Pretty Good Romantic Quotes

Last night, Karen and I snuggled up on the sofa with a soft throw and a cat named Boo while watching a Hallmark movie, “I do, I do, I do,” a plagiarized revisiting of the movie, “Ground Hog Day.” Here’s the plot.

An architect heads to the altar with her fiancé, unsure of her marriage and their future.  She relives her disastrous wedding day, put together by her fiance’s overbearing mother, over and over until, with the help of her fiancé’s brother, she begins to face her biggest fears and discover what she really wants in herself and in her life.

I don’t consider this wasted time because it was spent with my lovely wife, but afterward, I felt the need to baptize myself in the redeeming waters of better writing.

Which reminds me of the most romantic line uttered by someone I know who wasn’t in a movie or book. My brother-in-law toasted his wife at their wedding with these heart warming words, “I love you as much as my dog Toby.”

In honor of Toby, here are some other pretty good all-time romantic quotes.

“If you ever have need of my life, come and take it.”
Anton Chekhov, The Seagull

“If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.”
Michelle Hodkin, The Evolution of Mara Dyer

“The more you love someone, he came to think, the harder it is to tell them. It surprised him that strangers didn’t stop each other on the street to say I love you.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”  Jane Austen, Emma

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
Pride and Prejudiceby Jane Austen

“Who, being loved, is poor?”
A Woman of No Importance, by Oscar Wilde

“I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm.”
–The Princess Bride, by William Goldman


A Good View of God

I’m a home builder by trade, but when I grow up, I want to be a writer. Since writers publish books, that’s the next step. Bankruptcy is the one thing common to both writers and builders. While the financial poverty of writing is constant, the financial woes of builders are violent, like a train derailing on a bridge over a canyon.

It’s a difficult choice. A dull ubiquitous poverty versus a sharp dive into the abyss. And that’s the appeal of writing, it’s predictable, there is a wealth of new material to write about with each new sunrise, and one can financially plan for a predictable threadbare existence.

I’m being facetious. The building business has been a blessing to me and my family. Although, the minimalist in me does love the idea of writing with pen and paper in an attic dormer converted into a crow’s nest wondering how I’m going to get paid for carving ideas from the alphabet.

But for me, writing is an avocation and I’m not giving up my day job.

With the editing skills of my daughter Lauren and brother Greg, I’ll have a new book ready to publish soon and will have it available in Kindle format and paperback format. It’s a book of essays and stories called, A Good View of God. Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter called, “Kiss Me Like That.” It’s about the neighborhood in which I grew up, our longing to be loved and included, and well…kissing.

…My friends and I roamed the woods using mischief to paint graffiti on a neighborhood canvas that could have been mistaken for time or a billboard or grinding boredom. We built fortresses in the woods behinds our homes, in the event of an invasion by the Soviet Union. We also pondered the deeper questions of supple formative minds, like whether or not Neil Armstrong had a good view of God while walking on the moon July 20, 1969. This was after all the dawning of the age of Aquarius, and we wondered why we no longer felt revulsion around girls.

My first crush and heartbreak over a girl made as much sense as Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in The Graduate. She was twice my age, sophisticated, blond, shapely and fifteen. Like a dog chasing a car, I had no idea what a boyfriend did with a girlfriend, but I was a smitten seven-year old, jealous because the fifteen-year old twirler in the high school band loved my neighbor, Randy. He was the first pretty boy I knew, an olive-skinned Romeo, dark, handsome and sixteen to my short, pale and seven. I was as hopelessly in love as a seven-year old boy could possibly be.

Jan, who lived across the street in a red brick Cape Cod house with white trim, fell madly in love with Randy. I hated him for that, as did my neighborhood buddies. I had fond memories of Jan babysitting. We would sit on the couch while I leaned against her arm and she’d run her fingers through my hair as we watched Gilligan’s Island. Or I would hang out at her house in the hip upstairs game room with the shag rug listening to “Oh, Sweet Pea,” by Tommy Roe or The Temptations “My Girl” and wishing it were so.

Randy’s sister, Christy, was the first girl I ever kissed. We found ourselves alone one day in the wood box in the backyard with the lid down. We were both five and hadn’t a clue but had seen it done, so why not? And in the sixth grade, under a persimmon tree I kissed a girl, not passionately, but rather the thin-lipped front porch mannequin kiss. Kissing under the persimmon tree felt like eating a persimmon: not romantic at all, puckered, organic, indifferent.

