Thursday, May 30, 2013

Out of the closet

I know the title of this column may have you wondering just what it is I plan to announce. But really, it's all about a wedding. And the fact that, as a musician for said joyous nuptials, I am told--by a certain someone--that I am required to wear something absolutely crazy.
Like a suit.
Now, believe it or not, I used to wear them nearly every day. As a copywriter and creative director for a couple of Peoria advertising agencies, I was sometimes asked to explain my often daft ideas to the clients who would ultimately pay for them.  While some of them were willing to accept the appearance of a "creative" individual wearing jeans, t-shirts and worn-out tennis shoes to a business meeting, there were others who were less comfortable with placing their five- and six-figure advertising budgets in the hands of someone who dressed like a nine-year-old. So, while I much preferred the scruffy intellectual look, I was wiling to take one for the team and sometimes wear something more, well, grown up. As a result, I gathered a fair-sized ensemble of suits, sports coats, dress shirts and ties over the years, ultimately almost filling one closet with the proof of my sartorial splendor.
Time passed, and things changed. After a battle with cancer forced me to abandon the long hours and extensive travel my last Peoria job demanded, I ultimately landed on my feet as a part-time sportswriter and columnist for the Star Courier. Now, I'm pretty sure the only time a newspaper guy wears a suit is at a funeral. And that's only if he's the corpse. So the dress-up closet became a place I only visited when there was something really important afoot.
Like a wedding.
"Do you have a suit you can wear?"
As far as I can tell, those are the words that fuel the entire men's clothing industry. Otherwise, I know darn well that most of us guys would happily lounge around in outfits that make us look like someone who has been cleaning the basement all weekend or is just back from a week-long fishing trip. For some guys, those words might necessitate a much-dreaded trip to the mall. In my case, it meant it was time to visit the closet.
As it happens, I've accidently lost a little weight recently. Don't worry, it's nothing serious or permanent, even. It is, I think, the unfortunate byproduct of spending too much one-on-one time with someone who inexplicably does not agree that a quart of chocolate chip ice cream makes for a fine, healthy breakfast. But the temporary decline in my waist size made me hopeful that I'd have a few extra spiffy outfits to choose from. I had looked through the closet just a couple of years ago, culling out what I deemed to be the real bottom feeders in my collection, but I was pretty sure there were still a few natty items awaiting my perusal.
That closet was a veritable museum of dress-up clothing, displaying selections from nearly every decade of my so-called adult life. There were double-breasted suits, single-breasted suits, dark suits, light suits and suits that made me wonder if I had driven one of those little clown cars while wearing them.  I saw and remembered suits purchased at Kirley's and Johnson's Hub in Kewanee. I'm even pretty sure one especially antiquated sports coat came from Johnny Girven's store in Galva which, if memory serves, closed for good over 25 years ago.
After a couple of false starts, I slowly began to sort my wardrobe into three piles: "Fits and wearable," "Doesn't fit anymore," and "Are you kidding?" After all was said and done, there were 25 different suits and sports coats in those piles. The "Fits and wearable" stack was, well, rather modest, while the "Doesn't fit" pile was understandably larger. The "Are you kidding?"  choices towered nearly over my head.
Happily, I found a modest grey suit that fit and passed the close scrutiny of my fashion advisor.  A couple of other things will go back into the closet. Maybe I'll even wear them some day.
The rest will be bundled and bagged and transported to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, where they will await their future fate. You might want to take a look someday. Their prices are always great, and I hear double-breasted suits and wide lapels are coming back.
And besides, it's never too soon to get ready for Halloween.
As for me, I'm just glad to be out of the closet at last.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

At work in the Gardens of Eden

There are a lot of reasons I look forward to returning to our home in Galva after being gone for an extended period. It's great to see all our friends, fun to hear the news, and nice to get back into a sort of hometown routine. Heck, we even arrived in time for high school graduation season, so I got a couple of pieces of my beloved sheet cake out of the deal. After spending our first midwest weekend at a joyful reunion with college friends in Iowa, we returned to a splendid week-long span of summery spring weather that was just right for the immediate task at hand:
Yard work.
Now, mind you, I like messing around our house and the lawn and flower beds that surround it. If I didn't, I would have probably torched the old place long ago, plowed up the grass, and planted a corn crop.
