Tag Archive | editors

Time to become a “Shady Lady”

Waiting for the Geezer IN THE SHADE

July is here! In Florida that means it’s hot, and humid, and hot, and buggy, and HOT! For the Geezer and me that means early morning walks. The sun isn’t at full broil at that time. We’re sure we leave the house just after the mosquitoes and sand flies have finished breakfast. Even at 9 AM the sun is beating down … it doesn’t take much time before I’m in full pant mode.

The Geezer says I become a “shady lady” this time of year. It has nothing to do with a break-down in my impeccable morals. It has to do with the route I choose when we take our walks. The Geezer chooses to walk along the road in a straight line. I, however, am smarter. I go from one patch of shade to the next. Yes, I zig and zag a lot, but I stay cooler! That’s just one more piece of evidence that canine’s are intellectually superior to humans.

Even though it is a hot walk during the summer months, the route we take is so relaxing and beautiful it makes the heat bearable. If there’s any breeze at all, we get it as we walk along the bay front. Bokeelia is an enclave of “old Florida,” a place resisting the encroachment of huge development. We love that. The picture below illustrates what our community is like.

 

Mainstreet – Bokeelia (literally)

One of the structures we pass is indicative of the place and its people. We have our own “Little Free Library.” If you have a book you want to share, you can place it there. If you need something to read, you can pick up a novel or a book on Florida’s history. The Geezer says “readers are thinkers” and that “open minds, open books.” The community, though small, reflects that profile. The lettering on our library’s gable says it all.

 

Our community “Little Free Library” in Bokeelia

 

Our library is representative of Bokeelia’s inhabitants prospective. We like to do it ourselves. We like to work together. We live within our means. We prefer the functional over the grandiose. We find a way to get it done. The picture of our library says it all.

 

Our library – little but mighty!

 

For all you writers! The Geezer is chairperson for a major writer’s conference to be held in April of 2019 here in SW Florida! You can learn more about it by visiting these sites:

https://southwestfloridawritersconference.godaddysites.com

http://www.abc-artisansofbooks.com

 

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Meet the Geezer

I reflect best as I ride

Hi all – A quick note to let you know as of two days ago I’m able to make posts, respond to comments … hooray!

Want to meet the Geezer? He’ll be speaking to a writers group, Gulf Coast Writers Association in Fort Myers, Florida this Saturday (June 16th). The meeting is held at Zion Lutheran Church, 7401 Winkler Road, Fort Myers, FL   33919. His topic will be “A writer’s covenant – gaining influence and the responsibility that goes with it.”

He will also be announcing the 2019 southwest Florida writers conference titled, “Possibilities, the Hudson comes to the Peace.” It will feature agents and editors from New York City.

 

 

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The Geezer deep in thought … or the best imitation of which he’s capable

Sometimes I’m so happy I could just s _ _ t!

“Sometimes I’m so happy I could just s – – t!

I finally was able to get to the computer to write a post! The Geezer has been so busy he’s hogged the keyboard ever since Christmas. The old boy is finishing two books. He’s doing a final edit on one and completing the last chapters on the other.  The months of December through April are Snow Bird season so that means he’s busy on the speaker’s circuit. Most “events” are held during that period because there are up to a third more folks that can attend.

It’s also the season he gets to enjoy seeing his long-lost schoolmates and friends. The old boy really loves that. He’s had three visits in the last four weeks.

You’d think this would give me more, not less, opportunity to blog. Nope. Two things have occurred to keep this from happening. First, because he’s been so busy, he has switched to a lap top and takes it with him. Second, and this one I can’t even complain about, he has been able to take me with him on a lot of events lately. If I complain about that, all the moaning and grousing about being left at home will have been wasted.

My two favorite friends in the neighborhood are away on trips. Manny, the Chichichua is off on a cruise through the Panama canal. It will be a while before he or Sarge comes back. Sarge is my German Shepard friend who is visiting relatives in Colorado for a month of skiing. I can see his humans on skis, but even though Sarge is an athlete that vision is a bit much. That leaves Fifi and Lucy. Fifi is the typical conceded Poodle who knows everything and has done everything better than you and Lucy the Cocker Spaniel owns a mouth that may be the first perpetual motion machine ever invented. It is tough spending time with them. I try, but boredom is better.

Being careful to avoid complaining about all the travelling, I told the Geezer, “Geezer I’m bored. Can’t you find a way to let me get some computer time? I’m tired of doing nothing.”

“Why are you unhappy? Seems to me you have it very good. All you have to do is watch the Osprey’s nest across the street, see the mullet jump in the canal, sleep on your cushions, and ride with me when I go to speak. You like all those things, don’t you?”

“Well, yes.”

The old boy had me boxed in and he knew it. “So, you should be happy, right?”

“Right.”

“Good.”

You know, sometimes I’m so happy I could just s _ _ t!

 

Note: Come see the Geezer and me at Pioneer Park in Englewood, Florida tomorrow. He’ll be there all day.

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Woof-woof Woof-woof-woof – Translated … Happy Thanksgiving

The holidays are on the way – Happy Thanksgiving, all!

