- Fiddlehead Graffiti
- Boonville BLM
- Bars Closed
- Owl Cafe
- What Crisis
- Ukiah Train
- Ed Notes
- Guard Crow
- Life Sentence
- Ukiah Drive-In
- Free Speech
- Fire Jalopy
- Police Reports
- Church & State
- Most Wanted
- Yesterday's Catch
- Black Bonanza
- Albion Mill
- Fun Code
- 1964 Flood
- Filthy Scumbags
- McKinley Building
- Rushmore Defender
- Used Cars
- Hotel Mendocino
- Ukiah Tailors
- Biden Travesty
- Absalom Perkins
- Found Object
INLAND TEMPERATURES WILL WARM to near seasonal normals this week. Localized areas of morning low clouds will be followed by some sunshine and breezy afternoons at the coast. (NWS)
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU VIOLATE HEALTH ORDER?
This is "Fiddleheads" on Lansing Street, Mendocino who famously posted on their front door: "ATTENTION. Our freedom doesn’t end where your fear begins. If you are scared STAY AT HOME! If you are afraid to be within 6 feet of another person DO NOT ENTER THIS BUSINESS. God Bless America. Land of the 'Free' And home of the Brave"
A $10,000 fine was also issued despite repeated attempts to have the business come into compliance with the Public Health Officer's order.
And in case you were wondering - the county didn't put up the signs, a person commented on the original post "[the owner] put it up himself. We saw him today. So attractive."
Wonder what the Mendocino Historic Review Board will have to say about this eyesore?
THE BOONVILLE CONTINGENT of Black Lives Matters, showed up in downtown Boonville for the fifth week in a row on Sunday.
(Former AVA reporter in the big time)
CALIFORNIA ORDERS BARS CLOSED IN SEVEN COUNTIES AS CORONAVIRUS SURGES
by Tim Stelloh
OWL CAFE, CLOVERDALE
THE MENDOCINO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS is taking quite a few weeks off this summer. (Crisis, what crisis?) Their last (virtual) meeting was June 23. Their next meeting is July 14. Then they’ll meet again (How does that WW2 song go? They’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when… some sunny day?) on August 4, followed by August 18, and September 1, then September 22.
LET’S SEE: Counting (generously) the meetings on June 23 and September 22, that’s 6 meetings in 14 weeks. Not counting those beginnings and endings, that’s 4 meetings in over 13 weeks. Of course, they’re still getting their $84k full-time paychecks and generous bennies for whatever they do in their non-meeting hours. (Body cameras anyone?)
WE KNOW that Supervisor Brown goes to a lot of other meetings because she routinely reports on them and the subjects discussed at mind-numbing length, but seldom what these meetings accomplish, if anything, other than a lot of tax paid jaunts for meeting maniacs.
FORTUNATELY, there’s not much going in Mendo on besides an expanding pandemic, a proposal to completely revamp the failed pot ordinance, a large budget shortfall with year-end close out pending, tourism at a near standstill, local businesses and government offices semi-reopening haphazardly, a high-profile law enforcement oversight proposal, an increase in law enforcement in Round Valley, the Fort Bragg city council’s long delayed and ignored request for useful information about Mental Health services, upcoming public safety power shut-offs by PG&E, a totally new property tax management computer system being installed and tested, an upgrade to the county-wide microwave system that’s being maintained with eBay replacement parts, an underfunded and minimally staffed ambulance patchwork overseen by an unaccountable and problem-plagued Sonoma County monopoly that’s now four times as expensive as it was just two years ago and nobody in Mendo is happy with, a bunch of new state laws on law enforcement with local significance, a new courthouse in the jail with multi-agency procedures to be worked out, a stalled Measure B process…
SO NOTHING MUCH to attend to, no need for any more meetings. Oh well, it’s probably not that important — they don’t do much when they do meet anyway.
— Mark Scaramella
FIRST PASSENGER TRAIN, UKIAH, 1889
HERE IN AMNESIA COUNTY too many unsung heroes go unsung, one of whom, a heroine of abandoned animals, is Sage Mountainfire, who is about to retire after years, and many, many unpaid hours at the County's under-funded Animal Shelter, all the while enduring much, much undeserved abuse from people who should have been her allies. For her devotion to the true welfare of abandoned animals, Sage was called a murderer and killer, and put on administrative leave for half a year for no reason anyone in the County's bumbling administration could explain. If it's any consolation to Ms. M, there are lots of us who know and appreciate your service.
HOW ABOUT THIS as the opening para for a novel about the apocalypse: "It was the morning after, the fifth of July 2020. Always an early riser, John was up at dawn, still shaken by the events of Independence Day. Groups of young men had been shooting bottle rockets and other high velocity fireworks at each other — horizontally! And doing it in the middle of State Street less than half a mile from John's fortified home on the Westside! Open-mouthed in amazement, John had watched the shirtless young men, their upper torsos covered in tattoos of obscene Chinese characters whose meaning they did not know or care to know, as they fired these spectacular explosives point blank at their foes, crowds of drunks cheered them on. The young warriors were reinforced by some very fat but quite agile young women, one of whom he recognized from a Ukiah demonstration on behalf of non-binary liberation. These 4th of July events had been downright startling. ‘Jayzus,’ John mused, ‘nothing like this, this, this....anarchy had ever happened here.’ Heck, in John's scruffy, fast food-festooned town, perpetual road construction was usually the only visible outdoor activity. Now this! And John had falsely assumed young people had been so thoroughly love-bombed into numb acquiescence by the local schools — thirty minutes of mandatory student-faculty group hugs now began and ended every school day — that full-tilt street fights were events from some forgotten, barbarous time. These fireworks battles had been the last act of a frightening day, which had begun with a smoky red sunrise from fires raging uncontrolled east of I-5 all the way to Boise, and the Sahara dust storms, which now covered the globe combined with the fires to create a permanent twilight from morning to night. Millions were unemployed, the homeless were shuffling up and down every street like lost battalions of a terrible war. Wolf Blitzer, John's favorite CNN personality — John loved the way 'Wolfie,' as he called him, spun hither-thither from catastrophe to catastrophe in the Situation Room's big chair — had only added to John's dread, his sense that the world was spinning out of control! John winced as Wolfie recited the latest plague stats — five million dead in Los Angeles alone. And then a clip of mobs dressed in purple uniforms pulling down statues. ‘What's with this purple stuff?’" John wondered. Why even in nearby Santa Rosa, Wolfie informed the terrified Westie, The Neo-Legion of Decency, as they call themselves, had attacked the Snoopy statues that the Rose City, at great public expense, had installed around town as the mob chanted, 'Hey hey, ho ho, sexist Charlie Brown has got to go!' What the heck is happening? Can it be true as his supervisor John McCowen had said with a resigned sigh, ‘Stick a fork in US. We're done’?"
