Friday, March 23, 2012


Lest it seem that my entire life is consumed by vets and dogs (although there could be worse things) here is a photo taken yesterday before my Book Club convened. This is a lively group, and we are dedicated to reading, honest discussions, and good food, with a tiny bit of emphasis on the latter. Dan, the Executive Chef at the Ingomar Club is shown above presenting our Hawaiian themed hors d'oeuvres, shrimp in coconut. This tasty beginning set the stage for our discussion of this month's book, Moloka'i (which everyone except me really liked). We ended on a sweet note with delicious coconut butter cookies. Not a bad way to discuss literature.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Walt Pieper

Walt was one of the three veterans on the first flight who served at Iwo Jima. Aside from being a warm and elegant man, he is a real supporter of Honor Flight, and it is always good to see him at our reunions.

Hardy Wallen

Hardy also had a 90th birthday party recently, and it was great to be there with his friends and admirers from all over the county. Hardy is quite a guy---and I try to stop by Alder Bay, where he and Phil (another vet soon to be on these pages) live--when I am in Eureka. Friday afternoon is the time to be there, as the two of them preside over the weekly TGIF (Johnny Walker Black label being the beverage of choice)

Art Wilson

Mike and I had the pleasure of attending Art's 90th birthday celebration on December 30. It was a dance at the Moose Lodge in Eureka. In addition to being an all around great guy, Art is an excellent dancer!

Honor Flight Veterans

After the last Honor Flight in October, when North Coast Honor Flight chartered a flight from the Arcata Airport and took nearly 100 local WWII vets to Washington, making a total of nearly 150 veterans, it became apparent that it was time for me to get back to the studio, and let some other local folks have the privilege of being involved with this great program, and meeting and serving these American heroes. What I didn't anticipate was that it wasn't the end of my involvement, it was simply the beginning of a new phase. Along with my other artwork, I have been working on drawings of the veterans, mostly those that were on the first flight back in May. I'll be posting them on this site, and we are considering various venues for a show and possible slide presentation of this series. In the meantime, I continue to draw, and will be posting them on this blog. If any of you have ideas for a venue, we welcome them.

The first drawing above, is Bob Brown. Next is Carl Zander, who passed away a couple of months ago.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

After the agility weekend, the dogs and I paid a visit to our friends, Andy and Sandy Westfall in Ferndale. Andy is the author of the fabulous book, Humboldt Heartland, and Sandy is a professional organizer extraordinaire. We knew each other when we were students at Cal Berkeley many years ago, and then, as now, they were a bright spot and people that I feel privileged to know. In addition to their other vocations, they are ranchers and live next to a dairy ranch. This was the first time that Emma ever saw a cow up close, and she, well, she went nuts. Come to think of it, her behavior was a lot like it was at the trials the previous weekend--a little out of control. You can tell from the photo that they cows were really intimidated by her. They nearly knocked the fence down trying to get a closer look at this odd little dog running around in figure eights and circles. I don't think that this is the kind of bovine behavior that a cattle herding dog is supposed to elicit.

More teacup folks

Two other teams---I especially like the row of trucks behind them. You meet the nicest people in agility---it takes a certain kind of person to spend the weekend in a truck barn with a bunch of small dogs and their handlers.

By the way, the group shot and video were taken by Susan Fan-Brown, who does beautiful work, and was a great asset to the weekend.

We recently participated in the first TDAA Agility Trial hosted by Pint-Sized Agility. The trials took place in Santa Rosa, in a very large building, that I think is some kind of a truck garage, well I know that it is as there were a bunch of trucks parked next to the arena. TDAA is for small dogs so you agility folks out there will notice that everything in the course is downsized. Unfortunately, this more appropriate scale did nothing to improve Emma's performance, as evidenced in the video. Out of eight runs, she did not qualify once, and several times, didn't even manage to stay on the course. It did take a bit of the fun out of it as there was no happy anticipation before we started each run, but rather, a mild sense of dread and apprehension since there was no telling what she would do next, and odds were that it wasn't going to be something good. Raleigh on the other hand was on his game---the first day anyway. After three "q's and one title on Saturday, he celebrated that night by sneaking into the jerky treats and consuming nearly the entire, Costco-sized container. He did this while we were visiting friends, and he was in the car, so I had no idea until that night.. When he started consuming great quantities of water and looking pretty puny, I really thought that he was diabetic and was quite concerned, until that is, I started packing the car the next morning and found the tell-tale empty container. He paid the price for his gluttony by only qualifying once. He was so bloated that he looked a bit like a bratwurst trying to run the course. I have never seen him run so slowly.