Odd to be hunkered down working on the NEXT-NEXT book three weeks before the NEXT book is out, but that’s how it works (and already a bunch of material assembled for the NEXT-NEXT-NEXT book) and what I’m doing for every blank hour on the calendar. For those of you who’ve emailed, I read every single one but reply-wise have pretty much lost control of that avalanche, will try to regroup at some point. As always, I find it difficult if not impossible to sufficiently convey my gratitude…so many of you out there acting individually so that I can keep doing something I love and pay for braces and hair products (one look at my author photos and you know neither is for me). Also very grateful that over the past two weeks our little family did have a chance to pack up the fambulance (currently short one hubcap) and visit some far-flung friends and family. So thank you, and see y’down the road.
Elk Mountain, Wyoming. Dad bunked here as a ranch hand in the early 1960s. I bunked here in the early 1980s. Visited last week. Still stands rock solid beside the Medicine Bow River where I dunked my head to begin each day.
Just broke from the treadmill desk to walk on actual earth beneath blue and puff-cloud skies, the breeze pushing through maple leaves, the chit-chit of two skirmishing birds… The world is so lopsided in its favors. It seems gratitude should be cupped in humility.
Every week the Wisconsin State Journal runs “Roughneck Grace,” a weekly column written by Mike (many of the columns will be adapted from Mike’s Tent Show Radio monologues). Today’s column (in which Mike bids farewell to an old friend, using an old tool) was printed on sturdy newsprint this Sunday and can now be seen online here.
The folks at Midwestern Gothic are giving away some of my books and one of my humor CDs but y’gotta get over there (online) today.
It stood somewhere between 75-100 years. It gave decades of shade and shelter.
Here’s some backstory.
And here (in today’s “Roughneck Grace” column) is the latest installment of the tree story.
Also, thank you to this crew. They did a great job, as quoted, and left behind a clean site.
If you’re within range of one of these stations tonight (Saturday, August 9th) we hope you’ll join Mike as he hosts another edition of Tent Show Radio from Big Top Chautauqua. Information on streaming the show here.
In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike describes a visit with a 99-year-old dancer.
You can join the Tent Show Radio Facebook page here.
REMINDER: Most of this year’s previous Tent Show Radio episodes available for streaming anytime – just click here.
Reading Roxane Gay’s “Bad Feminist,” I respect and resonate with this line from the acknowledgements:
I’m hoping my parents don’t read this book, but they are beloved and have made all things possible.
Each of my “adult” books include a similar thank you:
First and foremost, to my parents—anything decent is because of them, anything else is simply not their fault.
They did what they could.
We do what we will.
But we are always children.