Saturday, February 14, 2009

Zippitydodah, I Got Squat.

John Ramsey Miller

This week, I got nothing. I thought about it yesterday while I was spreading four tons of number 57 grade blue stone with a shovel. I thought about it this morning while I was shoveling sawdust laced with chicken poop and composted leaves into my wife’s garden plot. I thought about it while I was throwing tennis balls for my dogs, and while I was on the phone with Robert Gregory Browne for twenty minutes. Yep, I’ve got zippidy-doo-da butkus.

A close friend of mine died this week and I started to do this blog about losing friends, but that could be a weekly column these days. All I'm hearing from my friends is "kerplunk." She was such a treasure, but she wanted neither a funeral nor any gathering in her honor and not even an obituary. She donated her body to a medical school to make sure some good came from her passing, and she decided to do that when she was a young, beautiful woman. Her pottery studio was open the day after she died and it’s open today. I’m not going to write about her here, but I will think about her as long as I live. I may give my body to science as long as they don’t put me in that partially peeled, men-and-animals-traveling freak show. My son took my grand kids to see that and after walking in and turning around, he demanded his money back. My son is afraid of death, and those smiling, pulled-apart people about sent him to the hospital. Nothing bothers me about death except the actual dying part of it.

Life is about relationships and the lessons you learn. Writing is about ratting them out. I am writing a book where the protagonist is an old man, a Vietnam vet with a bunch of old friends who are also over the hill. It’s easy as hell to do the research because a lot of my friends are that age and we sit around a lot. In fact, I’m darned near that age myself. It’s fun writing this one because I’m using myself as a model a lot, and I can still scrap with the younger boys, yes, I can still boogie-woogie boy howdy. Well, I can remember well enough to write about it.

See I really did have nothing.

Maybe next week, I’ll sneak up on something. I bet everybody's mad that I had Valentines Day and only mentioned it this once. I've been with my wife for 32 years, and I'm still in love with her. In fact I love her more than I did Valentines Day thirty-two years ago. That's twice. I guess we grew and changed together.


  1. For a guy with nothing to said a lot.

    Good stuff too.

    Life, death, love, gravel and fertilizer to make it all better.

  2. Lot's of meaningful content for a guy who has squat. :-)

  3. I think you got lots, John! Happy Valentine's Day to you and your wife!