20 Years Retired (Part 2)

August 3

Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. ~  Will Rogers

So, we’re retired and living in Minnesota now. It wasn’t long thereafter that I got cocky and started writing ‘how to retire’ letters to those taking that plunge. Such as: “1) Choose your final retirement location with great care. We have just finished our worst winter in generations; 2) You will continue for some time to awaken early each day.  Get used to at least 4 cups of coffee every morning.  Then, do not stray far from a porcelain facility until at least 10:00 am.; 3) If you’re still in your bathrobe at noon, something’s not right; 4) Establish a routine.  You will find it cathartic to leave the house on a daily basis for scheduled activities. You will find this becomes even more important after spending more than the usual amount of time with another person in the house; 5) You will find it does not take long for fund-raisers to find you – either for donations or to volunteer.  There are worse things you can do; 6) Learn your immediate geographic area.  You will need to know where you can put up flyers for school functions, fund-raisers, association events, senior suppers, et al.  Coffee and doughnut shops are always good. 7) Go to the gym and go mall walking.  You will discover these are the best places to keep up with all the local gossip; 8) Write letters.  It helps release the inner curmudgeon.  You will now have the opportunity to tell policy makers what you really think.  What fun!; 9) Adopt a girls’ high school hockey team.  It’s great fun and helps pass the winter; 10) Keep the e-mail addresses of all your work colleagues.  Send them e-mails often from home.  It reminds them that you are retired . . . and they’re not!”

I advise you to go on living solely to enrage those who are paying your annuities. It is the only pleasure I have left. ~  Voltaire

[For the sake of the FB cover photo, our first winter photo . . . ]

[This was our new retirement house in the summer of 2001 . . . ]

[The crack Roger Rosengren construction crew. We “ordered” the house from Wilderness Log Homes in Wisconsin. Roger said they basically dropped off a pile of logs and said you figure it out. They did . . . ]

[While we were still living at Mom’s, Gretch and Mohamed paid a visit from Washington, D.C. The Super and I had already procured the necessary lake home accouterment – a pontoon, later be christened the “Moby Obie” . . . ]

It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.  ~ Andy Rooney

Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life. ~ Kitty O’Neill Collins

[Sister Gretch, me, brother Cam putting a bathtub ring on Lake Le Homme Dieu . . . ]

[The Super on our lot overlooking beautiful Lake Darling . . . ]

[Then a visit to Itasca State Park and the source of the mighty Mississippi . . . ]

[We were in the vicinity on a paneling pick up for our house construction . . . ]

Work is the curse of the drinking classes. ~ Oscar Wilde

[Our first fall photo from our lot . . . ]

[At Fort Alexandria on Thanksgiving for the lighting of the city Christmas lights . . . ]

[Ruthie’s mom and sister Rita came up from Indiana for our Thanksgiving housewarming. We thought it highly appropriate that it snowed that day (at Thanksgiving it’s only a one in 10 chance) . . . ]

[And our first sunrises over the lake (it all seems so long ago now) . . . ]

I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves. ~ Bruce Grocott

[Our first walk on the frozen water of Lake Darling . . . ]

[With our house in the background at the top of the hill . . . ]

[Cam, Karen, Katy, and Michael John all came for a visit around Christmas. I recall it was quite cold . . . ]

[Ruthie’s mom, Janella, joined for summer and a cruise on the Moby Obie . . . ]

[Rita and her friend Cindy also joined us from Indiana . . . ]

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. ~ J. Lubbock

[Sunset on the Moby Obie on Lake Darling with grandson Tom and Ruthie . . . ]

[OK, you can read the paper in your bathrobe on your deck overlooking the lake . . . ]

Sitting on the dock of the bay . . .

Just me and the Moby Obie . . .

[Did someone mention politics? With Mom on our first full summer in Alex . . . ]

[And the famous Green Bus . . . ]

We all do better when we all do better. ~ Paul Wellstone

Sometimes, the only realists are the dreamers. ~ Paul Wellstone

I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party. ~ Paul Wellstone

[Celebrating our not too far apart birthdays with Rose, a friend and colleague from work days, at the practically brand new Carlos Creek Winery . . . ]

[Memory fails, but I think Dick and Rose (an original Minneapolitan) were already retired to Salem, Massachusetts. (Note the absence of the band shell at this point) . . . ]

Ain’t we got fun?!