The Holidays are HERE. I hope that the following season is a happy one for each of you.

May your disappointments be few –

May your successes be many –

May your opportunities be plentiful –

May you enjoy good health –

May your football, basketball, and baseball teams win –

May the “calorie sucker” do a good job on all the goodies you’ll eat today –

May we all understand the blessings we have and be thankful –

 

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A Scary Fairy Tale for Halloween ……

 

Telling a scary Halloween story to my niece!

This is a scary fairy tale I told my nice niece Remi for Halloween.

Once upon a time there was this beautiful, kind, and loving dog. Her name was Large Gold Sandrahood, princess of the country, Hambonia. It was said of Sandrahood that she wouldn’t hurt a flea. Of course, that was easy for her because she lived in a flea-less castle and was protected by a monthly ritual where one of her human vassals removed magic potion from a silver package and with great ceremony offered the magic, mystic material to Sandrahood as an epicurean delight.

Everyone in the castle and all that came to visit loved Large Gold Sandrahood. They performed all shorts of traditional acts to exhibit their affection and loyalty for her like the ten minute ear scratch, the ball toss and bend over, and the offerings of Pupperoni and Milkbone biscuits. Sandrahood lived in an unending world of love. It was hard for her to believe anyone was baahh-hhaad.

Then one day, when all her human servants were away, a strange person came to the door. That person knocked and knocked and knocked. No amount of barking, to tell the stranger her servants weren’t home, did any good. Large Gold Sandrahood finally went to the door and opened it, but left the safety chain in place. She said, “Okay Dude, whatcha want?”

Standing in front of Large Gold Sandrahood was a huge fat figure completely covered by a cloak with a hood on it. The creature’s head was small and so far back in the hood its features weren’t visible. A squeaky voice said, “Hello, Large Gold Sandrahood. I’m your Granny Hoody Hood come to visit.”

“My Granny is dead.” Sandrahood wasn’t buying the Brooklyn Bridge today.

The stranger’s voice dropped four octaves. “Would you believe Grandpa Hoody Hood?”

“Would you believe I’m Nicole Kiddman?” Sandrahood replied.

“Nope.”

“You got your answer.” Large Gold Sandrahood started to close the door.

“No! Don’t do that! Can I interest you in an apple or maybe some Fuller Brushes?”

Sandrahood left the door open a crack. “No … GO … AWAY!”

“Wait! Wait! I’m a great kisser. I often change into a toad … oops I got that one wrong. If you go up on your balcony, and stick out your tail, I’ll climb up and save you.” The caped crock was getting desperate. He changed his approach. From the rusty annals of TV channels a voice from Laugh-In spoke, “Would you like a piece of candy, little girl.” It sounded just like Artie Johnson.

Sandrahood snorted, “You have more lines than Harvey Weinstein.”

“No problem. I can get you a part in a movie.” The creature moved exposing six odd-shaped arms and legs.

Sandrahood was alarmed. She screamed, “What a strange number of arms and legs you have!”

“The better to hang on while I eat you!” The creature threw off the cape exposing its 300 pound blob body beneath. In horror, Large Gold Sandrahood couldn’t tell if the monster was a giant tick, or a giant flea, or Michael Moore! She screamed as the monster grabbed the door and tried to pull it open.

But ……….. Large Gold Sandrahood was part Boyscout – she was prepared. She held two pictures up to the partly open door. The monster took one look at them, shrieked, and fell over … quite dead.

When her humans returned they were so concerned for her and apologized for her endangerment. One asked, “How did you dispatch such an ugly, vile, evil monster?”

Sandrahood smiled. “Easy, I held up these. I knew one or the other would do him in. If Hillary didn’t, Don would.”

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This coming Weekend the Geezer (DL Havlin) will be at the Deltona Book Fair with his publisher Taylor & Seale and several of their authors. It will be held Saturday (October 28th) from 9:30 until 4:00. The location is at the Deltona Regional Library, 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona, FL  32725. He’ll be there most of the day and at the fair sale area 1 to 4.

 

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“I speak to you from hallowed ground.”

 

“I am speaking to you today from hallowed ground.”

Just for the period of time it takes to read this post, I’d like you to imagine the words are being read to you by Charles Kuralt. All of you under forty are probably asking, “Who in the hell is Charles Kuralt?” Charles Kuralt was “the voice” of a CBS program that aired for years. It was titled On The Road. His distinctive voice was the signature for this show … a show that was all his.  On The Road was just that, Charlie nosed around the nooks, crannies, highways, and byways of the US. I know it may be hard for the younger folks who read this post to believe, but once upon a time their were actual journalists on national television that were true to their vocation, not their political beliefs. It was a time before we were divided into blocks for political opportunism. Kuralt found and touched the heart and the soul of his viewers. As you read my words, hear them through his voice.

The historical marker for Camp Blanding. Though it tries to tell the story it can only hint at the brave people who traveled through history here.

