Good morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.” — Shirley Temple

Once again we’ve been buying our coffee ‘whole bean’ style. This morning, in the dark, I had to set up the little grinder and ‘go to it’. The cats were not impressed. But, the result is one quality brew!

Waaaay too many years ago, while going to school in Michigan, the holidays meant trips south to the ‘Nati. These trips were always managed in some wreck of a car. In fact, any travel over 50 miles without some ‘issue’ was an awesome miracle worthy of note by the Vatican.

On these trips no CD player, no tape player, no FM, just cheap gas and the trusty AM playing WLW radio. Cincinnati was a major force in the early days of radio and television, and the local clear channel station, WLW “The Nation’s Station”, pumped out a massive signal blasting at 500,000 watts—enough to reach the Pacific Ocean (these days clear channel stations are limited to 50,000 watts).

On these trips, invariably, as the night started to get long I’d be subjected to a late evening program that, while I loathed it, was such a fixture that I got used to it—Moon River. This radio show consisted of dreamily wistful music played on a Hammond organ while a voice droned away narrating the schmaltziest poems imaginable. Possibly that show created the hypnotic trance I needed, whereby the tiresome miles between Bowling Green and Dayton blurred into a soft fog.

Where all this is leading to is that recently I came across a digitized copy of an old vinyl LP of music by a character using the name of Korla Pandit. Instantly I was immersed in a flood of nostalgia and memories from my long “Moon River” traveling nights. A little checking found that Pandit, in the early ‘50s, was just about the biggest thing on Los Angeles television. Exuding Eastern mystery and wearing a turban with a large Opal in front he never spoke, he just sat and played a Hammond organ. A narrator, in the typically deep authoritative voice of the era, reads obnoxiously schmaltzy poems. I had found a Moon River all over again, and as before, I can’t fathom why I can’t stop listening. [click on the audio link at top of the page for a short listen]

I am always amazed how easily life can take an unexpected turn. Maybe it’s a phone call with a new job offer, as happened to Jason a few months ago. Maybe it’s looking at a lottery ticket worth $200,000,000, as happened to some municipal workers north of here last week. Maybe it’s just driving along and you’re pulled over for no apparent reason, as happened to me earlier in the week.

Jason was using my car since his was in the shop. On the way home he stopped by and I hopped behind the wheel to drive him the ten blocks to the garage and pick up his fixed and now ready car. Down our street we drove, a light, and on green a turn, four blocks, turn signal on, a right turn, and then the cruiser’s flashing lights came on. Several minutes later the officer walked over. I had my paperwork at the ready. Handing the stuff over I queried what the issue was. Under the glare of the cruiser’s spot lights I couldn’t see his face, I just heard his words: “yes sir, there is a warrant out for you in New Mexico. This stems from an ‘open container’ violation back in 2005.”

So far all well and good except for the fact that in all my years of travel it had been close to 30 years since I had been in New Mexico. Maybe it was my laugh, maybe it was my grey hair, maybe it was the cop who just then needed to heed nature’s call, who knows, but a minute or two later Jason and I were on our way.

The next day I went to the police station to get the specifics on the warrant. I called the police department in Clayton, NM and was given the phone number for the Magistrate’s Court. Turns out some guy was arrested, it was then discovered that this person had several aliases and several Social Security Numbers. It was the Social Security number they used to issue his ticket that seemingly was at issue—identical to mine except for the last digit! Go figure, since I can’t.

I would hate to think that I was pulled over as just a bit of a fishing expedition.

Marcia and I want to make certain that we wish all of you the very best Christmas with the hope that soon Peace will reign. We’ll be heading up north where just yesterday they got 10” of snow and we can’t wait. Make it a great week.

Cheers,

Dirk

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