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March 23rd, 2020...

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A FEW LAUGHS TO CHEER YOU UP. I'm getting crows feet, but somehow my shoes still fit. When I was a young brat a lot of the kids in our neighborhood were getting their adenoids taken out. It was a war to eliminate adenoids from the Earth. I don't think anybody knew what they were, but they wanted them gone. THE LIMO. Misty and I once bought a raggedy old limousine for $90. We needed transportation and would rather look eccentric than poor. To add to the effect, we colored it powder blue with house paint and a brush. At a gas station two tough guys said they knew the car and we owed money there. We'd never been there before in our life! I floored it and sped away at four miles an hour. Asthma only bothers me around cigars or dogs. The worst is a dog smoking a cigar. Misty said, "My hair looks like a drowned rat." I said, "No. It looks like a nice rat." Every Thanksgiving I enjoy catching squirrels and dressing them up as Pilgrims. Chickens can't fly backwards except when they sneeze. They sent my uncle down in the mine to make sure it was safe for the canary. EXCITEMENT IN A SENIOR COMMUNITY... The unexpected pregnancy. I've been sitting on the porch staring at the birds. They're starting to stare back. Oh, to be young again and full of false hope. I was fired from the orange-juice factory because I couldn't concentrate. "Bewitch me, darling, Bewitch me." "I'll bewitch you in a minute. I'm busy." At my colonoscopy they found my car keys, a pair of dice, and a harmonica. I was taking a milk bath. The cow slipped on the soap and broke my leg. I wonder why my eyes burn after sex. Maybe it's the pepper spray. I asked the bank teller to check my balance. She leaned over and pushed me. We have enough money to last for the rest of our life, unless we buy something. Copyright © March 22, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

March 16th, 2020...

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

STRANGE TIMES. There may be an overdose of panic due to the virus, but it's not a hoax, and nobody knows how bad it may get. The influenza pandemic a hundred years ago killed more people than a war. We went out yesterday, buying what supplies we can afford, out of what the stores have left. It's so strange out there. Misty's worn out. All I do is take her places and wait in the car. If we were young we wouldn't let it bother us, but we're in the first-to-croak age group. That's a medical term. We live out in the country but just inside the city limits. Not the best place if everything gets locked down. In answer to a few inquiries, I've had asthma for 5 or 6 years, and I'm having trouble walking. It could be an old sports injury. I got a lot of them. Otherwise I seem strangely healthy. We got a dehumidifier to ease my asthma. It seems to help. I don't change much in appearance and I can't get pain pills because they don't believe my age, but I'm enjoying hemp gummy bears. Misty says the people working in the stores are very nice, and try to help. A retail store worker sent me this note: "We're like the band on the Titanic who kept playing while the ship was sinking." "Make the days a little longer. I don't know where the time has flown. Lord, I'm having such a good time, I don't want to go home." (From one of our songs.) We hope you stay well. Copyright © March 15, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

March 8th, 2020...

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RUSTY DIAMOND: A TRUE STORY. 1960s. Rusty Diamond was a Country recording artist, with releases on Starday and Stop records, but his main talent was getting money from rich girls. One of these angels, a very sweet and buxom blonde from Chicago, bought into Rusty's career to the tune of $48,000 in one week, probably more than double that as this is written. He hired me as his producer and we flew to Nashville to record some hits. Rusty passed out $50 tips to waitresses, porters, and anyone who had his hand out. To Rusty the important thing was the public gesture. In Nashville, he called up one of the finest men's stores and had them bring a truckload of assorted clothes to our motel. We selected a few thousand dollars worth, and he paid the driver in cash. Returning to Miami, a crowd awaited us at the airport. Women stood in line to kiss Rusty while photographers flashed pictures. Police directed traffic as we pulled away in a new rented Lincoln limo. I found out later that Rusty had hired the whole crowd, photographers, cops and all. Rusty moved into an oceanfront suite and hired a valet/bodyguard, for about two grand a week... a tough guy about six foot eight. The blonde's father heard about her business venture and hopped a plane for Miami, hopping mad. He threatened everybody in sight with jail sentences, if he couldn't arrange for the guillotine. Rusty not only calmed the old man, but hit him for another forty grand. The last I heard of Rusty he was broke and running from his bodyguard, whom he had neglected to pay. When Rusty Diamond had a buck he made Howard Hughes look like a bum. He never realized that being himself would have been enough. Once, when we were alone, I saw him in tears, saying that nobody really cared for him. But he had set it up that way by acting the bigshot, and trying to buy admiration and loyalty, but we'd like to see him again, even if he's broke. EPILOGUE. Since this was written we have found Rusty's obituary in a Salt Lake City newspaper. Copyright © March 8, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

March 5th, 2020...

