Men on the Bus, vol. 1

 

For everyone that missed this, here is a special treat. The writing on this post is fantastic. I was going to re-blog this when I first read it, but I figured I would let rest for a few days. Some of you may have seen this already, but I’m sure many of you are ready for a truly good read.

Runaways

I could hear my Step-Mother yelling and hitting my sister. The house was small. you couldn’t, not hear what was happening anywhere in it. It was an old place, put on the side of a salt water creek. When it was a new house, it was probably just a fishing shack. A place to get out of the weather.

We had a small room near the street side of the house. The house sat back 300 feet off of the road. The three of us shared the same bedroom, and my step-mother and my dad had the other bedroom. Their room was at the view end of the place, with a big picture window looking out at the creek, and Mt. Tamalpais. The mountain was only a mile away to its base, and rose to a height of 2571 feet.

We had been in that house now for over a year, and I had only been allowed outside to go to school. I wasn’t allowed to go hunt lizards, or catch frogs, or do anything that would give me a sense of not being watched. I almost got to go outside one day.

I was being let out, to play or whatever, and I was truly stunned. I get to go out! I grabbed my jacket and started for the back door, and wham! I got smacked so hard in the mouth, my caps on my previously broken teeth, broke, tearing my lips and cutting my tongue. ” You know better than to go out, where your dad is!” she screamed at me.

” Your dad is out there working on the car, now if you’re going out, use the sliding door off the porch! “. She continue to scream at me, and paid no attention to the damage she had just caused. I knew If I cried, I only got it worse, so I hid my tears, shut my bleeding broken toothed mouth, and tip-toed out the sliding glass door, before she changed her mind.

My sister was still in our room, crying. My little brother had been outside many times, and was out by the creek already. I was so happy with being outside, away from HER. I even liked school, even though I was supposed to keep my grades low. That was hard. Pretending to be dumb. Acting like I didn’t understand stuff, just so I might not get a beating.

I joined my brother on the stinky muddy bank of the creek, watching the tide going out, exposing turds and toilet paper. The houses along the creek drained all of their plumbing, right into the creek. Low tide was nasty, but outside was a thrill. I would rather have the stink and turds, than go back inside.

” What’s she yelling about now? “, my brother asked. ” She said I could go out, and then smacked me for almost going out by where dad is”. I said. I had to be careful of what I said. I couldn’t talk to either my sister, or my brother. Steppie had a way of getting information out of them. I never had that problem, because she never asked me anything, in the way of just talking.

We could see over the bank of the creek, and my dad was intent on working on the car. He either never heard anything, or had learned to turn a deaf ear to it. I heard him ask HER, where us kids were once. She told him, we had already eaten dinner, and were in our room, studying.

He seemed to approve of that. He went to work at 7 in the morning, and came home about 5pm. He never saw us. we weren’t allowed to see him either. He never seemed concerned, as to where we were, or what we were doing.

My brother and I didn’t have much in common, aside from living in Hell. He wasn’t very coordinated when it came to throwing a ball or catching. Not balls, not lizards or snakes, and usually even the frogs were more coordinated than he was. He didn’t get picked for teams at school, and he didn’t seem to care.

” Is She still mad?” he asked. I shrugged, that was good enough for an answer. “I heard Her hitting Karol ” he said, and then kicked at an old willow stump, almost fiercely, and actually looking angry. ” What’s your problem?” I asked, even though I was sure he had none. He was the youngest of us, and held favor with Steppie, almost equal to Karol.

” I don’t like Steppie! I hate it here, and Karol told me she hates HER too “. I didn’t say much, it was dangerous to say anything that might get back to Steppie. I pretended to be interested in the sunset, and ignored him. The sun was going down, and we had to get back inside, or more crap would happen. I reveled in the last rays of the sun as it buried itself behind the mountain.

” We gotta go in now, before we get in more trouble ” I said, and started sluggishly walking toward the house. I had to look to see if my dad was about, so I could avoid the wrath of my Step-Mother. I couldn’t do anything right. No matter what I did, I was always in trouble.

Today we were all in trouble, and no one did anything wrong. We did the chores, cleaning the house, and that was only an okay chore when SHE had the t.v. on. That was the only time I ever got to watch it. My life was get up, go to school, get right back home, and don’t be late. Hurry home so we can clean the house and cook dinner, and eat before dad got there. Then, back into our room.

Dad was already inside. My Step-Mother was out on the deck. She pointed to the back door, meaning don’t come in this way. I just about had her all figured out. I didn’t want to aggravate her. The smallest thing set her off, and I never knew what it would be next. I headed around the side of our house, my brother tailing me like a cat, following a mouse.

When us boys got into our room, we could see the slap marks on Karol’s face. She was sullenly sitting on her bed, staring at the ceiling, and holding her guitar. She couldn’t play it, but she pretended to, and having a big something across her body protected her sometimes.

She looked at me hard. I could feel her looking at me, so I glanced over at her. She mouthed something. Steppie could hear us if we whispered, so we didn’t. Karol mouthed, slowly, and carefully enunciated soundless, “we need to get out of here “. What a trick, I heard her loud and clear, as if she had screamed it. I only nodded, and my brother pipes up, ” Whatcha noddin for? ” and he said that so loudly, I wanted to kill him.

In very quiet tones I lied, and told him I was thinking of a song. He then wanted to know which one. I told him ” Sky Pilot “, knowing it was one of his favorites. He believed me and started humming the tune to himself. I looked at my sister and mouthed ” tonight “. She understood me, and we let the conversation go.

