Jenkers

People who do things that are jenk. This term was coined by my friends daughter, I call him my friend because step-son is a term that makes me itch. Any way she says her dad does things that are jenk and we shall explore that a little.
The urban dictionary explanation is less than flattering so I won’t go there however Mike’s jenks are a thrill to behold. Let’s use for example his Walmart excursion where he forgot his shoes. Now Mike is a man who for all intents and purposes does better without shoes than most. His feet resemble well weathered leather and afford him the luxury of not feeling pebbles or stones. For Mike to go on a job site painting and not be wearing shoes would shock some but not his family. Coming from the ancestry of the Chippewa nation , he takes to the days of old and leaves the shoes behind. Stories of him as a child have shown his dislike for them as a new pair of ‘sneaks’ were quickly abandoned by the wayside.
Now regarding Walmart; no shoes no service, fair enough. It is basically a liability issue more than a health one. I mean the 5 second rule- which I do not participate in- whereby a food item hits the floor and it’s magically safe to eat if you retrieve it in that amount of time, still has the gross factor for me as I will admit to picking my nose, rolling it, then discard to the floor. With this many people on the planet I doubt I am the only one.
Ok off topic already but Mike came up with the excellent ‘jenk’ of duct taping painters rags onto his feet and headed out to the store. Excellent idea. And if that wasn’t enough he boldly posted same on Instagram for all to see. Like your cat leaving the bird carcass by the door to get your approval Mike displays his jenk as a badge of honor.Glorious! A true leader in the jenk community.
As I sit here writing, I recall previous ‘jerks’ .The propane bottle being drug behind the truck still fastened to the trailer or the strips of denim holding the crank handle on his pop up camper or the paint roller holders inserted in his anti-sway bar are pale in comparison to his latest where he taped a purple glittered mirror to replace the missing one on his pick up truck.
Mike is a pioneer, a leader amongst the great inventors of all time, a visionary…well Mike’s a great guy and continues to delight those around him with his smirky smile and mumbled words, he’s fun to be with for sure.
You just never know what he will come up with next.

Uncle Jake

Well not my uncle but my Dads. Jake married Mary, dad’s  moms sister. Coming into the marriage they both brought some children, 5 on one side and 6 on the other or close to it. Not sure what happened to their spouses, died is my guess. Back in those days divorce wasn’t even mentioned. If you ended up with a drunk or loser well you just had to ride it out.
They lived in West Milford when I first remember them.I was a kid , from a family of 8 so when we came to visit it  wasn’t a problem. When you have that many kids running around the yard they didn’t seem to notice a few more. They gave us cool drinks and treats, they were very mellow and kind.
Their house was on a narrow road in the woods, two cars could pass but one was usually on the shoulder of the road a little. Just before their house was a hill and then on top to the left was their home. I remember it as white with red trim and big propane tanks out back of the house. A small dirt driveway was there but parking on the grass was ok, plenty of it for sure. Looking out there were many acres of scrub brush and small trees and a road that led to a pond. Well the pond was spring fed, dug by one or more of the family with their backhoes and dozers and it was muddy, ice cold and muddy.
As their children grew they would take their machines and carve a driveway through the brush. Soon a foundation then cinder block walls and my dad would do some electric. Like the Amish everyone pitched in and helped. Soon a family moved in and life was in session. This was repeated many times on the property, houses to the left and right of the narrow road, broken asphalt patched together with discarded blacktop from road jobs, some oil and gravel, it was all good.
Each summer though they had an event, at least one that we were invited to. At the pond the tables were cleaned and clothed over, the barbecue pit was fired up and the barrels of ice water were filled with beer and soft drinks. My eyes were happy. They had a rule, eat and drink whatever you cared to, even a whole can of soda for yourself but waste it and you were done. There were dogs and burgers, chips and candy, steamed clams by the bushel. Man was it a good time. The adults relaxed, smoked cigs and cigars and drank beer.The kids rode the rope swing in the muddy waters, always supervised by adults and big kids.  There were no arguments though, Uncle Jake wouldn’t allow it. Act like a fool and he would send you home or one of his boys would. These boys by the way were well chiseled 6 footers with muscles from lifting blocks all day or pounding nails. These were good times.The ride home in the ’57 wagon was always quiet, we were done.
My mom sent me a newspaper clipping written about Uncle Jake. His last name was Corter and he had so many children and grandchildren living there they named it Corterville. At the time of his death he had children and great grandchildren by the tons. Jake and Mary lived a good life. They inspired me, even though it didn’t take effect right away, to be a good person and take care of family. They gave expecting nothing, they lived their lives setting examples to others, they are sadly missed but have left many with a moral ethical way to live life. Well, i forgot to mention there was some moonshining going on down in the old shed but hey, no one is perfect.

Cooties

Cooties.
Cleverly disguised as a harmless childhood game. Just grab a leg and insert into the main body of the friendly ant like insect and the fun begins. Not so fast.
As a youngster I was told that girls had cooties and you should stay away from them. My response was ,what do they look like? How would I know if a girl had cooties? If I ‘got’ cooties could I get rid of them. No one knew. Just stay away I was told, so I did, for a while anyway. You see your friends knew that if you got cooties you would disappear from the gang. You would no longer be hanging out with the guys. You would start listening to her. A phone call, sometimes lengthy, was the first indication that you had it. I watched my cousin Don get cooties because when I came to visit him he would be on the phone with Ulrike but the plus side was I could ride his motorcycle around the yard, I was glad he had cooties.
Cousin Jim was next. We would tool around town in his 56 wagon with the bubble hood, painted flat black and jacked up waaay in the back. “Just groovy” painted on the side. We pulled into “goody’s” hamburger joint on route 23 on a friday night and heads turned. We got to park in the line with the other cool cars. We were cooler than the Fonz. We were groovy and we knew it. We didn’t have cooties but they were not far behind us.
Cousin Mike caught cooties without us knowing it and just disappeared from view. he showed up one day and there she was. They were holding hands.I think by doing that the transfer of the cooties was even faster, like a blood transfusion. And their eyes. When they looked at each other there appeared a glazed over look. Maybe it was more than cooties,Mike was a different guy.
One by one my friends fell to this cooties thing. I resisted for as long as I could. I went to work for the local outlaw biker burying my mind into my work until one day they appeared; bikers from New York city, about ten of them. Tattoos and cut off shirts, beards and cigarettes, beer instead of water, saying the f-bomb without regard for who was standing there but then it dawned on me. On the back of their bikes were the cooties carriers. These rough tough men were infected. I knew it was hopeless, even they couldn’t fight it off.
As time went on I too fell weak and got the cooties thing. A nod of the head, a twisted finger pointed in my direction and I knew what to do, I had no choice. I knew the cooties signals. Try to resist and be defiant and the price was heavy. Those cootie carriers were powerful. A simple look from them and no words needed to be spoken, they had their own language and we obeyed.
In my later years I have learned the true value of cooties. I live with a cooties carrier and it is good. We care deeply for each other and take care of each other. I still watch though for that look or finger. Things we learn as a child are the most difficult to unlearn but it is ok. My cooties are under control, I know the consequences, all men do. It’s ok. Just give them the last word, as soon as possible and your life will be good. It’s been fun.

Welcome

My idea to start a blog came to me in bits and pieces. I have written letters, cards, and posts on social media from time to time and have been told I should write some more, so I will. What I will write about is anybody’s guess. I wake up some mornings or even in the middle of the night with an idea- I will share those with you, well some anyway. So relax,enjoy, be bored or point fingers and giggle. welcome aboard… you have been warned.