Doings of Dudley Doolittle: This is the name I use in the sometimes hilarious, outrageous, or cynical short stories posted monthly.
A fictitious name will be used in most of the stories. It is there to protect the identity of the guilty.
These true stories are over half a century old or more.
Doings of Dudley Doolittle 7th edition
This interesting story wouldn’t have happened without the love of my life, wife Jane. She is so much fun to be with and lightens and brightens my life with her cynical and witty Swedish humor. She even laughs at my jokes and loves me. As I say: “I am not the one who married the Norwegian.”
By 1972 with our five year plan completed, Jane and I were a team of two revved up by youthful exuberance, the sky was the limit with no dull moments.
We disposed of all unnecessary belongings, sold our houses, cars, and business. We sailed away on our just launched 46-foot sailing yacht Dursmirg. Our destination was just south, where the wind blew us, when the spirit moved us, and the price was right.
Long story short: Living aboard Dursmirg in the 1970s during the Arab oil embargo years made us into genuine sailors. Our sailing rowing dingy became an essential element in our procurement of fresh seafood, free for the taking. We lived out of the sea. Onshore excursions for shopping and recreation were by bicycle. Our new lives were people powered, going with the tide, not against it.
We purchased a handyman special apartment in St. Augustine, Florida, the most economically depressed place in America at the time.
Again long story short: One day while working at our apartments renovation project a plumber wanted the building water shut off. The building was 190 feet long, three stories tall, and had 26 units plus a duplex. The shut off was a two-inch ball valve. I got the shutoff key and handled it to the plumber, then pointed out the valve. He took the 6 foot “T” handled key and gave it all the effort he had. Then he exclaimed: “It won’t budge.” My wife Jane took the key from him, and without strain turned the valve.
A fringe benefit of our new life style...we were physically fit, and it really felt good. We were happy.
A leap ahead: After two plus years of pandemic restrictions, Jane and I made our first venture out of town to visit our daughter Grisel, now 38 years old, and her husband. They live and work in Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean coast. Grisel and her husband both work in tourist related jobs. Grisel took every opportunity to increase her knowledge base becoming certificated in therapeutic treatments from health and beauty to massage. Her husband Juan is a multilingual licensed chauffer and tour guide.
During our visit Grisel insisted on giving us full body massages. I was impressed with our little girl’s physical strength. Grisel was not just strong, she was “wonder woman” powerful! No one is going to push her around.
Reflecting on these experiences of strength led me to another memory from back in the 1950s when I ran into a high school classmate in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin.
Paul Siciliano and I were always friendly with each other. He was easygoing and unpretentious. I asked if he would like to go for a boat ride and he said: “Sure.” We zipped across the lake powered by a 60 hp, three-cylinder Scott Atwater, the fastest boat on Lake Nebagamon at the time.
We docked at my parents cabin. I had just purchased a York barbell set. It was sitting out on the patio. Paul was interested, and I asked if he would like to try it. He said “Yes.” I put 170 pounds on it. Paul pressed it over his head with ease. I was amazed and asked if I should increase the weight. He said “Yes.” Next I increased the weight to 190 pounds. This was a challenge for him but straining the bar went up and perceptively bowed under the strain. Incredible!
I didn’t want to cause him bodily injury. That was enough.
Paul casually mentioned his relative Angelo Siciliano, who changed his name to Charles Atlas and became famous with his body building programs. His advertisements beginning in the 1930s appeared in 10 cent comic books.
To refresh my memory of Charles Atlas I read about him in Wikipedia. Reading of Charles Atlas brought back not only fond memories of Paul but recollections of reading those comic books
Link to INDEX of Dudley Doolittle Stories