It was dark. My sister awakened me, and whispered ” I think they’re asleep now “. I got out of bed carefully so I wouldn’t wake Kevin, and crept to the blanket that separated the two bedrooms. Carefully I peeked around it, without letting it move more than an inch, Just snores, maybe we could do this.

” Get a heavy coat, and good walking shoes ” I whispered to Karol. While she crept around the room getting what I had told her to get, I woke my brother. ” We are leaving ” I whispered, “Get your jacket, and shoes. Don’t put your shoes on yet, just carry them “, and I grabbed my stuff too.

We quietly crept from our room, and I swear, every step made an echo, every board in the floor creaked, loudly. I made it to the back door and tried to turn the lock latch, without making a sound. It needed oil, and it made a squeaking, grinding noise that seemed to bounce off of every surface. I got the lock open and turned the rattly door knob. It was loose, and rattled loudly.

The snore sounds were different now, we probably made too much noise, but we would get killed if Steppie caught us now. I pulled the door open and the scream of squeaky hinges, should have awakened the neighbors, a quarter-mile away. It was so loud to me, I didn’t hesitate to move. We bolted away from the house, jumping across the porch, and down into the dirt.

Karol and Kevin were right behind me, and no one shut the door. We ran down the driveway out to the main street in front of the house. We were far enough away now, we could talk quietly, but we needed to get away from there, It was late, one o’clock or so, and it wouldn’t do, for us to be seen by the police. We put on our shoes, and I led the way, taking a track across an empty field. Moving as quickly as we could, we put some distance between the house and ourselves.

“where are we going to go? ” my sister wanted to know. ” There is a place on the other side of San Rafael, where we can go “, I said. ” The Fenton’s? ” asked Kevin. ” Yeah, the Fenton’s ” I said, ” But we have to be quiet, and stay in the shadows, until we can get into the hills .

Ma and Pa Fenton were an old couple. They ran a receiving home, a place where kids could stay, between foster homes or adoptions, or just when kids needed a safe place. They took in kids, that were in trouble. All I really knew, was they were nice.

” I know a way over the big Greenbrea hill, that cops don’t go on. We’ll have to walk all night though. The fenton’s place is out by Santa Venetia, and that’s 14 miles down the freeway. We can’t go that way, so it’ll be a lot farther”.

We negotiated our way around the creek, and I led them across a mile of empty fields, tripping and stumbling over and around the torn up ground. The lights from the cities around us, gave us a little illumination, but It was extremely dark. Being in a hurry, and afraid we would be seen or picked up by the police, seemed to heighten our senses.

We had to cross a bridge, on a main road, so we waited in some brush by the edge of the road, until there were no cars near, and bolted across the bridge, diving back into the tall brush on the other side of the bridge. “Just past the church on the main drag, we can start up the hill, and no one will be able to see us or get to us ” I told them.

We sneaked the rest of the way across the next town, and no one seemed to have noticed. As soon as we started up the hill, I heard a car, rolling up the gravel road. panicking, I pushed my brother and sister down on the ground, and told them to hide in the trees about 50 feet away. We belly crawled all 50 feet, and barely made it to cover when headlights cut through the air above us. We huddled quietly, trying to be small, and heard the radio blare, ” J19, request your location”.

It was a cop! Someone must have seen us. I was nearly panicked, and the faces of Kevin and Karol were dripping with terror. Karol whispered to me ” If we get caught they’ll send us back there “. She was almost in tears, and Kevin was about to cry as well. ” SHHH, just be quiet. Don’t make a sound. If he can’t see us or hear us, he won’t know we’re here”, I bravely whispered back. I couldn’t let them know how afraid I was at that moment.

The cop turned on his spotlight and flashed it around. He did it too fast, and didn’t see us when the light flashed by, right at us. He pointed the light at something off to our left. I was inspired, and had an idea. I found a fist sized rock and threw it as far as I could. I threw it high, and away from the path we would take. It arced up over a tree and sailed down through the leaves of a tree a long way from us. The cop heard it passing through the leaves and turned his spotlight in that direction.

It was an inspired move. The rock made lots of noise going through the trees, and bounced off of something. Before the rock even stopped moving, I heard the sound of something running away. The cop heard it too, and jumped back in his car headed back the way he had come, probably looking for the running whatever.

We stayed hidden for another ten minutes or so, and then headed up the hill. I followed some deer trails, leading Karol and Kevin up and over the hill. It was late and getting cool out, so I stepped up the pace to help keep us warm.

We made our way down the hill, and I angled our trail toward the industrial area, where we hoped no one would see us at that time of day. I had been a runaway several times before, so I kind of knew what we could do, and how we could go, without causing notice. We got into the industrial area at about 5 o’clock am, and the cities were beginning to wake up.

I led us to an old run down shed alongside the railroad tracks, and we huddled in there for a couple of hours. Every noise struck terror. I wasn’t afraid of animals, I was afraid of the police. Every time a car rolled by, I felt sure we were going to be discovered. After a couple of hours, I noticed school busses starting on their rounds.

” We can go out on the streets now, but we have to go fast. If we’re seen after school starts, we’ll get picked up, so come on, let’s go! ” They didn’t argue, but we all were tired, and we still had a long way to go.

We followed the tracks for about a mile, to the base of another tall forested hill. ” We can go over this hill, and that will cut a couple of miles off this walk”, I explained, ” the Fenton’s live maybe 5 or 6 miles farther, this hill will take us to the next valley, it’s steep, but it’s a shortcut, and the cops won’t see us”.

