RECAFFEINATED MONDAYS: Where Everybody Knows Your Byline

 


“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”

Ernest Hemingway

Last week I watched the PBS documentary about Ernest Hemingway.

It reminded me, among other things, that I need to read more Hemingway, and Faulkner, and Fitzgerald and…gulp…Joyce.

Hemingway was both fascinating and tragic. More than I could ever begin to address here. The series is worth your time to watch.

I found myself wondering what it would have been like in those years in the 1920s in Paris when he would

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routinely hang out at cafes with people like Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Pablo Picasso.

Across the Channel about a decade later a group began meeting at Oxford to discuss their writings, and other things. That group became to be known as The Inklings. It’s most celebrated members were J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis.

I think we all know that, while also need to read more from both of those gentlemen, I’ve read more of their works than of Hemingway.

In fact, and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, I’m using 2021 to read and study British writers and British History. My current Goodreads count may indicate that it will take more than a year.

Short attention span literature it is not.

As a writer, I’m a little envious of the groups like Hemingway’s in Paris and The Inklings at Oxford. What conversations there must have been.

Of course, had I been at either table I would have been embarrassingly in over my head.

To have that group of friends and to know that, whenever the work day was over you’d all be heading over to the cafe or the pub to hang out for hours.

I suppose those opportunities existed when I was in college, but I don’t remember times like that. Reality is that most evenings I was either in rehearsal, or I was working on the newspaper or yearbook. I have the G.P.A. to prove that.  Reality also is, at my college, even if we were gathering it wouldn’t have been at the pub.

Good times to be sure, and lifelong friendships were established. We just weren’t necessarily discussing the deep things of life.

Perhaps if they had I might have made that left turn in Albuquerque.

My wife and I have often commented that we wished we had a local hang out of sorts that was our regular spot.

We probably wouldn’t discuss literature because she’s not a Tolkien fan. We have a mixed marriage.

But we don’t have a local cafe or a local bar. At least not one where everybody knows our name.

To a certain extent social media has replaced those gatherings. And, after our 47 years of house arrest, I am grateful for the conversations we’ve been able to have online.

I am also incredibly blessed to be a part of a group of Tolkien fans that has gathered online for nearly twenty years now. I’ve written about them before.

I’ll never have a group like Hemingway or the Inklings. I’m realizing that my best hope for this kind of fellowship is going to be meeting other old men for breakfast at Hardee’s.

I’m a little concerned that rather than discussing the deep things in life, we’ll more than likely just have a weekly organ recital.

If you know, you know.

Of course if I had a group like Hemingway and friends or the Inklings, I could ask them how to end this post.

As it is, at 11:35 on Sunday evening, I’ll just say come back tomorrow.


MUSICAL INTERLUDE

 


 

RANDOM LINKS OF INTEREST

CDC Says Vaccinated People Can Now Punch Unvaccinated People In The Face
The Babylon Bee

I feel seen…

Sunday Firesides: Want to Solve Your Social Problems? Get Over Your Self
The Art of Manliness

Biden Officially Goes After Supreme Court – Joe Just Commissioned Study On Court Packing And Term Limits
Patriot Journal

Raytheon CEO warns Biden corporate tax plan would cost the defense giant $1 billion a year
The Dallas Morning News

WHAT I’M READING


 

PODCASTS I’M LISTENING TO

The British History Podcast

Chopped Bard

 

 


BENEDICTION

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21

SHORT STORY FRIDAY: Picnic On the Mountain


Here at the end of another week, we return to Short Story Friday. I hope you enjoy:

PICNIC ON THE MOUNTAIN

There was something about the way that the church did picnics. On picnic days, after Sunday services we would all pile into our family vehicles and find a dirt road to take us to the mountains.

There the men would set up tables and the women would bring out the food.

There was no such thing as trying to bring a single dish. Every family brought a full meal and more to share. Even the single women and the widows followed this tradition.

The chicken was fried. The tea was sweet. The desserts were plenty.

After the meal, the food was packed away. Some, especially the teenagers, would take a walk through the woods.

But the men stayed and brought out their guitars and banjos. Every now and then there would be a violin, or

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more aptly put, a fiddle.

Songs would be the popular songs of the day, then the folk songs. Most of the folks there had come of age during the Second World War.

Some of the men wouldn’t roll up their sleeves, embarrassed by the tattoos from a shore leave they tried to forget.

After a while, the music would turn to the hymns and favorite songs of the church. The harmony would soar into the trees.

Tears flowed down wrinkled cheeks as the sacred words stirred memories of parents and loved ones long gone.

By evening, as the sun began to set over the next mountain ridge, the tables and blankets would be packed away, the instruments stored.

Along with the blankets and guitars, sweet memories would be stored to warm the heart in coming days.

Tomorrow it was back to the factory, or back to the farm.

The faithful would gather again for prayer on Wednesday night as they always did.

Here in the mountains at the end of the dirt road, there was peace. The worries of the day, the pressure of bills coming due, the pending doctor’s visits where the results were feared. All of that was washed away this afternoon on the mountain.

Everyone knew that the next time could never be as sweet as the last time.

The gathered began the descent down the old dirt road, traveling slowly so as not to hit an oil pan with a stray rock or slip off the road into a rut.

By the time all were back to the main road, children would be asleep. Mama would slip her hand into Papa’s and he would drive home with one arm.

No one said what they were thinking. Would this be the last time on the mountain? Who would be gone from their circle the next time?
And, I must get Mildred’s recipe.

Picnics like this are a distant memory now. The old mountain road is paved and there are homes built near the top. Most of the old folks are gone.

Those who remain are beyond their best picnicking days.

The memories linger.


MUSICAL INTERLUDE

Late last month singer B.J. Thomas announced that he has stage for lung cancer. Our prayers are with him in this fight. His music was a big influence in the late 70s and early 80s.


 

RANDOM LINKS OF INTEREST

I have work to do.

How to Update Your Blog Design (and Why You Should)
Darren Rowse at ProBlogger

Exclusive: Britain will achieve herd immunity on Monday
The Telegraph via Yahoo!

After throwing their pastor in jail for disobeying Rona rules, Canadian officials are erecting a massive fence and using guards to keep members of this church from worshipping
Not the Bee

Kelly Loeffler Rips Biden, Abrams for ‘Orchestrated Campaign’ to Misrepresent Voting Reform Bill
Townhall

New Emails Expose ’60 Minutes’ Team Wasn’t Interested In a ‘Fair Shot’ for DeSantis
News Busters

WHAT I’M READING


 

PODCASTS I’M LISTENING TO

The British History Podcast

Chopped Bard


BENEDICTION

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21