Friday, November 29, 2013

A Talk about Bullying

By Fred Owens

If you got your ass kicked in 3rd grade, it's because you were a twit.

There are no solutions here, but some honest talk about real experiences.

One of the talkers asked to have his name withheld, so I decided to withhold all the names.

And, without further ado, let the discussion begin.

Avenger. If you got your ass kicked in 3rd grade, it's because you were a twit.

The Nice People are rampaging across Facebook in the new war against bullies. I instinctively take the opposite side. It is time to, judiciously, blame the victim.

Little Sister. Don't even joke about it.

Garden Man. I was always the victim - nerdy, lacking social skills and uncoordinated, I had to sneak to school and sneak home or risk being assaulted. It was not funny. In some moments it still hurts unbearably.

Avenger. I have always felt that way -- to not pick on people, to not let people pick on me. Yet I distrust this current fad, as if some people just last week discovered that some of us are not as nice as we could be....... There is a generic Facebook social media movement against bullying. I oppose it. It is totally phony. I am not nice, and I don't care to associate with people who are.

Garden Man. "Not nice" and bullying are two very different phenomena! Very different!

The Avenger. Lately there has been a lot of media hype on this topic -- and it's crap. Facebook/social media creates false hope and pushes phony agendas. What you can expect from this is that someone -- at a school or business -- will create a program and set up guidelines and require students and employees to attend workshops on the issue. And I say all this is crap. I am not joining. It's a waste of my time.

I suggest instead that we deal with individual situations as they arise....

Garden Man. Well, I WAS a twit, but I don't think THAT justifies beating someone up! It didn't make me less a twit and it didn't improve my grades, my self-esteem or my popularity. It increased my fear, which was the story anyway, and ruined any chance I had at enjoying my years in school from 3rd grade to 8th grade. I wished I could die every day I was in school and the adults who knew about it did nothing. I was left to my own wits about how to make the one mile walk from home to school and back and not get beat up again.

The last day of school in 8th grade I had to leave the town, walking through fields to the south east, and walk a huge arc through fields to arrive at home hours later from the north west to not be beat up by half dozen football players. I have no problem against pulling against the viral crap of Facebook, but you have provoked a nerve. I verily wish that someone had been there for me, viral or not. Being tortured like that is not anything that any child should endure. Come to the garden with me as the middle school students wait for the bus. They are vile and cruel. I hate them.

Hawk Woman. We have created a society of victims. Pointing blame, passing the buck and developed dependency to the degree of LEECHING. Garden Man, I feel for you and know your pain. Because I too, experienced "bullying" and not by any cause of my own. From the age of 12 until nearly 19, I suffered from SEVERE cystic acne all over my face. I kid you not, cysts and boils the size of small eggs, dozens of them all over my face and neck. I am not exaggerating in the slightest and the scars that cover my entire face are plain proof, I look as though I dipped my face in a bowl of flesh eating acid to have the scars that I do.

As you can imagine, I was horribly made fun of, bullied, teased, and the feeling of hopelessness that there was nothing I could do to change my face. There were no products available to cure me. I am so grateful beyond words for one person, my mother, whom loved me more than I can ever know, and showed me what life is all about. What I did in the most important years of my youth is that I learned the value of heart. I learned the value of kindness, and of silent healing. I learned the value of encouragement. I learned compassion, not pity. I moved forward, that is not to say I didn't have moments of staring in the mirror at an unrecognizable, deformed face wondering "Why me?" I learned from this...

Instead of creating hate and anger, bitterness and victimization, I learned great strength, mental discipline, compassion, motivation, determination, spirituality, mental exploration, seeking out knowledge, I was not consumed with beauty any longer, or fashionable clothes, or fancy cars, or being a cliche teenager often consumed by material possessions, appearances and boys. I learned raw confidence, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, and the VALUE OF A HUMAN SOUL, far beyond what your eyes can see. Much too often people see with their eyes. See with your hearts. ONLY THIS, only this love will prevent bullying. Not pink t-shirts and silly slogans.

Love your children unconditionally, love your family unconditionally, love your neighbors, your enemies, your allies, your foes, earth, creation and all things... When you can do those things, you will see beauty at its finest as you've never imagined it.

Love conquers all, indeed.

