Monday, July 1, 2019

Editor's Corner


July 2019

"The Summer looks out from her brazen tower, 
Through the flashing bars of July." 
- Francis Thompson, A Corymbus for Autumn .

Flashing bars of July could describe the triple digit weather expected as well as the dominance of hurricane reports in the weather news. We are hoping for a calmer, cooler day for the Fourth of July as so many will be outdoors to celebrate and just enjoy meeting up with friends.

Our authors didn't address the Fourth in their submitted works this month, but I love the Fourth of July and even won a small monetary prize locally when the town celebration was held in the park. Still being in the Texas State Guard at that time, we set up a first aide station and as the theme that year was about the Past in the West, I wore what was considered an old fashioned dress while being a "nurse" at the aide station. See pic at bottom of page.

Bud Lemire has five poems this issue: "Farmers Market," "Aronsons Island," "A Pigeon Stared at Me," "After School," and "Facebook." John I. Blair's duo of poems are "Misty You" and "Prometheus." A poem from my grandmother's scrapbook marked author unknown is presented under her name, Carrie E. Joslin, and she has another included for July, "To My Darling." Her second daughter, your editor's aunt, Linnie Jane Burks has "Anticipation of Furlough" penned while waiting to leave Ibadan, Nigeria, for a visit home. Bruce Clifford shared "Sea" and "Air."

Marilyn Carnell (Sifoddling Along) tells of the antics surrounding a couple of her favorite relatives, and LC Van Savage (Consider This) recalls with trepedation attending The Automat with her outgoing, well meaning, often confused grandmother. Judith Kroll (On Trek) discusses the brevity of life, often unexpected demise and preparing oneself for the shock of loss.

Thomas F. O'Neill (Introspective) writes to us while awaiting his return to China to resume his teaching career there. Mattie Lennon relates the latest updates in Valleymount stage and theatre events, and applauds Paul Carroll who is diligently trying to get funds to restore his alma mater. Rod Cohenour's column has an interesting concoction of chicken and pineapple he calls Heinz 57 Polynesian Chicken for his meal of the month.

Melinda Cohenour (Armchair Genealogy) dedicates her column (which is a poem her first ever composed) to the Bethany Fire Department who came to her rescue exhibiting care and efficiency in their aide, which explains why she doesn't have anything about genealogy for July.

We appreciate Michael Craner, our co-founder and the webmaster who keeps us in our place in order to bring you the eZine each month. Thanks again, Mike!

See you in August!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


Armchair Genealogy

Armchair Genealogy

This month's "column" is dedicated to the fine heroes of the Bethany Oklahoma Fire Department. They were dispatched to my home this past week after my misfortune. Cheerfully, caringly they provided me with their help after my fall. They managed to diminish my huge embarrassment by their kind and reassuring attention. Thank you, so very much!

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me!

Poor, poor pitiful me!
I fell, you see
Upon my knees!
Oh, woe is me,
Poor pitiful me.

It was the cat
That mashed me flat.
She dashed - and SPLAT!
I fell down flat.

I yelled her name
As SWOOSH she came,
Striking my cane
And down I came.

Upon my face
In full disgrace,
Here in my place
No sign of grace.

On head I slid,
And struck my lid
Against the door
As WHOOSH, I slid.

No help for me
As both my knees
Throbbed with such pain
As down they came
Upon my cane,
My BLASTED cane!

Call 911!
For help to come.
Not EMTs
But Bethany FD.

A lift assist
They term their work.
As five deploy
To my endless joy!

One each for feet,
One behind my seat
And round my waist
An orange belt they thread.

Quick as a wink
No time to blink
Upon my feet!
Up from my seat!

Now cane in hand
It's time to stand,
On wobbly feet I land,
I'm Up, My man.

No bones did break.
No blood did leak.
Upon my feet,
No ER to make.

Now in my bed
I lay my head.
TV? Too far down steps to tread
My choice, instead?
Three books I've read.

Armchair Genealogy?
Not this month, poor pitiful me.
©June 30, 2019 Melinda Cohenour
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Cooking with Rod


Heinz 57 Polynesian Chicken

The calendar keeps rolling round, as we approach the 4th of July!

My sweet mate keeps creating recipes for me to cook up. This one's a real winner! A bottle of this, a can of that, some lovely fresh veggies, a bit of spice and boneless, skinless white meat of chicken served atop fresh steamed white rice. This cuts the salt and fat while amping up the FLAVOR!

Bon appetit~!

