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November 22, 2015
Photo on 2014-10-21 at 09.42

Don’t write badly. Just say “no.”

November 20, 2015

I just rescued a piece of fiction about my Uncle Carl’s first day as an Army recruit.

In it he reminisced about his first sexual adventure. I am not sure why I felt so bad, other than I have been weathering a particularly severe spell of depression lately.

I mean, I didn’t use either the words “fuck” or even “sexual intercourse.” Come to think, these words might have improved it.

But no, I wanted to give up.  I had used the word “panties.”  And “penetrate.”  One of my pastors listed both of these as particularly distasteful.  Oh, there were other objectionable words on the list.  Words like “moist,” “crusty,” and “slacks.”   My effort seemed like a lost cause, but in a calm moment I thought how I could remove the icky words, make the save; and at last, I feel better about it.  Not great, but at least I’m not hanging my head.

What now?  I’ve guess I’ve gotten most of the facts about my Uncle Carl from the public records in Montana: Kalispell, Missoula, Billings; and Nebraska, Florida, and France.  The available truth is, well, dwindling.  I’m pretty tired.  I’ve always admired the concept of “facts.”

Now I’m down to fabricating a story to pin on my hapless Uncle.  Well, I don’t want to waste too much sympathy on him.  After all, he went to England and wrote home about the “Limeys” over there.  I asked Carl’s wartime buddy Bill Moomey about that.  “Everyone called them Limeys,” he said.  Bill was a retired farmer and didn’t talk much.  He did express how glad he was to finally meet some of Carl’s relatives.

Bill had been trying to make connections with us relatives for years.  He knew about Carl Bonde having come from Kalispell.  Circumstances in 1958 closed the chapter on the Kalispell Bondes.  The last one, my grandma, moved in with us in Missoula.  That was Carl’s mother, Ellen.

I was glad Ellen moved in with us.  She brought along the good power lawnmower.  My mother would never have bought a power mower.  I immediately started mowing lawns for money.  I used the money to buy an enlarger for making photographs.

I guess I could dig into my memory and tell about Carl’s mother.  She acted depressed and bitter when she lived with us.  I suppose losing her 21-year-old son didn’t do her disposition any good.

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