“Male-Pattern Smarts”*

If Male-Pattern Smarts

don’t “kick in” ’till past forty,

where did mine go to?


  • (With appreciatiion to S.M. Stirling in his  Protector’s War book two of his astounding “Change” series whose first two of -what is it by now? Ten? – books entertain and enlighten with the stellar work of co-author Eric Flint.  The concept I gleaned “Male-Pattern” Smarts still makes me glad I found the long-ago – 2002? copy.  Now for Dies The Fire!)

“For Bill Whose Books Adorn Library”

Man went forty years

thinking I just up and quit.

Gave editor two weeks!*


  • (When I left The Sanford Herald’s employ it was neither dramatic nor histrionic no shared.  I had told the then-editor I would return following my two-week vacation and he then could give me an answer to my request – demand, actually – for a pay raise.  I was, officially, sports editor. I also covered the county’s newest incorporate – almost typed incompetent! – city, Lake Mary, all of it.  I also took both sports and news photographs, I also served on the paper’s first – and only – award-winning investigative journalism team.  I also wrote most of the front-page and local and county inside-pages news headlines.  Thankfully no one handed me a bucket and squeege.  I had toiled triumphantly in a dingy side-shed to the now long-torn down SunTrust Bank on First Street and the rennovated side-portion of the old Opera House on Magnolia, overlooking what is now Magnolia Square and Cindy’s Dance Studio – a great improvement. And I also worked at the paper’s last-but really next-to-last location on U. S. 17-92 (French Avenue) North of First Street down by Lake Monroe.  I came one-day late – pre-approved by telephone call from Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, and strolled into the newsroom at 9 a.m., some three to four hours past my usual time when as a high schooler I used to “pull” the wires and learned to read the dots punched in the AP and UPI wires and read hot lead type galleys upside down and backwards and read lips and generally helled about town and county and had a ball.  But I was serious. I quirked my eyebrow (left) at Editor Tom and tilted my head.  He stood up.  I said, aloud so all could hear: “let’s go to your office, Tom,” and led him out the newsroom to the printshop and out the side door to the parking lot, his “office.”  I asked: “Do I get my raise?”  He stammered, scuffed his leather-shoed toe and shook his head parallel to Earth.  I caught his eye finally by saying nothing.  “Well. That’s That,” I said, and walked over to my VW Blue Bug and opened the driver’s door, got in and started the engine, reversed and pulled out of the lot onto ’92 and went back to college the next day. Sad. But smiling.)

“My Shoes So Un-Knightly” Tanka 816

I never bought shoes

from “Knight’s” store downtown Sanford:

that make me so bad?


Old next-door JC Penny’s

with its pneumatic tubes – YES!*


  • (Before the now-mostly defunct department store J.C. Penny & Co. moved from America’s downtowns in the late 1960s and early 1970s the iconic store was on First Street in a burg of about 6- to 10-thousand.  The accounting and payables department was in a loft above the brick buildings only floor shopping area.  A clerk would write up the ticket, put the money, check or whatever in the plastic tube and place that tube into a long plastic holder that was hoisted above ground level and pneumatically carried to the loft: the return receipt came back the same way.  So charming.  I remained fascinated enough watching mom and dad endure the ritual that when I was in junior high and high school before the store moved – first to a shopping strip center and much later to a mall well out-of-town – I would make sure two or three times a year to spend some cash at Penny’s.  Sadly, for a Sanford boy bare feet were preferred and yielded Monday through Fridays nine months a year and Sundays – and sometimes Saturdays – on church and special occasions.  And then came basketball, track, tennis and The Beach.  Tennie-pumps and sneakers and Flip Flops!  Flip Flops.  All the more reason to bypass Knight’s and hit good ol’e J.C.!)