Heinz 57 Polynesian Chicken

  • 3 lbs chicken tenders
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced in moons
  • 3 carrots, sliced or baby carrots
  • Medium onion, cut in wedges
  • Green bell pepper, cubed
  • Red bell pepper, cubed
  • Bottle Heinz 57
  • 1 cup Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 15 oz. can pineapple chunks and juice
  • Rice, steamed
1. Rinse chicken pieces, place in single layer.
2. Season chicken with garlic powder and 1 tsp. chili powder.
3. Whisk together Heinz 57 and honey with remaining chili powder.
4. Place chicken in large (electric, preferred) skillet.
5. Top with vegetables.
6. Prepare rice while chicken and veggies cook.
7. Steam chicken and veggies until crisp tender, turning from time to time.
8. Add Heinz 57-Honey mixture and stir well.
9. Add pineapple chunks and juice.
10. Continue cooking until pineapple is heated through.

Serve over steamed rice.

A nice little twist on this dish, by the way, would be some optional additions: some fresh sprigs of cilantro, a sprinkle of unsalted dry roasted peanuts, and a sideboard with sliced jicama and lime juice.

Look for us here again in August!

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Irish Eyes

Valleymount, Lacken And Further Afield

Last month you left me in the culture capital of Ireland on the Friday of Listowel Writers’ Week and I had two action-packed days ahead of me with events too numerous to mention. The Holycross/Ballycahill Drama Group did a wonderful production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane.

On Sunday the Healing Session
took place for the 25th year.
This marathon open-mic session has been hosted in
John B’s for a quarter of a century
by the colourful and multi-talented Billy Keane.


And now back to my native heath.

The Lug Challenge is a 53km walk which begins in Stonecross Bohernabreena covering a total of 17 peeks and a 7500ft climb finishing up in Seskin in the Glen of Imaal county Wicklow..

Paul Carroll - a past pupil of the Lacken Community School took part in this challenge on June 15th to help raise funds towards the restoration of Lacken Community Centre. Paul’s challenge has raised a considerable sum for the restoration of his old Alma Mater but much more is needed. Let the Lacken diaspora et al go to the following link:

Paul's old school

* * * * *

And across the lake from Lacken this year's Arts and Heritage Festival in Valleymount opened with 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', the classic Shakespeare comedy fittingly staged on Midsummer Night. The newly formed Valleymount Theatre Company is busy fundraising and renovating the stage in the community hall. The new theatre group is run by Ged Doyle, Liz Gardner and Mark Wright, who are hoping to create an ongoing drama group and art centre as part of the many activities now being created in the area. All three have experience in the arts and theatre and are working to improve the community centres facilities to stage more productions in the future.

The Valleymount Theatre Company is in good hands.

Ged Doyle has been involved in theatre, and the production of plays and musicals since his school days. He was a member of The Everyman Youth Theatre, Liverpool in its early years during the 1970’s. He studied dance and movement as part of his teaching degree at Liverpool John Moores University, performing in several productions whilst there. He was responsible for organising and running a local Arts and Music Festival in Ballyknockan, Co. Wicklow which took place in 2007. As a teacher in Liverpool and also in Ireland he has produced and directed many plays and musicals. He founded and managed a local youth theatre, ‘The Lakeside Youth Theatre’, from 2001 to 2007 in Valleymount. This included writing and co-writing a number of plays and musicals plus set design and construction, and direction and production. As well as the plays and musicals he has written and co-written he has been involved in the productions of plays and musicals such as; - Bugsy Malone, Scrooge (A Musical version of a Christmas Carol), Macbeth, Hamelin (A Musical version of The Pied Piper) and Alice in Wonderland.

Liz Gardner studied at London Academy of Music and Drama Arts (LAMDA) Her track record is impressive; Gold Medal (with Honours) Acting, Gold Medal (with Honours) Spoken Verse and Prose, Certificate of Merit (Spoken English) She has been in various amateur productions during and since school as well as directorial roles including parts in Jane Eyre (Jane) and Hay Fever (Sorel Bliss) and was a member of Edinburgh Bedlam Theatre whilst attending The University of Edinburgh (1997-2001) Professionally she is a regular speaker on archaeological specialist topics on local radio and in other media.

Helen Mirren and Mark Wright

Mark Wright: Past: Royal Northern College of Music, Buxton Opera Festival, Granada TV, Yorkshire TV, Gate Theatre, Opera Theatre Co, NCH Dublin. National College of Art & Design Dublin

Production Manager: ‘Look Back In Anger’ Manchester, ‘Mozartheatre’ Dublin, ‘Eight Songs for A Mad King’ NCH Dublin, ‘Virginia Woolf’ NCH Dublin, ‘Amedeus’ DCU,

Props Master: Beckett Festival Gate Theatre, ‘Great Expectations’ Gate theatre, ‘Don Carlos’ Opera

Manchester, ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ Opera Manchester, Nutcracker, Northern Ballet Co, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Opera Manchester. Film: ‘Dylan Thomas A Life’ Director, ‘Berlin to Black Hill’ Producer, ‘Excalibur behind the Movie’ Director.

