Saturday, October 29, 2005

BillyBob Caught a Little Bait

BillyBob tells a fish tale:

A little east of Billybob's abode is the great James River, named after some king, or someone who we heard tell lives across the pond.

Every a once in a while, BillyBob that's him on the left a struggling, has a little catfish fry up.

Seems like we can't get those good frogs anymore. So we just gotta settle for these little cats. At once a time, years ago, they had some size to them, not like the one you are a seeing here.

Now the rivers a poluted, the gamey warden says only eat two of these a month now. No wonder, BillyBob is a struggling. He just not getting enough eats.

Photo: again of unknown origin

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Trouble with Henry

I had been working in Mental Health for awhile, few things surprised me, or caught me off guard, that was, until I met Henry. He was a new client at the Hudson House.

This was long time before, the Hudson House found its place outside the Fairview neighborhood on Woodrow Street. Although tucked in the woods the new modernistic building with its interior court, never had the charm of the old building.

Hudson House was originally on Denver Avenue, secluded in a quiet area, the house was once owned by the Hudsons and they donated it. A majestic white house, that was an ideal location, to meet with day clients in the mental health service. And that was where I met Henry the first time.

He had made himself at home in the rec room. Although, it was upstairs, someone had managed to get a pool table there. And Henry was playing himself a game of pool. The game went something like this:

Henry was leaning over the table, he had the cue in hand, assuming the pose of a pool shark, he deftly sunk a solid ball in the side pocket. Then he said, "Great shot Henry."

Then he put the cue stick down, picked up another cue and aimed for the stripes. He looked over to where he was standing before and said, "OK Henrick, I am going to really show you how to shoot."

And the conversations between himself continued.

And as time went on, he was always having these conversations between himself. He was becoming a very interesting client. Neat and immaculate, his bald head shined like a bare cue ball, he appeared almost monk like, who was ready to whip some devil, or maybe the devil inside him.

Hi Henry," I would greet him every morning. He would say. "Hi Bob, and Henrick says hi too."

The one thing that you would always notice about Henry that he was always clean shaved. He had what appeared would be a thick stubble that could shade his face, but for some reason even after a long day his face was immaculate. It would shine. Soon he shaved off the rim of hair that surrounded his monk like baldness.

Henry, or when he was Henrick, would make countless trips to the bathroom. I began to worry about him. I thought he might have some kind of medical problem, needing attention. Soon though I would discover what the heck was going on with Henry.

One day he came out of the bathroom with his eyebrows shaved. It was time we had a talk, this was getting out of hand.

"Darn Henry, where are your eye brows?"
"It was Henricks fault."
"What do you mean?"
"Henrick shaved them off."
"Why in the world would he do that?"
"He wants me to shave, I can't do enough, I shave ten times a day." "Henrick wants to make sure, we don't have any hair." "He wants me to be ready."
"Ready for what?"

It was then that he began to tell me the story:

"It all happened years ago." "There was a party, and met this girl, we started kissing on the sofa." "Henrick liked it so much he didn't want to stop."

But she said, "Would you mind going upstairs to the bathroom and shave, I can't stand that stubble."

"So Henrick and I went to the bathroom, I shaved so close my face looked like a baby's butt. "
"But she was gone when I came back."
"Henrick told me, we can never let this happen again."
"He makes me shave all the time, he wants to be ready, because Henrick says we are going to kiss another girl sometime."

No one understood Henry's compulsion to shave, til that day. Some knew of his compulsion, but never really asked why. It was only on the day that his eyebrows disappeared, that I later found out he shaved his whole body. Henry has not a hair on him, and Henrick was prepared for that next kiss, and stayed ready for years shaving every couple of hours.

Photo: The original Hudson House on Denver Street, Lynchburg Virginia: By bob.

Field of Dreams

More thoughts about BillyBob:

Sometimes he could sit for days on end listening for those batteries to pop. You know when you burn that trash in the rusty barrel. He sat there looking past the smoke.

"Thar's a whole world out there somewhare," he would think.
Almost like staring at clouds he stared at Daisymae thinking, imagining, and studifing, what was past that field of dreams.

What on earth would the world look like. He thought, "I need one of them thar maps."

The gas station was up the road, he knew he could find a map there.

photo of unknown origin

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Autumn Haiku

Leaves dance, branches sway
Mighty oaks bend, wind frolics
Under azure skies.

Shadows intertwine
With sunlight, patterns of life
Evolve before me.

