Thursday, June 30, 2016

Gun Show Trio

Last Saturday I was kinda bored so I strolled over to our local Nights Out motel to take in a gun show.  Man, what a sight.  I thought I’d died and gone to gun heaven.  The conference room was crammed full of pistols, hunting knives, AK-47s, rocket launchers and one discounted guided missile.  Not a gun-control freak in sight. 

Interesting people there too.  One man had his arm around his twelve-year old son while he raised a Kalinokov in the other hand.  “You ready to go blast the bejezus out of Bambi?” he says.

Another man in a motorcycle jacket embroidered with skull and cross bones was salivating over a semi-automatic.  The salesman was telling him how to convert it into an automatic and turn elk into Swiss cheese.

I ran into a guy with a long name.  I just called him “Mo.”  So I says, “Hey, Mo, watcha think of all these weapons?”

He shook his head.  “I understand swords, but this is too much for me.  How do you cut off someone’s head with these gun things?”

I picked up a Uzi.  “You could start a nice war with one of these babies,” I says, clicking in an imaginary clip.  “Blow away a damn lot of infidels.”

He gave me a sad smile and walked away.

A little later I was standing in line to add my name to a drawing for a genuine leather holster.  A guy was sitting quietly in the middle of the floor in his bathrobe.  I hunched down next to him.  His name tag had another long name, but I shortened it.  “Hey, Sid,” I says.  “How come you blocking the aisle?”

He sat with his legs crossed and had his palms turned upward on his knees.  Really calm guy.

I shook him and his eyes popped open.

“Taking a break from all the excitement?” I ask.

“Life is suffering,” he says.

“Yeah,” I replied as I hefted a thirty-ought-six off a nearby table.  “But along the way you can blast to bits a whole herd of squirrels.”

“Right livelihood,” he says and closed his eyes.

“You got that right, Sid,” I says.  “If only I could get paid to be pounding away with one of these babies.”

Then he started chanting about the eight-fold path.  I didn’t know if he was going to make origami birds or what.

I decided it was time to get some lunch.  I sat down at a table with a guy who had long hair and a beard.  Kinda skinny.  Above the neck this guy fit right in.  But the rest of his outfit.  Give me a break.  Nobody goes to a gun show wearing a sheet and sandals.  It was amazing his toes didn’t get crushed by all the cowboy boots. 

“You want a bite of ribs?” I ask.

“I don’t eat that kind of food,” he says.  “Thanks for the offer though.”

He had a Mexican name, but I just called him by his initials.  “So, J.C.,” I says.  “Whatcha think of this place?”

He looked sad.  You’d think someone had pounded nails through his hands.  “Resist not evil,” he says.

“No way,” I says.  I picked up a grenade a ten-year old boy had left on the table.  “Do unto others before they do unto you.”

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Advice I Gave to My Two Sons When They Got Married

When my two sons got married, this is the advice I gave them:

Commitment to the relationship is paramount.

Acceptance is next to Godliness.


Stay free of expectations.

People and relationships grow and change, but always maintain a core of integrity and commitment.

Focus on how the relationship wins, not proving you’re right.

Two together is better than one in victory.

Never leave angry.  Resolve it first.

Be the first to apologize.

Accept emotions.  Don’t try to combat them with logic.

Respect both intimacy and space.

Little things that irritate you can become endearing qualities.

If conflicts arise between your mother and your wife, support your wife.

Never make love with cold hands.

Just love her.

Today is the 48th anniversary of my marriage. I have to remember to follow my own advice. As they say, the first 48 years are the hardest.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Terrorism and Gun Control

As a mystery writer I’m interested in topics that relate to crime—its cause, effect and methods employed. With the most recent horrendous event in Orlando, I have to agree with President Obama that we need to fight terrorism but also address the ease with which terrorists can obtain assault weapons in the United States. Whether someone is an international terrorist, a self-radicalized loner or an angry person with mental problems, the results are the same. All these people need to be dealt with. Then there is the ease with which someone can obtain semi-automatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines. This needs to be stopped. Hunters, people wanting handguns to defend themselves and gun range enthusiasts can still have their rights without access to these types of weapons. Like any crime, it is impossible to eliminate all of it, but we must take action to make it difficult for those committing criminal terrorist acts to render so much damage to citizens in our country.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Since I write geezer-lit mystery novels, I’m always interested in geezer-related activities. When we lived in Colorado, I often hiked with two friends and a West Highland Terrier named Mac.  The three of us old guys were over sixty and got out regularly on Sundays to hike in the summer and snowshoe in the winter.  Along the trail, invariably, women stopped when they saw Mac and said, “Oh, what a cute puppy.”  They never looked at us and said, “Oh what cute geezers.”

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Publishers Weekly review of Court Trouble: A Platform Tennis Mystery

This review by Publishers Weekly of my mystery novel, Court Trouble, recently appeared: Set in Boulder, Colo., this solid series launch from Befeler (Murder on the Switzerland Trail) introduces an unlikely amateur sleuth, platform tennis buff Mark Yeager. Mark, who has recently recovered from cancer surgery, spots his friend Manny Grimes enter an adjoining court one night and get into an argument with the four men already there. Then all the lights go out. When the lights come back on, Manny is lying dead on the court with a gash in his head. Mark, who feels he owes Manny for persuading him to go to the doctor in the first place, resolves to find Manny’s killer. As he digs into his friend’s past, Mark discovers that Manny was involved with some highly unsavory characters. Mark’s wife, his friends, and the police warn him to back off when the attempts on his life begin. But Mark, possessed by a “drive to be alive” again, won’t quit until he catches the culprit. Readers will look forward to seeing more of this determined tennis enthusiast and cancer survivor.