[The Super at Inspiration Peak, 22 miles NW of Alex and generally considered to be the 3rd highest elevation in the state . . . ]

[We made a return visit to D.C. that Christmas, already for old time’s sake . . . ]

[And to see sister Gretch, and brother Chris and family in Stafford, Virginia at their home on the Potomac River . . . ]

[And back home to have a Minnesota Christmas too . . . ]

There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want. ~ Bill Watterson

[With Dennis Murphy at Carlos Creek Winery. If you look back at the previous photos at the winery, Dennis was performing outside with Chuck Wencl. And, as I recall, Dennis was the fellow who ultimately built the band shell there . . .]

[A U of M alumni event at the winery with Goldy Gopher . . . ]

[The Super and I actually went skating two times a week at the hockey arena in the early years . . . ]

[Because you can never go here enough . . . ]

[In 2004, Joey Dee and the Starliters came to the winery. Remember the “Peppermint Twist”? Grandson Tom was here with his other grandparents, Fran and Ed, from Indiana . . . ]

[Ruthie danced with Tom; Joey hit on Ruthie . . . ]

[One still needs No. 2 pencils in retirement . . . ]

[This is my screensaver. The my named “octopus tree” in Dean Melton Park, Alexandria. This was December 2005. The tree has since gone to the great fireplace in the sky . . . ]

[The ever popular 4th of July boat parade on Lake Carlos (with grandson Tom and Rita) . . . ]

Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good. ~  Soren Kierkegaard

To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization , and at present very few people have reached this level. ~  Bertrand Russell

[The Daily Grind, the liberal coffee shop. Like the octopus tree, however, it has also gone to that great fireplace in the sky . . . ]

[The last time Ruthie’s mom Janella came to town, along with Ruthie’s sister Faith . . . ]

[For the ’06 homecoming parade . . . ]

[And that year, with sister Gretch and brother Cam, we paid a visit to both grandparents’ houses. First on the Obert side in north Minneapolis . . . ]

[Then the Thompson side in SE Minneapolis . . . ]

[In 2007, there was a reported, since verified, sighting of a near-sighted extremely white whale in Lake Darling . . . ]

[As the Cub Reporter in full regalia . . . ]

Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. ~  Susan Cain

[It was Dad’s . . . ]

[Reporting, a prelude to blogging . . . ]

[Submitted with a never published submittal . . . ]

[Ah, those late nights at the keyboard . . . ]

[It was a presidential year . . . ]

[And a moose Christmas . . . ]

[We cooked . . . ]

[And ate . . . ]

[And read . . . ]

[And met famous authors . . . ]

[And did some political stuff . . . ]

People ask me what I’d most appreciate getting for my eighty-seventh birthday. I tell them, a paternity suit. ~  George Burns

Retirement is wonderful. It’s doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it. ~ Gene Perret

Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it to the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money. ~ Jonathan Clements

[We also visited famous locals . . . ]

[We visited Rita at the Hob Nob restaurant in Nashville, Indiana . . . ]

We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun . . .

[From retirement to today, I bought this, my most comfortable shirt ever, at the Rain Forest Cafe in Disney World about a year before we retired . . . ]

[It lasted the length of retirement until now . . . ]

Say goodnight, Tom . . .

It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad, and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure. ~ Ernie Harwell

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello. ~ Paulo Coelho

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. ~ Dr. Seuss

It is so hard to leave – until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world. ~ John Green

Up Next: Resorters . . .

Resorters Tease

July 31

Celebrity sightings from the first three days of the 100th Annual Resorters Golf Tournament

[Tom Lehman, the golfer . . . ]

[Tom Lehman, the son . . . ]

August 1

[Braeden Sladek . . . ]

[Corky Krogstad . . . ]

[Kyle Lee . . . ]

[Tom Lehman, the caddy . . . ]

[Erik Schultz . . . ]

[The Tunnel, coming . . . ]

[And going . . . ]

[Ken and Jan Esala . . . ]

August 2

[Gordy Anderson (100 years old) with a fan . . . ]

[Norty Blanchard (2) and Dave Berg (4) . . . ]

[Dave Berg . . . ]

[The fabulous O’Connor sisters (3 & 4) . . . ]

[I knew them when (2009) . . . ]

[Ciara O’Connor . . . ]

[Aisling O’Connor . . . ]

[Tom Vipond . . . ]

[Al Grundei . . . ]

[Dave Berg . . . ]

[Norty Blanchard . . . ]

[Kristen Hoskins with Ciara . . . ]


[Beryl and Don Waldeland . . . ]

[Norty Blanchard . . . ]

[Dave Berg . . . ]

I’m a Minnesotan. I would have covered more but after some beautiful weather days, it was too warm, too humid, and too smoky . . .