Copyright 2005

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Butter Flies Know

Billy-bob wants to let you know of the bugs in these parts. Seems the government got tired of busting stills. Now they got this big plant up the road. Says they do nuclear things.

Some said to us that when those commies did a sudden change like knocking down Beerlin's wailing wall. We got all this radio active stuff from them.

Word is, they keep it right up the river in that place surrounded by watch towers.

Some same it ain't those that pass out those watch tower magazines. We are not sure though.

But the butter flies know.

Photo of unknown origin.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Rainbow of Love

As a child I loved mythology. I devoured it like some children read Superman comic books. So when I was in 8th grade, I tried my hand and writing a myth of my own. I have tweaked it over the years and I present it here for your enjoyement.

Rainbow of Love

“A fine painting, Zenas,” praised Serena. “It will be beautiful in Aphrodite’s new temple. Artemis looks so alive with her hunting bow at the ready and the moon peering over her shoulder. She could walk out of the painting any minute and ask if we had seen a stag run by. Why, your father couldn’t have done a better job!”
“Hush, Serena. Have you no fear? I have seen my father strike down mortals for less. I’ve never completed any work that would rival Apollo’s. He is god of the Arts because of his wondrous abilities. To suggest otherwise would be to invite great harm upon yourself.”
Zenas kissed Serena. “I beg of you beloved, do not invite the wrath of the Sun god. Horrendous consequences would surely result. I must go now and meet him. I am pleased you like the painting. I’ll return tomorrow and we can talk while I work on my next painting.”
“What will that be, my darling? Will you paint the mighty Zeus with his thunderbolt raised? Or perhaps Poseidon riding the back of a whale?”
“No, Serena. Tomorrow is a special day. It is the day that Aidoneus will take Demeter’s daughter, Persephone, to the Underworld for her three-month stay at his side. I will paint Aidoneus hiding behind a pillar watching Persephone eat the three pomegranate seeds that will doom her to her yearly visits to the Underworld. I will then paint Demeter’s face high in the sky with tears falling from her eyes as she watches her daughter’s mistake.”
“It shall be magnificent,” Serena exclaimed. The entire world will travel to see your paintings and I am sure Aphrodite will be most pleased.
After Zenas left, Serena carried the painting of Artemis to Aphrodite’s temple. She stopped often on the way to allow the villagers to admire Zenas’ fine work. Many whispered that the son would soon surpass the father in artistic ability.
The breeze carried the villager’s words to the top of Mount Olympus where several of the gods and goddesses were relaxing.
“Your son has many admirers,” Zeus commented to Apollo.
“His work is quite good,” Hera added. “Perhaps he should be god of Arts instead of you, Apollo.”
Apollo’s face reddened with rage. “No son of mine will steal my title! I swear on the dreadful lake, which I have never seen, but which we gods swear by in our most solemn engagements. Zenas will cease painting or he will die before sunset tomorrow!”
Apollo stormed out to meet his son, leaving his fellow gods shaking their heads in amazement over his brash decision.
The further Apollo traveled from Mount Olympus, the more his anger cooled. He didn’t know how he could have been so foolish. He only hoped his son would be willing to give up his art.
When Apollo reached his home, he found Zenas waiting for him. “Son,” he began. “I have done a foolish thing today, but you have the power to undo my mistake.” Apollo told his son what had happened. Zenas hung his head in sorrow.
Raising his head Zenas replied, “Father, you do not understand. I had promised Aphrodite that I would paint whatever she wanted for the next year in return for the love of a maiden. If I do not fulfill my promise, Serena will be taken from me and her beauty will be taken from her. I have no choice but to paint, Father. In turn, you have no choice but to end my life.”
Apollo cried out in anguish as Zenas turned and walked to his room, his heavy
footsteps echoed down the silent corridor.
Zenas considered saying good-bye to Serena, but he feared the temptation to try
and escape with her would be too great. He sent a message instead.
My dearest Serena,
I will not be able to see you tomorrow as we had planned. Remember that my love for you is as pure as the colors with which I paint. Until we meet again.

