Saturday, June 15, 2019


From a high school yearbook... years ago!
Good "reunion" Throwback Thursday, y'all.
Later today, my two sisters will fly in for a get together for the weekend. Looking forward to it. Although my little sister returns every year or so, I haven't seen my middle sister in about four or five years.
I sometimes think all this misogyny in the world would be lessened if more men had sisters in their lives. It's a rather naive thing to embrace, but I'm sticking to it.
I grew up with three sisters and feel very fortunate to have two of them still around. In a round about way, they give me balance.
My older sister, Adele, (better known as Mickey!) was almost three years older than me. She was the feminine one who loved to practice her feminine ways on her little brother. At the time, I guess I was about ten or so, I didn't know how to handle her "come ons!"
My best memories as a kid were of her dancing with the door knob when I didn't want to play along. She was a big Elvis, Sam Cooke and Irma Thomas fan. She locked herself in her room for days when she heard that Sam Cooke was killed. She was the emotional one.
My little sister, Betsy, who is about twelve years younger than me was my little Ramette. After each football game, I return home to have her get a running start to jump into my exhausted arms to celebrate our win... or loss. I don't think, at the time, it mattered.
Betsy made me her hero and I made sure that I kept it that way for her. She cried when we left home for Southern California. I guess she understood the ramifications of that move better than I did.
But, for many years, my middle sister and I were the closest if only because we were just two years apart. We did everything together. Ride bikes, climb trees, go to "the Beach" and spend the day in the pool. She was a tomboy's tomboy.
Becky was the first to take music lessons and beg mom for a guitar. In high school, she was one of the band's first clarinetist even though every one thought she should perform as a "Ramette!" Although the band director understood the situation, he needed her as a musician and not a drum majorette. I think Becky was glad a decision was made for her.
She was a pretty good jock as tomboys go. I don't believe I ever spent the time to show her how to throw a baseball. She did not throw like a girl. She loved playing football too.
Although I'm proud of all of my sister's accomplishments, I'm posting this photo of Rebecca, as she now wants to be called, as a sophomore sweetheart to illustrate a point. It's about watching a girl go through the many changes that slowly and sometimes abruptly happen in the "wonder years!"
After a few good tackles one year, Becky came to me teary eyed to tell me she could no longer play with us because it hurt too much to get hit in the chest. I knew it was a tough decision to make because a year or so earlier, I had to grow up and decide to stop playing army with my friends when I made the high school varsity team.
The thought of being found out would be just too embarrassing, though I really did not want to let go of those good times saving the world from oppression and fascism in the form of 'dem Japs and Krauts.
I wish that I could find a photograph I took of Becky in jeans and a sweatshirt with one of those plastic football helmets that was really more decoration than protection. In the photo, with the football neatly tucked under her arm, she jumped over my cousin, the would be tackler, to gain a few more extra yards for a touchdown.
Gotta love that!
One year later, she is voted as the Sophomore Sweetheart for 1968. I just know she did not know how to handle all the attention that she received as a "woman" or how to deal with all the male suitors that soon wanted her attention.
I learned a lot being the little brother as well as the big brother with my sisters. It made me a better person. A better lover. A better father. A better husband and a better son.
The world would be a better place, I think, with a healthier understanding of the human condition, if every brother had a sister... or two!
First early morning cup!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

"What'dya Mean!"

No Donuts...

Good "Sorry, We're Closed" TGF Friday Day, all bodies!

So funny. As a continuation of my last donut story, you know the one about styrofoam and cinnamon rolls, I got a twitch to have an apple fritter last Sunday.

I was feeling unappreciated, put upon, and uninspired. I blame it all on my mother who probably felt the same way while I was in her womb and did something about it.

She ate donuts.

Now, every now and then, when I'm in a funk, my fat cells cry out for a donut. Donuts and me go way back. I've got lots of stories of my donut dalliances. But those are stories for another time.

