Saturday, April 30, 2005

Searching for Mike Quin

This is in reference to an article I wrote about the San Francisco Literary scene 12 years ago. Can anyone else help?

Dear Mr. Phillips,

I am searching for a San Francisco author that seems to have left no traces on this earth. I have a book written by Mike Quin and published by The People's World of San Francisco. This book is called More Dangerous Thoughts and was copyrighted in 1941. It lists four other books that he wrote and the introduction was written by Theodore
Dreiser. I saw your website and thought perhaps your San Francisco background might have put you in touch with some info on him. I found his short stories and poems to be quite entertaining, but perhaps the rest of the world thought otherwise and has chosen to ignore him. In any case, if you can provide any information it would be greatly appreciated and if not thank you for your time.

Virginia McClary

Thursday, April 28, 2005

International Thomas Merton Society Meeting

I will be blogging from the International Thomas Merton Society meeting in San Diego, California, that will be meeting June 9 - 12. Go to my Thomas Merton website and click on the ITMS meeting info in San Diego. Or go to this San Diego Merton Site

If you know of bloggers interested in being listed on my website who will be at the convention, please let me know. I will be glad to add them to the list. Presently there are over 2000 members worldwide and 400 are expected to be in attendance in San Diego. It will be an excellent meeting.

Warning Sign

Warning Sign

Sign on the Heirloom Shop in Franklin, TN.

Ludlow Porch's Site Humor

You KNOW your job is safe as long as these guys are around...

Recently, when I went to McDonald's I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I asked for a half dozen nuggets "We don't have half dozen nuggets," said the teenager at the counter. "You don't?" I replied. "We only have six, nine, or twelve," was the reply. "So I can't order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?" "That's right." So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets.

I was checking out at the local Wal-Mart with just a few items and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up one of those "dividers" that they keep by the cash register and placed it between our things so they wouldn't get mixed. After the girl had scanned all of my items, she picked up the "divider" looking it all over for the bar code so she could scan it. Not finding the bar code she said to me, "Do you know how much this is?" I said to her, "I've changed my mind, I don't think I'll buy that today." She said "OK" and I paid her for the things and left. She had no clue to what had just happened.

A lady at work (not our company) was seen putting a credit card into her floppy drive and pulling it out very quickly. When I inquired as to what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a credit card number, so she was using the ATM "thingy."

I recently saw a distraught young lady weeping beside her car. "Do you need some help?" I asked. She replied, "I knew I should have replaced the battery to this remote door unlocker. Now I can't get into my car. Do you think they (pointing to a distant convenience store) would have a battery to fit this?" "Hmmm, I dunno. Do you have an alarm, too?" I asked. "No, just this remote thingy" she answered, handing it and the car keys to me. As I took the key and manually unlocked the door, I replied, "Why don't you drive over there and check about the batteries. It's a long walk."

Several years ago at another company, we had an Intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, "I'm almost out of typing
paper. What do I do?" "Just use copier machine paper," the secretary told her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five "blank" copies.

Unfortunately, these people get to vote AND reproduce!!!

Have you got a funny but true story that would fit this page? Email it
toRandy []!


