Archive for August, 2012

This will have to be fast, but it will be. Significant precipitation is heading this way after inundating St. Louis — it may be Sub Louis now; hard to tell, and I’ve promised myself ice cream over the weekend AND wine. I’m taking the first three-day holiday in about a year, and most of it will be right here at AeroKnow Museum at the best little airport in the tri-state area.,

Home, home in th’midwest
where the worst crimes are never confessed.
Where often is heard
The discouraging word
(from the myopic t-urd)
And the sky has been cloudy all day.

I’m just kidding about the myopic t-urd. Simon has been on his good behavior. He’s humoring be because he hasn’t paid me in more than a  month. But I’ll get by. There’s just me, myself and I at home, and the others are getting used to this circumstance.  My married mother did not raise her first son to be a frikking pin cushion . . . . . . even though things seem to have worked out that way.  And that all right, ma. It hurts only when I laugh.

The sky is getting darker and I must boogie homely — ha ha OUCH!

Live long . . . . . . . . . . and proper.


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Legendary comedian Henny Youngman harvested lots of laughter from the vaudeville joke that goes . . .
“Doc, ya gotta help me. It hurts when I do this (shakes his hand so it wobbles).”
Doctor says “Then don’t do that.”

Folks, it hurts when I go to poetry readings.”
All together now . . . . “Then don’t go to poetry readings.”

I’m not mad with anyone I encounter at poetry readngs, but feel pulled into deep water by an undertow of melancholia. I’ve had my days of corn-cob glory in Springfield. I have nothing left to prove. I know the microphone, and I like it, the scenery is the same. It’s not bad scenery; it’s the same scenery. I’m discovering what I should have realized before I was 25 and did not.

I missed a poetry event last night. Someday — not soon, I pray — I will miss many poetry events. More accurately, I will be absent from many. I will be working things aviational and it won’t hurt at all.

Before Thanksgiving, I suppose, I will cut back time spent with aviation history and write a new poem, a new song. I will return the same venues with all-new poetry, and recite new poetry, and I hope it won’t hurt. Poetry is part of what I feel is my destiny. I will wander away, but I will not wander far. That’s not the kind of man I are.

Live long . . . . . . . . . . and proper.

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On Facebook today I encountered a nice picture of Laura Bush, whom, you may recall, married the son of a man I admire and respect: George Herbert Walker Bush. With the picture was text of something she said, “I have always been proud of my country.” With the picture and quote was an exhortation to “Click ‘Like’ if you believe Laura Bush is a great American.”

Right from the “giddyup” as her husband might say, I did not believe her. To believe her, I would have to believe that during her lifetime . . .
Laura Bush was proud of the dogs and police that assaulted hundreds who stood up in Montgomery, Alabama for their rights as ordinary citizens of her country. . .
Laura Bush is proud that tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen and probably hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians died because two of her country’s wars in the years since the Korean War were fabricated on a foundation of lies.. . . . . . .
Laura Bush is proud that “cronyism and, good old boy politics” taken to new depths by President Obama’s predecessor make Richard Daley Sr., Huey Long and Marion Barry look like Mother Theresa.
Laura Bush is proud that a national presidential  election can be made null and void by a court whose constitutional dictum does not permit court action to play a role in deciding outcomes.

I could go on . . . . . . .

If Laura Bush is proud of her country, she is the Blagojevich who believes her husband innocent — not because she doubts he did what he did, but because of the principal of the thing. It’s not patriotic to speak out against evil, just as it was not patriotic to try to change Lieutenant William Calley’s mind before he and his platoon slaughtered an entire village of “slopes” in South Vietnam. It’s patriotic not to ask about the stench wafting through the countryside from the new “prisoner of war camp” near Belsen. It is not patriotic to call into question a presidential candidate’s real LOVE for defenseless doggies.

I have been proud of my country most of my few days short of 65 years. I was proud when Dwight Eisenhower was elected President of the United States of America. I wore an “I Like IKE” button all the time at Lawrence Elementary School. I was proud of my country when any US astronaut flew in space and particularly during the entire Apollo program; when  President Lyndon signed the civil rights act into law; whenever American athlete medaled in the Olympics; when Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Menachem Begin signed a peace accord brokered by our nation’s diplomats.

I could go on . . . . .

