Nick’s Blog

Dec 022020

Television has taught us that journalists and the police are always at odds with each other, sworn enemies who will never come to any kind of middle ground. The reporters are pushy and don’t care about anything but getting the story, and if they can throw a cop under the bus to get it, even better. For their part, the police in movies and television are necessarily wary of the press and often go out of their way to be rude to them. In reality, this may be true in some places, but not nearly to the extent that Hollywood would want us to believe.

In the small towns where I operated newspapers, I always had a very good relationship with the police. Part of that was because of my own background, and part was because I understood that there were times when they could not tell me something, and I respected that. I never believed that “the people’s right to know” was sacrosanct. There are times when the people can’t know all the details of a case until the investigation is over because there may be other people out there that law enforcement is still looking for.

In my newspaper in the White Mountains of Arizona, the police chiefs of the towns of Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low were friends of mine, and we shared a mutual respect. We were also all three into classic cars and belonged to the same car club. At the time, one of those police chiefs had a red Corvette. I don’t remember the exact year, but it was a nice one. For my part, I had a red 1969 Corvette Stingray that looked like it was doing 100 miles an hour sitting still.

I’ve been known to have a lead foot at times, and more than once, an officer has lit me up just to remind me to slow it down a little bit. There is no question about it, there were times when I deserved a ticket, but I got by with a finger pointed at me and a shake of the head no. I remember once when that led to a funny story.

The police chief and I were having lunch one day when one of his officers, who was off duty, came into the restaurant with his wife and kids. Once they were seated, the officer, who was also a friend, came over to the table and looked at me, and said, “Chief, you’ve got to tell your buddy to slow it down. I clocked him doing 57 in a 45 mile per hour zone last night in his Vette.”

The chief looked at me, and I shook my head and said, “It wasn’t me. My Corvette hasn’t been out of the garage in a week.” The chief knew me enough to know that I wouldn’t lie about that, so then the officer looked at him and said, “Boss, I guess you’re the one that needs to slow it down.” Shaking his head, the chief said he had not been in his Corvette in several days.

The officer stared at both of us and realized that he had let the opportunity to write a perfectly good ticket slip through his fingers. He said next time he would get close enough to run the license plate. The police chief laughed and said that if it was my car, to write me up anyhow. I was going to mention the time he blew my doors off when I was doing 75 out on U.S. Highway 60, but I didn’t. You never know when you’re gonna need a favor from the boys in blue.

Thought For The Day – Do you want to know the secret to making your lover go “mmm mmm mmm” all night long? It’s duct tape

Hubbell Trading Post

 Posted by at 12:22 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 012020

During the second half of the 1880s, entrepreneurs set up trading posts on many Indian reservations to supply everything from food staples and tobacco and farming equipment to the local people. Since the Indians usually didn’t have much money, many times the traders accepted animal furs, Indian artwork, and crafts in lieu of cash for […]

Nov 302020

We are getting closer to the release of my new book, Big Lake Hoarder. Roberta Jensen finished proofing the last chapters on Saturday and sent them to me, and yesterday morning I made her corrections then printed the entire manuscript out for Terry to go over again. Once she does that and I make her […]

That Time I Got Rabies

 Posted by at 12:01 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 292020

Many readers tell me they enjoy my Newspaper Days columns about my years running small town newspapers, and a few have asked about my time in the Army. I don’t feel the need to tell any war stories here, and most people don’t want to hear them anyhow. But I will tell you about the […]

Stealing My Job

 Posted by at 1:21 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 282020

I believe that one of the things that makes our marriage successful is that Miss Terry and I have a clear understanding of who does what in our household. For example, I write books and she edits and proofreads them. I promote the books so that their sales give us a comfortable income, and Terry […]

Back To Real Life

 Posted by at 12:15 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 272020

I hope your Thanksgiving was as nice as ours. Terry spent the whole day in the kitchen, making a delicious meal of turkey breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie, and lots of other goodies. That seems like a lot of work to me, but she loves it, and the end result is fabulous. As for […]

Happy Thanksgiving

 Posted by at 12:12 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 262020

Whether you are self-isolating somewhere or spending time with family, however you celebrate the holiday, I hope you have a wonderful time and do it in a safe way. As for us, it’s going to be a quiet day at home with just the two of us. Terry is cooking a turkey breast and making […]

New Toys

 Posted by at 12:18 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 242020

Yesterday my new toys arrived and I think I’m ready to enter a new phase in the world of recording my blog. The first item was the Blue Yeti Nano microphone, and that’s what we will talk abut in today’s blog. Besides the Blue Yeti Nano microphone, I also got a Zoom H4n digital recorder […]

No Need To Water

 Posted by at 12:09 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 232020

When Jake from Lindley’s Garden Center planted our new citrus trees on Saturday he said they needed to be watered every day for four weeks, and to continue watering our perennial peanut plants with the soaker hoses once every three days or so for a while yet. I always try to listen to the experts, […]

It Was A Better Day

 Posted by at 12:07 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 222020

Yesterday was a much better day than the day before. A little before noon, a nice young man named Jake from Lindley’s Garden Center arrived to plant our three new citrus trees. After helping us determine where we wanted them in the yard, Jake dug three holes. Then he planted each tree carefully, building a […]

Oh Hell No!

 Posted by at 12:43 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 212020

The weather has been beautiful here for the last few days, but when I opened my office door yesterday morning to let in the nice fresh air there was a 17 foot long rattlesnake/cobra hybrid on the doormat. I didn’t scream like a little girl, because no sound would come out, even though I tried. […]

Nov 202020

There once was a young man in our town of Aberdeen, Washington named Richard. Richard was a logger, just like his father and his grandfather and all of his uncles and cousins. But Richard really didn’t like being a logger. He didn’t like working in the woods, and he wanted to get a job where […]

I’m Back (Again)

 Posted by at 12:25 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 192020

I apologize for not being able to post a blog yesterday, but I’m back again. Last night I spent two hours trying to log onto Go Daddy to post a blog, and I kept getting an error message saying that there was a problem on their end that was blocking communication. I finally gave up […]

Nov 172020

Thank you to everybody who sent messages hoping my back pain had eased up. After a weekend of pure hell, it has, and I am feeling much better now. I still have the nagging low back pain that is always there, but not the severe kind I was feeling Saturday and Sunday. In a blog […]

Nov 162020

Thursday and Friday night were wonderful for me, no backaches whatsoever, and I slept soundly. But as I was getting dressed Saturday morning, I bent over to put a sock on and was suddenly hit by the most excruciating pain I had felt in a long, long time. It felt like it did before my […]

Nov 152020

Note: This story first appeared in the September-October 2012 issue of the Gypsy Journal. Is there a kid anywhere who doesn’t know The Cat in the Hat, Yertle the Turtle, the Grinch, Horton the Elephant, or the Lorax? They all sprang from the mind of Theodor Seuss Geisel, the author, poet, and cartoonist known and […]

Nov 142020

After having such a rough night on Wednesday night, when I couldn’t sleep, Thursday night was much better for both of us. We both woke up feeling refreshed, and my back pain was greatly diminished. I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out the problem with Dragon NaturallySpeaking and why it suddenly stopped working […]

I’m back

 Posted by at 12:10 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 132020

I apologize for no blog yesterday. It’s very seldom that I miss posting it, but this was one of those times when it just didn’t happen. As most of you know, Terry and I are night owls. We usually go to bed somewhere around 1:30 or 2 a.m., but for some reason, about 8 o’clock […]