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TRYING TOO HARD. Recently I pulled out of a streak of depression that I think was due to lack of creative ideas and financial pressure. I kept forcing myself to go to the piano or guitar and forcing myself to try to write a song. I felt guilty when it didn't work. I'm supposed to be a writer. Isn't that who I am? Have I lost it? I even took the recommended therapeutic walks, but it seemed as if I was trying too hard to enjoy it, consciously looking at trees, sky, etc.. "Great sky. Nice tree. Is this working?" Again... forcing it. It was my businesslike left brain fully in charge and beating the hell out of me. One morning I got up and told Misty this: "I've had it! I'm going to stop torturing myself." I stayed away from the music room and just did whatever I felt like doing. I actually got happy! A night or two later I got a surprise urge to play the keyboard, and did it without trying to produce a masterpiece. With no self-pressure and no guilt it was more like fun. A couple of ideas came to me out of the blue. I wrote them down for later. Today I feel okay. I may play a little music tonight. You never know what might happen when you're not trying to make it happen. Copyright © March 1, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

February 23rd, 2020... A LETTER FROM AN OLD FRIEND. I get mail from amateur songwriters, many of them past acquaintances who feel something is due them for associating with me before I was of any practical use. I got one like this a while back. Notes in parentheses are mine. "Hi, Jack! Sorry about taking so long to answer your letter, (Note -- Eight Years), but we've had company from out of town. We were just talking about you the other day after we noticed your albums in the stores up here. You look great, even with the long hair and strange clothes. Have you put on weight? (Note - He just killed any chance of a favor.) "Do you remember the cold winter night I gave you a lift down to the gas station to get kerosene for your heater, after the gas and electric companies had shut you off? And I'd have run you all the way back home through the blizzard, except for the smell of the kerosene. You know I would have. "Well, you finally made it, didn't you? Everybody up here always knew you would. We were just kidding when we used to call you a no-good bum. HA -- HA. We were just trying to put some spunk into you, and you'll have to admit -- IT WORKED! "Since you are an old friend I am giving you first crack at the enclosed original song. If you don't record it I'll have to send it to Johnny Cash, so let me know right away, and don't worry, it's copyrighted. "Your old kerosene buddy, Robert." The following is the hit song he enclosed: "WHEN I'M GONE (or THE GOODBYE SONG) "When I'm gone - you'll find that I won't be here anymore When I go - I'll say goodbye and walk out thru the door Then you'll see it won't be me that's with you as before When I'm gone - you'll find that I won't be here anymore. "When I'm gone - if you're alone, you'll know that I'm not here When I go - if I am far away, you'll know I won't be near Then you'll see it won't be me that's with you as before When I'm gone - you'll find that I won't be here anymore. (CHORUS) "Goodbye - Goodbye - I think you ought to know It doesn't mean I'm going to stay, It means I'm going to go Goodbye - Goodbye - The sun comes up at dawn You'll find I won't be here no more, Honey, when I'm gone." Here's the answer I wrote to my dear old friend: "Dear Robert, In unbiased critical appraisal I must admit that your lyric has a certain steadfastness, not leaving the slightest worry in the listener's mind as to the protagonist's departure. "It drives home the point and makes its title known with a repetitiveness highly valued in the commercial field. Its simplicity is to be complimented as well as its portrayal of a situation in which each of us has found himself at one time or another. "The first-person style and identifiability of the characters only strengthen the argument that you have invested the total of your talent in this one grand effort. "In consideration of the above, and in sincere gratitude for the kerosene you took me to get, I cannot, in good conscience, stand in the way of you and Johnny Cash. Please send it to him and take all the credit for yourself. Don't mention me at all. Heaven knows you deserve it. "Your old friend, Mr. Blanchard" Copyright © February 23, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

February 18th, 2020... Our song* is NUMBER ONE TODAY on the Soundclick charts, Feb. 18, 2020. YAY!!! - Jack. *The song in question, by the way, is Michael Warner's collaboration with Jack, "OLD SONGS". You can listen to it HERE! Well done, both of you! - Jerry.
February 17th, 2020... HOLD THE BUS! This is BIG!... (drum roll, please...) From our friend Frans Martiz at Airplay Express: A Multi Platinum Disc is awarded to "Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan" for landing the Number One slot on the AirplayExpress Country Top 40 Chart for two weeks in a row with their latest 2019 Remix of their worldwide Billboard hit, "Tennessee Birdwalk"! Radio Stations and DJ's can download this new remix on this link: Well done, Jack & Misty! And thanks again to Airplay Express! - Jerry.
February 16th, 2020...

