How about me and Ed hold him from both ends and you let him go?” 
“We could get under canopy and then drop him.” 
 “Cathie, you were married to him. You should do the honors.”

It was a hot Saturday in August and weather threatened from the west. Cathie and Ed and Kivett and Ralph planned Slyde’s final skydive as Slyde sat patiently by –  in a box and all five cremated pounds of him.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blueberry Sacrament

Blueberry crisp is like a summertime Michigan tea ceremony. “Eating dessert” is almost secondary to the simple process that honors a grandmother's recipe, kids hovering at the kitchen door in anticipation. It is a ritual, a sacrament that blesses the summer.

Conscious of the cold clear water running through your fingers and over the fat berries you hand-picked at DeGrandchamps a few hours ago. You're aware as your mouth waters, involuntary, as you squeeze the lemon. You're present to the texture as you knead the oats and butter and cinnamon. You peer with expectation through the oven window as the blueberries overcome their selfishness and give themselves over to marry with the buttery crumbles. Vanilla ice cream sits on the counter to soften.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Momentary Rodeo

A typical range report reads something like: “Except for the Magpul polymer magazines and the Vortex SPARC red dot optics, my AR-15 was stock. I shot 500+ rounds of Hornady FMJ without any failures-to-fire or failures-to-eject. I did get a few jams with Brown Bear 5.56, but you’ll get that with Russian ammo.”

Some range reports read a little different.

After a month of 11-hour days, Friday feels like it should be a vacation day and I take it. I put my boys Sigmund and Gaston in their car seats (that would be, the Sig Sauer and the Glock secure in a padded range bag, a Christmas present from Jill). After a Starbucks stop to charge my cylinders with a medium blackeye, I drive east on State Road 38.

Windows down and a blue midsummer Indiana sky, I'm wheeling past farm implement dealers, well-maintained barns, and corn growing strong. Zac Brown and Toby Keith loud on the radio, it occurs to me that the older I get, the more I like country music.

Monday, May 31, 2010

SATC 2: A 30-Second Review

The 250 females in attendance seemed to enjoy it. Me and the other two guys in the theater had our hats pulled low, trying to avoid being placed at the scene.

For thematic content, I actually preferred "Brokeback Mountain"; at least it had cowboys, country music, and a decent story.

Liza Minnelli as a religious figure, a character named "Rikard Spurt" (with helpful character dialog to explain this pun should it be over your head), and four aging fashionistas in danger of either being sold into white slavery or scooped up and stoned by the mutaween.

Wait for DVD.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Alicia, Diane, and Audrey


The reading list for Diane’s sixth-grade history class included books on World War II and the Holocaust. Diane wondered why each year her students always seemed to pass over “Alicia: My Story,” the autobiography of Alicia Appleman-Jurman.


As a nine-year-old Jewish girl in 1939 Poland, Alicia Jurman saw her father and three of her four brothers disappeared, to find out later they had been killed by the Nazis. Alicia’s 17-year-old brother Zachary took up with the Polish resistance, was betrayed by a “friend” and was hanged in front of the police station, his body left dangling at the end of a rope as an example to others who would resist. Alicia and others crept back to the police station in the dead of night, cut Zachary’s body down, and buried him in a Jewish cemetery.