Welle was Correct

Some years ago, I completed the work to obtain a teaching degree. There were several steps that were necessary to obtain our teaching degree, which seemed superfluous to us as students. One of these obligatory steps was to attend graduation. There was nothing that said that we had to be sober
We were lined up in alphabetical order. John Welle was more angry about the superfluous steps than the rest of us. He just happened to be next in the line before me. And he showed his anger by showing up late. And drunk.

By the time that we marched into the lawn area, I already wished that John had skipped the ceremony. The ceremony began with the national anthem. At the conclusion of the national anthem, John shouted, “Play Ball!”

The students who were within earshot of John, turned to get a better view of the shouter.  At this point, John shut up. Our neighbors didn’t know who did the shouting.

John expressed his opinion to the quality of many classes when he laughed out loud when a speaker’s comment that “we know you have all worked long and hard” to obtain your degrees.

In this case, John Welle was correct.


I met Billy at the High Desert Market. He said that he was walking to his car. He was carrying a fan belt. When he reached his car, I could see that the car was stuffed to the gills.

I thought that he would replace the fan belt, but he simply tossed it under the car.

The next day I saw Billy replacing the fan belt.

Pissing Match

The Red Sky was a tattoo parlor across the street from our place in Tucson. Despite the proximity to the Red Sky, we had spent little time talking with each other. 

Wednesday is the apprentice’s day off, so Tuesday evening was like shore leave. At closing time an apprentice, Shawn, and his friend needed to use the restroom, but bars pushed customers out the door.

The apprentice told his friend that the he knew a place that they could use to relieve themselves. The apprentice showed his friends the alley behind the tattoo parlor.

Unfortunately the alley was quite narrow, and the guys pissed on each others pant legs. This led to an argument of who pissed on whose pant legs.

A third friend showed up to try to get Shawn go home, but to no avail. 

Shawn was the drunker of the two. Mickey, the neighbor across the street, and I were enjoying the absurdity of the situation. We listened until the threats to each other became more serious. It was all fun until the argument threatened to escalate to a higher level. 

On this ocassion, the cops showed up promptly. As the police appoached, the closer-to-sober asked the other asked the other guy, “Are you going to tell them what we were arguing about or should I?”

The cops loaded the two guys into separate squad cars, with the hope that once the guys had a taste of the squad car that the would go home on their own volition. No such luck; the closer-to-sober left for home, but the other guy choose to attack the cops.

The cops had no choice, they had to arrest the guy. Once they had taken care of the drunk, one of cops brought a form over to me so that I could have him changed with disturbing the peace.

Penny Smokes a Cigarette

A few years ago I was in Barrett for the 24th of June celebration*. Several of us were sitting in a pavilion booth, including Penny, who was sitting next to me. Penny was smoking a cigarette.

She nodded her head and continued her conversation with some of her friends. She was considerate of them; she held her cigarette in her left hand, away from her friends, but toward me. 

Her hand moved such that her cigarette ash burned me. I said, “Excuse me” with the hope that she would do something about her cigarette. I got no reaction from her. 

I pulled the burning cigarette out of her hand; still no reaction from Penny.

I burned Penny’s hand, and she jerked the her hand away but still continued her conversation oblivous to the cigarette burn.


The 24th of June is the annual celebration of Barrett.

Dressed Up

There was a different crowd at the Grand tonight. The musicians consisted of two guitars augmented with computers.

John came into the bar with an entourage of mostly young women. The women in the group were dressed in colorful winter clothes.

I heard him remark to a friend, “And to think I even got dressed up for the occasion.”

He led his entourage to the table that has the worst acoustics in the saloon.

Monsoons and Ditches

Last Monday we had a strong thunderstorm. After the rain storm, I wanted to see how much water was running in the ditch behind our house.

As I walked out of the house, I heard a voice saying, “Oh this is where you live”. It was Mark. I told him what I was checking to see how much water was running in the ditch. The water in the ditch was running only about 2 inches deep.

He said, “I’d like to sleep beside the ditch except that the bugs would eat me alive. And I would like to sleep with girls. I remember when the mosquitos were so bad that we had to go inside to get laid.”

He continued to reminisce. “The girls used to like me when I was younger. But that was when I had money, and I had all my teeth.”

I told him that he would be part of my next story.

The Streets of Bisbee look Different at Night

Last night I walked downtown. Along the way I overheard a couple discussing where they had parked their car. The streets of Bisbee look different at night.

There was another couple with a similar problem. They couldn’t find their Bed and Breakfast.

Once I got to downtown, I was approached by a woman, who was on the verge of tears. She informed me that there were some hoodlums who were in a fight in a backstreet near downtown.

I offered to call 911. She said, “No, the police are already there.”

She had been at the downtown coffee shop. She had met Dennis there. Now she was looking for the third story of a white building. She was going to meet Dennis to play Scrabble.


[It was a Saturday, and I had just moved to Wibaux, MT. Wibaux is near the border of Montana and North Dakota.]

I had an apartment in downtown Wibaux. It was a nice place, but noisy. The train went through downtown, but the biggest problem was the bar noise.

The Shamrock Bar was the noisiest bar in town and it was directly across the street from my place. I wasn’t prepared for the first Saturday night. The bar noise was so loud that I couldn’t sleep.

I heard an argument between two former friends. One of them said, “Hey, don’t cut me, man. I’ve loved you like a brother.”

When the bar closed at 2, I thought that Sunday night would be better. Nope – it was worse! North Dakota had laws preventing the sale of alcohol on Sundays. The drunks from North Dakota came to Wibaux to drink on Sunday evening.

Ghost Hunting

Old Bisbee has a reputation for ghost sightings. Of course where there are reportedly a lot of ghost sightings, there are charlatans who have figured out how to make a buck on the search for the apparitions. There are tours specifically to go through town after dark to hear the stories about the ghosts.

There is a mural that was done by Rose Johnson* on the Circle K entitled “Historic Bisbee”. At the edge of the mural, is a woman who is somewhat ethereal. Of course, some viewers see a ghost. Rather than listen to the guide, one of the tourists interrupted, “Is that woman really a ghost?”


* Rose Johnson was one of Bisbee’s more famous artists.

Gay Pride

I was walking home the Friday of Gay Pride week end. Monica was with some of her friends. Her pastor had given her some flyers for her to give out to people at Bisbee Pride. She and her friends were joking about the flyers.

They were all wearing rainbow colors, except for her. She was dressed in blue jeans and a non-descript t-shirt. I only got a glimpse of the flyers, which said something like “Gays Repent”.

Suddenly I heard an “Oh Shit” from Monica, the blue-jeaned girl. She tried to hide her flyers.

Another cluster of girls was pouring out of the Circle K. The two groups hugged each other.

Except for Monica. She ran away at a 45 degree angle with her flyers.

She threw the flyers away when she was off in the shadows.