AS THE GREAT RE-WRITE writes on, John Wayne, as an airport, is about to go. Woodrow Wilson, a truly vicious bastard who insisted White House guests watch Birth of a Nation with him, has had it coming for years. And Jesus as a white man? Well, Jews are white people and JC was a Jew, right? At least until his friends kicked off their own religion, although the record is hazy. John Wayne can also go, so far as I'm concerned. There were two figures of great contempt among my drill instructors at Marine Corps boot camp — Elvis Presley, perceived, apparently, as effeminate, and John Wayne, a phony tough guy who eluded World War Two but cashed in on it big time.
A RACIST episode involving yours truly as a wide-eyed college student occurred when a history professor I worked for as a "reader" (aka flunky occasionally trusted to grade papers) spotted a black dorm mate and friend of mine named General Owens walking past the professor's open office door as the prof and I were talking. The professor, whom I admired, spotting Owens, suddenly said, "Typical, huh?" I pretended not to have heard him, being too gutless (and young) to call the learned eminence on it, but I slip-slid away from my job with him and, in a way, that comment woke (sic) me to a belated awareness that even real smart people can succumb. Wasn't surprised at all when I learned that the famous professor of classics at the University of Oregon (and a Harvard grad) occupied his time outside the classroom as the head of the Eugene Ku Klux Klan.
IN THE CONTEXT of "liberal" Mendocino County, the purple mob's attempts to get Tommy Wayne Kramer banned from the Ukiah Daily Journal really, really, really distresses me because there's so little deviation, so little dissent from the pious ones' blandly correct, oppressively predictable catechism. Off hand, I can't think of a single audio argument on tax-supported Mendo Public Radio, especially over purely local matters. And the only debate in any real sense on self-certified "free speech radio" on any subject was years ago when Kary Mullis, Navarro's wild man Nobel Prize winner, debated the origins of AIDS with another knowledgeable person, Mike Alcalay. I could care less that the Mendolib Echo Chamber excludes views they find unacceptable among themselves, but when they demand that to tell me and everyone else what I can and cannot hear or read or see… Well, and not to put too fine a point on it, I get visions of those delighted Nazis throwing thousands of books on those big 1934 bonfires. (The only colleague of TWK's on the Ukiah paper's Sunday opinion page to come to Kramer's defense is Jim Shields, also of the Mendocino County Observer. History note: Shields was also one of two local publications in the Redwood Summer period to refuse the FBI access to his files. The Press Democrat, for instance, not only allowed access, but just this year "lost" the key dna evidence that was the key to solving the Bari bombing.)
LOTS OF PEOPLE are delighted that Trump is more unpopular by the day, that the clearly senile Biden is now a shoo-in. Doubt it. The longer the historical purge goes on, nevermind the related rioting, Trump is probably the shoo-in. Libs seem unaware of how much their neener-neener piety is resented, and a lot of that resentment comes from people who don't like Trump either but dislike the Pelosi-Biden panderers even more. Hells bells, I'm a lib myself, but I'd do serial headers off the Golden Gate Bridge before I'd vote for Biden. (Is there still a third party out there?)
SPORTS NOTE: Brandon Belt was on the tv news last night. He said he "feels better than he's felt in three or four years." Me, too. I don't have to watch him take a called third strike.
THE AVA’S GUARDCROW
IT SEEMS APPARENT that species are only commas in a sentence, that each species is at once the point and the base of a pyramid. One (species) merges into another, groups melt into ecological groups until the time when what we know as life meets and enters what we think of as non-life: barnacle and rock, rock and earth, earth and tree, tree and rain and air, most of the feeling we call religious, most of the mystical outcrying which is one of the most prized and used and desired reactions of our species, is really understanding and the attempt to say that man is related to the whole thing.
—John Steinbeck, “The Log from the Sea of Cortez”
UKIAH DRIVE-IN, CONSTRUCTION, 1950
FREE SPEECH & FALLEN STATUES
by Jim Shields
As is the case with many issues, Bruce Anderson’s insights on the PC totalitarians out in the streets rendering nutso retroactive historical censorship on this country’s past, are irrefutable. Anderson, editor and publisher of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, is someone I’ve maintained a long-time friendly relationship with and he’s always had my respect and support, even those times I may not share his opinion or agree with his conclusion on a matter. I say that because Bruce is always honest (to a fault) and has integrity. Those are two building-block characteristics that are proving difficult to find in a lot of folks nowadays.
As a historian, I can’t recall any other period of time where this country experienced a trifecta of nearly simultaneous foundation-shaking events: World-Wide Pandemic, Great Economic Depression and Massive Unemployment, and Nation-Wide Social Justice Protests.
You don’t need me to tell you that we are living in history-in-the-making times.
But some of the actions related to these events are not the kind of history we should be proud of making. In fact, some actions are downright disgraceful and reprehensible.
Here’s Anderson’s thoughts on some of these issues, and I agree completely with his analysis.
“VANDALS have pulled down the Golden Gate Park statues of Ulysses Grant and Miguel Cervantes. A howling pack of morons also knocked Junipero Serra off his long-time plinth at SF’s Legion of Honor. Cervantes is the greatest writer in the Spanish language, and Grant? … The war was stalled until Lincoln appointed Grant to get the Union troops moving, which he did. It’s also an historical consensus that if Grant had succeeded Lincoln as president rather than the retro-cracker Johnson, Grant would have crushed the neo-Confederacy terrorizing freed black people in the wake of the Civil War and, as Grant had promised, if he had been in position to follow through with his famous plan of forty acres and a mule to former slaves, The Reconstruction would have been a reconstruction of the great evil of slavery, but… Serra, in the PC catechism, is a huge villain as the father of the California mission system, and now one more victim of the great re-write of American history, as if expunging certain figures will erase their perceived crimes. Yeah, yeah, pulling down statues isn’t erasing them, and statues honoring them, the censors promise us, doesn’t remove them from the history books, but the history books are next, you can bet on that. And then novel, and then… Of course if you think history should be determined by mobs of illiterates you’ve got lots of company.
