A time to share

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Great Session

We started off the session with me doing the Slydini/Cellini Cut and Restored rope for Gina. I did it really well! Later Scotty gave me a nice pointer on the opening "get ready"... Pretty simple really. My fingers were too spread and a spectator could see thru them. Scotty liked the Professors Nightmare ending and especially the nice clean show of three equal lengths of rope.
I also shared with him Michael Ammars cut and restored rope replacement technique from his book, "The Magic of Michael Ammar," pg. 56. I haven't been using this method, but Scotty all but talked me into it! We discussed patter lines in the sense of what works for YOU and not trying to be someone else. Good discussion. Scotty showed me how well he is doing on the Heinstein Shuffle. He is really close to having it down, It is really sweet! Wish I could say the same. It frustrates me really bad, in fact, now I have destroyed two perfectly usable decks of cards in utter frustration! I WILL GET IT!
Randy arrived and since we had cut pieces of rope lying around we taught him the professors nightmare.
Professors Nightmare

Randy asked about Scottys' Voodoo DollVooDoo Doll
so Scotty shared it with us.
Beautiful VooDoo Doll
It is a real nice, startling piece of magic, beautiful!
We discussed what kind of magic to perform for children in hospitals. Come to find out, Randy has been volunteering many hours in this great endeavor already. I have been thinking about it for about a year and a half! Randy had much to say on the subject. You would think you could just go right in and share yourself with the children, but not so fast buster! Red Tape, Red Tape, Red Tape!!! Gotta dress in different garb for each room,dressing and undressing, sanitation reasons you know! Might have to wear rubber gloves, might have to put on a space suit etc, etc...Now that poses the question, what kind of magic can one perform wearing rubber gloves and such!? Practicing in such clothing might be fun! NOT!
We eventually got to watching a DVD on childrens magic by Terry Herbert! WOW! Probably the best I've ever seen, we were all in agreement, Terry was fantastic! Timing, control, pacing.. EXCELLENT! His multiplying banana trick and silver sceptre were superb....
Scotty shared some bits from his cabaret act!
Jose arrived and we went over last weeks Leipzigs opener.
Jose and I discussed some nuances to the great Tricky Wallet routine of Tom Frank fame!
My mind is playing all this through!
Gotta love it!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

On Parenting

It never ends, the parenting...
Our Marine son drove to California a week ago Saturday, arriving on Sunday. He called my wife Monday, pining for a girl he met in San Antonio. Her name is Desiree. Our Son is nineteen, almost twenty years old and just getting started in his career as an M.P. in the Marine Corps.
He is contemplating having her join him in San Diego. The word marriage was brought up.
Well, needless to say this was quite a shocker to his mother and I! He has only known her for about two months.
Most of their time together was at the swimming pool at the Lackland Air Force base where I think she works at the concession stand.
On the one hand, he is a man now and has to make these decisions on his own. But on the other hand, he is our son and we love him immensely. Our first reaction, as you probably can guess was to say, "Whoa, slow down here." You are just getting your career started. You have no idea where you will be going etc. You are only nineteen. What's the hurry? Things like that.
He has a good head on his shoulders and had some insightful answers. He has never felt these things before or this way towards a woman. Where is the "parenting book" when you need it!? :)
He has many questions. I gave him some phone numbers of people in his life that are not so close to the situation as his mom and I.
Hopefully he will take some time to ponder some of life's larger questions.
Whatever he decides, he can rest assured that we will support him in all that he does! That is called love.
We weren't exactly ecstatic when he announced he was going into the Marine Corp. However, he is old enough to make his own choices and stand by them. Pay the price and reap the rewards of those choices. Our job now as his parents, I feel is to be supportive while offering advice when necessary. Whether he heeds that advice, is again his choice.

Banded shut

OY! Now this doesn't look like much fun does it?
Recently our daughter had to have some rubber bands placed in her mouth so she can barely open her mouth! She has to wear these while she sleeps. I called the dentist to complain. I mean really, if you're going to band her mouth shut, at least make her wear them during her waking hours around the home!!!
Just kidding!
Believe it or not, but as you can see in the photo, that is as far as she can open her mouth!

Magic training!

