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Three Stories
by Terry Brinkman



Christmas-Tree Delivery

It was the year nineteen seventy three, I had work release from Granite High school. With work release, I went to school for half of the day then went to a job. Later I found out this was a way to over-come the crowded schools problem. I was working with my friend Dan, at Ambassador Releasing; a four wall movie releasing, corporation. We were in charge of Shipping and any odd job.

During Christmas, nineteen seventy three, one of our odd jobs was to buy the office Christmas tree. Dan told me “I will pick you up at your house after dinner, to go get the tree around six-o’clock.”

Dan picked me up in his Orange V.W. Bug. I jokingly said “were not picking up the tree in your Bug”? He braggingly answered, “That’s right I have moved trees, lots of times in my Bug”.

I jumped in the Bug and off we went, I said “we should go to the Allied Tree lot. Any tree four dollars and ninety nine cents”.  ‘No I have twenty bucks, we can get a better tree, and maybe coffee and pie”. “So where are we going”?   “Brown Floral up the hill on thirty nine hundred south” “Sounds-good”.

At Brown Floral, we look at a few trees, from twelve to twenty-five dollars. Dan did not like the White Flocked tree I picked-out for nineteen dollars. He was carrying a pinon pine tree to the cash register. I hurried over to the register he was paying, “fourteen dollars and fifty cents; Plus five dollars for delivery the sales lady said”. Fits right in the budget, but no coffee or pie. But good he was just kidding about taking the tree in his Bug, sorry “delivery vehicle”. Then I heard Dan exclaim “No we will take the tree with us,” we paid the lady and headed outside with the tree. 

The snow just started falling, “Hurry!” Dan said. Sometimes he gets bossy so I waited for instructions.  He pulled some rope from his back seat and started telling me what to do. We tied the bottom, of the tree to the back bumper, proceed to form the tree into a V.W. Bug; then tie the top of the tree, to the front bumper. Dan goes Back and forth around the Bug, to make sure all roper are tight.

We get in the tree hauling Bug. Dan pull out onto thirty nine-hundred south.  We don’t get ten feet and the front rope breaks, the tree goes flying into the middle of the street. We both jump out of the Bug, just in time to see, a Snot-green delivery van; splatter the tree all over thirty nine-hundred South Street.  We jump back in the Bug heading down the street, without even trying to pick-up the mess.

Dan asks “what was that other tree lot?” “Allied Tree Lot?” “Yea that cheapo lot and where is it?” “Just down the street on seven-hundred east; the right price to pay for a tree.”

We looked at trees for more than an hour, but we got the best four dollars and ninety-nine cent tree ever. The tee was shorter so we, or Dan decided we would put it in the Bug’s back seat pocking through my window, and I would hold it.

Dan was all pissed, “we’re in so much trouble”. Taking the tree to the office there was not much conversation. We only spent ten seconds setting up the tree. He hardly even stops in front of my house I jump out and go in my house.

The next day at school I see Dan but we don’t say much. When I got to the office after school, I saw the tree all decorated looking pretty good.  I went to the Mail Room Dan was already there.

“Did you notice anything?”

“Yea the tree looks great we did a great job getting it.”

“No that’s not the tree, I saw the tree we got out in the dumpster!"

“Houyhnhnm”? “Let’s get back to work!”                   





We arrived, at the airport on May 30th after a layer-over, in the twin cities. With my wife, and cat, we went straight to luggage pick up we checked two bags, for our fifty, night stay. Our Daughter met us at the luggage pick-up, to give us a ride to our Apartment.

The Apartment, was an up down duplex, our daughter bought a new house and we were using the last two mounts of her lease. The Apartment was on North Euclid Ave...  A short walk to the reservoirs, a Coffee Shop, not Starbucks, a Market, Bakery, Pub and Free Trade store. You put your life in your own hands when, you walk to the market, Pittsburg drivers only slow down, not stop at Stop signs, even if you are in the cross walk. We were in the down of the up and down duplex, the couple in the up, foot-steps were noisy.  There were a lot of windows with large sills for Sabastian my cat to perch on, looking at passers-by.

Sabastian or mister as I sometimes call him, moved in with in April. My dog Bela, died a year ago and we were deciding to get a dog or a cat. Our life style was changing, we may travel more but we like the company of a pet. Like most things they were decided for us, this black and white cat kept hanging around our door. So one day I opened and Mister just walked in. We got him a cat box, took him to the vet to checked for a chip, no chip, we got him physical shots, Neutered, and a chip. We now have a nice friendly cat, that’s why he is on this trip. 

The Apartment has two closets in the bedroom with a bath off the bedroom, and two dressers. After deciding who gets which closet and dressers, we unpack our things, and then repack two small bags. That night my wife’s I-phone, set off an alarm like I have never heard. It was like the air raid alarms, back when we practice with the Civil defense. The message was a flood warning and a tornado warning, we are from dry Utah and had no Idea what to do. I turned on the T.V. to a local news channel. Channel six Pittsburg, showing a map of the area, that we could not make tails or heads of. The news-caster was telling us what to do, get in a shelter or basement, the one I liked was to climb in a bathtub and pull a mattress over the top of us. We did nothing! Then the rain came, not like any rain I ever saw, it came down in buckets, then just stopped. The rain did not slow down one minute it was buckets then nothing. The alley next to us flooded, the street in front of the Duplex did not and the apartment did not flood, then we went to bed, for tomorrow.      




Why Red And White?

After a day at Walden Pond playing on the beach, we were driving back to my son’s house in Ashland. I was riding in the back seat with my twin granddaughters, when we passed a building flying a large American Flag.  When one of them asked why are the strips on the flag red and white?

Like any granddad would say, “let me tell you the story.” When George Washing was eleven or maybe twelve he raised chickens. Not any old chicken but prize white chickens. He built the best chicken pen you have ever seen, with a picket fence all the way around it. He used all his blue paint to paint the pen. When he went to get more at the general store, all they had was red paint! He wanted to paint it white but he got the red paint anyway.

Before he started to paint the fence he needed to stop the chickens from poking their heads between the pickets; he did not want white chickens with red heads. He went in the house and found one of he’s mum’s old white sheets.

He laid the sheet between the chickens and the picket fence. Then began to paint, He was not a careful painter he painted the pickets and the sheet red. The next day after the paint dried he took down the sheet, it was red and white striped.

After a big laugh he decided he better hide the sheet in the barn so his mum could not see what he did.

Years later he was in a meeting about the new country’s Flag, and he pulled out the old Red and White striped Sheet.

Now do you Have any more questions?




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