I wasn’t a participant in my first real kiss, only a spectator. I walked into the laundry room of Randy’s house on the day they were leaving for good, the Ross family packed and ready to drive west to Colorado. My nemesis, my romantic rival, was finally leaving, and I thought the door to everlasting love was opening. But the door I opened to the Ross laundry room revealed a surreal scene, boy saying goodbye to girl. Jan’s eyes were swollen and red, leaking emotion onto his shirt like rain skidding down a window pane, as she pulled away from a kiss and turned to look at me, an intruder to their farewell intimacy, their tangled goodbye. I discovered passion as a voyeur next to a washing machine, watching with envy, this weeping river of emotion dotted with red eyes and trembling lips, tightly hugged, wrapped in longing, hidden in shadows of whispered anguish.

That moment in the laundry room was my first lesson in kissing. Sure, I’d seen Julie Andrews kiss Christopher Plummer in the “could this be happening to me” kiss from the Sound of Music but this, this cloying evocative embrace framing the kiss was what made me want to kiss a girl. I wanted what those two had. A desperate longing to be held, loved, touched, cried over if I ever left town. It made me want to get a girl just so I could leave. Just once to have that feeling of someone wanting me desperately, tearing them to pieces. Yea, kiss me like that.

New Book: Lay Down Your Guns

Greg Taylor has written a compelling read about a remarkable person, Dr. Amanda Madrid. “Lay Down Your Guns” is a book about conviction, courage, and the power of tenacious love. It’s coming out in October 2013.

Greg R. Taylor

LDYG CoverReleased in October 2013

Read Excerpt

Order from Amazon

Book Description

In Honduras’ “wild west” mountain jungles, Amanda Madrid found her calling as a medical doctor to poor farmers.

When Amanda’s father rejects her dream to be a doctor, eighteen- year-old Amanda strikes out alone and enters medical school in Tegucigalpa.

Her work as a medical officer, public health consultant, and director of an international holistic Christian ministry called Predisan could have resulted in prestigious luxury for her. Instead these experiences led Dr. Madrid to the mountains on horseback and prepared her for the biggest challenge of her life.

When illegal drug trafficking and murders lead to closing medical clinics, Dr. Madrid goes toe to toe with cartel mercenaries, the unarmed doctor in her signature red high heels against men in combat boots armed with AK-47s.

This is the story about the life of a Honduran doctor heartbroken about the many…

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The Funniest People: Tom Achey

Tom Achey 2

My brother-in-law lives near the edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. His 56-year-old hair lives on the edge of a Bon Jovi mullet and a Lynyrd Skynyrd hippy frazzle. His laid back demeanor along with the hair masks the fact that he is one of the funniest people I know, while belying his career choice which is distinctly blue-collar lunch-pail, a heavy equipment operator for several New Jersey road and development contractors. Tom’s Father always wanted to go west to Oklahoma and once the kids were all grown, he and Mrs. Achey, Tom’s mom, headed west. They never reached Oklahoma. They stopped in a small southern Missouri town called Cabool, in Texas County, and settled there. Most of Tom’s five brothers and four sisters remain in New Jersey, and like Tom, all love to eat, dance, party, tell stories, and eat. One year the siblings decided to travel by convoy down to Missouri and visit Mom Achey in Cabool. They pulled onto just about every convenient rest stop and opened the cooler pulling out homemade sandwiches and cool refreshments. On one such stop, as Tom tells the story, “Marsie has a slab of bologna hanging out her mouth and she says, ‘When are we stopping to eat?'” Every time I’m around Tom he tells a family story like that. And it’s inevitably about food. For example, the time he lived at the Mason house in the basement and Pop Pop, Thom Mason, has this long-hair suitor to his eldest daughter living with him. Achey is sitting in the living room watching t.v. and Pop Pop comes into the room with a stack of six peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Pop Pop says, “Hey Tom, wanna pbj sandwich?” “Sure” came Achey’s reply. Pop Pop replies, “All the stuff’s in the kitchen. Help yourself.”