TV Broadcasts: RTE, PBS, Canadian TV, ABC Australia, France2

Mark lives in Valleymount, is currently writing and illustrating his first book; he is also working on another documentary to be shot in Paris.

Do visit the Facebook page:
Dress Rehearsel

A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream was followed by an exhibition in Valleymount Hall on June 22st, 223rd and 24th.

Midsummer in Valleymount

The exhibition was well attended by local people and guests came from all over Ireland, including many who had been force to leave their home as young children before the sluice gate was closed at Poulaphouca in 1940. The construction of the Poulaphouca Reservoir was one of the largest infrastructural projects ever undertaken in this country and hundreds of people were forced to relocate as 76 homes, 300 farms and over 6,000 acres of land were submerged by water.

Second generation from the lake

Historian D. J. Darby, with digital displays, gave a most interesting talk on the Saturday night and archaeologist Liz Gardner acquainted us with many lesser known facts about our past. It is absolutely amazing the number of stone age and bronze age artefacts which were found by archaeologists and local people when the lake was at its lowest.

The demand for electricity had risen to such an extent, by the nineteen thirties that the ESB had to look for a river to harness as a Hydro-Electric scheme similar to Ardnacrusha. The Board had ample powers of compulsory acquisition and opened negotiations with the landowners of the area from a strong position. As one commentator put it: “The element of compulsion and the rapidity with which the ESB moved to secure possession awakened dormant images of Cromwell’s soldiers and rapacious landlords. “ Landowners were dismayed by the valuation placed on their farms, the semi- state body measuring value in purely monetary terms. Many argued they would lose a family home that rooted them to this valley. The price offered was flatly refused by indignant landowners and the case went to arbitration. Decades later, in an RTE interview my father, the late Tim Lennon, said of this adjudication: “The arbitrator was the Devil and the coort was in Hell “. As the water level steadily wrote Poet, Austin Clarke (whose people came from Blackditches Hill) wrote: “Now that the reservoir dam at Poulaphouca has been completed, flood is raising to the last ridge below Valleymount and another sky has tumbled into the heather. The narrow lands from which my father’s people came have vanished under water and the trout are too heavy to jump”.

Further afield one English writer said of the scheme, “Industrialisation is writing Ireland’s epitaph ...”
Monument to a displaced people

On Sunday 24th June Bishop Eamon Walsh opened and blessed the memorial garden erected to the memory of all the families who were uprooted to make way for the lake. But did they ever really leave? I think it was the Greek poet Cavafy who had the answer, “No matter where you wander all over the world, in the fields and streets where you grow up, there you will live and there you will die.”

Ballinahown, photo by Gerry O'Neill

An old man from Carrigacurra told me the following story; It was 1978. The lake was at its lowest ever. Ruins of old farmhouses and outlines of small fields were once again visible; having been submerged for thirty eight years. A British film company decided to make a documentary about the flooding of the valley. One September day Jimmy was standing at the end of Norton’s Lane in Ballinastockan. An English registered Landrover stopped. The driver, a man with an Oxford accent, addressed Jimmy. “We would like to interview the oldest person in the area.” Jimmy’s reply? “Yer late. He died last week.”

You would hear all sorts of stories in that area. And sure half of them mightn’t be the truth at all. I picked up this one in Valleymount as well. Sean and Paddy were walking home after a party, in Poulaphouca, and decided to take a shortcut through Baltyboys graveyard. When they were right in the middle of the cemetery they were startled by a tap-tap-tapping noise coming from the misty shadows. Catching their breath and trembling with fear, they found an old man, with a hammer and chisel, chipping away at one of the headstones. ‘Holy God, Mister,' said Sean, his voice quivering, 'You scared us half to death. We thought you were a ghost! What on earth are you doing working here so late at night?'
“I was a Ballyknockan stonecutter”, the old chiseller grumbled, “And those bastards have misspelled my name.”

See you in August.

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I’m planning on returning to China to continue teaching at the end of July. I was told by the Chinese Consulate in New York that I can apply for a residential visa a month prior to the start of my new teaching contract.

