1979: Protest folk music was dying down and Disco had reached its peak.
“Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobtrusive” blasted through the vibrating buzz alarm of the 1960s turquoise clock radio. (Time for school) “Spirit of Radio”by Progressive Rock band Rush Lyrics by Peart Neil Peart that is, aKa The Professor
“If you choose not to decide, you still have me a choice” “And the meek shall inherit the earth” “Conform or be cast out” Prophetic words to pubescent outcast teens, proclaiming Peart understood. It’s been a year since Neil’s passing, RIP Professor Sept1952-Jan 2020
Thank you Professor🤘🏼-Goroyboy
This was written for the photo prompt for Rochelle Wiscoff’s Friday Fictioneers 100 word story challenge . Although not a traditional short story. Given the photo prompt of an empty drum set along with the appreciation I have for the artist/poet/lyricist, Neil Peart I found a tribute was in order. additional stories based on the photo prompt can be found here
As a kid working in the raspberry fields, in Lynden, WA, it was always about how many pounds did you pick?
15 cents a lb. toward school clothes and money for getting into the HS football games. I think the most I ever picked in one day was 200lbs or around 30$, I was on top of the world. Looking at a raspberry at times brought stress thinking of those long days in the fields. Days of hoping to hear to impact heads of the irrigation running for some flooded relief in the July heat. Today I grow raspberries in my garden, how much did I pick? Just enough to enjoy. Peace.
“Gonna be dark soon.” “Get some paper and my Mom’s reading glasses into that last patch of sunlight and get a fire going. I’ll gather some wood”.
“I say we go back before they notice we are gone!”
“There’s no going back Luke. I made sure of that. I left a note on your Dads nightstand . They”ll never accept us being step siblings and boyfriend and girlfriend.” ” Parents! They have all the power, make crappy life choices, and we have to deal with the ramifications. Well we are going to turn these lemons into the worlds largest lemonade stand.”
Written for Priceless Joy’s 100 word Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge click Here to read the rest of the stories.
The younger of two sons asks for his inheritance, he gets it, he blows it,
Desolate, he returns, begging for a servents position in his fathers house.
Father welcomes him, kills the fatted calf in celebration of his return.
Elder son bitter at the younger, is reminded by the Father that The eldest will still get his inheritance and to just be happy of his return.
Irresponsibility, gluttony, lust, redemption, jealousy, unconditional love, and forgiveness. All the makings of a great parable.
There is an implication that the father was wise in emulating God’s unconditional Love for HIS children. If there is a parallel of the father and God, would God have coddled his son by giving him the inheritance? If we saw similar behavior today wouldn’t the younger son appear to be nothing more than a spoiled rich kid ?
An often overlooked part of the story is the humility shown by the youngest son upon his return. If I were to add to the story, perhaps the Father realizes his mistake in coddling his youngest, learning that he also is not perfect. As a father of 5, I look back to my father figures and I must admit, some of the most profound lessons learned weren’t always what they did right but rather from their many mistakes. Here is to my children learning from mine.
Why don’t you text me back? Why don’t you call? Don’t you care about our relationship? In recent book that I recently read, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”, by Micheal Manson, Manson played out an interesting scenario about relationships and value sets. As our nation’s polarization is reaching historical highs, Manson provided a real world example of why, “nobody is wrong”. It is not the typical “a matter of perspective” take that makes everyone right but rather understanding and respecting each other’s value set.
Back to the catch phrase “why don’t you text back?” Why don’t you call?”. The person that feels shorted/ignored in this scenario places high value on getting a reply and THAT REPLY is the metric by which they measure whether their friend, sibling,etc, cares about the relationship. Understandably, this person almost always responds right away. Why? Because replying is a part of THEIR value set. Take the person not replying, they may see things differently. A text/call may not be significant while something else might such as, face to face time. This person may go over to visit the texting fanatic and the texter sits in the corner preferring not to engage. With different value sets and the endless number of metrics by which they are measured, Manson suggests a step back to find a common metric that has significance to both participants. Value sets are based on the individual Identifying a similar value set and a common metric by which to measure it…you just built a foundation to build a relationship on. Taking off the rose-colored glasses, the “value set” (as Manson alludes to, is basically “what you give a F*ck about”.
Manson also suggests, boundaries may need to be drawn based on YOUR value set. Setting those clear boundaries, just as in Victim/Saver Click here relationship discussed in an earlier post, setting boundaries and makes people own their own problems in itself might be the ultimate act of giving.
The unexpected news right after the pep rally, made the understood plans of a Friday football game date and Saturday movie plans vanish. Standing outside the gym, stunned, in shock, as if struck in the heart with an ice pick.
The drawing of a deep breath, a runny nose, a tear stained pillow. Bedroom door cracked open, luminescent flashes of the latest episode of Dallas are cast upon the mahogany bedroom door, highlighting its skin-like texture.
Click. The family heads off to bed. Rolling over, looking out the north facing window, the ebony sky offers a show of the occasional shooting star. As the moon makes its journey across the sky, it momentarily pauses in the side yard to provide a perfect silhouette of the dropping top of the mammoth western hemlock spruce.
Coyotes welcome the night with their painful yowls. The phosphorescent Radium painted hands on the bedside alarm clock glow a soft green light. The hypnotic spring driven second hand ticks become almost deafening in the dark tunnel of heartbreak. Another deep breath. Outside, the darkness softens, the rooster crows and it is time for morning chores.
Contemplating my next post which are typically comprised of those who have shaped my outlook on life, none have yet to be my junior. Pastor David O’Toole is the exception. I can only tell my story and will not give mention to those of a contrary opinion as this is not a pity party but rather a tribute to a good man.
Over 10 years ago I sat in the back of our local church praying for my one of my three sons to find a path to peace. Zachary as many 14 year olds was an angry you man trying to find his way. Zach recently had moved in with my wife and me in our small Ohio town. A glimmer of solace was listening to Zachary teaching himself guitar. It never dawned on me that God was about to answer my prayer.
David had been hired as a youth minster but also played in the worship band. He seemed preoccupied with his teen group and committed to his duties. I can remember we were in the church gym when I had the opportunity to talk to David about Zachary. I explained some of his struggles and his interest in guitar. David took Zachary under his wing and as any mentor, Zach was not always happy with David and probably vice versa but the relationship was genuine and grew strong to this day.I had the privilege of watching the band Strength Within, a Hard Core Christian band perform in which David was the lead singer and Zach eventually would play guitar in. I appreciated the edginess and the youth that attended the performances. It opened my eyes to a Christ worshipping raw subculture that did not tolerate hypocrisy. I was impressed.
During one of the youth summer trips David asked me to do all the cooking and it was then I saw his talent for organizing events. “Ray” he said, “there are three key factors that make or break a youth trip, the food, the location and the activities.” I still chuckle to day thinking about. “on that last day I want some much food, like a half chicken each for the kids,,,snacks at 11,” ….Good memories.
Once I had the honor of speaking to a recover group in which I whole heartily gave my testimony of my experience as the child of and addict. I mean I felt like I had given part of my soul away. The next day I was riding with David to lunch and I was explaining how I felt. He called it an “Emotional Hangover” , where you so much of yourself away that the next day you can physically and mentally feel the effects. This gave me a small glimpse of what pastors must experience on Monday mornings.
I could go on about others that I know David has effected positively but as for me I am forever grateful that God used Pastor David O’Toole to deliver my son who is now, Pastor Zach Roy, to us so many years ago.