FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT

Hello everyone, everywhere,
I call it the good fight because every day, each and every one of us has to get up and face a world that just can’t seem to get itself together. There’s so much hate on one side and anger on another side, and then there’s disbelief over in this corner, and then there’s complete breakdown in the other corner. So there you have the four corners, as I see it anyways. The good fight, really, is getting up and dealing with yourself and saying, yeah, I’m going to try to be the best person I can be today. If I can go through a day not hurting somebody or not being yelled at by somebody, anybody, that’s a good day.

I think the good fight really means you have to never give up on life. You have to believe in humanity. You have to believe in something more than just the end of the day. But sometimes getting through to the end of the day is the good fight. I take solace in knowing that you all are doing the very  best you can every day. And the rest of us are darn glad about it.
That’s all.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts and rest. Until we meet again at Beecher’s Farm Equipment and Lingerie Shop on the corner of Horner Avenue and Kotter Boulevard, here is a story that I call…

THE LOLLIPOP STORY

Lollipop

 Before I tell you the lollipop story I have to tell you that this is a true story. As was last week’s airplane story.

When I was four, one winter’s day I got my girlfriend (who has also four) from next door. We were playing outside, and I guess I said to her, “Do you want to go get some candy?” She goes, “Sure!” So we start walking. Well best I can remember, we’ve walked eight blocks and we walked into a local big grocery store and we walked right up to this barrel of lollipops. It had these two handles on it. So I said to my girlfriend, “Here’s the candy. Grab a handle.” And we walked it out of the store. We got halfway across the parking lot, and I guess, as the story goes, that’s when the manager of the store raced out and caught us. Apparently you can’t go to the store and just take the lollipops. You have to buy them. And I’m pretty sure you can’t go when you’re four.

Well needless to say (this was the fifties), it took awhile for everybody to get panicked.  Until the police dropped us off at home. It did not go so well after that. My dad said something like, “Have you met my belt yet?” And  I said, “No and I would rather not.” (I’m pretty sure that’s not the wording I used at the time).

Apparently my dad’s belt and my butt met that day. Four times. Not really hard but hard enough to put the fear in me.

So began my career as a  bad boy and so ended my life as a lollipop taker.

That’s it.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

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By jamesghutcheson

A LAPSE IN TIME

Hello everyone, everywhere,

Today I’m talking about creativity as I see it. I’ve been playing drums professionally for 35 years. I played with greats and not so greats and the early years were very hard. A lot of people got off the wagon because it was too hard. But here I am at 59 with this bloody brain injury, and I’m writing all of these beautiful words.

When I play I seem to be so enraptured with both playing and writing. You know, I sit on my deck and I write; that’s where I go. But it seems like when I’m out there, I’m taking memories that I don’t really have, so I’m making them up. And when I’m playing, it seems like every song is the greatest song I’ve ever played. Maybe I have lost a life with this brain injury but I have adopted a new one. And I find that creativity is a love affair; just a rush of incredible people…of faces…and smiles…and ideas. It’s a wonderful thing to be happy with what you’re doing. After so many years. Even if you didn’t get there. Yet.

Now I work with a disabled band and every day is unique.  Despite the great power they put out in talent, unfortunately they’re as lost as I am, and some days we have to talk each other through just to get the bloody song going. But once we do, the creativity comes out again. It’s an awesome thing to work with people who may appear damaged to you, but to me all I see is this incredible beauty and talent. And that’s all I ever see when I look at people. I don’t care who you are or where you came from. If you say hello, I’m going to say hello back. I’m just that kind of person. I may stand out (because I choose to).  It’s just, I’m a 1940’s guy living in the 21st century. I still call women dolls. They don’t like it. I do, but I do it carefully.

Anyways, creativity is…pick up a pen. Look outside. Hug somebody. Talk. Draw a picture. It doesn’t matter if it’s good. If it fits you, then it fits. That’s all.

And now it’s time to close our eyes…and our thoughts…and rest. Until we meet again at Fred and Betty’s Bowling Alley and Transmission Shop. You know where…on the corner of Bleecher and Snug Street.

THERE WAS A TREE

the boy and the tree)

When I was a little boy I had a tree in my back yard. And I used to climb that tree every day. And when I got up there, I used to hold onto these branches and tell everybody it was my airplane. And I’d fly up there. And my dreams would just float right by me. I would be sitting there, four years old, talking away, eight feet in the air. And everybody was always yelling, “Get out of that  tree! Get down here! You’re going to fall!”

One day a friend of mine came over. We were about six by then, and I was quite “polished” at climbing the tree and flying the airplane. My friend had never been up there, so I said to him, “Why don’t you go up there and fly the plane?” So he did. He didn’t fly very well though. He fell out and broke his arm.

At that point I was told that I could not fly the plane any more, though after a couple of games of football by myself, and tackling myself, with my helmet on, showing off to all the neighbours, someone yelled, “Why don’t you just go climb that tree instead of tackling yourself in the snow. ” So I did.

That’s it.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson

A SMILING KIND OF DAY

Hi everyone everywhere,
I’m working on getting used to my nephew taking over duties around the house and in a few months, take it over. And I’m good with that.

Even though it was done one hour before it started snowing, after three weeks he finally cut the lawn. The yard looks great and we, (probably more me), are happy.

I’m slowly starting to realize that he’s smarter than I gave him credit for. I mean, maybe forty years difference in age is a bit of a stretch, but he’s getting it all done. It’s just not my way. But his way seems to be working out just fine.  It seems as the days go on we have found common ground. I never wanted kids; I mean, they’re interesting, but I’m more of a watcher than a participant. So that’s all I’ve got for now.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts…and rest. Until we meet again at Flemmer’s Fine China and Target Shooting Emporium on the corner of Arthur and Betcha Street.

