The Carpetbagger is the soul of Tacoma. A comment.

The Carpetbagger by Larry Anderson

Below is a reprint of a comment that was originally printed in the Tacoma News Tribune. I’m reprinting it because I saw the Carpetbagger again yesterday, and every time I see it, I feel the same excitement that I felt the first time I saw it standing so proudly in front of the restored train station. I hope you like it too.

The Soul of Tacoma is in the Carpetbagger
by Janelle Meraz Hooper

Visit my book site!

For me, the soul of Tacoma is in the Carpetbagger. A sculpture donated to Tacoma by sculptor Larry Anderson, the Carpetbagger stands in front of the Union Station.

When it was first installed, Pacific Avenue was a rough area. I heard people commenting about how long can it last there? At the time, I was a member of the Pierce County Arts Commission and for days after it was installed, I drove by at odd hours just to make sure it was still there and unharmed.

While I’ve been on my affectionate “drive-bys”, I’ve seen it dusted with snow, and dampened by drizzle. I’ve seen people stop in their travels down the pavement to walk slowly all the way around the artwork to enjoy every curve and pattern of the bronze work. Many times, I’ve seen people of all sizes and shapes posing with it for a camera.

As far as I know, it has never suffered any damage by vandals, a testament to how beloved it is by people in all walks of life. That’s not to say it hasn’t been “modified”. From time to time, I’ve noticed his lapel adorned by daffodils or tulips. One time, I even saw a Burger King bag tucked underneath his arm. Once, in a pouring rain, I saw him draped in a plastic disposable raincoat.

It just proves to me that the people of Tacoma have taken the Carpetbagger into their hearts—and that Mr. Anderson may have sculpted the dapper man with the carpet bag under his arm, but the people of Tacoma have breathed life into it.

the end.

Apache turkey hunting

 

Rudy Ramos, star of Geronimo, Life on the Reservation, a live traveling show. See him this spring on Kevin Costner’s TV series, Yellowstone, now in production.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve. From my research file: I’ve read that Apache women could run so fast they could chase down a wild turkey. Then, they’d tuck the still gobbling bird under their arm and walk to the post to sell it to the soldiers. The first time it happened, the soldiers thought it might be stolen. But no, the women really were that fast.

The Apache women were hard workers. After their arrival on the reservation, they quickly learned  the soldiers would pay for turkeys, firewood, and grass for their horses that the women gathered on the prairie. 

They spent the money they made in the trading post. Things that were common to white women were luxuries to them. Geronimo commented that, each time they went to the trading post, they came back a little less Apache and a little more like white women. It made him sad, but he understood.

This year, I might try turkey hunting, Apache style. I can see a crow out in my pasture–maybe I’ll practice with him… 

I caught him! (:

Oh! he got away! ):

This is the kind of thing writers do when
they’re waiting for a download…(:

Janelle Meraz Hooper is the playwright for Geronimo, Life on the Reservation. She’s a multi-genre indie-writer. See her books and stories here:

See what else I’ve written!

Comment: We. Have. Got. To. Do. Better

We have got to do better
Janelle Meraz Hooper

I’ve been watching the news on television. For this post, it doesn’t matter which one. What I am going to say has been said many times before and will be said many times in the future. The problem is, we have failed to extract the core truth in the message and act on it:

WE HAVE GOT TO DO BETTER. Let me say it again: We. Have. Got. To. Do. Better. Our planet is in crisis, our people are in crisis, and we have too many problems to list.

LET ME JUST SAY THIS: If we can’t get along among ourselves and begin to solve the problems we have at the moment, how are we going to solve an even bigger crisis?
What if we have another pandemic?
What about the next earthquake, nuclear failure, environmental disaster? What then?
Some of us even feel sure that we will deplete this planet’s resources until we will be forced to evacuate to another planet. If so, do ya think we and our children will be on the list to be rescued? Probably not!

Perhaps there’s  even a more serious scenario: What if there really are little green men out there in space and they are zeroing in on Planet Earth? Could happen. What will we do then when we can’t even agree on our minor problems?

Let’s start on the little stuff (food, water, disease, and ideological). Then, maybe, when things really go haywire, we’ll have a fighting chance.