In the meantime I accepted a temporary summer position with the YMCA in Williamsport, PA and I got to know some of their employees. I was shocked to learn how low their full-time hourly pay is and that they are working without health benefits. The person in charge of the summer program said to me “the YMCA has a lot of challenges. The only people who are willing to work for minimum wage are individuals with criminal records.” A criminal background check is required in Pennsylvania for a job working with children and that is a good thing.

I enjoy telling others about my teaching experiences in China because it has given me a unique perspective not only about teaching but about life in general. I say this because in China summer programs are all about learning and gaining new experiences. Most summer camps in Asia pay their employees well and the employees are highly skilled when it comes to teaching. My experience at the YMCA was the exact opposite because the workers are working for minimum wage. In my opinion the children are being short changed by the company's lack of insight. In China teachers instill a love of learning within the children. At the YMCA in Williamsport, PA the children have very little respect for the employees because many of the staff reflect a dissatisfaction with their job mostly due to low pay.

I had to participate in a day of training with some of the other employee’s and I was dumbfounded to learn that most of the full-time employees qualify for section 8 housing. One individual, a recent college graduate, had to quit his Job because rental agencies in Williamsport, PA refused to rent an apartment to him because they said his income was too low.

In China summer programs pay teachers extremely well because of their respect for the teaching profession. It is sad that the YMCA in Williamsport does not fully understand the power and influence they have in shaping young minds. If they truly want to be a positive force for good in their community they must start by respecting their employees by offering them a living wage. I feel it is unethical to hire full-time employees that qualify for section 8 housing and offer no health benefits. Minimum wage is no longer a living wage in America and how a company treats their employees is a reflection on the company’s overall value and where their priorities are.

Perhaps the YMCA should reflect on what their mission truly is because my experience with their summer program shows that there is something profoundly lacking in their so called educational program. I say this because there was no teaching going on mainly due to the company’s refusal to pay their workers adequately. They also need to hire qualified people to run what they claim to be educational programs. One employee told me he saw himself as an “underpaid babysitter.” That to me is sad when you consider the true potential that is being wasted due to sheer incompetence at the top of the YMCA’s management.
    Always with love,
    Thomas F O’Neill
    Phone: (410) 925-9334
    WeChat - Thomas_F_ONeill
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill
    Facebook: https:/

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Sifoddling Along


Kinfolk Who Impressed Me

      Many years ago, my brother-in-law, Earl Spears, was Sheriff of McDonald County, MO. Earl was one quarter Cherokee and had an easy-going way about him. He looked a lot like a movie star of the 1950s called Jeff Chandler – High cheekbones, slanting gray eyes and very fit. He married my sister when I was eleven years old and I grew up idolizing him. He was droll and understated and was the source of many interesting events in my young life.

       Earl was sheriff for 12 years or three terms. The pay was paltry, but as crime wasn’t overwhelming it was a pretty good life. At the time, there were no retirement benefits for county officials, so he was never well to do, but so rich in personality in a dry, comic way. He was a crack shot and because he felt he might use his pistol before thinking, he usually kept it in the glove box of the squad car.

      He seldom gave out traffic tickets, leaving that the Highway Patrol, but on one occasion, he gave a speeding ticket to a young man from the next county. Soon after, the young man was in one of the McDonald County watering holes, bellied up to the bar and bitterly complaining about having got a ticket. One of the regulars slowly leaned back and said, “Son, you have to understand that here in McDonald County we have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Your problem is, you ain’t one of the people.

* * * * *

      After he was sheriff, he worked for a state agency for a few years. He decided to retire as it involved a lot of time away from McDonald County where he wanted to spend his time. I was invited to his retirement party at the Shangri-La Motel and Dining room, a local hangout with good food and generous drinks.

      The bartender was a strapping young woman named Susie, who could go bear hunting with a switch. In other words, she was very capable of handling anything that came down the pike. Several of Earl’s colleagues came down from Jefferson City to bring the blessings of the Capitol to his new life. The party was a lot of fun. I remember that we all had a very good time teasing Earl and enjoying good company.

      The next day, as was a frequent custom, we met again at the same place to relive the fun. Susie was on duty again and as she handed around the usual drinks, she said off hand. “One of those guys from Jefferson City kept patting me on the butt last night.” The testosterone level went stratospheric. How dare a stranger even touch one of our fair maidens? What did he do? Why didn’t you tell us!” echoed around the table.

      Well… said Susie. “I didn’t mind that much. He was such a gentleman about it.”

