redman van and storage

Furniture .

Every mind is a room packed with archaic furniture . 

I was reading a post from  No Facilities about , in part , a table . The author of the blog , among several other admirable pursuits and accomplishments in life  , is a woodworker . I’m not a woodworker , but I belong to that esteemed and extensive club of people who wish they were .

If I were to go around again in life , I’d learn a musical instrument , master woodworking , and learn to fluently speak at least one other language  . I’d also shamelessly take specific characteristics from friends of mine and make them my own. Oh , and I’d learn to sail .

Ada and I are having a cabinetmaker build us something for the front hallway . He and his wife were over measuring a few days ago . Suddenly the world seems full of furniture , or is it just my cluttered mind ? So I thought of Redman Van and Storage . That’s how a cluttttttttered mind works , in my case anyway , if you don’t have one .

I worked for Redman Van and Storage in my high school time , during the summers and on Saturdays the rest of the year . They paid me $ 1.80/hr.  I can talk about it freely because it isn’t there any more . Besides , the solemn oath to not speak about any of it at all for 50 years is about up too , so I think it’s okay to blabber.

There was a Redman working in the front office when I was there . He was the big boss. He had inherited the place from his father . His father and uncle were smart hard-working businessmen , I understand , who built up the warehouse facility in Santa Monica and  another one in a nearby city , tied their little company to the huge Mayflower company house movers , and thrived.

Then the son took over . He spent his days on the phone “touching base” with other wannabe success stories , and continuously checked in with social and business clubs , setting up lunch dates presumably , and social butterflying around town . Meanwhile , his brother-in law ran the business from the other Redman warehouse  .

You might ask me how I know this . After all , I was just a punk kid hauling tables and chairs , lamps and mirrors around the yard and moving  them up and down on the freight elevator for a dollar eighty an hour . How would I know anything about the overall business ? Well , I’ll have you know that I had at the time  several inside informants , and I listened to scuttlebutt . There are no guarantees , nevertheless , that this is all precisely accurate information . ( Cluttered mind —remember ? ). I will say in my own defense that none of these facts are given under oath , don’t endanger anybody , and et cetera . And , no , I’m not connected with and so I don’t share information with The Deep State , the all -powerful Shadow Government that constantly watches , plants spies in locales like Redman Van and Storage in Santa Monica , and waits . Fifty years is nothing for them , by the way . They’re patient.

I did have my hair a little long in those days , however , and I began to grow  a scraggly mustache. The mustache was the straw that broke the camel’s back I guess . Little handwritten notes began to be posted around the warehouse that warned of an imminent infiltration by Communists . I didn’t even know that the notes referred to me and my mustache until Roy , the warehouseman and my immediate supervisor , told me .

Roy may or may not have known who the note-poster was . If he did he never told me ;  but he told me to forget it , don’t worry about it . Those were the Love It or Leave It days of old , the time when cops boarded Greyhound buses to demand that all young men on the bus show their draft cards , the time when hard hats beat up hippies and Elvis was asking Nixon for a special  assignment in undercover work . 1945, first atomic bomb dropped

And so the world goes ’round. We’re still waiting in this country to be suddenly hit with a nuclear weapon from space . Nowadays , however , some of us think that would be a relief , I suspect . We’re demonizing category after category of those whom we fear or just don’t like , but  little handwritten notes don’t have to be posted on warehouse walls any more . We have technology nowadays to take care of spreading our individual and/or our mass incivility  around .

Roy always had my back , so to speak , at that old job . I think he could just simply see me for who I was .  Thanks , Roy .

I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic , and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose . —– Arthur Conan Doyle




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sails on sailors’ boulevard

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a tour around the neighborhood

You may never have been to Szczecin , Poland . If you get over here I will escort you around . It’s a good city for walking .

To tell you the truth , I’ve never driven here . I know my limits . I’d never drive in Paris either . Maybe we should just leave it at that . I could drive in this city if my life depended on it , but I’d prefer not to . So , we’ll walk . Walking is good for you .

Here is the residence. It’s been around for some time . They say it was built as German Army officer quarters . The city was German then .  Achtung baby ! We’re two of those windows , and we look out over the park . Szcz, 2018 neighborhood walk June 5 331

Here’s a look at the front door . Across the street is a large park . Workers were trimming the hedges today. I was smelling gas all day afterward , but they did a good job . There’s always a trade-off in life ; you can have a nicely trimmed hedge out front and inhale the  gas fumes , for example , and die a few years before you otherwise might , or you could suffer the embarrassment of an overgrown hedge out front . Everything in life is a choice.Szcz, 2018 neighborhood walk June 5 161

Now we’re walking up the street toward the river . On the next block is a government building . County government , as far as I know . The building has been there a while . They don’t do architectural work like that no more. Not that I know of nohow .

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Szcz, 2018 neighborhood walk June 5 188At the end of the street is a restaurant called Colorado . It’s supposed to be American themed , but they never asked me for advice. They should’ve. I would have pointed a few things out to them .

