No March Madness Here

Mad. who me? Nope. Not a bit. I just finished listening to the WPCA-FM broadcast of my shortest story, “The Duo”. It clocks in at just under ten minutes. I think you know that my stories were written to be able to be read by someone on his/her coffee or lunch break. A person could take a break, read a complete story and get back to work on time. “The Duo” fits that structure perfectly. It’s probably the most autobiographical of all my tales.

One of the things the January 6th protest in Washington conjured up for me was when I had dinner with a former student advisee of mine, Felix Awantang, and his wife. Wherever it was that we dined–and I don’t remember–the place had floor to ceiling windows. There were protestors lining up on the street outside and police on motorcycles were keeping them in a single line on the far side of the street. There was a low, constant murmur, an undercurrent that betrayed the tension that could build and turn a peaceful protest into something ugly. I just remember the feeling. As for the police presence, I suspect protests are common in Washington, D.C. It really is a remarkable place, though. Spend time in the White House and the place reeks of being the center of world power. It used to be an easy cab town, too, unlike New York, and I remember riding in a taxi one day when a motorcade, sirens screaming, roared up behind us and whipped into the White House driveway. It was Menachem Begin, coming to visit the President of the United States. I remember thinking, what a remarkable world we live in; here is a former terrorist, who hid from the British under the stairs of his house, now a head of state coming to visit the most powerful head of state on the planet.

Another thing that struck me, aside from the difference in taxi cabs, was the price of things. The same breakfast in New York that I had in Washington, D.C., cost twice as much. The same breakfast in the Twin Cities cost half what I paid in D.C. and the same meal in Exeland, Wisconsin, where I served the United Methodist Church, was half the price of the same meal in the Twin Cities.

So how did I get off on all that? Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Wolf Creek church intends to resume in-person, masked and distanced services on Easter Sunday. Those services in our church building will go out to YouTube and Facebook, but we will not be able to go live with Zoom, as there is no phone or internet access at the building. While other congregations have been able to film segments ahead of time and edit the results, our Zoom services have been real time, warts and all. That means if I screw up something, it’s there for all to see for as long and often as people want to see it. (Kinda like the time I mis-introduced my daughter and son-in-law when I did their wedding and the wedding ring rolled off my Bible and into the rose bushes–captured on film forever. Ah, well. . . . )

As I’m writing this I’m interrupted by a phone call asking if I might do some reading the Saturday night before Daylight Savings time begins. I turned down the opportunity: our church service is early the next morning and even earlier when Daylight Savings begins. I need to be lucid that morning (not that I am always on Sunday mornings, but I need to make the attempt). So it’s flattering to be asked but this time, no.

Back at you all later!