We climbed the hill, sticking to the trees. It was a hard climb because of the slope, but we made good time and only had to rest a couple of times. When we came out of the trees at the bottom of the hill, it was only 8:30, according to the clock by City Hall. It would be alright for us to be on the streets, but only for an hour or so.

” We have to hurry ” I urged, ” we only have about half an hour before the truant officers will ask, why we’re not at school “. Although we were tired, from all of the walking, and climbing over the hills, we picked up our pace. It looked like we might just make it. It would be hard to cover 3 or 4 miles in the time we had.

We had no money, so we couldn’t jump on a bus, and I knew better than to suggest we hitch hike. I told Karol and Kevin, the cops would bust us for sure if we tried that. 3 youngsters hitchhiking would be like starting a fire, so we tried jogging for a while. That helped eat the distance, but it would be close. Schools would already be starting, and we needed to get off of the streets, and hidden again.

The last three miles were the toughest. The road we needed take, to get to where we were going, would lead right past, where my Step-Mother worked part-time. None of us kids figured Steppie would be there, with us being ” runaways “, and having been gone when her day started. We were still jogging, and walking, trying to hurry.

We were dead tired after walking all night, and I was afraid we would get picked up by the police, if we were out on the streets much longer. We still had a couple of miles to travel, to get to safety. There were a lot of cars on the road, mostly commuters who didn’t have to be at work early. There were vehicles parked in parallel along the edge of the roadway.

I saw a police car up ahead of us, heading toward us. It was about six or seven cars back in a long string of cars, that had just taken off from a stop-light. I told the others to walk closely to the parked vehicles, and we paced ourselves so we could be behind a van when the cop passed by. It worked! The police man didn’t see us as he passed, but when we came out from behind the van, I saw my Dad’s car going toward where Steppie worked.

He was taking my Step Mother to her job, only a few blocks farther up this same road. Now my terror was rising, did they see us? My Dad kept driving up the road, and we all breathed a sigh of relief. That was too close. If he was taking Steppie to work, he would be coming back this way in another few minutes.

There were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road, but I didn’t see another truck or van to hide behind. My panic was taking over, and my mind was racing through plans, as to what we might be able to do. There were parking meters along the edge of the sidewalk. I was looking down at the gutter and spotted a dime, someone must have dropped. If we could find enough change, we could catch a bus! I told Karol, she should cross the road, and look along the street edge for more change.

She argued about that. She didn’t want us to separate, especially with our Dad in the vicinity. It made sense, but I thought we would be better off if we found some more money. She won that battle. I knew it was asking a lot. We all were scared, tired, out of options, and in a panic. We were so close.

On the other side of the street, about half a block farther was a gas station, and off to the side of it was a phone booth. We could call the Fenton’s! How is it I hadn’t thought of that before now? They had told me I could call them, if I ever needed help. We were close to their place, so the call shouldn’t be a toll call. That was the answer, and it would put us on the other side of the road. Maybe my dad wouldn’t be looking here for us.

The last time I had run away, I had Kevin with me. Steppie never even called the police! We were gone from home for two weeks, and she didn’t report it. Maybe my Dad didn’t know we had run away. Maybe to him, we weren’t missing, and he wouldn’t be looking. All of the wishful thoughts rattled around my brain. All of the positive maybe’s left me feeling like we had a chance.

” Cross the street, after these cars pass, and we’ll go to the gas station ” I told them. ” I have that dime, and there’s a phone booth over there “, I pointed with my chin. ” We can call them and maybe they’ll come get us. Also Dad might be coming by here again in a few minutes, and I don’t see anywhere else to hide. You kin go into the bathrooms while I try to call the Fenton’s. If Dad drove by, he’d only see a kid in a phone booth, and it’s half way back of the station “. I hoped I sounded convincing, so we could get off of the streets, and out of sight.

The line of cars passed, and we dashed across the street, and just kept running to the side of the gas station. I was faster than them, by a mile. I got in the phone booth, and slammed the door shut, before they even made it half way there.

The phone book was in there, and it was pretty new, not all ripped up like they get. I started looking for their number, still watching for my dad’s car, and praying the Fentons would be there. I found the number, dropped my only dime in the slot, and heard the chime of the phone eating my dime. The dial tone came on and I carefully started dialing. 4….3…5…..7…….9………1.8……..itstarted to ring in the earpiece, and I impatiently counted rings. 1…..2…..3……4…..Karol and Kevin were just shutting the doors to the restrooms, and there was my Dad’s car! It rolled by, and he never looked! 6…..7…..8..” hello? ” It was a kid, not Ma or Pa Fenton. ” I’m trying to reach Ma or Pa Fenton ” I spoke as, grown up as I could sound. ” They aren’t here, could I take a message? ” the kid asked. My hopes crashed, so much for wishful thinking, I thought. I wasn’t going to be able to call them back, and I didn’t know if you could even call a phone booth. I was starting to panic again, and my brain mentioned Marty to me. ” Is Marty there? ” I asked hopefully. ” No, Marty had to go to court, that’s where Ma n Pa are too” the kid replied. That meant we couldn’t get them to pick us up. Court can take all day sometimes. I know, I’ve been to court a couple of times already. ” D’you know when they’ll be back? ” I asked, knowing already this was a waste of a dime. ” They said about one, if things went smooth” he replied, sounding confidently. My hopes were smashed, now what are we going to do? We can’t stay around here, and we can’t be on the streets, and I was running out of ideas. ” Okay ” I said, ” Thanks, guess I’ll just go ” I blurted, not knowing what to say anymore. It wouldn’t matter who I was, or what I wanted. This kid wouldn’t be able to help, or do anything for me. I hung the receiver up hard, hoping, that would fool the thing into giving me back my dime, and growled when it didn’t.