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

GHOST TOWN. Somehow we had missed the turnoff to the southern Ohio town. We went back to where the highway ought to be and found a narrow old road, with grass growing up through the cracks in the pavement. Could this be the main road to town that I remembered from my childhood? The sign said it was. The small city, after slumbering quietly for generations, had become a boomtown with the coming of a large chemical company. For a while the population grew with the influx of labor. The little corner taverns where old cronies had once exchanged worldly wisdom became juke joints as the town opened up. Housing became scarce, money became plentiful, and the townsfolk began a new habit... locking their doors. The picturesque, American town of stories was the only memory I had to go by. I was surprised at the desolate weeded over road that had once been a main artery. We turned off the superhighway and followed the rustic lane toward the town, trying to spot familiar landmarks. There were new shabby buildings, some vacant and boarded up. There were new gas stations, looking aged and toothless with their pumps gone. I thought I recognized an old building... a certain curve in the road... but the clutter made it impossible to get my bearings. Drifting into town, I was relieved to see the railroad station and its surrounding park untouched by time. I had often told Misty about the good times at Aunt Bess' house, where I had spent a lot of my childhood. Now I was about to show her the actual place where it all happened, but at first I couldn't find it. It used to be right there on the corner of Fourth and Maple. Now there was just a rundown Frankenstein house hiding in the weeds. We parked while I stared at it for a long time. I had somehow forgotten... They're all gone. The whole smiling, partying family had died off one by one since I'd been gone. I knew it, I'm sure, but I’d blocked it out. The small grocery store across the street had a new name but looked the same. I went in and asked, but they didn't remember who had lived in that corner house. They didn't recognize my desperately mentioned names, and they were busy. Asking around we learned that the chemical plant had laid off thousands of workers, and the government had built a superhighway that bypassed the town, so it went quietly back to sleep, somewhat the worse for wear. We searched the town all day, and it was sunset before we found anyone we knew. They were all together, as always. The squeak of the rusty wrought iron gate pierced the evening stillness, as we entered the old cemetery, and began brushing away weeds and dust, to peer at names on tombstones... names that clicked on familiar faces in my mind. We drove out of town and didn't talk for a while. Nobody said goodbye. If this was a ghost town these new people didn't know it. We were the ghosts. Copyright © February 16, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

February 9th, 2020...

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

LUCKY EDDY AND THE SWAMP CHICKENS. Lucky Eddy was an over-the-road car hauler. He had a full load of new Ford Fiasco’s on the trailer... and he was headed down the Turnpike toward Miami. Naturally, It was a dark and stormy night. By pure coincidence, Harlan Crapper happened to be driving a truckload of schizophrenic chickens northward to Yeehaw Junction, where he planned to sell them as Grade A to his cousin Ranier. He was pleased with his own business acuity. Harlan liked to brag that he was a direct descendant of Sir John Crapper, who had changed the world with his plumbing marvel. It was a lie, but Harlan had told it for so long he considered it to be as good as true. Meanwhile, Lucky Eddy thought he was either going blind or his headlights were growing dim. In the middle of nowhere, his headlights went completely out. At the Exit sign he thought it said Holopaw and Yeehaw Junction, but he didn’t see any town. He coasted down the ramp, and onto a two lane side road, where he eased onto the shoulder, and stopped to think. They don’t give these trucks to chimps. The idea hit him like a crazed mink. He climbed up to the new Fords, went to the front car, and turned its headlights on. Back in the cab, he found that he could see okay with the car headlights. He was pretty proud of himself as he headed on down the road looking for signs of life. Unfortunately, the only life forms headed his way were Harlan P. Crapper and his crazy chickens. Harlan was listening to his favorite radio talk show about Bigfoot, crop circles, and UFO’s. He was rattling toward Lucky Eddy at his usual 70 mph, deep in thoughts of alien abductions, when he thought he saw a plane coming in. The only trouble was, there was no airport. As the flying object drew closer he saw that it had two bright lights aimed right at him, it looked to be about twenty feet off the ground, and it was coming for him fast. “Whoa!” he hollered, and thought “This is it!” He prayed that the aliens wouldn’t probe any sensitive areas. When the thing was right on top of him, Harlan yanked the wheel all the way to right, and sailed off into the nice safe swamp. Lucky Eddy couldn’t believe his eyes! He stopped and walked back to where the chicken truck had flown off. He shone his big flashlight into the swamp water, and saw Harlan treading water, and a bunch of funny acting chickens trying to fly. There is no moral to this story, and nobody learned anything from it. Copyright © February 9, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