The problem is, I'm married to a person who approaches a little puttering around the yard with a level of enthusiasm and determination that rivals that of laid-back folks like the Mongol hordes or a colony of army ants. She is, in fact, more than willing to work from dawn until dark until the job is done. I, on the other hand, have noticed a slight dip in my enthusiasm level as the days have passed.
Day one: "Gee, I can't wait to get started."
Day two: "Boy, we sure are getting a lot done."
Day three: "Wow, there's more to do than I thought."
Day four: "Where did you put the aspirin?"
Day five: "Call an ambulance."
Time heals all wounds, though, and by Sunday, I was able to stand erect for periods of time and gamely toddle to a cake table without assistance.
And she's right to want to get things done, I know, especially when the weather can be fickle.  Besides being a tireless go-getter, she is also an equal opportunity gardener who never met a plant she didn't like. So besides raking, hoeing and digging holes for the new plants we place here and there, I often find myself helping to move the old ones to new spots around the yard, even when I'm not sure they're worth the trouble.
She: Let's move this one to the front yard.
Me: I don't think that's going to grow.
She: No, really, all it needs is a little more sun and space.
Me: No, really, that's a rock.
But truth be told, we're having a fine time in this Illinois springtime, because we really do like it around here this time of year.
We like the change in light, in color, and in temperature, as the balmy breezes of a new season softly surround us. We like how things get greener, and the subtle changes in the rolling fields around us as farmers prepare for another year of feeding the world. We ooh and aah as buds and blooms sprout; as flowers awaken from a long winter's sleep and dot yards and garden plots with bits and splashes of vibrant color.
We watch the children in the park across the street and the grandkids next door as they shout and run and play in a warm world of fun and sunshine.
And we like the things we do, because we like doing them together. And especially because we know that the work we do now will bring us great pleasure later as our gardens bloom and grow.
Gee, kind of a good metaphor for life itself.
The news about Max.
Since our return to Illinois, I have been asked about my furry, leg-nipping little fiend, er friend, so many times that I'm thinking about replacing my picture at the top of this column with one of him.  He was, in fact, waiting for us on the front porch, thus continuing with his uncanny ability to know when any member of the Sloan family is about to arrive home. He was glad to see us for a few days, though he continued to visit his alternate universe down the street at his cat-sitter Shannon's house. Now, with the beginning of a season filled with hot days and warm evenings, he has begun a tomcat lifestyle that finds him more than content to sleep all day, stay out all night, and eat everything he can get his paws on.
No sweat. We've dealt with this kind of thing before.
But back then, we called it teenagers.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Old friends

A lot can change in 40 years.
Marriage, houses, jobs and kids can do a pretty good job of tying up the first few decades or so. More of the same, plus college bills, grandkids and hopeful retirement plans keep many of us hopping long into the next few phases of life. All that stuff, and the other events that occur as part of the passing of time, have had their effect on the group of guys I hung out with back in my college days.
We're a little older now. A little grayer, too, plus most of our haircuts have changed a bit since we spent time together in the late 60's and early 70s.  And I am, of course, absolutely sure we're wiser, though our wives might not totally agree with that generous bit of self-appraisal.
But one thing doesn't seem to have changed at all.
We're still friends.
Now, that in itself is no big deal, I guess. Lots of folks stay in touch with the people they met in college. Heck, I live in the town where I grew up, so I still regularly run into some of the boys and girls I met on my first day of kindergarten.
But there's something about my relationship with those college friends of mine that seems kind of timeless. I don't know why, really, but I suspect it has to do with the circumstances under which we met, and the times we shared together.  It was, after all, the end of the 60s and the first part of the 70s, both decades that saw great turmoil and conflict in our nation.
Think about it.
1968--the year most of my friends and I entered college--saw both the Tet Offensive and the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. In America, both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. The next year, four students were killed on the Kent State University campus while protesting the war. And throughout the time we spent in college, young men we all knew went away to that war and never came home.
There was great unrest on the streets and college campuses.  It was a lot to absorb. A lot to process. A lot to understand.
We tried then. We're still trying.