20 Years Retired (Part 1)

August 1

Working people have alot of bad habits, but the worst of these is work. ~  Clarence Darrow

I retired to Alexandria, Minnesota, on August 1, 2001. The Super preceded me by three months, living with my mom to oversee construction of our retirement home on beautiful Lake Darling. We moved in on Thanksgiving. This first photo is of Lake Darling that day. But Part 1 of this blog will feature our years as members of the Deep State in our nation’s capital . . .

When a man retires, his wife gets twice the husband but only half the income. ~  Chi Chi Rodriguez

The early years in D.C. . . . Ruthie’s awards while in the Pentagon . . .

I am beyond blessed and humbled to be named the Paul Hornung Award winner. ~ Christian McCaffrey

I’ll never try to win an award. I’m out there just playing for my team. ~ Kawhi Leonard

There’s a lot of great movies that have won the Academy Award, and a lot of great movies that haven’t. You just do the best you can. ~ Clint Eastwood

The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

I have one piece of advice for those of you who want to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award: Start early! ~ Shirley Temple

The Oscar sits on some shelf above my desk. If there was an earthquake, I could actually be killed by my own Academy Award. ~ Helen Hunt

‘Groundhog Day’ was one of the greatest scripts ever written. It didn’t even get nominated for an Academy Award. ~ Bill Murray

I’d said to my sweetheart a couple of days before that the SAG and Spirit Award nomination was amazing and I had no attachment to the Academy Award. I knew I was an underdog so I just decided to sleep through the announcement. ~ John Hawkes

I heard I won ‘best butt crack’ on television recently. It’s true. I did it, you guys. I made it. I wish I got an award, the actual award. What would it look like? Of course, it’s a closed set. ~ Lisa Edelstein

I got my first lifetime achievement award years ago, and I was very excited, but then I got a sense of: Well, can one get a second lifetime award? ~ Michael Palin

Would that there were an award for people who come to understand the concept of enough. Good enough. Successful enough. Thin enough. Rich enough. Socially responsible enough. When you have self-respect, you have enough. ~ Gail Sheehy

I was put under contract. A major studio. I got nominated for an Academy Award. Isn’t that ridiculous? I mean, at the age of 18! ~ Angela Lansbury

It’s interesting too, that the coach of that Georgia Tech team who led his valiant warriors to those 222 points was none other than John Heisman. Yes, he whom the Heisman trophy is named for, an award that honors that college player who best exemplifies excellence and integrity. ~ Frank Deford

Well, it was the beginning of my film career. It was amazing to me that I got nominated for an Academy Award. ~ Sally Kellerman

And now for my awards . . .

I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either. ~ Jack Benny

[A performance evaluation from my immediate supervisor . . . ]

So now you know why the Super is the supervisor . . .

[But I had an ace up my sleeve . . . ]

[I got to work for and meet Secretary of Labor Robert Reich . . . ]

[He seriously was the best Secretary we had during my extensive tenure. He actually deigned to meet and chat with the department’s worker bees . . . ]

[As a dispensable member of our long-time department champion softball team, I got to shake his hand . . . ]

[Then we went across the street to “My Brother’s Place” to continue the celebration . . . ]

[The early champs . . . ]

[The later champs . . . ]

[Don’t ask me about the color of that ball cap?]

As we make our way toward the finish line that some of us have already crossed, I never thought I’d get a Grammy Award. In fact, I was always touched by the modesty of their interest. ~ Leonard Cohen

So, where we lived . . .

[The Astoria condominium (midframe) where I met Ruthie when we moved into the new building in 1987. It’s on Lee Highway in Arlington, Virginia, just a couple blocks from the Potomac River and thus on the flight path to (right side) and from National Airport (left side). Lest you didn’t guess, I did indeed get these shots out a plane window . . . ]

[The building front on Lee Highway. When I first moved in, a couple of spots from my underground parking spot was a gold Rolls Royce. I thought I’d gotten in over my head . . . ]

[I was on the 3rd floor, back in the corner, overlooking the tennis court. We ultimately determined there were a lot of spies (CIA/NSA/FBI) who lived in this building . . . ]

[My place was right above the last little tree on the promenade . . . ]

[Ruthie & I first met in the swimming pool at 2:00 am. I shall go no further . . . ]

Interviewer: So Frank, you have long hair. Does that make you a woman? Frank Zappa: You have a wooden leg. Does that make you a table? ~ Frank Zappa [Photo somewhere on the Severn River, 1975]

[We moved into the brand new Frances Perkins Department of Labor (DOL) building in May 1975. This was my first “room” . . . ]

[Colleagues Steve and Clark are now both gone . . . ]

[Clark in his cubicle . . . ]

[The cubicle world . . . ]

[Ackkk, yes, I was a smoker then . . . ]

[This is the view from the DOL roof . . . ]

[And the Capitol Reflecting Pool . . . ]

[And the National Gallery of Art with the Washington Monument in the background . . . ]

[Professional bureaucrats returning to DOL after a fine dining lunch . . . ]

[Reminders of tempus fugit. We have since lost Sadie . . . ]

[We have since lost Steve. Lyle is still hanging in there . . . ]

[Jim is still with us . . . ]

[Cheesy mustache, hair rejected by wigmakers, outfit by an ivy leaguer wannabe . . . ]

[We have since lost Clark, shortly after he retired to Ireland . . . ]

[Sadie was there when I arrived; she was there when I left. She must have been getting tired of me?]

