Meine Damen und Herren,
This is a reminder that we will be holding our monthly “meeting” this Saturday, August 11th, at Mecklenburg Gardens (302 East University Avenue) beginning at 11 A.M. Come share in the excellent German beverages, the Weisswurst / mustard buffet, and the Geműtlichkeit!
Please note that our unique Rubber Boot Kicking Competition has been moved from our August meeting to our October meeting. More details will be provided in future monthly e-mails.
At this month’s meeting we will have a fresh batch of Mustard Club shirts available, This is the fourth regular edition of our T-shirts, and they feature an exciting new design! First come, first served!
Also coming up are Germania’s Oktoberfest the weekend of August 24-26 and Liberty Home’s Oktoberfest on the weekend of August 31 to September 2. More details will be available at this weekend’s Mustard Club.
As always, to see a full calendar of other events at local German-American societies, you can visit the German-American Citizens League website ( www.gacl.org ) and click on “Yearly calendar of events.”
Händlmaier’s Freunde Cincinnati e.V.
Rodney is a Scrabble (copyright til you die) player turned wanderer/investigator. Investigator of places and people and things and concepts.
Rodney is also a friend who drove down to Cincinnati from Plymouth, Michigan, for Lunchbunch and to visit me for a weekend. I do believe he discovered stuff and places during three days that I hadn’t in my 15 or so years in Cincinnati.
He so reminds me of my blues friend Don who also must poke behind every bush on every side road along every which a way wherever that leads him and whatever it might do to his schedule.
Free and easy and curious who more often than not actually finds answers to his questions.
Rodney starts out to a bluegrass concert over the way a piece to meet up with Lunchbuncher Judy and grandchild. Hours later he reports he got close enough to “hear” the music and that he did call Judy but stopped off at a wine and cheese bar and got lost in a two hour conversation with an interesting young lady.
Back home at the ranch here, it was story time; that boy has more stories that Carter used to have little liver pills. A visit to Pennsylvania. His interest and investigation of coffees, including one so esoteric the beans are eaten AND defecated by (specific) monkeys before being roasted, at $150.00 a pound, into the world’s finest coffee.
Friday’s Lunch Bunch saw us haul in enough grub for a church group from Lin’s Thai Restaurant up on the hill near Kroger’s. Including sticky rice and mangoes. Willie, Bob, CB, Jude and I welcomed Rodney to the group, ate a bunch and played Scrabble (copyright til you die) til our fingertips grew calloused from the semi sharp corners of the tiles.
The negative was that I was in bed almost all day, even playing Scrabble (copyright til you die) while lying abed. But it worked out and the day was a success in my lexicon. It was good having so much friendship surrounding me.
The visit was friendly, warm and wonderful. Hated to see Rodney go. Much different when you have every expectation of another visits anon.
Lunch Bunch August 23, 2012. Eating with the seniors at Giovanni’s in the verdant (except for Giovanni’s) western suburbs of Cincinnati.
I actually got out of bed yesterday. What an adventure! There I was lying in that damned ole hospital bed on a Thursday morning when I felt this quirky tug on my gut (sorry, could not differentiate between small and large). “Must be Lunch Bunch pangs,” opined CB. “Willie and Bob must be spelling you to get themselves out of having to come to us and play Scrabble on your hospital bed.
Giovanni’s Italian Family Dining. Where old folks go to shovel down the soft, yet delicious; the bland, yet tasty, proooducts of the Giovanni Emini family. Courtesy of the scoops provided by the pound by Tony Enimi, son of the family. Scoops unlimited! As tony performs his Russian dance Kazachok
This hospice thing has become a pain in the ass: I truly never know when a Lunch Bunch will be my last, either in-house or in an eatery. It’s a tad frightening to know that there is a relatively small finite number of Lunch Bunches in my future.
But that’s whining. Actually, I’m grateful for the time I’ve left to spend with friends and work on real and imaginary projects.
Time to make believe I can still …… (fill in the blank)
Oh, me! Oh, my! What will they ever do without me? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Ooooooooooooooooooooh!
Bob, Willie, CB and I comprised Thursday’s Lunchbunch. Bob stopped along the way and brought us all some fresh tomatoes. God, are they good. Thank you, Bob.
Willie got up early for a dentist appointment and, wouldn’t you believe it, I forgot to admire her new work.
She was almost biblical in that she went first to “prepare a place for us” at the usual table served as usual by Bob Enimi, son of Giovanni. Ordered appetizers: sausage in sauce, fried calamari, and bruschetta.
