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MAY 2017
Howdy! Good citizen John Buttram kindly sent Babs and me a book on his uncle, PAT BUTTRAM, THE ROCKING CHAIR HUMORIST, signed by him and the author Sandra Grabman. John wrote, “Hope you enjoy it and at least get a chuckle.” Guffaws are more like it. Here’s one of Pat’s “Whittlin’s’: “I read th’other day wher ye kin hear better with yer eyes shut. I have often noticed people tryin’ this out in church.” Pat once observed, “When your boy goes to summer camp, you are not losing a son but gaining two frogs, a turtle, a garter snake, and a field mouse.” Here’s one of his Pearls of Wisdom: “Why do they let a funeral procession go through red lights? What’s the hurry?” Hi Ho—and so it goes. Laffin’ ‘n Scratchin’. Thanks, Sandra and John. Thanks Pat.

Sculpture of Will Huchins made by Russ Sacco.Our pards Russ ‘n Rose Sacco once took us out to lunch near their house in Deer Park, Long Island. Reverend Russ sculpted a statue of ol’ Sweet Toes (left). We dined at a nifty restaurant at the Tanger Outlets at the Arches, a replica of an Italian Village. Best bowl of pasta e fagioli in my lifetime. I’m a fool for pasta fazool. This is no slight to Rose, a terrific cook. I never sampled her pasta fazool.

I ambled into a store selling a slew of old flicks on DVDs. I bought two—“Platinum Blonde” with Jean Harlow and wisecracking Robert Williams, a marvel. He wasn’t a star, he was a comet. His journey across the film firmament was all too brief. “Papillon”, my favorite Steve McQueen flick. He didn’t resort to a French accent. Bless you, Steve. Spencer Tracy sported a Portuguese accent in “Captains Courageous”. And that was that. From there on out he simply read his lines as written. No fancy schmancy. McQueen was at the top of his game in “Papillon”. That’s French for butterfly. Yessir, good ol’ Butterfly McQueen.

At a party one night, Denver Pyle upped to me and recited a poem he’d written. Beautiful. Wish I’d written it down. It was in the form of a Japanese Haiku: 3 lines. 5-7-5 syllables. Haiku usually captures a fleeting moment, a miracle in nature. A frog jumping onto a lily pad. A lotus blossom floating on a pond. An owl’s hoot deep in the woods. Denver Pyle created cowboy Haiku. Nothing like it. Where is it now? Here’s a cowboy Haiku by me, dedicated to Denver, Monte Hale, and you. Y? Because we Haiku.

“Shoot high, amigos,
When the rustlers come to town.
Elevator boots.”

Here’s another, not cowboy.

“They done tore it down.
Coach Joe Paterno’s statue.
They done razed the dead.”

       —Adios