The Morning After — Helios Remembered

She was 22, beautiful, and had already felt more of life’s hard knocks than she deserved.

He was two weeks old, and not exactly beautiful.  But she thought so.

Everyone told her it was no use, that he was too young, but she fed him with an eye-dropper every few hours for weeks.  She took a chance, and gave him a chance — and her love.  And he gave her his.

They both made it.

Continue reading

If y’ try sometimes, y’ just might find…

I’ve had an interesting life experience over the past few years that I’d like to share with you.

As longtime readers will recall, my wife and I helped start a drug and alcohol treatment center back in 2001 – and that was, indeed, a spacey odyssey. (I’m sorry; that just forced its way out.)

For the first few months it was Michele, me, two therapists, an office manager and about ten clients. Over the next couple of years that changed (despite an embezzlement problem we won’t go into), into a thrice larger and quite successful operation. Continue reading

Moms

Mom

It’s Mother’s Day on the 13th, as we all know. It’s interesting — that’s two days after May 11th, which would be the 39th anniversary of the lovely mother of my lovely daughters and I, had we remained married. I’d like to have sent her a card or something. Unfortunately, her second husband, (to whom she’s been married for more than 20 years,) has never been able to tolerate the idea that his wife might maintain a cordial relationship with her ex. We’ve learned not to rock the boat, so she won’t be getting the thanks she deserves for giving me wonderful kids and, now, a grandchild as well — at least not in the first person. But this is my column and I can do as I please, so thanks, Suze. This bud’s for you! (Rosebud, that is.)

Then there’s My-Wife-The-Shrink, Continue reading

The Great Sebring International Grand Prix d’Bicycle

The town where I grew up had one claim to fame. No, wait, there were two. Almost three.

First came the residency of an author rather well known in the early 1900’s. Rex Beach was the gentleman’s name, and he is probably best remembered as having produced The Spoilers, a book made into a movie in 1914, and remade 5 times after that, the last in the early 1940’s starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich. (I don’t remember having read it, but it must’ve been something!) Mr. Beach lived in Sebring, FL, during the last years of his life, dying in 1949. At one time the local lake was named after him, but he lost out to Ol’ Stonewall Jackson in the long run. (Lake Jackson works much better than Rex Beach Lake, in my opinion, although I’m sure Mr. Beach was much nicer to the local Indians than Gen. Jackson, so maybe he did deserve it more.)

The other claim was the Sebring International Grand Prix of Endurance which was, during its heyday in the fifties and sixties, one of the dozen or so automobile races that scored points for the World Driving Championship. During the two weeks preceding the race and for a day or so thereafter the town was transformed from a sleepy little central Florida citrus and ranching town into quite the mecca for international glitterati.

Needless to say, “The Race” captured the hearts and minds of small boys to a notable degree. And so it came to pass that, along about 1957 or so, Jeff and Lukey and the Fink brothers and I decided to hold the Great Sebring International Grand Prix d’Bicycle. Continue reading

A Snail Named Pseu

My-Wife-The-Shrink keeps snails. When she moved into her new office, she figured it would be nice to have a fishbowl with a few pretty fish, so she got some neon tetras and put them in this huge brandy snifter. Well, the tetras did the same thing as just about every neon I’ve ever owned — they rapidly departed for the big fishpond in the sky. So, on the theory that it might be more durable, she got this snail and named it Pseu. Continue reading

Bodhisattvas

In Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is sort of like a Western saint, a spiritually-evolved person of some stature. The comparison breaks down, however, because while saints are basically agreed upon to be in “heaven,” it is a bit more difficult to pin down a Bodhisattva’s whereabouts. No heaven, y’know, and all that.

Saints are supposed to keep an eye on things Earthly, interceding with God and facilitating the odd miracle — celestial ombudsmen, sort of. Bodhisattvas, on the other hand, are supposed to have deferred Nirvana in order to remain and help other beings to attain enlightenment. Since it has been taking a while, reincarnation becomes an issue. Continue reading

Remembering Bill

I don’t spend a lot of time regretting the past. There are a lot of things I’ve done that—given the opportunity—I’d probably do differently (or not at all), but you have to be careful what you wish for. The Law of Unintended Consequences is nothing to mess with.

This evening I was thinking about my friend Bill. I met him during a period in my early twenties when I was hanging around the aviation industry. We were drawn to each other by a mutual love of airplanes, flight attendants, and the bars of the Fort Lauderdale area. Continue reading