“SPEAKING of illiterate mobs, right here in Mendocino County, the Nice People, Ukiah branch, are surreptitiously circulating a petition demanding that the Ukiah Daily Journal remove columnist Tommy Wayne Kramer from its pages. This isn’t the first time the book burners have pursued TWK, although the poor old Ukiah paper, owned by a Denver-based hedge fund, is already on the ropes without being beset by purple fascists, and TWK’s invigorating Sunday columns are a lot more popular than the Nice People can imagine, not that they ever step outside their echo chamber or are endowed with much in the way of imagination.”
I’ve known UDJ Editor K.C. Meadows for years, and I don’t believe for a second she would allow anyone to censor what appears in her newspaper. If there’s anyone who thinks conversely, they’ll find out quickly just how wrong they are. I have no concerns on that matter at all. Tom Hine (TWK) is an outstanding, provacative, creative-to-the-hilt writer and I’m proud that my work appears on the same Sunday page as his.
I believe that Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who served on the famously history-making Warren Court, described 60 years ago what we’re seeing now with attempted historical revision by imbecile mobs.
Potter nailed it when he warned, “Censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.”
Thankfully, these mobs have not risen to the governing level of a regime yet, and hopefully they never will.
You have to wonder what motivates these mob-censors and the people who support them.
So what does it say about people who would restrict or ban what can be said or not said, or be read or not read, or be seen or not be seen?
First Amendment rights of free speech and expression are the cornerstone of our Republic. They are the beacons of a free and open society as intended by the flawed Founding Fathers who got most things right, and what they didn’t get right — the abomination that was slavery — a future generation did, in blood.
When you think about it silencing an idea is the first step to destroying the voice of the person with the idea.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org.)
FIRE, WEST STANDLEY, Ukiah, 1923
TWO OUTTA SEVEN
On Monday, June 22, 2020, Detectives with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office assisted by the Mendocino County Office of Adult Probation initiated a compliance check of registered sex offenders pursuant to section 290 of the California Penal Code.
The Sheriff's Office is able to organize this check due to a grant from Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE). The effort included compliance checks on registered sex offenders who are currently on Mendocino County Court ordered Probation or California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Parole (CDCR).
During the compliance checks, seven registered sex offenders were contacted in both the Ukiah Valley and the 24000 block of North Highway 101 in Willits. The registered sex offenders were checked for compliance to confirm their place of residence and to ensure they were in compliance with their court ordered Probation or CDCR Parole conditions.
Of the seven registered sex offenders checked, two were determined to be out of compliance.
Brian Hurtado, 30, of Willits, was identified as being on CDCR Parole and as a registered sex offender. He was contacted in the 24000 block of North Highway 101 in Willits, and during the contact suspected methamphetamine was found in his possession (a violation of the Health and Safety Code).
Additional items were located in his possession which were determined to be a suspected violation of his CDCR Parole terms and conditions. Based on the information, Hurtado was arrested for the possession of methamphetamine and a Parole Hold was issued.
Hurtado was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for the listed violations where he was to be held in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Personnel also conducted a compliance check of a 40 year-old male in the 24000 block of North Highway 101 in Willits who was identified as being on CDCR Parole and being a registered sex offender.
During the contact it was believed the 40 year-old male was in violation of his CDCR Parole terms and conditions. At this time, this person remains out of custody as further investigations are needed.
At the conclusion of the further investigations into the possible parole term violation, a report will be forwarded to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for review and consideration of charges.
On Thursday, June 25, 2020 at approximately 2:07 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported situation of ongoing domestic violence occurring at a residence in the 37000 block of Old Stage Road in Gualala.
Deputies met with a 24 year-old male at the Fort Bragg Sheriff’s Substation. During that contact Deputies learned the adult male was involved in a dating/cohabitating relationship with Yessica Tapia, 20, and she had physically assaulted him at their place of residence on 06-23-20.
Deputies observed the adult male had several visible minor injuries consistent with being physically assaulted.
At approximately 7:09 p.m., Deputies contacted Tapia at the couple’s residence on Old Stage Road in Gualala.
During that contact, Deputies developed further evidence that corroborated the physical assault and subsequently arrested Tapia for domestic violence battery.
Tapia was additionally charged with resisting arrest after she refused to submit to the arrest. This was following multiple unsuccessful verbal attempts being made by Deputies to gain Tapia’s voluntary cooperation and compliance.
Tapia was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
On Saturday, June 27, 2020 at approximately 2:03 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to an intoxicated male subject refusing to leave a business located in the 10400 block of Lansing Street in Mendocino (near the Mendocino Cafe.
Deputies arrived at approximately 2:11 p.m. and contacted John Hill, 32, of Mendocino, who was being detained by California Highway Patrol Officers and California State Park Rangers.
Upon contact with Hill, Deputies determined he had an active felony arrest warrant for violation of probation and was on active felony probation with a term that he abstain from the use of alcohol.
Deputies observed Hill had been consuming alcohol and was heavily intoxicated and unable to exercise care for his own safety or the safety of others.
Deputies arrested Hill and searched his clothing incident to that arrest. During that search Deputies located a wallet in his possession that contained multiple items of property belonging to another person.
Hill was transported to the Mendocino County Jail and booked on open charges of public intoxication, violation of probation, and his felony warrant.
Deputies later contacted the person associated to the wallet and learned it was lost property. Based on the property being in Hill’s possession and the property providing readily available information as to the true owner, a request was submitted to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office for an additional charge of Misappropriation of Found Property.
CHURCH @ STATE STREET, UKIAH, 1940s
ASSIGNMENT: UKIAH - WHERE WENT MOST WANTED POSTERS?
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
With neither fanfare nor perhaps reason, all the Most Wanted posters have disappeared from post office walls in America. It’s a loss and a mystery.
We may never learn why a Washington committee or a post office bureaucrat decided to eliminate Wanted posters, or what benefit their absence will bring. In Ukiah’s still-new post office we line up to buy a stamp, mail a fruitcake or get a tracking number and, standing there bored, don’t even have Wanted posters to amuse and distract us.
