April 26, 2018

No News from Doodlebud Island…by William F. Jordan

The small ticker-tape parade in honor of Hillary’s victory and celebration of our first female president was set to begin early on the morning following the election when we learned to our horror that a misfit had won the seat. Traumatized by this turn of events—or ‘Trumpatitized’ as someone pointed out, we canceled the parade, and any ideas of celebration turned into a wake. It was poor consolation to think that bigotry, ignorance, greed, and coarseness had finally found a uniting voice whose whole demeanor described an America none of us knew. Well, we made short work of the tears…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

Anslow Reddington– Judge Reddington to those appearing before his bench– has lived on Doodlebug Island for the whole of his adult life although his law practice and court experience have been off Island where duty has been that of a circuit attorney or judge. Not that his fellow residents haven’t needed the law’s interceding benefits from time to time—the temptation to speed or imbibe beyond moderation being factors in the matter—they, like people everywhere, have occasionally found themselves in court. But far from the hard-nosed, judgment-driven arbiter of legal technicalities and sentences, Anslow wages an effort to keep a human…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F. Jordan

You knew it was going to be a fun-filled day when it was announced that Sandy Upshar, a Democrat, had received an invitation to the Republican think-tank to be held in October at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park. The idea of a well-loved and highly respected history professor from Doodlebug University being invited to a think tank whose visions extend barely to the limits of legislation bought and paid for by the Koch brothers sent a wave of laughter over the whole of the island. For everyone knew that that prank would soon be followed by another, the extent…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

While Jeff Wimberly doesn’t actually live on Doodlebug Island, it is as if he did, inasmuch as he has represented us in the Arizona legislature for twenty-six years. In that time his good nature has been repeatedly tried, not so much by folks at home as by other members of the legislature with whom he serves. He was recently in to see me at the Doodlebug Publishing Company about an upcoming political ad. “If there is any insipid, inane, quirky, or downright stupid legislative bill I haven’t already heard of, I’m fairly certain someone is working on it as we…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F. Jordan

Seated on a plaza bench in front of his physical therapist’s office, Matt Cox was collecting his thoughts which, considering the paucity of thought to be collected, hardly presented a reasonable excuse for his dawdling. The plain truth was he didn’t want to go in where he would have to face his therapist Jenny Wiltbank and there confess he had done none of the exercises she had assigned him, and where he would have to stand like a school boy enduring the scorn she would heap on his head. Even now and in advance of the actual encounter, her shrill…

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What’s In A Name? . . . by William F. Jordan

Rather disillusioned by what they considered the vagaries of religion, and wanting to move away from those who would censure their actions, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh H. Hume moved to Doodlebug Island more than a dozen years ago, but not before having their name changed. What it had been before they never said, and no one on the Island ever thought to ask. Islanders have simply referred to the couple as H and H inasmuch as she has been known by the name Honor, and their names reduce to the alliterative abbreviations already mentioned. But a recent discovery on the…

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No News From Doodlebug Island . . . by William F Jordan

The usual group of Islanders with idle time on their hands and a casual disregard for the way that time was spent were gathered at Smiley Blevins barber shop where astute political analysis was always the order of the day and pronouncements rendered with the force of papal bulls. “Donald Trump is the sole accomplishment of do-nothing Republican members of Congress,” asserted Dwight Bernbaum, a retired dentist and current councilman. “He is the spokesman for millions of Americans fed up with office holders who ostensibly owe allegiance to party rather than country!” “Yeah, Trump is a hollow shell housing all…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

The usual group of Islanders with idle time on their hands and a casual disregard for the way that time was spent were gathered at Smiley Blevins barber shop where astute political analysis was always the order of the day and pronouncements rendered with the force of papal bulls. “Donald Trump is the sole accomplishment of do-nothing Republican members of Congress,” asserted Dwight Bernbaum, a retired dentist and current councilman. “He is the spokesman for millions of Americans fed up with office holders who ostensibly owe allegiance to party rather than country!” “Yeah, Trump is a hollow shell housing all…

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No News From Doodlebug Island, by William F Jordan

The usual group of Islanders with idle time on their hands and a casual disregard for the way that time was spent were gathered at Smiley Blevins barber shop where astute political analysis was always the order of the day and pronouncements rendered with the force of papal bulls. “Donald Trump is the sole accomplishment of do-nothing Republican members of Congress,” asserted Dwight Bernbaum, a retired dentist and current councilman. “He is the spokesman for millions of Americans fed up with office holders who ostensibly owe allegiance to party rather than country!” “Yeah, Trump is a hollow shell housing all…

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No News Is Good News…by William F Jordan

Doodlebug Island resident, Amos Huxley, has often described himself as being born out of time. But this is hard to comprehend given the fact he is a strong believer in the idea of reincarnation and that he is a current iteration of someone who has had a foot in every age since Neanderthal! Time, it would appear, could have little to do with it. “What I mean is that I think I was best suited for the fifteenth century. Modern life is too pedantic, too organized, too bureaucratic. Give me the merry making, the jousting, the knightly questing when Henry…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F. Jordan