The convalescent home Steppie worked at was only another block farther up the road, and we would have to pass by it. There was a park, we might be able to hide in, but it was going to be risky going 3 or 4 more blocks. The parking meter zone, would quit at the next corner, and there wouldn’t be parked cars to help shield us.

I told Karol and my brother what was up, and we debated what to do. We all knew we couldn’t stay here in the restrooms, and we shouldn’t be on the streets. How come I always had to do stuff, with no real options, I wondered to myself? All the grown-ups always talked about solutions, and all I ever had was problems.

We ran back across the street, and made for the park, hoping no one would see us. As we went passed the nursing home, we saw Steppie, shaking out some sheets through a second floor window! We ran as fast as we could for the last few blocks to the park. There was a little dip in the center, with a few trees around an old beat up picnic table and rusted firebox. We crawled under the table, sure we would get caught.

” I saw HER up there, on the second floor ” my sister said quietly, ” SHE looked right at us! What are we going to do? ” I shrugged, I didn’t know what to do. If it were a math problem, it would at least have something on the other side of the equal sign. I didn’t see that something. I was fresh out of ideas. ” We’ll have to stay hidden here, until schools get out ” I stammered, ” There’s no way we can get another mile down the road, and there’s nothing we could do”.

My brain was spinning! We were in trouble. My Dad wouldn’t normally drive Steppie to work, so he must know we were gone. She saw us, maybe, but she couldn’t call him, yet. But if she did see us, she could call the cops! We were only three blocks from where she was, and if they looked for us, they would check here!

Hope, was only another mile away, and town was thinning. We didn’t belong on any street, or in any public place. We were supposed to be in school. It was almost 10 o’clock, by my reckoning, and we needed to lay low until at least 2 o’clock. I said we could probably rest for the time being, and I would see if there was something else we do. All I could do, was to try to keep us from panicking, and exposing ourselves.

We were only hidden from the street. If anyone decided to walk through the small park, they would see three kids hiding under a picnic table. I just hoped we could wait it out without being discovered. We all were tired, but I was so pent-up with nervous energy, I could barely lay there quietly.

Every car that slowed on the roadway caused me to jump. Every sound was clear to me. I could hear voices of people walking by out near the street, and was sure, I would see them peering into the park looking for us. The time did not pass nearly fast enough. It seemed time had actually stopped.

Finally! A school bus rolled by, but it was empty. I saw Karol and Kevin were napping and I didn’t want to bother them. I was getting antsy. Just a bit longer, and we could continue in the open, without being too obvious. It occurred to me, if we were being sought by police, we would only be too obvious anyway. We needed to walk separately when we did get to go. We needed to appear as though we had nothing in common, aside from coming home from school.

Another bus was rolling by, and slowing near the park. It was full of mixed aged kids. ” Hey you two, it’s time to go. I will go in front, cuz I know where it is. Kevin, you need to follow me, and stay back about 5 feet. Can’t hide we’re brothers, if the cops are really looking, we’re dead. Karol, you gotta stay back about 30 feet, like from here to that fountain, so it ain’t like you’re with us “. I finished explaining my long thought out plan.

We were able to be seen now without looking too out-of-place. I learned the last time I split, you had to look like you belonged where you were. We could blend in with the other kids getting off of the bus. We left the pit area and ran over to the restrooms and got drinks at the fountain.

I led the way with my brother trailing my steps. There were about six other kids walking past the park, and a few more were cutting through it from the other side. Karol waited until we were well ahead of her and followed. There were kids between my sister and us boys, and when I looked back there, I think it would have fooled anyone.

Some of the kids were turning off the sidewalk at different houses, and cross streets. We weren’t quite pacing the bus, and that meant we would run out of kid cover fast. I tried to go faster, without being too obvious, but we all were hungry and dead tired. The bus dropping kids off, was already a half of a mile ahead, and there was no way we would be able to keep up with it.

There were cars going by, probably Moms picking up kids, and getting groceries. So far no cops, but even I knew they liked to hide behind stuff and wait. A purple car went past and then hit the brakes. The car pulled over to the shoulder, on the other side of the road, and stopped. The back window was rolling down and a girl yelled in my direction. I looked behind me and saw Karol walking slowly, hanging back about 50 feet. There was no one between us anymore,

” Rusty! What are you doing here? ” she shouted out of the window. The driver was getting out of the car, and I recognized him. It was Pa Fenton! I couldn’t believe my eyes or our good fortune. ” Karol, catch up, we got a ride! ” I shouted, and she double timed it, catching up fast. Pa was crossing the road, studying us and smiling. He was probably in his late 60’s, and moved pretty slow. He was grizzly looking, because he didn’t care much for shaving.

” Watcha doin, and who’s that? ” he asked me, while pointing at Karol. I hugged him, so happy to be rescued. I told him we ran away in the middle of the night, and what we had to do to get there. He shook Karol’s hand and told us to get into the car. Never had I felt as safe or secure before that. Pa had seen us, and we would be safe now.