I always liked the glowering photos with their juicy criminal resumes. The big-dollar reward offers along with advice to Be On The Lookout thrilled me. You just never can tell when a desperate hombre might skulk into the post office and stand next to you in line to mail some drugs or guns or bombs. Or steal some stamps.
Back in the 1970s I lived a few years in Cloverdale and one day a new guy came to town and sank into our bubbling hippie cauldron. His name was Tony and he was cool, man, because he had longish hair, smoked dope, didn’t have a job and said groovy stuff like “far-out” and “right on.” That was sufficient to get him admitted to the club.
Tony was older than the rest of us and had a more menacing vibe that he kept under control except when he wanted something, which wasn’t that often since in the land of the hippie everybody was equal and everybody shared everything, including room, board and hippie chicks.
Then one day at the Cloverdale Post Office Tony’s picture appeared on the wall among the FBI’s select few Most Wanted criminals. For murder.
Tony disappeared after that, but not very well or very long because a couple weeks later I ran into him in Yorkville a few miles west of Cloverdale. I inquired in my most oblique fashion, and Tony responded with a menacing look.
Later he went to prison but also not for long because it was the 1970s and the idea was rehab or therapy or some other fashionable incarceration technique that I’m sure suited Tony just fine, having been a quasi-hippie and fluent in sociologist lingo.
I visited him at his prison-type resort compound near San Luis Obispo one time and he was relaxed and cheerful. Living with felons was probably more fun than living with hippies, and I’m sure prison food was an improvement over the communal fare of brown rice, seaweed and dirty hot dogs served up in Cloverdale. Never saw him again.
Wanted posters are no longer on display at the post office. Yet it’s a certainty that state and federal agencies continue to monitor crime in all sorts of technical and statistical ways and that this area must consistently rank in the Red Zone.
Mendopetopia County has been home to, and a magnet for, all manner of parasites, perverts, creeps, outlaws, growers, bikers, dealers, hustlers and cold hard criminals since the days of Charlie Manson, Jim Jones, Black Bart, Leonard Lake, Richard Alan Davis and scores more.
Perhaps public posters with photos would encourage a number of our criminals to relocate to far-off places like Kelseyville.
Quick, send a therapist!
Speaking of crime, our progressive friends have hatched a new plan to make the world a better place. How about Defunding the Police?
Mendocino County is the perfect petri dish. We have lots of crime and criminals, and all kinds of nonprofit workers who dedicate their lives to helping the so-called less fortunate.
Let’s off the Blue Meanie pigs and replace them with community activists from our Mendocino Environment Center, North Coast Opportunities and board members at KZYX. They can respond to 9-1-1 calls and provide peaceful interventions and holistic resolutions when dealing with rapes, homicides and shootouts at Covelo cultivation sites.
Most of these people just need a hug.
The money saved can be spent on a West Coast Homeless Services Center. Each day volunteer drivers will haul busloads of needy individuals into Mendoland from the distant shores of Michigan, Michoacan, Arizona and Argentina.
Guests, truckloads and boatloads of ‘em, will at long last be arriving to your neighborhood. Make sure your multilingual blue-orange-green “Welcome To My House, None Denied Meals, Lodging” yard signs are prominently displayed.
Gimme your wallet
Just inside the automatic doors at Safeway stand a familiar series of kiosk rental boxes for DVDs, lottery tickets, plush little stuffed animals scooped up inside big glass boxes, carpet cleaning equipment and now, by jingo, a Bitcoin purchasing station.
If you’re like me there’s just no place you’d rather go to make complex financial transactions than at a metal box on wheels that can be rolled out the door at closing time. I checked 30 seconds ago; a single Bitcoin costs a shade over 9600 dollars.
I’d like five, please. Now if you’ll excuse me just a moment I must see if the checkout cashier has change for my 50 thousand dollar bill.
Be right back.
(TWK, the longtime imaginary friend and writing partner of Tom Hine, lives in kingly splendor on a private estate tucked into a wealthy enclave nestled deep into the the fashionable west side neighborhood, as befits Ukiah’s most acclaimed and beloved journalist.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 28, 2020
MARCO ALARCON, Willits. DUI, suspended license (for DUI).
THOMAS CHANG, San Francisco/Philo. DUI causing bodily injury.
ADAM CURRY, Willits. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
BRANDY ELLIOTT, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
SUMALEE FOLGER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
TATE MADSON, Sweet Home, Oregon (Formerly Willits)/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ANTONIO PEREZ-MUNIZ, Ukiah. DUI.
FREEMAN RUTLEDGE, Willits. Domestic abuse, elder abuse, battery.
RACHAEL SEIVERTSON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
LEE SORENSEN, Point Arena. Probation revocation.
JOHN VANNOTE, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.
JAMES VOGUS, Talmage. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY: What’s the Point of Biden’s candidacy? It’s only a very embarrassing punctuation point to his embarrassingly lucrative, corrupt career. I like the Historian bloke who researched the role of Chinese people fighting for the Confederacy during the US Civil War. I guess that the point of that research was that Chinese people are just as much a part of American history as everyone else? I wonder what happened to all of the Cherokee slave owners during the Civil War? Who was the Comanche Geezer who thought that he’d teach the Comanche to get off the Reservation by becoming big cattle ranchers like the Cartwright’s in the 1960’s TV show “Bonanza”? “Don’t scalp ‘em; Get low interest loans from the White people and Sell shit to ‘em” and then plow the profits back into the ranch.” Of course, the response from the other Comanche was: “But if we do that, then we can’t scalp ‘em, so what’s the point?” Did they ever make a black “Bonanza”?
FIRE, ALBION MILL
I THINK he set down his whole code or procedure once in a time of stress. He found himself quite poor and with three children to take care of. In a very scholarly manner, he told the children how they must proceed.
“We must remember three things,” he said to them. “I will tell them to you in the order of their importance. Number one and first in importance, we must have as much fun as we can with what we have. Number two, we must eat as well as we can, because if we don’t we won’t have the health and strength to have as much fun as we might. And number three and third in importance, we must keep the house reasonably in order, wash the dishes, and such things. But we will not let the last interfere with the other two.”