A bunch of us got together recently on a three-day weekend in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, home of the Midwest Old Thresher's Reunion, space scientist James Van Allen, the P.E.O. Sisterhood, and our alma mater, Iowa Wesleyan College. Some of my friends have stayed to pursue careers and raise families in the Mount Pleasant area and, therefore, see each other frequently in local hot spots like the Hy-Vee deli, site of their every-Friday "geezer (as in old geezer) breakfasts." Others, like me, still reside in and near the midwest, and manage to make their way back to the old stomping grounds every few years, while a few live far enough away to make a trip to Iowa tantamount to a journey to the moon. A couple of the old crew made that fantastic voyage last weekend, with one of them visiting the Hawkeye State and the folks he knew there for the first time in 41 years.
We talked and sang and ate and laughed.
And we learned.
We learned that some friends stay that way because that’s the way it’s meant to be. We compared some notes on the phenomenon of growing a little older, while enjoying how young we remain in our hearts and minds.  We learned how little the essential values and beliefs that made us friends in the first place have changed over the years, despite the fact that we all have our own opinions and enjoy unique days and lives of our own.
And we learned, I think, that we like being together and that we’ll do it again.
Because, like one friend said when someone remarked on how nice it is that we've stayed kind of close all these years, "You don't need all that many friends. You just need a few good ones."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Diary of a mad housecat

First of all, nothing we could ever do would make him a real housecat. He came to us as a feisty, feral kitten one night, and he never left.
We called him Max. Mad Max.
It took several months before I allowed him into the house, as we were providing a home for an aged dowager cat that a dear departed friend had left in our care. So I put a box for him in a camper we had parked in the backyard, figuring he could tough it out.
She: What are you doing?
Me: Fixing a box for the cat out in the camper.
She: Aren't you afraid he'll freeze?
Me: Nonsense! A little cold weather won't hurt him.
She: Oh, O.K. Uh, what's that extension cord for?
Me: His electric blanket.
Nearly nine years ago, Max moved in full-time. Since then, he has developed a few delightful habits, including my favorite, the way he lets me know he's ready to come inside. If he gets bored, hungry, or gives into his understandable fear of raccoons and owls, he’s figured out that, by shinnying up the support post to the small upstairs porch near our bedroom, then climbing the screen door and shifting his weight, he can create a satisfying (to him) slamming sound that’s sure to inform me of his wishes.
She: I think your cat wants in.
Me: Maybe the coons will get him first.
Max the Cat faced a potential life-changing situation when we made the decision to split time between Illinois and the sunny shores of North Carolina. At first, I considered taking him along. But knowing full well how sternly he objects to any interaction not initiated by him, I asked myself a few essential questions.
Would he travel? Would he willingly stay inside a cat carrier?  And would he bite me when I tried to get him out for meals and other necessities?
The answers? No, no and yes, yes a thousand times yes.
Anytime I think of trying to get Max to do something he doesn't want to do, I think of the time I took him to the vet. Not the Galva vet, mind you. Those folks know enough to treat him with just the right mix of respect, caution, brute force and outright fear. But when our doctor was away, I was referred to an out-of-town veterinary practice. Now, I'm sure they know all about animals and the things that ail them.
But they didn't know beans about Max.
"I've got a pair of heavy gloves and a leather jacket out in the car," I said. "Do you want me to get him out of the cat carrier for you."
"No," they said. They explained that they were more than capable of getting a cat out of a cage. They told me not to worry and to just come back in a couple of hours.
So I did.
You could tell something had happened in my absence. Then I noticed the Band-Aids.
Everyone, including the receptionist, the veterinary assistants, and even the vet, was wearing at least one. Some wore several.
"Hmmm," I thought. "Looks like maybe Max was a little testy about that whole cat carrier thing."
When I took a peek inside, he was calmly licking a paw and looking a little, well, satisfied.
Suffice it to say, they seemed glad to see us go.
Once the decision was made to not transport the mad one across state lines, We had to come up with an alternate plan. Enter our neighbor Shannon, an animal-loving friend with room in her heart for all four-legged creatures.
Even Max.
She offered to provide the kitty equivalent of meals on wheels, trudging over in all kinds of weather to offer him food and ear-scratching company. Eventually, Max did the math and figured out that he could receive the same food and even more companionship if he would simply follow her home. His behavior at her house has startled us all, as he never bites her, is willing to model the crocheted cat-garments she occasionally fashions for him, and has displayed an entirely unheard of willingness to play well with others, including her dog and cats.
