Tuesday, November 22, 2016

For Helen of Huron

Sense its my editor's 75th birthday today, I decided to give her a realy nice present----some extra work to do with today's blog post.  

Each morning after I post my blog, I know that she loves to send me sentences or phrases colored up with bright yellow highlighter, noting the mistakes.  

I know also that I truely appreciate her help as well as that of Cherry, my assistant editor.

So, just to add some zip to your special day, Helen, your job is to find all the errors and post them in the comments section.  

If you do good work, I'll put you on the "Slight Detour" honor role. I'll try my best to avoid errors, though, because I dont want you too work to hard on your special day. 

I've known Helen for a long time, but, in perticular, I remember when her and her friends Rose and Elizabeth came into my English classroom one evening at Sandpoint High School. I think I was there working one a yearbook project.  They may have been taking a night class.

This was also at the time that I had just purchased my first of several copies of Steve Martin's wonderful collection of quirky tales entitled Cruel Shoes.  I loved all the stories, but being a committed farm girl, was most taken with a story about "renegade cows."  

So, when the trio of ladies came through the door, I could not resist picking up the book and reading them the story.  

I don't know if they thought it was as funny as I did, but I do know that when I came up for air, they were crumpled up in a heap next to my desk. This concerned me. Eventually, they unraveled their human pretzel and went about their way. I think they liked the story.  

So, Helen, cuz its your milestone birthday, hear's a rerun of the story:  please read it allowed to Skip.  Note:  pardon the goofy formatting of the story (another blogger glitch that refuses to let me fix it). 

I bet he would enjoy it, and maybe he'd go right out to a farm somewhere out here in Selle and by you some renegade cows for your birthday so that you can chase them around those big trees on your property. 

Cows in Trouble -- by Steve Martin
These were not the average "contented" cows. They were cows born for trouble.
They were not cows who could stand by and let people call them "bossy."
They were cows who could not hang around all day lowing.
They were cows who could be just as happy chewing someone else's cud
as their own.
These were renegade cows. My first experience with the renegade cows began one day as I was admiring a particularly attractive cow at Johnson's Weed Farm.
As I stood there watching her sultry body moving lithely through the rushes,
I noticed several other cows staring at me through the weeds,
giving me that look that only a cow can give.
Later that night, I was at home thinking over the day's events. The Rubber Duck
Throwing Contest, the parade that followed: bands and floats and baton-tossing girls all marching down the middle of the Missouri River. I should have been analyzing the glare of those cows I'd seen earlier that day.
The doorbell rang. I opened the door, glad to have a visitor, but found myself face to face with three renegade cows. I could not see their eyes behind the dark glasses.
They ambled in and I did not try to stop them.
That night they just stood around my bed and watched me sleep, much the same way my potatoes do, and I guess you might say I learned my lesson: Don't fool with renegade cows.

For those readers who may wonder why Helen is my blog editor, I must tell you that she, like I, used to write stories from the Sandpoint area for the Spokane Daily Chronicle.  That's where she picked up her eagle-eye editting skills.  

And, ya wanna know something else???  Those stories that Helen and I were writting were all true----not even made up. 

Our editor Dan Wakeley liked it alot when we sent him true stories, based on facts that actually happened around these parts. 

Our mutual experience with the afternoon paper, which came out of Spokane every afternoon before the morning Spokesman became the soul paper reminds me of another story about "cruelty," apparently some I inflicted on our paper lady's daughters. 

My brothers taught me at a young age how to shoot spit wads.  When I was in high school, after school each day, we who road the bus had to wait for 45 minutes at the school before the bus ever picked us up. 

That made for a long day.  At one time, to add some fun to the bus ride home I loaded my pockets with homemade spit wads and rubber bands.  When no one seemed to be looking, I'd occasionally launch one off with no particular target in mind.

Well, I must have hit the hornet's nest aka bullseye one time to many because one day shortly after I departed from the bus and walked into the house, the Chronicle paper deliverer, Mrs. Hicks, came on her usual route.  

She did not stop at the paper box on this day; instead, she drove right into the driveway and got out of her truck. 

Mother was there to meet her at the back door.  She stormed up the steps, handed Mother the paper, asked to speak to my mother's daughter (the only guilty one named Marianne). 

As soon as I walked to the kitchen, she launched off with a litany of threats, lest I ever dare shoot a spit wad at her daughters on the school bus again. 

I did not.

Her husband George was the state policeman.  They lived in the neighborhood, and Mother liked getting her afternoon paper. 

The Chronicle eventually quit publishing, and the Spokesman-Review became our major regional paper.  Both Helen and I have fond memories of our journalistic experiences with Dan Wakeley and the Chronicle.

As a result, we're both news junkies and fairly well-versed on most things local.  I often say that if I don't know what's happening, I'll call Helen and she'll know. 

Helen is definately one of our town treasures, having served as city clerk and council woman and continually giving of her time and talents to a number of local organizations and causes. 

She's also a good friend to many, and that is a treasure in itself.  And, she's a dam good editor. 

So, Helen, "Happy Birthday," and thanks for all the good and fun memories. 

Now, do your assignment.   And, Skip, think about a few renegade cows to run on your spread out there south of town!


Helen said...

SO.... dear friend...... I had just finished reading your blog complete with birthday gift and started my list of your prolific errors when our power went off. That must have been difficult for a word smith like you to intentionally make so many errors! Shortly thereafter, we took off for the day - a perfect birthday - piling and burning brush followed by chicken, potatoes and carrots wrapped in foil and cooked in the coals - dinner by the (rather large) campfire. Once home, I fielded phone calls, visits and FB postings and with all of the fresh air, I'm too tired to take up your challenge.... even editors need a day off..... :) Thanks for the birthday wishes on this milestone 75 - can hardly believe it - 75!!! I think that's the beginning of being considered "elderly" and I'm not ready for that yet!

Marianne Love said...

:) Glad you had a nice day. With this being the start of the holiday season. I've decided to dispense with this assignment. Catcha later, so keep that yellow highlighter handy.

Helen said...

I am grateful. Would hate to get a failing grade from you!!!