1. Au Hasard Balthazar, sublime 1966 film by Robert Bresson about a farm girl and her saint-like donkey.
"Everyone who sees this film will be absolutely astonished, because this film is really the world in an hour and a half."
2. Swiss Trio: Swissmar Classic Peelers, gift from Marjorie S'addah, writer extraordinaire, dear friend, and recent visitor from upstate New York:
3. God's Word: Blues Musician J. B. Lenoir:
4. Sacred Heart prayer card (...or...what is this, cradle Catholics? Is it a scapular or what? approx. 1" x 2," tucks nicely into back jeans pocket) (breaking news: it's a BADGE, see comment below) in laminated plastic case, given to me by my beloved Jewish friend, Lisa G.:
5. Windom (Minnesota) Peewees:
Around about Tuesday, the mailman shoved through the slot a real treat: a package from my young friend Timmy J. Smith. Timmy, lately of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, hails from the small town of Windom, Minnesota, and for years has been putting out a primo 'zine called The Fellowship of Tim. I am the proud owner of many back copies, which profile such people, places, and things as the groddy sink in the restroom of the garage where he worked as a third-generation gas station attendant and in which he figured he'd washed his hands at least 10,000 times, dwarf wrestlers, his job as a box-cutter, and his stint as a clerk at a record/porn movie shop. Anyway, this time he sent me two more (PLUS a couple of CDs of my NPR stories, which was we originally bonded, PLUS a very cool Michael the Archangel medal): one about his foray into the world of stand-up comedy, and one about his career as a Windom PeeWee tee-baller.
Here's how one story begins:
I am going to pick one defining moment in PeeWee's History that until right now has remained a secret for over 25 years. And here it is; I told Heath Raverty to pick my little sister for his 2nd pick to be on our team, which he then did. Then when everyone started making fun of our pick I lied and said that what I really said was "don't pick my sister." My best intentions on taking care of my scared little sister had now turned to the exact opposite of making my friend look stupid and leaving my sister's feelings hurt. I couldn't let Mr. Jaacks and all the other Peewees think that I would actually want my little sister on my team. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm a horrible brother and I wasn't, I was 8 and a PeeWee. My intentions were good and pure, but in that ten seconds, ten quick seconds, I got a harsh lesson in PeeWees baseball. A lesson that after 25 years I just might understand....
PARKMAN AVENUE JUST SOUTH OF SUNSET BOULEVARD,
EAST SIDE OF STREET, GROWING IN PROFUSION ON VINES COVERING
OTHERWISE UNREMARKABLE CHAIN LINK FENCE
* Tim J. Smith is currently studying to become a Catholic priest.