But despite the fact that he has all but moved in with his beloved cat whisperer, he always seems to know when we're coming home. We discovered this interesting fact late one night when we arrived in Galva after a three-month absence. Pulling into the driveway after midnight, we sat in the car for a moment, just to catch our breath.
KA-THWAP-O (note: this is my best possible guess for the sound of a large tomcat landing on the hood of a Ford.)
She: It's Max!
Me: I guess he was waiting for us.
It's a pattern that has repeated itself several times now, and I'm not the only Sloan he shows up for.
When son Colin passed through town awhile back, Max was sitting on the porch when he pulled in at two in the morning, despite the fact that the cat had been firmly ensconced down the street for over a month.
Apparently, he is endowed with the same uncanny instincts that have allowed some animals to track down their lost families over countless months and miles.
Or perhaps his undying love for me drives him to secretly wait, night after night, just in case I decide to come home.
Or maybe he just really needs someone to bite.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

It was a perfect summer camp experience

...for Western Illinois Family magazine

I don't always feel entirely qualified to write a column for this magazine that addresses the topic featured on the cover.  But this time, I think I am.
After all, summer camp experiences have been a part of just about every stage of my life. Ditto my spouse, whose own summers in the deep, buggy woods have been the source of years of oft-repeated memories and tallish tales alike.
For me, camp was kind of an irritating interruption of those halcyon days of summer in my hometown of Galva. I would be minding my own business, pursuing a day-after-day routine that would see me burst out the backdoor not long after dawn for parts unknown, then drop by for a peanut butter sandwich and a gallon of grape kool-aid around midday, drag myself in for the family suppers my mother insisted on when I heard the five o'clock whistle, then head back out for an evening of spotlight tag and "bat, bat, fly under my hat" before being dragged in for bath and bed.
I was just fine with the endless-summer lifestyle I pursued in those days, but my mother had other ideas. Maybe she thought I needed to broaden my social and cultural horizons which, at that time, mostly consisted of playing with the kids in the neighborhood and reading comic books. Or maybe she just wanted me out of the house for awhile. In any case, she gently broached the topic something like this:
She: How would you like to go to camp?
Me: Camp? Me? Uh, no thanks.
She: Wonderful. You leave on Monday.
Once committed, I dared to dream that the camp I'd be going to would be something like the storied Triple R Ranch, the Disney-driven, western-style paradise enjoyed by my all-time favorite TV heroes, Spin and Marty.  I could, I thought, learn to ride a horse, while hanging out with my heroes, along with fellow campers like Joe, Moochie and the winsome Annette, as played by my eternal lady love, Annette Funicello.
Instead, I was sentenced to a week at a dusty, dodgy little church camp featuring mosquitoes the size of B-52 bombers and a set of sulfur springs that gave the whole place an overwhelming aroma of rotten eggs.
Meanwhile, my wife took an entirely different approach to camp life.
That is, she liked it.
As a second-generation habituĂ© of Camp Lookout,  a beautiful little settlement nestled in the Mississippi bluffs overlooking Montrose, Iowa and the Mormon enclave of Nauvoo, Illinois, she displayed signs of the dogged, never-say-die attitudes that would serve her well in her future life as an elementary school teacher and the mother of our two sons. She started going to the place when she was eight, and stuck it out, year after year, until her mid-teens.
"I was determined to keep going until they made me a junior counselor," she said.
As someone who had, as far as I can remember, never had a goal of any kind through the same period of life, I admired her "can-do" spirit.  I was impressed, too, with her tales of arduous, uphill, overnight hikes from a remote camping site back to the main camp, and the yearly invasion of "Mormon Flies," the impolite southeastern Iowa term for the May Flies that rose out of the nearby river each year and covered the camp with their sodden little corpses.  Not many years ago, we were exploring some Iowa river roads near her mom's hometown of Fort Madison, when we found ourselves near tiny Montrose and the site of her girlhood trials and triumphs. We found a sign pointing to the camp and, soon enough, entered the gate that led up that killer hill.
Thing was, though, it wasn't all that steep. Nor was it all that far from the stone fire circle that marked their primitive campsite to the well-maintained cabins and swimming pool that still make up the main camp.
"Hmmm. I guess it got smaller," she said.
"Or maybe you just got bigger," I muttered.