Janelle Meraz Hooper is an indie novelist/playwright
See my books and play here:

http://www.JanelleMerazHooper.com

 

 

 

Wanda the witch has burglars

 

I write serious books too! See them here!

NEW!

Wanda the Witch has Burglars
Janelle Meraz Hooper

There were burglars in Wanda’s neighborhood. It was bound to happen. They were everywhere lately. As thick as pumpkins in a field.

What Wanda couldn’t figure out was why they hadn’t hit her house yet. She had some good stuff—everyone, by now, must know. Her kettle for mixing up her secret potions was top of the line. Her pumpkins were from the snootiest grocery in Tacoma. And her brooms! High-tech all the way with GPS built right into the handle. How could they not want to get their hands on one of those?!

Lately, every night, just to be safe, she locked herself into her bedroom with all of her good stuff: the kettle, her brooms, her secret recipes for toads and snails, and…of course, her cat, Rochester, and her iguana, Iggy.

One night, when she and her pets were sound asleep, the worse happened. The neighborhood hooligans broke into her home through the sliding glass door on her deck. Well, it had glass when it was new; it had been broken out for years when Wanda flew her broom through it when it wasn’t open. Since then, Wanda had thought about fixing it, but the front doorbell was also broken so she thought she’d just leave everything the way it was. This way, her friends could land their brooms on the deck and come right into the kitchen. That’s where she usually was anyway.

With a sigh of relief the next morning, Wanda counted her blessings. Everything she treasured was still in her bedroom where it had been before she went to sleep. Just to ease her mind, she even counted the toads and snails but they were all there too.

She wasn’t too upset to find the boys had cleaned out everything in her living room. She’d been meaning to give the room a good dusting anyway. Luckily, now that the wide screen TV, new computer, and stainless steel popcorn machine were gone, it’d be easy to get into all of the corners with a dust rag. She’d do it someday. There was no hurry because there was never anything good on the television anyway.

It wouldn’t be hard to figure which of the boys were running around after dark causing trouble. All she had to do was fly around at night until she smelled popcorn and saw the glow in a window coming from a big screen television. A really big, big screen television. Wanda had conjured it up with a special potion and there wasn’t another one like it anywhere.

Luckily, Wanda had a plan to get even. She had a toad soup in her old kettle that she’d started weeks ago and forgot to put away so it was likely pretty thick by now and would be easy to spread. On Halloween night, she’d spread a nice, thick layer on their car’s windshields and fill the insides with bats.

They were smart boys. She was pretty sure her television and all the other stuff they’d taken would be brought back as soon as they saw—and smelled—their cars.

And, as soon as she got her stuff back, Wanda would wave her wand and all would be back to normal. The bats would be gone, the stink would be off their windshields, and all would be forgiven. What a fun Halloween this was going to be!

the end

Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

“This one!” Humor

 

“This one!”
(blog only)

Janelle Meraz Hooper

When I was a kid in Oklahoma, sometimes summer days were so hot our moms kept us in. When the temperature headed towards 108 degrees before lunch, we’d head over to Hazel’s house and play the catalog game. Her mother kept all of the old Sear’s catalogs just for such days.

We would lie on the cool floor of her family den, reveling in the cool tiles caressing our bare legs. Halfway through the catalog we’d always wiggle over to a fresh, cooler spot. Hazel would pick the latest Sear’s Catalog out of the rack and we would begin. The game went like this: on each page we could pick one item. We’d point to it and say, “This one.” Sometimes we both wanted the same piece of clothing or toy and it was a race to see which one of us could touch it first and win it.

Of course it was just for fun. Neither of us was getting anything we wished for! We played our game page by page until we got to the end of the catalog. At the end of the game, we celebrated our wins with a Popsicle. I hadn’t thought of this since I was eight-years-old.

Why am I telling you this? A few Sundays ago, I was alone, flipping through the Macy’s Sunday flyer with absolutely nothing on my mind. I turned the page and saw the guy at the top of this blog. Totally without thinking, I touched him and called, “This one!” I was amused. And stunned. Where did that come from?

Slowly the memory of the Sear’s Catalog game came to me. Finally, I began to laugh. The game was still the same. I could call “This one!” all I wanted, and all I’d end up with was a grape Popsicle!


See my books and short stories!

 

Photo courtesy of Macy’s