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Occupational Hymns



~ Astronaut: "Nearer My God, To Thee"
~ Baker: "I Need Thee Every Hour"
~ Barber: "A Parting Hymn We Sing"
~ Baseball Batter: "Seek Thee First"
~ Builder: "How Firm A Foundation" and "The Church's One Foundation"
~ Canoeist: "Flow, River, Flow"
~ Carpenter: "The Nail Scarred Hand"
~ Children's Librarian: "We've A Story To Tell"
~ Chiropractor: "Awake My Soul, Stretch Every Nerve"
~ Civil Engineer: "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"
~ Dentist: "Crown Him With Many Crowns"
~ Electrician: "O Joyful Light" and "Send The Light"
~ Fisherman: "Shall We Gather At The River?"
~ Golfer: "There Is A Green Hill Far Away"
~ Gossiper: "Pass It On," "It Is No Secret," and "Oh, For A Thousand
~ Historian: "Tell Me The Old, Old Story"
~ IRS: "All To Thee (I Owe)" and "We Give Thee But Thine Own"
~ Jogger: "The Path Of Life"
~ Lifeguard: "Come To The Water"
~ Long-Distance Trucker: "On The Highways And Byways Of Life"
~ Mathematician: "10,000 Times, 10,000 Times"
~ Medical Technician: "Revive Us Again"
~ Mountain Climber: "The Rock That Is Higher Than I"
~ Obstetrician: "He Is Able To Deliver Thee"
~ Optometrist: "Open Mine Eyes That I Might See" and "When I Can Read My
Title Clear"
~ Paratrooper: "Now On Land And Sea Descending"
~ Philosopher: "I Am Thinking Today"
~ Politician: "Standing On The Promises"
~ Real Estate Agent: "I've Got A Mansion"
~ Sailboater: "Deep River"
~ Sceptic: "Almost Persuaded"
~ Shopper: "Sweet By And By"
~ Speech Therapist: "He Never Said A Mumbling Word"
~ Steeple Builder: "Lift High The Cross"
~ Stonecutter: "Rock Of Ages"
~ Switchboard Operator: "There's A Call Comes Ringing"
~ Tailor: "Holy, Holy, Holy"
~ Voice Teacher: "Sing Them Over Again To Me"
~ Watchmaker: "Take Time To Be Holy"
~ Watchman: "Silent Night"
~ Weatherman: "There Shall Be Showers Of Blessings"

.... Mike Atkinson (Mikey's Funnies - )

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Fw: AM with MERTON (Today)

"After a hot, stuffy weekend, there was a good thundershower and I was
glad of the rain, though I lost some sleep. Today was beautiful as
spring should be, and best of all a couple of quail started up under my
feet behind the hermitage, and the cock with his trim black crest
whirred off into the pines. I had thought they were all done for."

1960-1963, page 315...Merton wrote this on April 23, 1963 )

What will I notice in my world today?

Merton quote of the day by Wayne Burns

Friday, April 22, 2005

Advice For All of Us

Found above a ladies desk where I work, written in the handwriting of a small boy.


Don't Give Up.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Praying Time Again


I see it on your face. The meager smile. The half-hearted hello. A frowned brow. The heaviness in your walk. No time for humor. You get the idea. The times are tough for all of us. I can tell by the prayer list. “Brother Dan, Please add me to your prayer list.”

The prayer list grows heavy and sometimes I wonder, “what does this praying really mean?” Sure, I know prayers are answered, but sometimes I feel a futility about it, like yesterday while I was praying with two families after their loved ones had coded, one of them to die shortly thereafter. Is it really futile to pray like that? Am I talking to myself. Is this just a game where I am kidding myself that prayers make a difference?

BUT, I stop and think, and remember 4 months ago when, under terrible duress and challenge, I knew without a doubt that GOD HAD ANSWERED A PRAYER and I WEPT. So this is my reminder to myself, God does answer prayer, maybe not in the way we ask, but when he does it is no doubt about Him being the one that answered.


I believe the date was December 23, 2004. I was in my brother-in-law’s house in Canton, Michigan. It had snowed all night. 8 inches of snow surrounded the house. I was getting ready to go to Chelsea Community Hospital to see Janet. This was her third week in the Headache Clinic Hospital.

The night before we received a call. Janet’s dad, 88 years old, had fallen and was in terrific pain and couldn’t move. They were having difficulty getting medical help for him. He could not walk. What made matters worse is that his wife, Georgia, was trying to help and she had earlier in the year had major heart surgery at Centennial Medical Center. (In fact in a years time 3 family members had major surgery here.) We were worried. What to do? But 649 miles away there is not much you can do but pray.

Then, the next morning, on December 23rd, I received a phone call from my daughter Melinda. “Dad, Aunt Suzanne (Janet’s other brother who lives in Nashville’s wife) called and she was hysterical. She said, Eric had been in a terrible wreck on the interstate—remember the ice?—and someone had called on a cell phone and told her she had better come quickly to where the wreck was because he was in such bad shape.”

Do you get the picture? Wife Number 1 in hospital. Father-in-law needing immediate medical attention. Brother-in-law dead. 649 miles away. I could just feel the terrible numbing of saying to Janet in the hospital, good news, your dad is alive. Bad news, Eric is dead.

