Nice Truck But….

I found this old truck in the WalMart parking lot a while ago. It really gave me a moment of joy. But…

Old Truck

When I looked in the back of the bed I found a hand-scrolled racist sign about our president it ruined the moment and cheapened the item it was attached to. I won’t show or repeat the sign here but I have found variations of it several different venues.  I tried to erase that sign and just enjoy the truck but it was difficult.  I recognize that I am in a very red State and there are a lot of older generation racists and bigots still around but these signs still give me a shudder when I see them.  How can someone hate someone else so much, let alone POTUS, the leader of our country?

I am into old trucks and the cable TV car shows lately. I can’t do that stuff anymore but still enjoy being able to do it through someone else. But then again I am currently still working on my micro-RV (uRV) which takes my 24 year old truck and furniture delivery cap and turns them into a single person RV with many bumper stickers and travel decals.

This was a nicely done rat rod and I am hoping that eventually my memory of that sign will disappear when I view the pic in the future…

Rising Again…

2015-07-23_20-48-10This blog has been in a three month hiatus due to me just getting tired of the political dialog. I have made some basic changes to prevent that from happening again.  One thing is that while I will continue to allow comments, at least for now, I will not reply to many of them.  I know this is not good blog etiquette but that is the way it has to be for me to continue here and keep my sanity. This is my longest running blog and has over 2,000 posts so it has become an important part of who I am.  While I will be drastically trimming down on posts about politics I will continue to occasionally post in that venue. There are many other topics included here that I didn’t want to abandon… so here we go again…

The Bi-weekly Haircut…..

RJs AutobiographyI just got a haircut recently and a memory came back to me from my childhood. In order to get it back where it belongs on the far fringes of my memory I have to post it here. I don’t have nearly as much hair as I did back then and I get it cut much less frequently now. But it was a tradition for several of my very early years that I always got my “Hollywood Burr” hair cut every two weeks. In fact it was a neighborhood tradition. Let me explain…

The man living just behind us named Mr. Harmon was a barber in the army so he knew a thing or two about cutting hair. The first thing was to cut it quick and the second was to cut it short! I guess in order to supplement his income, although I don’t know what he did for his main job, he opened his garage every Saturday morning and all the neighborhood kids would line up for their 35 cent haircut. I think he managed to buzz through about twelve kids an hour. Mr. Harmon always told the parents “if it is not short enough bring them back and I will make it shorter at no expense.”  I know Mr. Harmon had two boys himself and it seemed their hair never grew by more than an eighth of an inch before they were in the chair. It is strange that I don’t really remember much about his boys but I remember him with his hair trimmers in hand every Saturday.

And the journey goes on…..

Our Southern Neighbors…

My search of America certainly includes our southern neighbors. I visited Guadalajara Mexico for the first time in the mid-1980s. It was quite different then than it was just ten years later when these pictures were taken.  Guadalajara or GDL is a very artistic place. I spent months there setting up a manufacturing plant which of course, was shut down ten years later and moved to China. The people I met there are the most friendly I have come across in my travels.

Click on any picture below to open up a larger slideshow…

My Clan… Or Not…

My family on the Walters side just weren’t very social critters. I only recall one quasi-family reunion in my life and that was for an aunt’s funeral. My dad had four brothers and sisters who in total had  four children so there is not much of a clan to start with. Dad was the baby in the family, the others were considerably older than him so most of my aunts and uncles died before I reached thirty.

The family of my mother’s side were for the most part non-existent. I think during my very early years we lived in a double next to her parents for a year or two but that was my exposure to them. I really don’t recall anything about them other than her father was a night watchmen at a meat-packing plant. She had one brother, maybe more, I just don’t know. Mother was a “bridge burner”, she seldom looked back on life. She was almost totally into herself and that left little room for others, especially in her later years.

Me and my brothersI have two brothers and one sister by three different fathers. Pretty much the last time I saw my brothers was when my wife and I took a trip to the “south” in 2002. One lives in North Carolina and the other in Florida. Due to life’s circumstances we were just never very close.  I was the middle boy of three and in my earlier years and I simply adored by older brother and walked in his shadow whenever he would let me. But then my mother took him and abandoned the rest of the family when I was about ten. He was ripped from my life pretty much on a permanent basis.

Let’s just say my younger brother sowed a lot of wild oats in his childhood and did some things that I had trouble with. He eventually settled down into a stable family life but it seems that both of us just for the most part went our different ways.  My sister was a troubled soul from an early age. She was twenty years younger than me so she was more of a niece than a sister. She died at the age of about forty of some sad circumstances. I grieve that she had such a troubled life.

I didn’t get married until I was almost forty and my wife is older than me by several years so we had no children. I have just not had much exposure to “family” and now of course I never will it seems.  So my exposure to family has been very muted in my life. That is except for my wife’s clan.

I was almost in shell shock the first trip I made with my new bride to upper Wisconsin. I was told that there would be a get-together to celebrate our marriage but I was totally unprepared for the magnitude of it. I was quickly exposed to perhaps a fifty aunts, uncles, sibling and all the associated families.  Over the last thirty years most of the clan, except for the kids, have passed away so that side of the family is also dwindling.

In some ways I kind of wished I grew up with a “Walton’s” family but who ever really did?

Praire Museum – Colby Kansas

We just happened to come across this museum on our way home from Santa Fe this Spring.  It is a fascinating place that tells the story of the Upper Plains of Kansas. One thing I do know is that the Upper Plains is a very windy place.  I think it could be the wind energy capital of the world if they filled it with wind turbines….

Marbles

Great Sand Dunes National Park

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is just north of Alamosa Colorado. I guess formed because of it unique environmental conditions. It is a very interesting place to visit. They say the night sky is some of the most wondrous in the country. I wish we had taken the time to see it. Click on any picture below to see an enlarged slideshow…