A young friend of mine asked if I would take some time to work with him on his magic recently. He is fifteen and I have been doing a bit of teaching for him for about a year or two. It has been slow going as he is busy with school and I haven't wanted to "push" him too hard as he might not really want to learn the magical art.
I invited him and his mom over to the house for a bit of a session last night. He has two weeks to get ready to perform for about 90 people in his High School. He is interested in some "larger" magic as it is a large crowd he will be performing for. By larger I mean something suitable for everyone to be able to see. Commonly called "stage magic."
His plan is to start out small and get "bigger" as he progresses. I taught him Jim Cellinis' Cut and Restored Ropes with the Professors Nightmare ending. I lent him a nice set of my Kovari Chinese Sticks. He has a set of Linking Rings. I don't know if he will be able to put together a routine with them in a short amount of time.
He is thinking about opening with an appearing and disappearing hanky, a short sponge ball routine, and then into the Cut and Restored rope... Basically, if that is all he did, It would be a good start to his performing.

Saturday at Golden Gardens

Took the wife and daughter to Golden Gardens Saturday. We were invited by my magical friend Randy and his wife Adri to help celebrate their birthdays.
Birthday cake
I know Randy from many sessions at Tom Franks' home over the last year or so.
Golden Gardens is a gorgeous park right on the Puget Sound, next to a nice Marina!
We enjoyed beautiful "Indian Summer" weather! The food was good,
Good grits
and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset as the sun dipped below the Olympic Mountains.
A bon fire was lit and several invitees banged drums and strummed guitars. It was a peaceful evening under the stars!
Old married couple!
Thanks Randy!


USS New York

With a year to go before it even touches the water, the Navy's amphibious assault ship USS New York has already made history. It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.

USS New York is about 45 percent complete and should be ready for launch in mid-2007. Katrina disrupted construction when it pounded the Gulf Coast last summer, but the 684-foot vessel escaped serious damage, and workers were back at the yard near New Orleans two weeks after the storm.

It is the fifth in a new class of warship - designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore byhelicopters and assault craft.

"It would be fitting if the first mission this ship would go on is to make sure that bin Laden is taken out, his terrorist organization is taken out," said Glenn Clement, a paint foreman. "He came in through the back door and knocked our towers down and the New York is coming right through the front door, and we want them to know that."

Steel from the World Trade Center! was melted down in a foundry in Amite, La. , to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept. 9, 2003, "those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. "It was a spiritual moment for everybody there."

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the "hair on my neck stood up." "It had a big meaning to it for all of us," he said. "They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back."

The ship's motto? - 'Never Forget'

Thursday, September 21, 2006

In My In Box

Thanks for the pictures! And the congrats. We are EXCITED! Now, is there any way you have a trick in your bag that could just make all our stuff "appear" in the parsonage? Just curious!
And again, thank you and Joan for your hospitality - I think meeting smaller groups of people in a more intimate setting was a great idea. The food was great, the company was great, the magic tricks were great...it was just great! And I feel like I got to know people a little bit and remember their names more easily - stuff like that.
Well, better go - I've got some packin' to do!

Sandy is the wife of Bill Vincent and is moving to Seattle to be a big part of his pastoral team. I told her that yes, we will do some magic and get all their stuff unpacked and into their new home, no problem!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday Session

The session started slowly. I arrived about 7:45 and Scotty, Gina and their friend Matt were just sitting down to dinner. They made me feel right at home though as they are very warm and friendly people.
Gina and Scotty watching Jose perform
We watched the Whit Haydn linking rings DVD I brought over. Whit's routine has been a favorite of Scotty's for many years. He was excited to see it. We enjoyed it very much. Scotty had the routine in print form and he will be receiving his 14 inch linking rings sometime this week! Ya baby!
Scotty pulled out his sponge bananas and gave me a quick lesson, then he lent me the pair for practicing, Fun!
The big banana
Jose arrived about 8:30 and we got down to playing with cards. Scotty taught us Leipzigs' opener. Not too hard a card trick, but still, they all need to be worked on before public showing! I showed them a nifty little card reversal that I picked up from Daryl's DVD... I also performed Jazz Aces with a twist. It is becoming one of my staples. That's pretty cool; to get something down that you can rely on!
Jose then said" Alright" I got something for ya." He did a nice routine using a dollar bill and a playing card, A Card Warp thing. It has lots of moving parts and is actually a routine with a beginning, middle, and an end.
Thumbs up Jose
Nice work Jose, I love your enthusiasm and smiles!
Gina and Scotty went over the cutting the Aces that Steve Ameden taught her three weeks ago. Nice!
Scotty whipped out a cool Spaghetti and meatballs plate he made for using in his act. He uses it for a fun time tossing it around trying not to "spill" any! Kinda to be used as a juggling type act. Ha Ha!
Scotty's home made spaghetti and meatballs
I had to leave for work at about 10:35, but before I left, I shared with them a Harry Lorayne piece that Steve taught me a long time ago. The Australian Sixes... Sweet!
I love magic!