Garden Man. This thread has been very difficult for me to respond to. Obviously you had a good parent to intercede on your behalf. I did not and many victims do not either. After a bullying incident in high school, I was institutionalized to prevent suicide. All through my life, I have struggled with suicidal ideation and depression, even to this day (I'm 61). I was released from the institution when I overcame my fear; they did not know I had found drugs and alcohol. I finally had to get sober some 20 years after the fact and have had to face these demons. It is STILL not easy for me, I still fight with the fears burned into my face and body at their hands. I learned nothing from my time in school except to FEAR. If you think it's OK for bullies to persist, I can only vehemently disagree. No child should have to fear for his life or want to take his life because he cannot bear to suffer along alone. Sadly, I would imagine that more bullying victims have experiences more closely tallying mine: no parent, no adult to intercede on their behalf and a shattered life because there were no lessons to learn except self-worthlessness.

Hawk Woman. No, no, no I did not imply bullies should persist. I feel for you, and have compassion for your journey. I believe bullies should be brought to justice when these instances occur, there should be available help that you can feel comfortable talking to, and that will be able to provide tools for legal intervention.

I know that apologizing to the plate after it has been broken does not make it magically reform itself back together. These bullies had something happen to them to make them angry, when we come out of the womb we are not born with hate. The first, and only thing we feel at that moment is love. My point being, it is up to the next generations to help extinguish these fires by the means I explained prior. If a child is shown love, it will only know love. If there are no bullies, there are no victims of bullying.

I suppose I am a rare case to have come out what people see as "unscathed", that is not true. But it did take a lot of work on my part and comprehension of mental discipline at such a young age. I am 22, and aside from my work with birds of prey, my mission in life is to love everyone unconditionally, provide encouragement, and find the peace within all of us. I don’t say these things for my own glory, I say these things because we have forgotten our true purpose here. We have forgotten the balance. We have forgotten unity, strength in numbers, and serenity.

I am, because we are. We are all in this together, the superficial and material society has divided us. It has caused division, hate, anger, depression, mental instability, physical ailments, anxiety, and ultimately death. We were not born hating, we were taught. We can learn to love, too. I feel for you, Garden Man.. There are still some of us who really care.

Avenger. Well said, Hawk Woman ---- I don't mean to suggest I have any special experience to relate here. I've just been reading stories on the Internet lately and it all seems like the latest hype, so my aim was to make it real, and I feel that you and Garden Man have done just that....

Big Sister. While I find meaning in both Garden Man and Hawk Woman's stories, on the whole I think kids today are being trained to be overly sensitive on the one hand to too immune to abuse on the other hand. I cannot find the balance. My understanding for boys is that you are not really a man until you have survived a fight, I am not sure about girls.

As a high school teacher, I can tell you that frequently I had students say so and so is mean to me, or says things about me. First of all there is very little a teacher can do, especially if she doesn't actually witness the abuse. Secondly, with all that a teacher has to do, that is almost beyond the realm of possibility to protect kids from meanness. I really don't know what the answer is, but being overly sensitive sets you up for a lifetime of hurt feelings, while being hardened to meanness makes you, well, hard hearted and insensitive. Life is always in the balance.

Hawk Woman. Great to hear it from someone who is on the inside of it all, a teacher. I see how your position can be limited. It is a lot of he said, she said and is difficult to determine. I would suppose that I put too much expectation on the youth to bring a serious situation to light with someone who does have the authority to implement justice in the situation.

Granted, in my mind I am thinking of those that are being physically abused. As I stated before about my past, mine was indeed only verbal abuse and I agree with you that we have become too sensitive to one teeny tiny little fact, that the world is not fair, nor is it kind. Instead of simply consoling their emotions, I think it is greatly beneficial to equip them with the ability to move forward against all odds. By having it nice and easy at school, you will have a rude awakening when we must grow up and realize that the people in the real world aren't always bright and shiny, nor do they have our best interests in mind. Teach the children to be strong and confident, full of ambition and the motivation to fulfill that ambition. Teach them kindness, not to let these experiences harden their hearts, crush their dreams or make them bitter and reclusive. Life is what you make of it, push forward and enjoy it. Your energy is not worth being spent on the negatives. As for the ones being physically abused, stand up for yourself as best you can, stand tall and do inform someone who can help you. I love to hear honesty from the classroom, the ones who are actually witnessing what is transpiring in our children today, the future of our world. Thank you very much for sharing.

The Lone Ranger has been listening to all this with great interest, now he has to jump in with his own tale of childhood abuse.