* * * * *

      My Cousin Gene was a most interesting character. He was a superb horseman and kept quarter horses as a hobby. He then decided that the horses needed a companion, so he got a goat to fill that role. Soon after, his Cadillac needed some repair work, so he was given a dreadful old loaner car – beat up fenders and a smoking tailpipe. Getting bored one day, he decided to go over the local watering hole for a cup of coffee and catch up on the news. The goat trotted along behind the car so on an impulse, he opened the back door and took the goat along.
      Arriving at the Shangri-La (probably the most misleading name, ever), he took the goat in (yes, he did that) and introduced him as a very treasured prize sire that he had to treat very specially in order to keep him in the mood for his reproductive duties. After a time of genial conversation, Gene and the goat headed for home.

      As they topped the hill (at a rapid clip with smoke billowing from the tailpipe) toward Pineville, Gene was stopped by a local Highway Patrolman, Merle. G. who approached the old car cautiously. He looked inside and said "@#$ Bunch, what are you doing! I just radioed Carthage headquarters and said I was in pursuit of a vehicle that appeared to be on fire and that there were two occupants – the driver and an old man in the back seat. "

      Guilelessly, Gene launched into his “story” about the goat being very special. He said, “He gets a little high strung, and I have found that if I take him for a ride and sing little goat songs to him, he settles right down.”

      With that Merle again commented most unfavorably about Gene's ancestry, threw up his hands and said. “You get back to Pineville and I don't ever want to see that goat in a car again!”

      It goes without saying that Marilyn misses her late cousin Gene. He was a wonderful story teller and the source of endless amusement.

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Consider This


At The Automat with My Linguist Grandmother

Something nice happened to me a few years ago, done by a congenial man I'd never met.I’ll tell you about it, but first a bit of background.

Too many decades ago my grandmother used to take me to Horn and Hardart's Automat restaurant in New York City.We'd go to a show or a movie and then would have a meal there, and for me, going to Maxim's in Paris couldn't have been more exciting.

Off we'd go to that white enamel, brass and glass food palace. My grandmother would hand me a dollar and I'd walk to the lady at the high desk in the middle of the busy restaurant, and she'd exchange that dollar for twenty nickels.Loaded with this King’s Ransom, I'd head toward the walls of food, displayed behind dozens of small hinged, brass-framed, knobbed windows of thick glass, with different foods behind them. I'd take a long, long time to make my choices, but which? Sandwiches of every possible sort, including the classic cream-cheese-and-jelly?Thick green and white bowls of baked beans? Pot pies? Soups? Spaghetti?Bowls of Irish stew?

I'd finally decide and jam the nickels into the slot next to my choice, and the small square door would pop open allowing me to reach in and pull out my booty.The door to the tiny receptacle then closed down and would lock, and I’d watch the round tray within spin away and an exact clone of what I’d just bought would magically reappear.

It was heaven! I'd place my selection on a tray on the long brass railed shelf beneath and slide it toward my next acquisition. Or I might consider parting with a few more nickels and get a full meal; corn, meatloaf covered with thick gravy, buttered beets, mashed potatoes, green beans. Maybe salad, although I’ve never much cottoned to salad, then or now, and think it tends to wreck the whole point of a good, hot, salty, calorie and carbo-laden greasy dinner.

I’d then face a bank of the most fabulous, delicious desserts known to humankind, an endless variety of pies and cakes, all flavors and colors, custards, fruits, weirdly shaped pastries, cubed Jell-O in all colors topped with thick piles of real whipped cream, heavy white bowls of over-the-moon fabulous ice cream, to cover with ladles of free sauces of choice.

Milk, for some reason, was sometimes brought to the table, poured from a sweating grey metal pitcher into thick short glasses still hot from the dish water, and I'd drink it quickly, loving the feel of the hot glass on my lips, the cold milk on my tongue.I'd gulp fast before the cow juice turned warm.

I remember sitting at the thick sticky Bakelite tables.The plates and cups on it were heavy porcelain, white and clean. The din of human voices in Horn and Hardart's Automat had a strangely musical quality for me, like a chorus that sang a sort of clanking, rumbling opera, its accompanying orchestra the clinks and clatters of cutlery, plates and glasses.I was happy there, staring at and listening closely to the people all around, so many different accents, all seeming actors and singers and dancers performing just for me in this big crowded and loud restaurant, purchasing their foods from those endless rows of tiny windows, sitting and eating, talking and laughing.

But some were not. Even though I was so young, I knew some of the people I watched had darkness in their lives.Some were poor and hungry and poured Ketchup into mugs of hot water, and with the free soda crackers, they had a meal of sorts, tomato “soup” and crackers.Today I am deeply ashamed I never handed those sad people some of my nickels, but instead I looked away.

