Monday, July 31, 2006

Angie's Chase--Part 1

Oh, my goodness, I have to tell you what happened. Embarrassed myself nearly to death, and now Bev's hardly speaking to me!

Bev and I were over at Simple Pleasures, looking at those beautiful oil wick candles Sarah has, when this woman walked in. As I lifted a jar to my nose, inhaling the deep berry fragrance, the woman sidled past me toward the back. I set the candle down and noticed her ogling a bracelet out of the corner of my eye. Dark hair, brown eyes, high cheekbones. She wasn't the usual sort of T (that's what we call tourists at Java Joint), but she looked vaguely familiar.

I whispered to Bev, "You see her before?"

Bev glanced at the woman, then shrugged. "Looks like that TV actress on Desperate Housewives, Eva Longoria."

She said it so calmly, as if such a thing happens every day. Well, I just happen to LOVE Eva Longoria. And Bev was right--it was her!

I grabbed Bev's elbow and pulled her toward Eva. "Oh, my, oh! We HAVE to go say hi." I was so excited, I could hardly breathe.

Something beside us crashed to the floor. I swiveled to see a picture frame and all its glass shattered. Sarah hurried from behind the counter and lifted the frame. Bev apologized, saying her arm had hit the frame as I pulled her along. She gave me 'the look' as Sarah went into the back to fetch a broom.

"I'm sorry. I'll pay for it," I whispered real fast. I was barely thinking. I was just dying to talk to Eva.

Bev glowered at me. "You certainly will. In more ways than one."

Sarah came back, a whiskbroom and a dustpan in hand. She began sweeping the pieces up and Bev brought the trashcan over. I had to help, or else I'd look completely uncaring. So I set to work furiously, and the next thing I knew, the bell over the door tinkled. I looked around. Eva was getting away!

I pulled a twenty out of my wallet. "Here." I thrust it at Sarah. "This ought to cover it."

Sarah pushed it back to me. "The frame's only $15.99."

But I couldn't wait around to hear the rest of what she said. "That's Eva Longoria!" I cried. "I've watched her for years on TV, and I'll just die if I don't meet her!" I grabbed Bev's arm, and before she knew what hit her, we were scooting toward the door. "Keep the change, Sarah, we'll see you later!" I shoved open the door.

Of course about that time Bev dug in her heels. "I will NOT pursue an actress down the street like some mindless groupie; I don't care WHO she is."

Eva turned the corner out of sight. Oh, no! What if she got into a car and drove away? "Bev Trexel," I whirled on my friend, "if you don't go with me, I'll never let you hear the last of it. Do it for me, if not for yourself!"

Well. Bev's lots of things, but most of all, she's a good friend to me. "The things you get me into." She shook her head, then huffed mightily. All the same, she set out with me to catch Eva.

She never would have done it, though, if she'd known what trauma was coming.

-- Angie

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 10 comments links to this post
Friday, July 28, 2006

The Sting of Summer

Each year during the summer, our town attracts its fair share of tourists. As such, most of the folks living here really get into sprucing things up before the summer rush. Becky is fanatical about it. Our yard undergoes a thorough inspection months in advance to note the list of improvements that I must make before the "season" starts. Then there's Vesta Johnson's yard. Vesta's a wonderful woman, now widowed, who lives three blocks from us. Becky and Vesta teach Sunday School together. Becky always insists that I take care of Vesta's yard too.

One day in early June, Vesta called to tell Becky that a hive of yellow jackets had formed in the gutters above her garage door and wondered if I could come down and get rid of them. Do I know anything about dispatching yellow jackets? No, but that hardly mattered. Vesta was in need. I went into town to pick up some insect repellant and headed over to Ms. Johnson's house. I set up my ladder just outside her garage. It wasn't hard to spot where they were coming from as there was a fairly large hole in the gutter with several yellow jackets dancing around it. Quickly formulating a plan of attack, I decided to spray the repellant directly into the opening of their nest. Simple as pie.

As I climbed the ladder, I was careful to avoid any movements that might alert the insects at the opening of my intentions. When I reached the top of the ladder, I aimed the nozzle directly at the opening and proceeded to unload the entire can of foaming repellant into the hole. Surprisingly, this left me with a surge of manly insect-eliminating pride. That pride quickly turned to fear, however, as the most horrifying sound erupted from the gutter. A sound like a symphony of thundering drums rumbled from the entire length of the gutters as the hive stirred to retaliatory life before my very eyes. Taking a swift glance at each end of the gutter, I was suddenly aware that BOTH ends were open and once dormant residents were now evacuating at an expeditious pace. As quickly as my legs would move, I began backing down the ladder. In my haste, I missed a rung and plummeted the not so short distance onto the hood of my truck, which knocked the wind right out of me.

Needless to say, my enemy was not merciful as the sting-crazy occupants of Ms. Johnson's drains all but ate me alive.

If there is a bright side to all of this, I am not allergic to yellow jackets, so I lived to tell the tale.

This is shaping up to be a very long summer season indeed.

-- Jared

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 5 comments links to this post
Thursday, July 27, 2006

How Sauria Came About

Shnakvorum rikoyoch!

Bailey has once again graciously allowed me to return to the keyboard and continue my explorations of Sauria with the wider world. (And I must say, after recent events, I'd rather focus on Sauria.)

I think the best place to start here would be how I came to be writing about, to put it crudely, a world of alien dinosaurs. And judging by most people's reactions when I talk about my story, most assume I'm a spur short of a claw (which by the way are military unit designations within the Karn Imperial Army).

As I left off with my previous post--my first brush with Sauria can be tracked back to a hospital.

You see I was a logger once, and quite content to be so for the most part, until my leg got into a tangle with a 400-lb tree. And though it was a valiant fight, the tree won out in the end, and I was left with a leg full of bone shards.

So I ended up spending quite a bit of time in the local hospital, out of a job, with medical bills piling up and disability running thin, and no chance of me ever working timber again.

Toward the end of my second day in the hospital, I was woken up late one night by a scratching sound. I was pretty groggy from both sleep and pain meds, but I have the distinct image of a sandy-haired boy scratching away at my cast with a little stub of a pencil. I don't remember anything else, and would have written it off as a delusion except for one thing.

When I woke the next morning there was a simple pencil drawing on my otherwise blank cast. It was of a funny looking dinosaur riding a pogo stick. And scrawled underneath in big, childlike letters was a name: Pike.

When I asked the nurse about the boy later, I discovered his name was Oscar, and that he'd been released earlier that morning with his parents after recovering from a bout with pneumonia. That's all I ever learned about him.

But something about his drawing snared my mind. Maybe it was due to the pain medication but as I lay there, looking at Pike on his pogo stick, I began to wonder what his story was. Where did he come from? Did he have any friends? Any enemies? Why was he on a pogo stick?