I immediately began calling hospitals: Centennial, Vanderbilt, Baptist, Southern Hills !! Do you have an ambulance that has gone to get Eric Honeycutt who was involved in a wreck? NO ! NO! NO! NO!

Minutes shaped into partial hours. Every moment a lifetime. The worse fear. Eric Dead!! That would be the worse tragedy that could hit our family for many many reasons that I can’t elaborate on here.

Then Melinda again, Drew – Eric’s son 8 years old – said Centennial was where they were going. His Mom couldn’t talk.

I called ER again !! Kim answered. “Brother Dan, I believe he is here. He’s with Lee. Let me get you into that room.”

The next voice I here is Lee Trevor and in the distant background Eric with groping words saying something almost understandable. “Lee is he alive?” “Bro. Dan, well yes. He is bruised really badly and probably has a concusion, but I believe he is going to be ok.”

Do you have any idea how comforting Lee Trevor’s voice is in a life and death situation? Just the news, “he is going to be ok!” My sister-in-law and I both began weeping and just said THANK YOU LORD FOR ANSWERING PRAYER !!!

So, its praying time again. Time to go over the list once more. And maybe you can help.

1.Pray for the person in the office next to you. Pray that they may have a good day, a day of good news and hope and that their family may be well.

2.Pray for yourself, that God will surround you and protect you and make his presence so clear that you can honestly say, “THANK YOU LORD FOR ANSWERING MY PRAYER.”

Brother Dan

Monday, April 18, 2005

Emergent Church Controversy

If you want the real skinny on the Emergent Church Controversy here it is.

Texas Baptism

After a hardy Texas rainstorm filled all the potholes in the streets and alleys, a young mother watched her two little boys playing in the puddle through her kitchen window.

The older of the two, a five year old lad, grabbed his sibling by the back of his head and shoved his face into the water hole. As the boy recovered and stood laughing and dripping, the mother runs to the yard in a panic.

"Why on earth did you do that to your little brother?," she says as she shook the older boy in anger.

"We were just playing church mommy," he said. "I was baptizing him the name of the Father, the Son and in the hole-he-goes."

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Fiesta Queen

Fiesta Queen

I am re-reading the Boys of Summer on this beautiful spring day. Oh how I loved the Brooklyn Dodgers, listening to every game on WOKE 1290 khz in Oak Ridge, TN during the 50s.

And now to today's fan mail: "Hello Mr. Phillips:My name Is Tracy and i am a junior at West Las Vegas high school. I am emailing you because i feel that you could help me. i am recently running for Fiesta Queen de Las Vegas and i was wondering if you could possibly help me out in learning more about the history of Las Vegas. If you are interested please email me." Wow. I can now help the Fiesta Queen.

What a life.

Oh yes, I am believing more and more that German Cardinal Ratzinger will be the next pope.

Friday, April 15, 2005

A Friday in April

It has been a nice week. The weather exceptional and Janet finally got a Botox shot which we hope will help with her headaches. We will see.

My memory is fading. I have been trying to memorize the following for years without success. Now I am trying again.

"The Lord bless and keep you, The Lord Make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, The Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you peace."

Something so simple. Now I know why they kept telling me to memorize things when one was young because it becomes impossible when you are old.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Perfect Day Outside

Perfect Day Outside

For lunch I walked across the Centennial park to one of my favorite hangouts, Hog Heaven Barbeque. It was delicious, then back through the park where I sat by the lake and looked at the Parthenon. It was a nice time.

Monday, April 11, 2005

LAS VEGAS, NEW MEXICO, and Harold Thatcher and Ms. Crabtree

Harold Thatcher and Ms. Crabtree, Las Vegas, N.M.

A note written while getting my eyes examined:

I love these emails it is related to an article I wrote about Las Vegas,New Mexico, called the The Outlaw and the Politician.

I wrote an article about a Ms. Crabtree, a woman with a wooden leg, noted by the Reverend Belvin as the smartest woman in the world. The following is recent fan mail from someone in Las Vegas, N.M.