There was always one most unpleasant incident which happened at my revered Automat.My beloved grandmother, (a woman who considered herself a multi-linguist because alone, she'd taken a trip around the world in l937 and had completely incorrectly memorized about four phrases from various countries,) would think she was furthering the cause of brotherly love between all nations by bellowing out one of those dreadful phrases at the Automat, especially when she'd espy someone of Asian persuasion.

"Oh no," I'd breathe when I'd see her eyes light up.I knew she'd spied a victim across the restaurant, and it was nearly always an Asian.Her mouth would split into a huge United Nations grin and she'd shriek across the floor a horrid phrase which sounded something like "HONG YONG DISSY MEWIE!!" She'd continue to shrill that repeatedly until the luckless man or woman would finally look up to see what the tumult was, whereupon my beloved Granny would happily blast it again.

It was just quite simply ghastly. The poor person hadn't a clue what that old woman was shouting, could not respond in kind, and for all I knew, she may very well have been unknowingly declaring war on his country or insulting his mother.I couldn't wait to run out of there, after, of course I’d scarfed down all the food I could. She'd always grin happily at me and say "You see my darling Elsie? I just said Good Morning to that nice gentleman over there from Japan. Or is that Korea? Or China? Oh well, it's made him happy. Now he feels like he's back in his own country for a moment, don't you agree my dear?" I most certainly did not. And neither did he.

But as to the kind thing.In l994, I wrote about all of this for a magazine called *Reminisce* and that article surfaced one day at a nice man's home. He read it. His name was Steve Plant and he owned Plant's Seafood in Bath, Maine.Mr. Plant called me to advise that he owned a clock that had been in the last great Horn and Hardart restaurant in New York City, and he kindly wondered if I'd like to see it. He told me that just before that last Horn and Hardart restaurant had been demolished, someone got that clock out and had given it to him. He sent me a photo.

It's not a mighty clock. It's smallish, and advertises Coca Cola, but the Horn and Hardart name is there and that clock was part of a marvelous and now ended piece of American culinary history. Perhaps I’d looked at that clock when my dear grandmother took me to that exciting restaurant. Maybe I glanced at it as I ran furiously out of the building as she screamed "HONG YONG DISSY MEWIE" at some hapless soul. It was nice of Mr. Plant to let me see that clock again and to cause me to remember those sweet, good days. Very nice indeed. And oh, they were truly sweet, good days.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.You can reach LC at or
Her newest book QUEENIE is at local bookstores, or contact LC directly.

On Trek


The Last Goodbye


When memories float into my consciousnesss
I relax and let them flow.
Sometimes there are smiles, other times- hurts
Each one recognizable as if they happened yesterday.
Triggers tend to pop certain memories up.
It could be a word, a picture, a song,
The color of a tree in autumn.

A picture etched in my soul was leaving mom and dad's home from a visit we had with them. They got on the steps, and were waving as we backed out of the driveway.

I looked back and waved and thought some day, they won't be here. This might be my last goodbye.

The step is still there, but strangers now occupy the house. Mama passed shortly after that memory, and daddy passed in 2015.

Their energy still abounds as I slide thru old pictures and videos in my minds eye. Is it really a last Goodbye?

From this earthly plain yes, but since we live forever, no.
Besides, they come around, leave signs always.

A treasure of love and life as each person we meet
leaves pieces of their light with us, and we leave ours with them.
An interchange of love to help each of us move along in this earthly journey.

There are 60 minutes in an hour....60 moments enjoy.
Treasure our time with our loved ones, each moment is precious.
Judith 6/27/19

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To My Darling

Sweetheart, I am sad and lonely
    In the dear old house tonight;
Tho' the room is warm and cozy
    And the lights are clear and bright.

Yet, I cannot keep from thinking
    Of a night so long ago;
When you and I were here together
    And the lights were dim and low.

And you told me that you loved me
    And you pressed me to your breast;
And within your arms I rested
    But, I can't recall the rest.

For the sandman, too, was wooing
    And I yielded to his charms;
And for one sweet hour or longer
    Slept within your loving arms.

It was within this same room, dear
    That the words were spoken low;
That bound our heart together
    In the dear, old long ago.

Yes, tonight, I am sad and lonely
    For your face I cannot see;
But wherever you are tonight, dear
    I know you are thinking of me.

So why should I be sad, dear?
    You are true to me, I know,
And you love me the same you did, dear,
    In the days of long ago.

