The phone rang on a Saturday morning.


“Hi, this is Russ. Is your brother there?”

“No, he is out with Scot. Can I take a message?”

“Naw, I will call later.”

“Okay, see ya.”


That afternoon the phone rang again.


“Is John there?”

“No, he is still out.”

“Oh….uh, are you doing anything tonight?”

“Well, no I guess not.”

“Do you want to go to the movie with me?”


“I will pick you up in an hour then.”



I was the second choice for my first date. I expect his mother told him to ask me if John was still gone. So my brother’s friend Russ picked me up and drove me the 30 miles to town. I don’t have too many memories of the date, but I do remember his “line.” We went past a sign that said, “SOFT SHOULDER” and Russ reached over to touch my shoulder then he told me he agreed with the sign. I also remember sitting in the parking lot behind the theater watching him shoot up insulin before the show. A few years down the road we went to a George Strait concert together in Cheyenne. I still have the T-shirt.


I ran into him on Facebook the other day. Isn’t it cool to find people from 20 and more years ago? I messaged him to see if he remembered our date, but haven’t heard back. If he has anything exciting to add, I will let you know.


In other news, our school sent home a missive about walking to school on Wednesdays in October. Even the bussed children “will be given the opportunity to walk by being dropped off at one of the designated corners” two blocks from school to walk, supervised, to school. Parents are advised to have their children dropped off at one of the designated corners by 7:30 so they can “walk to school.”


Maybe I am all wet here, but my kids walk .4 miles to school and then back every day. (I know this because I had my draftsman friend measure it on his computer for me.) They go down the street to the corner then cross the bridge over the park and walk about three or four blocks to school. I walked with them until I got a job, then I asked them if they felt comfortable walking to school and they did. So they do, along with about two dozen kids from our neighborhood. They don’t walk all together, but you see a steady stream of kids from about 7-7:40. I realize that not everybody lives so close to school, but I walked home from Junior High (well, to the High School where Mom worked since I lived out of town) every day, and that was over a mile. Please tell me how it will seem like walking to school to drive your child to a corner two blocks from school and allow him to walk two blocks while being supervised? It sounds pathetic to me.


Speaking of bus stops, this is a list of things I saw over two years at our old bus stop:

Children being picked up in tractors, semi trucks, and what can only be described as a coyote huntin’ rig. I also saw a monkey wearing a diaper. I thought I was delusional, but the teachers assured me that one of the students had a pet monkey at home.