Laura Bush is a “great American” the way my new sofa is a “great house,” the way Robert Frost’s wife was a “great poet”, the way an easel is a “great painting.” Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Mary Todd Lincoln, Anne Boleyn were — and two still are — major contributors to the story of their countries and to their spouses. All are complete, marvelous examples of important lives lived well — okay, except for Anne. In terms of being a “great American” I suggest Laura and her sisterhood are not “the fire” but they are an all important, essential fuel that made the fire bright.  I will not declare Laura Bush a “great American,” but I say honestly and sincerely that she is a very nice American.

And if she HAS ALWAYS been s proud of her country, I still “like” her in my own way. I hope you do too!

Live long . . . . . . . . . and proper.

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At 6:45 am when I arrived at my museum office, a realized how strange it was that I was looking forward to dinner. I wasn’t hungry, and as things would transpire, all I’d have between  last night about 9 and tonight about 7:30 would be a Payday candy bar from the pilot lounge vending machine. What I would be having for dinner was a “pleasant cloud” sailing serenely through my consciousness like a memory of Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop on Saturday morning TV at 9:30 and I’m eight years old. What do you suppose I was anticipating; steak? I haven’t brought intact beef into my home since the late 90s. Sausage? Yes. Chicken? Yes. Processed fish? Yes.) Is an apple pie waiting for me? If I could afford it, you bet. But no pie tonight.

I can’t wait to leave my airport office early tonight. Not because I am hungry. I am beyond hunger. Most of the time, food holds no particular allure for me. Several years ago, I ate no solid food for two weeks after saying goodbye to a beautiful woman who “itemed”  next to me socally and in the shower. I drank lots of water and probably some wine. But I was working very little and moping a LOT. Only the ripening of tomatoes in my backyard garden returned me to sanity. I would not let them rot, and I would not give them away.  Few things approach “food of the Gods” like fresh, sliced tomatoes between whole wheat bread spread liberally with Hellman’s Mayonnaise. To be honest, I knew that much more of my protracted POUT could do me more harm than good, and the tomatoes were a handy “rationale.” When I am busy and reasonably content, food is an option; not a requirement for up to 24 hours a stretch, and to a large degree I go along with it because I know I can always purchase food. If I could not purchase food, I’d be pretty miserable. I AM my married mother’s lucky son! But I can’t purchase steak and I wish I could eat more pie. And ice cream.

Tonight I will savor a Chef Salad packaged in plastic, that was prepared by and offered for sale from a refrigerated bin in the deli department of Shop ‘N Save on North Grand, just a slight diversion east en route home from the airport. I am looking forward to this salad more eagerly than anything I could bring home from that store. Why? Because I know I am doing something that will work well for my body and outlook seven days before I mark the BIG SIX FIVE.  It’s a nicely presented salad that will sate my appetite. Cost of the salad was just over $3.50 when I purchased three of them two days ago.

It’s a well-prepared meal with lots of adequates: shredded cheese. turkey, lettuce, half a hard-boiled egg. Every salad, including the store’s prepared sea food salad, turkey salad and chicken salad used to include two cherry tomatoes.

The ones I brought home have three cherry tomatoes. I’m not a “cherry tomato person.” I eschew cherry tomatoes. Last week I started placing the cherry tomatoes into am empty Jiff Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter jar. As the jar is filled with these I will empty the jars full into part of my back yard next to a hurricane fence, and it cherry tomatoes start to grow next spring, I will give them to everyone who wants them.

For past few months, I’ve been eating more and more of these salads, always with Kraft Catalina dressing. At the end of this week, I will have enjoyed three of them, gladly and gratefully. When I run out of Catalina, I”ll start exploring more dressing flavors: Ranch, Russian, Thousand Island and others. What is YOUR favorite salad dressing?

I am easing away from serious activity here at the museum after even just three hours at Stone Circus. My outlook, even after a good day there, is pretty tempered which is not to say “riddled with resignation,” though I concede the possibility.

Had a long day at the airport, from 6:45 until 1:45 before leaving for three hours at “le cirque de granite.” Before I did, I welcomed a couple a Cirrus SR-22 charter pilot and the pilot of a NetJets-operated Cessna Citation. The latter escorted me out to the parking ramp where I took a picture of his beautiful flying machine.  Here is the best of them . . . .

Cessna Citation X business jet

Live long . . . . . . . . and proper.

