Monday, April 26, 2010

Storytime in parts

--Part XVII--Conclusion

Marilyn and Teddy wandered through the town, and eventually were drawn to a big crowd forming around a bandstand. There was a festive mood in the air, and as they approached, they could see that the high school band playing "Hail to the Chief". After a brief introduction from the town's mayor, a tubby bald man with a squeaky voice, the President took the stage and started giving a speech.

As Marilyn listened to the intonation of the President's voice, her thoughts dwelt on the events of the past day and on her seemingly hopeless, purposeless situation, when suddenly Teddy became very excited, barking and scurrying around Marilyn's feet, apparently taking interest in two men. Marilyn watched them as they ducked under the rope cordoning off the stage area. They don't look like press or police, so she wondered what they were doing. She couldn't see the face of one of the men because a baseball cap is pulled low, showing only his scruffy chin. However, the other man turned towards her long enough that she recognized him. Her mind began to spin, and before she could fully grasp the significance of what she saw, she called out, "Ike!" The grocer turned towards her, and when he recognized her, a look of panic filled his face. With a thud he dropped a heavy object on the ground and bolted. The other man turned and stared at her, looking like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. Before he could move, a Secret Service agent grabbed Jimbob Cade.

Marilyn's attention returned to Ike Elsheim as he darted away from the crowd, when his trajectory carried him past a tall, shabby figure who no one had noticed approaching. Don extended one arm in a quick motion and sent Ike tumbling in a graceful arc, landing solidly on his back. Two Secret Service agents were on the scene in moments, dark glasses and black suits exuding authority and a no-nonsense manner which made questioning their commands unthinkable. The crowd broke out into pandemonium, as police and security officers tried to maintain order and a flood of Secret Service men emerged from the shadows, surrounding the President and hustling him away in the waiting limousine.

"On your feet, this way both of you" barked one of the men in black to Ike and Don. They were escorted firmly to the Secret Service command center, a makeshift arrangement unpacked from a large truck, with an assortment of radio gear, surveillance equipment, metal detectors, and rifles, where another officer was searching Jimbob.

Meanwhile, Officer Blunt caught sight of Marilyn in the crowd. She stood out because she stood frozen in place, while most of the crowd surged away from the chaotic scene. Blunt caught Marilyn by the arm and led her to the command center. One Secret Service officer was examining the object Ike had dropped, a chromed .38 special revolver. Another announced "This man is not armed" as he finished frisking Jimbob.

Marilyn, Blunt, Ike, Jimbob, and a half dozen secret service watched in shock as Don pulled a gleaming Secret Service badge from his pocket. "I took this from him earlier today," Don announced, withdrawing an identical revolver from his overcoat pocket, and handing it to the ranking officer on the scene.

"This one is not armed either," reported the officer who was searching Ike. "All he had on him was this," he said, holding up a key ring with a set of car keys and a police insignia. Upon seeing the keys, Officer Blunt turned white, "Men, we need to find a Birmingham squad car. Those keys belong to Hank, my partner. I left Ike in his custody last night." It took just a few minutes to locate the car, parked two blocks away on a side street, Hank's body in the back seat.

As Ike and Jimbob were cuffed and taken away, several Secret Service officers questioned Don about his role. Don explained, "I was sent here by direct order from the Director. We knew that there was a conspiracy to assassinate the President today, but we didn't know the identity of the second shooter. Our intelligence indicated that Marilyn would recognize him, so it was my job to make sure that she was here. Marilyn may not realize it, but she was the hero of the day."

Don offered to drive Marilyn and Teddy home. His car was a model she had never seen before, but she was so exhausted that she couldn't ask about it, but instead fell into a deep sleep as they drove. When he dropped her off at the curb, he handed her a gallon of cold milk. "Take this to your mother. I think she is waiting for it." She looked at the expiration date on the glass bottle beaded with condensation. It read 4/11/2019.


As the reader well knows my imagination runs wild sometimes but also needs a nap afterward and I would like to sincerely thank all parties involved for their inspiration for this abomination of a true story. I would also like to thank Don Dodson who kicked this over the finish line by writing the entire last chapter. Don is a great friend and the smartest person and best writer I know. You can read more of his stuff here: and here:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Good friends

Why don't we do this more often? Here's the scene: dinner on the back porch, simple and delicious with fun, relaxed conversation. Nobody trying to impress anybody or show off or be the center of attention. Nothing fancy although the cook went to some trouble and yet the evening seemed easy and comfortable with no pressure, no pity and no problem too big for our mutual Savior. Forrest and Germania embody peace, joy, wisdom and contentment mixed with a love for each other and for Jesus that is truly inspiring. Thank you, guys, for the evening and thank you, Lord, for my friends.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's complicated.

There is a button that you can check on Facebook regarding your relationship that says, "It's complicated". You can be married or divorced or single or complicated. I'm kind of in the stage now where I'm a little bit of all that. Everything about my relationship is complicated. I never had reason to think about it before but now I have to wonder about how to act in front of some people. Do I tell people I'm about to be divorced or that I'm single or married or nothing at all? Do I have to wear a shirt when I eat dinner? How much is my house worth? Who owns the bed? What do you do with a family Bible when there is no longer the family in the front cover page? Hmm...I don't know.

The Bible tells us "Lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him". It's a good thing I don't have to lean on my understanding or I would probably fall over. God never promises us a life of ease. In fact, Job said that "Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble". Job would know too! But I do know one thing. I have told our Bible Fellowship class at church a hundred times that God gives peace and joy even in the hardest times and the other day I realized that I think I was right and didn't really understand it until now. I know I'm not the first one to go through this and won't be the last. So I'll tell all those who unfortunately come this way in the future that while life will be complicated, if you acknowledge God in all you do you don't have to rely on your own understanding.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Windy Sunday

Sunday morning prayer time with the Pastor. Small group holding hands. Men and women gathered together to ask the Creator for blessings. Powerful. Meaningful. Quiet.


From across the circle.

Why is that bodily function so funny? No burp, blink or yawn can compare.

The 5th grade boy in me squeezes his eyes tight and bites his lip.

God, help me not to laugh is my prayer.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I've been pre-occupied...

Sorry for the light blogging lately. I'm not giving it up. I have some ideas on some things I want to write about but unfortunately after 8 years my marriage has "become insupportable because of discord and conflict of personalities". That just means I'm another statistic and it makes me mad. I don't know what divorce etiquette is and it probably doesn't include blogging but this is my blog and my therapy. I'll be glad to talk with anybody about it but there's not much left to say. It wasn't my idea nor is it what I want. There ought to be a warning sticker attached to a marriage license advising that this ceremony may be hazardous to your wealth.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bly (Iron John)

What does it mean when a man falls in love with a radiant face across the room? It may mean he has some soul work to do. His soul is the issue. Instead of pursuing the woman and trying to get her alone...he needs to go alone himself, perhaps to a mountain cabin, for three months, write poetry, canoe down a river, and dream. That would save some poor woman alot of trouble.

Good day

There's not many things better than chocolate chip cookies hot out of the oven and a cold jug of milk.