Zenas pondered how he could paint one last time. He wanted to leave behind a work that all would remember him by. He reflected on the sorrow that tomorrow would bring. Not only to his loved ones, but to Demeter as well. He knew that Demeter’s sorrow would be brief, since her daughter would rejoin her in three months. Zenas wanted to leave behind a promise of hope to help his loved ones with their grief.
Hours later, an idea occurred to him for his final masterpiece. He selected five of his magic paints and prepared them for his greatest endeavor. He picked purple because that was the color of the iris that Serena often wore in her blond hair. Red would represent the love they had shared. Blue was chosen because it was the color of Serena’s eyes. Green was included as a symbol of the vibrancy of life and the earth he loved. Yellow would honor his father, the sun god.
Zenas was completing his preparations when Apollo appeared. “Son, I can not retrieve the words which I sent forth so carelessly yesterday. I would like to grant you a final boon if it is within my power.”
Zenas responded, “Thank you, Father. I would like to ride across the sky with you one last time, so that I might gaze again on the world which will soon be forever lost to me.”
Apollo bowed his head. “You shame me with your simple request. I will be most honored if you will ride with me.”
Together father and son climbed into Apollo’s golden chariot. The rows of diamonds on the chariot reflected the brilliant rays that Apollo placed upon his head. Zenas turned his back to his father so as not to be blinded by the glorious sight of the sun. Then Apollo took the reins and began the sun’s journey across the sky. He was too busy controlling the difficult horses to notice what Zenas was doing.
Demeter’s tears fell from above and Zenas painted a beautiful line beside Apollo’s chariot. The colors rested side by side in the curve of Zenas’ final journey across the sky.
Apollo’s tears mixed with Demeter’s. Without warning, he turned and pushed his son from the chariot. Zenas immediately dropped his paints as he hurdled to his death. Without Zenas’ touch, the magical paints disappeared.
That night Apollo roamed the halls in misery. The time came when he had to again journey across the sky. After mounting the chariot, he saw his son’s final masterpiece. He named the painting “Rainbow.” “Rain” for the tears that fell from Demeter’s eyes causing each color to sparkle. “Bow” because the curve reminded him of the weapon with which Artemis flung her mighty arrows.

Copyright 1980

Friday, October 21, 2005

Red Butt Misadventures

There was just something about being a kid in South Korea, on a US Naval base. When I was there, we had no TV, there was an occasional B movie that played that we did see, but most of my time was spent on adventures, or misadventures, depending on your point of view.

Each day during that summer, my small group of friends would meet up. We had secret plans, that our parents never knew. Each day was different and we would pick a theme. We were not sophisticated enough to know we were picking themes, but looking back that's just what it was.

Theme picking would start out something like this:

"What you want to do Bob?"
"We played roll the boulder down the mountain yesterday."
"Lets do some treasure hunting."
Then Joe would say, "Great," with that drifting authority of some old TV commercial that we saw eons back.

Our treasure hunting experience set us on a certain plan. We had a clubhouse hid in the woods, with stores of previous treasures, from old Japanese helmets, to even a rusted gun, we had found in an abandoned tunnel, from the war days of WWII.

But one of what we considered our greatest treasure, was the rocks of broken green jade, that we pounded off a rock, on a secluded beach, where trespassing was forbidden. This filled the adventure with an adrenaline high. Our finds were our secrets, and we buried the jade in the ground, under the dirt floor.

When you went up the mountain, you would come across a wire fence that penned the Navy base in. Our parents thought we never went beyond the fence, little did they know. We had our ways.

There were those "hoochie boys," who slipped in the base and would lift things that were just not nailed down. Well, being the bright boys that we were, we found their paths, and the the holes that they cleverly hid in the fence. Their entrance was our exit, and we would climb the mountain to the top. Then we would make it down to the ocean on the other side.

The other side of the mountain was a South Korean Naval base. There was one part of our journey that was chancy. We had to cross the backside of a target range. We never knew the target range was there, until that day. I guess we were just lucky, to pick the days it was not in use.

The shots were muffled by the trees, some were single shot, some were automatic. If you never been behind a live shooting range, there are some things that strike you as amazing. It was in the trees.

The bullets would hit the limbs, and they would fall around you. You really did not feel the danger, but the crack of the limbs, and branches, falling down would leave you in awe.

And for some reason, perhaps foolish, we kept going, going to the rock of green jade, we would pound our treasure. We would smash it with nearby rocks. Our secret rock of green jade, one day we knew, would make us rich.

We soon made it to the beach, we saw our green rock waiting for us. We made our way to the rock, but then, Joe said, "Look at this."

We never knew how it made it to the beach. Perhaps it washed up. Perhaps it was always there, but there it was, something that plays with the imagination of boys. It was about as tall as us when we stood it on end, a rusty cylinder that had a bull dog nose, and a tail with fins. This was too much to pass up. This was "Great."

