HAPPY IS WHAT I WAS

Hello everyone everywhere,

I just got back from my holiday at the lake with the craziest bunch of people I have ever met. Apparently they’re my family. I gave them my best stuff and we all laughed for so many days that our faces hurt. It was a wonderful time. I rested and I wrote, as you’ll hear.

One day I was out in a boat in the middle of the lake and I jumped in. Of course I was wearing a life jacket, but that was ony because my sister wouldn’t let me jump out without one. It was great to be back by the water again, and I realized how much I do miss that. But my life is here, and this is where I belong. And besides that, do you think Michelle is going to let me take off? I think not. And she’s got Dean for backup.

Anyways, Michelle and I are busy at work, I’m tired out, I’m really tanned, and it’s good to  be home…back with all you guys.

That’s it.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts, if only for a moment…and rest. Until we meet again at Buddy and Sonya Spitter’s World Home of Senior Log Splitting For First Timers and Walking the Invalid. Where the motto is, If you invalids get chips in your teeth, pretend you’re a beaver. We borrowed a hunk of the park to do this. They don’t know we were there. We’re on Kissmybutt Lane and Ididandtookyourwallet Close. Passing Joan Well’s home, say hello. She’ll spit and throw things. You’ll love it.

ONE WINDY DAY

Fly Away

Sand was flying and water was too. And why not? That’s what happens at the beach.

There were three of them that day. Well, five of them, including grandma and mother, but to those boys it was three and not another.

How they would run and jump, reminding all the tired eyes that it’s an exclusive club, reserved for the young.

But we line up, we older ones, to buy imaginary tickets for a quick spin down memory lane.

And the three young people laughed, jumped, and graced the water and the sky with a smile only the young can share.

Dusk is coming, the colours will dance, and shuffling feet home is a kind of a stance.

The three of them kept running, and splashing the water in a wondrous spray. It just came down to a bunch of happy and one windy day.

That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson

THANKS

Hello everyone everywhere,

Hey everybody. We finally got that rain; some anyways. I don’t know if it was enough. Dean remembered to bring Michelle home. That was very good; she made it through the trip and they both had a wonderful time.

What I want to talk about though is my brother Merv Sutherland. He has been gone for just over a year now and I find it hard because I’m a very private person and he was my sounding board. I always went to him for advice or just to talk…or to laugh. I mean, we grew up together. We got into so much trouble when we were little. Merv was a brilliant man who did many great things in his life and left many friends behind. I just thought that it’s long overdue that I said something about him. The other night I was out on my balcony and I was just looking up at the clouds and I swear I saw him looking at me. I saw his face in the clouds. And I wrote my story ten seconds later. I never stopped until it was done. There aren’t many words but it says what it has to say. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long, but these are the words that I felt so I’ll say them and just know I think of him every day and I will never ever give up. That’s it.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts, if only for a moment…and rest. Until we meet again at Bill and Dixie Spoton’s World Home of Championship Cowbell Banging and Seniors with Nervous Conditions Calm Day. Where of course of motto is: Folks if two hundred banging cowbells are too much we recommend stomping your feet. You can find us situated next to the old boys’ hall and the place next to it. If the wind is right you’ll hear us for blocks. Right on the corner of Thatwasmyburger Road and Thanks Boulevard. There’s a kid who rides by on his bike.  That’s it.

A FACE IN THE CLOUDS

Faceinclouds

One day I was pondering, and I looked up, and through the clouds I saw you. The night was right and rich. The breeze knew just how to make the trees sway in tears to eyes. I saw you.

Future is the highway now. For me, memories are clouded at best. You always helped me find my way so in my heart you will stay. I saw you.

It felt good.

That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson

SIMPLY SUMMER

Hello everyone, everywhere,

This week’s been hot. Very hot. On Friday night I was all ready to watch my football game but about 11 minutes into the game the power went out everywhere in my building. My castle was dark, and it stayed dark until the middle of the night. No fans working, just HOT. But on a brighter note, I believe we’re looking at rain this week so that might help cool things down a bit around here.

Michelle and Dean are taking off to go canoeing with some friends for a couple of days. That should be very enjoyable. Don’t fall in Michelle. Or Dean.

We’ll see how this week shapes up. I’ve got a live show coming up on Monday.  Next week I’m going away, but I’ll try to have a blog for next week before I go.

