Square-cut or Diagonal?

I was a brown-bagger for 35 or 40 years. I never was much interested in networking or hanging out with a bunch of people. I generally spent my lunch periods reading trade magazines or reading a book I had brought from home. Pat worked, too, so to help out, I often fixed my own lunch. Quick and easy was my style. Two slices of bread, mayo on one and mustard on the other, a slice of lunch meat completed the sandwich, a bag of carrot sticks or celery, some potato chips, and one of those little cans of juice. Off to work we go.

Pat and I frequently have sandwiches for lunch now. We both enjoy them. There are not that many calories in them, they are easy to prepare, it doesn’t mess up the kitchen too much, and you can prepare a lunch and set it up on the patio table in minutes.

Pat makes great sandwiches, much better than mine. She uses 1 or 2 kinds of lunch meat, 1 or 2 kinds of cheese, mayo, hot mustard, lettuce and tomato or avocado if she has them, and puts it all between slices of that whole grain bread that has the nuts in it. Oh, yeah!

The other day, we were having our lunch on the patio. The sky was blue and had those little white puffy clouds and the temperature was in the high 70’s. What a day! As I bit into my sandwich I thought, “Boy, this is even better than usual!” I asked Pat what she had put in the sandwich to make it so different. She told me she had used her normal ingredients and hadn’t added anything extra. I went ahead and ate my sandwich and enjoyed it immensely but I couldn’t help wondering why it tasted so special. It looked the same as always except rather than being square cut, she had cut it in half diagonally. Being 78 years old and retired and having more idle time than brains, I can contemplate these mysteries of life. I tried to come up with the answer but didn’t realize until the next day what made this sandwich so special.

I grew up in a little town of 5,000 people. Strangely enough, we had two drug stores on the main drag and they were only about 3 doors apart. Cooper Drugs, owned by John Cooper, was a Rexall affiliate. Drain’s Drugs, owned by Jack Drain, was affiliated with Walgreen. Both stores had soda fountains and a couple of booths in the back. Once in a while, when we were grade school kids, for a special treat our Mom would take us to one of the drug stores for lunch. I usually had a sandwich and a cherry Coke or a cherry phosphate. The sandwiches were always delicious. My favorites were egg salad and egg and olive. The sandwiches were toasted and another of the things that made them so memorable was that they were always cut in half diagonally! Mom never did that at home. Only those “special” sandwiches at the drug store were cut in half diagonally. All of these memories came to mind as I thought about the fantastic sandwich that Pat had put together for us.

What does it all mean? Who knows?

Dave Thomas
November 12, 2014


Learning To Ride With Roy And Gene

Learning To Ride With Roy and Gene

I guess it was shame that made me realize I needed some riding lessons from the best. Back in the early 1940’s I was a grade school kid growing up in the small town of Augusta, Kansas. The problem was that I should have been out in the country where a kid can have a horse like a cowboy ought to. Still, I was doing my best to be a cowboy. Every Saturday afternoon I went to the picture show to see Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, the Durango Kid, and all the rest of my heroes. Even though there was a war on, I spent more time playing “cowboy” than I did playing “army”.

Anyhow, I was always doing everything I could to get a ride on someone’s horse or pony by looking sad-eyed until they let me crawl up in the saddle for a while. I thought I was making real progress toward turning into a cowboy until I was rudely awakened one day. This is where the “shame” stuff comes in. A new kid moved in about a block from where we lived. That put him right on the edge of town and with a big enough place to bring his pinto pony with him. Naturally, I made friends with this kid real fast! It wasn’t long until I got offered a chance to get on that pony and try him out. The kid’s Dad must have sized me up pretty good because he kept asking if I could ride. Of course, I kept telling him that I was an old hand at this sort of stuff and there was nothing to worry about. Well, I climbed aboard and commenced to show everyone how a real cowboy did it. I was looking real good for about the first two steps that pony took but, by the third step, I was hanging on for dear life because he was already at a full gallop. He headed south for a block which got us to the highway and then turned east going flat out! It was only another block to State Street and the town’s only stoplight and it didn’t take us long to get there. I don’t know if the light was red or green, but I knew that if that pony tried to turn on to that brick paved street we could be in for a mighty big wreck. As we hit the intersection and those hooves started clicking on the bricks, I could see heads turn at the filling stations that occupied three of the four corners. The pony started turning north to go up the street and we rounded that corner with him slipping and sliding and me yelling “whoa” and trying to grab hold of anything I could find. He stayed on his feet and I stayed aboard and we finally lived through the turn and got lined out going straight up the hill. I’d already lost the stirrups and was grabbing leather and yelling at the top of my lungs. I looked up and saw my Great-aunt, Rachel Peebler, coming down the street in her big green Packard. I yelled something at her as she went past (probably “help”) and looking back saw her make a u-turn and start after us. We kept going up the street as fast as that pony would go. We passed friends, relatives, classmates, and everyone else I didn’t want to see.