The Crash Of ” 63 “

photo-62 Dodge station wagon

62 Dodge station wagon
http://www.forwardlook.net

 

The Boy opened his eyes. He hadn’t realized they were shut. What happened, he wondered? He had been watching the road, a four lane highway with a large meridian, between the north and south lanes.

He had been watching the sun setting over the high hills. It was nearly dark now, and he still didn’t know why his eyes had been shut. He wasn’t tired, it was only five o’clock and bed time wouldn’t be until eight thirty, or nine if there was a good show on the t.v.

The scenery in front of him didn’t make any sense. Why was he sitting on the side of the highway? He was on the shoulder of the roadway. Small pebbles were poking him in the butt, and he shifted position to be more comfortable.

Karol, his older sister was on his left, to the north and Kevin, his younger brother was on his right. They both were sitting on the shoulder just as he was, and neither of them seemed to know what was going on either.

Headlights were stacked up behind the 1962 Dodge wagon his dad drove. Where is dad, he wondered? Where is Lynda, his oldest sister? Mom isn’t here either he thought. We were all together in the car, heading to Simons, to get groceries and maybe ice cream too. If we were good, we would get a treat.

A man he had never seen before, walked up, and asked how they were doing. The kids only shrugged and stared down the highway at the family wagon. More headlights were behind it now, and the boy could hear a siren wailing in the distance.

That stranger who had asked how the children were, was placing lit flares alongside the wagon. The man-made a pathway out of the flares. They were about 15 feet apart and the path between them was about 10 feet wide. It snaked this way, around the back of the wagon, and then snaked the other way, around something yet unseen.

The flares were a fiery crimson and sputtered sparks around. They smoked, and the smell was just like eggs that were hard-boiled and shelled. Highway flares the boy told himself. Those are what gets used when there’s an accident. We must have crashed, he thought.

The sirens were closer now, but they were behind the car. The car was blocking almost all of the black top and it blocked everything from view. The boy wondered if he and his siblings had been set where they were on purpose. Maybe the children weren’t supposed to see, what was hidden beyond the station wagon.

The flares were much brighter now. They were placed in a funny way, the boy thought. He knew, they were put there so people could drive around the obstruction. He just didn’t understand why the pathway for the other cars was laid out the way it was. It reminded him of a big fat gophersnake.

The siren noise turned itself off, as an ambulance swerved around the vehicles impeding it’s progress. It was just coming to a stop behind the station wagon when that strange man, walked up to the still sitting kids on the shoulder of the black top. ” You kids should come with me” he said. He seemed like a nice enough person, not like someone the kids should avoid.

The children got up slowly, warily following the man. The girl was 11 or 12 years old and the taller of the boys was maybe 9. The youngest, Kevin was about 8, and he didn’t seem to see any problem with going somewhere with the stranger. The older boy, was not so sure about going anywhere, especially with someone Mom and Dad didn’t know or introduce him to.

The boy had been in trouble not long before, for pretending to hitch hike. He remembered being told not to go anywhere with people he did not know. ” Never get into a car with a stranger” he had been told. the boy remembered because he got a spanking for doing that. The children walked with the strange man to a van parked off of the roadway. It was a pretty new van, with 3 rows of seats in it, and had been parked in the median strip between the lanes of the highway.

As the children were getting into the stranger’s van, the oldest boy looked back to where the family wagon was. From the elevated position the boy could see what had been hidden, while he was sitting on the ground. The station wagon didn’t look right. The front end was smashed, and it looked like the roof was bent upward. Only the color was right. The station wagon was nearly unrecognizable, and in the near dark, looked like someone had put a demolition derby car there.

The damage didn’t look all that bad, the boy thought. The front drivers door was opened all of the way back to the fender. It looked to the boy, like the hinges were broken, at least on the bottom. There didn’t appear to be a front seat in the wagon, and the boy wondered how that could be so. The car wasn’t all that old, only a couple of years.

The kids were seated in the back seat of the van, and the strange man said, ” kids, I will be taking you to visit a neighbor of your’s”. He then started up the van and pulled it onto the highway. The driver had to follow another path, lined with sputtering bright red flares, around another obstruction.

There were two obstructions. one was a large deer, dead and bloody, with cuts and gashes all over its body, laying in a pool of congealing blood. The body of the animal was twisted in a unnatral pose, not like other dead deer, the boy had seen in his life. This one looked like someone crumpled it up, as you might do with a wad of paper, and then dropped it from a high place. There was blood everywhere.

As the van weaved its way through the flare lit lane, the boy saw the front seat, just the bottom part, laying alongside the roadway. It had to be 150 feet from the wagon, the boy judged. Along side the seat there was a body laying in another puddle of dark ooze. ” That’s my dad ” the boy said, and craned his neck farther to the rear, to see more.

The van had finished negotiating the flare path and was gaining speed, leaving the scene of the accident. It was getting dark, and becoming hard to make out what was now behind the van. The boy had seen his dad laying there in his jacket, a white leather one, and there was blood on it also. It looked as though someone had finger painted the jacket, as there wasn’t much of the white color left. Just a reddish, brown finger painting.

The van was heading back toward Concord, another 24 miles away. The man driving didn’t pay very much attention to the kids in the back seat. He kept his eyes on the road, and only made a comment or two, during the ride away from the crash. It was too dark, and too far back to see what was happening at the place where the accident had happened. The boy stopped looking back there and looked out of the front of the van. He could see the stranger’s eyes, studying, the children through the rear view mirror as they drove in silence toward home…..

IT’S THE LIEBSTER AWARD!

 

 

 

photo-liebster award

Thank You For The Cool Trophy, Really!

