Pine nuts: Retirement ain’t easy
The first thing I did on my first day of retirement was to toss my Mickey Mouse alarm clock out the window. Then I started pricing marimba’s, as I have a latent desire to make some music. Also I’m looking for books to learn Spanish because it is a beautiful language and I want to get closer to some of my interesting neighbors.
And too, because I have this computer chock full of photos of interesting people and places that I encountered during my 35 years of pretending to be Mark Twain, I’m starting an illustrated memoir, The Incredible Lightness of Being the Ghost of Mark Twain.
Just this morning I came across an early PINE NUTS photo that made me smile…
I about 2000, I read in our local paper, the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, that they had a new publisher, Mary Jurkonis, and that she wanted to know what we readers would like to see in our hometown paper. I wrote to Miss Jurkonis, and suggested that her plea was akin to a blackjack dealer asking, “What kind of a hand would you like to have?”
I asked to see a little humor in the Bonanza, and she wrote back asking me to provide the same. So I worked up a column of five hundred words, submitted it to Editor in Chief, Kirk Caraway, and next thing I knew, I had a twice-a-week column, “PINE NUTS.”
Mary moved on to greener pastures when the Bonanza went out of business, and PINE NUTS moved on to the Sierra Sun, Comstock Chronicle, Calaveras Enterprise and Carson Now. As I number each column, I see now that I must take a short break just here and work up PINE NUTS number 1,573 all these twenty-three years later, so that’s what I’m working on now.
Getting back to the marimba, I read a beautiful quote this morning from a New Orleans musician that makes me want to own a marimba…
“Anybody can solo. Anybody can sit behind the drums and go nuts. Anybody can play riffs on the bass, and anybody can play songs on the piano. But playing music is when two or more people get together from out of nowhere and turn it into something.” -Damon Batiste
Doesn’t that make you want to go out and join a mariachi? It does me. I want to make music that will call the birds down out of the trees to sit on our shoulders. Anybody got a used marimba for sale? I’m only a few days into retirement now, but I’m already feeling more cheerful, more charitable and kinder. Also I’m feeling a need to finish my illustrated memoir and get it out there where it might encourage friends to get involved in Chautauqua and bring living history to the classroom and beyond. So I guess it is safe to say, retirement is providing an opportunity to get some good work done…
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