From The EastWing, Thinking About The Dinners, Macy & NASCAR, Cleaning The EastWing, Sophia In High Places, Spike & The Beagles & The Switchblade Knives

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

For all my EastWing friends concerned about Barbaree and her encounter with the steel trap, thank you for your kind thoughts  and well wishes. She is recovering from her injuries and thanks one and all for your concern for her well being. What’s so amazing to me is how many of my EastWing friends felt compelled to express their concerns for the safety of a little girl dog named Barbaree.

Words spoken from the EastWing tend not to generate very much of a rapid response from anybody within a week or so. It’s not at all unusual to see something in my Email in response to something I’ve said two or even four weeks earlier. The reason is rather simple. Words spoken from the EastWing are low priority in the overall scheme of things in this mania we call life. Most times not worthy  of your time to comment one way or the other. Many times the words from the EastWing rank just a hair above sheer ennui. See there, just to get your attention, I laid the big “ennui” word on ya. Look it up.

The true story of the tribulation and liberation of Barbaree was different. It was close to midnight last Sunday Evening, when I looked at the Email and found, in less than 6 hours, a very large volume of Email asking about the health and well being of the little Beagle girl named  Barbaree. I knew it would be a fun week of reading the mail, and so it was.

The night of Wednesday last, about 8:00 O’clock was when the opossum walked onto the north deck with the intent of consuming all, and I do mean all the cat food on the north deck. It was Sharolette Beagle who first saw the thing, and Mr. Bentley walked over to check it all out. Mr. Bentley whined. I stepped to the north glass door of the EastWing and observed a very large opossum in the process  sucking up cat food like he’s sucking up gold from the floor of the Bering Sea.  All the deck cats stood well in the background.

With his nose just inches from the ole ‘possum while he’s still inside the glass, I opened the door and simply said “Do it”. Mr. Bentley, the Pit Bull in charge of Homeland Security, stepped onto the north deck, and did in fact provide such security. The time was 2 seconds, the final score was: Mr. Bentley 1, opossum 0.  Which just goes to show ya that if you’re an opossum, don’t go trying to eat cat food on a north deck controlled by Homeland Security provided by Pit Bull, Inc.  And so the record continues. Pit Bull Inc. established a killing field surrounding the EastWing. No intruder has crossed that line in both directions.  Mr. Bentley, and Pit Bull Inc.  Shewwww.

It was in  2004 when the family of Howard made a decision to serve a free Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving Day as long as we operated Grand Central Station in North Judson. We did so from 2005 thru 2012. And so it was that 2013 did not see the free Thanksgiving Dinner at Grand Central Station.  The building is now leased to others, and as such we no longer were able to continue the Thanksgiving Dinner.

As the Thanksgiving Holiday approached, it was both sadness and satisfaction that filled my soul. Sadness that I could not do it once again. Satisfaction that I’d done all I said I’d do. As long as I operated the business at Grand Central Station.  We stopped operating a business at Grand Central on September 1, 2013.

It was a personal thing to me. To do that Thanksgiving Dinner. I’ll not talk about the details of why it was personal here. I told the story one time a few years back, and to this day it’s hard to think about why it’s a personal thing to me. I’ll just say, when you’re a little hillbilly boy, and you’re made to feel like “white trash” and you’re still hungry.  Well, I’m not going any closer to that story again other to say that when I was 11 years old, I said to myself, one day I’ll provide a free Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving Day, and they’ll all come. And so we did, my family and I, 8 years in a row, with the help of so many wonderful people. The satisfaction part was, to myself, I kept my word.

And so it was that for the first time since 2004 I watched the Macy Parade. I love those big balloons. All the other stuff in that parade, forgetaboutit.  It’s the big balloons and Santa Clause at the end that makes the Macy Parade. All that singing stuff in front of the Macy Store, well that’s TV crap.

The Macy Parade is kinda like watching NASCAR or the Indianapolis 500 for many. Those folks tune into those events to watch the wrecks. And so the Macy Parade is also watched by ‘em to see if any of the big balloons get out of control. After all, when ya got a few million cubic feet of helium on strings and if the wind is blowing,,,,,, well ya just never know. Granted it’s not 220 mph and forever turning left, but cut me a little slack here, it’s Thanksgiving Morning, and even the red necks don’t race before noon.