Well looky here, I have been nominated for the prestigious, much coveted and fought over, LIEBSTER AWARD! I truly have to give my thanks and appreciation to Shruti of Shruti Insights, for offering me this unexpected and awkwardly wonderful opportunity. She has offered me a chance to experience a shot at the Golden Ring, the Kewpie Doll, the Final frontier of Fame and Glory in the ” Blogosphere “. I certainly would never have attempted, or volunteered for Honors such as these, on my own, so again Thank you for the inspiration, and privilege, only using my fear of shotguns or Wrathful, and thoroughly disappointed Friends, to make a man of me, and Accept this One Giant Leap For Mankind Test. Shruti, you’re the best!
So there are rules to all of this. Apparently in order to be a big shot around these parts, I have to play by THESE RULES.
Put the Liebster Award logo on your blog.
Thank and tag the blog who nominated you.
Answer their questions and come up with 10 new ones for you nominees.
Nominate 8 blogs with less than 200 followers, let them know you’ve nominated them and link them in your post.
No tag-back.

 

So Shruti, with much pounding of heart, I will under take this feat, and I Thank You sincerely for your having Faith and Belief in my abilities!

These are the Ten questions I get to answer!
1.Among your blog posts, which one is your favourite?
Well thank you for asking! My favorite post was a story I wrote a couple of years ago, called ” The Waiting Game”, and It was basically a true story about circumstances I had no control over. I only embellished it a tad.

2.At what time of the day do you usually write a blog post?
That is tricky because I post whenever I am either inspired by an idea, or feel like I’m not delivering enough, or not giving people what they want.

3.What is your favourite word in your native language?
Wow, I wish you hadn’t asked me that. I don’t believe I have a singular favorite word. My favorite phrase is ” Papa, I love you! ”

 

4.What do you like to eat in the morning?
That is an easy one, as I don’t eat in the early day. Usually I start getting hungry about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and I’m a guy so it really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it can be wolfed down easily.

 

5.Choose one: tea, coffee, milk, hot chocolate. Why do you choose it?
Coffee with cream and sugar. But again, I drink freshly ground dark French Roast. Oh I’m sorry, you asked why? I grew up with good coffee in the S.F. bay area, and I’ve learned coffee really is the cheapest beverage, aside from water, and I don’t like water as fish do things in it.

 

6.Do you have a close friend? Is there one thing that you can only do with that friend?
I am married to my bestest, closest friend, and the thing we do together, I am not allowed to publicly speak about!

 

7.What is your favourite book and why do you like it?
That’s a hard one, but I can safely say my nearly favorite book, if I can only name one is BattleField Earth, by L. Ron Hubbard. I like that it’s long and involved, even though some of it is rather childish, I enjoy humanity taking back their home, and making a difference out in the cosmos.

 

8.What do you really want to learn but you haven’t got the time to do it?
Everything! I want my education to always continue. Right now I want to learn how to make my site work for me. The part about not enough time, unfortunately takes presidence over everything.

 

9.What do you miss from your childhood?
I miss my mommy! She died when I was 9, and I had to grow up because of that.

 

10.Where will you go if you just feel bored at home?
I am not at home at present. In December, I had to come down here to Reno Nevada to help take care of my family. I don’t get bored at home, as I live on 20 acres, in the mountains, and if the trailer feels cramped I just go outside.

 

Now it’s time to make my own nominations for the LIEBSTER AWARD, so I hope I don’t lose any friends over this!
Random Musings And Wanderlust 
Bittersweet Sensations  babyruthbeer
https://girlonstreamblog.wordpress.com/

Dr. J M Landin @ RedNewtGallery

LIZZIE BRIGHT  @  http://lizziebright.com/
Victoria Iskak   @  Raindrops & Fireflies
Margaret  @  Suds & Kisses
mboki_m  @  learning web development

 

And now, finally I get to ask my nominees their most dreaded and difficult to answer, questions.

1) Now that you are here in the magical realm of the blogosphere, what do you want?

2) What is your inner animal?

3) On your blog, are you public, or private, in regard to your personal self?

4) Are you happy in your present place in this life?

5) If I could give you one wish, what would that be?

6) What would be your ideal job?

7) Do you have a favorite kind of pet?

8) Are you able to discuss, religion, politics, or feelings openly, with strangers?

9) Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently, and of course, why?

10) How many fingers am I holding up?

I told you these would be formidable questions, even though I didn’t word it that way. I didn’t want to scare you away. And in advance, Thank You for playing, now take your dang football and go home!

10 most mysterious photos

Have you ever taken a photo and found the picture contained more than you were trying to capture? Here are 10 photographs that will surprise you, and maybe make you go through your snapshots to see if you missed anything.
Brace yourselves for the unexpected!  By the way, stick around and keep watching.  Just click on the stories you want to watch.  It never stops.  Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy.
10 most mysterious photos

Hope you found this interesting, as there will be more to come.

Save The Internet

http://cerf.convio.net/site/Survey?SURVEY_ID=5740&ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&AddInterest=1341

There is trouble brewing for all of us internet users. I will ask you to urge the FCC to reclassify the Internet as a “common carrier” under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. That would protect “net neutrality” and ensure basic consumer protections for Internet service.

The big cable and telecom companies are leading the fight to completely deregulate Internet service. These companies want to squash competition, water down consumer protections, discriminate against certain web traffic, and spark higher rates and slower speeds for everyday consumers like us.