I’m speaking to you today from a few hundred yards off of Florida Highway 16. It’s about midway between two places you probably never heard of, the towns of Starke to the west and Green Cove Springs which lies eastward. The grass field I’m sitting in the middle of, is part of the Camp Blanding Museum. Around me are the tools of wars past. They’re reminders of what this place was, one of the important training areas for a war that would engulf the world. What remains of this site as an active military center is behind the entrance south of the museum. It’s only a token of what was once arguably the largest city in Florida. Over 300,000 men and women trained or worked here. Look around and you see what young men came to this place to learn to use. They had to do this to help win a war we could have lost and as importantly to give them their best chance of surviving it.

One of the artillery pieces on display. An artillery barrage was an infantryman’s worst nightmare.

This 1 1/2 ton truck was a World War II workhorse. Men road in it and supplies it carried kept them fighting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sherman. This M4A1 version was a medium tank. Shermans were the primary battle armor used by US forces in WWII. Its numbers offset the German armors superiority.

Looking inside the drivers compartments of these vehicles is a shock to some. The levers, switches, and mechanisms are crude by 2017 standards. A young man asked, “Did they really fight in these things?” An old man answered, “We sure did and we did a damned good job of it!” There was more in his voice than pride in having served and survived. In his eye and tone there was that reverence those who have experienced combat have for those they knew who did not return to stand here today.

The lawn around the museum is home to many vehicles. Half-tracks, DUKWs, ambulances, trucks, field pieces, all are pages of a book that tell us a story. Even a C-47 transport plane with D-day markings graces a concrete pad, a reminder of 508th Paratroop Regiment who trained in the sands beyond the guard gate.

Mixed in with the vehicles are monuments to the Army units that trained here and the people that were flesh and bone that gave them life. Among them was the Big Red One – the first army division. Nine infantry divisions lived here and learned about war on these grounds. There are monuments to the extra brave who began their journey into hell at this place. One honors distinguished service cross recipients and another the nations highest award, The Medal of Honor. Both have a significant number of names chiseled into stone to remind us of sacrifice and that sometimes forgotten word – honor.

Going inside the museum is like stepping through a time portal on Star Trek. We see what we were. What we did. Right and wrong.

A D-day newspaper. This sealed Hitler’s fate.

A GI dressed for battle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pictures and exhibits show us what a base for a quarter of a million men looked like. Row upon row of small cabins, barracks like the one the museum is housed in, hospitals, theaters, commissary buildings, maintenance facilities, everything that a city of that size needed to exist was built in Florida’s wilderness. Work on Blanding was a seven day a week, three shift schedule in 1940-1941. Today, most of the 150,000 acres that is Camp Blanding has been reclaimed by the pine barrens and swamps from which it was hacked. Concrete foundations, weathered and hidden by nature, dot the ground and are the ghosts that haunt these woods.

Reminders of the past always bring bitter to go with sweet. Exhibits remind us of where we’ve been, some of them telling us of what we did wrong. The Army of 1940 was one that was still segregated. Separate facilities, living areas, even swimming lakes are indictments of what just one of our societies mistakes has been.

It tells us of things we did correctly. Few know that many German POWs were transported to the USA. Camp Blanding hosted around 2,000. They lived in the same type facilities as our GIs. They were given jobs and paid to do them. Contrast that to the fate of POWs in German or Russian hands. Less than 10% survived the war and literally this amounted to millions of deaths. More than 15% of Germans elected to stay in the US and become citizens and over 98% survived.

Places like this, Camp Blanding, are places that should bring us together. We can attempt to change history, there are those who do, but it really won’t change. Camp Blanding is a string tied around our finger, like ones used by our country men before computers, to remind them of something they had to do. If we forget the good and bad that history teaches, we’ll neither continue our virtues or avoid our mistakes. Humans are on a long voyage of discovery. That discovery is how imperfect we really are. We have to embrace what we have become, not languish in what we were, but learn from where we’ve been.

The Medal of Honor.

 

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Happy 4th! … Bring the Cannoli and leave the Firecrackers!

I’m watching from the car as Mrs. G prepares for her ride in the 4th-of-July parade.

It was fun! I got to watch one of my humans participate in our community’s celebration of the birth of our nation. Mrs. G was in Pine Island’s Parade. With the sky-roof open the windows down and the AC running, I felt like an executive in a luxury box at a big-league stadium.

Mrs. G was a pirate. Aaarrggghhh! The boat-float’s slogan was “Give me freedom – or walk the plank.” It works …

The Geezer snapped these pictures before and during the parade. He tries, but he’d be better off writing about what he saw. He uses a camera as well as our cat Oreo swims … not very good. The only thing I didn’t like was the clown (literally) tossing firecrackers closer to me than I liked. The Geezer saw that ended quickly.

“Standing by the corner watching all the floats go by” The Geezer told me to write that. Mrs.G is in part of the boat he didn’t cut off.

It was fun! Now, I’m looking forward to one of those ribeyes I saw in the grocery bags. Grilling Beans, potato salad, and ice cream, YUM! Bring the Cannoli and leave the firecrackers. Happy 4th to you all!

 

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