Tom also likes to grow things and built his house around a lemon tree. He asked me to sketch a plan for an addition to his house and asked me to draw a box roughly 4’ x 4’ in the southeast corner of the living space next to a staircase. I asked, “What’s that boxed out area.” Tom replied, “I’m putting my lemon tree there.” Since New Jersey weather won’t support citrus, Tom built his house around a lemon tree. Think it actually produced fruit!
Achey Jim being Tom
Tom Achey’s son, Jimmy, with a “Dad Parody”

Tom had an early sixties vintage Ford Comet in his garage and at various times has driven old pickup trucks worthy of tree-lined dirt roads on Duck Dynasty. Which can be a problem in one of the most densely populated states in the U.S. New Jersey actually requires that your turn signals be visible and that your exhaust fumes invisible. But it’s worse than that. In fact, a visit to the New Jersey inspection station is comparable to sitting in a dentist chair with cotton packed in your jaw, mouth propped open with a suction hose, a dozen metal instruments along with a wooden emery board, as the dentist says, “I’ll be back in a moment,” your helpless discomfort magnified by the instrumental version of You light up my life playing in the background.

I experienced this New Jersey inspection trauma firsthand and nobody warned me when I first moved there. Oklahoma is my home state where you can drive a moonshine-fueled hay wagon with wooden wheels as long as you are not texting. Before texting, certain farm implements could be driven on Oklahoma roads by children 14 years old. Since it’s crowded and there are lots of rotaries in New Jersey, you have to hurry and be rude when you drive or you can stay in the same spot for hours, so it’s important that your car is operating efficiently. As a result, New Jersey gives complete physicals asking each vehicle to turn it’s headlamps and cough while scrutinizing exhaust & muffler, tread, brake lights, headlights, map lights and seat belts. Woe to those who wait in line for an hour in state-run assembly line inspection stations only to be rejected and given a long list of repairs subject to losing your clean road-worthy sticker status. Thus these foreboding annual inspections ranking just ahead of a visit to a proctologist with the hiccups. So I learned to care for of my vehicle and stay in the good graces of the State of New Jersey. Those living near the Pine Barrens often walked a fine line of vehicle rebellion while driving Comets and old pickup trucks, fearing failure at the inspection station and living dangerously with an expired inspection sticker, daring the law to spot them on the back roads of New Jersey. NJ DMV Inspection Station

One day, Tom was driving his pickup, accompanied by his expired sticker, and a trooper eyes the outdated sticker. Noticing the trooper making a U-turn and pulling alongside him, Tom does what any sensible man would do. He hides the evidence. Cranking down the window, he reaches out around the edge of the windshield, still speeding along, and covers the sticker with his hand, mullet streaming in the wind. Then Tom pulled over and the trooper walks to his window laughing and blurts, “That’s the funniest thing I ever saw. I’ll let you off this time.”

There’s a tornado in my coffee

My son is writing his undergraduate thesis for Honors Meteorology on the topic, The Genesis of Tornadoes. I was wondering if The Revelation of Tornadoes might be easier to write. Tornado prediction is a non-linear dart tossed into the misty morning fog. It’s fraught with downdrafts of hope and gusts of unfounded certitude.
Yet we want to know. The weather man even trumps the sportscaster on the evening news because we want to know. We want to know what to wear, how to plan, where to hide, when to hide and what to cancel. My son says that we examine the storm by it’s path in a forensic sense and the weather pros have made some progress in the way of identifying the beginning of a tornado but there is much to learn. So we look at the debris field…the result of the power…rather than the germination because it’s simply easier to see the aftermath rather than the genesis. But the holy grail is the genesis…to find the bud, the birth, the incubation of the tornado. As I discussed this idea with Brandon, the thought occurred that my vices are similar. I have no idea how they begin, but I do know the swath of destruction they wreak, like ravenous locusts devouring a cornfield, stalks to stubble. Sometimes we take pride in our vices.Take coffee for instance. Please…I’ve had enough.

It began with a lousy cup from a college dorm vending machine, foul-swill infused with white gunpowder creamer and three packets of sparkling white sugar masked the stale, sour-earth undertones of low-grade brew. I lived that lie for years until encountering the stiff dark slap-in-the-gut woody body of greek coffee from Mastoris Diner, in Bordentown, New Jersey. Now, I’m up to three cups of premium a day and my disdain for inferior coffee is a point of shameless pride. My brother the physician, prefers the sappy-sweet gas station latte spewed from high volume low-expectation dispensers. I’m an intolerant coffee prima donna preferring the ability to name acidity, body, aroma, finish and flavor. Does it tingle? Is it heavy or light? How does the aroma affect the senses? What’s the aftertaste, the finish on the palate after swallowing the coffee? Is it nutty, balanced, winey, woody?