A sales representative from a printing company featuring modern duplicating equipment made his way into my office recently here at the Doodlebug Run-on and publishing company, took a look at my ancient Mergenthaler linotype machine and my hand-fed Miehle letter press, trays of lead type of various sizes and families of fonts, shook his head, and asked tentatively and in obvious disbelief if I’d given any thought to upgrading my operation? Said he could sell me state-of-the-art equipment that would both speed-up and ease my printing requirements. “Why, the speed and simplicity will pay for the machines you buy in…

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It Was My Birthday . . . by William F Jordan

It was my birthday—read that ‘ancient’—and I wasn’t feeling well—read that a slight cold and a mild cough—so, as I sat at my desk at the Doodlebug Island Run-on—read that a newspaper only a few years younger than I—I was feeling an odd mix of ennui and nostalgia. And the worst part of it was that not a single person had popped in to wish me the best of the day. Oh, I had had visitors alright, the kind who wanted to complain about their names being spelled wrong, or items of factual interest that exceeded the mark or fell…

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No News from Doodlebug Island, by William F. Jordan

One of the more fascinating aspects of being in the newspaper editing and publishing business is that it provides a ring-side seat to the news or to the lives of those who make the news. Equally interesting is the business of publishing biographies, but either or both of these fails to rise to the interest level involved in publishing autobiographies. Here are recounted not only the factual results of someone’s life but his or her more intimate feelings, reactions, and attitudes about those results. More intimate yet are the regrets, blunted dreams, wishes unrealized, achievements missed, or ambitions unfulfilled It…

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The Unwritten Word . . . by William F. Jordan

It had been one of those weeks nothing happened that rose to the level of printable news. The blank pages of my newspaper, the Doodlebug Island Run-on, seemed to stare mockingly up at me as if to confirm the little good all my past efforts had achieved, and the extreme likelihood that the future didn’t auger well for anything better. Phone calls to service organizations like Kiwanis and Rotary produced nothing. No group was planning anything beyond its weekly meeting, and none was convinced that programs lined up represented anything more than a ho-hum speaker made tolerable by the comraderie…

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No News From Doodlebug Island, by William F. Jordan

It has become the practice of my wife and several of her girlfriends to conduct a fall shopping expedition to New York, where they stay at one fancy hotel or another, consume late afternoon maitais following many hours at Macy’s, Borgdorf’s, and Bloomingdales before dressing for an evening at the theater and a late dinner at Sardi’s. Contemplation of the next extravaganza begins follows hard on the heels of their return, and involves a critique of their recent triumphs and those things they mean to improve. Needless to say, we husbands are less than enthusiastic about these annual pilgrimages. In…

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No News From Doodlebug Island, by William F. Jordan

Long-time residents of Doodlebug Island Dwayne Murchison and his wife Peggy are just returned from a trio up the Rhine River during which they had the pleasure of continuing their pastime of pleasant disagreements. For, though they are devoted to each other, each finds pleasure in different things. While Peggy is buoyantly optimistic and devotes herself to finding spiritual connections with the people she meets and the beauty of her surroundings, Dwayne has a more detached and philosophical perspective that more than somewhat borders on the skeptical and sardonic. “Bill,” he said to me, “Every little town or village in…

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No News From Doodlebug Island, by William F Jordan

When members of the Doodlebug Island Chamber of Commerce chose a new president, they turned to Riley Curtis, a stalwart and indefatigable member who had performed yeoman duty in virtually every chairmanship capacity to which he had been appointed. Whether it was membership, finance, advertising or public relations, he had stood to his post and accomplished chamber duties in a creditable, even stellar way. So, it came as a surprise to everyone that whereas he smoothly assumed his new duties, he nevertheless managed to be a source of consternation to other members. With his first speech, it became apparent that…

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No News From Doodlebug Island by William F. Jordan

Like many people, Darwin Wilkens, who has weathered fifty-three years on Doodlebug Island, is inordinately fond of sharing his experiences, insights, political views, and philosophy of life with anyone willing to risk the encounter. And, if no one volunteers for the job of listening, he is known to leave the park bench that from long use has born the imprint of his presence and insinuate himself into the conversations of people simply strolling through or socializing with friends. All he appears to need is the merest wisp of the matter being discussed, and he’s off like Man of War. “I…

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No News From Doodlebug Island by William F. Jordan

Franklin Hempstead was a man who could have gone off to the hereafter loved and respected by other Doodlebug Islanders, missed by all who knew him, remembered for his quiet, sober reflections. But he almost ruined what could have been and should have been cherished recollections of his generous, giving nature by bequeathing his assets to the church of which he had been a member for sixty-five of his seventy-three years, and stipulating that the funds be spent in the acquisition of an organ, “unless the congregation should decide to expend the money on what they perceive a more pressing…

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No News From Doodlebug Island

Dinner conversation among friends gathered at Wally’s restaurant was running to the usual regarding the inane doings of the Arizona Legislature when someone mentioned retirement, and the conversation shifted to what could be anticipated. “Ted and I are going to travel to those places where religion isn’t the excuse for killing one another,” said Susie Higgens, a petite first-grade teacher. “Yeah,” added Ted, “places where citizens know they’re in the twenty-first century and not stalemated in the twelfth. In short, we have no plans to visit Israel, the middle east, or Africa! Maybe we’ll see what the French or our…

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