And as I lay there, agonizing over the story of this simple drawing, some small voice in the back of my mind began wondering . . .

"Is this what it feels like to go insane?"

-- S-Man

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 12 comments links to this post
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hello, this is Janet Detcher, Pastor Hank's wife. I'm the last Scenes and Beans blogger to introduce myself. Let me just say, before I tell the story I'd planned to tell, that Hank is particularly busy here, counseling and praying with people, as you can imagine. I've been in lots of prayer meetings myself since last weekend. But Kanner Lake is bouncing back. We've still got a lot of media folks around, but we do our best to make them feel welcome (most of us, anyway).

In Hank's first post, he told you about going fishing with Wilbur. I thought I'd tell you about the first time we met Wilbur and his wife, Trudy. We had just come to Kanner Lake to pastor New Community Church. (Well, Hank was the pastor, that is. I tagged along.) Wilbur Hucks was not attending church at the time, but his wife, Trudy, was a faithful member.

We arrived in town on a Wednesday and spent that day moving in. Exhausted, we fell into bed at about 1:00 a.m.

At about six o'clock the next morning, the doorbell rang. We were both dead asleep. That bell jarred us nearly to death. At first I didn't know where I was, and poor Hank was stumbling out of the bed, pulling on his sweatpants and groping his way to the door.

I lay there, trying to get my wits about me. A few minutes later, Hank came back to the doorway, trying to "comb" his hair with his fingers, and told me, with that crooked smile of his, that we had company! I flew out of bed, grabbed my robe (thankfully I'd found it in my suitcase and had it handy), and walked to the living room to find a smiling Wilbur and Trudy Hucks, coffeepot in hand.

We were quick to learn that Wilbur and Trudy were the unofficial welcoming committee for our church. At that time, Trudy was serving as the church secretary and she took it upon herself to personally deliver the pastor's paycheck.

Wow. He hadn't even preached a sermon yet.

Hank and I were young and inexperienced, and it took us a while to get up the courage to ask Wilbur and Trudy NOT to come at 6:00 in the morning. We finally did ask Trudy if she would just hand Hank the paycheck on Sunday after the service, and could we maybe have coffee at about 10:00 a.m.?

Fortunately Wilbur and Trudy were both good sports, though to this day Wilbur ribs Hank about being a lazy bum, sleeping past 6:00! Over the years we've come to love the Hucks. They are sort of like our surrogate parents, and grandparents to our girls. My folks are in Missouri, and Hank's are gone on to heaven, so Wilbur and Trudy have truly found a place in our hearts.

Now, if you run across Wilbur at Java Joint, be prepared to meet a cranky old man. That's the impression he likes to give, but truth be told, Wilbur is as tender as they come. We'll keep him. Besides, like he told you, "We were here first!" And Wilbur ain't goin' anywhere!

Blessings to all,

-- Janet Detcher

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 6:00 AM 13 comments links to this post
Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Scenes and Beans Will Continue

Hello again from Bailey.

First of all, thanks to all of you who've written your comments of support. We are very, very grateful for your kindness.

I'm feeling a little more steady today, but not much. Not sure how long the steadiness will last. In an hour, I could be crying again. All I know to do is keep praying for our town and everyone affected by what happened here.

Some general updates for those of you who are wondering: Yes, many reporters are still here. And we have producers for TV shows running around, trying to be the ones to get inside stories from residents. Some people are willing to talk on camera about what happened, some aren't. I won't judge that one way or another. We have enough to deal with here without judging each other.

We are very proud of Leslie. I'm sure you can see why.

After thinking about how to handle posts for this blog, I've told all the Scenes and Beans post writers what we will do. We will not discuss the specific events and their ongoing ramifications here. I know that will disappoint many of you who started reading Scenes and Beans due to your curiosity about the case, but I simply don't want this blog used as a venue to keep the subject going. You have the newspapers and TV for that. If you choose to continue reading Scenes and Beans, know that you'll continue to get the slices of small town life we originally planned to give you. We hope you'll keep reading just to get to know us better, now that most of you were introduced to the town in such a shocking way. We hope that you'll come visit and see us the way we really are.

Tomorrow we will get back to our regular posts. Janet Detcher will introduce herself if she can get her post written. If not, another regular blogger will be up. With God's help, we'll go on from there.

Blessings and gratitude,

-- Bailey

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 6:00 AM 8 comments links to this post
Monday, July 24, 2006

After the Weekend's Events

Dear blog readers:

I hardly know where to start. Janet Detcher, Pastor Hank's wife, was supposed to be up today. She's the last blogger to introduce herself. But after the weekend she didn't feel much like writing a post, and I felt I needed to say a few things to the nation and world.

When I started this blog to introduce Kanner Lake to the world at large just a short time ago, never would I have guessed that our town would soon be making national news. And in such a terrible way. We all have watched one news segment after another on TV. Some of the very people you've been introduced to on this blog were on those segments. The events have been devastating. We are all still in a state of shock.

Frankly, my first reaction was to shut down the blog and hide. Hide from the nation and world. Just try to help get Kanner Lake back on track. (Although that will be a long time in coming, with so much still unknown.) But after talking with my husband, John, I realized our town--and perhaps the nation--needs this blog now more than ever. When I started Scenes and Beans, I wanted to show you the flavor of a small town where people love each other, a town full of community and peace (despite the fact that some of our bloggers and commenters love to pretend to argue). Kanner Lake's peace has been shattered, but the love and community remains. Our town's residents will stand strong, and somehow we'll come out of this.

Ironic how this little blog, whose reputation I so wanted to build in order to tell the world about Kanner Lake, exploded in readership practically overnight--for all the wrong reasons. Suddenly we find ourselves the fascination of the country. I can understand that, really I can. What happened here is an amazing story, unexpected and full of surprises. And it's human nature to want to know the "inside scoop." So to those thousands of you who started reading after Saturday's events hit the news, I want to say--first, welcome, and second, please give us a chance to show you who we really are. Please go back and read the past introductory posts. Please stick with us, not to gain the latest gossip about the occurrences (because I promise you, you won't find it here), but to continue to celebrate life in small town America. In today's frightening and unpredictable world, such places do still exist. I--and all of us here--want that back for Kanner Lake. And we will get it. We will heal from this.

Speaking to Chief of Police Vince Edwards, and Leslie and Jared, our two reporters, I'm told to expect plenty of media people to continue coming to the town. Of course, we've been overrun with media, and they're still here. We welcome you, too. Even as we are in shock, we will try to be cordial and gracious. Just please--give us a little extra slack, okay? We were so unprepared for this. And Java Joint, as the town hangout, is thrust right in the middle of it. Some of our own bloggers whose lives were effected--well, they're just hanging on right now.