And so I stood along a cold and wet soccer field yesterday, longing for a better cup, watching my niece Anna compete while remarking to my sister Debbie the teacher and my brother Greg the preacher that I had a problem. Well, I didn’t actually say that…I thought that…in the context of our triangular discussion about what makes up a vice. I thought, “Coffee is my vice,” in a wistful and blindly nostalgic way, the way I once looked at the Marlboro man smoking a cigarette and herding five hundred cattle all alone…just a man, a horse and cattle and the power of nature, smoking tobacco against a setting sun. Surreal, powerful, romantic addiction…the kind that looks and smells and tastes and feels right. Like it empowers me to greater heights and far more creative moods and spurts of enlightened living.

I know. It’s a lie. But it’s a legal addiction. And so a Grande Starbucks Americano with a half-inch of steamed soy and one packet of natural cane sugar enriches my veins with supernatural energy and fluid ambition. Coffee, with it’s accompanied rush of caffeine, sharpens my focus, prevents lethargy and refreshes my brain–with minimal negative side effects.

Coffee isn’t just a social lubricant or sensual rush. It’s promotes professional excellence also. My sister Deb is taking a new position teaching mathematics this coming school year. My wife Karen and three sister-in-laws Jill Taylor, Debbie Sue Taylor and Jill Davis have invited my sister Debbie, into the fraternity of mathematics (all have degrees in Mathematics and all have taught math or once taught math). Taylor and Davis boys know how to pick analytical women. Karen walked over and high-fived Debbie, welcoming her into the professional circle of élite mathematical women in our family. What does coffee have to do with math? It’s only the key to all mathematical theorems. “A mathematician,” Erdös liked to say, “is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.”

But when does the tornado begin…when does a good stiff cup of brewed coffee become a habitual vice? One of my favorite albums from the early Doobie Brothers years was titled, What Were Once Vices are Now Habits. My vice has become my habit has become my vice…it’s a vicious circle. So I search for scientific justification for my vice thus converting vice to virtue. Therefore, I become aware of my faulty clinging to coffee. Coffee stimulates greater creative power and promotes attentiveness. Coffee is filled with antioxidants. Coffee calms my moods and empowers my world. On the other hand I largely ignore research promulgating the negatives of caffeine addiction and the heeby-jeeby-jitters. And I search spiritual justification also relying upon the sound reasoning of thinkers like C.S. Lewis to assuage my guilt-ridden habitual cravings. Here’s what Mr. Lewis says about stuff we think about giving up as a mark of spiritual pride. “One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting everyone else to give it up. That is not the Christian way. An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons–marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who use them, he has taken the wrong turning.” And so I hold fast to that thinking, not wanting to be an abstaining bore viewing addicted unclean coffee drinkers from my righteous tower of right living.

I gather inspiration from great writers and great books like a bee gathers honey, but great coffee is the mysterious elixir, the genesis, the flowering bud, the incubation. I’m hanging my writing hat on that scientific axiom. For example, here is what Balzac wrote about coffee:
“Coffee glides into one’s stomach and sets all of one’s mental processes in motion. One’s ideas advance in column of route like battalions of the Grande Armée. Memories come up at the double, bearing the standards which will lead the troops into battle. The light cavalry deploys at the gallop. The artillery of logic thunders along with its supply wagons and shells. Brilliant notions join in the combat as sharpshooters. The characters don their costumes, the paper is covered with ink, the battle has started, and ends with an outpouring of black fluid like a real battlefield enveloped in swaths of black smoke from the expended gunpowder. Were it not for coffee one could not write, which is to say one could not live.”

And then there’s Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, who “had his own quite peculiar way of having coffee,” According to his biographer, Joakim Garff, Kierkegaard took his coffee in this manner. “Delightedly he seized hold of the bag containing the sugar and poured sugar into the coffee cup until it was piled up above the rim. Next came the incredibly strong, black coffee, which slowly dissolved the white pyramid.” Then he gulped the whole thing down in one go.”

Thought it worth a go, so I’m trying it here, but I can’t seem to string together thoughts for very long. But I am alert…yes indeedy. So just be careful not to trust coffee to fuel your creative ideas. It should only be a means of turning on the spigot, not a substitute for creative energy. Not to mention the obvious similarity to alcohol. Abusers of both claim inspiration, but as most folks know, coffee and strong drink only tend to make bores more boring.