[And this was also the time when Dad was writing his book . . . ]

[On the dining room table with a manual typewriter . . . ]

[Professional bureaucrats of a somewhat later vintage, 1992 . . . ]

[And this was my later “room,” the last of three as I recall. I had graduated from a manual typewriter to an electric with an early addition PC of unknown origin . . . ]

[Still, you will always need a No. 2 pencil . . . ]

[Pretty much the last group I worked with, 1995 – still in touch with Libby (top) and Tim (kneeling next to me), despite each being my frontline supervisor . . . ]

We’re not going to let some unelected bureaucrats in Washington stop us from moving forward with our agenda, but at the end of the day, CBO is not the Holy Grail. ~ Steve Scalise

The question for America is pretty simple: either we want a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington telling us what we can’t do, or we empower American innovators to unlock things that we can do. ~ Matt Gaetz

[Editor’s note: If Steve Scalise and Matt Gaetz don’t like what we do, we must be doing it right . . . ]

[The retirement and good-bye party . . . ]

[Bill and I would subsequently keep our pre-retirement relationship alive with worldwide cruises . . . ]

A small sampling of places visited pre-retirement . . .

[Victoria Heights, Alexandria, Minnesota . . . ]

[Jefferson Senior High School, Alexandria, Minnesota . . . ]

[Ft. Bragg, North Carolina; Ft. Gordon, Georgia; Okinawa (the fort names likely to be renamed under Cancel Culture) . . . ]

[Alexandria Golf Club, 1971 (on leave from Okinawa) . . . ]

[Japan, 1983 . . . ]

[New York City . . . ]

[Waterville Valley, New Hampshire . . . ]

[Outer Banks, North Carolina . . . ]

[Ruthie’s condominium with grandson Tom . . . ]

[With Mom at a famous building . . . ]

[Le Homme Dieu View townhome association, Alexandria, Minnesota . . . ]

[Mom lived on the second (middle) duplex, on the left side, where we came during vacations and when Ruthie retired as our home was being built . . . ]

[Le Homme Dieu View . . . ]

[With friends . . . ]

[And family . . . ]

[Resorters Golf Tournament, Alexandria, Minnesota . . . ]

[Ditto . . . ]

I seldom would have to wear such attire again . . .

[Possibly the last photograph taken as residents of Arlington, Virginia. At the Astoria condominium, on Ruthie’s patio. Little did Lily and Woody realize at the time that they would soon be residents of Alexandria, Minnesota . . . ]

Except for an occasional heart attack I feel as young as I ever did. ~ Robert Benchley

When you’re dead you’re dead. ~  Kurt Vonnegut

Up Next: Part 2, in retirement . . .

Roger and Me II *

July 31

* The original Roger and Me was of course a movie by Michael Moore. This is not a sequel . . .

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal. ~ George Will

This is a story about Roger Johnson, who is now 72, and a member in good standing of the Fat Boys Walking Club. Roger is still playing baseball. He is a catcher. He travels to the Twin Cities almost every weekend where he plays multiple games, catching them all. We call him the Bionic Man (because Crazy is not polite) . . .

Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field? ~ Jim Bouton

[Roger taught school, coached stuff, and to this day still referees many events that involve a ball . . . ]

[George is new to the team, and to the Fat Boys Walking Club. He was not available to play on this day because like many others in his age group he had recently undergone a melanoma procedure . . . ]

The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers. ~ Earl Weaver

The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase. ~ Yogi Berra

[Roger, wearing the tools of ignorance. His catchers mitt is from the 1960’s – I’ve seen it and would have guessed the 40’s . . . ]

[If I squatted to catch, I’d probably fall on my face . . . ]

The Field of Dreams . . .