"I read your articles on Las Vegas with much interest. I am a native of Las Vegas and even though I have not lived there for many years it remains very close to my heart. By the way, Harold Thatcher's wife was my fifth grade teacher and Ms. Crabtree was my third grade teacher.  I recall being fascinated by her wooden leg.  My grandmother was born inLas Vegas in 1869 and she died in 1969, the year I graduated from high school. I often recall the wonderful stories she used to tell me about the outlaws in Las Vegas. One group you did not mentioned was the "Gavia de Silva" which translated means Silva's gang. She had a cousin which was a member of this gang until he got killed with a crow bar while trying to pull a solo robbery.  Thank you for your writings...

Julián Tim Gómez

A Little Help - PLEASE !!!!

I am sure I don't have the right attitude toward this, but it is amazing how many students write to me for help who are too lazy to look things up for themselves. Oh well !!! Hope this gentleman gets it together ---

Dear Brother Dan,

My name is ------, and I found your email on your Thomas Merton website. I was assigned a History paper for any topic I chose. I wanted to write about how Catholicism has inspired modern American History, and vice versa. I gave this idea to my professor, and automatically he hollers out Thomas Merton. I've researched some of his books, and sorrowfully time did not allow for detailed reading of everything.

I was wondering if you had any specific books that would be useful for my research. He told me not to give just a bio of Thomas Merton, which I have enough to do, but talk about how his writings and how he is still inspiring monks today. I can tell about how his name is flown about the internet that his works are still inspiring today, but I can't enter that as evidence in the paper. I need a source that can tell me facts and that sort to put in the paper. He also requires that I have a
scholarly journal, and i'm having a really hard time finding what would be called a scholarly journal that deals with the life and inspiration of Thomas Merton. I was wondering if maybe you know a Catholic magazine that could beconsidered "scholarly" that has dealt with the subject of Merton's writings. Thank you so much for taking time to read this, and any help would be greatly appreciated. God Bless


Anybody got any advice for my fried????

Sunday, April 10, 2005



Went to First United Methodist Church tonight where they had a Taize
music service and a labyrinth. It has been a couple of years since I
walked a labyrinth and I really enjoyed walking it.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Pope and the Princess

Pope and the Princess

Isn't this interesting. When Princess Diana died a few days later Mother
Teresa died. Yesteray Pope John Paul was buried and today Prince Charles
marries Carmilla Parker Bowles.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Snow storm

Snow storm

Temp. Is 70 degrees. This sign was on the back of a lady in front of me
while I was waiting to buy a sandwich.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Truth About Tucumcari New Mexico

I have failed miserably at becoming a travel writer. I am envious of Paul Theroux, Pico Iyer, William Least Heat Moon, and John Steinbeck, who can make magic with a vehicle on the road.

For several years I travelled the country, logging in at 49 states -- minus North Dakota-- and writing stories, sending them to editors, getting me an agent, and then finally, giving up and putting everything on the internet without thoughts of futher publication.

The result is FOUR CORNERS - A LITERARY EXCURSION ACROSS AMERICA, a top 5 percent of the web travel book. It just sits on the web gathering a rather weird bunch of fellow travelers.

The top story in the collection is about TUCUMCARI, NEW MEXICO. Numerous people have travelled through Tucumcari, read my story, and told of changed lives. Some were original inhabitants, ashamed of their hometown, who wrote to say, "I was ashamed of Tucumcari, but since reading your story, I am excited about the town I came from." Not bad, I say.

Anyway, here is the latest FANMAIL from a lady named Rhonda. Listen to her story and her attack on my feel of Tucumcari. "RHONDA, I REALLY LOVE TUCUMCARI AND WANT TO GO BACK." ENJOY !!!!

Subject: Tucumcari New Mexico
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 12:01:17 -0600

An unknown, always exciting. Tucumcari New Mexico is within 35 miles of 2 wonderful lakes, the Conchas and the Ute. What a wonderful place to have a home that is convenient to our favorite fishing lakes and yet we are 2 blocks from most convienences. We bought our home there 3 years ago. We drive 3 hours every weekend to go home. Home Sweet Home.

One day driving, I saw a young man, cowboy hat, on the sidewalk by the grocery store. He was practicing his roping, I'd guess while mama was in shopping.  Only in Tucumcari. I can guarantee none of HIS shirt buttons were broke.

