The way we were.

Ever since we lost our best buddy last summer, my sister-in-law has been sending us whatever shots of the dog she turns up in her vast files. (She’s a photographer.) This one came to Kate in her Valentine’s Day card. I think she’s trying to kill me:

Nineteen ninety-nine. What a year. Our girl was out of diapers, the economy was strong, a Democrat was president and hardly anyone had heard of al-Qaeda.

And look at that face. (Whichever face you like.)

Not much this morning, but maybe later. Talk amongst yourselves, eh?

Posted at 1:06 am in Same ol' same ol' |

40 responses to “The way we were.”

  1. Dexter said on March 5, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Beautiful picture. A keeper.
    I have some breaking news for any cable news junkies. I blog on Craig Crawford’s Trailmix blog, on the Congressional Quarterly website. Craig sent an email to his regular bloggers reporting he has severed ties and quit his msnbc job. Here’s a couple posts he just wrote and posted:

    “i simply could not any longer endure being a cartoon player for lefty games, just gotta move on to higher ground even if there’s no oxygen

    i have never and never will forgive Chris for calling me a racist after the West Virginia primary (the last time I will ever go on air with him). Probably should have resigned then and there, but better late than never.”

    Posted by: craigcrawford Author Profile Page | March 5, 2010 2:40 AM
    “Sorry folks, don’t blame me for leavin’ MSNBC. For whatever reason they chose to ignore me, and I must move on.”

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  2. mark said on March 5, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Nice photo with a nice memory.

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  3. Dorothy said on March 5, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Great picture! It’s a day for strolling down memory lane via pictures, I guess. At my office we celebrate once a month for whoever has a birthday that month. Today is the day, and as an added bonus we are displaying high school graduation pictures, or something from that era if you don’t have your “head shot.” Lots of fun and laughter around here today. (Everyone’s making fun of my hexagon tortoise shell glasses.)

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  4. Julie Robinson. said on March 5, 2010 at 9:46 am

    What a heart-tuggingly sweet picture; thanks for sharing.

    We are making memories here tonight as our son Matt opens in his first big show at our local semi-professional* theatre, playing one of the brothers in Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He was in photos in both papers–time to start the scrapbook!

    *The actors don’t get paid, but the director, music director, costumer, etc, do.

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  5. LAMary said on March 5, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Dorothy, I had black hexagon glasses in high school. I thought they were so cool.

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  6. Dorothy said on March 5, 2010 at 11:35 am

    They were my first pair, Mary. I didn’t need glasses until I was a sophomore in high school.

    Julie I don’t think we’re going to be able to make it to see the show! We are going to Bloomington IN tomorrow to a quilt show, then overnight in Indianapolis. Next weekend our daughter is coming for a visit, and the weekend after that we’re getting company from Cincinnati. Fingers crossed for a future visit!

    And I’ve only been paid twice for an acting gig. It barely covered the gas for going to and from rehearsals for 2 months, but that’s okay. It was a nice and unexpected gesture.

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  7. brian stouder said on March 5, 2010 at 11:43 am

    My best friend from high school always wore octagon glasses. Hindsight is tricky on these things, but as I recall he could do everything: made a sling and could chuck a well-chosen rock very far, and hit what he was aiming at; dealt with painful racism on a personal level with aplomb (someone urinated in his new shoes in the locker room during gym class, 30 odd years ago); and he dealt with the ladies (seemingly) effortlessly.

    Of course, the summer after graduation he was killed in a crash. We got a phone call one morning (from a neighbor), and that was it.

    By way of saying, photos are so marvelous, aren’t they? Simple details (like the glasses worn) can convey so much; so much that is otherwise fleeting and commonplace, and which becomes steadily more precious

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  8. moe99 said on March 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I had those big round tortoiseshell glasses in high school but would never let my picture taken in them. Rather regret it now

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  9. beb said on March 5, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I needed glasses since about the 3rd grade. As I recall I’ve always favored gray plastic frame that would blend into my face,,, though I did have a pair of gold rimed specs for a while.

    Dexter, Craig Crawford *is* a buffoon and I never understood why Keith Olberman had him on so much. I take it he plans to suck more tightly on the teat of the RNC.

    Off to see Alice in Wonderland in Imax. Wish I had some dramamein.

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  10. Julie Robinson. said on March 5, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    My mom had the octagon glasses; by high school I had moved on to granny glasses. But in junior high I had Tina Fey glasses, only they made me look more like Ugly Betty, since I was also rocking the pigtails tied with fluffy yarn.

    Dorothy, hopefully this is the first of many shows although we sure do hope the lad will also start earning some money. But then a friend in Chicagoland recently directed a show, and was paid all of…$100.

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Ah, making money at acting. It mainly shows up in your tips at Olive Garden.

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  12. Julie Robinson. said on March 5, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Yes, he already has a job waiting tables and he’s mastered staying up late and sleeping in. The lifestyle fits.

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  13. Rana said on March 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Alas, my high school glasses were not so cool. They were enormous, and had purple tinting (because of the fluorescent lights, or someting), and I adorned them with tiny dinosaur rub-on stencils. Yeesh.

