Fridays With Dale: Taking a Break

Title with image of author

Dale Angel

 


Fridays with Dale will be going on hiatus.

Way back in May, as the Writers Forum Short Story contest was winding down, I was trying to think of a way to find material to post on this blog consistently. I looked through my files of old newsletters, and noticed that I had six short pieces on file from Dale Angel. These were pieces that Dale had read at our semi-annual Read Around and had handed me her copy at the end of the day for putting in the monthly newsletter. The pieces were entertaining, and had been popular reads at the Read Arounds. They stretched back for the five years or so that I have been the Newsletter Editor. Or is it six years now?

I sent Dale an e-mail and asked her permission to post them. Dale enthusiastically agreed.

I thought it was going to be a six-week run. After week two, Dale asked if I would be interested in any more pieces. I enthusiastically agreed. She sent me six more.

I thought, “Wow. This could turn into a regular feature.” I put together the Fridays with Dale title, and used a photo I had on file of Dale from a Read Around to make the graphic you have seen almost every week. The regular feature officially became Fridays with Dale for week three of its run.

Every time I was almost out of new pieces to run, Dale would send a fistful more. This kept up all summer and through the fall and into the winter.

Alas, after 28 Friday’s with Dale features, we have no new pieces from Dale to share at this time. I am keeping a place-holder here for Dale, and any Friday that she wants it is hers.

In the meantime, I have a few other goodies to share. Stay tuned.

Thanks,



Geo.


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Fridays With Dale: WHAT DO BIG GAME HUNTING AND THE CRITICAL WATER SHORTAGE HAVE IN COMMON?

Title with image of author

Dale Angel

 


WHAT DO BIG GAME HUNTING AND THE CRITICAL WATER SHORTAGE HAVE IN COMMON?

By Dale Angel

 

At one time, no gun was big enough, no distance too far, no safari too overpriced to hunt trophy game. This activity created whole economic industries. Stuffed animal heads were displayed for admiration and the hunter was always recorded in pictures with his game. These exploits are today embarrassing as we all know what the end results were. Today large areas of the earth are set aside to save what’s left of their slaughters. Big game hunting was for man’s temporary amusement.

This appetite for diversion continues.

Recently a citation was issued informing a family they had a broken water pipe. Some communities are hiring water monitors to control the using of excess water. The above mentioned householder had no broken pipes it was a drip system under his trees.

The meetings of Government officials to cope with the water crisis are in our daily news. Farmers are warned of the possibility of being affected, because crops demand large amounts of water. Cities gathered to protest. They need more water.

Citizens are to do their part reducing their most basic water needs

Communities using vast amounts of water for their grasses and grounds are exempt. Big business is generated by these large lucrative spacious tracts of earth because it also for entertainment, just different trophies. Pictures of the winner and his prize are always recorded for our admiration.

One desert city has over a hundred different areas set aside for this activity, drinking rivers of precious water. Will we look back and be embarrassed? Big Game hunting and critical water shortage have in common that price is not too high for amusement. Today, it’s called golf.

Dale Angel


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Fridays With Dale: Promises

Title with image of author

Dale Angel

 


Promises

By Dale Angel

                                                    

My body is self-destructing with my knowledge, but without my consent.

These pills I do battle with every time we meet, which is often, I hate them. It says on the label they may give some relief to my ailments…or they may make matters worse. ‘Prescription’ sounds so authoritative and empowering but the list of side effects will require a whole forest of paper to cover their disclaimers: it can bring on weakness and palpations, and each time I re-up they add more zeros to the price.

 You understand why I use the word ‘pills.’ It sounds so unthreatening, like vitamin pills. They offer the best they have, but like some people, they may be undependable or dangerous.

All come with promises.

How close to death do I dance when I swallow these promises?

Watching the world on TV showed the elder of some tribe shoot his darts into the Amazon canopy as high as a mountain and bring down a bird. I asked my eye doctor how come he can see and I can’t? He said, “The Amazon man is just like us. He can see far away, but can’t find his finger nails. He would need glasses for close ups too.’’

I watch these ads that say if I send money, I can learn to see without my glasses. It’s easy, you just throw away your glasses. In a few hours you can see. It implies only stupid people wear glasses. I want to send for the power to do life without them.

But…it keeps rising in my mind that ad that promised unending libido…and my neighbor who climbed out of the motor home window after playing unending…he went to the hospital…she closed up her house and left town. A new updated version shows a man spraying under his arms but warns that at contact she may grow whiskers or lose her singing voice.

Professional assurances…scare me.

Tonight on the world news, it tells us to beware of these wonderful pharmacy products, at the same time it shows people who take them having fun in first class resorts with healthy smiles. They got there with the aid of these promises.

Who to believe?

Dale Angel


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Fridays With Dale: Water Wasters

Title with image of author

Dale Angel

 


Water Wasters

By Dale Angel

 

Water Wasters have always walked among us, masquerading as upright citizens.

