THE RIVER IS LOW… a Drabble for Fri Fic
Mercury hits 73˚ in San Francisco… and it’s January! Meanwhile in Sacramento:
“Man, the river’s low. I never see it this low. When you think the last time it rained?”
“Hell, I don’t even remember. I hear they’re hiking instead of skiing at Tahoe.”
“Likely be a bitch this summer.”
“No shit, hell I remember ’77. ‘If it’s yellow, be mellow… if it’s brown, flush it down.’ They had to put a pipe across the Richmond Bridge to send those mokes in Marin our water. Let’s secede so we don’t have to send it south.”
“The Golden State will be Brown.”
I guess this is not really a story, per FF ‘guidelines’, but more an expression of a few recent random thoughts as I looked at Erin’s photo for inspiration and saw a river. It made me think of recently seeing the Sacramento river at its lowest ever, no rain to speak of since October there, and this is the rainy season. There is very little snow in the Sierra Nevadas and none at all from the passes of Southern Oregon to Redding. California is declaring a state of Extreme Drought, as we were in shirt sleeves when I was in San Francisco yesterday. And secession attempts are hot and heavy in the Jefferson Republic to create a 51st state.
SAINT PATRICK’S DAY REVISIT…
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HER HEARTS… A 33 word story
I got a call. “I need your help making something.” “Okay, what?”
“A stone heart for Sammie.” “Sammie’s a dog.”
“I know, I want to honor him.” “Okay, then let’s do Buddy too.”
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A dear friend in Sacramento had two miniature poodles. They were brothers, and had been show dogs… Sammy had died. She wanted to make memorial stones to place in her garden. She had studied how to make stepping-stones, so we went to the hardware store and got a bag of cement. Buddy was still with her, so we got him to ‘autograph’ his stone… he was not pleased about that. Susan was so happy with them (and we had a lot of cement left over), that we ended up making some more for past and present dogs. Later, a friend who saw them, asked us to make one for her sister who had loved Betty Boop. It’s a nice idea, I think… Garden Art with a Meaning.
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Ruth hadn’t glazed a pot in what seemed like, forever. He always did that part. Her ‘job’ was the throwing… his, the decorating. Such awards they had received. But he wasn’t helping anymore. She had decided on a simple sgraffito cut through the soft slip. Selecting a chisel ended bamboo for her doctor, she wondered if she was up for the task.
He loved Temmoku, and though she disliked working in stoneware, it seemed only fitting. She had found a glaze he made years ago before she had insisted they use only porcelain. A near-black, which could break to an iron-red at the right temperature creating a fire-change. A bit of Titanium added as doctor to the process. He would be so pleased.
She had decided on just their marks intertwined with his name, as she pushed through the soft clay. No dates.
There would be comparisons, of course. Ruth didn’t care. This was to be her last work. Her tears would only add to the decoration.
Trifecta Writing Challenge Week Sixty-Six : Write 33 to 333 words using the third definition of the word: DOCTOR (noun) a : material added (as to food) to produce a desired effect ~ b : a blade (as of metal) for spreading a coating or scraping a surface
Temmoku is a type of glaze popular in Japan. It is used on stoneware and is a very complicated process. Sgraffito is a form of decoration, scratching through the surface of a glaze to reveal the clay beneath, or another glaze, before firing.
I named her Ruth to honor my first ceramics teacher, Ruth Rippon. An amazing artist and a wonderful teacher. Nobody but Ruth would glaze her work.
This photo of Ruth in her studio in 1980 was taken by Kurt Fishback. One of her most famous works is called The Lollies and can be found in Sacramento. I don’t know who took the photo of young Ruth above.
This is one of my favorite stories I’ve written. I thought I would share it with AnythingGoes. Check out their blog for other stories:
What would you put in a 2012 time capsule? A ‘Daily Prompt’ by WordPress
I have no idea what I would put in my 2012 Time Capsule. But, the prompt did make me think of a time capsule I did do, almost 60 years ago.
When I was a kid… living in Sacramento… my best friend Jim Kiedasch and I made a Time Capsule. We placed some important items in one of those army-green ammo boxes my father had brought back from the war. I can remember a 45 rpm record by Elvis, some photos of us, copies of the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union, and a wire recording we had made, telling the events of the day, the biggest one being… burying our Time Capsule. We sealed the box with candle wax to keep out moisture. Dug a hole in the flower garden in my parent’s back yard, and covered the box with rocks before filling it in with dirt. We were very careful to replace the flowers on top. Our only witness was my sister Nancy… and a cat. She didn’t know what the hell we were doing, and neither did the cat, so our secret was safe.
We never dug it up. I would like to think it is still in the back yard, under the rocks and dirt.