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  14. Sue said on March 5, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Since Nancy’s leaving us to our own devices, can I just ask if anyone’s been following the Utah Legislature’s current attempt to criminalize… miscarriages? Apparently the latest is that they are taking out the language that, if followed to its logical Utah conclusion, would bring a woman under suspicion if she lost her baby falling down the stairs.
    I don’t know about you, but in my experience and the experience of almost every mom I know, being pregnant makes you as graceful as a swan and as sure-footed as a mountain goat. The only thing more graceful and sure-footed than a pregnant woman is a pregnant woman who already has a kid or two and is operating on four hours of sleep a night.
    Not funny, these continued attempts to control our bodies, but if you don’t laugh you’ll cry or at least be happy that you don’t live in Utah.

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  15. Dorothy said on March 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Ehhh I can’t help it – have to share this link so you can see my glasses for yourselves: (and I just noticed they are octagon, not hexagon, shaped!)

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  16. LAMary said on March 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Cute photo, Dorothy. My glasses were hexagonal but narrower. Vintage 1970.

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  17. deb said on March 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    dorothy: girl, you are rockin’ those glasses!

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  18. brian stouder said on March 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Say a bit of a cross-post. I first heard this story last week, and thought of the scene in the movie Stand By Me, where the boys are cross­ing a rail bridge when the train comes. It hon­estly didn’t occur to me that this was what it actu­ally was. The first thing this news story about wrench­ingly trou­bled teenaged young ladies made me think of was Laura Lipp­man, and her book To the Power of Three (not to men­tion any num­ber of her short stories)


    Haunt­ing and heartbreaking — 

    “As the high-speed Acela train came thun­der­ing down the rails, a teenage girl screamed at her friends to get off the tracks.But Gina Gen­tile and Vanessa Dor­wart did not move. They hugged as the train bore down on them at speeds up to 110 mph, car­ry­ing out a sui­cide pact that the wit­ness her­self had backed out of only moments before.”

    As you read on, the indi­vid­ual traits of the girls seem haunt­ingly familiar.

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  19. Dexter said on March 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    can’t go there, brianstouder…still bummed out by the coverage of the four girls that were murdered on September 15, 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama.
    Brokaw did a big seg on them last night on his Boomers show on CNBC.
    Maybe that has affected me because three of those girls were the same age as me. Maybe I get hung up on stuff that happens a world away that shouldn’t make me feel so damn awful. I was in a deep funk for weeks after Columbine. The war didn’t help any in my dealing with these almost-crippling remorseful episodes.
    I recall with clarity how I heard of those Birmingham bomber-murders and I lay awake until nearly dawn pondering what all this was going to lead to.
    You surely know people , as I do, who never read a paper or watch the news and are simply blissful. Sometimes I envy them a little for being simple folk.

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  20. Kirk said on March 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    The one that cost me some sleep as an 11-year-old was the assassination of JFK. At that age, I had no particular allegiance to politicans. I think I figured that, if they could get the president, they could get me.

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  21. Denice B said on March 6, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. By the way, how is the bunny doing?

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  22. coozledad said on March 6, 2010 at 8:43 am

    This seems so…familiar, somehow:

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  23. Kevin Knuth said on March 6, 2010 at 9:24 am

    That is a great photo!

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  24. Dexter said on March 6, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I had NPR on while dog-walkin’ an came across a story about invisible people.
    Invisible is the site, and this is the first vimeo I clicked onto…this guy is getting tons of support, documenting homeless people and handing out fresh socks from Hanes.

    Thanks, coozledad, ah yes, I remember it well…it happened during my one full year in California, but the story was suppressed quite a while. BTW, a contemporary of Dock’s was Jim Bibby. I knew him a little bit from knocking around Carolina League baseball parks in the late 1960s. Jim Bibby was an awesome, can’t miss pitcher in the Carolina League, who went on to have some good seasons in the bigs. What I will always remember about him is that he was the first Vietnam veteran to make the big leagues after fighting in Vietnam. He died a few days ago at age 65, so he’s playing ball with Dock on the real Field of Dreams now.

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  25. brian stouder said on March 6, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Cooz – that was a great, great video. It is disturbing that Doc only lived to be 63; that sounds increasingly young, to me!

    Doc saying that he could only really see whether the batter was on the right side or the left side of the plate reminded me of an anecdote (maybe in Bouton’s Ball Four?) from Mickey Mantle (who only lived to 64, by the way) about a game wherein he was so hung-over/still-drunk-from-the-night-before that he was having trouble seeing, but he still managed to jack a homerun.

    When he was asked by a team mate about how he managed to do that, he said he “swung at the middle ball”

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  26. Kirk said on March 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    That Mantle story indeed is in “Ball Four,” a book that never gets old.

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  27. beb said on March 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Sue @14. I’ve heard about what the Utah legislation is up to through I’m not following it as such. It’s like Mich.’s Stupak’s efforts to ban abortion through Healthcare reform. There’s no reasoning with these people – Stupak is wrong suggesting that Health Care Reform would encourage abortions – because abortion isn’t really the issue for them. They are opposed to abortions, birth control, family planning or sex education, anything that empowers woman.

    I had heard that some girls had been killed on a train bridge. I didn’t know it was the Acela train or that it was part of a suicide pact. My heart goes out to the engineer running the train who became an unwilling participant in their suicide pact. And I’ve got to wonder how kids can get so messed up without their being someplace they can go for help.

    Some years ago when our daughter was about Katie’s age in that picture I put a photo up on my web-site with a note about “why I am an old man.” Out of the a year or so later a stranger emailed me asking if they would base a book cover drawing on that picture. Because I didn’t know them and because they were writing from someone else’s email account at the I time I said no. But I’ve wondered at times, assuming that they were on the up and up, what it would be like to have a book with my daughter’s picture on the cover.

    I said no in part, because of the wven thing big stink about predators on-line. That’s one reason I eventually took the picture down.

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  28. crinoidgirl said on March 6, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    And now for something completely different, because that’s what I do:

    For all you journos/writers out there, how many words do you put out on a reasonably good day? I’m talking about nonfiction, with a pile of research (like our proprieteress is doing).

    I think I’m overestimating my output abilities, and would love to hear what those who are more experienced than me consider reasonable. TIA!

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  29. Dexter said on March 6, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Ron Santo had the same “see three baseballs” experience, but it was because of type one or juvenile diabetes. The trainer always had to have a candy bar handy for when Santo’s blood sugar plunged. I think Santo documented this in “This Old Cub” , a movie his son made about his dad’s career. Santo also clobbered a homer that time.

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  30. basset said on March 7, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    An old-timer railroad engineer told me years ago about a suicide involving one of his trains – he was cruising through a rural area in, if I remember right, Kentucky and saw a woman walking away from him on the tracks.

    He laid on the horn and hit the brakes, couldn’t nearly stop in time and just as the train was about to run her over she turned around with a Bible clutched to her chest and made eye contact.

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  31. alex said on March 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    crinoidgirl, when I was a working writer, I hadn’t actually done word counts until after one day when I got an e-mail from a cousin who had been out of touch with me for years. I whipped out a reply and heard back from him shortly afterward and he said, “That was five thousand words. How did you do that? Wow, you really are a writer.”

    A five-thousand word essay is like a snap of the fingers if it’s all spontaneous and full of creative license. On the other hand, where work calls for the dissection of complex issues, a piece of the same length might take all day or more. It really depends on what you’re writing.

    When I worked in marketing, I generated enormous volume because it was all fluff. Now I regularly do dry executive summaries and it takes me a lot longer to put out a lot less. So don’t beat yourself up over word counts. As apologists for small dicks will tell you, it’s not the size of the ship in the harbor but the motion of the ocean.

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  32. nancy said on March 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Ditto to Alex. My daily word count has ranged from zero to 6,000, but as he said, it all depends on what you’re writing.

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  33. crinoidgirl said on March 7, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks, Nance and Alex. I knew I could count on you two. (That was a pun, but totally unintentional.)

    So, my word count today is 19, excluding this sentence. 🙂

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  34. coozledad said on March 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I’ve generated a lot of copy about small dicks. But as Neil Diamond often says, How much, baby, do you really need?
    EDIT: You know you’ve reached a new low when you’re stealing your wife’s jokes without embellishment.

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  35. Dexter said on March 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    This is a real cheerer-upper. So how did your town do? My town lost six.

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  36. brian stouder said on March 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Dexter, a cheerer-upper indeed. It IS fitting that these people are not forgotten; most of them would be – what? – 65ish now?

    And the world would be a little brighter, if not for that war (btw Fort Wayne was 11X your town)

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 7, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Trollope did 3,000 a day, but it was (mostly) fiction.

    I find 2,000 wds a day a fair target, but it does mean I’m putting in time weekends I say every week I won’t do next time to hit the 10,000 that implies for a week — when it’s non-fic content and/or analysis.

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  38. joodyb said on March 8, 2010 at 12:26 am

    that picture made me cry. i think she IS trying to kill you.
    god, dorothy, no one else looked that good in those glasses.

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  39. Dexter said on March 8, 2010 at 1:53 am

    So what was up with Sandra Bullock with the downtrodden acceptance speech and the over-the-top references to “my lover, Meryl Streep” who earlier had been referenced by Bullock as “a great kisser”. I suppose I am missing some inside joke here.
    The Precious star, Gabourey Sidibe , seems so sweet it’s hard for me to imagine how she acted that well in her movie. Mo’Nique’s tribute to Hattie McDaniel was special.
    A few no-brainers, such as Jeff Bridges’s Oscar, a few surprises, but overall, no complaints. Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin were OK, no complaints.

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  40. Jenny said on March 9, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    what do you mean? how am i trying to kill you? a broken heart, maybe, but kill? it was such a sweet photo i knew you guys had to have it.
    just wish you had some pix of my little max to send me 🙂

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