February 2nd, 2020...

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THE ROOM IN THE MIRROR. (2020 rewrite.) Hank Wallace leaned up against the big mirror in the corner of the bedroom, studying his receding hairline at close range, and trying to tune out Elsa's nagging voice. She stood almost behind him now, a little to his right, and addressed herself to his reflection in the mirror. "Henry! Why are you gaping at yourself? Your boss and his wife will be here any minute and you haven't even started to get dressed! No wonder they all get ahead of you at the office. I hope you haven't been into that wine again. I can check the bottle, you know." He stared at her over the shoulder of his mirror image, and said nothing. "Well?" she demanded. He looked into his own eyes and remained silent. "This is your last chance to show Ed Herman that you're not an idiot! I'm the one who had to bow and scrape to set this evening up! I'm going to go check that wine bottle, and when I come back you'd better be dressed." He noticed that the closer you get your face to the mirror, the more you can see of the room inside it. The mirror room, of course, was identical to his own, only backwards. But the lighting in there seemed a little different,... cozier. He found that he could look in and around the corner of the frame when he pressed his nose against the nose of his image. He was straining to see if he could look around the inner frame and see the flowers on the mirror room wallpaper. That's when his head went through. He was aware of the warm glow the second he stepped into the mirror room. There was a peaceful atmosphere the other one never had. The other Hank Wallace smiled and motioned him to sit down. Hank observed that his new friend's clothes buttoned on the wrong side and his hair was parted on the right. He also noticed that his image looked somehow younger than before. There was motion on the other side of the mirror. Elsa marched into the bedroom with the wine bottle in her hand. She looked around the room. She stormed to the closet and threw open the door. She stood hand on hip, in puzzlement. She got down on her hands and knees and looked under the bed. She was on all fours in front of the big mirror when she glanced in at the two Henry Wallaces. Her face erupted into a silent scream. Sound didn't come through the mirror. Hank wondered what next. There was an outside exit door in the mirror room just like in the other. He wondered what kind of a world was out there. Elsa reappeared in the frame, pointing hysterically, with the Hermans behind her, staring through the mirror. All three were gesturing and silently shouting at the two Hanks. He felt a little sorry for Elsa. Hank Wallace stood up, shook hands with himself, walked to the doorway, stepped out into the reverse world, and lived happily ever backwards. Copyright © February 2, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

January 26th, 2020...

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THE WORLD NEEDS A LAUGH. My father said, "I'd like to purchase a chicken." The farmer said, "Want a pullet?" Dad said, "No. Just put it in a bag. I'll carry it." "Bewitch me, darling." "I'll bewitch you in a minute. I'm busy." They can keep me in prison but they can't keep my face from breaking out. Back when we had the million-seller Tennessee Birdwalk there were only a million people in the world. In an old theater that had mice, Misty said, "Down-on-their-luck show mice." SONG. "They tried to sell us egg foo young." COUNTRY SONG. "Cranky, I'm Cranky for feeling so lonely." WARNING: Bears can go 35 mph... Faster if they're in a car. There's a fly in here! I thought this was a No Fly Zone! It's sunny, beautiful. and in the 50s here in Florida. Makes me feel almost alive! Our car only makes left turns. I'm never gone long. HEARD ON THE ARK: "All hens on deck!" EXCITEMENT IN A SENIOR COMMUNITY... The unexpected pregnancy. MY NEW INVENTION... The Suppository Gun. MY SELF-HELP BOOKS... "The Power of Positive Whining. "Build a Mechanical Squirrel in Your Garage." THE LIMO. Misty and I once bought a raggedy old limousine for $90. We needed transportation and would rather look eccentric than poor. To add to the effect, we colored it powder blue with house paint and a brush. At a gas station two tough guys said they knew the car and we owed them big money. We'd never been there before in our life! I floored it and sped away at four miles an hour. TO A HECKLER: "Why don't you get a toupee with a brain in it? A friend said, "I bet you never have a dull moment at your house." I said, "I'm having one right now." At Christmas our phone never stops ringing! It's those four calling birds! My dad had a mole on his nose. He had it tattooed to look like a fly. I'm getting my elbows pierced so I can wear cuff links with a short sleeved shirt. Aunt Bess could jump 3 feet straight up without bending her knees. My dad talked to himself a lot. Nobody knew it because he was a ventriloquist. A cashier demanded that I prove I'm NOT eligible for a senior discount. On Thanksgiving I enjoy catching squirrels and dressing them up as Pilgrims. No more chicken for me. The feet get caught in my throat. Misty said, "My hair looks like a drowned rat." I said, "No. It looks like a nice rat." She laughed. I'm heading for the roundhouse. They can't corner me there. Copyright © January 26, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

