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Monday, June 26, 2017



This cranky re-run is from June 2013 
Last week I was in North Carolina helping my daughter by watching the three NC Crankettes.  I had a good time reacquainting myself with these three.  We made pancakes in the morning, played games, watched “Sponge Bob Squarepants” (my personal favorite) and went to a local pool.

One bonus of any NC visit is I get to see my Editor/Sister-in-law, Judy.  This year the visit included my scientist genius nephew, Jimmy (yes, I still call him Jimmy) his scientist genius wife, Melissa, my PHD niece Alison, 35 first cousins-once-removed and a six month old Yellow Lab “Captain” named in honor of my Brother Jim.
Dinner was beer-can chicken skillfully grilled by my nephew.

The "Three Amigo's"
 We had a great time, solved many of the world’s problems if only anyone would listen to us, and told some old stories.  I love old family stories, and I like to put them on paper, or the internet in hopes they will not be forgotten. 
My niece told this one as an example of youthful exuberance and ambition.  She relates it to her students from time to time when they think her expectations are too high.  I hope I do it justice:
My brother and his family were all skiers, especially when the kids were young.  They were all good skiers.  Good, not great.  My niece, Alison, recalls watching her two brothers, Jimmy and David, at the top of an extremely long steep hill.  The hill was not just steep but was covered with huge moguls (not rich old men, but severe bumps and dips in the hill.)  The hill was very icy which is typical when steep and bumps are involved as the good snow gets pushed off to the side leaving crusty packed icy snow.
Both boys eyed the slope with trepidation when Jimmy suddenly just pushed off and attempted the run.  Heading straight down the icy slope, Jimmy navigated about half of the bumps with skill and dexterity when he caught an edge, flipped to his side, fell and tumbled about 100 yards down the hill ass over teacup until he finally slid to a stop.  Jimmy did not move for what seemed like a minute, and then he slowly pulled himself up, dusted off the snow, and adjusted his hat.  Looking back up the hill, bruised but still intact, Jimmy cupped his hands and yelled to David,
David, of course, followed!

Apparently I got some facts of this story incorrect.  This comment from nephew David sets the record straight.  Please note David’s obvious resentment at being called “good” skiers, they were in fact “Fairly Great” skiers.  Also note I am Joe, not Uncle Joe, I still don’t know what I did to lose my title…anyway still love you guys:
Sorry to miss you Joe. We got there late that night. The quote is correct, though the story is wrong. We were fairly great skiers for that time period (mid-80s), not just good. And it was me, not Jimmy, actually attempting a helicopter (a 360 degree twist) off a particularly large boulder. I landed backwards, which is indeed a bad outcome - though the depth of the powder made it a goggle packing, snow eating wreck rather than a painful one. Despite the absolute muff of the trick, I was convinced it could and should be done (though perhaps not by me). So "It's doable" was born... Alison wasn't there, but my Dad was, and he loved to tell the story, which is likely why she likes to tell the story. She has the details wrong, though not the point.
OK, the facts are now straight, and the saying officially becomes Family Lore.


  1. I think I love your entire family, they're so interesting.

  2. Not easy, but doable. Excellent family attitude!

  3. Ah youth...the fearless indestructable youth....I remember that...vaguely. Nowadays 'it's doable' relates to some fairly simple things that used to be more than 'doable' in my youth. Oh well....

  4. Family gatherings always seems to be full of those 'Remember when' stories. Super!

  5. It's important to keep the facts straight, especially if family members are able to contradict you.

  6. We all have our own take on family stories and that's what makes them so wrong at times, but always fun.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. ☺

  7. Omgosh your family is just awesome. I'm sure you also coined the phrase "Watch this!" :) It would be super cool just to hang out and video you guys. I hope there are some home movies of all of your shenanigans. :)

  8. Don't feel badly, I've somehow lost the "Aunt" in Aunt Patti. Sigh. Write down those family stories, all versions or they will be forgotten. Love the idea of "doable".

  9. It doesn't matter if you get the stories right as long as they're still funny!!

  10. Bravo! The only way that story could have been better is if they WERE skiing on rich old men.

  11. I didn't push to be "Aunt Betty" but rather Betty, but still am referred to as Aunt Betty. As long as Crazy isn't in front of it, its good to go!

    Glad you got the story corrected by David, but really wonder if that is how it happened. People have a way of seeing things differently from different perspectives.


  12. Even if it did have a couple errors I still enjoyed reading it. You got me wondering now, when did I drop the 'uncle' and 'aunt' titles!

  13. It's Now you've got me wondering if the Wallenda family uses the same phrase. You know, the people who walk on a tightrope across Niagara Falls (or hang by their teeth from a helicopter flying over the Falls). It's doable...LOL.

    Great story!