— John Steinbeck, "The Log from the Sea of Cortez"
NO. STATE STREET, UKIAH, 1964 FLOOD
THANKS, GEORGE, BILL
Do Black lives matter? Evidently not. They killed 14 last weekend in Chicago and wounded 104 and that's just in Chicago. In all the cities of the United States there were over 200 killed, black people. And several hundred wounded. Where’s the outrage? Where is the coverage by the media? None! The filthy scumbags won't put it on a because it sounds too bad. Where is the outrage you stinking media? Where is it? And all this outrage around the United States? Thank you George Soros and Bill Gates.
God bless Donald Trump.
MCKINLEY BUILDING, UKIAH, 1951
HANDS OFF RUSHMORE!
Mad as hell! It has been disclosed on evening radio night of June 25, 2020, there is a plan formulating to the deface/tear down Mount Rushmore. Enough is enough! We laypeople black and white have got the message. It is time to put on the brakes, stop the overkill. These problems can be resolved without going on these historical carnages.
For those few refuse to pull your head out of your ass, cash those food stamps and welfare checks, buy a one-way ticket to Egypt and tear down those big ugly pyramids that took hundreds of years to be built by slave labor.
Know this: I’m mad as hell and I am not going to put up with it anymore! Touch my flagpole, burn any flag, deface any of my historical monuments, I see you, the brothers, and I will relocate you. Don't ask!
My friends myself and thousands of others have had it up to here! We will not stand by and just watched the lawless actions seen on TV!
Don't, say again, don't test the waters. You and others will find you have made the mistake of your life!!!!
Just a little snippet for all you far left wing flaming liberals: put that in your pipe and smoke it!
God bless America, the Donald and Jerry Philbrick.
Mad as hell, Patriarch of this grand nation,
COX USED CARS, UKIAH, 1947
by Bill Grimes
I guess 99% of hotel owners think it’s more consumer friendly or brand building to have the word “Hotel” follow its given name. But I think the Mendocino Hotel, a 19th century relic with an historic past, would exude more prestige, more splendor, if named Hotel Mendocino like Hotel California or Hotel Berlin.
March, 3, 2020: I didn’t know it would be the last mask-less day. I took the only remaining chair at the bar of the Mendocino Hotel. Next to me sat an attractive woman, early forties, ash blonde hair with bob cut, rosy lipstick matching her fingernails, contrasting nicely with her royal blue eyes sparkling behind clear rim eyeglasses, and dainty ringless fingers. A midnight blue low-cut dress with gold stars and moons. Lots of work went into that package.
A Bordeaux glass of red wine, half filled or empty, sat imperiously on the bar in front of her.
She seemed to have nothing much on her mind beside attracting attention, dominating Oscar, the bartender’s free moment.
“My first time in Mendocino. Can’t believe I’ve missed it over these years. Life’s so busy, isn’t?” Wasn’t a question. And Oscar knew something about busy. “Do you get snow here? We never get it down there but I enjoy skiing at Tahoe, too many people now and not as much fun as Aspen but it suits me in my new life.”
Tossing a glance at the man seated on her other side, she said in a tone half-heartedly trying to disguise her delight, “We were in New York last week. Love Manhattan but it was so crowded. I like it here, the small town, friendly feeling. And the wines from Anderson Valley are getting rave reviews. We drove up yesterday. I read this county gets the most rainfall in the state. We don’t get enough down there.”
I wondered what degree of interest Oscar had in this self-serving soliloquy.
As I stole Oscar’s attention and ordered an Anderson Valley Brewing IPA she glanced my way with that eager look that pined for fresh ears. She was the type who needed an audience and with her looks could initially snag one, but how could she hold one’s interest with this solipsistic chatter? Nonetheless I was ready to begin my leisure time game, listening for a story idea, catching an ideal sentence, and maybe even a word I could appropriate. If what I heard lacked originality of something I could work with, I’d disappear as fast the state’s budget surplus.
As Oscar delivered my frosty mug of hoppy brew I saw out of the corner of my eye her gaze focused on her glass of wine, contemplating whether to continue blessing our bartender with her musings or maybe contemplating whether I’d be a better target. She’d have to offer more than rainfall, crowded Manhattan, and Tahoe for me to hang in for a second drink. After all, I was on this side of the bar, put a couple of Jacksons on the bar, face up, and felt I’d look OK in a full page ad in the AARP magazine for a hearing aid product or an unfamiliar term life insurance company. I felt sufficiently fashionable in my navy blue, double-breasted Zegna jacket, a survivor of three decades of exile in my closet, a sky blue Turnbull & Asser shirt with its cuffs one inch beyond the jacket sleeves, acquired on London’s Jermyn Street last year in a moment of spontaneous and excessive spending, casual khaki slacks, and tan Cole Haan loafers.
Oscar responded to a call from a waitress who arrived at the bar’s service section in need of four cocktails for her customers seated at table in the dining room. I knew now I was targeted as the woman’s next listener.
Seated next to her was a large, rugged-looking man who hadn’t said a word but I sensed they were an item, what kind—how, when, where, maybe why—I thought I’d hear. I leaned forward to grasp the brew and managed a swift peek at the man. Maybe fifty, olive skin on a leathery face, John Hamm firm jaw, a pitch dark mane that would command a 7.5 hat size, and a handful of fingers, wide and hairy as a Bulgarian peasant’s, clutching an old fashion glass, gazing at his image in the smoke stained mirror on the wall behind the bar. He looked like a man accustomed to outdoor work, maybe a construction boss, or a retired NFL linebacker. He was box office handsome but starring in a primitive silent movie now. How long it had been since I was in his seat planning my charm or my escape with a beautiful blonde at my side.
She turned full-look on me. “Have you visited Mendo before?”
That’s usually the first question you get at a hotel bar that depends upon tourists, followed by where you’re from.
Make it concise and pithy. “Come every year at Christmas, dress up in a Santa outfit and sing carol with the locals.”
The long and delectable fingers of her left hand, the hand closer to me, fondled the Bordeaux glass and slowly raised it to her anxious lips. I thought it was a conscious move, a signal for me to stay tuned. Attractive women with a modicum of acquired worldly skills can attract and sometime hold my attention with a non-verbal move.
“Where are you from?” My opinion is that the right question is where do you live? Everybody these days is from more than one speck on the map. So I could answer, West Virginia, New York, San Francisco, London, or my mother. She might guffaw at the mother mention or send me a scornful look but usually there’d be no follow-up question. What I might hear was her experience or opinion of one of my where-froms.