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What can I tell you besides “then I dids” less than 24 hours after my 22nd posting in this series? The point of this post is a poem/song lyric that I sing when I have a good reason. I will sing it in a little more than a week at a gallery reception where I’ll be picking and grimacing . . . but first, a few “then I dids.”

Had a solid Sunday at the airport.  It was rainy or threatened rain most of the day, and I photographed no airplanes and talked to not a soul until, home-bound, when I picked up a rotisserie chicken and strawberry preserves at County Market where the price of my favorite 2011 “vintage” Burgundy led me to want to thank their management for convincing me I should neer go back there. Not a biggie; there were two inches in a gallon jug at home, and if I didn’t touch it until 9:30, I knew I’d be fine at bed-time. Had a decent evening, though I must say that television  after 60 Minutes (CBS) on any station I can receive  (no cable satellite on my house or matches either — Fire I do not require) is a SCREAMING INVITATION TO GO FOR A WALK. I’m sure it’s fine for those who like it, and I don’t consider it the tool of Lucifer. I consider it “an opiate of the masses” as a smarter man than I once said, but not an opiate. A triple shot of Wild Turkey, neat, some nights, but not an opiate.  Today, Monday, I arrived before 7 a at the a’port and worked on a newsletter I produce for a flying club and have enjoyed a decent day at “Stone Circus.”

I wrote “Reason’s Refrain” on July 2, 1996. Today I dedicate this presentation to my friends who would rather be religious than correct; friends whose doctrines will hasten the ultimate oblivion of hummin’ beans as a feces — I’m sorry, make that human beings as a species but whose acquiescence to Earth Protocols (my term; just invented it) would allow a few more generations to find long-term solutions to what’s wrong with this planet and those who have been punished since Eden with the fate of being responsible for ourselves.

Reason’s Refrain
by Job Conger

Some games are played
For higher stakes
Than passions weighed
Against heart breaks.
The magic shared
With arms entwined
And bodies bared
Can burn the blind.
As smiles from secret pleasures fade,
Sometime come consequences made:
Children of chance romance we buy.
The never born will never cry.

A flirting glance,
A warm embrace,
Time’s classic dance,
A fall from grace.
“Let’s go!” becomes
“Hey, let’s go back!”
Your train’s about
To jump the track.
Your cruise to Destiny’s derailed
As second thoughts leave you impaled
On an aftermath of asking “Why?”
The never born will never cry.

After you score,
You start to think,
“We’re more than for-
Nicating mink,
Delivering babies left and right
Lost to our lust; lost to the night;
Or lemmings in a doom parade
Where good intentions are betrayed.
Yet, there’s a fact we can’t deny:
The never born will never cry.

. . . . . . . . (refrain)
A finite world
Has finite ways,
And someone’s worth
In darkest days
Demands recourse
To measured acts
With tempered force
To match the facts.
Rice balls and crack will not provide
The answer to mass suicide.
Between extremes, the truth may lie:
The never born will never cry.

No accident
Of birth should rot
Consciousness bent
In bitter thought.
No child should quake
In hate and fear
Without a
Loving parent near.
The answer to the pseudo-saints
Who drown out reason with complaints
Must come from those who can tell clouds from the sky.
The never born will never cry.

Live long . . . . . . . . and proper.

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donated 1942 newspapers from central Illinois

It’s been a productive day at my airport “home away from home.” This time last year, I wouldn’t even be awake at the time I arrived, even though by this time last year, I had moved in everything I “had” to move out here. A year ago, I didn’t feel the hand of “Destiny” on my shoulder, and this year I do  . . . . not a heavy hand, not a wussy hand, but a hand.

Probably 10 years ago I walked into the office of Illinois Times to pick up a paycheck for an article of mine they had published. On a table in the reception area I saw something of a “mishmash” of old newspapers, and I asked Brenda (her real name) about them. She explained an IT reader had discovered them as flooring contractors were removing the floor boarding in the house they were restoring. They had been there a long time, judging from the most recent date of 1961 on a Sunday funnies magazine supplement. Others dated back to early December 1942. The papers had been placed between what was then the structural joists (I think that’s the right term() and a new foundation material in a 1961 floor improvement project to even the level of the new floor throughout the room. The people who brought them to Illinois Times thought they might have historical value. That value was INSTANTLY apparent to me, and I could not believe my ears when I asked, “May I have them?” and Brenda happily assented.  Home they came!

