5 July …


To start the reading this month …


“At the Window”, 1881 by Hans Heyerdahl



Well … the Mt Shasta 4th of July festivities are over for another year.  

I was asked about  “security watches”.  It is really rather simple.  

For the holiday, vendors rent space on the main cross streets but do not spend the night in their booths/tents.  So we patrol, wearing official looking orange vests.  It deters trouble makers and earns a donation for the radio club.  We have backup from the local police and those in charge of the vendors.  Foot intensive, but not dangerous.

Kamille and I did the first shift (the night of the 1st-2nd from 2100 to 0230) and Mark and George did the final shift (the morning of the 4th from 0230 to 0800).

The shift Kamille and I did was interesting. 

The collection of drinkers on the sidewalk in front of the Vets’ Club (one of only three bars in town and the only one actually IN town) was noticeably smaller than in years past, even though it was a Saturday night, and there was no one gathering in the back alley.  The new owners seem to have added a muscled “bouncer” stationed at the door and the back door must be off limits now.

One vendor who had a great collection of crystals, both polished and uncut, was rather edgy.  He was afraid he had been scoped out during the day for a hit after dark.  Then he left the back of his tent open.  Oh well … we just went past his place more often.

A woman tried driving down the street blocked off for vendors trying to find a way to the hospital (probably using a GPS guide which didn’t know the street was full of tents).  She was a bit panicked by the man beside her who had an obviously dislocated shoulder.  They got to Kamille first and she called the PD who showed up in force (no pun intended) and they were set on their way to the Emergency Department quickly.

The PD officer (alone on duty after midnight) stopped by to chat and told us there had been a death in the city but he didn’t yet know where or cause.  He also told us to keep an eye out for a charming young lady on a bicycle who was a dumpster diver and a suspect in a series of small thefts.

A vendor who serves pulled pork sandwiches (for $12 each) had a man in their set-up all night minding the smoker.  The aroma caused inadvertent drooling on each security pass.

We had several interesting conversations with transients and drunks (sometimes both at once).

The weather was nice (70° with a slight breeze) and the first 4.5 hours went rather rapidly.  Things began to drag about 0130, as the bar was closing, so it was nice when our relief showed up and we could head for home.

Overall I must have walked close to 5 miles (5 miles in 5.5 hours … not bad for nearly 90).  Kamille probably did more.

George and Mark’s shift was most likely the quietest of all.  Most of the vendor tents had been taken down in preparation for the run/walk, and those participants started arriving early.

The radio club’s participation in the run/walk the morning of the 4th went very well in spite of a lack of planning.  Of course, as George reminded me, it was a great exercise in emergency radio coverage exactly because it wasn’t thoroughly planned. 

And during the raffle announcements, we paid our way by being alert for winners in the crowds not able to be close to the stage area. We found about half of the winners (and that’s probably confusing since you weren’t there).

Two 2017 events down.  Three to go.


The garden continues to enjoy the hot weather.  My watering time each morning has become more important. And the catalpa has come into bloom…

as have the Shasta daisies.


Last Sunday I was listening to the Moth radio hour and heard a story, told by a war journalist, which ended with a line something to the effect that in war the truth is you will lose a brother.

It reminded me that I was a charter member back in the 70s of a group called Another Mother for Peace whose motto was

 I am still another mother for peace.

And these thoughts led to a quote from the tv show “MASH” (spoken by Alan Alda in his role as Hawkeye Pierce) …

“There are only two rules in war … Rule #1 is that young men die.  Rule #2 is that you can’t change rule #1.”

The only change since that show is that now we’d have to say        “… young people” rather than “… young men.”


Another week starts.  Just remember …

 “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”                                         –  Voltaire

 So … ‘til next week …