January 19th, 2020...

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TRANSITIONS. (This was written when we first moved to our new home in 2014.) It's a cool gray rainy day here, a transitional day, with the remnants of Winter and early signs of Spring. Standing under the edge of our carport I can see almost a mile of tan fields and lines of trees, until the landscape gets lost in the mist. The trees and Spanish moss are moving with the breeze, as are the flags on our street. These are mostly World War Two people and that kind of patriotism doesn't go away, even though the nation has changed over their lifetime. I didn't like Florida for a long time after I landed here. The palms annoyed me. They were foreign and reminded me that I wasn't home; that this was all temporary and I didn't belong here. I could go to almost anywhere up north and not feel like an outsider, but Florida felt unreal... like a movie. As I stood just out of the rain today and took in the palms, the giant oaks in rainy-day colors, and the Spanish Moss like graceful fringe on a gown, it occurred to me that I like it. When did that happen? I still love Buffalo with it's four seasons and the energy in the air, but it's mostly the Buffalo in my memory. The last time we visited there, I enjoyed it, but I had a sense of being outside looking in. The world has changed so much that maybe we all feel a little like strangers at times, but this subtropical place has sneaked up on me and it's started to look right. Maybe I'm home... or as close as I'll ever get. Copyright © January 19, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

January 12th, 2020...

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

OUR ADVENTURE. In early March, 1970, the phone rang. It was Little Richie Johnson at Wayside Records. He said, "You better get packed. We're selling 50,000 a day!" A month later, on April 4th, our "Tennessee Bird Walk" became the Number One Country record in the world and our life changed completely. A week later on April 11th, it was Number One again, and we were doing a show with Jerry Lee Lewis and Waylon Jennings. Waylon joked, "Please get off Number One. You're killing my record. " Now a look back at Miami in the Early 1960s. Misty and I had been struggling, mostly broke, and even homeless on the street for a few days. In the mid-1960s we had a trio on the road playing small clubs all over the East and Midwest. Our old car and homemade trailer kept breaking down and taking all the money. Misty was "Mary" then. Then we got lucky and landed a steady job at a Miami supper club, where we met Richard Nixon and other famous people. Things were getting better. We started singing duets, Mary Blanchard became Misty Morgan, and we got a one month booking at a lounge in Key West. Two guys came in and signed us to a four song contract. and we went to Nashville to record. There were no hits, but our song "Bethlehem Steel" made the Billboard Chart, and Wayside Records signed us. In December, 1969, Misty and I were entertaining crowds at Orlando's Everglades lounge and commuting to Nashville to record. We had had another Billboard charted single, "Big Black Bird". We had a steady job, a nice home, and bought a new Corvette. After struggling for years on the road playing low-pay gigs. the stress was off and we were reasonably happy without any big hits. Our song "Big Black Bird" had gotten a Pop Pick in Billboard, along with Aretha Franklin and others the same week, although we considered it Country. Wayside Records got excited and negotiated with Mercury Records for our distribution. Mercury was ready to go with the record, but the master sent to them by Wayside was faulty. They had to call Wayside and wait for another master. Radio stations were ready to play it but had no copies, and the record died. But now we were on Mercury, a major label. With three hit records, 1970 was the wildest year ever. We were doing major network TV shows, state fairs and festivals, recording "Humphrey the Camel", "You've Got Your Troubles, I've Got MIne", and others, and dealing with big time agents and managers. We were disoriented, facing new problems, and on the road all the time. We were often exhausted, and didn't know where we were. The money went through our hands to agents, managers, musicians, roadies, travel expenses, and wardrobe for TV and live shows. Our happiest times were in the studios, recording with great musicians. It was a wonderful year, an exciting year, and a grueling year. Then a bunch of IRS guys showed up at our house. The hard times and the good times made it an adventure. Copyright © January 12, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

January 5th, 2020...