Lone Ranger. Oh, so all the times that I got waylaid on the way to the park by roving gangs of chicano kids who slapped the shit out of me and threw my lunch in the street? That was all my doing? Thanks, Avenger. I feel so much better.

Little Sister. There is just no excuse for bullying!

Avenger. Lone Ranger, you were not a twit, you just grew up in the wrong neighborhood...... When did this start? My Dad grew up in a tough neighborhood in St. Louis, that would be 1915-1925, give or take a few years. He was treated roughly and he didn't care to talk about it. But he made it his life's ambition to get out of that place and he did get out.... Just saying this is not a new thing, but saying that I do not trust the current interest in the problem.......... It smacks of a trend. It's phony and it will produce phony results. Committees will be formed. Regulations will be passed. Politicians will get on the bandwagon. The whole thing is going viral, and nothing will happen........ As for bullying, I did not suffer from it. I don't understand why it happens, and I don't know how to prevent it...... That's a good place to start.

Little Sister. Also, remember that the bully will grow up to be someone's parent, someone's spouse, or someone's boss.

Lone Ranger. I agree that the new emphasis on bully-awareness is just one more way for the hover-parents to act as if they discovered children. But I do think I know where it comes from. It's a status behavior. Old as the species itself. And we won't ever eliminate it entirely. But, I do have to say that I think it is LESS prevalent now than when I was a kid. It was really Lord of The Flies back then.

The Avenger. The bully in my class in grade school was Leroy -- that was his real name. He was big, dumb and mean -- he had a grin on his face like Ernest Borgnine in From Here To Eternity. He lived right down the alley from my house, but I think he found easier targets.....

Big Sister. I remember Leroy, dumb and bad. I suppose we should feel sorry for dumb kids, how else are they going to get any attention?

The Avenger. I liked Leroy, but he was too stupid to hang out with.

Subscriptions. Your subscription money keeps the editor from getting cranky. Your dollars keep him on an even keel. He needs to maintain a sense of detachment and keep his sense of humor. Help him out. Send your check today or hit the PayPal button...... Just follow the instructions below.

Subscriptions. Thank you --- Subscriptions can be paid at PayPal on the Frog Hospital blog for $25. Or you can mail a check to the address below.

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is Fred Owens

My writing blog is Frog Hospital

send mail to:

Fred Owens
35 West Main St Suite B #391
Ventura CA 93001

Sunday, November 24, 2013

In November

I was going to write about November, 1963 when I was in high school in Wilmette, Illinois and we rode to school every morning in Billy Anderson's 1962 blue Chevrolet convertible....... With the top up. The top was always up because it get's pretty cold in November on school days mornings at 7 a.m. We got in the car and rode to school, three miles.

But a story about high school is too depressing, so I have picked a much better November, one of my very best -- November, 1995, in New England, in the western suburbs of Boston -- Concord, Acton, Lexington, and Lancaster -- those old colonial towns.
Neil Jorgensen. That year I was working for Neil Jorgensen, the best landscape designer in New England. Neil was a geologist by education, so he knew his stones, and New England is practically built out of granite. More stones than soil -- I knew that from getting my hands on it. Neil could look at a hillside and describe what the glaciers had done to it.
Neil had won the Silver Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. He had customers lined up waiting for him to come and do their gardens. And when he came, Neil would tell his customers what he was going to do. You paid him well and you agreed to his overall plan. He was at the pinnacle of his profession.
Neil had vision -- he could see five years ahead. He could see in all four seasons. So if we planted a small tree in a certain place, it wasn't because of how it looked now, but how it would look in the springtime five years from now.
Neil had reached the highest stage of creative energy. You could hire a landscape designer and get a grade A design, and your friends and neighbors would praise the new garden and comment knowledgeably on this rose and that rhododendron and how the new path fitted the curve of the hill.
But that's not the highest level. Neil was above that. When you walked into one of Neil's gardens, you didn't notice the design. You just started to feel good. You began to have wonderful thoughts. You took a kinder attitude toward your family, you felt a blessing to mankind and all of nature. That is a good garden.

And Neil's gardens looked lovely too -- just not overdone, surprisingly simple in fact.