I will close for now, but tomorrow I will post again after I've had time to think about how to handle Scenes and Beans after this trauma. In the meantime we covet your prayers. God is the One who can bring good things out of chaos.

-- Bailey

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 6:00 AM 20 comments links to this post
Friday, July 21, 2006

Why I Am Here

Some people don't know how to say no.

Unfortunately, I am one of them, and the residents of Kanner Lake know it. Do you need a volunteer to oversee Kanner Lake Senior High News? Ask Mrs. Trexel. Do you need a leader for the library's bookclub? Ask Beverly. Or do you need a ladies luncheon coordinator? Ask Bev. Therefore, when I retired from teaching English, I vowed I would learn to say no.

Then Bailey Truitt sought writers for this new blog (what illiterate coined that term?).

At first I wasn't even tempted. I have successfully avoided all excessive involvement for several years now, and I was not about to start again. Chatrooms, instant messaging, blogs--these are the younger generations' excuse for sloppy English and wasted time. "Not interested," I told Bailey. "I don't read blogs, and I will certainly never write for one."

But to quote my granddaughter's favorite movie, "Never say never."1

Then my dear friend Angie, whom you met yesterday (honestly, sometimes I don't know how I put up with her) overheard my comments. She told me the only reason I refused Bailey was because of fear: "An old lady set in her ways, buffaloed by new technology."

Of course she was wrong, and I gave her my full lecture on slander. All she did was laugh and say, "You're chicken."

"I am not."

Folding her arms, she leaned back like a rebellious student. "Prove it. I dare you."

Obviously, I ended up saying yes. Only heaven knows what I'll find to write about. Perhaps we shall discuss classic literature. Some of you may find that very interesting. But if you find my writing a bore, the full responsibility for my being here in the first place lies on Angie's shoulders.

I take that back. Twenty-five percent is my husband's fault. But that is a story for another time.

-- Beverly Trexel

P.S. I apologize to my fellow English teachers for any unorthodox punctuation and paragraphing forced upon this and all future essays due to their appearing in this low form of writing known as a Web log.

1An American Tail. Dir. Don Bluth. Perf. Phillip Glasser, Dom DeLuise, Nehemiah Persoff, Ercia Yohn, Amy Green, and John Finnegan. Universal Studios, 1986.

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 12 comments links to this post
Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Giggle A Day

I'm not sure what all this blogging rigmarole is about, but as I tell folks, you're never too old to learn something new. I suppose my theory is about to be tested.

I'm Angie Brendt. My mind tends to jump from one thing to another, so I hope I keep on topic. I should first say I've heard there are a lot of slimy predators on the Internet. Bailey assures me I'll be okay, so don't go trying anything on me, you hear?

This is actually quite fun, and I'm excited to be a part of the blog. Me, little Angie Brendt (okay, I'm more stout than little), writing for all the world to read. I always wanted to be a writer. I started writing children's stories when Melissa and Frank, Jr. were tiny (they're only a year apart), but they would always end up with peanut butter or juice all over them. The stories, I mean. Well, I suppose, the kids did too.

A little background on me. I moved here right after Frank and I got married. I miss Frank so much--he passed away two years ago, far too young, from a heart attack. He and I met when I was twenty-seven in the summer of 1967 in San Francisco. You baby boomers will remember that as the "Summer of Love." It sure turned out to be the summer of love for me, 'cause I fell for Frank hard and fast. He'd come down to visit The City from Kanner Lake, where his dad ran a plumbing business. When we got married two months later, it was off to northern Idaho for this city gal.

Tell the truth, it took me a while to get used to the town and for the town to get used to me. I wore hippy-style clothes and just didn't quite fit in. But once I really got to know people, it all went fine. I went to work teaching third grade (which I'd done in California), but stopped for a few years when we had our kids. Once they were both in school, I was back teaching again.

I retired last year. Now my best friend, Bev (you'll hear from her tomorrow), and I meet at Java Joint most mornings. I just love Java Joint. And the whole town loves Bailey. She's the sweetest person you'll ever meet. Anyway, Bev and I talk and laugh. Well, I giggle. Bev wouldn't be caught dead giggling. But you know, it's about the only time I giggle any more since Frank died. He used to tell me I laughed like Goldie Hawn.

Every one on this blog has been telling you stories. I have one to tell you, too--about the time I nearly embarrassed poor Bev to death due to my antics. But I've sort of been rambling and maybe I'd better stop for now. You readers have been leaving nice comments. Please leave some for me. I'll be very happy to see them.

A giggle a day keeps the blues away.

-- Angie Brendt

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 16 comments links to this post
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

This Retirement Thing

Hi, all, this is Jake Tremaine. Finally it's my turn.

Well, with all the stories being told on his blog, I suppose I ought to add mine for starters. A month ago I walked to Java Joint and almost got ran over by a bull moose. We live a little outside of town, and I was walking down the road minding my own business when I saw it coming, clomping along without a care in the world. Some tourist got out of his PT Cruiser and tried to coax it closer with a half eaten donut! It was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. The moose put his head down and charged. The idiot guy dove back into his fancy car and drove off, but not before that moose rearranged his grill, front quarter panel and driver side window. Suppose I shouldn't have laughed so hard, but the fool deserved everything he got if you ask me.

You believe that, I'll tell you another one.

I've recently officially retired from the saw mill. No more coming home smelling like cedar. I got to say, it's not what I expected. There's no one to do anything with. Half my friends are dead and the rest have one foot on a danged banana peel. I asked Art Baliff and Jeb Johansen to go bass fishing in Lake Pend Orielle and you know the response I got? Art has to go in for dialysis and Jeb's got a colonoscopy. Can you imagine? He'd choose a butt probe over bass fishing. That just ain't Idahoan.

Retirement might be for the birds. I just can't decide. But boredom could drive a man crazy. I've never been a golfer. Everybody tells me the golf courses around here are nice. There's even a famous floating green on the course down at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. That's right, the thing actually floats in the lake. The way I hear it, if you're lucky enough to get your ball on the green rather than in the water, a fancy, shiny wooden boat takes you out there to finish the hole. Now that's classy. All I same, I'm not interested in whacking a tiny ball all over tarnation. And certainly not into a lake.

I'm not a canoe fan either. Never liked slapping at mosquitoes with a paddle. The last time I tried I hit the guy in front of me with the wide part. While he was yelling at me, I hit my head with the handle end. And the tiniest puff of wind would send me flapping into the water. If I wanted to swim, I wouldn't be sitting in a canoe in the first place.

I've lived in Kanner Lake my whole life. It's a great place. I just have to learn how to live here without a job to fill my time. Of course I go down to Java Joint every morning. Sit on my stool, next to Wilbur's. But that can't take a man's whole day. So I'm up for suggestions on some new hobbies or something. Any thoughts out there in blog reader land?