The other day, Stephen Elliott of The Rumpus said this… “I’ve been reading about Bob Dylan in 1965. He was tired of music and fame and he went to upstate New York to live in a cabin and be alone. He didn’t even bring a guitar. He said he quit music. After five days he started writing what many consider the best songs of his career.” That got me to thinking…
I saw Bob Dylan in 1965 at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento. A girl I was interested in at the time suggested I take her, as she had no money to buy a ticket. I had no idea who Bob Dylan was, but thought it was in my best interest to buy the tickets.
The Auditorium seats 3,000… there were about 600 in attendance, scattered all about. Bob came out on the stage… a skinny guy with a guitar and a folding chair. He sat down, strummed his guitar and sang a song. After a few songs, he told everyone to come down and sit in the chairs on the main floor. In those days no one stood at the front of the stage and lit matches or waved Bics… and certainly not cell phones. I thought that was a cool move on his part.
I enjoyed the concert and my introduction into the World of Bob Dylan. I didn’t get laid that night, but I did get a Bob Dylan record the next day.
Highway 61 Revisited was that album.
I never make New Years Resolutions. 1 ~ Because if you want to do something… do it. I think resolutions are a crutch to procrastinate and make yourself feel better… and you will never keep them. 2 ~ Because I never kept them. So this year, my New Year’s Resolution is to reopen TedBook and write something in it. I feel better already.
My friend Margie told me, “only 8% were ever kept”. I read that if you put it in writing, it may actually have a chance of happening. Okay, it’s in writing now… it’s all up to me… I want to be in that 8%! Yesterday I looked to see when the last entry in TedBook occurred… yikes! January 2, 2011… one whole year of silence! Another friend, Keri, reminded me of that this morning, after I mentioned I might start blogging again.
Why the silence? No one particular reason really… I think mostly procrastination. It’s not like I didn’t have any ideas… I had many, and wrote a lot of blogs in my mind, complete with photos. But, I never got to the point of transferring them into my computer. A lot of my friends asked me where TedBook was, and why they were not seeing new blogs. I would hear… “where’s your blog”, “what happened to TedBook”, “weren’t you writing a blog”… after a while it was down to two. O’B would bug me about it when we saw each other. Louisa would mention it… in November, I got a note from her… “Why aren’t you writing?” I could tell she was disappointed in me. I thought… “I’m disappointed in me too”. I have friends with blogs… Jane in L.A., a champion fighting Autism … Aggie in Chicago who posts a quiz everyday, except Saturday when she’s shacked up with her boyfriend.
The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was when O’B started a blog! She had moved back to Sacramento, after an absence of some 30 years, and she and Anthony had bought a house in Southside Park. Southside is a downtrodden mostly Latino neighborhood, that I have a feeling is becoming Yuppified (not naming any names here). Catherine is a curious and outgoing woman, who has undertaken the chronicling of Southside. Hence her blog
Southside Park: Forty-Six City Blocks of Surprise
Join me as I explore urban living in Sacramento’s Smallest Neighborhood.
Lord knows I waste enough time on facebook and playing Words with Friends (Alec Baldwin has yet to challenge me), so I really have the time… I just have to do it. I was jealous with every new post O’B made… and she is prolific. So, that’s what had been in the back of my mind, and I don’t mind admitting I was feeling guilty. My own daughter, Ashley, was now more of a writer than me. She had taken a creative writing class, and had written some impressive pieces. I had encouraged her to start a blog… and I can’t even do my own… at least she has two teenagers to blame, or maybe just the college classes she is doing. Sure better reasons than my slacking. So, this was where I was at on New Year’s Eve.
I don’t drink Champagne or go to New Year’s Eve parties anymore. The last one I went to, about 10 years ago, my date and I snuck out early and welcomed in the New Year in private… my best New Years Party ever. This year I watched a movie, and was saying Happy New Year to my facebook friends when I saw this post.
I had been meaning to check out Amy’s latest album, ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’, and was glad for the reminder. I’ve always liked Amy and was saddened by her death and the loss of such a talent. After listening to “Our Day Will Come” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”, I was near tears. Her day will never come, and there is no Tomorrow for Amy Winehouse. It gave me pause to think… I was lucky, I had survived my drug of choice, which like her’s, was alcohol. It’s destructive force had ruined relationships and created havoc in my life, but my biggest regret, is that I could have been and should have been a better father. Unlike Amy, I was able to change my life for the better. But, Amy made me face myself and make some choices that night. One of those is to resume my blog.
Of course I bought the album and I reopened TedBook.
This was an important post for me… another step in a bloggers life. I thought I would share it with my friends at Yeah Write.