[Roger, No. 1, steps to the plate . . . ]

Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets. ~ Yogi Berra

[Not bad for a guy seven years into Medicare . . . ]

All ballplayers should quit when it starts to feel as if all the baselines run uphill. ~ Babe Ruth

The doctors x-rayed my head and found nothing. ~ Dizzy Dean

People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ~ Rogers Hornsby

With the money I’m making, I should be playing two positions. ~ Pete Rose

Baseball is a skilled game. It’s America’s game – it, and high taxes. ~ Will Rogers

If God wanted football played in the spring, he would not have invented baseball. ~ Sam Rutigliano

If you don’t know where you are currently standing, you’re dead. ~ Samuel Beckett

Finish last in your league and they call you idiot. Finish last in medical school and they call you doctor. ~ Abe Lemon

When you win you eat better, sleep better and your beer tastes better. And your wife looks like Gina Lollobrigida. ~ Johnny Pesky

I don’t want to play golf. When I hit a ball, I want someone else to go chase it. ~ Rogers Hornsby

Bob Gibson is the luckiest pitcher I ever saw. He always pitches when the other team doesn’t score any runs. ~ Tim McCarver

Baseball statistics are like a girl in a bikini. They show a lot, but not everything. ~ Toby Harrah

There are two theories on hitting the knuckleball. Unfortunately, neither of them work. ~ Charley Lau

[Tossing a bone to Joe Korkowski, local actor and radio personality . . . ]

Chicks who dig home runs aren’t the ones who appeal to me. I think there’s sexiness in infield hits because they require technique. I’d rather impress the chicks with my technique than with my brute strength. Then, every now and then, just to show I can do that, too, I might flirt a little by hitting one out. ~ Ichiro Suzuki

Things could be worse. Suppose your errors were counted and published everyday, like those of a baseball player. ~ William Alexander

Field of Dreams II . . .

I knew when my career was over. In 1965 my baseball card came out with no picture. ~ Bob Uecker

Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can’t get you off. ~ Bill Veeck

Up Next: Our retirement . . .

Sami’s Back in Town

July 29

This world is full of conflicts and full of things that cannot be reconciled. But there are moments when we can… reconcile and embrace the whole mess, and that’s what I mean by ‘Hallelujah.’ ~ Leonard Cohen

[The photographer of the above photo . . . ]

[Janet is pretty much responsible for every entertainment venue that occurs in town (and maybe even in other places) . . . ]

[Our server, Vicky, from the original SAWA times remarked it was just like the good ole days – fun with all the original fans. Sami Steidl was back to play with the boys from Tuesday Night Club. She was our first discovered wunderkind after we retired here . . . ]

The difference between a violin and a viola is that a viola burns longer. ~ Victor Borge

It always seems impossible until it’s done. ~ Nelson Mandela

[Sami moved to Colorado in 2014 but drops by occasionally to play with the local musicians she grew up with . . . ]

If I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often. ~ Leonard Cohen

When things get really bad, just raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig. That’s about all you can do. ~ Leonard Cohen

Music is the emotional life of most people. ~ Leonard Cohen

[Admittedly, a terrible job of getting any good shots of Sami. They had the audacity to seat her entire family in front of us . . . ]

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. ~ Leonard Cohen

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. ~ Buddha

When you play a violin piece, you are a storyteller, and you’re telling a story. ~ Joshua Bell

I usually listen to the same thing over and over again: Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major. And Leonard Cohen. ~ Sue Townsend

A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy? ~ Albert Einstein

A video at Sami’s high school graduation party, 2011 . . .

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. ~ Leonard Cohen

The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world. ~ Leonard Cohen

The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin. ~ Honore de Blazac

Up Next: There’s just too much stuff . . .

The Babies First Year

July 28

I hope this doesn’t shock you, but the Super predates the boomer generation by one year and I am a second year boomer. That means we are required under local, state, and federal law to have cats – as a requirement for continuing Medicare eligibility. The pandemic meant we couldn’t put it off any longer. The Super was getting cabin fever and was itching to be able to travel again. So, we did, on October 3rd. All the way to the Golden Valley Humane Society to pick up Guinevere and Galahad, sister and brother born on July 28, 2020. This is their life story . . .

Warning: This post is nothing more than Fran Lebowitz quotes interspersed with kitty photos . . .

To me the outdoors is what you must pass through in order to get from your apartment into a taxicab. ~  Fran Lebowitz

The customary way for white people to think about the topic of race—and it is only a topic to white people—is to ask, “How would it be if I were black?”…..The way to approach it, I think, is…to seriously consider what it is like to be white. ~  Fran Lebowitz

October 2020

Soft kitty, Warm kitty, Little ball of fur. Happy kitty, Sleepy kitty, Purr Purr Purr . . .

