March 2012

Musin’s and Thinkin’s

A Monthly Stroll Down Folksy Byways

with Jack Pendarvis

I can’t help but wonder what some of you modern guys and gals would think if I told you that back when I was a child, my favorite toy was a stick.

I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that some of you have never seen a stick. I like to imagine you turning a good old-fashioned stick over and over in your hands, looking for the on button. “How do I download my googles onto this thing?” you might cry out in frustration.

How well I recall the early mornings of youth. I could barely wait to get out of the house and into the sunshine and fresh air to start poking things with my stick. Are those wasps coming out of that hole? Is that hobo just resting? There’s only one way to find out! My stick also encouraged a lively interest in the arts, which abides in me to this day. We didn’t need your fancy twittering. Everything worth communicating could be drawn on the ground with a stick. If you can’t say it with a heart or a cat face, you’re doing something wrong. Best of all was running it down the length of a white picket fence to enjoy the melodious noise that only a stick can make. You should have seen me. I was so incredibly lovable.

My junior year in high school, all my former friends were paired up, every couple in a malt shop, mooning at each other over a single milkshake with two straws in it—or so I imagined based on my readings of the Archie comic books, which I found both blasphemous and indecent. I buried them in the backyard after I was finished with them. Was I a bored and lonely child? Quite the contrary. I had a fascinating after-school job to keep me busy, and I owed it all to my trusty stick.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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Jack Pendarvis has written three books.

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