We worked through August, in the heat and humidity, swatting mosquitoes, dodging poison ivy. In September the weather got better and we felt new energy. We laughed and joked all day. We had beers and ate Reuben sandwiches for lunch. October was too glorious to even mention. October in New England is like heaven on earth, and we kept working.
By November it was grey and the leaves were down. Mornings were cold and stiff, but we kept planting, working extra hours, using all the dwindling daylight. We worked on Dr. Patel's garden until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was snowing when we finished on the last day of the season, but the garden was done.
That was the best November I ever had.

Neil is retired now. He lives in Kittery, Maine by the sea, tending his favorite maples and English primroses. I might call him some day and see how he's doing.

Subscriptions. Your subscription money keeps the editor from getting cranky. Your dollars keep him on an even keel. He needs to maintain a sense of detachment and keep his sense of humor. Help him out. Send your check today or hit the PayPal button...... Just follow the instructions below.

Subscriptions. Thank you --- Subscriptions can be paid at PayPal on the Frog Hospital blog for $25. Or you can mail a check to the address below.

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

send mail to:

Fred Owens
35 West Main St Suite B #391
Ventura CA 93001

Friday, November 15, 2013

I am at my sister's house in Venice

I am reading the Mill on the Floss by George Eliot. It was published in 1860. I've decided to stay in the 19th century for my reading pleasure. With all of time spread before me I choose this period. I like Dickens, Austen, Hardy, Tolstoy, and Trollope.

I like Joseph Conrad and Balzac. I don't believe I will read anything written after 1914.

Health Care. It's kind of a mess. I wish I could say or do something to make it better, but I am quite at a loss.

Drought. I'm beginning to hear this word around Southern California. For a while I was hearing "It sure has been dry this year" and "I sure hope it rains pretty soon," but now I'm hearing the "d" word -- drought. Lake Cachuma is very low. Leaves are falling off the sycamores a little early.

I can't do anything about that either -- can't make it rain, can't fix health care.

Let's Pep it Up. The problem is that I have been sitting in this over-stuffed chair here at my sister's house in Venice. It has influenced my mood. I am reclining into a state of utter passivity. I don't actually need a plan. I just need to get up and get moving.

What can I do? What I can do is walk down the street to the Abbot's Habit coffee shop and sit down with Eric. He comes there every morning. I will talk it over with him -- Eric is a pretty smart guy. He might know what to do.

So I got coffee and sat with Eric. Sky walked in. She's a California babe with cascading blonde curls, wearing light blue slacks and a tank top cut low. She has a figure like a Barbie doll. "Hi, I'm Sky." "Yeah, we've met, I'm Fred."

They all come into the coffee shop and sit with Eric and tell him about their boy friends, or their work, or their real estate problems. Eric is the godfather. He listens, he might say something or he might not say anything........ Sky said she is going back to New York for a while and she is going to put her house out for a vacation rental. "I can get $500 a night."

In Venice, if you're near the beach, you can get that kind of money.

Eric nodded his head. "This is what people are doing," he said.

Sky made some inquiries about my gardening work, but she's all-city and not really interested. Then she got up, gave Eric a big kiss and said "I'll be back in six months."

So I left the coffee shop. Health care is still a mess and the drought continues in Southern California. But if you know people like Eric and Sky -- this is the greatest place on earth.

Later for Lunch. I bought one container of egg salad and one of potato salad before I left the coffee shop. This was to bring to the pot luck lunch at the Learning Garden.... They have this every Friday. And lots of people came -- a women from Bulgaria, she said her name was Mimi --- like that wasn't actually her name, but you could call her Mimi because that was easier to pronounce than her Bulgarian name. She brought potato soup. Julie brought a warm dish of baby bok choy and mushrooms. Others brought salad and pumpkin pie...... By the time Mel got there, the food was almost gone and he started to get annoyed. "How come you got all the food?" he whined. And David King, the master gardener, said, "Hey Mel, that's why they call it pot luck -- you gotta be lucky."

But more people came and someone brought a big tub of spaghetti and someone brought a sack of Halloween cookies, so Mel got his plate full.

Then the fellow who lives across Walgrove Street from the Learning Garden, he brought an entire wheelbarrow full of avocados from his back yard tree, hard and green, he dumped them in a pile and said help yourself. So I snagged a dozen and went back to my sister's.

Dinner. I have dinner reservations at 7 p.m. at Piccolo's on the Venice Boardwalk, with the person who wishes to remain anonymous. She said don't mention it. I said fine, nobody needs to know. But I will not be conspicuously curious and ask her why she wishes to remain incognito. No, that's not my style -- to ask questions.......

