Archive for February, 2019

The teachers are leading the way. This is wonderful, perhaps as E.E. exclaimed; the most wonderful life on earth.

I’m retired now so I can speak freely. I’ve belonged to almost 4 unions in my work history. All very early in my career. The 60’s and 70’s. I say almost 4 because of an incident that I may explain later. I’ve gone out on strike once. I have been furloughed from a job due to a seniority issue once. And I have had my tires punctured with an ice pick due to a disagreement the company I worked for had between the electrical workers union and the teamsters union. That was my almost 4th. But my experiences with unions in spite of these incidents have been good and I still believe in the benefit of labor unions.

I reminisce of this because of the activity of the teacher’s unions of the last couple of years. I know what it feels like and I know the courage it takes to participate in organized dissent.

Things have indeed changed in the last 40 or 50 years.

The news used to be full of big burly coal miners, auto workers, teamsters, air traffic controllers and electricians throwing down their tools and lunch buckets and really walking out. All Striking for better work conditions, benefits and pay checks. Whether you belong to or even believe in labor unions or not, the wages, the benefits and work conditions you enjoy today are there because of the courage, the beliefs and the hard work of those old burly men and women of 40 and 50 years ago.

And now the courage, the beliefs and the dedication of who once were the quiet, mild-mannered teachers are throwing down their lunchroom lunch buckets and educational tools and asking for the same better way of life just like their grandfathers, grandmothers and mothers and fathers have done. And because of that, everyone will benefit. The union and non-union workers not only of makers of autos and washing machines but the workers forming the minds of the children and grandchildren of the same union workers of the past.

Oh! The sweet sound of organized dissent! “The most wonderful life on earth”.  Or is it sound of descent?



We can call it Experimental

Posted: February 6, 2019 in Creative Riveting

It is just about done. What’s been keeping me busy and perhaps missing some sleep.


John and the Crew

When the green shot glass fell and bounced to the linoleum floor, the room grew sober and silent. He’d had enough of the shouting and swearing of the Alabama boys with their blustery threats and pigeon lies. It wasn’t their success that was being celebrated that night. Only by the aimless wandering bar hopping had they come upon this place, this place of stale smoke, spilled Jim Beam and soft skin perfumed women. Their loud mouths weren’t wanted, neither were their rolls of ill gotten money.

Gerald Watswigger had made a lot of ill-fated decisions in his short life but this one had irrevocable consequences. A 9 millimeter bullet at close range makes a perfect 9 millimeter size entrance wound in any part of the human body but on exit leaves a massive hole emptied of flesh, blood, pain and life.  Gerald had placed one squarely between the eyes of the man who had threatened him with the heavy end of a snooker pool cue. Once again he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Gerald would pay for it the rest of his life down so deep in the Alabama State Prison that they would have to pipe daylight to him.


(This is of a series of the flash fiction life of Gerald Watswigger. The life of a troubled and unfortunate man. Search his name for more stories.)