Roy & Trigger 1

Well, to get to the end of this, the street ran for a mile from the stoplight and ended at a pasture. When we got to the pasture, the pony stopped running blew a little, and went to grazing. I found out later that he had been pastured there for the last couple of years so he thought he was just heading for home.

I hadn’t got over the wild ride yet and things got even worse. Here comes my Aunt Rachel , followed by the Chief of Police, the parents of the kid that owned the pony, cars carrying friends of my folks, and other townspeople that knew me, and a few strangers that just wanted to help a kid in trouble. By the time they got done asking after me and petting me on the head, I decided that it would have been a blessing to have gotten racked up on one of those telephone poles that we had flown by so fast. You can imagine how my cowboy image suffered from all of this. And, a few weeks later I managed to do it again!


Gene 1

My great Uncle, Dave Peebler, had bought this retired polo pony to save it from the glue factory and he put it to pasture on his place just east of town on Custer Lane. Now, in case you don’t know, the first lesson about polo ponies is that they aren’t “ponies”! They are large, aggressive horses that love to run and mix it up. And, to make it even worse, this particular pony went by the name of “Let’s Go”! To anyone with any brains, that would have been the first clue. Anyhow, to get into this story, I begged until Uncle Dave took me out to his place, cinched up an English saddle, and tossed me aboard. I settled into a good seat and was looking real good for about as long as it takes to say “Let’s Go”. The next thing I know, we’re burning up that country road about ten times faster than that little paint pony had done. Fortunately, after a few miles, the horse got bored and stopped to eat some hedge apples. I slid off and just stood there holding the reins and waiting for Uncle Dave to show up. Naturally, he was laughing his head off when he got there and couldn’t even wait until he got out of the car before he started cracking jokes about how good I looked going down the road. For the second time in just a few weeks, I figured I would have been better off to die along the way. The only satisfaction I got was when my Aunt Rachel (who tried to save me the first time) raked Uncle Dave up and down for putting me aboard that “fool” horse.

Roy & Trigger 2

You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with Roy and Gene and I’m coming to it. I still needed to be a cowboy and realized I wasn’t getting there very quick. I still didn’t have my own horse and at the rate I was going probably couldn’t have stood the humiliation anyhow, so I decided that the best thing to do was to keep going to those cowboy movies and keep studying everything that Roy and Gene and the rest of them did. From that time on, I paid attention to everything. I watched how they mounted, how they set the saddle at different gaits, what they did with their hands, and how they took their falls. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time, but I was also being taught by Canutt, Farnsworth, Mahoney, and all the other great stunt men.

Anyhow, time passed and I learned from my heroes. Riding my bicycle down a country road one day, I spotted some horses loafing in a pasture and knew that my time had come. I pulled some choice-looking grass out of the ditch, climbed up a fence post and got on the other side. Standing on the barbed wire, I held onto the fence post with one hand and offered the grass to the horses with the other. Sure enough, one of those horses came up to get a taste and when he took a bite, I grabbed a hold of his mane and swung aboard. The horse quickly headed for a grove of trees with low-hanging branches like he was probably going to try and scrape me off. I called on one of my new movie tricks to get me out of trouble. This is the one where the Indian slips over to the side with only a heel hooked over the horse’s back and can either shoot under the horse’s neck or just ride in the middle of a herd without being spotted. This proved to be a good way to duck under limbs. I survived this first attempt to brush me off and later used it to save my bacon a number of times.

Roy-Life Mag

My biggest problem was that I couldn’t always lure a horse to the fence or to a rock that I could mount from. I was still too short to just grab some mane and swing aboard. So, next came my real money trick which was the “Pony Express” mount. I believe I saw both Roy and Gene do this one. You grab the saddle horn (if you happen to have a saddle) with both hands and as the horse takes off you raise both of your feet up under you and just hang there. After the horse has run a few steps and has gotten some speed up, you hit the ground with both feet and pull hard with your arms and the bounce created by the horse’s momentum tosses you right into the saddle. This turned out to be the answer to my prayers. I’d just grab hold of the mane with both hands and as the horse took off I’d bang both feet on the ground and get bounced right onto his back. The first time I tried this though, I had to pay my dues by learning that a horse can “cow kick”. I was hanging onto this horse’s mane and as he gathered speed I was just about to make my move when he reached up and planted a rear hoof on my back pocket. I ended up sliding along nose down in the dirt. After that lesson, I stayed closer to the fore-leg when I was hanging there in mid-air and I didn’t get kicked again.

