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Brian Fleck

Color me blue

Walkin'

I’ve been feeling a little blue this week.
It all started when I came across a video posted on Facebook that really set me off. The clip was taken by an anonymous bystander in a store of what is presumably a mother and her 4-year-old. The preschooler is acting horribly, throwing a foul-mouthed tantrum because she wants something she can’t have. A store employee or manager steps in to intervenes and keeps the child from grabbing what it wants. The woman and child are black. A sloppily-dressed bystander is also black. The man intervening is white.

Anniversaries and Goldilocks

Walkin'

Mom and Dad recently celebrated their 71st anniversary without any fanfare. Actually, they were going to do nothing at all, but a late morning doctor appointment found them driving home, Mom sitting on her pillows so she could see over the steering wheel, past Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant on a Tuesday. They like the food, service and price at Pepe’s in general, and they specifically like Taco Tuesday, when they both can get a large lunch, chips and salsa included, for under $6 each.

Memories

Walkin'

We’re visiting Mom and Dad in Chicago this weekend.
Mom likes to employ Sabra’s green thumb and have her help plant the garden the past couple of years, and brother Bob is taking Dad and I fishing.

Ghost story: true or false

Walkin'

Most of what I write is true.
Sabra, for example, was moving our raised bed garden boxes 50 feet to the right for no apparent reason, and I was watching her from my office window overlooking the backyard. It was a blustery, cold day and I did pull down the shades because it was distracting to see her drag the heavy frames 1 inch at a time to the new destination.
But she did not dig a trench for the asparagus. You think me a total cad? That was my job.

More than ghost troubles

Walkin'

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, our move in 2005 to our current home in Iowa City was supernatural in another way: Sabra was phenomenal in getting every last detail accomplished.

Ghost busted

Walkin'

The ghost is back.
Long time readers of this column know I have history with the other-worldly dating back to the 1990s when I lived in one of the half-dozen, 100-year-old, two-story brick buildings that make up downtown Solon. My loft apartment was originally the meeting place for the local Masonic Lodge, a mystical, civic service organization with roots in the Middle Ages.

Gene the plugger

Walkin'

One of the plusses of this past year is I made a new fishing buddy.
Gene and I met through the First Christian Church, in Coralville. During idle conversation, I learned he goes trout fishing regularly in Northeastern Iowa, and he invited me to join him for several trips last summer.
It didn’t take long to realize there’s something quirky and endearing about Gene. While driving to his favorite fishing holes, for example, he is on the constant look out for good rocks.

Life: past, present and future

In an earlier life, I was a human sacrifice tossed to my death off a precipice.
Nothing else explains the irrational fear I have of heights. While I can stand on a thick rug without getting dizzy, vertigo sets in about half way up a 6-foot ladder. Seriously, the room starts spinning, my heart and lungs race and my legs wobble.

More tales from the endless buffet

Walkin'

In my last column, I regaled with true, well mostly true, stories of trips to Mexico involving gluttony, gastronomical feats, miscommunications and strange encounters with half-naked women.
And there’s more.

Tales from the endless buffet

Walkin'

By the time you read this we’ll be in the land of the endless buffet, also called The Reef, an all-inclusive resort in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We’ve been to our southern neighbor, one of the few places in the world where the citizens don’t hate Americans, many times and have had many adventures, including:

We are sawdust

Walkin'

So, I take my second and last cup of coffee of the day and head out to face the world about 7:30 a.m. Where do I go? Work? Office? School? No, I go to the garage.

Gardening practice for Mom

Walkin'

I was pleased to learn on a recent visit to Mom and Dad, they are planning on staying in their home of 60 years at least until next winter.
Mom’s planting a garden and even has her seeds purchased.