THE DREAM

Sillhouette

Grey walls, grey day, thinks Sam Westcott. Oh Sam, he’s alone all right and has been for twenty years. Don’t look back, that’s what I always said, thought Sam.

Loss is felt in everyone’s luggage along the way. Though, you know, when it’s only two of you, and you’ve carved just a little space for two out of this big old world, that damn loss seems long. And it’s okay to have a tear or three.

Sam Westcott goes to sleep like always with a frown on his face and like always he says a fond goodnight to Molly.  “When I look in your eyes, old girl, I still smell the lilacs.”

But that night Sam Westcott had a dream. And in his dream he was seventeen again and dancing with his soon to be soul mate Molly by the bushes of lilacs. As he slept he did something that he had not done in, well, forever. Even though he was lost in sleep, that night Sam smiled.

We must dream.  Always…

NEVER EVER GIVE UP

By jamesghutcheson

MUSING DOWNTOWN

Hi everyone everywhere,

It’s unusual. As I was walking yesterday, I was looking at downtown and I’m thinking that there isn’t really much of downtown in the city at all. I’m looking for tall buildings. I’m looking for planes flying over. But I don’t see that. I’m in a smaller city, and it takes some getting used to for me. Even though I’ve been here a long time, my feet never really seem to touch the ground. I’m always ready to go. My father used to call me gypsy because since I was old enough to walk I wanted to get going. I don’t know where, but I just knew I had to get going. So now I find myself aging and …I don’t know…I walk around downtown, I see the people, and I feel like a teenager still. It makes me smile. Thank god for downtown. That’s all.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts and…rest. Until we meet again at Flasher’s Ant Farm and Earring Emporium on the corner of (you know it) Blaster and Sixth.

THE CAR RIDE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hey everybody, remember me? Arnie. Capital A for Arnie. Flamm. Capital F for Flamm. I just turned eleven and I’m thinking, man this would be a good day to be hanging out with the gang. But no, that’s not going to happen. Because my mother (her name is Eunice by the way, Eunice Flamm, you know, “Hi Eunice”, everyone says that)…well anyway, my mother decides we’re going for a car ride. I don’t want to go for a car ride. But she says to me, “Arnie, look at yourself. You are dumpy. And we’ve got to get you exercising.” So I say, “Yeah Mom, that sounds great. I’ll go talk to Dad.” So I leave my mom and I go talk to my dumpy dad. My dad’s name is Roger. I like to think he’s a good Canadian boy because he always likes beer. And he burps a lot. But I told him, I says, “Dad I don’t want to go for a car ride. I want to hang out with the guys. I’m eleven now.” And my dad says what he always says, “Do what your mom says.”

So an hour later we’re in the car and we’re off and running. My mother has got her hair sprayed with so much stuff it’s sticking to the roof of the car. That’s Eunice. Now my dumpy dad Roger on the other hand is wearing his favourite hat. And his favourite shirt. Which never match, but seem to make my dumpy dad very happy. So there you go.

You’d think things would be quiet as we’re driving downtown, but my mother likes to make a statement about things. Everything. And my dumpy dad goes along with pretty much all of it. Like she’ll say, “Oh look, isn’t that Bob by the bowling alley?” And my dumpy dad Roger says, “That could be, Enuice, that just could be.” Personally I don’t get it. At all. So just when I think we’ve got past that disaster, unfortunately we go past the old Woolworth’s store. Well my mom Eunice believes she sees her dead cousin Gladys with her husband Bill standing in front of the store. She’s grabbing my dad’s arm on his favourite shirt and tugging at him as he’s driving. I’m in the back with my feet in the air, killing myself laughing.  My mother Eunice is yelling at my dumpy dad Roger, “That’s Gladys, I know it for sure. That’s her dress.” My dumpy dad just turns to my mother and says, “Mmm hmm, I’m sure that’s possible dear, but she’s been gone 15 years so are you sure that’s her dress?”

We finally get to where we’re going. My dad has to park the car just so. You know what I mean, kids. And my mom, the lovely Eunice Flamm, has to help him park the car.  It’s a four door Chrysler. The colour is robin’s egg blue. My mother picked it out herself. My dumpy dad wanted green. He didn’t win that one either. So he’s trying to pull into the spot and my mother is leaning out the window with him. And they’re both looking at the spot. And then my dad starts looking at my mom. But her hair starts sticking to his face because she’s got so much hair spray on. Eventually, (it seemed like a week but it was probably ten minutes), the Chrysler was in the spot. And dumpy dad was happy again.

So off we go to the five and dime. Dad wants to spend the five, Mom wants to spend the dime. I, on the other hand,  like either one of them. But they never seem to care because I never get anything anyway. We always go on the pretense that my mom’s buying me clothes for school. Number one, I’m eleven. I hate school. And number two, I don’t need any clothes. I’ve got enough clothes. But my mother, Eunice, she thinks if she keeps saying that, she can just go to the women’s section and yell to my dumpy dad Roger, “I’m looking for a shirt.”

Well, we’re  back to the car. Finally we’re going home. My mother Eunice is all shopped out. And my dumpy dad Roger…he keeps just agreeing with her. As usual, I did not get any clothes. But my mother got a lovely dress. And warned me, next time we’re going for pants. All I can say at this point is I’ll be glad when we get home because some days it’s better to hide when you hear those terrible words, “We’re going for a car ride!”

Arnie Flamm out.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson