I’m here to share myself on the web. To communicate with my family, friends and hopefully readers. I have stories from my life and stories from my imagination.  I believe I have some good stories to tell. Bear with me while I remember and conjure them.

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Roast Boar

Outside the tavern, it was a chill drippy night. It wasn’t much this tavern. Situated as it was in a backwater village overshadowed by a castle that may have once been important. Whatever trade route it had been built to protect had long ago shifted leaving it to sit alone.

A fire burned in the central fireplace. The guest on one side, the kitchen on the other. A young man in an apron was carrying tankards of mulled wine or platers of food between the tables. He was the inn keeper’s son. He preferred this to mucking out the stables a job assigned to Tom the son of the widow Hazel. Albert had once desired to adventure. He had once journeyed away from the village. He had traveled with the squire on an errand. It had been a relief to return to the quiet village. It was soon after that he had decided to court Rebecca. What he made working for his father wasn’t much, but it was steady. In time he would inherit the old place and raise his children in it as he had been by his parents. His mother was baking bread today. The whole place was filled with the aroma.

Bread baking day was one reason so many were gathered here today. That and the boar roasting on the split. Haskell the forester had brought it in yesterday. It had been raiding the village gardens, such as they were. They had lost half the potato harvest to him and his clan. Well no more. Potato fattened he would be the feast. Two other dismembered hogs hung in the various smoke houses in the village.

Rebecca was sitting with her family. When he glanced her way. She blushed and turned her eyes down. Albert forgot the pig then. He had made plans to meet her later, after the feast. Hopefully, they could sneak up to his room afterward.

Four of the castle’s guardsmen occupied a table. The fat one, Henry, was waving his mug trying to catch Albert’s eye. They needed more drink. Albert thought they had had more than their share. But who was he to deny them another round of mulled wine? They were off duty and paying customers. After he had eaten his fill and drank another few rounds of wine Henry would probably fall asleep where he sat.

It would be another half hour before they began to serve the boar. It would be another hour before the first of the fresh bread would begin to appear. For now, last week’s bread and some of farmer Brown’s cheese would have to do. Albert hardly had time to contemplate his rendezvous with Rebecca he was so busy.

Albert was pouring Henry another drink when the front door opened letting a chill spread across the room. A lad, about twelve, maybe a little older, pulled the door shut behind him. His hair plastered to his skull and his clothing was soaked through. He shivered from the cold.

A shudder ran through Albert as he finished filling Henry’s mug. He sat the pitcher down in the middle of the guard’s table, He knew it would be empty by the time he sought to retrieve it. Five years ago rattled through Albert. Albert knew that this boy was Tom coming in to warm himself after attending to the stables. Yet this brought back memories of what occurred five years ago and the start of the adventure that now haunted his memories.

Albert walked over to him. “Give me your cloak. I’ll find a place for it to dry.” He held out his hand and waited. Tom hesitated then shrugged his shoulders and slipped out of his cloak handing it to Albert. What was under the cloak was soaked as well. “Come by the fire. I’ll find a warm drink for you.”

He grabbed the empty pitcher off the guard’s table and headed for the kettle of mulled wine intending to grab a mug for Tom.  He saw the squire sitting at his table just like he had been five years ago. He almost dropped what he held the images were so clear.

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Jason, travel guide

Every adventure a surprise.

We were in the Bahamas on vacation with family.

Jason invited us to see the low tide pools they had visited before we got there. The twins declared that they would stay with their mother. They didn’t want to go on this adventure. This should have warned us.

Carrie and I donned our water shoes. Jason and Alison made wiser decisions on footwear.  And we all started down the beach, an easy five-mile walk.

I couldn’t find any firm sand. Usually, it’s between where the waves wash the shore and the dry sand above. The dry sand always let your feet sink almost to the ankle. Unfortunately, where the sand was wet you sank just as much. Where the waves rushed support was pulled out from under your feet. We tried treading on the piles of dried seaweed which covered part of the beach. This helped some but it was scattered about. It only gave some help to our situation.

Halfway there I noticed a thunderhead growing in the distance. I chose to believe that it was moving away from us.

We made it to the edge of the rock outcrop that formed the tidal pools. To get where they were, we first had to navigate the path that accessed the area.

“Watch out for the sticker bushes,” Jason warned as he advanced down the narrow path we trod on. The sharp spine covered leaves of some yucca type plants thrust out in the way. The path narrowed more as the first of the sticker plants appeared. The barbed stems beautifully camouflaged by the green compound leaves. Long stems of the coarse sand grasses cropped up into the middle of the path.

The path widened, sand and rocks appeared. The area before us was covered by an ancient coral reef. Broken brain coral and seashells were scattered about. The waves surged and splashed against the rocks.

The dead coral was hard. My water shoes protected my feet from getting cut but didn’t do much to protect my feet from the hard uneven surface. I walked in the sand where possible and cooled my feet in the surf where I could. They were already telling me that they were not happy with the treatment I was giving them.

We examined the area and picked up some pieces of brain coral and shells to use as gifts for grandkids that were not in the Bahamas with us. Slowly we walked back to the trail that had led us here. I tried to walk past it, but Jason insisted that this was the correct path. I recognized several of the grass turfs and sticker plants that I again successfully maneuvered around. We descended the hill and moved back to the sandy beach that we would transverse home.  

A large school of fish (Maybe 10 of them) was just off the shore beyond where the waves began to break.  We spent several moments trying to identify them, finally, we (Alison, who we wisely agreed with) identified them as pufferfish. They were larger than my hand. I believe we all wished we had brought our snorkel gear then. Having no way to see them if we swam with them, we began to walk back to our beach house.

The storm clouds which we had not been watching caught our attention when we began to hear rumbling in the distance. We had made it almost a quarter of the way back when the clouds grew darker and the thunder louder. Alison advised us that the most dangerous place to be was walking down the beach in the surf.

We moved out of the water and closer to the trees that lined the beach, looking for a path into the jungle. We were almost a third of the way home when we came to the first one that truly led off the beach. Someone had placed tall posts into the sand near the way the path led. Perhaps to hang tarps for shade. They had also cleared the underbrush from the area making it almost park-like. I wanted to follow it toward our destination. But everyone seemed to think that path would just dump us back onto the beach. Sadly, I had to agree. So, we headed around one small hill and up another following the cleared route.

As we topped the hill two houses came into view. No one appeared to be home as we walked past them. The path changed to a road. As we passed the houses, I noticed that the road led at an angle away from the direction I wanted to travel, toward the house. The tropical jungle between us and the house would require more tools than we possessed. We had none. I had not placed a handy collapsible machete in my pocket before we started our adventure. That and the fact that boots would have been the footwear of choice for such an expedition kept us from making our own shortcut.

I told everyone that we were going to get wet. Carried laughed when a few drops of rain blew across us. Looking ahead I pointed out the line of rain we were advancing too. Soon my prophecy came true as rain moved over us. For a moment I hoped that my hat would keep my glasses free from being covered with water. The torrential downpour soon dispelled that. We were all soaked to the skin as we followed the road.  

The roads on the island were made of crushed limestone. Packed down they formed a concrete of sorts. Flat and hard in places and broken and still hard in others. Rivulets of water were running downhill. They formed pools of warm water in the low areas. Soft sandy muck covered the bottoms, giving a little relief for my complaining feet.

The rain poured as we walked down one hill and up another. After a bit more walking, we came to a rope barrier that we stepped over. Facing away from us was a small sign that said, “No trespassing.” We journeyed on this road until we found a road that cut off to the right. That looked much more like a way toward our destination. The road we had been following continued almost straight as far as we could see. More hills, more hard pavement. There was no soft trail beside the road. Plants grew at its’ very border.

There were times going up and down the hills and through the pools of water I thought I heard someone whistling. Now, who would do that?

We hoped the road we were on would come out on the highway if it didn’t curve back around and lead into the area we were staying. With nary, a curve or bend the road traveled up and down through the forest. The highway appeared at the end of the road. As we approached the highway Alison took out her phone and sent a text to Lynette, hoping she could come and carry us home.  

We turned right onto the highway and again I was sure I heard someone whistling a merry tune. Before I could identify the culprit, my left foot informed me it was being uncomfortably poked. As the others marched forward, I did a quick examination but found nothing.

Two or three cars passed us before a kind gentleman in a red car stopped and asked, “Can I give you a ride?”

 “We’re soaking wet,” I told him. I could see the realization of just how wet his seats would be if we climbed in.

Jason asked, “Do you know how much further it is to the road that leads to Beach Haven?”

“Oh, it’s not far.” He told us. Relief crossed his face as he avoided having his car seats soaked through. He waved and headed down the road. It was a short time later that I identified the whistler. Jason!

I slowly dawned on me that he was having a good time, an adventure. I realized then that even with my feet aching, I too shared that sentiment. Other than the ache in my feet, I was where I wanted to be. Having an adventure with people I enjoyed and loved.

After another 20 miles (I know Alison will insist that it was less than a mile) we came to the road that led to our house. A short time later Lynette came driving down the road in their rented van. She hadn’t yet received Alison’s text. But she was worried about us and went out in search of us.

We were soon in dry clothes sharing drinks. I did have blisters on both feet where the seam of my water shoes had rubbed. And I had this story to tell.

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Vacation Bible School

Long a go in a state not so far away, I went to a vacation bible school. My memories of this are incomplete but some things stand out. My mom drove me there. It was a small Baptist church that sat on west main street. I must have been around 6 at the time. They wanted someone to sing a song and I volunteered. I was brought up front and asked “what song do you want to sing?”

I clearly remember I told them. “Nobody loves me, boohoo.”

The pastor hesitated a moment and helped me decide that maybe we should sing “Yes, Jesus loves me” instead. So ended my music career.

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My grand Mother Bare

A cousin has asked me to share memories of my Grandparents Bare. I thought I’d share a few here.

My memories of Grandma Bare are mostly vague. I do recall sitting at the kitchen table with her, Grandpa Bare, My Mom, Dad and sister Anita. The image is clear but the conversation that I remember is from my Mon’s memories more than mine. Anita and I were in trouble. I’m going to claim that she had been aggravating me and I reacted. That has to be true because Grandma Bare came to my defense when Dad threatened to spank me. She told him “You won’t spank him he didn’t do anything.” Dad responded that I was his son and he would if he decided it needed to be done.

Mom remembered this as the first time Dad ever stood up to his mother. She was glad he finally did. Though I didn’t get a spanking that time. Anita probably remembers this differently. I choose to remember Grandma Bare being right.

Thinking about Grandma bare brought a memory of a story Dad told about her. You’ve probably already heard it.

After the family had moved to Oklahoma Grandma Bare was one of the few women in the area that baked light bread (Yeast bread). She would do all the bread baking once a week. I don’t remember how many loaves of bread she would bake, but it was enough to feed the family for a week.

One baking day a neighbor girl was visiting. She had never seen bread like Grandma was baking. He mother always baked soda bread or briskets (which used baking powder). As she was leaving Grandma noticed she was walking funny. After stopping her she discovered the girl had taken every fresh loaf of bread. After retrieving the bread, Grandma’s kind heart took over. She ended up sending the thief home with a fresh loaf.

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Memories of my Grandfather Bare

My memories about of my Grandpa Bare are vague and assisted by old home movies (That I seem to have misplaced).

I remember once or possibly twenty times going to the old home place to visit. Once Dad was taking some movies with his old 8mm. There I am running up and down the little hill in front of the house. At least once Grandma Bare tries to hold me and Anita to pose for the picture. Vaguely it seems that Grandpa Bare told us to hold still all the while Dad tried to explain that he was taking moving pictures. In that old movie you can see Grandpa Bare already walking in the shuffling steps I remember from the short time he lived with us. I look to be about 6 years old (1958?) in that old movie. I paused here to look up Grandpa Bare’s birth date And behold I have placed my copy of the family history in some secure place I can’t find.

I remember the day that the grandparents Bare came for a meal. Anita and I did something. (I deny being the instigator, though I probably was). But when Dad threatened to spank me Grandma Bare interceded. “You won’t spank him; he didn’t do anything.” Dad responded that I was his child and he would give me a spanking if he decided to. I don’t recall a spanking or the argument going further. My mom years later related that this was the first time my dad had stood up to his mother. I don’t remember Grandpa Bare saying anything. Though he might have.

The last year or so of his life he lived with us. Anita has already told of her sitting on his lap eating ice cream. I remember her on his lap with the Sunday comics, I think she was reading them to him.

The day he had one of his spells, they called it hardening of the arteries, I think they were what we would call mini strokes. He had walked out of the house arguing with dad about the need to go unhitch the horses. The boys had left them all hitched up. After a brief argument he asked dad where was the barn? Dad pointed out an old shed across the pasture north of our house about half a block away. Grandpa Bare then told him “That quite a ways, I think the boys can take care of those horses.”

Those times were rare. Most of the time he shuffled around the house or quietly sat. I remember mom being worried about him carrying my baby sister Patti around. Afraid he might stumble and fall. Yet she wouldn’t deny him the pleasure.

One day shortly after Patti was born, she had been talking to someone at the door, holding patti in her arms. When she came in and shut the door, he was concerned at first. He thought someone had left the baby behind.

During meals he would butter his bread. Seemed he couldn’t eat with out some bread. And when we had peas, he would eat them with his knife.

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As I remember.

I wrote this some time ago. Thought I would share this here

I was around 10 the first time I saw an African-American. Two dark men in work clothes had backed a truck full of hay up to my Cub Scout den mother’s barn.  The other guys and I were playing about 30 feet away from them. They had a boy about our age with them. He was a little bigger than we were. The other boys cut off running when they saw they had seen us. But to me the boy looked like a chance to make a new friend. I don’t remember if we said anything as we approached each other, I think I said “hi”. The next thing I knew I was on the ground with him on top of me. He wasn’t hurting me but he sure had me trapped. I heard the men yell “what are you doing?” I was wondering the same thing. He got up off me and ran to the men and started helping them unload the hay into the barn. I figured that’s why he had bigger muscles than me.  

Several years later I learned why I didn’t see any other African-Americans around, when a guy in junior High told me “No n—-r ever spent the night in Pryor and none ever would. They didn’t dare to”.  I kind of knew what that word meant but the only time I heard that word at home was when my mother was talking about her favorite nut (What we call a Brazil nut now). A phrase she dropped sometime before I left for college.  

Around 1963, we began attending a church in Tulsa. There I developed a friendship with a boy a little younger than me named Richard. I really enjoyed playing with him. So much so I wanted him to spend the night some weekend like some of my other church friends had. I knew better that to spring this on my folks in front of him and his mother so I broached the subject one Friday night. They got the strangest look on their faces. Looked at each other then one of them said we can’t. “Why?” I wanted to know. “We don’t want a cross burnt in our front yard” was their reply. That mystified me. The very idea that someone would do something so strange because I had a friend spend the night. But the fear in my parents’ eyes stopped me pursuing that train of thought.  

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So I got control of the twitter account using my email. The twitter agents were helpful. It was more of waiting, than anything else. So now I need to do more writing.

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