Consumers need the FCC to take a stand against these giants. Please, protect net neutrality and fight for the free and open Internet. Please, forward the petition to your friends so they can fight for the open Internet, too!

The waiting game | rgcorros

via The waiting game | rgcorros.

It’s never convenient to be without something one really needs, or wants.  We are so accustomed, to being able to go, do, live, act, and be, whatever, however, whenever, or where ever, for whatever reason we choose.  We have no patience for inconvenience.  If something doesn’t work right,and we don’t know how to fix it, we’ll call for support.

We’ll relate all of the particulars involving our problem, and the person, or recording offers various ways to get to the next step.  We hope this will be the resolution to our dilemma.  It’s such a bother, why  do such simple things give us so much trouble?  All a person can do is fret about not being able to do that thing, that caused all the inconvenience in the first place, only causing more of the same.

Today is the next day, of the waiting game.  Nothing really matters, except the minor irritation of not solving the issue of the previous day.  Still waiting….

Ok, this is ridiculous, something has to happen.  The tech guy should be along sometime, to verify the details I’ve given.  Just my luck, my task requires an engineer, not just a tech, and no one can confirm when my number will come up.  Why are we so impatient? Why are we so addicted to our own convenience? What we prefer is everything to work right, without interruption.  What we’re given is Murphy’s law….

So it’s of little consequence to anyone if I get back in the game or not.  Day I’m not sure when, almost over the withdrawal feelings, almost…Still waiting.  If I’m not here to meet the person,that may or may not show up, to deal with this thing, will they do whatever is required to provide a cure? I want to think ” they’re professionals, they’ll take care of everything”.  But I know if I miss them, I’ll be informed , I missed them, and yes they would have seen the note, but due to possible liability la ti dah…So it’s all on hold again, waiting…..

At last, the engineer, my problem will be solved now.  The relief.  Finally someone to get me back in the game. Then the bad news.  The details I reported were, in fact correct. ” So what’s the problem?”  The engineer will assist a technician.  “Ok, so what’s the hangup?”  This will be a new installation.  The current system for the distribution of the service, is about to be not current, so an updated system is essential.  ” Whatever just do it, right?”   Well the new system wont be implemented yet until all the bugs are worked out.  ” Why not just hook up my stuff, the way the neighbors stuff is hooked up?”   That’s the old way, and the provider doesn’t want to be responsible, for providing a failing service.

Not just Murphy, now I have a genuine catch 22.  All this for a little inconvenience, what is the price of a great one?

3 hours worth of phone calls, now my phone is useless, but another van has arrived.  Great joy, I’ll see this through yet.

It’s 2 days later again, and I’m fairly positive, today will be the one.  Two vans, full of every kind of hook-up gear ever manufactured, sitting in the drive, with a sporty looking Buick.  I began to feel, I definitely rate, as I’ve got an engineer and two technicians.  I heard one of the techs, say something about a supervisor on his way.  4 hours later, I got the latest intel on the project.

I should be elated, the project looks like it might work, if I knew what I was looking at.  The new system transmits at a different frequency….The muffler bearings….the framstat, on the diagnostic…No signal match….To dark to try to figure out today.  Monday, no Monday is a holiday…

3 vans, a Buick, a Bucket truck, and a new Lincoln, plus a couple extra techs.  The extras were there to learn how to do this type of new install.  I was told the guys brought whatever it might take, to get me back in my game.  I wonder if it’s just a waiting game…

6 hours and counting, the guys are all busy, and we’re all on a first name basis now.  The impedance is correct and the frequency matches, but the code doesn’t recognize the system, and overloads the…

It’s getting frustrating, but today is the day.  I can hardly wait, but I’ll have to, as that is the name of the game.  3 more hours passed by, and I get another update about the work being performed.  There seems to be a phase variance, coming through the sequencer, affecting the modulated pulse transducer, causing a feedback loop in the core’s primary inverter.  It’s getting dark again, and no one will be able to figure any of this out today….

2 more days, and countless trucks, vans, Buicks and Lincolns, techs, and supervisors, and more engineers.  The original problem, has been fixed and the service should be up and running soon.  Yes, I see the main man coming now…

Can you believe it?  All that hoop de lah for this.  The new installation, done in the near new way, since the new way hasn’t been implemented yet, will have to be updated when the new system is ready to be brought up to bear the load….And the cost is only 60% higher than the highest estimate, due to being a new install, on an old system, in the process of being updated.

Obviously I want the service, or I wouldn’t have called.  I am disappointed at the price but what does one do?  I give them my card, and wince at the price tag, and smile in my mind.  I’m getting back into the game.  My anticipation is paramount.  I almost can’t wait for all those engineers and techs and supervisors and whoever else to leave.

The dust gently settles in the driveway as the procession leaves my neighborhood, and I rush inside to get back into the game.  Why is it, when a person is bent on doing something, they’ve been anticipating, Murphy jumps into the mix?  What now?  What code?  I don’t get the code until the payment has cleared the bank.  Well, what do you expect from a multi-billion dollar company.  Guess I will have to wait until tomorrow, what’s one more day now?

It’s extremely difficult waiting…In another hour the bank will be open, and I will get everything wrapped up, and be able to get back in the game.  Fourty nine minutes, boy time sure doesn’t move at all when you really want it to. 37 minutes….

What a load of crap.  A dollar short, and the whole world just stops.  Because the new install costed more than planned, the bank can’t cover the dollar, and sets my account back even farther.  Overdraft fees.  Sometimes it seems like the whole universe is against me.  I’ll have to wait for payday, then I’m getting back in the game.