Jake Tremaine

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 26 comments links to this post
Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hello from Sarah Wray

When Bailey first asked me to help her out with her blog, I refused. I mean, what could I possibly have to say that would be interesting for someone else to read? I love to talk, don't get me wrong. It's just that I do my best talking to those I know. And I get along great with my customers. But then I can always talk about my merchandise. I'm not sure I have anything worthwhile to say on this blog. But she kept asking, and I ran out of excuses. So here I am.

Oh, I suppose I should properly introduce myself. My name is Sarah Wray. I own Simple Pleasures, the gift shop across the street from Java Joint. My customers like to tell me that they can always count on finding something unusual when they come into the store. And I work hard to make sure I don't get stuck in a rut with the merchandise. After all, if Kanner Lake's residents don't help support this business throughout the year, I'd be out of business pretty quick. So I'm always on the lookout for unique things. Right now, the oil lamp candles are real popular.

If you come to Kanner Lake on vacation, you'll have to come into Simple Pleasures to see the candles . . . right after you get a latte and sandwich from Java Joint. After reading your comments to blog posts, it will be like seeing old friends when you come to visit us!

You'll recognize me pretty easily, I think. I'm pretty short. I'm also a little on the heavy side, and I love to wear bright colors. Never did bother me . . . my weight, I mean. I figure the Lord gave me the body I have, I'll just make the most of it! So the brighter the color, the happier I am. Black, while it may be slimming, is just so depressing!

Bailey and I have been friends for a long time, and I was really glad to see her open up Java Joint. She loves people. And she felt it would be a good way to get to know folks, especially the tourists who come to Kanner Lake year-round. People seem to open up to Bailey. And a great cup of coffee plus a sandwich or pastry helps.

Going into Java Joint is like walking into someone's living room. Bailey makes it so welcoming and comfortable. Although now that I have my nice new helper, Paige Williams, I just send her across the street for my latte. Paige has been working for me for about two months. She's new to town. Quite shy. But, young men, she's single and beautiful! (She's 25.) Has the most glorious eyes. But she doesn't know she's beautiful, if you know what I mean. I like humility in a girl.

If Paige hears about this post, she'll probably want to shoot me, but, well, she knows I just love everybody and wish them the best, including her.

Readers out there--come to Kanner Lake and visit me and Paige at Simple Pleasures! We'll be delighted to see you.

-- Sarah Wray

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 30 comments links to this post
Monday, July 17, 2006

The Power of Ink and Paper

It isn't the magnitude of an event that makes it news; it's the people reporting it.

That's what my grandfather always said. "Jared," he'd say, "The world's best golfer could be some Eskimo in Alaska, whacking a snowball with a stick. Big news, right? Wrong! Not unless some reporter finds him, and writes a story. Then it's news." He ended every conversation on the topic with the same line: "There's no greater power than that which is generated by the combination of ink and paper."

Grandfather started the Kanner Lake Times in 1944 and ran it with the enthusiasm of Wily Coyote chasing the Roadrunner. It didn't matter to him that not much interesting happened in Kanner Lake. The way Grand-dad reported things, every pie bake-off and fishing tournament was big news. He had a way of getting people excited about things that weren't exciting. He certainly got me excited. At eight years old, I could hardly wait to start working on the paper. Actually, I couldn't wait, so I started my own.

The first and only edition of The Moore Monthly, came out in November 1944. I'd written my newspaper on notebook paper, then painstakingly copied it over and over fifty times (that was in the day before Xerox machines). A lot of work for a kid, but I didn't care. I'd be making ten cents for every paper I sold, I hoped.

It was a nice little paper, considering it had an editor with a second grade education. I started with what I knew. Made a comic strip about my dog, Elmer, in which he stole a hot dog off the grill. The thought-bubble above his head said, "It really IS a dog-eat-dog world." I cheated on the weather report, copying information out of the real newspaper. Since all newspapers have obituaries and I didn't know anyone dead, I wrote a nice little piece about my friend Tommy's goldfish, Speckle, who'd recently taken a tragic suicidal leap from his bowl. I covered every inch of Kanner Lake on my ten-speed, seeking out news and scribbling any interesting tidbit I could find in a little red notebook. My paper had stories about the Anderson's new kittens, the big fish a fifteen-year-old kid named Wilbur Hucks caught that weekend, and the mysterious damage to the stop sign at the corner of Barley and Hillwood Roads.

All of that would have been fine, but I didn't stop there. I'd heard Grand-dad say that you could always count on politics to fill up blank space. He'd also told me that a good reporter always looked for a unique angle--something other people didn't know. That's why I finagled a sleepover at Martin Pulaski's house. His dad, Martin Sr., was running for mayor. I figured I'd watch and listen closely to find out some little known fact about Mr. Pulaski, and I'd have my politics column. Too bad I didn't know enough to refrain from publishing the fact that Mr. Pulaski wore a toupee and enjoyed watching General Hospital every day.

My papers sold out in one lunch period and I made a killing, but once my customers brought them home and they fell into their parents' hands, I was in big trouble. Mom shut down my business, and Mr. Pulaski blamed me for his landslide loss in the mayoral race. To his dying day, he scowled at me whenever I met him on the street.

Ah, the power of reporting.

Since then I've learned a thing or two about the paper business. As owner of the Kanner Lake Times, I'm living my dream. I'm appreciative of Bailey asking me to be a part of this blog. It'll be great to work with the Java Joint gang, and it'll be a nice change to be able to write something besides objective journalism. Maybe I'll throw in my opinion now and then or even subject you all to my amateur poetry.

Signing off,

Jared Moore

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 14 comments links to this post
Friday, July 14, 2006

Birth of a Reporter

Hey, all! Leslie Brymes here, reporter for the Kanner Lake Times (published every Wednesday). And driver of the coolest car you've ever seen--a bright yellow VW with pink daisy petals on the doors. Got that car when I graduated from high school two years ago, and it's definitely my baby.

Isn't this blog thing just fab? What an awesome idea Bailey had! Wish I'd thought of it first.

So. Me. I grew up in Kanner Lake. It's a great little town in a beautiful area. I grew up boating on the lake and taking walks in the forest. Now I work full-time for Jared Moore, owner of the Kanner Lake Times. We have an office on Main Street, just up the street from my favorite place in the world, Java Joint. (Can't go a single work day without at least one of Bailey's biggee lattes.)

So how did I become interested in journalism? I think I was born interested. Always poking my nose into situations and trying to solve mysteries. Kanner Lake's very own Nancy Drew. The mystery that totally pushed me into going toward journalism happened two years ago, when I was a high school senior.

Things started disappearing at the school--items that would take some planning to steal. A plaque in the principle's office. An entire shelf of books--and the bookcase--from Miss Trudedale's English lit class. A bunch of cheerleader pom-poms from the gym. (Oooh, did that make them mad!) And other items.