Taking a small apple with me before I headed out to run errands that I didn't want any part of, I decided to stop by Folsom's one and only donut shoppe. An apple fritter would be a nice addition to help me get on with life. But, it was not to be.

As I drove up to the bakery, though the "Open" sign was blinking on and off enticing down and out folks like me to imbibe, the store looked dark. Upon further "007" investigation, I noticed a letter size sign taped to the door. On it in quickly scribbled letters read, "We are closed. We ran out of donuts!"


How can a donut store run out of the very thing they are in business to provide? I mean, what? You ran out of pink icing? You ran out of silly colored sprinkles? Your bag of dough done stopped doughing? The donut machine bellied up? What?

How could a donut shoppe run out of donuts and not know it until it was too late?

Oh, I could gone on for days going Sherlock Holmes on this caper. Now what... Little Debbies? Fake Hubig pies?

I can tell you that Sunday was not a pretty sight trying to calm down and explain to my whiny ass fat cells what was going on.

"Shutup," I said..."Here, have an apple!"

First cup!
Copyright 2019/ Ben Bensen III

Saturday, January 19, 2019

"The Brown Thrasher Debacle"

The infamous Brown Thrasher

"And, so, I told mom that I really wasn't planning on doing that today,"she said.

"And then, you know what she told me?"

"No, what?" I said, rather nonchalantly.

"She told me that..."

"Whoa, look at that," I said, " A brown thrasher!"

"What?" What's a brown thrasher?" she asked.

And, she asked in a rather aggravated and kinda hurt way...

It's one of those things we learn in our dating days. At that time in our relationship, we were pretty much checking each other out. But, having grown up with three sisters, I should've known better. It could be said that her indignant reaction and annoyance at what is perceived as unfair treatment is just a female thing, but at parties I certainly have had quite a few conversations ripped right out of my heart and soul by callous, uninterested friends.

Changing the subject in the middle of one's story is not an endearing way to impress your girl friend. Of course, I had a very good reason for interrupting. When you have an intimate relationship with something you've never really seen in real life, well it is exciting.

The first time I actually saw a WWII bomber parked at a Long Beach airport, I was so impressed that I had to get off the 405 freeway and drive to the airport to get a closer look. I had read so many books and made so many plastic models of that bomber for myself and for friends who never had to patience or the courage to build the model themselves, that actually seeing the real thing in the "flesh" was mind blowing.

Unfortunately, it was the same scene with my then girlfriend. As a kid, my mom suggested that I draw and paint birds instead of always illustrating war scenes with airplanes bombing everything I could put on an 8 and 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper. Mockingbirds. sparrows, blue jays and maybe an occasional woodpecker was all I could see to draw from in life. All other birds I drew were birds I saw in a trail guide or birding book.

Having a romantic picnic under the oak trees at City Park presented all kinds of flying distractions. From that time on, even to this day, 46 years later, the event is recognized as "The Brown Thrasher Debacle!"

Copyright 2019/ Ben Bensen III

Thursday, January 3, 2019

"S'why I Love Toasters!"

Outlasted Sears...

Good "if it ain't broke..." Thursday, y'all.
In a way, this is a TBT post because this rather simple machine was a wedding gift 46 years ago. It is function is to make bread into toast.
It's called, oddly enough, a TOASTER!
It doesn't require a replacement bulb. It doesn't need to be upgraded every other month or have it's operating system changed so you have to purchase all new bread to have it operate efficiently.
It doesn't run out of ink... or anything, for that matter.
It requires no gas or oil or hydraulic fluid or a pulley, starter switch or a remote control. You don't have to insert a coin to make it work. It won't bite you either unless you decide to pry out burnt toast with a knife.
It doesn't come with an insurance plan or need a license to operate it.
It doesn't need batteries to operate and it is, to my knowledge, though I've lost the instruction sheet years ago, it is environmentally safe... Wow!
And, and... the best part about it is that when you want to incorporate its services, it actually works.
Me likes toasters...

Copyright 2019/ Ben Bensen III