[Above: Laddie in front (whiter face); Guinie behind. Below: Golden Valley Humane Society]

He allowed people to express their racism and bigotry in a way that they haven’t been able to in quite a while and they really love him for that. It’s a shocking thing to realize people love their hatred more than they care about their own actual lives. The hatred – what is that about? It’s a fear of your own weakness. ~  Fran Lebowitz

[Kent Nerburn, an author with a couple of fans, is also the sculptor of the above . . . ]

[Thank you!]

[First photo at home – go for the shoe laces, pull dad’s shoes off the bench . . . ]

I do not believe in God. I believe in cashmere. ~  Fran Lebowitz

If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater, suggest that he wear a tail. ~  Fran Lebowitz

My favorite animal is steak. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Food is an important part of a balanced diet. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Thanks, Mom! We love the 5-story condo . . .

Life is something that happens when you can’t get to sleep. ~  Fran Lebowitz

[Cod piece?]

I am not the type of person who wants to go back to the land. I am the type who wants to go back to the hotel. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Do we need sunblock?

No animal should ever jump up on the dining room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation. ~  Fran Lebowitz

I never took hallucinogenic drugs because I never wanted my consciousness expanded one unnecessary iota. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Perhaps the least cheering statement ever made on the subject of art is that life imitates it. ~  Fran Lebowitz

[Looking for good seats for their first snow . . . ]

Did it ever occur to anyone that if you put nice libraries in public schools you wouldn’t have to put them in prisons? ~ Fran Lebowitz

I love sleep because it is both pleasant and safe to use. Pleasant because one is in the best possible company and safe because sleep is the consummate protection against the unseemliness that is the invariable consequence of being awake. What you don’t know won’t hurt you. Sleep is death without the responsibility. ~  Fran Lebowitz

If your sexual fantasies were truly of interest to others, they would no longer be fantasies. ~  Fran Lebowitz

There’s no such thing as advice to the lovelorn. If they took advice, they wouldn’t be lovelorn. ~  Fran Lebowitz


[Golf is discovered as an indoor spectator sport . . . ]

I think it’s a 4-iron . . .

You have to hit a low hook from there . . .


Being a woman is of special interest only to aspiring male transsexuals. To actual women it is merely a good excuse not to play football. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Think before you speak, read before you think. ~  Fran Lebowitz

[They were pretty much the same weight . . . ]

[Then Laddie discovered food. We call him Laddie the Load dwarfing his sister . . . ]

[They were a little over 2 pounds here. They still fit themselves in this “container” at 12 and 8 pounds . . . ]

I never met anyone who didn’t have a very smart child. What happens to these children, you wonder, when they reach adulthood? ~  Fran Lebowitz

[Their first (and last) Christmas tree . . . ]

Original thought is like original sin: both happened before you were born to people you could not possibly have met. ~  Fran Lebowitz

[l]et me assure you: the world is full of mediocre men who are stunning successes. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra. ~  Fran Lebowitz

There is one thing that has disappeared, not just from the U.S. but from the entire world, is the idea of ever being embarrassed by anything. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Chocolate is an excellent flavor for ice cream but both unreasonable and disconcerting in chewing gum. ~  Fran Lebowitz

A salad is not a meal. It is a style. ~  Fran Lebowitz


[The Super introduced the traditional Christmas flag . . . ]

There’s no equivalent to Mozart in writing. ~  Fran Lebowitz

That which we call civilization is merely the accumulated debris of a chilling number of bad nights. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Presently it appears that people are mainly concerned with being well rested. Those capable of uninterrupted sleep are much admired. Unconsciousness is in great demand. This is the day of the milligram. ~ Fran Lebowitz

This is not my favorite way to wake up. My favorite way to wake up is to have a certain French movie star whisper to me softly at two thirty in the afternoon that if I want to get to Sweden in time to pick up my Nobel Prize for Literature I had better ring for breakfast. This occurs rather less often than one might wish. ~  Fran Lebowitz

January 2021

[How exciting – small creatures running up and down the screen. I think I can catch one . . . ]

People have been cooking and eating for thousands of years, so if you are the very first to have thought of adding lime juice to scalloped potatoes try to understand there must be a reason for this. ~  Fran Lebowitz

The rigors of learning how to do long division have been a traditional part of childhood, just like learning to smoke. In fact, as far as I am concerned, the two go hand in hand. Any child who cannot do long division by himself does not deserve to smoke. ~  Fran Lebowitz

[To her credit, Quinie developed a fondness for girls high school hockey . . . ]

If you’re going to America, bring your own food. ~ Fran Lebowitz

Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat. ~ Fran Lebowitz


Nothing succeeds like address. ~ Fran Lebowitz

Calling a taxi in Texas is like calling a rabbi in Iraq. ~ Fran Lebowitz

[Responsible parents getting vaccinated . . . ]