But…with surveillance equipment, cameras, listening and forensic devices that can detect suspicious splashes left over from washing cars, they are catching the violators.

Who knew what went on behind closed doors? Some even let the water run while brushing their teeth. Shameless hard core people that don’t fix their broken toilets and the water rans day and night. Today’s electronics can hear that now, including the drips from kitchen faucets.

The use of water as therapy, like bloodletting, may be…outdated.

Those long warm relaxing showers, soaking in a bubble bath, listening to the click-click of the Rainbird swinging water across the front lawn, feeling the water in our hands as it bubbles out of the hose without any definite destination as one frivolously pours water on flowers gardens shrubs and trees…that know no consequences, the liability rests with the water wasters.

The trees that have green leaves are a good indication of blatant violations. Water has to be somewhere. Self-manufactured leaks carry no leniency. Masquerading as an upright citizen, I was almost caught hoarding cups of water for my bees. My neighbor’s bees were visiting too often.

Combat drones have been used for the flushing out those who are growing those green plants up in the mountains. Fines are steep for emptying the streams. One has to be a serious repeat offender to use the water from fire hydrants after dark. That’s as bad as running cold water down the drain waiting for it to get warm…plundering our natural resources.

I tried to save and use the water from my washing machine. It’s traveling across town anyway, mingling with who knows what, but I guess they’re saving it to drink.

My friend got caught carrying a squirt gun. Inclination and raw Rebelliousness met. I got caught filling the kiddy pool. I’m now considered an abuser.

When I pay my utility bill I can’t make eye contact. I feel like I contributed to the drought. I used to be flippant but I’m coming to grips with my addiction.

We meet up at the lake near the boat ramp in that grey house twice a month. We are in rehab. See you at the next Water Wasters Anonymous meeting.

 

Dale Angel


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Fridays With Dale: Send Me Flowers

Title with image of author

Dale Angel

 


Send Me Flowers

By Dale Angel

She said, “Son, give me flowers while I’m living, not after I’m dead and can’t see and    smell and touch them.”

He was helping to build space equipment, an exciting time of his life and he couldn’t stop. He married a girl from the East Coast of a military family.  They lived there—a busy life unable to get beyond their own doors.

She waited by the phone covered with a blanket. He said he’d call. She wrote poetry about her love and how precious he was and waited and grew weak.

They sent school pictures of strangers, little miniature beings of themselves once a year. Occasionally he remembered and sent a card on his way from distant parts of the earth. He meant to visit someday. He was flying on assignments and the planes passed over her, but she imagined his presence.  She wanted to look into his eyes and hear his voice and pass family history to his children.

It’s a history of the great depression; a starting point for defenseless people, who got caught in a failing world. Futility drove people to migrate on hope of finding a better place leaving behind property with only a few dollars owed on the farm. It broke families apart. There was no place to escape.

The grandchildren grew up knowing only the same busy world of today’s life, their perceptions of only the moment. Their doors were closed with ‘too busy.’

She wanted them to know about their dad, a history of him as a little boy who ran across floating logs at a mill pond a game little boys played.

To earn money, he gathered pink lilies from the forest to sell to the mortuary. They had to be six feet tall to cover the casket. He gathered Cascara bark to sell to the drug store.

He forged his name to ride a calf in the Pendleton Round Up among every tribe of   Indians representing the largest in the world. In the distance, he could see wild horses running along the mountain tops while standing on top of the fence.

He climbed up the ladder to the cab in a train while the engineer was in the depot and pulled levers. They promised jail. He was seven and scared.

She didn’t just want flowers. She had things to share, a library of family history.

That man in the picture hanging on the wall rode on the side of the wagon with his dad at the Oklahoma land rush and watched as men with guns took away their stakes. They rode on until they came to the river and planted them. Distant relatives are still there.

That women beside him had early Texas history. A town is named for her family with cattle and chasing Indians for white captives from the Goodnight Ranch. Books tell the story.

The wagon train journey was a driven desire to find a place to call home. The red hair came by way of Ireland to his children.

She wanted them to know the family had affection and was fair with their slaves and gave them inheritances and invited them to come west, some did.

When she died a history died too, left unsaid.

He sent a large bouquet and came with his children to the west. She didn’t get to touch and see the flowers or hear their voices.

Son…send me flowers while I live. I want to see them feel them smell them and hear your voice. Don’t wait. 

Dale Angel


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Type of Material and Guidelines for e-newsletter and Website Submission: 1.) Your articles on the art or craft of writing. 2.) Essays on subjects of interest to writers. (200 words can be quoted without permission but with attribution.) 3.) Book or author reviews. 4.) Letters to the Editor or Webmaster. 5.) Information on upcoming events, local or not. 6.) Photos of events. 7.) Advertise your classes or private events. 8.) Short fiction 9.) Poetry

Please submit copy to the editor at writersforumeditor@gmail.com . Electronic submissions only. Microsoft Word format, with the .docx file extension, is preferred but any compatible format is acceptable. The staff reserves the right to perform minor copy editing in the interest of the website’s style and space.