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

THE LAST DAY. Simon Lescart woke up on his last day, plugged in the coffee maker, and sat down at the computer to check his email. There was the usual spam and forwarded jokes, which he deleted without reading. The sixth message subject line read "Final Notice", and the sender was an acronym, "T.P.T.B." He started to dump it as spam, but for some reason he clicked it open. The message was this: "NOTICE OF EXPIRATION. "Dear Mr. Lescart, "This is an automatic reminder that your life expires at midnight tonight. Please do not try to reply to this email. Have a nice day. Very truly yours, The Powers That Be." Simon tried to reply anyway, but his email bounced back from the "unknown recipient". He knew it must be a stupid joke, but he couldn't stop thinking about it as he fought the city traffic on his way to work. What if this really was his last day? He'd often heard the old saying, "You should live every day as if it were your last." What should a person do on his last day, anyway? Get drunk? Smell some flowers? Confess his sins? What? He didn't have much of a family to visit, just a brother up in Akron and an ex-wife in Atlanta. They hadn't spoken in years. He couldn't think of any old sins offhand. Maybe he should commit some? He knew that the weird email was a fraud, but he decided not to go to work today, just in case. He pulled off at an exit and got back on the expressway, going the other way, toward the ocean. This is nuts, he thought. He couldn't think of anything really important to do, befitting a persons last day on the planet, so he just sat on the beach for most of the day and drank a few beers. He felt a little nervous, like a high school truant, but he also felt something else he couldn't define. Was it freedom? He had some guilt too, for wasting the day looking at the ocean. Someone sat down beside him. The man was obviously homeless, in his ragged black suit and dirty torn sneakers. The man said, "Are you okay, friend? You look kinda lost." Simon said, "That's an odd word... 'Friend'. Now that you mention it, I guess I don't have any of those. Just a bunch of acquaintances." "Maybe you never really tried", said the man. "I've been pretty busy", said Simon. "You must have accomplished great things, being so busy", the man said. "No great things. Just keeping even. Paying the bills", said Simon. "Do you think you have any great things in you", asked the man? Simon said, "Maybe. I've been doing a lot of thinking. If I had the time I'd do things differently." That's when the chest pain struck and the world faded to black. He heard voices. "What Happened?" "Get back!" He was being carried. Then a blinding light above. People working over him. "We're losing him! CLEAR!" Then a huge shock and the world was gone again. The smiling nurse said, "Welcome back. You've had quite a day." "What time is it", he asked? "Almost midnight", she said. "I have to call my brother", he insisted. "We'll contact him for you. You can talk to him in a few days." "I wish I HAD a few days", he said! A cell phone rang. "That sounds like mine", he said. "Where is it?" "It's beside your bed, but you need to rest." He reached for it, but she stopped him. "I'll answer it for you", she said. "Lie back down!" She said, "It's just a text message." "What does it say?", he groaned. The letters on the cell phone screen said this: "EXTENSION GRANTED." Copyright © January 5, 2020 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

January 1st, 2020... And now... a holiday greeting from our sponsor:
It's that time of year again, folks. A lot has happened in the last 12 months, like it seems to do every darn year, and in the spirit of old adages like "a new broom never boils" and "a watched pot sweeps clean" (or some such stuff... forgive me, I'm old...) it's time to put this past year's news page out to pasture. But don't worry if you missed anything -- it hasn't gone far. You can now find every little belligerently centered* bit of it HERE! (And shortly on the Old News page, as usual.) So on behalf of myself, Lee, and Jack and Misty, let me wish you all a safe, sane and happy 2020! Happy New Year, everybody! Jerry D. Withers, Your Friendly Neighborhood Webmeister™ *P.S.: Still can't fix the code, so it looks like 2020 is gonna be belligerently centered as well.
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