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Brian Fleck

Walkin'

Henlick manuevers

As spring shies to show her pretty face yet another week, it’s been slow times in the Fleck household.

Walkin'

Anniversary epiphanies

Sabra and I married on Valentine’s Day in the year 2000. Suggesting the date was a brilliant move on my part, even if I do say so myself. Not only is it easy to remember, it also saves buying a gift. These are two practical, utilitarian benefits that are buffed up by yet a third: it’s romantic.

Walkin'

Back pain is back

My back went out for the first time in the late 1970s.
I was a twenty-something publishing a newspaper for the military community of Bamberg, Germany.
Once a week I’d check a sedan out from the motor pool and drive 140 miles to the Stars and Stripes headquarters in Darmstadt to get my paper printed. Occasionally, a vehicle from the pool would not be available and I’d have to scramble to find transportation.

Walkin'

Barney and his gun

Barney almost shot me by accident, twice.
The year was 1970, and I was working the night shift on the loading dock of the Marshall Fields Department Store in the Woodfield Mall outside of Chicago. I unloaded semi trailers as they arrived and then sorted the packages into two-dozen piles, one each for the drivers who delivered them the next day.

Walkin'

Household pests

I’ve killed many a musca domestica, aka house fly, in my day.
As a child visiting Wisconsin, one of my favorite barn chores was poisoning the little buggers. Grandma had an old-fashioned pump sprayer, which she filled, I’m guessing, with a capful of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, aka DDT, and water. This was long before we knew that the substance was a scourge to birds, especially ones high on the food chain like hawks and eagles. So spray I did, pumping clouds of toxic vapor in the air.

Walkin'

Aunt Izzy’s table

What I remember most about Aunt Izzy, my mother’s twin sister, is eating dinner at her table.
Our family, the city slickers from Chicago, would visit her family, the farm folk, at least twice a year. Izzy had seven children with husband Ray, and Mom and Dad added five to make an even dozen. Not that there’d be 12 kids at a meal. By the time the younger ones arrived, the older ones had moved out, but there might be eight or more sitting knee to knee, stomachs growling. Somehow she managed to fit us all in and make everyone feel welcome to eat to their heart’s content.

Walkin'

What about my gun rights?

I’ve been offered the sale of a handgun three times.
The first was in the early 1980s when I lived in North Twin View Heights, a housing development outside of Solon.
I was having breakfast at the nearby Vern’s Lakeside Cafe, a small restaurant run out of a converted mobile home. The sign out front boasted hot food and fresh bait. Inside, the décor gave new meaning to the expression “greasy spoon.” Vern lived in the trailer with his wife and half-dozen children who often ran about half-dressed or in diapers needing changing.

Walkin'

Strangers on the beach

Sabra and I have been to the resort area of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, several times. We get there by flying from the Cedar Rapids airport, about a dozen miles from our house. I say we’re going to the land of the endless buffet because not only can you eat nearly around the clock under the all-inclusive package, but also the variety of food seems to go on into infinity as the workers switch out one sumptuous dish for another.

Walkin'

Burro bureaucracy

walkin'

Things we do for love

One of the side benefits of us getting chickens is the avenue for gifts it’s opened to give my spouse Sabra.

The smell of fear

Writing about our recent addition of five chickens to the Fleck household has caused me to reminisce about my spouse and her animals.