11 days later, it’s payday again and it’s not a holiday.  The bank should be open, and the company paying my wages is sound, so there shouldn’t be any problem getting all this taken care of.  Wonderful news.  The bank admitted the previous error on my account was a glitch with their system.  All wrongly charged fees have been refunded and my account is in good standing.  Yes!  I’m getting back in the game.

Pawing through a pile of paperwork, I located the number to call, to finally activate the system.  What is this?  That number was a working number just days ago.  At least there was another number to call if I wasn’t able to reach anyone at the main office.  What was that?  The multi-billion dollar company, with whom I had been dealing, has gone bankrupt.  No, so what now?

It seems the dollar the bank wouldn’t front me, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  But, before closing it’s doors, all the pending accounts were forwarded to another company.  Yes I do have the number, please be the end of all this waiting game.  This company is on the ball.  They know who I am, and all of the particulars in regard to my account status.

“Why can’t I activate the system?  Yes, I knew I had to wait until the payment was processed, but that should have been days ago”.  “What?  I have a statement from the bank showing the payment had been paid”.  “What do you mean, it wasn’t recorded in your system, it’s recorded everywhere else”.  “Ok if that’s what it takes, open another account”.  “Yes all of that information is current and correct.  How long until proper verification”?

“Support”?  “Yes it’s me again”.  “No, the stupid code will not work”.  “Yes, I’ve tried it that way too”…”no”…  “I do know how to enter a security code”.  “No, I’m not being snippy.  I’m just frustrated”, “no, I’m not blaming you, I just don’t understand what the hangup is”…. “Yes that will be fine, I’ll wait for your guys to get here to take care of this minor glitch, thanks”…..

The new company must really be new.  All of their vehicles are new also.  Black with gold, great colors and logo, they look to be professional.  What’s this?  “That was put together by the other company.  It’s a new install on an old system, in the process of being updated.  That’s what they had explained to me”.  “No, I don’t know anything about the new system”.  The tech doesn’t know how this was put together either.  Hopefully I’ll see him on Monday.

At last, Monday morning, and a whole yard full of the shiny black and gold trucks.  More techs and supervisors, and a couple more engineers.  It’s strange not one of them has ever seen a system quite like mine.  How could things get so complicated?  I’ve been reassured, these guys are all professionals, and I should be back in the game by the end of the day.

Now what?  There’s a gathering of workers and their supervisors.  Even the bosses are all looking at my new system and shaking their heads.  No one, at least, in this company has ever seen this kind of setup.  Yes I explained, I saw what was built, and although I don’t understand all of the technology embedded in the new system, I am sure it will work.  ( It seems I, who doesn’t know diddley from doo, knows more about this new installation, than all of the professional types, hanging around the yard.)

The new system, a new and improved standard installation, turns out to be related to rocket science.  Sounds like my luck is holding.  Tomorrow we’ll get to put this puppy online and see what it’s capabilities are.  I knew I shouldn’t get too excited, but maybe tomorrow I’ll be back in the game.  Sleep never comes to those so full of anticipation, but I can get by without a few hours of sleep.

There is a storm raging out there.  I should be raging too, almost a month into this whole fiasco, and not much seems to have been accomplished.  The storm is too severe to send techs and equipment out today, but I’ve not been forgotten.  I’m number 1… Ahead of all the rest, first on the list.  After it’s safe to venture forth, I will get my system going and get back in the game.

Murphy again!  3 days to get past the worst storm in fifty years.  Trees broken and littering the highways, power lines down, blown transformers.  Too much debris to get past.  The army corp of engineers will have everything all cleaned up by the end of the week.  I can expect to see my crew here, in 3 or 4 days.  My crew!  Now I feel important, it’s my crew.

“Hello”?  “Yes it’s me”. “The what”?  “I find that hard to believe”.  Apparently the engineers and the design team, were working on a model of my system.  The schematics suggest, there may be some variance of the waveform that won’t interact kindly in the last stage mixer buffers, creating possible echos in the matrix.  It can probably be handled with a 941 code box wired into the sub-junction of the linear node amp, relieving the unnecessary pulse transmissions. The bad news is that the 941 code box is still in China.  The good news is, it will be shipped out at their earliest convenience.  Great, soon I’ll be back in the game.

” Hey there, I’m trying to reach Julie”.  “Yes, she’s with billing”.  “Sure, I’ll hold, but I am short on minutes”.  “Hey Julie, this is me and I’m returning your call”.  “What do you mean delinquent payment”?  “No, the system isn’t even running yet”.  “I don’t know who said what.  All I know is the thing ain’t working yet, and it’s been over a month”.  “No, really I’m not being rude.  The system was under construction, when your company inherited that account.  The service had not yet been activated”…. “I know you have an account activated for me on that date, but the service has yet to begin”…. “Yes”… “We’re hoping”… “Ok, that sounds fine, I’ll notify you when the service is activated and my billing should begin then”?  “What do you mean?  I didn’t call the whole darn company out to my place.  I don’t believe they’re all working on” …….

Out of phone again.  It’s always something.  I may be actually learning something.  Patience…Breathe…The top dog foreman or whatever his title, just handed me the schematics of the new system, with revision notes and a few part numbers.  Included was a revision of the installation package and new billing numbers.  Looks like I bought the whole company.  I’m pretty sure I can’t afford this….Contract?  Lawyers?

Well once again, it looks like it’s time for the waiting game…..

10/22/2011
rgcorros