The Vote Is In

Yesterday was the deadline for voting by our little church down the road for a new Pastor. It has been an interesting process. Our former Pastor retired at the first of the year. You would think it an easy matter to just slip someone in to pastor a church....Not so fast Kemosabe. Our board of elders sifted through 30-50 applications. Whittling it down to four. Then they asked the church body to vote six church members onto the board temporarily to help in the process. I was one of those six. It was an honor and a very responsible thing to partake in. We listened to sermons and read resumes of the final four as it were...
It was an interesting process. We had two weeks to read and listen and choose our top candidates... We all got together and it was pretty close to unanimous. We had Pastor Bill Vincent come for a visit last weekend and he gave a sermon. We treated him and his family to breakfast,lunch,and dinner. At each of these bread braking get togethers, people from the church body had an opportunity to meet Pastor Bill and his family and ask them ANY questions. All went really smooth. We all got ballots to vote with and they had to be in by Tuesday at 5pm. And I can proudly say that with an 85% approval Pastor Bill is our new pastor. He was called to be told the news and He accepted!
Pastor Bill Vincent, first sermon Skyway Church
It will be an interesting next couple of months and years!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Week in revue

Been a few days since last I posted, been busy.
Tuesday, normally magic session night didn't work out. Like God had a hand in it. I have been thinking about joining Life Choices. A Christian group dedicated to helping pregnant women. Mostly those ladies that have no one and nothing. Most of them are young, unwed, and at the end of their rope. Father of the child nowhere in sight. The area I am interested in is their SHARE program. This involves speaking to youth about HIV, STD's and abstinence. Life Choices is a non profit organization that gives these women free ultra sounds. They are the nemesis of UN Planned Parenthood, yeah, I know, they really call themselves Planned Parenthood. But really, the majority of their clientele is women who did not plan on getting pregnant, an UN PLANNED situation. Most of their money comes from giving women abortions. They give ultra sounds but generally don't let the women see the ultrasound (so I have heard). I guess if you never see your baby in your womb, it is easier to not think of IT as a Live human being. No money in it!

Anyway, it was an interesting meeting. I think there were six women learning to volunteer and one man, me! I think it is important to teach the message of abstinence so that we can curb this epidemic of unwanted pregnancy. So many women are involved and I feel that young men should and need to hear from men.
After the meeting, I went to work and an interesting thing happened.... I received a call from my supervisor and he offered me a day job. Was this offer from God or Satan I thought! I mean, if I worked days, I would not be able to get seriously involved in the SHARE program! I t also meant I would have to get up at 4:30 A.M. every morning. I could see no value in going on day shift. I turned it down.

I golfed Friday morning at Sumner Meadows Golf Course. Been awhile since I got out golfing because I have been fishing as you know! Shot an 85, a good score for me! If my magic putter was acting normal... I think it would have been an 82... Always something!
Our Son Eric was scheduled to fly to San Diego Sunday evening, but we decided to get his car fixed up so he could drive it down there. It needed new half shafts. Not an easy or simple car project. Eric was up to the task. Funny though, he got them out o.k. but had trouble putting the new ones in. He was covered with grease, our neighbor Andy came over to help him but still no luck getting the dad blasted shafts back in.... That's because Shucks sold him the WRONG ones. Man I hate that. They should have to pay you for your time loss! Well, he got the right ones and in they go!
Put new brakes on as well and he drove to California leaving at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday. As I write he is about there! Long drive all by himself.
Eric, Dad, and Ryan 9-7-06