[The kitties introduction to the grape – they dove in head first . . . ]

The best fame is a writer’s fame. It’s enough to get a table at a good restaurant, but not enough to get you interrupted when you eat. ~ Fran Lebowitz

Polite conversation is rarely either. ~ Fran Lebowitz

[Paper towels are much easier to use if they’re totally unrolled into an unruly pile . . . ]

Contrary to popular opinion, the hustle is not a new dance step – it is an old business procedure. ~ Fran Lebowitz


[Responsible parents eating properly – at Krewe, the new cajun/creole restaurant in St. Joe . . . ]

Andy Warhol made fame more famous. ~ Fran Lebowitz

Spilling your guts is just exactly as charming as it sounds. ~ Fran Lebowitz

 If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use the word ”collectible” as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified success. ~ Fran Lebowitz

My desire to curtail undue freedom of speech extends only to such public areas as restaurants, airports, streets, hotel lobbies, parks, and department stores. Verbal exchanges between consenting adults in private are as of little interest to me as they probably are to them. ~ Fran Lebowitz

Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky. ~ Fran Lebowitz

A hobby is, of course, an abomination, as are all consuming interests and passions that do not lead directly to large, personal gain. ~ Fran Lebowitz

I write so slowly that I could write in my own blood without hurting myself. ~ Fran Lebowitz

I wouldn’t say that I dislike the young. I’m simply not a fan of naïveté. ~ Fran Lebowitz

Any child who cannot do long division by himself does not deserve to smoke. ~ Fran Lebowitz

[With warm weather came the babies introduction to our open door policy . . . ]

First of all, nature is by and large to be found out of doors, a location where, it cannot be argued, there are never enough comfortable chairs. ~  Fran Lebowitz

There’s nothing like being old to be sure of everything. ~ Fran Lebowitz

I always liked people who are older. Of course, every year it gets harder to find them. ~ Fran Lebowitz

[Rising to new heights to knock stuff over . . . ]

[Master of all he surveys . . . ]


I have known…only one really, really good writer in my life who loves to write. Only one…Most people who love to write are horrible writers, so of course they love to write. ~  Fran Lebowitz

[The succulent didn’t need to be in that pot anyway . . . ]

[Aside from one trip to the vet, the babies had never been outside. The Super thought they needed an appropriate vehicle to do so . . . ]

Being offended is the natural consequence of leaving one’s home. ~ Fran Lebowitz

But alas, I do not rule the world and that, I am afraid, is the story of my life—always a godmother, never a God. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Violet will be a good color for hair at just about the same time that brunette becomes a good color for flowers. I will not forget this. ~  Fran Lebowitz

If you have a burning, restless urge to write or paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass. Your life story would not make a good book. Do not even try. ~  Fran Lebowitz

A loaf of bread that is more comfortable than a sofa cannot help but be unpalatable. ~  Fran Lebowitz

[Another nice day for a ride in the limo . . . ]

[Taking a rest on the shortcut home . . . ]

There are some great writers who are great talkers, but there are more great writers who are not great talkers. People seem to think there is some connection between talking and writing, but I love to talk and if there were some connection between the two of them I would be the most prolific writer in the history of the world. ~ Fran Lebowtiz

[The backyard to home . . . ]

[And back on the patio . . . ]


Cold water wash, hang dry, light starch . . .

[A morning sunrise, just because . . . ]

All God’s children are not beautiful. Most of God’s children are, in fact, barely presentable. The most common error made in matters of appearance is the belief that one should disdain the superficial and let the true beauty of one’s soul shine through. If there are places on your body where this is a possibility, you are not attractive—you are leaking. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Contrary to what many of you might imagine, a career in letters is not without its drawbacks–chief among them the unpleasant fact that one is frequently called upon to sit down and write. ~ Fran Lebowitz

The favored mode of transportation is infecting a visitor and then hoping that he goes someplace. ~  Fran Lebowitz


I, personally, have never been able to throw a book away. I have seen books, like in trash, and to me it’s like seeing a human head in the trash. Even if it’s a horrible book. ~  Fran Lebowitz

[The babies were released into the great outdoors. We did under a contractual agreement that they would stay within the confines of our backyard, and we would be chaperoning. Of course, we have to go chase them back all the time. And now they perpetually beg to go out. Argghhhhh!]

Surely there must be something we can chase in here?

Scientists are rarely to be counted among the fun people. Awkward at parties, shy with strangers, deficient in irony—they have had no choice but to turn their attention to the close study of everyday objects. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine. ~ Fran Lebowitz

In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy. ~ Fran Lebowitz

When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. Clean is not enough. ~ Fran Lebowitz

Success didn’t spoil me, I’ve always been insufferable. ~ Fran Lebowitz

In summary . . .

