Sunday, June 15, 2008

Seventh Issue - 13 June 2008


The Flower of Eighth Grade. I was always such a goody-goody, but one time someone (I can't remember who) talked me into writing some graffiti in the girls bathroom. Thinking no one would ever know that I did it, I was shocked to be called into Mr. Means’ office! I loved that man; he really was the kindest person! He point blanked asked me if I had done the writing and being a basically good girl, I confessed. I never told him who else was involved (and I can't remember anymore) and that person was never caught. Apparently, Mrs. Flatt recognized my handwriting and told Mr. Means that she thought the handwriting was mine. I spent that day, after school, scrubbing the bathroom walls and removing the handwriting! Mr. Means was very kind even as he was giving the punishment and wrote in my yearbook, "To the flower of the eighth grade." Hopefully, no one else will say that he also wrote that in their yearbook, because he made me feel very special! This incident and one skipped day in high school (and that is another good story!) was the end of my wild & criminal behavior while attending school! I guess I am pretty much a goody-goody after all! Debby (Weiss) Haner

Movie Review. Indiana Jones & The Crystal Skull (or something…) The anticipation was more overwhelming than the movie. And I’m a big fan of the series… First one still the winner. Good… not great.

Update. Last issue there was a question regarding Clay Zimmerman’s… health. Latest report from an Alumni states some time ago, they had come across the name in the local obituary. Not recalling the cause of death or when they read the issue, only Clay’s name was remembered. For me, that’s enough proof and all I really need to know. Clay was a good friend. And I would like to share a moment in time with you all. It was a nice day, a Saturday I believe. Duane, Clay, and I had stopped by Tab’s house for whatever reason. None of us really had no reason for stopping by a friend’s house… we did it all the time. “What you doing? Not much, what you all doing? Nothing…” was our typical line of greeting. Well, this day must have been an exceptionally boring day for all of us. Seemed when Tab got bored, he needed to take it out in a physical way. For some reason, Tab got on Clay’s case. Duane and I sat back and watched while Tab picked on Clay. Tab kept it up for a while, taunting Clay; I think just to see how much Clay would take. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, Clay took a roundhouse swing and caught Tab square in the nose. Knocked his butt on the ground. Clay did his little “Ali” butterfly dance while Duane and I laid there on the lawn, laughing hysterically. Even Tab was laughing. As he got up, ole Tab threatened to take Clay out. And the butterfly dance turned into a Carl Lewis sprint. Didn’t see Clay the rest of the day. Tab went in for some ice, hoping to stop his nose from bleeding. Duane and I… went home. Clay did things suddenly, without warning. Might have been stupid things, but was fun to have him around. I’ll miss him.

Recipe. Fiery Angel Hair Pasta
1 pound angel hair pasta 1/2 cup Chili Oil, recipe follows 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves 1 lemon, juiced 2 tablespoons lemon zest Coarse sea salt Dried crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel, optional 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the angel hair pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
Stir the oil, parsley, lemon juice and lemon peel in a large serving bowl. Add the cooked pasta and toss with enough reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and red pepper flakes, to taste. Sprinkle grated lemon peel over pasta for extra flavor and texture. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.
Chili Oil: 2 cups olive oil 4 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes
Combine the oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a heavy small saucepan. Cook over low heat until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180 degrees F, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Transfer the oil and pepper flakes to a 4-ounce bottle. Seal the lid. Refrigerate up to 1 month.

Summer’s Get Together. Think we got it figured out. Edna will be hosting again this summer. Mark your calendar for 1pm Sunday, 20 July. I think if we all bring a dish of some sort, something to drink… we can all enjoy a great day together catching up. I personally look forward to chatting with ole Dave Bearson and his golfing experience… A HOLE IN ONE… please. Is the gloating over yet? (If it were me, I’d bring pictures with autographs for everyone.) And RSVPs would be great… call Edna or send me or Rosemary an email if you haven’t done so yet. Hope to see you all there…

A Short Story… He Was a Good Man Grandpa Was by Chris Pack (A short story I’ve been playing with… I guess I’m throwing it out there looking for constructive criticism. If you find it worthwhile, can continue the chapters… I’m either getting brave by tossing this out there or had too much to drink if I send this...)

CHAPTER 1 – Good Neighbors
I reckon I can remember back to when I was about 12 years old, maybe a might bit younger. I can see my Grandpa almost as plain as the lines on my hand. He stood about six foot tall if not an inch or two from it. Seemed tall for a man in them days. But then I wasn’t much more than four foot myself, which might have deceived Grandpa’s height some. I recall his larger-than-life smile, a nose longer than most, which Grandpa said was French, and short black hair but looked gray to me. Summer days didn’t matter much when he would come in from the berry patch dust covered after a full day of plowing fields. He’d get down off that old orange oxidized Fordson, look me in the eye, rub my head and ask how long I’d been there. Think he was always more concerned as to how much longer I’d be staying. One time I stayed pert near most the summer so seemed. Mom and Dad dropped me off and showed up the next weekend, only to leave me there again for another week. I didn’t much mind since my Uncle still lived at home. He was the youngest of five and still had high school to finish. Only five years older than me, he was usually around most days.
The fun usually began sometime after dinner. Seemed all those neighbors liv’n down that dirt road would come over, bring their kids and some sort of musical instrument. Some instruments looked recognizable, others I’d question their authenticity as a musical instrument. I mean, a fiddle is right easy to figure out, and those squeeze boxes had to be with all the noise they made. But those jugs them men folk blew into or the washtub with a wire and stick were kind a questionable. And the sound of a spoon and washboard… toss in a couple wind harps and, well somehow it all came together and sounded pretty good it did.
Some of us kids, we’d run around in the berry patches, through the barn, play hide n’ seek most times each night. Before it got dark enough to play, we might hunt garden snakes. I recollect them snakes being pretty easy to find. The girls didn’t care much for chasing down snakes. They’d come along but didn’t want to touch them. Grandma didn’t care for them snakes much neither.
One day, us boys had caught a mess of them snakes I’d guess, keeping them in a box we’d found in the barn. We were pretty excited to show someone how many we got, so we brought the box in the house where the women folk were, just to show them is all. Tommy was holding the box and all the moms wanted to see. I suppose we should a told them first what was in the box but we wanted it to be a surprise. Well, we guessed after show’n the snakes-in-a-box it wasn’t a surprise they really wanted to see. Tommy dropping that box in the kitchen like he did where all the women folk gathered around us become a bigger surprise. You should a heard the screaming. Was so loud, scared all the snakes and they were just a going in all directions. Then too, were all the women folk. They’d scream so loud Grandpa and all the men folk come running in, most getting knocked down by all the women running out the door. When they’d seen what the screaming was all about, they had a pretty good laugh, but told us kids to catch each one of those snakes and get them out of the house soon. We were picking them up as fast as we could catch them but was hard work, because them garden snakes were a going everywhere. We’d caught what we thought was all of them, and got out of the house quick. Grandma was hollering that we’d best got all them snakes, but I didn’t think we had, ‘cause I remember some little ones and I wasn’t seeing any little ones in the box. But they were all a hollering at us to hurry up, so we called it good and got out of there. Took those snakes out to the barn and let them go we did, then headed out to the back part of the berry patch. Occasionally, we hear some screaming come from the house… I was thinking we must of missed a few of them snakes.

Next Issue: CHAPTER 2 – Snipe Hunting…

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