Saturday at noon we hosted a luncheon at our home for our pastoral candidate and his family and several members from our church! Our pastor retired 9 months ago...
Our #1 candidate, Bill Vincent arrived with his wife and son from Kansas. We treated them magnificently and I think we have a great shot at him pastoring our church!
I did a few card tricks for him and his family and others at my home. For some reason I was very nervous. I hate that. I did three tricks, Jazz Aces with a Twist, Tricky Wallet, and Zingone 12 card Mental problem. The tricks worked great, but I wasn't so smooth. Pastor Bill and his family were treated to Vinces Pizza on Thursday. A magician had arrived and performed some tricks for them. This opened the door for some friends to tell them about me and my magic. I spoke with my friend Todd who was there and asked him if he "tipped" the magician? He said, "no, should I have?" I said, "was he any good, were you entertained?" His reply was, "yeah."
I educated Todd about how the man wasn't a beggar but a performer, and if you felt that he was worth a couple bucks, to offer it, he might turn it down as he may be paid from the establishment. I tell all this to share this... Pastor bill pulled out a dollar at the end of my Zingone 12 card Mental problem which I performed for his 15 year old son! He had heard from Todd about our conversation. It was a funny moment! I thought it was great and mentioned that he was giving it because of the conversation with Todd. He admitted as much and we all had a good laugh. BUT, I accepted the buck and asked him to sign it. I told him it is my first earnings as a magician and I will frame my FIRST DOLLAR!!!
my first earnings as a Magician!
Pastor Bill preached his first sermon for us Sunday (today). It was a good sermon! He also gave us a bit of his personal testimony.
Pastor Bill Vincent
I'm excited about the future of Skyway church!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Something to think about

I wasn't planning on posting today, but, well... I sat down and watched the 9-11 commission report last night. My 13 year old daughter joined my wife and I... After it was over our daughter was very visibly upset. She was angry, mad an scared.
I remember having those same feelings as a kid when we had the air raid drills in school and when reminded of nuclear threats. It was all about bomb shelters.
Wondering if you would get to grow up. What a crazy world we live in. America has the muscle to neutralize this threat in one fell swoop, but we restrain ourselves. We hand cuff ourselves by being foolish and politically correct. Absurd that we do not racially profile. Our airports are no more secure than before 9-11-01. Who is the threat from? Muslims. But we don't want to call it what it is. A religious jihad, that means holy war in case you might be wondering. The radical Muslims want to kill YOU and ME! We might offend someone! Wouldn't want to offend anyone now would we. Well, I am offended at the deliberate stone walling foisted on us by organizations like the ACLU. They hide behind their own self righteousness while they undermine America. Allowing the terrorists complete access to our country and rights while not deserving of either. They go to bat for the enemy every time.
When I was a child and I did something to hurt my big brother, he IMMEDIATELY pounded me one! I knew not to mess with him. America is said to be the "big brother" of the world at this time in history. America was slapped, and slapped hard. As the big brother, we should have pounded them one and let them know not to mess with us. But instead, we tie our own hands with laws and regulations that only affect honest people. The enemy does not "play" by a certain set of rules, yet we want to show our humanity and wonderfulness, worrying about what the rest of the world might think of us. What a crock! Hit em fast and hit em hard I say. Let me spell it out for you, make a glass parking lot out of them! We have the power but not the will. We are a nation split. The Bible says a house divided against itself cannot stand!(Mark 3:24)
President Lincoln said the same thing in his "House Divided Speech."
The terrorists are counting on this. We are in radical times facing a radical enemy. It is time we fought in a more radical fashion. Basically, we should obliterate them! But that is just one mans' opinion. Or is it?
The political correct police want you to think that they are protecting your rights by not allowing the govt. To tap certain phones or record certain things or profile certain individuals. Ha, have they/we been duped! It is only criminals that fear such things. The ACLU fears such things. Does that make them criminals? I could care less if my phone is tapped. Or my p.c. monitored. I have nothing to hide. Sure, I might not like it but at a time of war, certain things must be done to ensure public safety.
We ain't doin them.
So, as you go to bed each night with fear in your heart, remember, it doesn't have to be this way.