But with youthful summer camp memories abounding, we were determined that both of our sons would experience and enjoy the sense of adventure and independence that comes with a few days or weeks away from home. Our younger son was--and still is--highly sports minded, so most of the summertime trips he took were to baseball and basketball camps, which was not much of a strain on us, except for the year he caught on with an AAU basketball team that played its games in convenient, close-to-home spots like Indianapolis, the Czech Republic and the Moons of Saturn. But it was our older son, Colin, who really caught the summer camp bug, and eventually led us to our camp-parent Waterloo.
He had, at a relatively young age, discovered theatre, which, to him, was spelled g-i-r-l-s. Luckily, we hooked him up with the marvelous camps run by Galesburg theatre maven Rossann Baker-Priestley and her parents, Woody and Marion Baker, in both Bridgman, Michigan and the Bakers' hometown of Avon.
Those camps were a dream come true for Colin, who enjoyed being in plays and hanging with the older kids who stayed and worked there, especially those of the female persuasion. We enjoyed those times, too, especially the performances that marked the end of each camping week.
Until one year.
The Avon sessions always ended on Sunday, so we were looking forward to driving down, seeing the show, and bringing our boy home. Colin was a young teenager that summer, so we figured he was finally old enough to get the most out of camp and the training he was receiving.
Maybe he'd be a successful actor someday, we thought.
Maybe he'd be rich.
Maybe he'd be famous.
In any case, we were anxious for Sunday to come. His grandmother was driving down from Chicago to see him, too. It was going to be a big day.
Then the phone rang.
On Saturday.
It was Colin.
"I guess you're not coming to the performance, mom," he told my wife.
"Of course we are, honey," she replied. "Your grandma just got here, and we're really looking forward to seeing you tomorrow."
"No, mom," he intoned. "It was today. Camp is over. I'm the only kid left."
Time stood still.
"It made me physically ill," she would later say. We had, somehow, stupidly, missed the fact that the camp schedule had been altered that year to accommodate a wedding the Bakers wanted to attend.
It was Saturday. The last day of camp. We had missed it. We had missed him.
With my wife too devastated to speak, I quickly got on the phone with Rossann, profusely apologized, and made arrangements for Colin to get a ride to Galesburg with a (female, of course) counselor. I would meet him there and bring him home.
I can't begin to tell you how bad my wife and I felt on that sad Saturday.  Try as we might, we had blown it. We had failed as parents. We had let him down.
Colin, on the other hand, was downright chipper when I picked him up. I was glad he was taking it so well. Slowly, through a combination of subtle observation, instinct, and my memories of my own similar take on things when I was a kid, I realized why.
You see, while Colin was probably a little disappointed when he didn't see our smiling faces in the audience that day, once he discovered we weren't dead in a ditch somewhere between Galva and Avon, he realized what a gift he had received.
We felt bad. We felt guilty. And, by golly, we would do just about anything to make up for it. For him, it was a veritable get-out-of-jail-free card. For the rest of that summer, anytime we were about to make him do something he didn't want to do, or bust him for some teenage travail, we would stop. And remember. And let him off easy.
As far as summer camp experiences go--and as far as teenage boys go--that's just about perfect.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It's about time

They say punctuality is a virtue. And the first step to being ON TIME is, of course, actually knowing what time it is.
Despite my ongoing desire to be truly virtuous in all ways, I made an impulsive, lifestyle-altering decision awhile back while enjoying a warm, sunny day on the beach that fronts the Coastal Carolina digs we visit from time to time.  Tired of constantly worrying about what time it was getting to be and where I thought I had to be next, I ripped off my six thousand dollar Rolex and threw it as far as I could into the choppy surface of the Atlantic Ocean.
Well, actually it was one of those three-dollar plastic "sport" watches with the rubber wristband that you find near the chewing gum and eyeglass repair kits in the checkout aisle of discount stores. And I didn't really throw it into the water, but gently tossed it into a beach bag, where, I assume, it still rests, pulsing away and accurately telling time for no one at all. But the rest of the story is pretty close to being the truth. Eventually, the goofy tan line that circled my wrist and marked me as a tourist filled in, and as it did, I found myself becoming free of the need to constantly check the hour and worry about the next item on my personal dance card.