It took all of us to drag it up the mountain. It was heavy enough to cause us some hardship, but we managed. We knew when we reached the top, we could roll the sucker and watch it fly down mountain.

And it was about as much fun as prying the boulders loose, and watching them bounce down the mountain, taking out trees. Each time it stopped we ran down. And rolled it again, till it would fly down the mountain slope.

"Great, " Joe would say. And we would run down again, to where it stopped.

Months later, we referred to this as the "great miscalculation." It was that last roll toward our clubhouse, the thing just didn't stop. It powered on past the clubhouse, and with a mind of its own, made it to the road right out in front of the Captain's jeep.

At least we didn't make a direct hit, but Joe was saying, "This is not so great."

We ran, but we could not hide. We all had to go home. And they were waiting for us. Now, my father wasn't ones to mince words over this. There's something about a red hot butt that just let me know, how he felt about our misadventure.

Later, my dad told me it was a hedgehog, left over from World War II. It was armed and dangerous, an anti-submarine charge, like a depth charge. How we escaped, setting the darn thing off was a mystery to him.

After that misadventure, Joe and I talked. We couldn't sit on our butts, but we talked about how we were rich. We still had that green jade buried, hidden under our clubhouse.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Light of Truth

When I was living in Chinhae South Korea, as a dependent on a US Naval base. One of the activities that I took up was Karate.

It was popular at the time, and not only taught physical discipline but mental respect. When, and when not to defend yourself, was part of the lesson my instructor taught. And in part of his teaching he related this story and I listened:

Ages ago, there was a priest in the temple who was well respected, his life was pure and many sent their children to him to learn his lessons on, how to live a good life, and how to appreciate the goodness of the world around you.

His pure life was one that many tried to emulate, he was an example of pure love that rarely assumes a human form. All bowed in his presence, which was unusual, because that was usually reserved for the elders. But this priest, was as so many remarked a guiding light that they could only hope to follow.

But then there was a scandal. A young woman who attend his classes, had hid for such a very long time, what was growing inside her. She was a student of the priest's class. And soon all could not help to notice she was with child.

Rumors began. And the priest that was thought so highly before, was the whisper of the town. Could he be the one who got the poor child pregnant?

No longer would the towns people bow, but put their hands covering their mouths. As if to stop the words that all began to think. This priest has done a terrible thing.

The parents sat down with their child, who was very nervous, for bringing such shame to her family. They asked her, "Daughter who did this to you?"

The daughter, knew the rumors and she did love the priest. And it was so easy for her to say, "Yes, the priest did this to me."

The parents went to the priest outraged. They threw their accusations at him, like spears to his soul. They condemned the priest for his actions. And soon the whole town thought of him with disrespect.

Then the priest said, "I will take your daughter, and I will raise her child." And he did.

No longer did the people of the town honor the priest. There were no more classes. The priest had now only two he taught the young girl and her baby. And he taught them with the love, as he had the classes before. And the young girl thought what love this priest gives us.

Then one day as the young girl grew older, she could not abide her conscience. She had lied, the priest was not the father of her child. She went to her parents, although it was hard she told them the truth.

The parents were dumbfounded. And they thought, what harm has come to this priest. They left to see see their grandchild and find the reason the priest did not tell them he was not the father.

They found the priest holding their grandchild, he held her with love. The parents asked, "Why did you not tell us you were not the father of our daughter's child?"

The priest looked up from the baby in his arms, "If I told you the truth, you would not have believed me, you were not ready for the truth." "When you are ready, truth will find you as it has now."

And the Parent's thought, that was so. And they understood, why the priest did not defend himself. And they thought of the priest again, as the pure form of life that so few can achieve. And they understood that the pureness of truth is like light that will only shine through a clear glass. And if that glass is clouded with dirt the truth of the light can not shine through.

Picture Bridge at Peaks of Otter Lake By bob

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I love the simplicity and the fullness of Haiku. Here are some I have written over the years.

A lavender bloom
Cloaked in drops of morning dew
Bows in reverence…

The sun shining on
Tadpoles jumping from the banks
Of a secret lake.

The snake slides closer
Toward its unsuspecting prey
Silenced by the dew.

The sky grew dark; and
Mountains rumbled, as we made
Love before the gods.

Time: an abstraction
In which humans claim their worth
To the universe.

Like unfurling rose
Petals reaching for the warm
Sun our love blossoms.

When we parted, the
Mountains crumbled, the oceans
Died and the skies wept.