Monday, September 11, 2006

War on Terror

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the attack on the world trade center in New York!
What were you doing when you heard the news? I was driving to the golf course and heard it on my car radio. I didn't at first believe it. I thought it was a "war of the worlds" type hoax. I changed stations on the radio figuring that if true, it would be on all the other stations as well. It was. I immediately had a sickening feeling come over me. A ball of vileness invaded my stomach. I arrived at the golf course and had them turn the T.V. on. It was horrible.
I am disappointed in our country for the way we are carrying on as if nothing is happening around us. WE ARE AT WAR! And yet we act as if nothing has changed, we go about our daily routines with an American smugness borne of a false feeling of safety. These Muslim fanatics want to kill EVERYONE OF US! The president said to go about our business as usual. That would be best for our nation. In some ways I can agree and see the logic behind this, but in others I see it as absurd. We have multi millionaire sports athletes playing games for money, and fans flocking to watch their every move.These people have lost sight of reality! These sports figures and Hollywood types making millions from the great freedoms we all enjoy and take for granted. Don't they know there is a war going on. Seems ludicrous!
I Will Never Forget!
Why have so many?!

Sunday 9-10-06

Spent the morning at church. Great sermon by Pastor Gerald Marvel. It was about faith and what that really is about.
Got home about 1pm and since I had taped the Seahawks opening game I sat down and used the fast forward button on the remote to watch it at high speed, the game was a defensive struggle, Hawks winning 9-6 over the Detroit Lions, last time they were in Detroit they lost in the superbowl. Some will say that they just barely won, I once heard it said it is very difficult to win on the road in the NFL. So we'll take it anyway it comes... That's what Pittsburgh did in the Superbowl, took it any way it comes...
My wife had family coming over for a nice visit and Salmon on the Barby! We used her fathers 40 year old Hibachi Pot that I salvaged from his garage.
40 year old Hibachi pot, smokin

Turned out great!
Salmon fillets
We enjoyed watching old slides of her family as children, many photo's never seen by my wife. We have many more to look through, should be very interesting!
Also, much fun was had playing ladder golf in the back yard!

Belated from Labor Day

I had this in my "Drafts" folder, I was waiting for some pictures to put on here but I heard they all turned out blurry... so here goes...

Wow! Had to go to work just so I could RELAX! Haha..
Got out of bed at 4 p.m. Thursday. I wanted to sleep til 8 pm, but My wife had other plans for me. Our sons' friend Johnny was coming over for dinner. Tonight was his night because we promised him a nice meal before heading off to Iraq. He had a ten day leave before deployment. Johnny and my son went to school together from Kindergarten through senior year, They were best friends on and off as is often the case... Both became Marines, heading in different directions. Be well, be safe Johnny. We are praying for you!
Johnny Bobgan farewell dinner!
Went to work Thursday night at 11 pm and after work at 6 am. My wife and I headed to Ocean Shores to spend a couple days with our friends Dale and Jean...We arrived about 2:30 in the afternoon and drove over to Westport for a bit of beach fun and lunch. We found a charter boat that was selling fresh Albacore Tuna. We bought about 30 pounds, cooked some up for dinner and froze the rest, I smoked about 15 pounds Monday morning.... I got to bed Friday night at 11:30 pm...That's about a 31 1/2 hour run of wakefulness,(yawn) only to be awakened by Dale for a round of golf at 6:30... Uh... Had a blast! Shot 85 on the Ocean shores course!
My daughter and her friend Jeni had a nice time kayaking on the inland canal!
Kayaking 9/2/06
Boy was fatigue setting in, we knew that many more friends would be arriving for a BBQ and campfire later, I was planning on performing a magic show. I became so tired that I went to my room and laid down for about 1 1/2 hours til the rest of the gang arrived. It was nice seeing old friends!
I performed outside after dinner, it was a helter skelter event as I had to hurry a bit as darkness descended about 8 pm... Just did get in the cups and balls!
Thank you, thank you....
Some of the guests knew I performed a bit from twenty years ago, Mainly in those long ago days I made a cigarette disappear using the magicians secret weapon, and the hot rods of course, little did they know... It was great to be praised afterwards by some, saying, "I'm glad you stuck with your magic."
Well so am I!
Still a Mystery evermore!
Drove home Saturday night, arriving home at about 12:30, yep, Had to, Our son arrived Friday while we were at the Ocean. He has finished up his training as a K-9 handler. His training was taught in two blocks. Each block receives a "Top Dog" award. Eric was pretty sure he had earned the honor for block 1 and thought he might also get it for block 2.
Well, he did, receiving Top Dog for both blocks!
K-9 training
He was also awarded a Meritorious Mast Award! ( Whenever the performance of an enlisted Marine is considered noteworthy or commendable beyond the usual requirements of duty) He has seventeen days of leave before leaving for duty at the Marine Corp Air Station Miramar in San Diego!
Sunday included going to Church services and after church just generally lazin around the house.
Got a lot done Monday though, rebuilt the stairs for the hottub, Mowed the weeds, Blew the sport court and driveway, smoked the tuna fish and cooked Salmon on the barby... Then off to work I go to get some much needed rest... Course I won't get to bed til about 7am Tuesday and that will make for another long run of about 21 hours...
Fishing Wednesday is in the plans as well as Thursday evening and perhaps Friday too!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Movie revue