I wanted to get to the bottom of it. But as much as I tried, I couldn't find who did it. Somebody was really being sneaky.

Then the worst theft of all--at least for us seniors. Four long, pretty benches had been donated to the school by a landscaping company the year before. By unspoken rule, seniors got first pick over underclassmen for using those benches. At lunch in the spring there was always a stampede to get a place on the benches. As soon as the bell rang, the race was on. On this particular day I was among the leading pack, galloping down the steps and out the door when the couple in front of me pulled up short. I slammed into the back of them, books flying. Ended up landing on my rear and tearing a very good pair of embroidered jeans, drat it all.

When I picked myself up, I saw what the others were staring at. Empty spots where the benches had been. All four of them--gone!

Hey, stealing a plaque and books was one thing. But for seniors, this was war.

I bought a Steno pad and stalked the halls during school days, interviewing people and taking notes. Finally, due to my diligence, a picture began to emerge of the culprit. I kept my findings to my self until I was sure who it was. I was so proud of myself! I'd done what no one else could do. I went to the culprit privately and revealed what I knew and what evidence I had. Told this person that I would tell no one as long as everything was returned. Especially the benches.

The culprit said it was all a joke anyway. One night everything was returned to the steps of the school. As for the benches, they were put right back where they belonged.

To this day I have never revealed the name of the perpetrator and never will. That experience taught me sleuthing, and it taught me the value of a protected source. (Okay, in this case the source was guilty, but that person did make things right, so I let it slide.)

From then on I hounded Jared Moore for a job at the Times. And knowing my victory at the school (of course, he wrote up the story for the paper), he hired me.

Now here I am, reporting on town events and waiting on my big break. Some day it'll come. I was really excited when world renowned movie star Edna San moved into an estate just outside town. I wrote numerous stories on how she bought her property and moved in. She's been here awhile, and that excitement has kind of died down now, but I still keep an ear to the ground in case she makes news. But in the meantime don't ask for gossip about her, because that I won't do. I'm not a gossip columnist. I'm a reporter on my way to fame--and dontcha forget it.

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 6:00 AM 18 comments links to this post
Thursday, July 13, 2006

Making the Sale

Hi, all, it's Carla Radling, coming to you for the first time. I'm a realtor here with Kanner Lake Realty. Have been for the past six years. Thinking of buying a vacation spot in our beautiful area? I'm your gal.

I'm in my early thirties and single. Looking for the right man, but that is another story.

Let me tell you about the last sale I made. Definitely not the usual kind.

It all started with a call from a prospective client wanting to see a house over on Lakeside Drive that had just listed. Okay, easy enough. We set a time for Saturday afternoon. Let me tell you, it was hot that day. I got to the house a little early, just to make sure the owners hadn't turned the central air off before they closed up the house (they were out for the day). I walked in and sure enough, it was a little stuffy. You'd be surprised how climate and ambience can affect the showing of a home. It's a lovely house with twelve-foot ceilings and ceiling fans in almost every room. I turned up the air a little, then proceeded to flip on the ceiling fans.

Everything went fine until I got to the den. I turned the fan on in there, then headed back to the hall.

Whoa. What was that loud humming noise?

Envisioning a wire shortage and burning down the house, I ran over to flip the fan off. I turned from the wall--and got hit. Hard. I went down like a rock.

Stalker, murderer, thief? No. As I picked myself up from the floor, I saw the culprit. One white blade from the ceiling fan lay near me. Hm. It had a few red stripes on it. Hadn't seen that when the blade was on the ceiling.

Okay, I'm a little slow. Give me a break. I'd just been hit in the face with a hefty ceiling fan blade. I looked down and saw some red smears on the hardwood floor.

Blood. Mine.

The doorbell rang.

Well, this obviously wasn't going to be a typical showing. Funny the reaction you get when you open a door with blood smeared on your face. The couple, bless 'em, came to my rescue. They helped me clean up and even took me to the emergency room.

Two hours and six stitches in the forehead later, we returned to finish our tour. Yup, that's me--always eager to serve my clients. The couple had been waiting for this house to go on the market, and even a vicious human-striking ceiling fan wouldn't keep them from their dream home.

Now folks, isn't that just the kind of realtor you want, whether you're buying or selling? Six stitches, plenty of bruises, and rather dazed in the noggin--and I still made the sale.

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 6:00 AM 17 comments links to this post
Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pastor Hank Goes Fishing

Hi, folks. I'm Pastor Hank Detcher. I've been preaching here at First Community Church in Kanner Lake for nearly 15 years. I'm happy to be a part of Scenes and Beans.

Bailey wanted me to talk a little about why Kanner Lake is such a great place to visit. Oh, we've got the beautiful lake and the mountains around, with plenty of places to get in touch with creation. But there's more to this little town than a pretty postcard. This is a place where the stranger becomes family.

Let me tell you a story from my first summer here. It was slow making friends as the new pastor. Everybody figured they had to be righteous or something around me, so they didn't want to do anything relaxing for fear of doing something "
stupid." They never worried about the pastor being the one to do something dumb!

One Sunday, Wilbur Hucks came up to me after church. (I think his wife may have done a little prodding, but he came nonetheless.) He asked if I wanted to do a little fishing the next Saturday. Boy howdy, did I! I'd grown up in Idaho, and if it's one thing this place has, it's good fishing. I'd been too busy to get out and drop a line. Now here was a local, wanting to take me to some sweet spot.

I was pretty excited to get my waders out and get my feet wet. Wilbur seemed a cantankerous sort, so I didn't want to set him off. I hoped to show him this "man o' God" could get right in there . I didn't know the best lure for this area, but I picked out some of my favorites. Wilbur drove up in his Chevy before the crack of dawn, and we were off.

It was a quiet trip except for Wilbur always "honkin' his horn" as he put it. I'd never seen a man blow his nose so much. He said he was having trouble with allergies and never could seem to break open the dam in there.

We started into some small talk until we parked at the trailhead, and then we hiked a little ways to one of the tributaries that feeds Kanner Lake. Lovely area, with trees lining the shore. Wilbur was chatting a little more, telling me about life in town. He also started bragging about his fishing prowess. "I always land the big one," he bragged between nose wipes with his handkerchief.

Our lines started dancing over the water, testing the fish to see what they'd bite. All the while, Wilbur couldn't stop blowing his schnoz. I couldn't take it any more after awhile. "Wilbur, you're gonna scare the fish away a mile around if you keep it up!" I declared.

He glared at me as if to say, "You young pup, who are you to be telling me to hold my honker."

In my peripheral vision I saw a big fish splash in the water. They hadn't been biting earlier, so I was determined to get this one. Just about the time I went to cast, Wilbur took a step toward me--and I hit him right square in his snoot.