Club Rio gave Springfield’s Lake Club serious competition

For years they remained in a corner of a large table in my home office after I gently examined each piece of paper. About five years ago, I took a more critical eye to reading each piece.  Any item of LOCAL value was set aside for future reference and separated by notes on new office paper that identified title and date of each series of saved articles. Local business advertising was saved along with important news of local people and Sunday newspaper comic strips. I knew I would preserve the “goods,” but the timing was bad. Three years years ago, to keep them away from direct sunlight I stowed them under my bed. About two months ago, with things gradually settling down at AeroKnow Museum at the airport, I brought them out to the “Processing Room” upstairs. Today, the 26th I began processing my treasure.

the original Rocky, perhaps, circa December 1942

Who remembers THIS strip? I sure don’t. I suspect it was a spin-off of the incredibly popular Alley Oop. I worked five straight hours on these, and I’m not 5 percent toward DONE with the project. There are many clips I’ve saved that are about local involvement in World War II, people who were participating, a young man Louis G. Bender, Mt. Pulaski’s first “casualty of the war” who died in a plane crash, a flight training accident at Foster Field, Texas. The aviation clips will be shared as time permits at my AeroKnow Museum blog.

The pictures shared in this post were taken with my Sony Cyber-shot digital camera. All clippings saved for future reference were scanned on a professional-quality scanner as shown in the first picture. They are preserved in a .jpg format that allows their enlargement and optimization of color. Some of the scans will be preserved as colorless black and white; others will be preserved as color images but edited heavily to maximize their legibility, readability.

It’s been a rewarding Sunday, including the time for this blog because it allows me to share an offer to readers. If YOU have newspapers from any central Illinois publisher before 1970 that you will consider sharing (loaning or donating) with me so that I can scan and save articles and photos of special interest, please respond to this post with a comment. Or call me — I’m in the Springfield phone book.

Today I have also started to move my local and state aviation files upstairs because I’m running out of room for them here next to the computer on the ground floor.  But that’s a story for another blog.

Have a terrific week, readers!

Live long . . . . . . . and proper.

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Job Conger, a few moments during the summer 2004

This post is being “dupli-posted” at two of my four blogs, starting with Honey & Quinine. The other post is at my AeroKnow Museum blog  —  http://aeroknow.wordpress.com 

The most recent post at the AeroKnow Museum (AKM) blog was July 3, 2012. I am way late with an update due to other priorities, and I’ve been sharing a LOT at Facebook which is becoming my cheap narcotic way to be a socialperson, especially with my “Approaching  65” series on Honey & Quinine. If you are reading these words at the AKM blog, please visit Honey & Quinine for more about me as a hummin’ bean and not a garden-variety aviation history enthusiast. The blot is at https://jobconger.wordpress.com

My purpose in posting at both is to see if there is a significant response to “aviation” at either blog. Significant response to the AKM blog will soon generate more aviation photographs and news there while I reduce my injecting  so much cheap narcotic into my Facebook aviation photo albums.

The six pictures starting here are a small piece of my activity at AKM.

Cessna Conquest

Piper Tri-Pacer based at Springfield’s airport

SPI scene

Canadair 601 Challenger

Challenger 601 galley

This is an exercise to see how things look in final presentation on the Web.  I will likely re-arrange them on the AKM dupli-post.

The point of the  H & Q post is to acquaint you with the real passion of my life that doesn’t wear a bra. The point of the AKM post is to let you know the museum is growing by the day.  Before I head for home about 6:30 pm, I will have been at the airport from 6:35 to 9:50 and from 2:20 until 6:30, blessed by the fire that gives me the motivation to “do what needs to be done.” Sunday I will be here from probably 5:10 am to about 5:30 pm, doing more of it. I am still the poet, the folksinger, the showroom manager at a great metropolitan stone fabricator, but until I meet “Miss RIGHT” my heart will be here at the airport. During the times I’ve dated seriously — and I’ve had my share — there has never been a day in the life of “Couple US” that I have considered aviation more important than the relationship. That’s how it’s  always been, but as Carly Simon sings, “The river doesn’t seem to stop here anymore.” and that is okay. That’s life. Que sera sera. And “Don’t cry for me Argentina.”

Live long . . . . . . . . . . . and proper.

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