Friday morning I got up early and Eric and I drove to Seattle and picked up # 1 son Ryan. We drove to Alderwood Mall and took in a movie together. Ryan chose the movie. It was "invincible" starring Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear and Elizabeth Banks. A true story about a Bar tender/substitute teacher in 1975 from Philadelphia. They love the Eagles football team. The team is really bad and hire a new head coach, Dick Vermeil. Vermeil holds an open practice, anyone can attend. Out of the hundreds that try out, Vincent Papale makes it through cut after cut and makes the team against all the odds.
A movie reminiscent of the original "Rocky" movie, but better because it is based on a true story! We thoroughly enjoyed the film. Highly recommend.
After we drove Ryan back to his house in U.W. land!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

That's my boy!

After work Wednesday morning, I met my son Eric at the Redondo boat launch for a few hours of fishing. He is home on leave for about two weeks and then he goes to Miramar in San Diego... We fished for about five hours. We didn't have any success landing "the big one" but released several fish that were under the legal limit to keep!
It was a beautiful end of summer day. We took off our shirts and enjoyed the rays...
fishing 9/06/06
I NEVER looked like him! CUT!
It was great spending time with him.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tuesday night magic session

Arrived at Scotty and Gina's at about 7:45. Boat in tow!
Scotty showed us his "sweet" table!Scottys' table
Steve arrived shortly thereafter and we began discussing Card fanning, much to Scottys' surprise Steve was quite good at it! Ginas surprise was evident upon her face as we three watched and learned from "Butter" Ameden. Now Scotty knows why we nicknamed him Butter! Steve has more tricks up his sleeve than a pumpkin seed vanish!
Next we worked on the Misers Dream. Recently Isaac Louie gave me a copy of his birthday party routine on DVD and we enjoyed watching that as he does a nice Misers Dream on it.
The evening was pleasant as we went thru Harry Loraynes' "Amazing Prediction" routine and worked a bit on false shuffles etc...
Jose called during the session and offered his home for next Tuesdays get together. Right on!
See you there!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tribute to my mom

