Elvis Lives!



Or at least a resemble facsimile of him did at a party I went to last weekend.

I remember the day when Elvis died. August 16, 1977.

I’m not sure why his death made such an impression on me, I didn’t listen to his music and no one in family did either. I never saw him in Vegas and no one in my family did either. Of course back in 1977 when he died, my parents were both working with three children (we weren’t quite teenagers yet) to feed, clothe and educate.


I always thought Elvis was so old, but when he died he was 42 years old. Now, that to me doesn’t seem all that old. Amazing how time can alter one’s perspective!

Michael Jackson was more my contemporary. I watched the Jackson 5 cartoons, remembered them being on American Band Stand on Saturday afternoons, had the albums and watched all the videos.

In college, we danced to Thriller. I even wore black loafers and learned to moon dance. Of course I never did have the silver glove. Ironically however, I have no idea where I was  or when Michael Jackson died. Not a clue.

But Elvis I do remember. His death made a big impression on me as a child. I think that day in August out on the beach with my friends soaking up the sun and listening to the radio is significant because Elvis was the first ‘celebrity’ I knew of that had died; somehow his death caste a pall over our summer days. It seemed like that’s all anyone talked about for days.


Years later, at my first ‘real’ job (you know where you have a 401K and health care!) I met a woman who went to Elvis’s grave every single year in pilgrimage.

At the time I thought that strange, I mean why bother! It’s not as if she knew him, but as I watched Elvis at the neighborhood party and how we all laughed and cheered, I thought why not. He obviously gave much to his fans through his music and people after all these years still make those pilgrimages to Graceland. And this impersonator who I am sure was born way after Elvis had passed had found away to spread some of that Elvis love.



Twenty Years and I went for a walk.

I spent my 20th wedding anniversary hiking.

Yes, I know. Probably most people or at least some would spend their wedding anniversary no matter what year it was at a resort hotel with fine dinning, possibly dancing and most definitely a massage, but not me.

We spent our anniversary on a day hike to Devils Post Pile National Monument in the Sierra Nevada’s or Eastern Sierras as we call it, in California.

We hiked the five miles (round trip) to Rainbow Falls.

Rainbow Falls

Of course we got there a bit too early to see the whole affect of the ‘rainbow-ish’ characteristic of the falls but it was still beautiful. At full sun, there are rainbow sparkles in the mist below the falls.


The falls were formed by the middle fork of the San Joaquin River.



The trail down to the basin of the falls was closed – it is being upgraded, so this was as close as we could get.

To get here we walked through Devil’s Postpile. I had seen this before way back in college, which was about thirty years ago and going on a 5 mile hike round trip was a no brainer.


This time, however, I took it all a bit slower, a bit more rests along the way, and a huge bottle of water to sip.

The trail isn’t difficult but it is at 7,560 ft. elevation I don’t move so fast.


The San Joaquin River, one of my very favorite places to fly fish, and it runs through this long valley and is part of the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

San Joaquin River

Of course, on this day trip – we just hiked. Our fly fishing we had accomplished the two days prior and I will, of course, be showing off those pictures in my next post.

In the interim, enjoy these snaps of the San Joaquin River.


This area is only opens up once the snow begins to melt and stays open for fishing, hiking and camping until the late fall. Once it snows its closed (the road down into the valley is not plowed) so it is a real treat to come and see this part of the Eastern Sierras.


In the summer months this place is crawling with campers, fishers and tourists but come fall as the leaves began to change the area becomes tranquil with hardly anyone around.

As to my success fly fishing . . . that will be my next post.

So until then . . . keep your shoes tied.



New Year’s Resolution: Make some goals.



My goal for 2017 is to finish my book regardless of what Darby may have planned for me.

I’ve never kept any New Year’s resolutions. Sure I thought up a few but once the party is over. Once I am back into the routine of my daily life . . . those resolutions I was so eager to start, work through, and eventually achieve, are forgotten.

So I rather than figuring out why I never follow through, I just decided to not make any resolutions and begin each New Year with the same old bad habits I had in the previous year.

Until now.

Recently in my writer’s group our guest speaker spoke about goals vs. resolutions.

Really? Aren’t they the same?

No. Resolutions, she said, are always negative: lose weight; give up smoking; stop drinking, etc.

Whereas goals are positive or should be positive: start running, practice yoga, and switch from bourbon to wine.

But goals aren’t just positive but should be SMART.


No. SMART. Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.

I hadn’t really thought about goals in this way before. I suppose because I’ve always worked in an industry where someone else was always setting the goals: like manufacturing deadlines, end of fiscal year contracts, statement of work deliveries, etc., and before this, when I was in school, the instructor or professor would tell us when are assignments are due, when the tests are and more importantly the school would set up the calendar so I always knew when the semester ended.

So deciding for myself what goals I want to reach I suppose is a relatively new concept for me and setting my own goals seem like such a daunting task until now . .

So for 2017 I’m not just going to work on my book or think about writing here or dream about what if I advanced my writing career . . . instead I’m going to make a New Year’s Resolution and set some SMART goals.

Looking for a pen

ink joy pen

Courtesy of Google Images

I spent twenty minutes this afternoon staring at the Back to School section at Target looking for my favorite pens. Surprised to say, I must be the only one who liked them, because I couldn’t find them.

I walked out empty handed and disappointed. Something I liked. Something I used. Something I enjoyed was gone. Not longer available.

But it was just a pen.

I’ve always been particular about the pens that I write with. I don’t like really expensive ones, although I do have some of those tucked away in my desk drawer; I like inexpensive pens that I can use until they run out of ink and then them into the trash. Maybe not so Green, but so satisfying to know that I wrote so much I used up all the ink in the pen.

Something about the way a favorite style of pen feels in my hand, the way the ink flows across the page, staining the virgin paper with my words. Some pens become my favorites and I buy them over and over again – until like now, I can’t.

Most people, I suspect don’t write with pen and paper anymore. Now that lap tops, tablets are ‘de rigueur’ pens and paper (and gasp! pencils) are probably too passé for most.

But not for me. When it comes to getting my thoughts down, I want blue ink, narrow ruled paper, and the only noise? The almost indecipherable sound of the scratching across the fresh page.

I left Target empty handed. I looked at the market (their Back to School section) I also checked Amazon, but I came up empty. My favorite pen has gone the way of the rotary phone or the VCR or the ipod.

Sure there are other pens out there, willing and waiting for me.

And, I will have to try them all.