Ohio's state mental hospital was situated in the far outskirts Cleveland, its massive edifice situated on hundreds of acres surrounding by a fence that bore warnings and no tresspassing signs every 90 feet or so.
The hospital and outbuildings' power were solely dependent on the railroad's bi-monthly delivery of two bottom-dumper coal cars carrying Pennsylvania's best bituminous, a process repeated every two weeks for decades and perfected by reptition to the extent the minimal crew of… Continue
Added by Joe Gensle on March 28, 2010 at 3:00pm —
Sheila enjoyed the candlelight dinner Preston prepared for their anniversary, and was sipping wine looking into the eyes of a man whom she'd loved since first sight at 17.
Shock, from his termination at the mechanical engineering firm where Preston had labored 7 years, had turned his mind into a nerf ball of numbed stress about finances, despite their savvy budget-planning and investments that were enough to keep him and Sharon afloat for a shortening while.
She began to… Continue
Added by Joe Gensle on March 23, 2010 at 1:00pm —
"Kalispell Police, Officer Cleburne, is this an emergency?"
"Uh, well I don't think so because I'm just calling to report a missing person...my wife."
"Where and when did you last see her, sir?"
"Right here, we're about 8 miles outta town, and I think it was May 6th."
"Sir, MAY ain't here
Clifton didn't like the officer's tone and gently placed the phone back on its cradle, grateful the bears hadn't left him… Continue
Added by Joe Gensle on March 19, 2010 at 10:30am —
Summer nor winter was ever kind to the physical laborers in Cleveland's railroad yards, but my uncle Don and his crew endured there.
For tough as nails workers, the shabby breakroom doubled as a lunch area just around the corner from the grizzled workers' lockers holding bagged lunches, coveralls, gloves, overclothes for winter, and hats proudly displaying their Union's cause.
The weary workmen would cycle themselves to the shack for lunch, hauling out their respective… Continue
Added by Joe Gensle on March 17, 2010 at 7:00pm —
Parma's Frankfort Avenue is 1/3 of a mile in length but fronted by only 4 houses that bear Frankfort addresses.
Uncle Don's was a large, 2-storey bungalow stylishly consistent with the others...a small porch, and finished basement customized to accommodate a garbage-eating potbellied furnace not far from the '50s refrigerator modified for a beer tap's protrusion through the door. Continue
His sidewalk's terminus was accented by small (square yard/meter,each) gardened squares of roses…
Added by Joe Gensle on March 17, 2010 at 3:30pm —
When the brake wheel atop the freight car came off in his hands and against his chest, Don's body was hurled to the ground, breaking his back across the railroad tracks, an injury compounded by the heavy iron wheel against his chest, fracturing sternum and ribs, too.
In full body cast, he'd often shuffle to the front door just inches at a time and peer at the Pinkerton men (one always with binoculars, trained) spying to negate his insurance claim with the railroad, and in return, Don… Continue
Added by Joe Gensle on March 16, 2010 at 5:30pm —
Macy and Lacy were as identical as twins could be but psyche was where the two parted ways, an unsettling contrast with other parents' experience raising paired children.
Macy's main interest was always Macy, a spiteful core within that despised someone else in life being mirror-imaged, as if stealing part of her soul along with her identity.
Macy often jumped rope with friends, insisting and forcing the issue that Lacy was barred from participating. So Lacy would play on the… Continue
Added by Joe Gensle on March 13, 2010 at 1:30pm —
Maybe you're not scared of Toyotas and their current acceleration maladies but I am, especially, after seeing video of a runaway Prius peace officers had to stop by putting the cop cruiser in front of the Prius' bumper at 94 miles per hour: ninety-freakin'-four.
I'd like to stencil the back window of my car or get a reflective bumper sticker:
- ATTN: TOYOTA--CHANGE LANES NOW
- TOYOTA: FREE GAS NEXT LEFT
- TOYOTA: ROAD KILL REDEFINED
- TOYOTA: RETURN TO…
Added by Joe Gensle on March 10, 2010 at 12:00am —
Suzy's in her 60s, an RN working swing-shift at the rehab wing of the 5-star facility.
She's standing before my mom with reams of admissions forms coming off her clipboard, briefing each form's meaning as she requests signatures from her new patient.
"In case you should die here, Mary, do you want to be an organ donor?"
Mom's eyelids stretched their widest as she raised her hand and bellowed a long, "Noooooooooooooooo!"
On the drive home, I laughed… Continue
Added by Joe Gensle on March 9, 2010 at 2:30pm —
When you're a little boy and your mommy's sick, maybe you get to take her a glass of water, or carry soup down the hall and hope you don't spill it. Continue
You don't like to see Mommy hurt or sick, and you sure hope she feels better.
When your mother's life story is well into the final chapter, only a few paragraphs remaining in her story, you find yourself again at her bedside.
You move a spoonful of soup toward her mouth, encourage her to sip, tell her it will be…
Added by Joe Gensle on March 8, 2010 at 10:30am —
"One suicide, one raspberry, and one lime n' orange."
"I need three tickets, honey."
"Mary, can I get one blue raspberry, one ice cream sandwich, and a Coke, please?"
"Sure, Coach, good game! That'll be one ticket and 50¢, please."
This year, the resumption of professional baseball's Spring training reminded me of the four summers my mom was drafted to volunteer to work in sweltering heat, making sno-cones at the little league's snack shack, proud of…
Added by Joe Gensle on March 8, 2010 at 12:30am —
Juan Valdez pulls his ass up that Colombian mountain for guys like me, members of 'Team Caffeine.' I'm sure that ass is just as grateful for gravity-under-load (downhill) as am I for that my first mornin' cup (down the hatch!) of brewed renewal.
I do everything I can to please my palate with the best cup of java I can: if ground, it's in the fridge; if beans they're frozen; unbleached cone filters; filtered water.
My love for bean brew sparked the possibility of a business… Continue
Added by Joe Gensle on March 6, 2010 at 10:00am —
Sleepless and staring at the ceiling, I was unable to move from exhaustion infused to bone level from working in shade temps of 114 degrees earlier in the day. Catholic anesthesia
came to mind but I knew I probably wouldn't make the 40 Hail Marys' mark before being startled awake by the clock radio's volume set at 'deafening' for 4AM, but I started the prayers, anyway.
I was still as dead, hands interlaced under my head on the pillow, and may have already knocked out a couple… Continue
Added by Joe Gensle on March 2, 2010 at 7:30pm —
The "curiously strong" Altoids seemed harmless at a $1.99 in their cutesy little tins until I experienced psychogenic shock doing the math: $19.20 per pound.
And I'm eating chicken 'quarters'--leg and thigh-- for 59¢-79¢ per pound?
Coconut loves "Beggin' Strips" and I guess she's fooled thinking it is real bacon my local markets sell for $2.99 to $4.99 per pound. Roasts and many cuts of steak don't cost the Beggin' Strips' $7.50 per pound (...so I promise your fare will… Continue
Added by Joe Gensle on March 2, 2010 at 12:30am —
We wasn't rich by a stretch, in fact I growed up sleepin' in the front room and remember Daddy would come home from the bar and sometimes throw a fit, both, from too many beers and a bad day coal minin' not that they was many good ones.
He'd always promised Mama he'd never hit her and he was a man o' promise because iffen him and her had a screamin' and yellin' conniption he'd run outside and throw our plastic chairs sometimes right over our Doughboy pool 'cept in winter cuz it was… Continue
Added by Joe Gensle on March 1, 2010 at 5:30am —