I still don’t know how tornadoes germinate…nor how I came to crave the java bean…nor how words wondrously jump onto a blank page like splashed coffee on my white polo. It’s like my brother the preacher sometimes reminds me, “It is what it is”.

Sometimes things just happen…enjoy another cup and embrace the swirling mystery.

I’m Pilgrim, but My Indian is Stirring

Part one

My daughter Lauren has an ear tag from birth about the size of an uncooked lentil. At the age of four, she informed her two younger siblings that her ear tag was Cherokee Indian…the rest of her was Pilgrim. My understanding of my own Native Indian heritage is apparently less considered.

During my four years of living and working near Tabernacle, New Jersey, where my wife was raised, the question of my roots would invariably arise given my speech inflection. A co-worker referred to me as Tom Bodett of Motel 6 radio commercial fame…”I’m Tom Bodett for Motel 6, and we’ll leave the light on for ya.” My hickish speech inevitably led to the question of my origination. When my New Jersey friends discovered that I hailed from Oklahoma, the sheltered and parochial Easterners who believed the center of the universe to be Trenton, NJ, would ask, “Are there lots of Indians in Oklahoma?”

It took me aback, made me question how the rest of the world viewed the real center of the universe, the Great Plains of these United States of America. To those original Native Americans who once occupied my home, (Oklahoma means Red People) this was the center of the universe two hundred years ago when they dictated policy without government law. The only law of the Great Plains was the law of the warrior and horse, the law of the buffalo herds and the law of plains wealth measured not by land ownership, but by the number of horses owned. Great black clouds of buffalo moving en mass across the plains provided sustenance. Mustang derived from Spanish explorers in the 16th and 17th centuries provided the tool to effectively hunt the buffalo, and to subdue other humans less adept at horsemanship and archery. The Comanche tribe was the dominant tribe of the Southern Great Plains before the technology of the Colt six-shooter and Henry repeating rifle changed the balance of power after the Civil War. Comanche War Party Comanche War Party; Chief discovering enemy and urging his men at sunrise George Gatlin 1834 Smithsonian American Art Museum

I just finished reading Empire of the Summer Moon-Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History, by S.C. Gwynne. A proud nomadic warrior culture, the Comanche were fierce, despised by white settlers and Indians alike. The reason Tonkawa Indians often scouted for Union Army troops patrolling the west was vengeance. They hated Comanche Indians…and I could still hear this tone in the voice of my new Delaware/Cherokee friend. I was standing in the kitchen of a new townhouse I hoped to lease to her, when she said, “The Comanche were just mean!” Her blood tribe is Cherokee and Delaware. She’s moving from Colorado where she works with Utes and Navajo. She moved away from Bartlesville, at the age of twelve, and commented about how odd it was to be back after so many years. We talked of old days, reeling off names and memories. She’s coming back to work with her tribe of birth, the Delaware. I mentioned to her that I’m 1/256th Cherokee, good enough to get on the Indian Roll. My brother is on the roll, but I haven’t signed on yet. Maybe it’s the 255/256th guilt pulsing through my veins. The same guilt that forms public policy making many Native Americans lifetime annuitants. According to my friend, “Utes collect $65,000 annually, just for being Utes”.