That’s it.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts…if only for a moment…and rest. Until we meet again at Sly and Cookie Notaxdown’s World Famous Cab School for Seniors and Anxiety Care. We charge less ’cause your cab could be a tad slow as our graduates refuse to go over 40 kilometres a hour. No calls after 7. Our motto is We’ll probably get you where you’re going. Just slowly. And you neurotics in the back seat? Well this is the time for a breakdown. Because you’re probably lost. You’ll find us in the midget hockey rink from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. No weekends. The kids are playing hockey. We’re on the corner of Icouldjustsslapyoubozo Road and Youknowyourelookinginthe mirror Crescent. If you pass by Debbie and Dan Fling’s house and you see kids bobbing up and down, it’s the Fling triplets. They’re five. They just think they’re gophers.

GOODBYE OLD BOY

Bench

Harry Stoon is sitting at his favourite bench looking out at the downtown craziness, people cruising by. Oh! There’s his friend Edgar. He can tell you all about it in one minute. (That’s right). People walking by—funny hair, weird colours. Why back in ’46 they had two or three colours. That’s right, black, brown, and blonde, and oh yeah, grey, but I don’t think of that as a colour. More of a curse.

Now looking at us all sitting at this bench, Harry thought. I can still remember us getting off the train coming back from the war. There was me, Hubert, Edgar, Jimmy Cox, and half the guys in town. I always remember Mary. She was young and beautiful and as I gazed at her between the tears and smiles I’m sure for a second my heart stopped. We all thought that this war would end all this hate. I was wrong; it never stops. I guess everyone, it seems, has got to feel some agony and emptiness to go on. It should just stop (that’s right).

So anyway, Harry is sipping his first coffee of the day. His doctor says two cups, Harry says three. “Boy oh boy I can’t believe it,” yells Harry as his old friend Hubert Farthing-Brook comes hobbling by. “Harry”, he says, “I thought you died.”

Harry wanted to swing around and give Hubert an earful. (But that ain’t happening). Instead he laughed and said, “Well you old senile horse’s patoot. Do I look dead to you?”

“Well Harry”, Hubert spouted, “Can I sit with his royal highness at his ‘spot’?”

Harry looked at Hubert and said, “Hubert sit down before you embarrass us all.”

Hubert Farthing-Brook—retired art dealer. He’s been meeting Harry at his ‘spot’ for twenty years. Hubert has been married for 62 years, had one son. They lost him to a stroke when he was 40. His name was Sean Harold Farthing-Brook. Then that cold day so long ago when he lost his wife Lucy. Oh she’s still there, her mind works, it’s just doctors and pills. Reasoning and understanding don’t seem to work. She won’t come back. But old Hubert stands tall at 5’ 11’’. Full head of hair, most of his own teeth, smart dresser. Every time he hears “Moonglow” on the radio, tears of tired anguish fall down his face. (We love Hubert—that’s right).

Just as Hubert was working his way onto the bench, Sally Stoodman came out of the cafe. Now Sally is a looker, damn near a kid at 71. Sally Stoodman—beautiful lady. At 71 years old she looks like she is in her early 60’s. That is a good thing all day. Sally owns the deli a couple of doors down from Harry’s spot. She has known the bench-sitters for as long as she can remember. Sally was married for a long time. Had a real nice house. It was always “Roger did this”, “Roger said that.” Well I’ll tell you what Roger did, he took his secretary and all their money and took off. Now Sally lives downtown above her deli. Some things just stink. (That’s right).

Hubert Farthing-Brook has known Harry for 70 years and he laughs and says to Harry , “My God you old dog, you’ve still got it.”

“Be quiet,” Harry says to Hubert and then turns to Sally and says, “You are looking like the best dressed girl at a Glenn Miller concert.”

Sally smiles and says, “Harry you always were a charmer.”

Harry says to Sally, “Back in ‘46 they would be dancing every Saturday night. That’s right.”

Jiffy’s Dance Hall on Saturday night from 1943 to 1949. Harry took Mary every Saturday and I guess that’s where they fell in love. Holding each other, trying only to think nice thoughts and sing to Glenn Miller’s Orchestra playing “Moonlight Serenade”. Those are the ones that warm your soul on a cold night. Yeah I’d say that’s right.

Sally, tossing a look at the crowd as she fixes her hair, said, “Oh Harry, it’s 2013, you do know that, right?

“Remember Nat King Cole? Now that man could sing”, Harry says to them all.