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I'm driving back early to Santa Barbara because Amanda wants me to clean up her yard -- she's having people over for brunch on Sunday.

Subscriptions. Your subscription money keeps the editor from getting cranky. Your dollars keep him on an even keel. He needs to maintain a sense of detachment and keep his sense of humor. Help him out. Send your check today or hit the PayPal button...... Just follow the instructions below.

Subscriptions. Thank you --- Subscriptions can be paid at PayPal on the Frog Hospital blog for $25. Or you can mail a check to the address below.

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is Fred Owens

My writing blog is Frog Hospital

send mail to:

Fred Owens
35 West Main St Suite B #391
Ventura CA 93001

Friday, November 01, 2013

paths of glory

Paths of Glory was filmed in 1957, directed by Stanley Kubrick as an anti-war movie, starring Kirk Dougle at his fiery best and Adolphe Menjou as on Old World Cynic. The story involves the trial of three enlisted soldiers who refused to go over the top in a trench warfare battle, refusing to risk certain death. They were arrested for cowardice and put on trial. Kirk Douglas defended their actions as the reasonable thing to do, that is, the four soldiers did not want to die.
Nevertheless they were found guilty of disobeying the order to attack. At the end of the movie the three soldiers are executed by a firing squad.

And there is one final scene, which you can watch if you click on the link below. The song is an old German folk tune and it brings the rowdy soldiers to tears.

Paths of Glory. I love this movie and I will make two points.

1. Anti-war movies have the opposite effect from what was intended -- they celebrate war even if the "message" is against war.

2. The German people are hopelessly sentimental -- listen to the song.

Paths of Glory -- Hugo's Version
We had a kind of hobo gang in the 1970s, avoiding useful labor and riding trains. Hugo was trapped in the Hare Krishna Temple in Gainesville, Florida, but we helped him escape.
Then Hugo joined us romping around the country for a few months. One day Hugo I and were smoking cigars in a camp near Santa Cruz on the West Coast. The cigars were a cheap brand called Swisher Sweets, but they smoked pretty well for the money, which we didn't have. That particular conversation with cigars -- sitting on a rock, by a stream, under the redwoods -- was memorable for some reason.
Forty years passed and I got a letter from him, catching up. He's a doctor in Florida now, has children and grandchildren, living well enough, and then he told this story which I share with you...... He talks about the people we knew -- Bartholomew was our unofficial leader -- a lanky man from Tennessee. And Selma the beautiful Egyptian woman. And Gabriel from Brooklyn and Susan Simple. I was Frederick the Great.....

Dear Frederick,

Do your children know about our old times on the road?

Like you, I have spent 40 years moving around, have gone to all continents. My great fortune was to find a very strong and independent woman who has put up with all of my eccentric behavior for many years.

She has her own spiritual identity, completely different than mine (whatever that is), and we never discuss my history on the road, she knows very little about it.

I met up with Barthalomew, Gabriel and Selma, many years later, a few years before Bartholomew left this earth. It was depressing for me, because the magic was gone, Bartholomew was a shell of a person impressing very lost people with the same old stuff. I discovered that there were urban legends formed around many of our own experiences. We did live out a miracle, I have no doubt about that. There were too many unexplainable events.

You know, I have often thought about you, and what became of you. So glad to read your blog, and see all you have accomplished.

There is one thing I've been dying to tell someone, but every time I try, it just doesn't come out believable. So here it goes.

A few weeks after we smoked those cigars near the creek under the redwood trees we went in different directions. Just outside of Santa Cruz , I was crossing a bridge alone, and there was a girl climbing over the rail, apparently she wanted to jump.

She was very pretty and pure looking; I slowly approached her and said, “Sister , please don't jump , I want to share something with you.” She was crying, and asked me not to come any closer. So, I put my bed roll down, and sat on top of it about 6 ft. away from her. I noticed she had on tulasi kunti on her neck; remember I had just come out of a Hare Krishna temple when you found me in Gainesville. And what I never told you, was that the day before I met you and Bartholomew and Selma I wanted to take my own life. You know Frederick, you actually saved me from that, and I never found the way to thank you. So, thanks brother.

