One book leads to another...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Can They Hear Us?

 My mind tends to wander along the roads between now and when, where I am and will be. And sometimes I have the strangest thoughts…

For instance, who knew Fishermen are superstitious? 

Sailors who wear earrings or tattoos will not drown

Bananas on a boat are very bad luck

90 percent of the fish are caught by 10 percent of the fishermen

They do not talk while fishing because the fish can hear you (!)

Apache Trout are only found in Arizona

And, speaking of Arizona,

After the kidnapping, rape and brutal beating of a young Phoenix woman, the conviction of one of Arizona’s most notable criminals was set aside by the Supreme Court Justice Dept. (June 1966) because he hadn’t been properly advised of his rights. The name of the defendant was Ernesto Miranda.  Arizona successfully retried and convicted him once again – without a confession. Upon his release on parole, Miranda sold autographed Miranda warning cards for $1.50 each.

And then on March 13, 1997, as witnessed by hundreds of people, there was an unexplained incident that not even the governor could explain, called the “Lights Over Phoenix

I think I need further research on the superstitious fishermen notion ;-) Are you superstitious? Do you think fishermen are? Have you seen any proof that an acorn placed on a windowsill keeps lightning out?

In the meantime, enjoy the holiday weekend and Happy trails!

Sometimes, They Come Back

As summer paints the western sky in burnished shades of yearning; to save the carefree summertime and autumn leaves from turning, my heart urges time to a standstill. Though the past has come; a midnight moon while stars were deep in slumber, a spirit rode on wings of loon and tore the dates asunder. Reluctant is the tiny bird that knows it must take wing, though winter songs are not yet heard as garden birds still sing.  The time is now as winter nears; the anxious hummer knows, and late one balmy August night, he’ll spread his wings for home. 

Whoever said, “Parting is such sweet sorrow” had it right, don’t you think? As you know, at many of the places I visit folks simply never leave. And they can get a bit testy when someone new moves in and wants to make a few changes; as we saw in my Cottonwood post, where at one home the ghostly resident repeatedly ripped up newly laid tile and dragged construction materials out on the lawn during renovations. 

As one might think, refurbishing a home or building that isn’t still “occupied” is a relief in itself. But can you imagine what could happen if sometimes, they come back?

When purchased by the former Sonora State Senator Carlos Velasco, back in 1878, it was no more than a three room adobe hut. By the time of his death in 1914, Velasco and his wife had lovingly transformed it into one of the finest manors in El Presidio; boasting 15 ft. ceilings with many fine Spanish and Old Mexico gildings that enhance the elegance of the enduring abode that spans nearly five acres in the middle of downtown Tucson, Arizona.

It wasn’t until renovations began in the late nineties on this 150+-year-old home that reports began circulating of a certain distinguished looking gentleman with a mustache, appearing out of nowhere with a keen interest in the on-going project at the old Velasco Pueblo.

Workers reported being watched at all times, only to turn and find not their supervisor, but the floating upper torso of a man with a direct, discerning gaze that seemed to express approval before the apparition vanished. He watched with particular interest as walls were refurbished in the burned-out room that had served as his office when he created and printed Tucson’s first Hispanic newspaper, and as the project neared completion, Velasco’s presence was further revealed in rearranged furniture, reset clocks (a particular fascination for Velasco in life), and pictures being moved from wall to wall. 

Throughout renovations and for years to follow, Velasco’s appearances continued; ever imparting a sense of contentment at his return home. There have been no reports of anyone minding his presence, and the privately-owned home is now listed on the National Register of Historic places.

Are you ready for summer’s end? Could you live with the ghost of Carlos Velasco? Might you be hanging around at your house to see how newcomers treat it?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Angels on Monday

How’s your Monday getting started? In honor of National “Be an Angel Day” I’m sharing the inspiring words and remarkable story of Captain Charlie Plumb.

Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"
"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb.
"I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today."
Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?' or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor." Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory - he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.
Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachutes.

Are you all packed? Let’s all go be angels!