My line flew out just so--right where the fish had landed. Wilbur yelped and threw his hands to his face.

"Wilbur, are you all right?" I asked. All the same, I didn't set the pole down. I wanted to catch that fish.

"Oh my node!"

I glanced over and saw blood on his fingers. I hadn't realized I'd hit him that hard. About that time I felt a powerful tug at the end of the line. Wow, what a fish it must be! He almost pulled the rod out of my hand.

I look back at my wounded companion. I figured I was in big trouble now. I could read the headlines Jared Moore would be writing: Clumsy Local Pastor Gets Tied Up in Own Fishing Line. So much for making a new friend.

Wilbur pulled out a handkerchief to stem the flow. Instead of threatening me, he waved me back toward the stream. "Don't worry aboud me. You git dad monster!"

We were a sight, let me tell you. I was reeling in what would be the largest fish to come out of Cooper Creek in twenty years, according to the locals, while Wilbur cheered me on with his head tilted back, trying to stop the bleeding.

I wrestled the beast to the shore, and after getting him secured, I packed up all the gear. I tottered down the trail with Wilbur leading the way, the occasional drop of blood escaping to mark our path. We reached the truck and got some ice out of the cooler. After another 10 minutes or so, the flow slowed to a trickle, and then stopped. Wilbur was quite the vision, with blood and dirt smeared across him.

I was sitting there as contrite as I could be, feeling awful about ignoring him while hauling in my prize. That is, until Wilbur slapped me heartily on the back. He sat on the tailgate, beaming, then pointed at his swollen nose. "Hey, I can breathe! I can't remember the last time I didn't feel stuffed up. You knocked it loose just great." He looked me up and down before commenting, "You'll do good here in Kanner Lake, Hank Detcher."

Wilbur and I have been friends ever since.

This story just shows how this little quiet town takes in family. We take all kinds. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses, Psalm 68:6, "God sets the lonely in families."

You could do worse by seeing what Kanner Lake has to offer.

God bless you all.

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 6:00 AM 16 comments links to this post
Tuesday, July 11, 2006

S-Man's World

Shnakvorum rikoyoch. (Greetings, friends.)

This is my initial hail from Java Joint in Kanner Lake, since Bailey has graciously asked me to fill a spot on her blog. My name is Ted, though the regulars call me S-Man, due to what they might term an "obsession" with my world of Sauria. I prefer to think of it as intense concentration and single-minded determination to bring this world to life through writing.

As Bailey has given me free rein regarding the content of my blog entries, I want to tell you all about Sauria and the novel that is set within it, Starfire.

I can sense many of you asking, "What is this Sauria thing?" The answer is simple. Sauria is a fictional alien world inhabited by a race of beings that bear a striking resemblance to dinosaurs. There are many different swotelakyoch (or bloodbonds/clans) of Saurians, of all colors and sizes, ranging from a humble two feet tall to a staggering sixty feet.

Starfire is set during a pivotal time on Sauria, when the two super-powers of Saurian, the Herian Dynasty and the Karn Empire, are perched on the brink of war. Over the last thousand years these two powers have re-emerged from the ashes of a world-wide cataclysm, still nursing ancient hatreds. Held in check only by a great barrier that splits their planet in twain.

Yet there have been rumors circulating among the Karn Empire that the Herians have discovered a way to breach this barrier (which, in fact, they activated to save themselves from the Empire's grasp during a great war after the cataclysm.) And Melgor, the Emporor of Karn, has begun re-positioning his military forces, giving credence to the rumors.

Add into this mix an ancient prophecy about a Saurn who will rise from his place and determine the fate of the entire world, and things are bound to get dicey. Starfire is the story of the prophesied Saurn who, though unaware of the foretelling, is swept up by forces and events beyond his understanding to finally confront his destiny and choose to destroy the Fire's Eye, or unleash the fire of the stars upon his world.

Over my next few blog entries I will give you a little behind-the-scenes look at Sauria and Starfire. Looking at where the ideas came from, who the characters are, and some other fun creatures and locations of the world. I think you'll find that in the end, things are only strange on the surface.

My first brush with Sauria started in a hospital . . .

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 6:00 AM 19 comments links to this post
Monday, July 10, 2006

Wilbur and the Bear

Hello, Wilbur Hucks here on this whatchamadiddly Bailey started. She's typing this for me 'cause I can't type or spell a lick. If you want to know something about me, I'm 77. Let's just get that out of the way right now, and don't say you weren't curious. Been married for as long as I remember and survived it. So far. Also survived a war and more recently, heart surgery. Got the scar to prove it--the surgery, I mean--and it's a mighty fine one. More on that another day.

Might as well say something right up front. As you know, Bailey's reason for starting this thing is to make visitors to Kanner Lake feel welcome. That's fine I guess, but don't expect me to be all-out friendly to everybody. Figure you better know what you're stepping into if you're gonna drive all this way to see the town. For every saint like Bailey you've got one of me. Come if you like. Take us as we are. We were here first. [Bailey: Don't believe half of Wilbur's bluster, he's a sweetheart underneath it all.]

Bailey wants me to tell you about the goings-on hereabouts, like the hunting, fishing and hiking. As the best fly fisher in Idaho, I expect she's got the right man for the job. We got fish in Kanner Lake so big you can ride 'em like a horse. For hunters, we got elk, white-tail and mule deer thicker than fleas on a dog's back. We also got ducks, geese, wild turkeys, and bear.

Took me on a bear once. Bare-handed. Well, more like footed. But the foot wasn't bare.

Since we were youngsters, old Wally Keller had been telling me he wanted to sneak up on a black bear and give him a boot in the pa-toot. Don't ask me where he got such a fool notion in his head. I told him from the start he was a downright idgit, but he kept on. Then he started calling me chicken 'cause I didn
't want nothing to do with it.

Nobody calls me chicken. Even at the age of eight. I told Wally if he and I ever got the chance, I'd be the one to give it to the bear.

Fifty-some years went by. Wally and I grew up. Wally and me went off to war and came back. (Thank the Lord.) Wally got married; I got married. We both had kids. Had us some good times with our families and some bad. In all the ruckus of life in general, we forgot about that childhood promise. Then one day when Wally and I were hiking, lo and behold out of the blue we came up on a big black bear napping in the sun with his head resting on his paws.

Wally pointed at the huge critter and then aimed his finger at me. I was about to shake my head no when Wally mouthed "You're chicken." Well, he's right about that. But then I got to thinking, doggone, we'd waited over half a lifetime for that moment, and could this war veteran just walk away? Right then and there my decision was made.

I snuck up on that bear so quiet it would have made Daniel Boone proud. Got my feet set for running, hands up and fingers spread for balance. Holding my breath. Up came one foot while I made good and sure I was stable on the other. Then I let my boot fly.

