Greenwood Lake. Rescue

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My father and mother lost their first son to drowning.* Given such trauma I am thankful for the courage they showed later on. When their next two boys reached swimming age. Tim and I loved water. If it were roomy enough to swim in we weren’t picky about the spot. Mom and dad freed us to that pleasure. . ….

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Shotguns and Soda. Delayed candor

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To my regret when I deceived I deceived on purpose. But I didn’t usually scheme much in advance. Not always. Things would simply happen and it was then I schemed. And deceived. Typically to avoid consequences over some foolishness. Richard Nixon’s after-the-fact scheming made the term Cover-up famous. But I appreciated the concept well before Watergate days. My dad’s sun-visor…

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Sharp Road Surprise

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  “I’d be okay if you’d get your shoe out of my mouth.” The Studebaker pickup lay on its right side – the two uppermost tires slowly spinning. The poor headlights had failed to alert the inexperienced driver (me) in time. The sharp bend in the gravel curve took me by surprise (the road was named Sharp Road for a…

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A closer Friend

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The young woman beamed. Stepping to the podium she almost sang the announcement. Ladies, listen up. You are all invited to Friday night’s baby shower for, Jerry Lout!  My brother’s wife Geri – pronounced ‘Jerry’ – would soon be giving birth to their first child, Todd Benjamin Lout. Excited female voices rippled through the Chapel while the elbow of a…

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Fight to the Finish

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  Mother, Mother! Tim’s getting clobbered!  Sprinting through the front door I blurted the report. My mom’s face conveyed both alarm and puzzlement.  Tim? Fighting? My brother survived the fracas. But the image itself seemed crazy. A Samurai Wrestler in a delicate ballet twirl would be more probable. Today’s incident was a thuggish brute who happened to spot a random…

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‘Arch enemy.

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klip-Thump – klip-Thump – klip-Thump. My shoes mocked me. I never thought a set of footwear could mock. Or embarrass. Or harass. But in the world of a self-conscious adolescent they could. And did – with an impish tinge of spite. The worst places by far were school hallways. The polio virus had sent me to the hospital after I…

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Post-polio. Carried to Wholeness

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(conclusion of three-part piece – the Matter of Sister Opaline) We’ll carry you. Like we did in the winter times, Mrs. Opaline. Please stay. Keep teaching here.               Her students adored her, the auburn-haired teacher of Geometry, Shorthand and English. At times during the winter, icy patches lined a critical high school passageway. It was a short outdoor walk linking classroom…

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Opaline. Interior Design

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The visiting minister opened his Bible. Taking it up he preached on believing faith. And on healing. He then invited any person desiring God’s healing touch to come forward for prayer. Several people with varied ailments entered the center aisle. They started toward the front. It was like a mini-pilgrimage for the hopeful. The regulars of the church turned to…

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The Matter of Sister Opaline

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When the Sun-glint from her brace caught my eye that Summer day I wondered. About Opaline and her story. When yet a toddler her body was attacked by the same disabling illness that redirected my own world. For Opaline, however, the impact was evident; dramatically so. Not for months, but years. In short-order polio wrenched strength and mobility from her…

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Standing already. Why Not?

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You did what?  My body, settled in the wheelchair, jumped a little. The doctor’s tone was sharp. He was not pleased. Who told you to stand up? It was Monday in what would become my final month at Hillcrest Hospital. I had been at our Okmulgee home for a rare weekend visit. Sunday afternoon I rested on a living room…

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