“My name is Christine and I, we, live in Santa Rosa. Both divorced but very much in love. How about you?”
“Bill’s the name. Live in the city.” Keep it succinct. Nothing is learned when speaking.
The game had begun. She grew up in Atherton, her father was a high profile Venture Capitalist, tall and handsome with an ever present eye for blonds. “My mother, she was an angel and put up with his unfaithfulness until I was about ten years old. That’s when she got photo evidence of him on a sailboat in Saint John with a curvy bimbo who was, of course, after his money. My mother told me then when I got married get to know a private eye. Fast. I’d sooner or later need one.
“‘Men are dogs,’ mother said, and she was right until I met Frankie.” This came purringly from her lips as she paused with a sigh and a glance at the mirror where she caught Frankie’s eyes.
“Frankie’s my now and forever man.” This time with a full head turn to the quiet dude.
He showed a vapid smile probably pleased he could keep thinking while she chattered away in my direction.
I’ve concluded when gaming with an unfamiliar couple at a hotel bar and the man is reticent and the woman loquacious it’s either because the man is bored with listening to her monologues or because he’s financially dependent on her.
Handsome Frankie might be a hybrid here. Both bored and in need of money. I suspected he too had an eye for blondes and had some bad career luck. Maybe logged in a divorce or two, that and a little child support can alter a man’s lifestyle in a nano minute. So maybe she had a nice house, hers only in the divorce, and Frankie might find her digs more to his liking. New York last week. Suite at the Pierre, stops along 5th Aveneue, and dinner wherever the concierge suggested. I had to be careful to not create her story for her. Patience, old man. Go with the flow.
Hello and goodbye, Frankie. She was back in my face. “Mother got the divorce and me—I was the only child. A year later she married one of my father’s partners and had two more kids,” adding her mother was from a family whose name I’d probably know. I figured she based that upon my Zegna jacket, that I was a ritzy guy despite singing Christmas carols with the locals at the Hotel Mendocino.
She revealed an eastern prep school education and then off to college, no name offered. Back home with a stint in Mayor Willie Brown’s office followed by creative work at a San Fran ad agency. Then a big surprise: she was the proud mother of five daughters, the oldest sixteen. I could not conceal my astonishment at this. Wrong-footed for a snappy response I muttered a “wow,” or “fantastic,” not wanting to remember which but it wasn’t up to my pitter patter standard.
She beamed, thrilled with giving me this bit of super mommy-ing and the look of my disbelief. How interesting am I and you ain’t heard nothing yet.
To regroup I switched to Kettle One with two ices cubes and two small green olives.
All you have to do is ask a couple of questions, show that practiced expression of full interest, and ninety percent of the people at a bar will reveal the most intimate details of their lives. As long as the new material has STORY POTENTIAL you hang in, all ears. When the content weakens or a pattern of irrelevant detail develops, it’s time to say good night and head upstairs.
The man speaks.
“And Bill, I think I heard you mention you live in a city.”
“Yes, San Francisco.”
“You a retired guy?” I nod and leaned back. This seemed to be going nowhere. Nice man but if I’m going to get content from this game it would have to be from the woman.
I drew back into my Kettle One and fantasized about moving closer to Christine and bussing her ear.
She said, “Frankie, I think it’s time for us to call it a night.”
This game over. It’s like fishing. Sometimes you get a nice juicy one. Sometimes they don’t bite.
A seat vacated down the bar. I took it.
Mendocino Hotel June 24, 2020, post-covid.
I’m writing on my computer from the reception area because the Garden Suites behind the hotel where I’m staying have somehow lost WiFi connectivity but the rooms and lobby in the main building are providing access.
Restaurant and bar closed indefinitely.
Beds made up every 3rd day.
No laundry or dry cleaning service. Nor, of course, room service.
Many shops and several restaurants closed. Fewer people on the streets than last Christmas and the previous summer. Sixty-three degrees temperature. Nonetheless, as I have worked on my computer here in the lobby yesterday afternoon and most of today I’ve witnessed many guests come and go. The town is by no means Ghostville. Masked people in sweaters or jackets roam the streets looking for something to buy. Several SUVs are parked along the back streets.
I have a small fridge in my suite which I have filled with two bottles of white wine, blueberries, peaches and milk to go along with my two boxes of alleged heart healthy cereals. Lunch is at Patterson’s Pub which provides takeouts or outside dining on the terrace where there are seven wrought iron tables and chairs. I get in line at the front porch of the one-time house to order chicken salad and a Pliny on tap. Then I find the one available table on the terrace and wait until my name is called and step to an open window on the side of the building where a pair of rubber-gloves hands me my order.
My estimate is occupancy here at the hotel is maybe sixty percent. And that could be near capacity. Why? Because after a guest checks out the room cannot be rented until after 24 hours, major covid cleaning. So “full capacity” might be sixty percent. The manager said when they closed the hotel in mid-March 53 employees were let go. They opened a week ago and most of the employees can’t be located, or refuse to return, government income payments still coming in until end of July.
This evening I manage to get a table at Luna Trattoria, a quite good restaurant with the owner still showing signs of Italian tongue as he welcomes and guides me to my table. Near Venice, he says to my question where. Along with Bruschetta and Cioppino I consume a bottle of Gavi and carefully tread back to the Mendocino Hotel in the black of the moonless night.
In the large reception area of the hotel a couple with plastic cups in hand with what looks like whiskey are sitting at a table near where I worked earlier. No one else around.
I take a seat sufficiently distanced to maybe get a little conversation going before I head to my room.
Good evening, “ I offer. “You guys just arrive?”
The woman: “About an hour ago. We booked our room a couple of months ago and knew the hotel had reopened but didn’t know the bar and dining room were closed. So we’d had dinner in our Winnebago. Went next door to Dick’s bar, I think it’s called, which good news was open, and got these drinks. It was crowded, social distancing maybe but no masks so we came here and just sat down.”
“Winnebago? You staying in the hotel though?”
The man: “Been on the road for long time and we wanted to spend a night in a hotel room and we heard about the Mendocino Hotel. How it’s kind of a throwback to another century and it’s on our planned route so here we are. We thought when we left our home four weeks ago this covid thing would be over. Too far to turn back so we’re making the best of it. This is our first night in a hotel. What about you?”
“Well, I live near San Francisco and come up to Mendocino for a week or so every year. Like the small town and views and always stay at this hotel. But it’s obviously not the same these days.”
She said, “I’m Amy and this is my husband, Earl.” I smiled and noticed he was wearing a hearing aid. She continued, “We’re from back east and are driving our home on wheels across the country.”
“Wow, driving across America. Added it to my bucket list but haven’t got around to it yet.” A small white lie. I never made a bucket list.
A lull in the conversation.
“Me behind the wheel of a Winnebago would scare the hell out of every driver on the road, including myself.” I’ve learned a little self-deprecation early in the game usually engenders a dab of bonhomie with new acquaintances.
This got a chuckle from both Amy and Earl, the latter who I envisioned did the heavy load of driving that monster machine. Home a different stop every night off road or in a park. Hardships galore without even thinking about it. I imagined the deleterious impact upon two people alone driving across the country, in such close quarter confinement. It would take a saint or a heavy boozer to drive across the country with me. Maybe they had Sirius Radio to break what I assumed to be long silences. Except for “Watch the map, damnit.” Or, “Slow down. You’re driving too fast.” Not my idea of “Oh, say can you see.”
To keep the chat going I said. “Driving the country sounds like fun. How long you been on the lam?”
They both laughed, perhaps thinking I was quite the quipster. And the laugh I thought might be genuine, them having spent so many days alone with each other.
Earl said, “We live in Cape May, New Jersey. First time we’ve been to California. Left there when, dear, six weeks ago?”
“Forty-one days ago, Earl,” Amy said. “We’ve made a lot of stops.”
I figured they were both about a decade younger than I.
Amy said, “So you’re a West Coaster. You probably never heard of our small town in Jersey, Cape May.” She smiled.
I liked her.
“Sure have. It’s about a half hour south of Wildwood where I spent a college summer working. Waiting on tables and chasing South Philly girls who danced on the Dick Clark TV show and worked there that summer. I bet you guys are too young to remember American Bandstand.”
“No, dammit we’re old enough to remember the Civil War, aren’t we, dear?” said Earl following it up with a big swig, emptying the cup.
“Well, I recall your lovely community with bright yellow Victorians homes. It must have been around the 4th of July because there were a record number of American flags on house porches and poles.”
Amy seemed to elevate from her chair. “Oh, what a great coincidence, Bill. Who could have ever guessed we’d have something like that in common.”
Earl was empty and I was ready for a nightcap. “I’d like to join you guys in a drink and get you a refill next door. What are you drinking?”
“We’re both drinking Booker’s on the rocks if you don’t mind. Thank you,” said Amy.
Mission accomplished in less than ten minutes. Just the three of us in the room with Persian carpets resting on the original redwood floor, an eclectic array of furniture including a couple of Queen Anne wingback chairs, a couple of Victorian Club chairs, Pembroke and Hutch tables, and lace curtains on the windows. There was a woman at the desk cordoned off with a thick piece of glass and she was far enough away to not hear our restrained voices.
“Well, Amy and Earl, I mentioned Wildwood and now that I think about it I remember after work heading to one of those stadium-size bars that had live bands and seeing Chubby Checker, the Isley Brothers, and the Shirelles where I met a girl from Cape May. She went to Penn. After a couple of hours listening to great live rock she said, ‘If you’re not working tomorrow come to my place. We can sit on the beach. Sneak a beer. My parents will be there but not on the beach.’ I’d have to hitchhike which I did. She was way too sophisticated for me, a rube from West Virginia”
“Oh, Bill, surprised your from West Virginia and I doubt you were a rube but what a small world. We’ve lived in Cape May all our lives. Grew up there, made our living, had kids who don’t live there any more. I was a nurse and Earl a police officer.” Amy paused for another sip. “Mmm, so good. Cheers. ”
I was again thinking what it might be like to drive throughout the country with one person the entire time.
As if Amy read my mind, she said, “Now we’re learning to live with each other.” She smiled and sighed in simultaneous gesture.There’s something going on in this relationship I thought, something to be mined.
Amy: “You remember the girl’s name, family name, the one from Cape May?”
“Sorry, Amy, I don’t.” I tried a nostalgic gaze like it was a lost opportunity. Amy looked empathetic.
“How long are you guys staying in Mendocino and where to next?”
Earl answered. “Tomorrow we’re heading up the coast to the Canadian border then meandering back home. Maybe, spend some time in Canada. Haven’t heard they have the coronavirus problem.”
He was a quick drinker already of me despite my nip on the way back from Dick’s.
“We’ve got no schedule. Not anymore. We’re in retirement. You in that program?” Earl had come to life.
“Sure am. Wouldn’t trade it even for your Winnebago.”
Earl thought this was funny. I thought he might have had a pop or two before the one he had when I came in.
Amy, who was not unattractive—I could imagine her with some makeup and lipstick at the Policeman’s ball in Cape May. I wondered if she ever had a sneaky affair while Earl was out catching bad guys. I next wondered whether Earl kept his hearing aid on during these long days on the road.
Amy said, “Bill, I heard this is pot country. Earl and I like to share a joint or two at the end of the day.
That was a surprise. A retired couple from a conventional red, white and blue 19th century town. And he a career cop. Why should anything surprise anymore? We had a black president, phones with computers in our pockets, and human organs made from pigs.
“We’ve got some good stuff up in the room and a little hootch left. Would you like to join us? We’ll have to sit outside on the rap-around porch. No smoking in the rooms.”
I would. And they had both as promised. And they talked about what they’d seen in four weeks. After finishing another drink and puffing some weed, Earl rose to his feet, said good night with a very contented smile on his face, and tip-toed towards the room.
“He needs to rest, Bill.”
I sat back and watched attentively as our exhaled blue smoke drifted slowly into the Pacific night. I wondered if marijuana smoke contributed to global warming. Came from plants or weeds, one of the same in terms of its effects, or lack thereof, on the environment. I thought no damage except to humans who like my friend in New York began to lose his memory. I knew some history of this county and thought about the Pomos braves and squaws sitting in circle around an outdoor fire in front of their teepees, bundled in pelts of bear and elk, smoking who knows what. I wondered how the first man who got silly high on ganja discovered it. I didn’t feel like trying to talk but there were ideas in my mind and hoped I could remember them later. My mind was floating seaward, off the porch, over the street below, and to the rocky waves of the great ocean.
Surprisingly, I was able to follow Amy’s tales of failure as a mother, being cut out of her parents’ will for reasons unclear to me, and how and why Earl had lost his job. Two years before official retirement. Tragedies all.
“Bill, I’m worried about Earl. He smokes dope from the time we wake up in the morning until bedtime. Every day. Off and on all day. While driving.”
“Amy, that sounds dangerous. Driving the house on wheels. Narrow, curving roads.” That was the best I could do.
“Bill, it certainly is and that’s why I worry. And he now says we’ll continue heading north on the coastal highway. All the way to Vancouver and maybe to where I don’t know.”
She looked closer to me. The distance had shrunk between us. I could be priest-like, or like a wise old uncle. Amy needed a comforting ear. I had one if it could talk.
“When I express my concern about driving stoned he says, ‘Look at how I’m driving. Never once over the middle highway line. Never more comfortable behind a wheel. So give it a rest, Amy.’
“That’s what he says. ‘Give it a rest, Amy.’”
There was something about the sound of her pronunciation of her name. Something that seemed knowing, confident that said I’m a person too. I’m strong. I like myself. I liked a woman like that when I’m like this.
“I asked him last week to wait until we stop for the night to get high. He says, ‘I’ve never been happier in my life, just the two of us on the road.’ Then he pulls off the road and takes a toke and says, ‘It’s like we’ve got our youth back, my dear.’ He’s so mellow and he’s still devastated over losing his job.”
I heard Amy asked if I ever got lonely. As I constructed a response in my mind, wanting to get the words right she followed before I could respond with “Our lives are getting in, getting out of the ‘House on Wheels.’ That’s what we call the Winnebago. Climbing in and climbing out. We pull over for pit stop, fill the tank. Liked to stop at a roadside diner but they’re mostly closed so we find a Safeway and load up. We always have packages of walnuts and almonds, apples, and Mars candy bars in case….”
She paused as if she was forgetting a valuable item. “Then we find a location for travelers like us to park for the night. There’s a cost of course but we can get a little electricity, charge the batteries, and fill the gallon jugs with fresh water. But we haven’t met anyone like you, or had any good conversation like we’re having now.”
I had forgotten the question she asked but apparently she had too.
Amy was working on a new joint. Offering me a hit. I took a hefty inhale and watched the stars beginning to fall. Amy said something but the words took a long time to reach me..
I thought she said wouldn’t you like to visit us back in Cape May, Bill. Maybe that girl could be found. I had forgotten about that girl from Cape May though nodding in accord. I tried to figure whether she’s be old enough for grandkids. A complex thought it was.
That’s when, or maybe it was longer ago, Earl returned to the deck. He was wearing ear buds, his head moving rhythmically to sounds I couldn’t hear. He looked content, in another world thinking maybe of his days with a badge, possibly of his drive tomorrow, or maybe suggesting we call it a night.
Earl caught my look and said in a reverent, rather haunting voice, “Pink Floyd. Comfortably Numb.” I nodded in acknowledgment. I got it. “Your lips move but I can’t hear what they say.”
I somehow found a way to say good night, adding I’d love to say goodbye to them in the morning. She said, “Oh, do it, Bill. That would be nice.” I recalled her saying they would be heading off at 10AM.
Foggy morning. I was on time. In the lobby with my mask on. I walked with them a couple of blocks to the Winnebago.
I said to neither in particular, “Watch out for CHP when driving with weed.” He nodded, the no-problem nod. Amy sent an appreciated smile. I elbow bumped both a goodbye.
Another day with C-19. I wonder if I will be the next confirmed case?
IN MY EMAIL BOX this morning was a question from MoveOn, asking me if I believed the organization should endorse Joe Biden. When I voted, NO, it then asked for my reasons and I sent the following. (Feel free to copy if you receive a similar email.)
Biden is a serial liar and has taken acts that had anyone else committed them, he would be disqualified, like boasting for having written the egregious "crime" bill that resulted in the imprisonment of thousands of young black and brown men and women, his bragging about his friendship with Strom Thurmond and other Southern racists, his dissing of Anita Hill in steering Clarence Thomas's appointment to the Supreme Court, his authorship of the law that prevents citizens from declaring bankruptcy on their credit card debt and that he is also a serial plagiarizer, having had to withdraw from the 1988 race after plagiarizing a major section of British Labour Sec Neil Kinnock's speech describing how he grew up as the son of a coal miner as if it was his own story.
It turns out that he also plagiarized while in college while lying about his college grades. Most recently he lied about having been arrested in So. Africa when he claimed he tried to see Nelson Mandela when, as Andrew Young, who was on the same trip, explained, Biden was merely switched to the incoming line for white travelers. He has as much if not more negative baggage than had Clinton and that he has been foisted on the voters by the DNC is an inexcusable travesty.
— Jeff Blankfort
ABSALOM TIDWELL PERKINS, NAMESAKE OF PERKINS STREET, UKIAH
I was told by one of my sisters not to talk about our mother's post partum depression, which was untreated and which became post partum psychosis. It led to my brother being physically abused as a young child. If you shave his head, you can see the scars from when his head was cracked open. He was three-years old.
I was told by another family member not to talk about my ex-wife's borderline personality disorder. This ex-wife is also the mother of my four daughters. Her borderline personality led to their emotional abuse. It led to her losing custody of our daughters after she assaulted one of them and bit me in a fury. It led to a lifetime of crazy-making which continues to this day.
Why do people keep telling me to shut up?
My body is my house. And in my house, I live with PTSD and panic disorder. Every bad memory is locked inside of muscle memory. A lifetime of trauma is locked inside of congestive heart disease and vascular disease. I was diagnosed with both this year.
In my house there is only danger.
But I want to throw out my clonazepam. I want to flush my escitalopram down the toilet.
I want to stop taking my benazepril, amlodipine, and metoprolol.
I want to lie in my house looking up at the sky. I want my house to have no roof and no doors.
I don't want to hide anymore in a house where the roof is hipped and gambrelled on every side, and trussed and braced, and the shingles are made of heavy grey slate.
I don't want to hide anymore in a house where the doors are locked.
I want a house with windows. Windows that look out to a backyard with a happy dog. Windows to see neighbors. Windows to let the sunshine in.
I want a piano.
I want to sing a song to my house.
I want to sing a song to my body, while I still have a body. While there is still time.
My body is my house.