Tell you what. That bear let out a howl the likes you never heard and took off like he'd been shot out of a cannon. Likely didn't stop until he crossed the state line. Wally and I fell on the ground laughing until we near split our guts.

I came back from that hike with the proof I'm no chicken, though I suppose you could call me a durn fool. But I had me a good story to tell. Half the people don't believe it, even with Wally as my witness. Too bad, I tell the story anyway. Tell it to you in person, too, when you visit Kanner Lake. Come see us at Java Joint. Make Bailey happy.

Just stay off the stool near the counter
. It's mine.

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 6:00 AM 21 comments links to this post
Friday, July 07, 2006

Fourth of July Parade Melee--Part 2

[Carla Radling] We left off yesterday with Larry's rolling mower eating his skirt right off him. Wish we could leave it there, too, but your favorite Kanner Lake realtor is here to report that skirt jerked right down to Larry's ankles. Nimble guy that he is, Larry stumbled forward, caught himself with both hands, pushed upright, leapt out of the skirt, and hopped three steps to catch his run-away lawn mower. Machines and men in rows two, three and four all crashed into each other, the cheerleaders in front of the Manic Mowers screamed, the float with our proud veterans rolled to a halt (before it rolled over somebody). And there was Larry, hunkered in the street in an orange polka-dot pair of undershorts. Lost his skirt but caught his lawn mower. Like any loyal MM, the man's priority lies with his machine.

[Leslie Brymes] So there I am, trying to take notes for the Kanner Lake Times article on the parade. Yeah, right. Not even Jared could scribble fast enough to keep up with that mess. Besides, by the time all the crashes ended, I and my girlfriends were too busy whistling at Larry. So was his wife, who laughed so hard she fell down on the sidewalk and couldn't get up. I'm all super jazzed over my car--a bright yellow VW bug with pink daisy petals on the doors. But Larry's polka-dot shorts were so way cool, I about had the mind to repaint my car just to match them. All the man needed on 'em was a few rhinestones. I did think fast enough to throw down my Steno pad and aim a camera Larry's way. Our Kanner Lake Times is printed every Wednesday, so three guesses what was our front page above-the-fold photo. And the byline's mine. :]

[Jared Moore] This old newspaperman has seen many a Fourth of July parade in his day, but never one quite like this. By the time the Manic Mowers reformed their lines, Larry had wriggled back into that ghastly skirt (an event to behold in itself) and straightened his blonde wig. Everything eventually got moving again, and Kanner Lake denizens had drained their laugh wells dry. The MMs marched two blocks before their fearless leader called them to a halt for another performance. But no 540 that time. A few leg kicks and hokey pokey steps, and the fine men were ready to call it a day. I must commend Leslie for the photo she took of Larry. Caught the man just right--both hands in the air, face stretched in utter shock and surprise, cheeks flaming as bright as the polka-dots on his shorts. According to my prognostication, we'll sell hundreds of extra copies of the KL Times this week. Our subscribers will want to keep their own copy while mailing a second and perhaps a third to family and friends. I'm most happy to oblige.

[Ted Dawson, a.k.a. S-Man] Shak, bloggees. [Bailey--Shak is "hello" in his science fiction Saurian language.] The gang pulled me from my own computer to finish up this post. Looks to me like they've told the tale, so not sure what more I can say. Never was a Manic Mower myself. Now probably never will be. Broke my leg on the job some months back and it's in a huge cast. Be a real gimp with a mower. I have enough trouble trying to reestablish peace in Sauria. No time for mow-dance practice, even with two good legs. But since I have the blog floor, I'll say this. Kanner Lake's a good place for family and friends. And July fourth is one of the best days of the year for both. Whether a ruffled red skirt and one lone bee bring the whole parade to a bumbling halt, or all runs to perfection, a lot of folks would agree with me that the most important part of the parade is the vets. Everyone stands when our veterans go by. They're proud of themselves; we're proud and grateful for them, and what they've done for this country. Because of them we have a Fourth of July to begin with. So to them we all say wuchak. "Thanks" is hardly enough, but it's a start.

P.S. I'm happy to report the town has no idea of the color of any veteran's briefs.

[Coming Monday: Wilbur takes on a bear. Guess who wins.]

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 6:00 AM 17 comments links to this post
Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fourth of July Parade Melee--Part 1

Hi, Scenes and Beans readers. Bailey here with you on day two of our new blog, doing my best to type the story of the July Fourth parade mayhem. All of the S&B bloggers are crowded around, and I've promised each one a paragraph. Everybody's talking at once, and I can hardly think with all the noise. Somehow we'll get through this post. But, mercy, after this story, I am having each person write his or her own post, and I'll simply be the one to put it on the blog each weekday morning. A few more days of this and I will go stark raving crazy. And I do have a cafe to run.

So here goes with the story:

[Bailey] "Hup, hup, hup!" Sam Reddington, leader of the Manic Mowers, boomed in his bass voice. The thirty Manic Mowers were sandwiched between the Kanner Lake cheerleaders in front and a float of veterans behind. The MMs strut their stuff something fierce, let me tell you. They're dressed in all kind of crazy ways. Some in shorts, with their skinny legs and big bellies. Some in jeans and T shirts with the Manic Mowers logo. Charley Haight wore green and purple basketball shoes with long pink socks. Don't ask my why. (Oh. Bev wants me to add that's not all he had on.)

[Janet Detcher] The funniest MMs are the men dressed up as women. Larry Cellaway was one of those men. Now Larry's a big guy, standing six foot three, with plenty of muscle. He's in his forties (he said he didn't mind my telling you that) and is rather a town comic. This year he wore the ugliest red ruffled skirt you ever did see, clear down to his ankles. (Now where on earth did he get a skirt like that?) And a flouncy yellow top. A curly blonde wig. And--well, I just have to blurt this out--he went overboard in the chest department. He had large enough balloons filled with water to fill an E cup brassiere, and every sashaying step he took (the MMs do sashay), those fake busts would heave up and down so hard they'd smack him in the chin, then the waist. If I had to say what started all the trouble (other than the bee landing on his nose), it was his top-heaviness, plain and simple.

[Bev Trexel] Any man dressed like Larry Cellaway in public deserves a downfall, if you ask me. Sam was hupp-ing, and the men were jouncing along, following his commands. "Right haaand, uuppp!" All would raise their right hands and push their lawn mowers with the other. "Now, leeefffft!" Up would go the left hands. "Drink 'er up!" The MMs would pretend to beguzzling a can of soda as they strode along. Except that Larry couldn't keep his drinking hand to his mouth, for the force of his chest knocking it away with each step. Honestly, that man.

