Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 13, 2008
Still quite sore in my rib cage. Can't sneeze: hurts too much. Easily tired, although Kathy and I walked all the way to the end of our road and back (1 mile).

My neighbor Bob Haas came over with Dos Equis at three and we solved life. I put him to work posing for me with a Colts .45 posed for the Illinois cover that's due this week. Got some good sketches.

Deena called and she and Frank are headed for the Socttsdale Culinary Festival today. Yesteray they climbed Squaw, I mean, Piestewa Peak, then went to a jazz festival last night. They are so cosmo.

Marine Robert Chenal, fried our hair yesterday with his Iraq stories. In addition to being shot in the back by a U.S. Army unit in a friendly fire incident (his Kevlar vest stopped the bullet but it knocked him down) he told these amazing stories of being on patrol in his "office" an M-60 machine gun mounted on a tank with bullet proof glass all around him. He was scanning the horizon, looking to the right, than back to the left, and as he turned back to the right there was a bullet smash in the window right at eye level. Talk about close calls and amazing equipment. He showed us a slide show (edited together to "Pink Houses" by John Melencamp), and a video mash-up. Some of it is top secret stuff so he kind of glossed over some stuff. He survived roadside bombings, sniper attacks and patrol ambushes (two tracers cut right in front of him, missing him by two feet). On the bright side, they provided security (and sometimes pitched in) while the U.S. built 16 schools a bunch of new hospitals. Amazing. He says he misses the place.

"I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center."
—Kurt Vonnegut

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