An interesting thing happened here in the EastWing a couple weeks ago. It was time for the annual deep cleaning of the EastWing. I do mean deep here. We’re talking scrubbing the west wall. That’s the only wall at the EastWing that’s a real wall. The other three are mostly glass, with enough wall to support the roof. It’s the chicken wall of pictures, that west wall. It’s really down deep type cleaning in the EastWing when we do the west wall.

Anyways, I’m about ½ way across the west wall, going north to south, and I’m too pooped to continue for the day. I leave the ladder set in place for the next day.  Now the EastWing has what is called a vaulted ceiling and so the center of the west wall is well over 12 ft from the floor. With me having an issue with height, I don’t do ladders well. I was glad to stop for the day.

I’d not much more than climbed off the ladder for the day and sat down at the computer  when up walks Sophia. She proceeds to climb the ladder and sit on the very top. Looking down at me from atop the ladder she said, “nana, nana, nana, you are afraid of height and I’m not”. Sophia when she smiles. Damn Republican Cat.

Speaking of Sophia, this little Republican Cat is sucha twit. She hates all the other cats at the EastWing. Of course everyone knows about Spike The Man Cat.  Spike and Sophia share the in-house cat duties. Sophia hates Spike. To tell ya the truth, she don’t really care that much for me either.

Now Spike the Man Cat is close to, if not over, 20 lbs. Sophia is hard pressed to push 6 lbs soaking wet. And Sophia doesn’t do water, so we don’t really know what she weighs soaking wet.  Spike came to the EastWing as a little kitten that fit in the palm of my right hand. I’d had two other kittens in the house prior to Spike. Sophia beat ‘em up so bad I put ‘em back outside to live with my outside pride of cats. With Spike it was different, he didn’t come from the outside pride, so he couldn’t go back to the outside pride.  When Spike, the boy kitten, came to the EastWing, he was a pride of one.

When Spike was placed down to the EastWing floor, Sophia proceeded to slap him around. But unlike the other kittens before him, Spike didn’t run off and hide. Spike the boy kitten, hunkered down and took the lumps. The She didn’t like  that I would let Sophia be mean to the little boy kitten. Yet from the very beginning I knew, I just knew, and so  told the She, “The tide will turn”. And so it did turn. Spike The Man Cat is now the largest cat, by far, at the EastWing. Sophia still hates him.  Spike makes Sophia’s life miserable from time to time, just for fun. It’s fun to watch Spike The Man Cat strut around and occasionally tell Sophia “bring it on”.

It’s also a pleasure to watch Spike and the Beagles. The Beagles are longer, by a just a little bit, but Spike is as tall and they all weigh pretty much the same. Spike lays on this back and takes on both beagles at the same time. A fun show with the beagles pulling Spike across the floor by his tail. Watching the beagles chewing on his legs without Spike putting up any resistance, all the while knowing full well that Spike has the ability to draw blood faster than the beagles can think. Switchblade knives of the cats are play toys as well as both defensive and offensive weapons.

The beagles have never seen the offensive switchblade knives of the Man Cat.  Yet they do exist. The ability of a cat to defend themselves when needed is something to behold. A cat can go from friendship to mortal combat within such a small time slice most other animals are still thinking they’re friends, after they’ve been declared enemies.

This friendship to combat occurred one Sunday Afternoon when I made the mistake of taking  Mr. Bentley into my office and brought him into contact with the Black & Whites of the office, Miss Kitty and Little Brother.  Mr. Bentley made the mistake of drinking their water. The Black & Whites of the office drew 16 drops of blood from Mr. Bentley before I could get him out of their striking range.

I remember when I was a kid someone said that professional boxers had to register their hands as deadly weapons. Now I’m not saying that’s true, but I’m telling ya, that’s just some of the stuff ya learned growing up in Downtown Toto, back in the day.  If that’s the case, every cat in the world would have to register their knives ‘cause the cats switchblade knives are as deadly as it gets.

If the beagles could only know how close they play to disaster. Switchblade claws for both fun and war, makes a happy Man Cat walk with swagger.

I always try to remember, words that soak into my ears are whispered… not yelled.”

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Thinking About The Dinners, Macy & NASCAR, Cleaning The EastWing, Sophia In High Places,  Spike & The Beagles & The Switchblade Knives

I wish you well,