But the Comanche were at one time the most powerful of the Southern Great Plains horse tribes, which included the Kiowa, Arapaho, Osage, Pawnee, Apache and Wichita. They formed a barrier to settlement from San Antonio and extending on a line through Austin, Ft. Worth, Oklahoma City and Wichita. Their territory spanned 240,000 square miles and encompassed nine major rivers, Arkansas, Cimarron, Canadian, Washita, Red, Pease, Brazos, Colorado and Pecos. They roamed Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and even deep into Mexico. The Comanche knew nothing of the political structures of European empires, nor did they understand land ownership, although they ruled the grasslands outright until their demise and acceptance of reservation life in 1875.
Courageous or naïve white settlers who ventured beyond this line and onto the ocean of grass, beyond the shelter of trees and American military protection, paid with their lives. One such family was the Parker family who built a stockade and family settlement west of Fort Worth. One day in May 1835, a band of Comanche warriors rode up to the open gates of the Parker stockade. They killed several members of the Parker family and kidnapped two children and two adults including nine-year old Cynthia Ann Parker. Cynthia Ann Parker watched many of her kin die including her Father, then she was strapped to the back of a mustang riding north through northern Texas and into what would become Oklahoma. She would marry a Comanche warrior at the age of fifteen and assimilate into the Comanche tribe. Her son, Quanah, would become the Chief of the Comanche tribe. In 1875, after killing untold white men, he would lead the remaining remnant of Comanche to their ultimate fate, a settled existence on a reservation in the shadow of the Wichita Mountains in present day southwestern Oklahoma. Just as Quanah’s mother, Cynthia Ann, assimilated into the Comanche way of life, he would assimilate in reverse, into the white civilization of land ownership and cattle and laws. Quanah, the legendary Comanche warrior, the son of a white woman and a Comanche chief, Peta Nocona, would become rich by Comanche standards moving into a ten-room American style home called Star House near Fort Sill, where he would die in 1911, a revered western icon. Quanah was a remarkable man giving away most of his possessions to fellow tribesman before he died. He traveled to Washington D.C. on several occasions to petition congress on behalf of the Comanche, he entertained President Teddy Roosevelt at Star House and hunted with him on the reservation. This man who killed white settlers had become a taxpaying citizen, a respected part of the white culture and the American nation that destroyed his Comanche way of life. quanah parker
Enjoy the book if you have can, it’s a great read. Tribute to the author, S.C. Gwynne, that my disdain is equal towards violence of both Indians and Whites, both seeking to sustain or advance their territory and way of life. Both sides were brave and tenacious, both sides were brutal, cruel and barbarous. The Comanche made war on everyone without discrimination, Indian, White, Mexican and mixed breed. White settlers with military aid pushed Indians inexorably west just as they had the Five Civilized Tribes earlier in the 19th century. It’s a narrative filled with violence, blood and gore. But when has humanity not excelled in that sport? What I found fascinating was the longing for a new home and the religious fervor and perceived God-ordained rights wielded by white settlers as license to push Native Indians west. Just as fierce was the passion of the Plains Indians to protect and secure their home, their lives and their traditional hunting grounds.

Cynthia Ann Parker
Amazingly, Cynthia Ann Parker, mother to three children with Peta Nocona, was “rescued” in an army ambush at Pease Creek. Federal troops killed Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker was taken back to white civilization where she lived out her days in misery. She tried running back to her Comanche tribe repeatedly, although she was always caught and returned to her various homes “for her own good”. She would die proud but heartbroken, eventually refusing to eat she was so despondent. Her uncle spent ten years searching for her before the Battle of Pease Creek and her return to Parker kin. If the story sounds familiar, John Ford based his movie, The Searchers, on the story. John Wayne played the tormented Uncle James Parker and Natalie Wood played Cynthia Ann Parker.

Continued in part 2


Do you prefer reading bound books or digital books?

I bought a Macintosh computer in 1984. No hard drive, only a single 128K RAM processor used to run floppies which held both data and software programs. I still suffer from floppy drive elbow from switching disks again and again and again. That experience softens my adventurous notions about cutting edge technology. My practice is to let others suffer the technological ignominy while I take notes on a yellow legal pad. So, here are my top ten reasons I still prefer to read bound books.

10. I can quickly find the larceny scene of Silas Marner by simply finding the page tinged with mustard as I lunched with George Eliot one crisp fall day.

9. Books never need recharged.

8. I have a heightened sense of the tactile…to touch is to know, to feel, to experience a books personality in different forms, leather-bound, paper back, slick paper, ragged paper, serrated edges, crisp pages, wrinkled pages, torn and worn pages.

7. My library of old-fashioned books, perhaps 500, is more imposing and revealing in a glance to a visitor in my home than if they were to view my Kindle…which sits alone on my nightstand in an orange cover, contents unknown. 

6. I don’t have to remember to power down my bound books which frustrates me when I pick up the Kindle and find it powerless.

5. I still enjoy the sound of turning a page.

4. A sense of rich accomplishment feels more profound when closing a book cover after reading the last page, especially a hard cover.

3. Sometimes I can’t find the on button which never happens with a codex.

2. If I lose “To Kill a Mockingbird”, I have four more copies in various cover designs and binding styles. If I lose my Kindle, I’ve lost 500 books all at once. (I know it’s recoverable…but what a pain!)

1. I love to use a bookmark and to see at a glance the growing thickness of the read pages versus the unread pages.