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Down & Out in San Antonio (Part IV)





          Sept. 20, 1962
On Monday, September 10th, I received a letter with my unemployment check. No foreplay, it got right down to business: “Mr. Squires, you are in receipt of your final unemployment check. I hope you continue with your efforts and are successful in securing employment.”
What it didn’t say, but implied, was, “You are now another state’s liability.” Read more…



 The Joys of Rejection

           Retrospective: 3/16/17

Lawdy, Lawdy, did we have it made!

Forget what I told you before. I did my best to put on the face of the starving artist. My writing deserved at least that. But by no stretch of the imagination were Barry and I starving. Read more…


                          [THE REMAINING STEPS: PART II]


 DEEP-MIND NOURISHMENT: The latest sleep research postulates that the reason we sleep is to STRENGTHEN THE HELPFUL electronic connections (synapses) in the brain, and to WEAKEN OR DUMP the UNHELPFUL, or downright HARMFUL, memory connections. So don’t underestimate the need for sleep. But also … during the approximately 16 hours you are awake, you need to plan for …

Read more…

Five MAGICAL STEPS to dump the BLUES and Scoop Up Scads of PASTELS

Some things grow best in dampness and darkness. Like mushrooms … and the blues. Neither need much outside help: just soggy, mushy conditions … and darkness. They thrive if you just let ‘em be.

Dry ‘em off, take ‘em out of darkness, give ‘em a healthy dose of the sun, and both will stop growing. You’ve stunted that phase of their growth—PROVIDED THEY STAY THERE.

 Bad … if you’ve got a steak, waiting for its hooded fungus, its mushrooms.

 Good, though … if your dose of the sunlight, hints that there just might be more to life than the blues.

Read more…



Time to take a ten-fingered grip around the neck of my WORDPRESS Blog Title, “Septuagenarian Journey,” give it a full-fledged throttle. If it lives through it, I need to take it as a sign from the high gods of the blogosphere to Journey or get off the pot.

I think it’s been over a year I’ve been ON the pot. I’ve cleaned myself out of some tired notions of what my blog should and should not do. I wiped my brow, ’cause some of those notions were hard to get rid of. And now I’m ready to start having a good time.

Having a good time doesn’t mean eschewing the serious, or alternatively, skipping along to the dainty ephemera. There should be some nourishment underlying both the heavy and the light.

I have a couple more good years before I’ll need to change the title of my blog to “Octogenarian Journey.”

So why not let the good times begin? As long as you allow me a week or so to shake something out of this head o’ mine, and sweep it into some sort of order.

Until then … look before you flush.


challengeWhile I’m looking for a new angle on the next segment of “Down and Out in San Antonio” I thought I would throw out a challenge to my followers.  Gonna be a fun thing …

But, first you’ll have to put up with a little palaver, only indirectly connected with my challenge.  I am a member of and a hearty advocate for a site called FanStory.  Some of you may be familiar with it.  I’m a writer — by hobby, if not yet by profession.  Most of my follower/friends are writers, too.  Writing can be one of the lonliest passions around.  You know that.  Most of us need to feel the warmth of kindred spirits.  I find that warmth in FanStory.

When I was a kid ( which was up to about ten years ago), I took pride in going it alone.  I fancied myself a literary outlaw.  I kept an eagle eye open for any new banner, such as: “I march to the beat of a different drummer.”  And,winning because none of this got me anywhere, I naturally fell into the joy of thinking of myself as a misunderstood genius.

I hope most of you are brighter than that.   

That’s a lie!  I hope there’s at least one or two of you to stand as a reminder that I was not alone in being  a self-inflated, adlepated waster of God’s precious time.   C’mon.  It’s lonely.  I’m a little cold.  I could use a hug. Read more…


Good and Evil

I watched an interview with Justin Bateman on the Today’s Show Monday morning.  He was hawking his new movie, which marked his directorial debut.

As writers, we’re all cast in the role of director with each story we write.  Tuck that in the back of your mind (or, not—since it’s pretty obvious).  I’ll get back to it momentarily.

Anyway, either Natalie Morales or Savannah Guthrie—one of the two I always get mixed up because they look like they could be sisters—was interviewing Justin Bateman.  Now, in this movie he played a school teacher who was coaching a group of kids for a spelling bee competition.  The character was apparently pretty hard on them because one of the questions Natalie or Savannah asked him was, “your character was pretty mean, wasn’t he?”

“Well,” said Justin, “I don’t know that I would call him mean.”

And, what followed is the theme of this post:

By the way, I don’t even remember what words he used to justify the behavior of his character—mainly because I was getting ready to go to the gym (which at my age isn’t a vanity but an essential) and I can’t say I was paying a lot of attention.  Anyway, the words, themselves didn’t matter.

It was during a stint on the treadmill that the thematic worm began to burrow into my noggin.  It came up for air a couple of times during crunches and again during curls.  Knowing the worm’ll find no ingredients in that gray sponge to help it turn it into a butterfly, I’m going to yank it out now and take a good look at it.

And, here goes: Read more…



The other day, I was moved by a friend’s blog post.  It was a very honest and compelling post in which she exposed to her readers her sense of frustration in finishing another year without enjoying the sense of emotional fulfillment or financial rewards that her intelligent, well-written, and helpful book should have provided.  She is a spiritual woman, a woman of God.  I sensed a crisis—not of faith—nothing could shake her faith in God!  But, that other crisis in faith: faith in herself.

Secularly, I think we can call it a crisis in confidence— and it can be especially poignant at year’s end.

How many of us plod into the year-end with similar feelings of diminished confidence, at least when contrasted with the buoyancy and unbridled promise we had felt at the beginning?  I have a hunch you’re not the only one holding up your hand.  I for one have been there … In fact, I’ve visited frequently … and recently.  It’s lonely being there.  I don’t want to go back and revisit it. 

But, I’m the cause of it … at least for me.images (6)

And, I’m the only one who can fix it … again, for me.

Read more…



Feb. 7, 1962

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS.  We’d been there a little over a week now, and Barry and I, were no longer exhausted, unbathed, cold, and very nearly broke (as I said we were in my last post,  Retrospectively Yours).  The fact was, we found a two story home to rent in the very old part of town.  We were now bathed and rested.  The floor heater was rattling through the grates.  We took turns straddling it, so we were no longer cold.  Also, we were no longer nearly broke.  In fact, with the first month’s rent now out of my wallet and tucked, instead,  into the landlady’s apron pocket along with a promissory note that the last month’s rent and a cleaning deposit would also be transferred to her apron pocket in one week (with the arrival of my California Unemployment Check) … we were very, very broke.

Read more…

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.