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Reminiscence

July 3, 2013

June 28, 2013  9:39 pm.

There are 3 food groups:  the malbec group, the meatball group, the coffee group.  I will have to put the ramen noodles and red pepper sauce and pickled cucumbers into the meatball group.  All the really nutritious plants and other creatures will find themselves in the meatball category. 

In a hundred years I imagine most will eschew the killing of animals and disapprove of my carnivorous ways.  For one thing in 2113 food distribution will be greatly improved; seeds planted, the crops harvested, the staple products will be machined, packaged, shipped, distributed, prepared and consumed all in one efficient process. In another 100 years in 2213 the efficiency will extend through the alimentary canal to fecal waste and the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles.  I get ahead of myself.

In 2113 people will see that feeding crops to animals to kill and eat is inefficient and contrary to the (future) prevailing ethos.  The world will not be able to afford to waste food production capability as they do now and will not generate evil karma in that way.  Yes, karma will be measurable by then.  

I feel like such an old curmudgeon because I eat meatballs.  I love them, along with the gravy, the malbec and the good cup of joe.  It has to do with my being born in 1949 to people who came of childbearing age in the years following the end of World War II and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan.  Actually one was one kind of bomb, the other was another.  Possibly fission and fusion.  Perhaps atomic and hydrogen.  Both bombs were more than horrible and caused untold misery for generations to suffer.

My grandson Cyrus Struckman just invited me to the bedroom to nap with my wife Penny and him.  Cyrus is 6 years old and able to sound out words.  He saw what I had just written here and he said, “Oh my gosh!”

Someday he will read these words.

Bill Moomey was a religious man, but I doubt if he really thought he would be dead now.

I don’t think I ever told how I prowled around the university department of geology in the late 1950s.  In those days it was in a creaky old building with the inscription “science hall” on the front.  The steps were worn, the floor was warped and covered with many layers of varnish.  It was just to the right of Main Hall.  The law school was just to the left as you faced east on the oval in Missoula.

The building was probably the site of many science lectures, including ones my uncle Bud attended.  However, when I prowled I went down the hall short of the lecture hall at the back and into the lab on the right.  Many lab benches made aisles in  the room which took perhaps a quarter of the the area of the first floor.  The periphery had drawers and cabinets with rock specimens.  Trilobites.  Galena, mica, this -ite and that.  The 30 gal. trash can had lots of rock specimens.  I took the “trash can” aspect to mean that I could freely take from it.  Home.  Then to school for show and tell.  

At one point I took orders from my 5th grade classmates  “Do you want some rocks?”  Yes, one said.  Bring me 2 rocks.  I wrote on a paper.  “Debbie.  2”  and “Mike 1 rock,” and so forth.  I had a bookcase at home, a red enamel wood small book case of my sister’s with rocks from the geology department.  I was admiring this about the time I almost burned our house to the ground with an electrical fire.

Our 5th grade teacher was Mrs. Lorraine Jay, wife of a researcher in the UM School of Education.  Mr. Jay wanted to test whether certain students could learn 3 years’ material in 2 years.  In other words, I and about 25 other students were given grades 4, 5, and 6 in two years, so that we could enter 7th grade when our peers in a control group were entering 6th.  I did not do well so I entered 6th grade at the end of the experimental period.  My mother was kind of angry at Mrs. Jay.  Most of my peers did go into 7th grade.

I went into 6th grade and got punched in the nose.  Hard.  A young man from Tennessee, George Donham, new to town, invited me over after school.  I played their Hammond electric organ expecting them to ask me to go home.  Instead, they allowed me to keep playing.  After supper my friend escorted me to the door and once outside, put on a cotton glove and punched his fist into my face, breaking my nose and knocking my head into the garage wall.  I remember blubbering, looking down at the blood spattering on the concrete, and jogging home.  My brother Tom (high school sophomore)  made fun of my face because my lip was swollen.  The grocer at the store (Sunshine Store) across the street said he thought it looked like someone had “bopped me” on the nose when I tearfully asked him how I looked.  I have alternated between acceptance and anger.  (I richly deserved it. That son of a bitch!)  My nose still is misshapen.  That is life.  I often thought the evil done to me was done to another.  In Memphis in 1970 a fellow Marine was harassing me about whether I had any balls and I socked him in the nose.  I later saw him on base with a nose splint and that is when I realized that I had done him at least as much harm as the guy in the 6th grade.  Karma.  I can say I am sorry I socked the guy in Memphis.  Also, I have to mention that the guy in the 6th grade in Missoula is one I wrestled with and nearly broke his arm using a painful hold.  Perhaps the pain I put him through by trying to bend his arm the wrong way against his elbow was equal to the pain I felt when he broke my nose?  I dunno.  I do know that he ended up in Warm Springs mental hospital in Montana.  Now I know that he died at age 51 in East Missoula.  And so on and on.

 

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