Night embraced his sweet
Lover-earth before crying,
“Aurevoir amour!”

Black ribbon unfolds
Before me, leading me to
Exotic new lands.

Winds blowing tendrils
Of hair into numerous
Swimming octopi.

Tiny suns bursting
Forth from a canopy of
Green: Dandelions.

Surprise arctic winds
Caressing tepid waters
Giving birth to steam.

Moonbeams capering
Over dewy fields, chasing
Creatures of the night.

Playing peek-a-boo
With the stars, gliding swiftly
Between clouds: the moon.

On the ridge above,
Leaves rustle, rocks slide; stillness.
Looking, I see deer.

Sparkling diamonds on
Black velvet, bountiful gems
Of the universe.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Search for Meaning

When I was young and living in the small city of Chinhae, South Korea. I had many interests and one was exploring, climbing the mountains that surrounded the city. And there was one time, I ran into a man who was making a small greenhouse, out of plastic he had salvaged perhaps from the Navy Base where I lived.

Having nothing better to do, I helped him, for a while and afterwards we had tea, and he shared some of a small portion of rice he had brought for his lunch. We sat and talked, he told me of his life and I told him of mine. He asked me if I would like to hear a story, one his mother had told him years ago. I sat and listened:

He told me of another young man, who use to climb the mountains searching and exploring. And that one day he heard of a man that held the key to the mystery of life. And he began searching for this man. Hoping to find answers to the question, that many have asked for years, and found the answer as elusive as the rainbow over the ridge. And the more he searched, the more he desired to know the meaning of his existence. And why, this man held the key, that would open the door to our existence.

The young man searched long and far. Each day he would make a trek up the mountain for the man who held the key. And time and time again he would not find the man. But he became more and more determined, and as it would happen he did find the man.

The old man was sitting by a rock surveying all that could be seen quietly, as the young man approached. He stood there silently, watching the man with respect. Soon he thought he would know the mystery that has confounded so many.

When the time came, after some idle conversation he approached the subject, "I have heard from many that you know the meaning of life. I have been searching, for you to find the answer. What is the meaning of life?"

The old man looked at him the young man thought his eyes penetrated his soul, then the man said. "I will tell you in a bit, but first follow me for awhile."

So the young man followed the man as he walked higher up the mountain. He was impatient to know the meaning. But the old man was not quite ready to reveal the secret.

And after awhile, the man sat, and the young man sat next to him and waited for the old man to speak. And the old man looked the young man in the eyes, with even a more penetrating force and said, "Come back tomorrow and you will learn more."

Each day the young man returned to the mountain and found the old man, and each day, the answer was the same, and the young man wondered what he was learning and how the mystery of life would unfold.

But the answer was always the same, "come back tomorrow and you will learn more."

But then one day, the old man said something different. He looked the old man in the eyes as the man said, "Today you will learn the meaning of life, but first would you go get me a drink of water from the valley?"

The young man nearly ran down the mountain, he jumped over rocks and made his way quickly to the valley and to the stream, he knew soon he would know the meaning of life.

And down by the stream, as he was dipping for the water, he saw a beautiful girl washing clothes. He became mesmerized by her movements as she carefully applied herself to the tasks of washing, the mundane task he saw as art.

He met the girl and they later married. He began to work as a farmer, watching his crops grow each season. Soon he had small ones that he learned to love, and his life became full. There was little in life that he could ask for more. He grew content, and fulfilled.

But then after years, he found himself on the mountain again. And there was the old man sitting in the same spot, he had forgotten he left him some many years in the past. And he wondered if the old man would remember him. Would he remember the young man who was searching for the meaning of life?

The old man looked up and saw the young man and again penetrated his soul with his eyes. Even though it had been years since he saw the young man he asked, "Did you bring my drink from the valley?"

The young man then knew instantly, the key, to the meaning of life. What he searched for was found in the act of living and growing, and the old man smiled, because they both had unlocked the mystery of life.

Picture: The Blue Ridge Mountains by bob

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Welcome to The Lynchburg Virginia Creative Page

We hope to provide with this page a place where our contributors and you can place your creative efforts. On this page everything, from writing (both fiction and essays), to poetry, to photographic art will be the scope of this page. You are only limited by your imagination.

We hope you enjoy our offerings here, and also hope that this may become your medium to express yourself creatively.

The picture you see here is an unretouched photo. It was taken at the Mall in Washington D.C. It was a reflection through a blue garden ball which can be seen at the bottom of the page.