Even though a busload of seniors beat us to their tables, and even though only Tony was there to serve, he served like a mothuh and nobody had to wait… not even us latecomers.
Let’s see, I had spaghetti and sausage (pretty good), Bob had a cheese pizza (delicious), CB had ziti alfredo (okay) and Willie had lobster ravioli (i donated my portion to the hungry children in Appalachia; others froze theirs to be examined at some distant future time).
Ever try to divide one medium to small piece of tiramisu among 4 people all of who who wanted the biggest piece? especially Willie and me? Good stuff and Bob’s Cannoli wudn’t half bad, either.
A testament to the taste of Giovanni’s: Willie took John Lasagna for dinner and I brought sausage (homemade, of course) and tiramisu for CB’s and my dinner. No leftovers were allowed to languish.
Back to CB’s and my apartment for some Scrabble (copyright til you die) and leftover Rodney root beer.
I won a game.
I also lost a game that Bob says I probably could have won.
Twelve years almost every week we’ve played Scrabble (copyright til you die) and have yet to agree on almost anything about Scrabble (copyright til you die) EXCEPT that we all like it, especially Willie who continues to chase it with a will and with every centime she can borrow from Farmer Jack’s.
The downside is the next morning (today), that damned ole elephant showed up again and sat on my chest until mid-afternoon when I finally managed to calm her/him down by practicing my breathing without my C-PAP mask.
All is well and I am already swelling with anticipation for next week at Eastgate, willing to spend some miserable time in bed to combat edema in my legs in order to make the trek on Tuesday.
I know how a black hole feels now. Pulled all that matter into its embrace. Never to let go. Ever. Not hair nor hide heard of seen of it ever again. No. No. No. says the black hole. Mine. Mine. Mine.
I wave it way too much to let go.
Perhaps a mite of an exaggeration, but, yes, I do feel friends should stay forever when they visit.
Otherwise, what if I never see them again in this life. Never!
Still (back to reality) I feel so blessed when friends visit me for a few minutes or hours or days.
Yesterday, for example, Barbara Dixon drove all the way down from Lafayette, Indiana, for a game and conversation and a thousand tiny exchanges of good feelings.
Thank you, Barbara.
Bringing with her a delicious gift of squash and lemon bread – I don’t think it’s going to last the winter, Barbara; I have my doubts it will not crumble by taps this evening.
Barbara also brought a living gift with her: Brad Charlotte whom I haven’t seen in several years. He, too, bearing gifts…. of chow-chow…. relish I relish with my beans, be they white, pinto, black, black-eyed or crowder!
Thank you, Brad.
Thence games (Brad vs CB; Barbara vs me) and extending befriending for most of the afternoon.
It occurred to me this would probably be the last time EVER I would see Barbara and a dark sadness rose – bile – souring, it seemed, the whole of my insides. We assured the other we’d make the effort to make a lie of that fear, and so a tiny sprig of hope sprang up near the back of my beard.
Balancing act when I see one of my loved ones (kin or friend) which I don’t expect I’ll ever see again. Crying and laughing. Crybabying and giggling.
At the end of the day, however, I ALWAYS realize how very much I appreciate their presence in my life and know, regardless of anything else, they’ve ridden shotgun on many a mile of this superb ride.
August 2, 2012. A few minutes for me, if you please, she pled, as those of us who had survived ploughed into that delicious pizza pie! (Deroma Italian Restaurant. 6254 Chambersburg Road. Huber Heights. OH. 937.233.3602)
But I’ve been gone all summer long, it seems. She sed. I’d love to party near my palace. For a change. We never never never come here anymore.
Okay, said they. Let ‘er rip and we’ll make ready and slip… into your town just before noon… when nobody’s watching… when the chances of catching us..are … well … chanceable.
Huber Heights, Ohio, it is! Deroma pizza owned by the brother of Sir Robert’s have za maker Troni’s, except it’s across town.
Sir Robert, what is this?
I am under the weather, sir, I shall attend to show my respect for the princess. I musteth, must I.
By the time the rest of us had arrived at the aging – and not at all well – shopping center, Princess Willie and Jimmy Troni, along with Amanda and Hallee the super supporters, had created an artsy welcome for us.
‘Course they had plenty of time; CB and I got lost twice in downtown Dayton, delaying our entrance by a long stretch of the imagination.
And Sir Robert had spent most of his morning searchhing Brown County for a regal motorized port-potty, which explained his tardiness. Had promised he’d be there. He was there. Wouldn’t get out. Said he couldn’t. Wouldn’t try the pizza. Said he’d already tried the best.