I continue to have many responsibilities, of course. When I'm out east, most of them involve a pair of young grandsons who expect me to be on hand when it's time to feed quarters into gumball machines or play games of "catch," "five dollars" and "p-i-g." But I am surrounded by clocks in the bedroom, kitchen and the car, plus the grandma-lady has both an accurate watch and a fine sense of where I should be when it really matters.
But I confess, I still glance at my wrist from time to time.
Back in the day, long before our lives were managed by vast assortments of seemingly essential digital doohickies, a wristwatch was a pretty handy thing to have. Of course, even the less expensive ones were quite a bit pricier than the rubbery digital model I tossed into that beach bag on that idyllic, carefree day. Plus they required regular winding and a certain amount of care, cleaning and other maintenance. Receiving a first watch was, in fact, sort of a rite of passage that indicated that the young recipient had reached a certain level of responsibility and maturity. You got a watch when it was thought you would and could take care of it.
Suffice it to say, I did not own one for many, many years.
Instead, I grew up in a place where the town "whistle" blew (and still blows) at 7 a.m., noon, one o'clock and five p.m., which was just about all the timekeeping information I needed, given that most kids' summertime schedule in those days required little more than attendance at  a few meals and an all-important sweaty arrival on the front porch sometime "before dark." so that moms could count heads to assure themselves that they still had the same number of children that they started the day with.
Truth is, I can only remember one incident when ownership of a personal timepiece seemed truly important. It was the summer of 1963, and the big news was that a near-total eclipse of the sun was predicted. The papers and other media were filled with dire warnings of the damage one could do to one's eyes if one dared to look at the shadowed sun. Knowing full well that us kids were generally brainless, the chamber of commerce hit on what I still think of as a pretty good idea. Fearing that the small town of Galva was destined to be known as "The City of Dumb, Blind Kids" instead of "The City of Go," they sponsored a free movie at the local theatre on that afternoon. The Galva News from that week shows a front-page picture of over 300 boys and girls lined up to see "Journey to the Center of the Earth."
I was one of them.
So was Albert.
Now, Albert (name changed to protect the guilty) was a little different than most of us. Specifically, he had stuff. Good stuff.
While most of us tooled around town on battered Schwinns and Western Flyers we had inherited from big brothers, Albert had a brand-new English bicycle with actual gears and hand brakes. Likewise, he had a new baseball glove, tennis shoes that were still kind of white, and, while most of us staggered around in t-shirts and out-at-the-knee blue jeans, Albert wore polo shirts and khaki Bermuda shorts.
One more thing.
Albert had a watch.
And we had a plan.
While the rest of us were riveted to the daring exploits of James Mason, Pat Boone and the tragic Gertrud the Duck, Albert would keep an eye on the time. When the appointed hour was reached, Albert would give us the high sign and we would sneak out of the theatre and into the forbidden streets. We figured we could pull it off because we knew the guy who ran the place would be busy in the projection booth. Since it was a free movie, there would be no ticket taker to stop us. And who would be dumb enough to leave a cool show just to fry our retinas?
We would, that's who.
As those 50-year-old newspaper accounts will attest, the streets of Galva were all but deserted during the eclipse. All the kids (except for us, of course) were still watching the movie. It was a Saturday afternoon, so most adults were wise enough to stay home and watch the whole thing on TV, with a few downtown store owners stuck wishing a few more customers would stop by. We quickly zipped down the street, away from any wondering grownup eyes.
Then we stopped. We looked around.
As the paper would later say, the much-talked-about natural phenomenon was sort of a "dud." We weren't actually dumb enough to want to look directly at the thing, but we had anticipated an eery, unearthly darkness and a chilling drop in temperature.
Nope. Not even that.
Disappointed, we crept back into the theatre just in time to see the monster eat the duck, and that was that.
A few years later, I got a watch of my own in observation of my graduation from high school. I suspect dad and mom really didn't think I was ready to take care of it even then, but it was a new-fangled battery-powered model that was water-resistant, to boot, so at least I wouldn't have to wind it or worry too much if I forgot to take it off before I got into the shower.  I've owned a lot of watches since then, many of which are now tucked into drawers here and there, resting, so to speak, until I might need them again someday.
For now, though, I'm pretty happy in my timeless state. But one of these days, I think I just might want to strap one on again.
After all, they say there will be a total eclipse of the sun in August of 2017.
I figure it's my turn to give Albert the high sign.