Tribute to my mom
How does one start in something this large? I suppose one must start at the beginning, eh? But perhaps not? Maybe I should start with the present and work backwards? Yes, perhaps that is what I will do.... I have been reminiscing about my mom recently because of my involvement with the magic art. You see, I have been reading the book, "Mysteries of My Life." It is the card work or "The Act" of Rene Levand, also included in this fine book is Rene’s thoughts. His biographical, anecdotal, and philosophical teachings on life and art. This prompted me to watch one or two of his magical dvd's. Rene Levand is a master, or as known throughout the world of card magicians as "The Maestro!"
You might be wondering what all of this has to do with my mom. Well, Rene Levand lost his right arm when he was nine years old. He had learned a card trick at the age of seven. What could he now do after losing an arm, not only one arm, but his dominant arm. Well, he became one of card magics all time greats. Was it easy? I think not! Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! At about age nineteen (1949) my mom lost the use of her left arm while riding on the back of a motorcycle. My understanding is that they peeled out in some gravel causing the bike to go down. This was a great tragedy to someone who was so alive and full of life, a young women who was vibrant and beautiful.
Her face was scarred, one of her eyeballs was dangling out of it's socket. Life or death. Obviously she survived because I am writing this piece! :)
As a young boy, one does not evaluate the life of their parents in much light. How could you? You have little knowledge or life experiences from which to draw from. Besides, you are too busy living your own life to "see" anything going on in anothers'. Well, looking back I can see how wonderful and powerful this women truly was. It is funny that my best friend as a teenager , Danny, who had been in our home constantly for about two years, sharing dinner, sleep overs, car rides and the like. One day comes running in yelling in atonishment, "What happened to your mom's arm!?" My brother and I looked at him bewildered, "what are you talking about?" We asked him. He replied, "your moms' arm is crippled." We busted out laughing, howling to be certain. "Danny," cried my brother, Her arm has ALWAYS been like that!" The point is, she never made it an issue, and many people never realized how limply it hung there! She could tie our shoes using one arm and her teeth. My mom had the strongest right arm of any women I ever met! Believe me, I know.... Here is my point, Like Rene Levand, my mother didn't let it stop her, or get in her way.I remember when she was trying to pass her Real Estate exam. I had a Little League baseball game that night. I was ten years old, and in Pee Wees... I was upset and crying that she wouldn't be at my game, she always was at my games. So, there I was crying, and she says to me, "Tim, I can't make it tonight, so hit a home run for me and I'll pass the test." It was her third try!
That night I hit a Grand Slam! True! I walloped that ball clear out to the saw dust pile in Left field! (Guess you had to be there!) And true to her word, she passed her exam that night and got her Real Estate License! I really thought that it was because of my Home Run!
Age 10 1969
My mom, she owned and operated a beauty salon in Green Lake in Seattle for a few years! That place stank so bad, I hated going there. It would burn my nostrils. Later she bought and operated The Mountain View Inn in Granite Falls Washington. A large restaurant with a bar. There was also a small general store, and six motel rooms! This is where her life ended at the age of 61. Not a long life but a very full life! How full? Six children, One mentally retarded. That brought along it's own share of difficulties and emotions. Love, anger, misery, joy... Why me questions etc... Mom was married many times, I am not even sure how many... I have heard it is around seven if you count the last man in her life, Bob. They never were "legally" married, but shared each others lives for about 20 years til her death in 1993! Was my mom perfect? Not by any stretch of anyones imagination! She smoked, drank too much, cussed too frequently, and wasn't afraid of anyone. BUT, she had a heart of gold!
Our house was the home that always had the Kool Aid pitcher ready when me and the boys came home from playing. Our house was always open to all the neighborhood boys and girls. It was our home that friends could stay for extended stays when they got into trouble with their parents. And many did...
We had "keggers" In the backyard twice while I was growing up. She figured that since you boys were going to go out and drink and smoke pot, you might as well do it at home. These generally turned into neighborhood sleep overs. I have pictures of row upon row of young people in sleeping bags in our backyard. You would get hauled off to jail if you did that today! AND rightly so! Her husband Ray (my third dad) and her owned and operated the snack stand at our baseball games when I was 11-14 years of age. My childhood was a grand time. Despite the fact that I come from what we now know to be a HIGHLY dysfunctional family! You don't know what you don't know!In spite of her paralyzed arm, her hard knocks of life, she played the hand dealt her! (No pun intended) I have always been proud of my mom! Whenever I hear Bette Midlers' Wind Beneath My wings.
I tear up. Here are the lyrics to that great song! It must have been cold there in my shadow, to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way, you always walked a step behind.
So I was the one with all the glory, while you were the one with all the strength. A beautiful face without a name -- for so long, a beautiful smile to hide the pain.
Did you ever know that you're my hero, and ev'rything I would like to be? I can fly higher than an eagle, 'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.
It might have appeared to go unnoticed, but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it, I would be nothing with out you.
Fly, fly, fly away, you let me fly so high. Oh, fly, fly, so high against the sky, so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you, thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings..
Thank you Mom.
I love you and miss you!
me and my mom 1981