Next time there, go to meet my neighbors, 50 year residents, and two of the sweetest people I have ever known. Within months he was our Pop, and she our Edith. Not one project did we start that Pop didn't help or bring his homemade contraption to move, pull up, or lift. 

Go to Tucumcari Ranch Supply on Saturday morning and see the employees eating breakfast burritos from La Cochina De Raul where they also make homemade rellenos. Oh, and Jim the owner of the ranch supply buys the burritos for his people every Saturday morning and they are delivered.

I was alone for lunch on New Years Day the 2nd year there. I went to Del's restaurant and lo an behold was served black eyed peas in addition to the beans. My kind of town!!!!! Last year I went to the grocer to buy them and they were almost out. My kind of people, my kind of town.

You certainly missed out seeing the Center Gift and Gallery. Owned by two elderly people, he does wonderful matting and they have wonderful western art. Oh and they are closed on Saturday but if you knock they are probably there and stop and pet their two small dogs.

I bet you have never been to a Dinosaur Museum. Fun for all ages!

I thank you for the information about the old museum. I am taking the 3 grandkids next Saturday. Now I have more information. They would have spent hours at the Craft Fair last weekend had I not nudged them along. Yes, they moved to Tucumcari and live across the street from us. Who could ask for anything more, kids, fishing and a small country town. Another plus is we can go to Albuquerque, NM or Amarillo TX by jumping on the freeway if we feel a need.

Too bad your eyes were only on Tucumcari long enough to give the impression that all of us smell, are dirty, tattooed and devoid of laughter. I cannot see the names of the motels you listed as morbid. We have no Bates Motel. On the other hand we do have a Holiday Inn and many other nice motels. I guess it is according to your budget.

In the whispering twilight between rooms, one sees animated conversation between fat women with tattoos and men with cowboy hats and broken-buttoned shirts. There always seems to be an air of disquiet, as if someone has been cheated out of a good-time. There is no laughter. A small bottle is often passed circumspectedly between the victims of the shadowless night. Most of the motels need painting.

At least, at the end of your story, you had an inkling of what you missed. I will search for more of your stories.

Have a good day,


Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Finally got a glimpse of rest late this afternoon after getting home from work. It has been so busy lately. Two babies died and I am planning a memorial service for them. I had to tell a man in poor health that his Mother had died. A man going for surgery requests my presence at 6 a.m. causing me to have to go to work an hour and a half early.

From Psalm 23: I am speaking tomorrow on PROVISION.(vs. 1 - I shall not want).

In Time of Need God provides: Nourishment (vs.2 - Green Pastures), Quiet Rest (beside the still waters), Restoration (vs. 3 - he restores my soul), Guidance (vs.3 - He guides me in paths of righteousness), and HIS PRESENCE (vs. 4 - For thou art with me during the valley of the shadow of death. Brother that will preach.

I always love a quick sermon like that. When Clyde Francisco was teaching us Jeremiah in seminary, every Friday he would say, "Now, I know many of you will not have the opportunity to study like you need to for Sunday's Sermon, so here is an outline that will preach." So PROVISION PSALM 23 will PREACH !!

Baptist Hospital and the Pope

Baptist Hospital and the Pope

Baptist Hospital in Nashville is flying their flag at half mast in
memory of Pope John Paul 2. The flag is between the 2 buildings.



I had to come to work early -- 6 a.m. I wanted to eat at Elliston Place
but they did not open until 7. They have the best chocolate malts in
town and are presently the oldest restaurant in Nashville. I
finally got the best omelet in town made by my friend Cleveland. For
$2.49 it included 2 eggs, jalapenos, onions, ham, cheese, and tomatoes.
Really nice.!!!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Old Friends and good movie

Old Friends and good movie

Cold Saturday. 74 degrees on Sunday. Saw the movie OFF THE MAP. Loved
it!! Saw old high school classmate in theatre. (see enclosed picture of
Charles Willis and myself).

Will miss Pope John 2. What an extraordinary man.

Glad baseball season has opened. I always say that life gets better when
baseball season opens. Its about time!!