It’s a busy place , though . Some people make a point of wearing Levis and boots , I’ve noticed ,  and probably enjoy being in an American fantasy for an hour or so , in a Cowboy and Indian sort of way . Maybe they watched too many John Wayne and Gene Autry movies . Or Hopalong Cassidy or Lone Ranger episodes , perhaps . But most of the customers are probably simply tourists looking for a place to eat . The food prices are higher than most restaurants around town , and the food and atmosphere are  American in wishful thinking only . But I can buy you a beer there if you insist , because we can sit and look down at the river , even though the beer will cost a few more zloty  than anywhere else in town . Your choice .


Now we’ll turn the corner and look along what they call Waly Chrobrego . There are a couple of accent marks missing in that name as written here , and we just won’t worry about the pronunciation for our purposes today . We’re just walking , looking at this small corner of the city .

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Szcz, 2018 neighborhood walk June 5 192Another time we’ll climb down the steps to the river. There are several good little places to grab a beer there for a fair price and we can watch the boats and barges go by . For today we’re just walking around the block , though . Sorry . I’m snapping pictures as I walk . ( I know ; I know ; I can hear your criticism now : ” It shows “. You’ll have to live with it .) We’re turning the corner and heading back . There’s another smaller park to our left .Szcz, 2018 neighborhood walk June 5 295

Now we’ll turn another corner , to our right , and head back home . I’m not showing you the Sea Academy dormitory high-rises or the other Academy buildings . Not today . You’ll have to wait . If you visit in the summer we might send you across the street to rent a room in one of the dorms . Very comfortable and very cheap . For now , we’ll just walk .

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That side is a little seedy , I admit. It’s not the sea scouts making the mess . I think we have some borderline hooligans living on that side . We’ll just move along and turn the corner again .Szcz, 2018 neighborhood walk June 5 330

Here we are again where we started . Okay , as my English friend Willie might say : You’ve left out the choice bits . Yeah . I know . Next time .

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They’re murdering us here . Let’s move inland and get murdered . — Col. Charles Canam , Utah Beach , June 6 , 1944





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Szczecin in June

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ah ! you said that .


Grand Grocery Company. Lincoln, Nebraska, 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by John Vachon. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

I skimmed over a blog post that a friend of mine wrote : 10 things you need to know (unsponsored).  I didn’t get it . I didn’t read the post carefully , though , because ……… well………ten more things to know ? I don’t think so . Certainly not all in one day . Hell, I’m retired , for heaven’s sake ! Let’s start with  1 thing you need to know  and then see how that goes . mark twain plays pool

I must say that I’m way more relaxed now that I’m retired . Time pressures used to mean more , I think , when I had to spend so much time at  work . Time off was a big thing then , and pinching any of that time meant  stress. Any odd surprises that interrupted time off was a potential stress —- plumbing problem , traffic delay , any delay ……..mark twain and chickens

I’ve seen  posts on Facebook mostly , that list 10 things  this or that , ten best whatever , ten reasons this or that or ten things to avoid  . Saint Peter has a form you’ve got to fill out , I hear , when you reach ( okay , so maybe not you ! ) the Pearly Gates : Ten Reasons You Should Get Into Heaven ; or was it a list : Ten Best Activities To Do In Heaven ?man newspaper chair 1880

Ah , maybe I just imagined that .musical man

So , tell me again the ten favorite vacation spots in California . And then tell me the ten best small cites in the US for retired people . Tell me , because I’m not going to try to scroll through the computer process , shifting left and right in a slow slalom avoiding the endless ads . My computer is so slow it stumbles on the ads and by the time I have read the ten things it’s tomorrow and everyone has gone home  , some of them to happy hour at their usual watering hole .

I’ll tell you what . If you think that I should know ten or so things , thises and thats , then write them out one at a time , one per sheet of paper . Address an envelope to me and stick a stamp on it and drop the thing in the mail . In the US , I admit , it’ll cost you a few bucks by the time you’ve sent all ten . But , hey , it’s worth it , I’m sure . Right ?

Well , I’m in Poland now for awhile so you’ll have to invest  even  a few more bucks ; but if you think that I should know whatever it is  and you’re absolutely sure , then I’ll be happy to review the information . Stamps are available in grocery stores these days too , as well as the Post Office , or online I’m pretty sure . Just any stamp would do as far as I’m concerned , but it might be nice if you would  choose a specific one that you think  I might appreciate . And , by the way , any scrap of paper does it for me .  I don’t need any fancy paper . And , certainly , don’t buy a card in a store . For ten messages ? No one has that much money .1914 washing achine

I fully realize that I’m rambling a bit here , just killing some precious time  ; but I’m retired so I’ve got a different perspective on things from what  you may have .  I’m trying , truth be told , to avoid reading with more attention the ten things that my friend says that I need to know . I’m afraid that I should have read that post decades ago . If only I had known those ten things when it mattered ! No doubt now is way too late . That train has certainly left the station , as they say ; or , no use closing the barn door at this late date  ; the horse has gone for good ; probably has assumed another identity and has a FB account and reposts stuff all day long .cowboys old

Well , I’m just rambling. Ah , you said that , didn’t you ?  balloner 1898

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