©circa late 1950's Carrie E. Joslin

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Aronsons Island

A Baltimore Oriole, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, or a Cedar Waxwing
Are on Aronsons Island and you can hear them sing
So much to see if you are aware
A Brown Thrasher and Woodpecker are even found there

A Yellow Warbler, Barn & Tree Swallows, and the Killdeer
Beautiful is their song as it comes upon your ear
The Canadian Goose, and the Great Blue Heron can be found
If you listen real closely, you can hear them around
Butterflies can be seen on a warm summer day
When flowers are in bloom and they like to play

A Green Leaper is there, which is a frog
The island is a great place to walk your dog
A bike path leads right to the end
It’s a wonderful place to take a friend

Walk along the shore, take in the scene
On Lake Michigan, where the trees are so green
Escanaba’s Waterfront, what a beautiful sight
I’ve even seen some people flying a kite

People go there to swim, some go to fish
Possibly a walk, or anything else that you wish
You can launch your boat on the island too
There’s so much at the island that you can do

© June 10, 2010 Bud Lemire
                         Author Note:
I make it a daily event to go to Aronsons Island when the warm
weather is here. It brings me peace to see all the wonderful
creatures that come there. The beauty there is always found,
and the songs of the birds are always around. I try to capture
what I can with my camera, but some things must be
experienced right on the spot.

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The Sea

I’m far from home
I stand alone
Deep in a cloud
Thinking out loud

In space and time
The last car in line
Lost in a dream
What does this mean

The sea is the place for me
The sea is where I want to be
The sea is never too far away
The sea is where I long to stay

I’m over the moon
I anchor in June
Hidden in a thought
Memories can’t be bought

In space and dreams
The ultimate extremes
Holding on to it tight
Alone in the night

The sea has a place for you and me
The sea is where we long to be
The sea is never too far away
The sea is where we want to stay

I’m far from home
I’m never alone
Oceans and waves
The lost and betrayed

©6/8/19 Bruce Clifford

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After School

Who could have seen, who would have known
The future before us, how much we have grown
Time moves around us, we move ahead
We change with time, going where we’re led
Some of us get married, start a family
Others are led elsewhere, in our destiny
We find that life, takes all we can give
The more that we do, the easier it is to live

School is done, but your lessons have just begun
An adventurous journey, until your life is done
You see school was only the beginning of the class
You’ll see life differently as it goes flying past

You’ll see your dreams come true
And what you can accomplish too
Those you looked up to will pass away
You’ll be the one with an important role to play

Your appearance will change with age
Chapters of your life, moving page by page
Experience and wisdom will make a better you
When you find that life begins…After School

©June 19, 2010 Bud Lemire
                         Author Note:
I find that you can learn a lot in school, but I find that after
Graduation, we begin a journey that teaches us so much
more about life and how things are suppose to be. We learn
about the real world so much more, and the people around us.
Our wild days are over and we must take responsibility for
others. But deep inside our hearts and souls remain the same,
even when our bodies age and change in appearance.

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Misty You

I dream
Of shining houses,
Shape-changing rooms,
Dauntless heroes, daring deeds.

I dream
Of toiling miles
Down tedious streets
Through dreary places.

And everywhere
You, misty you,
Also are contained
In my dreams.

You’ve been gone
For years;
Yet your face remains,
Lingering in my brain.

I’ll never touch again
The object of my dreaming,
But thanks to misty you
The fact no longer pains.

©2019 John I. Blair, 6/15/2019­

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A Pigeon Stared At Me

A pigeon stared at me from outside the window
Moving its head from side to side as if to say hello
I wonder what it was thinking or what it had to say
As a sprinkle of rain came down upon this special day
It seemed to have a message, but I couldn’t read its mind
But it made me smile, because it seemed so kind
It rested on a bird feeder, staring in at me
What could it be thinking, what could it be

Perhaps it was wondering if I knew Pigeon Talk
Or if I was pigeon toed and could I do a Pigeon walk
Pigeons aren’t known by many as the most beautiful bird
Yet as I looked out the window, that statement seemed so absurd

Because I saw the beauty inside as the pigeon looked back at me
What makes something beautiful, is the beauty only you can see
Some never see it right in front of their eyes
Right there in plain sight without even a disguise

As the pigeon stared in at me, I was staring too
I wondered of its thoughts and exactly what it knew
Never take for granted the things that are there
Open up your senses and tune in to be aware
© July 5, 2010 Bud Lemire
                       Author Note:
The day I saw the pigeon, I was touched by the way
it reacted to my stare back at it. Just like people have their
own ways, so do birds and animals. They should not be taken
lightly, for they are part of this world too.

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Anticipation of Furlough

The air is hot,
    The wind is dry,
But, Crickets chirp and sing --
    And tho' I sit in Ibadan town
My thoughts are on the wing.

They fly from here,
    The route's well known,
To where your winds are chill --
    In a few more days,
With a glad, glad heart,
    It's "follow them" I will!