But he did park his horses (Did I mention his regal porta-potty had been borrowed from a gypsy caravan parked not far from his and Joyce’s home on Lake Makaka?) at an advantageous angle where he could, using his camera’s telephoto lens, keep his eyes on the Lunch Bunch he was destined to participate in as an observer. I think he had some chalky flavored gunk he was forcing down as we scarfed down squid rings, okra balls, pizza, sausage hoagie and stromboli, not to mention baklava and tiramisu, all of which were superb (exc pet the bread which sucked) (except the pepsi which tasted of additional, if unwelcome, chemicals).
Wouldn’t even come in for Scrabble (copyright til you die) where CB played Willie and me simultaneously and where then Willie played CB and me simultaneously. I remember winning one game, which is above average for me of late.
Later on in the afternoon as Princess Willie’s shoes started to lose their shine, nature’s way of reminding her the concert was not to be denied, nor would she have had it any other way than giving and showing her love for the oldies but oldies she was bound to see last night. After a sound but short nap of course. and a new shoe shine.
CBFL finally settled down in Tranq listening to John Grisham’s “The Last Juror” all 65 miles home.
It ended too soon.
Thank goodness we’ll do it again.
If enough of us are alive and up to it.
I give deRoma an “8.” CB a “7.” Willie acted a lot like she liked it, although I didn’t hear or see a specific number.
Sir Robert, as I recall, limited himself to several snorts before he clucked his toilet back to the boonies.
Somedays, I call it hurting’ like a mothuh; other times I’m just plain pissed off. And wouldn’t you be? Too? if you’d gone and lost the most special non-Scrabble friend in Ohio over a damned photograph?
Anyone who knows me knows how I treasure photographs.
Pictures of people, of people’s faces, of animals, buildings, skies, sunshine, gutters, Scrabbleboards.
You name it and I guarantee you I will love the picture, even if it’s mangled a bit.
I must have 20,000 shots scattered around in scrapbooks and computers and external computer hard drives.
Since I’ve been consigned to hospice, I”ve come into possession of two digital picture frames, pocket size and 8×10, which allow me to sit and watch photos of my life, photos of people who have helped make myself myself.
Then along comes April of 2012. A friend whom I’d shot in the hundreds of times decided it was time for me to take every single photo I had of her off my blog and anyplace else where it might hit the public.
Someone had told he he had found her picture on this blog by googling her name; she was frightened by the prospect of being lurked on, spied on, by someone who migh be looking to harm.
Got to her.
Sparking panic attacks that match mine in force and I’ll tell you one thing I go through some big-ass panic attacks every time I can’t breathe and just about every other time.
Take em off, Frank, won’t you?
Take most of the off.
The found that there were photos of her still there.
on the internet.
No matter how many I took off
Semantics and one thing and another sent both of us back to our corners.
I licked my wounds, hurt because I had always “asked permission” to shoot .
Except people in the public limelight, i.e., performers, servers, police, firemen, nurses, doctors and the like.
And still was in trouble.
Then comes last week and another friend whose photos of dotted the electronic pages of this blog, started telling stories of how she was being harassed by people who had used her name to disturb the peace. She, too, was/is disturbed.
Henceforth, no surname of a civilian will appear on this blog without specific permission, only first names.
We’ll see what happens.Good thing, I suppose, I’d never had a worry expressed until April.
Losing a friend is akin to being exiled to solitary confinement.
Changes may make serious troubler for my writing as I negotiate the stories about my friends in my mind.
My mind is muddled by the totally unnecessary frustration.
For the third time in less than a year this morning I found myself sprawled in all my glory on the floor of our apartment, a fallen blob who’s missed one of the strict rules I use to transfer from chair to chair. From bed to bed. Kerplunk. Can’t do it. Can’t get up. If I could just get on my knee and use the bed for leverage….. can’t do it. If I could just sit on my little stool and raise myself in stages as I’ve done so often in the past…. can’t do it. Soooo, CB calls 911 and gets the in-shape guys out. “Scooch up on the sheet, Frank,” they urge. “Now everybody left at once.
The sheet tore. I tumbled to the floor.
“Only my sacroiliac and all the little nerve fiber in that and neighboring communities.”
They call the state for reinforcements. For a reallllly strong sheet,
It worked, I scooched. They lifted, I am back in my chair.
Oh, no, thanks. I no longer have a need nor a desire to visit the throne room which, as I recall, is where I was heading when the butt hit the rug.
Thanks, Cincinnati firemen.