It’s been an exhausting first year . . .

Today’s the day! We sang Happy Birthday but the concept seemed lost on them . . .

Sleep is death without the responsibility. ~  Fran Lebowitz

Don’t bother discussing sex with small children. They rarely have anything to add. ~ Fran Lebowitz

Up Next: It’s in the queue . . .

Camp Brosius, Through the Years (Part 3)

July 28

These are years 2012 and 2013. Absent extensive research, I do not not see myself going beyond these years for the foreseeable future. The key word here being “extensive” . . .

We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap. ~ Kurt Vonnegut



Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Science is magic that works. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Up Next: The babies’ first birthday . . .

Camp Brosius, Through the Years (Part 2)

July 28

A big year that ties up this post all by itself . . .

And I like Strauss and Mozart and all that, but the priceless gift that African Americans gave the world when they were still in slavery was a gift so great that it is now almost the only reason many foreigners still like us at least a little bit. That specific remedy for the worldwide epidemic of depression is a gift called the blues. All pop music today-jazz, swing, be-bop, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Stones, rock and roll, hip hop and on and on- is derived from the blues. ~  Kurt Vonnegut


It’s nice to be nice. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Up Next: At least one more part . . .

Erik and Anthony

July 25

It was a Sunday afternoon. Erik Schultz was playing at the winery from 1-4:00; Anthony Miltich was playing at The Lure from 4-7:00. It was 90 degrees. Nevertheless, as the Cub Reporter, I felt compelled to cover both events . . .

OK, we basically covered the last two hours of Erik and the first two hours of Anthony. But you don’t realize how that temperature is affecting you until you go home. I think I went to bed at 7:00 . . .

[Eric, whetting his whistle . . . ]

[With something wet and cold from the 22 Northmen Brewing Co., a 50-yard pass from where he was sitting . . . ]

Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar. Except, possibly two. ~ Frederic Chopin

Guitar is easy, all it takes is 5 fingers, 6 strings, and 1 a**hole. ~ Keith Richards

The guitar is the easiest instrument to play and the hardest to play well. ~ Andres Segovia  

The guitar is a miniature orchestra in itself. ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

[It was the semi-annual meeting of the Eric Schultz Fan Club . . . ]

I don’t want to put my fate in country music fans; I’m too stubborn. ~ Natalie Maines

When I do things, like, with Josh Grobin, or he has so many fans, and I get people after my concerts, classical concerts, all the time coming back and saying, ‘Never heard of you until I heard the song with Josh Grobin.’ Then they’re now classical music fans, which is something I think we need to reach a wider audience. ~ Joshua Bell

There’s nothing like the eureka moment of knocking off a song that didn’t exist before – I won’t compare it to sex, but it lasts longer. ~ Paul McCartney

In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of. ~ Robert Schumann

What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. ~ Bob Dylan

Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people. ~ Prince

The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between. ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Imagination creates reality. ~ Richard Wagner

[And then it was on to The Lure, overlooking the boating action on Lake Le Homme Dieu . . . ]

[It was also the semi-annual meeting of the Anthony Miltich Fan Club . . . ]

[A/k/a, the Sunday Non-fiction Book Club . . . ]

[Anthony, a/k/a, the uncle of Sam Miltich, and the brother and son of a multitude of musicians . . . ]

The wise musicians are those who play what they can master. ~ Duke Ellington

Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more music in them. ~ Louis Armstrong

I’m trying to keep a level head. You have to be careful out in the world. It’s so easy to get turned. ~ Elvis Presley

Shut up and play your guitar. ~ Frank Zappa

[And then it was time to put bread in the jar of the Piano Man . . . ]

[Thank you book club!]

[Thank you, Anthony . . . ]

Rock ‘n’ roll will never die. There’ll always be some arrogant little brat who wants to make music with a guitar. ~ Dave Edmunds

The history of music is mortal, but the idiocy of the guitar is eternal. ~ Milan Kundera

Up Next: Unfortunately, dear reader, there’s a bunch of stuff in queue . . .

Camp Brosius, Through the Years (Part 1)

Following the exploits of the Simon, Gaither, Hatch, Obert, Longardner contingents . . .

July 27

Where it all began . . .

Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt. ~ Kurt Vonnegut


And so it goes… ~ Kurt Vonnegut


True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. ~  Kurt Vonnegut


The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest. ~  Kurt Vonnegut


Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops. ~  Kurt Vonnegut

Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone. ~  Kurt Vonnegut

This is the first of . . . well, some more posts . . .