So, watch the door,
    Sing out "Hello!"
When we come down the hall,
    We'll run right in,
With a hug and a grin --
    In answer to your call!

©Feb. 7, 1973 Linnie Jane Burks
(Sent on a greeting card from Ibadan, Nigeria.)

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Somewhere down the block
Equipment has exploded.

Sitting at my desk I yelp;
I’m plunged in blackness;
The familiar room is gone

And I’m cut off
From the seeing world I know,
Clueless for a moment.

Step by halting step
I find my way
Into the kitchen

Where a dim glow
From a storm light
Has guided me.

Then I start the search
For candles, holders, matches,
Anything to fight the night.

I feel like Prometheus,
Fire bringer,
If only for myself.

At this hour
Light for others
Seems beyond my power.

But once the flames are lit
I think of others I might help;
And then Prometheus I truly am.

©2019 John I. Blair, 6/29/2019­

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Farmers Market

I’m going to the Farmers Market to get something
Going to find out what the farmers did bring
Located behind where the popcorn wagon use to sit
Going to go there and see what I can get
Farmers from Yooper country, bring their produce into town
Upon the stands they’re placed, for us to look around
Grown here, in the U.P.
Maybe I’ll find something there for me

Once I bought some beets, and I tried something new
Made a beetroot sandwich, like the Australians do
Tomatoes, cucumbers, and some green beans
Several other foods, many assorted greens

Squash is there in Autumn, Acorn tastes so great
Zucchini is good in bread, it’s something I ate
The farmers take pride, and bring them there to share
Placed upon the shelves so we will be aware

Come down and take a look, the prices can’t be beat
You’ll find something good that you can eat
I’m proud of all the farmers that take the time to grow
All the foods at the Farmers Market, that helps enrich your soul

©Oct 18, 2006 Bud Lemire
                       Author Note:
The Farmers Market is located between North 9th street and
1st avenue North here in Escanaba, and has been around for
many years. Opened early Saturday, and late afternoon
on Wednesdays (when in season).

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'Twas Summer When We Parted

'Twas summer when we parted, the flow'rs were all in bloom.
    The moon was softly shining on the dear old country home.
Upon the heavy green oak leaves, the dew, like diamonds shone,
    And down the low green valley, came turtledove's deep moan;
While the whippoorwill was singing, the village church bells ringing,
    And the wind was whispering softly through the trees.

His face was pale and troubled, and his blue eyes filled with tears;
    His voice, like low soft music, told of all his doubts and fears;
The hand that clung so fondly to mine, I drew away
    Was trembling, as he turned to go, when I would not let him stay
While the whippoorwill was singing, the village church bells ringing,
    And the wind was whispering softly through the trees.

That parting--it was years ago--time proved his doubts and fears;
    I was false, yet I'd give all, could I recall those years,
'Tis summer, and I stand again at the dear old country home,
    The moon is shining as of yore--but, alas! I am alone;
While the whippoorwill was singing, the village church bells ringing,
    And the wind was whispering softly through the trees.

Bitter tears flow freely as I stand in the moons pale light
    And think of the sorrow and pain I caused, when I hardened my heart that night.
Poor soul! His sorrow over--and I deserve the pain,
    And only live to meet him, where we'll never part again;
Where the angel choir is singing, heav'ns glad bells are ringing,
    And the wind is whispering softly through the trees.

From Grandmother Carrie E. Joslin's scrapbook
Author Unknown circa 1940's

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Connecting with the old and new
Facebook is the place for you
All your interests on display
Responses made on every day

 Groups and friends are all found there
There’s so much more that you can share
Pictures, music, and videos too
They’re all there especially for you

Your own profile is your special place
While the News Feed is the latest news space
Some people like to play a game
But for me that’s not my aim

I love interacting with my friends there
And reading all the comments so I’m aware
I’ll send a heart to someone I know
Or some Mystic Art that captures the soul

I’ll share my photos so my friends can see
Exactly what I’m doing with my photography
Oh it’s great to share and it’s fun to look
And visit my friends who are at Facebook

© June 19, 2010 Bud Lemire
                          Author Note:
I’ve been enjoying Facebook, and all the friends that are near and far.
It’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. It’s a great
way for long lost friends and family to find you. I love the latest news
on music, authors, and all the things I enjoy.

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The Air

From here to there
I feel the air
From high and low
I feel it flow

From me to you
Any altitude
I feel the air
You say it isn’t fair

From land and sky
We drive and fly
The lift of the wings
So many amazing things

From here to there
I feel the air
From low and high
Give it a try

©6/23/19 Bruce Clifford

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