The River

My sister says I have a boring life, and maybe she’s right. She says all I do is read, write and spend time on Facebook, all of which is true. In my defense, I also work out frequently and stop off for a bite to eat and a Starbucks drink too. I do not go out at night or party like I used to when I was younger.My life basically revolves around writing and learning to become a better writer. Rest assured I have had my share of fun and good times in my past. Now I like to reminisce about those fond memories and incorporate them into a narrative that people might enjoy reading.There is much for me to learn and I have started scribbling late in my life, so I read and write a lot, which brings its own pleasure and excitement with it. I cannot physically do many of the things I was capable of years ago, but my brain still works fairly well so I will use what I have left for as long as I can.


As that noted philosopher, Garth Brooks once sang,” I will sail my river until The River runs dry.”

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Roger Miller

It was in the forties last night and isn’t a lot higher now. I may just stay in bed all day today. I watched a documentary on Roger Miller last night. A very interesting, quirky kinda guy. I didn’t know he died at 56 from cancer, 1992, I believe. funny guy.I kinda put him in the same category as Ray Stevens, the Guitarzan guy. I like quirky, offbeat humor. I used to sing King of the Road in karaoke sometimes. I sang karaoke for over 20 years, only stopping a couple years ago.I thoroughly enjoyed it although I never thought I could do it for the first 45 years of my life. With practice, I got decent after a while, mostly singing country music as I have a kinda ‘whiskey’ voice

library thoughts

The salvage process on the grounded sailboat behind the library has apparently begun, perhaps by the owner. Both masts are missing and all the hatches are open, looking like somebody has rummaged through them. Its been stranded there for more than five months and I have long thought it would make a perfect living space for a homeless person, as the cabin is protected from the weather. Only five little sailboats are moored in the Lagoon today, as its, a perfectly clear, gusty day and a dozen others are clipping along in the breezes. More than a dozen young people walking around the library staring intently at their phones. The headwinds along US 1 as I rode my bike were strong. First time I have ridden it in two weeks and my legs tired after a mile, but I knew I could make it and pressed on. Two 30-second stops for traffic only.Not great, but its a start, again

those were the days my friend

I bought my Corvette from a guy named Ronnie who lived on Hunting Lodge Drive. I took it to Tallahassee from 1973-75 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Corvettes attract ladies attention. I had a buddy who had a 1967 Chevelle 396 and we would race from time to time. I was a little quicker in the turns and he would beat me on the straightaways. It was a wild and crazy time but I wouldn’t recommend racing in city streets to anybody anymore. There was a group of guys who would gather out on I-10 Saturday nights around midnight and race for fun and money. I was a struggling student getting by on $300 a month GI Bill. At one point I worked in the library re-shelving books for $ 1.30 an hour to make some spending money.

The semester before I got drafted I had partied right thru the finals because my draft number was a Lucky Thirteen. When I returned to FSU after the Army I had to make up all those courses in order to become a student in good standing.

I graduated December 1975 and returned to Miami to find a job. Insurance for my Vette more than doubled from $465 a year in Tally to over $1400 a year in Miami. On top of that, the pushrods started leaking and fouling out the plugs, so I sold it to rich kid who had joined the Air Force in Homestead for $3000, exactly what I’d paid for it over three years before. He could afford the expensive repair and the insurance.

So when I hear guys talking about racing and fast cars I just smile to myself and let my mind drift back almost fifty years. Been there, done that.

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Christine Romero
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 · Reply · 18h

James Eret
James Eret Great story and Wow prices change!

1

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 · Reply · 18h

Roger Madan
Roger Madan You got me confused big guy. You were drafted in 73?

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 · Reply · 17h

Mel Johnson
Mel Johnson I was drafted 15 May 70 and signed up for Special Forces (3 years minimum) a month later. Got out 30 June 73.

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 · Reply · 14h

Roger Madan
Roger Madan Mel Johnson ok that makes more sense.

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 · Reply · 14h

Mel Johnson
Mel Johnson the actual draft drawing was the first week in December but I didn’t go in until May. Finals were the second week in December. I partied right thru, didnt even take one final. Stupid.

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 · Reply · 10h

John Drake
John Drake that vette had no juice. bottom of the line HP

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 · Reply · 16h

Mel Johnson
Mel Johnson It ran pretty good John, 350 horses.

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 · Reply · 14h · Edited

John Drake
John Drake my 63 ford had 500 hp, never lost

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 · Reply · 12h

Tom Sefton
Tom Sefton Remember Crome ave or Masters field ??? Ran my Mustangs there !!

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Mel Johnson replied · 3 Replies · 10 hrs
Lanny Larcinese
Lanny Larcinese Had two of them around that time. Nobody believed I bought them for design and engineering rather than status. But they were wrong. I never expected them to be babe magnets, but they were okay.

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C Kay Findley
C Kay Findley Ronnie Clark?

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Mel Johnson
Mel Johnson yep, that’s him. I heard he moved to Denver later.

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Kim Bailey Spradlin
Kim Bailey Spradlin Those were the days.

The Corvette years

I bought my Corvette from a guy named Ronnie who lived on Hunting Lodge Drive. I took it to Tallahassee from 1973-75 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Corvettes attract ladies attention. I had a buddy who had a 1967 Chevelle 396 and we would race from time to time. I was a little quicker in the turns and he would beat me on the straightaways. It was a wild and crazy time but I wouldn’t recommend racing on city streets to anybody anymore. There was a group of guys who would gather out on I-10 Saturday nights around midnight and race for fun and money. I was a struggling student getting by on $300 a month GI Bill. At one point I worked in the library re-shelving books for $ 1.30 an hour to make some spending money.