Anyways, back to the jumper on the bridge. Noticing her neck beads, I said, “You know Krishna is just another name for God. Just because you didn't find peace, doesn't mean it's not there for you.” She said, “How do you know about my confusion?” I said, “because I am just like you. I wanted to just stop thinking about God, and Krisna, and chanting and deities, and people telling me what was right and wrong. A million light years ago, about 4 months ago, I left the Gainesville Hare Krishna temple, and was on that same rail your on. Somehow I was saved by brothers and sisters that opened up another gate to heaven. And that's what I'm here for. The heavenly father has sent me to tell you that he loves you, and that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. But you cannot end your life, because your body is just a horse that you' riding. You are eternal, and will just keep suffering in another world.” She asked me if I was an angel, and I said yes, I'm your brother and you must choose to live in this world, but not be of this world.”

I told her that I was going to walk in any direction she wanted, and all I wanted was for her to walk a while with me. I would not preach to her, give her any more advice, not even talk. I picked up my bed roll, and sure enough she followed me like a stray cat. Not sure how far we walked, or how much time went by, but we never spoke. Then she said, “I will never be able to re-pay your kindness, but I have something to say to you.” So, I listened. She told me she knew who I was, she had seen me sing with a traveling Hare Krisna group called Radha Damodar in Atlanta about a year before. Now this really blew my mind, because I did travel all over the country in a greyhound bus with no seats and just Indian instruments. She had my undivided attention. Suddenly she had strength, and I felt like jumping off the bridge. She told me in a very matter of fact way, “Your family needs you, go back to them. I am going back to mine, thank you.” And she turned around and walked away in the opposite direction.

That night I could not sleep, and had visions of a woman, fat and old, extending her hand full of bangles, for me to grab. Like if she was a gypsy or something. The next few days I did not eat or smoke. It was like a demon had left that girls body and jumped into mine. But it was not that. Somehow , I don't know now if it was a day, a week later, I ended up in Chico, California. When I rolled into town, all I could think about was that girl saying go home, your family needs you. I started to cry for the first time in years, and was sobbing like a little girl on a corner, with a dirty robe on, bare feet, and no desire to move from that curb. I prayed to God, and told him how confused and lost I felt, that my life had no meaning without love and people to share it with. I asked for a sign, a direction, anything! Then I was suddenly very hungry, but there was no peanut butter or money, so I went to look for a salad bowl. I passed an old house with a big palm on the front lawn, a palm readers advertisement. And out of a screened front door came an old fat hippy woman with bangles and tie-dyed robes, I was shocked because she looked just like the fat lady in my dream several nights before. I was paralyzed and just stood there looking at her.

She went inside and came back and walked over to me and put a silver dollar in my hand. She asked me to get off of her front lawn. I walked about a block, and there was a garage sale. Out near the side walk was a mannequin about my size, wearing a black suit, white shirt, and penny loafers with a sign on the headless top saying $1 dollar. I looked at my new silver dollar, gave it to a kid inside the garage, and he removed the suit, shirt and shoes from the mannequin, put the clothes in a brown paper bag and gave it to me.

I followed the yellow brick road on our usual magic carpet and there was a church. I walked into the empty church, knelt down and prayed. A young priest approached me, and asked me if I was hungry. "Yes, father."

He led me to a courtyard and brought me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk. I ate it, and he asked me, “So, what's going on?" I told him the short version, like...I grew up in Evanston Illinois, went to Catholic schools, attended Loyola Academy, joined a Hare Krishna Temple, then I traveled the states and rode the rails with a hobo gang, searching for truth....and now I just want to go home to Chicago. He asked me for my parents phone number, went inside, and came back about an hour later and said, “I booked a flight back to Chicago tonight, your Mom is picking you up at the airport. Let me get you some clothes, and you can come take a shower."

"Father , I have my own clothes in this bag. " I pulled out my $1 dollar outfit, took a shower, shaved, cut my hair, and went back to Chicago." That was 1975, August 17th.

So Frederick, I've been holding this completely unbelievable story inside of me for almost 40 years. You might be the only person I know that might believe it.


It's nice to hear from you, Hugo. Sometimes a good cigar is all you need.

Subscriptions. Your subscription money keeps the editor from getting cranky. Your dollars keep him on an even keel. He needs to maintain a sense of detachment and keep his sense of humor. Help him out. Send your check today or hit the PayPal button...... Just follow the instructions below.

Subscriptions. Thank you --- Subscriptions can be paid at PayPal on the Frog Hospital blog for $25. Or you can mail a check to the address below.

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

send mail to:

Fred Owens
35 West Main St Suite B #391
Ventura CA 93001