An Artist, Photographer, Writer, Poet

Monthly Archives: April 2018

August 12, 2011,


Aug 12, 2011 would have been my father’s 95th birthday.

We weren’t especially close in the way people think of as close.

There weren’t chats and sharing, a pat on the back, or hugs, kisses.

That wasn’t him.

But over the years I’d get a glimpse of who he was as Karl,

not my father.

What he was like as a person,

not the quiet, nondemonstrative, man of few words at home.

When I remember him talking

it was about teaching.

Driving was one thing.

He’d talk sometimes as he drove,

giving hints of things we needed to know…

“Read every sign,

you never know when it might be important.”

“When you leave the highway,

it will seem like you are standing still going

the slower speed…

that’s why the small towns are called

“speed traps”…the cops know that people

will go too fast.”

We went to ball games, he taught me how to keep score.

And, fishing, he taught me how to cast, and troll,

and keep quiet so not to disturb the fish…

or him.

He taught me about the business world,

in only a few words…

speaking an observation

of what worked or didn’t work for displays

or psychology of pricing.

He loved to dance,

I think he probably had a wicked sense of humor.

He drank “after five pm”…

but often declared, “It’s five somewhere in the world.”

We didn’t see much of each other thru the years,

and he disappointed me

when I was in rehab in January, 1992…

it was the month before he died,

and he, my mother, and brother, decided they wouldn’t come

to family week,…it wouldn’t be a vacation, he said,

it would be a waste of money.

But I learned a lot from him,

by osmosis or the little things he did.

Children learn from the example their parents set

by how they live their lives.

And so it is. Missing someone I hardly knew.


.PS> while I’m thinking of it, one of the things he liked to

do was show how he could type the alphabet backwards on

a standard typewriter…I say standard typewriter, because,

he could type FAST…and that was a feat in its self.

And tho we didn’t find it,

it is told he used to write and that somewhere was a folder with

his writings in it…Dad, I hardly knew you.



1940/50’s playground

August 17, 2011
When I was Young

When I was young,
how narrow minded
the world then seemed then
and now.
In just about everything
in my world,
it was a black and white world,
looking back.
I couldn’t understand how
people couldn’t just like and
enjoy each other
and find the contrasts interesting,
not dividing.
There was a right and wrong
“side of the tracks”
that I didn’t understand.
The tracks of contrast existed
in school,
white and blue collar jobs
and how we dressed
who we married
and raised our children.
There was a right and wrong morality,
but it wasn’t about
right and wrong morals,
but contrasts in beliefs,
as to who to socialize with,
we could/should marry,
where we should live
and work,
buy our clothes…
basically where to shop
for everything
on our side of the tracks.
The contrasts between
the neighborhoods,
where their ancestors
came from,
stood large in some peoples
There seemed to be a contrast
everywhere that was judged
as right or wrong.
My parents were a city mouse
and country mouse.
Fine china, so thin you could see thru it,
a must for my mother,
and silverware, not tableware
of stainless steel.
Fine crystal glasses to drink from
were a must.
A white cup was a white cup to
my father.
Dishes were dishes,
glasses could be jelly jars
as far as he was concerned.
The forks, knives and spoons
were for function, not beauty….
except that the steak knives, butcher knives
must be kept sharp and cut with ease.
Function versus form.
The city mouse family,
one’s ancestors came over on the Mayflower,
(married to an immigrant from the
“right old country”).
They loved fine china,
crystal chandeliers,
oriental rugs and fine furniture,
of excellent quality.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
The country mouse family
came over on a boat
from the same “old country”
(different from that
of the city mouse’s parent)
to find a better life.
They met in a small mid-west town,
and married and raised a family,
that turned out businessmen,
teachers, farm workers.
Hard workers.
But they were “first generation”
versus “from the beginning”
at Plymouth Rock.
Is there anything wrong with that?
There were other contrasts,
as I could go on and on,
but as a young child,
contrasts puzzled me…
I found them interesting,
wanting to know why
they did what they did,
ate what they ate,
wore what they wore,
and why their homes were so
Others found these things
reasons to disagree
and to ignore and stay
away from.
Made me who I am today.
Some people call me a “hippie”…
or “the black sheep.”
I think that’s good.
A blend of contrasts,
forms a third contrast.
A blend.
When I was young
I wondered why all the fuss
in the differences I saw.
When I was young,
how narrow minded
the world seemed then
and now.
April 2018 update
Not much seems to have changed
for the better in my opinion.
People are anxious and fearful.
School killings,
police brutality is charged.
My grands, now adults
grew up in a different world.
I grew up with air raid drills.
They learned to live
with lock downs at school.
How to protect themselves
from gun fire.
At some point
there may be great-grands,
I wonder.
What will the challenges
be for them.
Is there a chance the world
could become less fearful ?

Garden gate entrance to a house.
Entrance to a house

Entrance to an outhouse all decked out


Garden Entrance


Entrance to street where a young child’s memorial is a somber remembrance.


inviting beautiful or sad
the entrance to our homes and out buildings
speak volumes to passersby
there are tributes to Mother Nature
some give pause to think and pray
poem 4/1/2018

Haiku Heights prompt: Whisper
August 14, 2011
soft wind in the trees
memory of Nebagamon
childhood dreams whisper
internet photo