The semester before I got drafted I had partied right thru the finals because my draft number was a Lucky Thirteen. When I returned to FSU after the Army I had to make up all those courses in order to become a student in good standing.

I graduated December 1975 and returned to Miami to find a job. Insurance for my Vette more than doubled from $465 a year in Tally to over $1400 a year in Miami. On top of that, the pushrods started leaking and fouling out the plugs, so I sold it to a rich kid who had joined the Air Force in Homestead for $3000, exactly what I’d paid for it over three years before. He could afford the repair and the insurance.

So, when I hear guys talking about street racing or fast cars I just smile to myself and let my mind drift back almost fifty years. Been there, done that.

Fond memories

Heading home, speedometer steady at seventy, the speed limit, in the middle lane, I looked forward to getting a shower and a bite to eat when I got home. Suddenly a black blur flashed by me on the left. Even though my windows were up and the radio on I could hear the throaty rumble of his Lake pipes as he passed me at ninety or so. Low slung, it looked like a Dodge Challenger maybe, but I didn’t get a good look, as it was dark and he still had his foot buried deep in the accelerator. When his lane began quickly disappearing and merging into mine he backed off and glided over. I heard the pipes coughing and grumbling in protest. I hadn’t heard that exhilarating growl in over fifty years, but it still brings a fond memory and a smile to my face.

Spending Time

While I was doing my walking warmup today around the track I noticed a guy about thirty and a kid maybe ten shooting hoops. The kid was standing on the foul line and shooting foul shot after foul shot, with the dad retrieving the balls and bouncing them back to the kid. The older guy faced the basket and I never saw him speak to the kid once in the twelve minutes my warmup walk took.No words of encouragement or advice were offered. The dad had a flat expression on his face the whole time but not one that was bored, annoyed, or critical.

The kid didn’t make many at the start, maybe one out of three, but then started to get the range and made four in a row.I was impressed and thought maybe the dad would offer some praise and encouragement, but he didn’t. He did what more dads need to do with their kids- spend more time with them. They don’t have to be SuperDads. Just being there is often enough.

Santa’s Hotline

Kat was the same little girl I used to watch while Bob took a shower or was talking to his girlfriend on the phone. One December day in the living room she was having a rough time and had a tantrum, throwing the crayons, scissors, and Xmas stuff on the floor in a fit of frustration. When I gave her my usual “Those who make the messes are the ones to clean it up” pitch, she flat refused. “No!” she yelled. “YOU pick it up!” I knew her unstable mom and could easily see where the behavior came from.

“No, you know the rules in my house Kat, and if you aren’t gonna obey the rules and pick up your mess I’m not going to play with you ANY MORE!” I said sternly.

“Okay!”, she says, getting down from her chair and starting to stomp over to her bedroom door.” I didn’t want to play with you anymore anyway!” she huffed.

Halfway to her door, I start talking loudly toward the ceiling rafters. “Do you hear that Santa? Grumpy Girl. You don’t give presents to Grumpy Girls right?”

She’s really ticked now. I’m “telling” on her.

Reaching her door she turns to me and makes an ugly face. “I don’t LIKE you anymore!?” and slams the door with all her might, rattling the door frame some.

“Did you see THAT Santa?” again talking loudly toward the ceiling from across the living room. “I bet you put Grumpy Girls who slam doors on your Naughty List and don’t give them ANY PRESENTS! I’m gonna call Santa and tell him RIGHT NOW!”

With that, I closed the door to my room.

Ten minutes later a very gentle tapping on my door is heard. A very chastened and apologetic young lady stood there. Eyes on the floor, in a worried little girl voice she whines, “I’m sorry I made a mess and didn’t clean it up”, glancing up to see my reaction.

Seeing I’m listening and not mad, she looks down again and continues. “I’m really sorry I slammed the door too, Prince Mel.”

(I was Prince Mel to her Arielle on better days.)

“Well…I don’t know…” rubbing my chin, unsure what to say or do.

Her face lights up with alarm and she’s speaking very fast. “You didn’t already call Santa did you?” searching my face for answers regarding whether my Santa Hotline had already been used or not.

“Well…” I can’t help a grin spreading across my face.

“If you did, call him back right now and tell him I apologized okay?” Her eyes are big and pleading.

“I don’t know Kat, the mess is still all over the floor…” This is a teaching moment, I think to myself.

She rushes to pick the crayons, etc. up. “See? See? I’m picking it all up!” My smile grows bigger. Its all I can do to not break out in laughter. “There! Its all done! See! All done!”

“I’ll see what I can do Kat…” My ear-to-ear smile makes her think I’m not taking her very important request seriously so she demands a solemn vow.

“Promise? Cross your heart?!” she makes me pledge before heading back to her room.

“Cross my heart…”

I learned as much as anybody that afternoon. I got a quick view of a four-year-olds thinking process. In addition, I realized that approach could also be very effective around Easter time in altering the behavior of the True Believers in The Easter Bunny.

 

It was a dark and stormy night…

Everyone knows the best way to start a novel or a story is with a killer opening line. You need something that hooks the reader and immediately sets whatever mood you’re trying to set. It should be your best sentence. In fact, what follows doesn’t really matter that much because you’ve done such a good […]

via Why your first sentence should be the best and how to craft a killer opening line — Juggling Writer