Friday, April 11, 2008

April 11, 2008
Wayne and Marilyn Rutschman were up from Tucson yesterday and drove out to visit
me. Wayne said he needed to look me in the eyes to make sure I was still alive, adding the last time he saw me was on the floor of the Elks and, as he put it, "You didn't look good."

Wayne also filled me in on the details of him and his son Cody doing CPR. They traded off until I vomited up my lunch. Cody looked at his dad and said, "He's your friend." Wayne cleaned out my mouth as best he could and continued the mouth to mouth. He also mentioned I had corn in those tacos, which I realize is more than anybody, even me, wants to know, but I say it, only to show the level of commitment those Rutschman boys went to in order to save my life.

My son Thomas is in Peru and just started teaching the locals in his village how to play basketball. I asked him if they were savvy to the sport and here's his reply:

"Oh, it's a brand new game baby! We're starting from absolute zero with these guys which is challenging but also fun to see their progress. This is the second week and they are finally playing somewhat like basketball should be played and not soccer. The biggest problems still are excessive fouling, thank you soccer, and traveling. It also took them a while to realize that it's much more fast paced than soccer. At first it would take them a half hour to score and when they did they would run around and celebrate like it was a goal. I helped them dispel that by running the court and busting layups on them. Defense drills I do daily because that's pretty vital to the game. In soccer you can give much more leeway because the fields so big. Now I just gotta get them to use their feet and their bodies to stop your drive instead of their arms.

"In other news, I think I'm going to be in the best shape of my life pretty soon here. Were doing basketball practice tuesday through friday from 5:30 in the morning to 6:30 and Ive been showing up early to practice and get in shape. The idea being that if I can run up and down the court at 11,000 feet, when I go down to the coast I should be schooling people. Not only that but I eat fresh vegetable soup twice daily.

"Speaking of vegetables, I had the day off from classes today so I went to help my dad reap lima beans. While we were cutting the stalks, my mom made a fire and boiled fresh from the field corn on the cobb, lima beans and mini potatoes with a little salt and garlic. Then she broke us each off a chunk of fresh farm cheese to accompany the veggies. Man, it was so simple but so fresh and delicious."
—Thomas Charles Bell

Memories of A Midget Dancing In The Stars
"I don't now if you remember telling me that the first time you were in the Elks was with me at a Rainbow Girls Ball. Guess I had a dance card & insisted that you get it filled out. One dance we traded you had your face in someone's chest the entire dance. Sorry if I was a brat - I'm sure my mother had directed me that the card should be filled out! Anyway, thanks for going with me (50 years later!)
—Love, Michele (Gilpin) Bonham

The deal was, if I remember correctly, the Rainbow Girls spanned the ages of junior high to high school. So here I was (and Charlie Waters, see below) in sixth grade when the girls in our own class were taller than we were. And we had the big, wool suit on with the corsage to pin on while the father films it in 8mm. But then we get to the Elks and here are all these "dreamboat" high school couples cavorting around and we had these damn dance cards and we'd have to go around and ask these studs if we could trade dances, with the idea of having a full dance card. The exchange Michelle is reminding me of, was with Mary Rutherford, who was vivacious and full figured. The only thing I remember of the dance is my forehead against her clavicle and my ears moored on her giant breasts. As you can imagine, it wasn't without its charms but I wasn't a very good dancer so I kept banging from side to side, like some blind yahoo lost in a fun house. At the end of the dance I remember my ears were sure burning.

"Ah, yes, the Rainbow Ball and the dance cards. Marsha Alger Burford invited me in sixth grade, and my mom made me go. Even bought me a suit. Seems like you and I were always asked because we would dance."
—Charlie Waters

"Diamonds are only chunks of coal, that stuck to their jobs, you see."
—Minnie Richard Smith

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