[Angie Brendt] Oh, Bev, lighten up, Larry was a riot. I giggled so hard, my stomach's going to hurt for a week. "Companeeee, hallltt!" cried Sam, and the MMs snapped to a stop quick enough to make any regiment leader proud. "Fronts uppp!" The MMs brought the two front wheels of their lawn mowers up. "Aboouuuttt face!" The MMs spun a one-eighty. Sam kept up his calls, and the MMs went left, right, spun again, kicked their legs, put their hands on their hips and did a little hokey pokey. All in perfect time. Goodness, how those boys must practice.

[Jake Tremaine] Yup, we practice, all right--every Saturday for a month before the 4th. Thing is, we're not in costume, and, well, you get a man in a skirt and things happen. Besides, the final 540-degree spin is one tricky piece of business. First time I marched with the Manic Mowers, I practiced it on my back patio for hours until my neighbor hollered over the fence she was gonna call the Humane Society for Mowers on account of the way I mistreated my fine piece of equipment. One time I even--

[Wilbur Hucks] Oh, hush, Jake, I done heard that story a hundred times. Besides, it's my turn. But before I tell about the 540, there's something you got to know. It was doggone hot here on the 4th. Hot enough that Larry Cellaway didn't even think of wearing anything but his skivvies under that red ruffle skirt. "Centerrr, menn!" Sam called, and the MMs faced front. "Hup, hup-hup-up-up-up!" That there's the signal that the 540's a-comin'. The MM's hands tightened on their handles, every muscle gathering for the whirl the crowd was waitin' for. "Five-forteeeee-go!" Up came the front wheels of those fine machines, the men spinnin' in precision only a foot from each other. One wrong step and somebody's gonna bust a gut for sure . . .

[Sarah Wray] I'm up? Oh, now I'm nervous. Well, okay then. I happened to be watching Larry. A little hard not to, what with that bouncing chest of his and all. I think it came up to his eyeballs long about mid spin. I saw him jerk one hand off his mower and swipe at his face. I figured he was trying to push his breasts back into place so he could see where he was going, but then he let out a yelp. Apparently a poor helpless bee got stuck a-twixt his nose and those bobbing things--and let his schnozzle have it. Larry batted at his nose again--and oh, saints a'mighty, his lawnmower got away from him, headed straight for a baby in a stroller on the sidewalk.

{Pastor Hank Detcher] Our quick-thinking Chief of Police, Vince Edwards, was standing next to the stroller. He yelled, "Watch out!", jumped into the street, caught the lawnmower and shoved it back at Larry. By this time Larry had stumbled into the line behind him, pushing Tanner Crayl and Sam Greene out of their line. Tanner rammed his mower into Sam Greene's ankle. Greene yelled like a banshee and went to kick the thing away. Then everything happened so fast. The next thing I knew, row two was stumbling back over row three's mowers, and row four ended up in row five. Larry's long skirt got caught in the wheel of his flying mower. The machine spun one way, Larry whirled another-- and in front of the entire town that red skirt of his ripped clean off his waist to the ground.

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 PM 22 comments links to this post
Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Look Who's Blogging Now

Hello, world!

Bailey Truitt here, proud owner of Java Joint coffee shop in beautiful Kanner Lake, Idaho. I'm so excited to be writing my first post, I hardly know where to begin. A lot of the regulars who hang out at Java Joint are all crowded around the computer, trying to be helpful. Trouble is, with their "help" I can hardly hear myself think. I've put my computer on a corner table in the cafe so everyone who's going to participate (see list at left) can write their posts conveniently. However, I'm already beginning to think I'll write my own posts at home.

First some background on us.

I've started this blog to tell everyone about our town--a wonderful tourist destination all year round. If you don't know northern Idaho, you're really missing something. Kanner Lake is in the panhandle, about half-way between the little towns of Spirit Lake and Priest River, and northwest of Coeur d'Alene. This is an area of pristine lakes, mountains and forests. Our own Kanner Lake is plenty big for boating, not to mention some dynamite fishing spots. Our town, population 1700, is at the north end of the lake. Main Street and the downtown area, where Java Joint sits, is just a block up from the city beach. You can stay at one of the many B&Bs in town. Water sports in the summer, snow mobiling and skiing in the winter, and hunting in season.

I could go on and on about Kanner Lake, but Wilbur says I'm beginning to sound like a travel brochure. Which prompted Carla to huff at him to leave me alone. Wilbur crabbed back (naturally), and now Pastor Hank's trying to keep the peace. Bev's muttering at Wilbur; Jake's telling me to hurry and get off so he can write his post about driving his wife crazy now that he's retired, plus some near catastrophe with a resident moose; Angie's giggling at Jake's story; and ace reporter Leslie just walked in wearing a new pair of glitzy jeans and wanting her usual "biggie" latte. Only Ted (S-Man) is leaving me alone, but then he's busy writing his own masterpiece.

Maybe this blog thing isn't such a good idea after all.

I need to make Leslie's drink and calm this crew down (lots of luck, I know), then I'll be back . . .
Okay. Half an hour later, and it's a little quieter in here. I almost deleted the last three paragraphs, but really, if you want to read this blog, you'll get to know us all soon anyway, so you might as well know right off the bat what you're getting into. Everyone here is terrific. Thats true. They just all have Personality with a capital P. And with all that Personality going on, things can get rather lively.

Java Joint has its own Personality too. Our drinks come in sizes small, middler and biggie. Casting no aspersions, but I always thought that a "tall" for a small-size drink was a mite confusing. We also have wonderful pastries, plus sandwiches for lunch.
Well, guess what. I wrote all the above on Monday the 3rd and didn't get to post it until today. Carla tells me this will never do for a blog. She says I have to post on time and regularly. So I promise from now on that I and the other Scenes and Beans bloggers will write our posts a day ahead of time, then I'll put them up early the next morning. And we'll post Monday through Friday. Okay?

So yesterday was the 4th, and our annual town parade. As always, it was a lot of fun. But this year's parade didn't go smoothly, to say the least. We had quite the domino effect when one section of the marchers got out of step. The whole town's still laughing about what happened. Everyone here at Java Joint wants to be the one to tell the story. To be fair I think we'll all write the post together. So come back tomorrow to hear all the details--if this crazy crew can work together long enough to tell it.

You see, the favorite of each year's parade is the Manic Mowers. About 30 men perform routines with their push lawn mowers, with a leader calling out the steps like some hard-nosed drill sergeant. All done with perfectly straight faces, of course. To make it even funnier, some of the men dress like women--fake busts and all. The trouble started when a bee decided to land on Larry Cellaway's nose. This wouldn't have been so bad if Larry and his trusty lawn mower weren't in the middle of one of the Manic Mower's famous precision 540-degree whirl-abouts...

Posted by ~ Brandilyn Collins @ 7:00 AM 31 comments links to this post