Rosie Buttons was coming, she was a bit, how you say, (removed). At 78 years old, Rosie gets around fine and dandy thank you very much. She used to sing in clubs and of course back in the 40’s, at Jiffy’s Dance Hall every Saturday night. Rosie was her own person; that’s saying it mildly. When a man would ask her to dinner in the old days she would laugh and always reply, “Why, do I look hungry?” Rosie thought that was the cat’s meow, if you get it. Quiet, loneliness, the world getting bigger and faster, and Rosie…she was only becoming smaller. Wouldn’t you feel a bit “removed” at all that?

At Jiffy’s in 1946 we danced to Teddy Flint and His All Around Good Time Band. Oh Jiffy’s, so long ago, Harry thinks, as they all sit, a walker, three canes and a lot of tired eyes. Yet once they were young and vibrant and Jiffy’s was jumping. You couldn’t buy a car in 1946 because of the war; they needed the steel. And ladies’ nylons hadn’t quite come easy either. Get this though: you could buy a suit with two pairs of pants for about twenty-eight dollars. I think half the men in town got in on that. They put on those new suits, grabbed their girls, and off they went to Jiffy’s. Yes time has painted the whole gang with cracks, scars, wrinkles, and a bit of a stoop.

Though as the sun washes over the tops of them it is only then that you see their real beauty. Yeah, time is always a reminder; it stops when it’s ready. But they’ll always have Jiffy’s.

It’s a cold day and the whole gang knows it. Long days of memories that by now are just something they heard, probably not their own. Winter is coming, and for the old folks that required, according to their kids, staying in.

Harry’s friend Jimmy Cox is alone; he is 76, no one to bring him hot chocolate on those nights when Mary and Harry would hold hands and watch the snow fly. Harry thinks to himself, what happened to Jimmy to be alone? I hate winter but now I wonder, oh heck. Jimmy Cox was a wild kid; kind of grew up on the streets. He became a great drummer. But he was a hustler also. He’d gone to the bigger cities to make it as a musician. He was good at getting girls, he had that look, you know what I mean. Well he was better at fooling around than being serious. It’s funny, but it’s not. Jimmy had it all and then (blink) it’s gone, they’re all gone. (Sorry Jimmy).

“Well there isn’t much to say. There will be no more bench for a few months at least. For some of us this will be the last visit, so you young people smarten up and save the world, don’t destroy it!” Harry bellowed.

As they all sat drinking their coffee, a snowflake hit the bench, then another, and another. Harry shook all their hands and said, “Folks, it looks like our season is over. Alas some of us might miss the purples and reds and oranges the sky gives us. When you wake up at three or four every night you get to watch a lot of sky. And a lot of dreams.”

And as they all stood, they bowed to the bench, and said in unison, “Goodnight and goodbye old boy.”

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson

SMALL GRACES

Hello everyone, everywhere,

It’s been an incredible week. The weather has been cooperating, unless you live in every province because they’re all on fire. That’s not good. To every person who is volunteering and killing themselves out there, we love you, and we really really thank you for what you’re doing.

Okay that’s enough of that sappy crap. Let’s get on with it. Tonight Michelle did outside yoga and I was very happy for her. I would have fallen on my head so I didn’t go. But I wrote this story and I think you’ll like it. It’s a very odd little piece.

I found my new writing spot, and I think that it’s going to be a very good place to write, but I am angry at myself that I’m not getting more done. The pieces that I’m writing are significantly shorter, but they seem to exude this pressure, and I can’t do anything but put these words together, so that’s what I do, and that’ what I am.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts, if only for a moment…and rest. Until we meet again at Zeena and Albert Comflopper’s World Home of Javelin Throwing for Beginners and Seniors Lawn Bowling.  As you would expect we can be found right behind Dewey’s Grocery Store (in Dewey’s back yard). Remember our motto: Seniors, if something gets stuck in your foot, yes you do get another turn. You’ll find us easy on Youreabitofacutie Road and Sosmymother Avenue. If you see Floyd Parsnipper, send him home. Thanks. Ethel Parsnipper.

RESTLESS BOY

Composite image of confused businessman doodle

The streets are his playground. He accepts the blame for that. Closes his eyes and lets the sounds caress him. Restless boy. Take comfort in knowing how. Some just cannot rest. The voices in his mind will not be left behind. But you can watch him try, oh yes, every day.

And don’t think he isn’t watching you. Eyes darting back and forth, like watching tennis. He’s not, though. He’s watching life. And life has never been his best friend. Those who try to understand will hear him shout, “My heart is cold, and I am so tired. So is this the penance I’m deemed to live?”

Scared, old, and not so bold. This is the legacy he will leave, for he lived his life as a restless boy. And that is the best he will get.

That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson