Posted in Quotes


I had a great shoe contract and glove contract with a company who paid me a lot of money never to be seen using their stuff.   Bob Uecker

Robert George Uecker (born January 26, 1934) is an American former Major League Baseball player and current sportscaster, comedian, and actor.  Facetiously dubbed “Mr. Baseball” by TV talk show host Johnny Carson, Uecker has served as a play-by-play announcer for Milwaukee Brewers radio broadcasts since 1971. He was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame with its 2003 Ford C. Frick Award in recognition of his broadcasting career.

Posted in Quotes


Anytime I feel lost, I pull out a map and stare. I stare until I have reminded myself that life is a giant adventure, so much to do, to see.    Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie Pitt (born June 4, 1975) is an American actress, filmmaker and humanitarian. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and has been cited as Hollywood’s highest-paid actress. Jolie made her screen debut as a child alongside her father, Jon Voight, in Lookin’ to Get Out (1982). Her film career began in earnest a decade later with the low-budget production Cyborg 2 (1993), followed by her first leading role in a major film, Hackers(1995). She starred in the critically acclaimed biographical cable films George Wallace (1997) and Gia (1998), and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the drama Girl, Interrupted (1999).

Posted in Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stones for the Lock, XXVI

26th part of the new weekly story.  (1st Part)   The inspiration for this came from an off hand comment I made on Facebook, and since people seemed interested I decided to follow through.  Happy Reading. 

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26) (Part 27)

Holly walked through passenger area with the clipboard she had found in the cockpit.  She usually just eyeballed things and tried to remember what was necessary, maybe when they gave this plane back she would keep the clipboard.

“Holly where do you want these cokes, they don’t all fit in the fridge?”  Brodie asked from the small galley.

Holly waved absently.  “Wherever just make sure they don’t roll around.”

“Excuse me Holly.”  Austin trying to get around her in the corridor.

Holly put her hands on her hips blocking his way.  “No I won’t excuse you. I don’t want you on this plane, I don’t like you and I think you should stay here and wait for your mother.”  She said motioning towards the door of the plane.

Austin rolled his eyes and then looked at the short woman.  “Mrs. Emily and the High Pilgrim said I could come along so you don’t have anything to say about it.”

Holly gave him a look of disgust and then moved out of his way.  Austin brushed by her and then got into the galley with Brodie.  “Can I get one of those cokes.”

Brodie turned from loading the bottles into a shelving unit with a coke in his hand. “They are not cold yet.”

Austin shrugged.  “Don’t care.”

Holly walked away from the two men with a huff and entered the passenger area. “We will be leaving in about ten minutes folks.”  She announced to the monks, Mrs. Emily and the High Pilgrim.

“Thank you for moving so quickly dear.”  Mrs. Emily said placing a hand on Holly’s who was resting it on a seat back.

“No problem Mrs. E, sorry we could not get clearance to flyover China it will add a couple of hours to our trip, not to mention having to stop to refuel.”  Holly said apologetically.  “I am sorry about your daughter getting mixed up with all this, what a terrible thing to happen.”

Mrs. Emily replied.  “We shall see, we shall see.”

Holly looked around the area and then back at her clipboard. “Well I had better get back up front.”  Checking her clipboard one more time.  “Everybody take your seats for take off.”  She did not wait to see if everyone took a seat but went up to the cockpit and closed the door behind her.  Mary was going thru her own checklist as Holly took the copilots seat and strapped in.   Mary finished her checklist and then handed the course map to Holly.  Holly looked it over and saw that Mary had cut it very close to the border of the two nations.  “We are going to be very close to the border in a couple of places.”

“Yeah but with some luck we can cut off a couple of hours off the trip.”  Mary said absently.

Holly looked at the map.  “I bet you are going to make a call to General Wu once we are airborne and sweet talk him into letting you cut a path across this portion of the border.”

Mary smiled and took the map back.

“You shameless hussy.”  Holly said laughing.

“I am also thinking that you might need an aspirin from the doctor about the time I make that call so the doctor will have to come up to the cockpit.”

“And I am supposing about that time you will have the good General on the cockpit speakers at the time while you are turning on your feminine wiles to get what you want.”

“I might even agree to have dinner with the sweet general, you know he has been trying to get some alone time with him since we ran into him last year.”

“Well he is a good looking man, although a little old.”

Mary shrugged.  Thirty-eight is not that old.”

“Well he does sound dreamy over the radio and that is what will count tonight.”  Holly said laughing a bit.

“You betcha girlfriend, now lets get this bird in the air.”  Mary said getting back to the task at hand.


Meredith logged into the desktop computer.  Luckily no one was looking over her shoulder.  No but they watching her every move with a duplicate monitor and any attempts to access anything they did not want ended with her own screen going blank for several hours.  She clicked on the Mail icon and then logged into her account.  She and her watcher made a sharp intake of air at the time when they saw the unread message from her mother.

Meredith’s first instinct was to delete it without reading it but she knew this would get her computer privilege curtailed and it was the one thing she had going that allowed her to send messages to her children and husband so they were not worrying.

“Can I open it.”  She said before she moved the cursor over the unread message.  There was a few whisper back and forth between her watchers and then one of them spoke.  She was not sure which one as they out of site and they said so little she had not pinned down voices of the two of them yet. “Wait” was the command.

Meredith sighed and crossed her arms then leaned back in the chair after a few minutes she put her feet up on a nearby ottoman and closed her eyes.  A few minutes later the unmistakable sound of the elevator opening and the heavy footfalls of the man she had nicknamed Nutter. She had even used it on a few occasions and she saw the control he had to exercise restraint not to strike her. So now she used the title sparingly and usually when he was about to leave the room.

“Your mother had replied to your messages finally.”

Meredith sighed and nodded.  This was her typical ‘mom’ sigh when one of her kids said something terribly obvious.  A sarcastic reply was tamped down, no sense making this guy angrier than normal.  “Okay open it.”  The man said once he was behind the secondary monitor.

Meredith moved the mouse and clicked on the message and it filled the screen it was formatted carefully as if it was a real hardcopy letter.



            I am sorry for getting you into this mess.  I will be there soon and you will released and allowed to go home unharmed.  I will explain in person as soon as possible.  Just know that I love you and am very proud of you.

                                                            Love your mom.


            To the person holding my daughter,

            I will meet you at Soyosan, you are to have my daughter there with her passport and we will have a parley.   

                                                            Mrs. Emily Bartloski


There was a roar of rage and Meredith watched the table holding the secondary screen fly across the room and then the noise of two men being struck violently with a closed fist and then people falling down.  The well dressed man came around the corner, she noticed he had begun to perspire, probably from the exertion of tossing the table and striking his men but also likely from anger as he face was red.  “How did she know?”  The man spun her chair around and put his hands on her arm rests.  Meredith shrank back into the swivel chair and crossed her arms over the chest protectively but she looked up at him trying to be brave.

“I don’t know, the messages I sent you personally approved before I sent them.”

“You used a code word or something.  Something you used to show you were under duress.”  The man said his lips ending in a angry sneer. “She planned it before hand with you. Some sort of contingency plan.”

“I don’t know how she knows, she is my mother, she just always seemed to know when one of us kids and even her grandchildren were in trouble.”

The man squinted at her trying to figure out what she was saying.

“Why don’t you just release me now, because if I was my mother I would be calling the F.B.I. right now and seeing if they can trace this and find out who has kidnapped me.”

That somehow struck the man as funny as he backed away from Meredith and actually laughed.  “You really don’t know that much about your mother.”

Now Meredith looked confused.

“Your mother will never call any government agency to help her, she knows we control so much of what they perceive that it would do no good.”  The man said smiling that reptilian smile of his.  “Call the jet we are going to Korea earlier than expected.”


(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26) (Part 27)


Posted in Quotes


If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.      Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis.[2][3]In doing so, he preserved the Union, paved the way to the abolition of slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.

Posted in Quotes


In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.    Harry S Truman

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–53), assuming that office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the waning months of World War II. He is known for launching the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, for leading the Cold War against Soviet and Chinese communism by establishing the Truman Doctrine and NATO, and for intervening in the Korean War. In domestic affairs, he was a moderate Democrat whose liberal proposals were a continuation of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, but the conservative-dominated Congress blocked most of them. He used the veto power 180 times, more than any president since then, and saw 12 overridden by Congress; only Grover Cleveland and Franklin D. Roosevelt used the veto so often, and only Gerald Ford and Andrew Johnson saw so many veto overrides. He is also the only world leader to have ever used nuclear weapons in war, desegregated the U.S. Armed Forces, supported a newly independent Israel, and was a founder of the United Nations.

Posted in Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stones for the Lock, Part XXV

25th part of the new weekly story.  (1st Part)   The inspiration for this came from an off hand comment I made on Facebook, and since people seemed interested I decided to follow through.  Happy Reading. 

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26)


Brodie got back to the yurt after an hour away.  The door was closed and he wondered if he should knock or just enter.   He stood there for a few seconds when the door opened and Austin just about walked into him.

“Oh you are back?  I was just about to come looking for you.”  Austin said motioning for Brodie to enter into the door.

Brodie’s eyes adjusted to the dim interior and his eyes automatically searched for his employer she had not moved since he left, he saw that she was fast asleep and the book rested peacefully on the slow steady and rising of her chest.  He also noticed that her bare feet were touching the ground.  Brodie laid her computer laptop on the cot near her and moved away slowly.  Brodie joined Austin in the kitchen, he was offered a glass of water by Austin who poured himself another the two leaned against the counters drinking in silence.  The silence was comfortable until Brodie snapped his fingers.

“I got something for you, Holly gave it to me, but I think it originally came from Mary.”  Brodie pulled the folded piece of paper in his pocket and handed it over to the doctor.

Austin took the note and unfolded it, Brodie watched as his face changed from curiosity to dread.  “What’s up Doc?”  Brodie said smiling, he had always wanted to say that and it seemed like the only chance in his life to say it.

“Do you know where you  guys are headed next?”  Austin said looking around the room nervously.

Brodie shrugged.  “I have not had any idea where I am going to be from one hour to the next, let alone where this crazy carnival is going to land next, Timbuktu, Istanbul, maybe Cleveland, Ohio.”  Brodie sighed and raising his hands up dramatically.

“Do you think I can hop a ride to where you are going next?”  Austin asked.

Brodie laughed.  “I don’t know Doc, the leader of this three ring circus is in there with her bare feet touching the earth and the High Pilgrim who is back at the plane playing volleyball with the local children in his monk robes.

“That man does love his volleyball.”   Austin said chuckling.

“What makes you want to leave all this in such a hurry.”  Brodie said motioning around the yurt.

Austin raised up the piece of paper Brodie had handed him, he flipped it around so Brodie could see it, upon first glance he realized it was in the format of an e-mail when Austin spoke.  “Mary sent an e-mail to my mother telling her where I was.”

Brodie looked at him.  “Your mother does not know you are in Mongolia”

“My mother thinks I am in San Francisco.”  Austin said rubbing his chin.

“Why does your mother think you are in San Fransisco?”  Brodie said confused.

Austin focused on him for a few seconds.  “Because I told her that’s were I was living.”  He stated as if that was the most obvious thing in the world.

“But you are not in San Fransisco.”  Brodie said.

“You know that, I know that, and everyone else knows that but my mother does not know that.”  Austin looked around the kitchen area and Brodie took the glasses they had been drinking from and washed them in the sink. He could hear Austin opening drawers and moving things around. Brodie shrugged and looked in on Mrs. Emily.  The lady was opening up her laptop and he could here it starting up she pulled a slip of paper from he book and looked up at Brodie.  “How are things going with you.”

Brodie shrugged and gave a thumbs up.

Mrs. Emily nodded knowingly and looked a the piece of paper.  “Can you make out this letter F or a T?”

Brodie looked at the piece of paper.  “That is a T, Dr. Strange.”

Mrs. Emily nodded.  “That made sense.  Austin is a big comic book fan.”

Brodie shrugged his tastes were very old, Melvile, Austen, Shelly and the like Mark Twain was about a current a writer that he read.

Mrs. Emily concentrated on her laptop for a few minutes and Brodie picked up the book that Mrs. Emily had laid down.  Jules Verne he had thought about diving into the man’s works but he had not done the research yet to know where to start.  Brodie was a very slow and deliberate reader taking notes a he read.

“Austin.”  Mrs. Emily said yelling out and standing up suddenly and folding up her laptop.

Brodie was alarmed, Mrs. Emily never yelled. In the years he had been around her he had never even heard her raise her voice.  Austin rushed in from the closed off part of the yurt that was his sleeping area.

“Yes ma’am.”  Austin said with a look of alarm on his face as well.

“I heard your discussion with Brodie in the kitchen, do you want to go with us?”

“Yes, yes I do, what is wrong?”

“We will be leaving within the hour, if you want to go with us you had better be on the plane because we are heading for Korea.”  While she had been saying this she had motioned for Brodie to bring her her shoes and socks which were placed near the door. She started to slip on the sock and Brodie helped her.

“I really don’t suggest you go anywhere until you have had a least another twelve hours of contact with the Earth.”  Austin said, Brodie could tell by his voice he was only making a statement that doctors typically made when they knew their patients were not going to really listen.

Mrs. Emily looked around the improvised couch area and then back at Brodie.  “Check and make sure we did not forget anything.”  Brodie looked around the area and did not find anything and when he was done he simply nodded to his employer.

“One hour Austin, then we leave with or without you.”  Mrs. Emily said slipping on her heavy thermal jacket with Brodie’s help.

“May I ask what the rush is?”  Austin said as Brodie held the door open for her.

“They have Meredith.”


(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26) 



Posted in Freelance Article

The Battle of Bushy Run

This was my first freelance article and moved me from hobby writer to a professional freelancer.  I completed the assignment in five days and Sunflower published it with very little editing.  There was a small amount cheating involved, I grew up very close to this park and have spent hours in the museum and the battlefield.  (My brother’s Eagle Project was to plant trees here, which I am proud to say are still there.)   So, I  did not have to do much research to complete the article.  

There is one flaw The Battle of Bushy Run was during Pontiac’s War, not the French and Indian War as the sub-title states, but it is a common mistake.  I wish they would have used different photographs but that was something beyond my control.    

I do not own the rights to this article they are owned wholly and fully by Sunflower Publishing and any discussion for reproducing this article in part or in whole must be done with them.

Other articles for Laurel Highlands Magazine:

Fort Necessity 

Fort Ligioner