After I got a little bigger, I finally was able to handle a runaway using another movie trick I learned. It came in handy since I was riding these borrowed horses without saddle, bridle, or reins. If you can’t control a horse with your knees and he’s running away with you, just slip over his near shoulder with your right arm around his neck and reach up with your left hand and clamp his nostrils shut. Then, you can pull his nose down and stop him or pull to the side and start him in a circle. In desperation, I used this a couple of times and neither of us got hurt.

I got to feeling bad about riding people’s horses all the time without permission (but not bad enough to quit). So, I saved up and bought me a Scotch comb and took to cleaning the horses up whenever I rode. That relieved some of the guilt feelings. They were all worth it as there is nothing that can compare with being on a horse’s back.

Well, those are some of the things I learned from Roy and Gene and the other movie cowboys. It was fun growing up with them. Nearly fifty years later, it was a great treat to attend the Golden Boot Awards Banquet in Santa Monica with Roy and Gene, The Lone Ranger, Pat Buttram, and many others. It made me feel like a kid again. 

Roy and Gene-Seniors

All the cowboys…


And the wannabe cowboys…

Have turned into Senior Citizens!

Dave Thomas
May 27, 1992; revised November 6, 2013; added pictures February 15, 2015

Another Story: Hal


When I was a kid growing up, one of my favorite characters was the kid who had moved in across the street. His name was Hal Ellis and he was a year younger than me, which at the time I’m thinking of makes him about eleven. Most of the time, Hal just looked like a regular kid. He was kind of middle—sized, muscular, had curly hair, and the girls said he was cute. The thing that makes me remember him though, was his ability to imitate an old country bumpkin. Here’s the way it worked. If you saw Hal and walked up and greeted him with “what do you know, Hal?”, he would go right into his act. First, he would hook his thumbs into his belt and then rock back on his heels like he was going to speak. But, then he would kind of look around and a far away look would come into his eyes and he would end up looking down at the ground. After a couple of seconds, he would start to drag his toe in the dirt and you could just see that there was a lot of serious activity taking place under that curly hair. After a few more seconds, you could see that some kind of revelation had taken place and he slowly raised his head until he was looking you right in the eye and then, out it comes “It takes a big dog to weigh 200 pounds!”

I laughed every time I heard it. He had other words that he used sometimes, too. Like,”it takes a long rope to reach a mile” but I liked the dog best. That stuff took place 45 years ago and it still makes me laugh.

Dave Thomas
August 24, 1993



Our three year old great grand-daughter, Quetzal, has already learned to deal with authority and I’m going to start using what I have learned from her. Quetzal was doing something she wasn’t supposed to. Her mother, Michelle, frowns and asks “Why do you continue to do these things after I tell you not to?” Quetzal looks up at her and says “Because it makes me happy!” You can’t argue with that.

Dave Thomas
July 24, 2014


The Two-headed Snake

I believe it was in the spring of our 8th grade year that our classmate, Leland Collins, brought a two-headed rattlesnake to school. He had caught it over the weekend and wanted to share it. I’m not sure who was most fascinated by it, the teachers or us kids.

It was a young snake, between 6 and 9 inches long, as I recall. Both heads were perfectly formed with bright eyes and those tongues that dart in and out. Leland and his snake were the center of attention for several days as he carried it around town and showed it off. There was a write-up in the Augusta Daily Gazette and one of the large city papers in Wichita even carried the story with a picture of the snake. I don’t remember exactly, but I think Leland ended up donating the snake to the Wichita Zoo.

Dave Thomas
October 27, 2013


Head Problems

Head Problems

It was kind of strange to see a little kid fall on the top of his head. Yes, right on the very top of his head! He didn’t fall on his face. He didn’t tip over backwards and hit the back of his head. There was never any damage to the sides either. I’m telling you…this kid fell right on the exact top of his head!

I’d better explain the whole thing to you. Growing up, even at the toddler stage, our son, Doug was tall and gangly. This made it really hard for him as he was learning to walk. His core muscles and balance couldn’t develop fast enough to keep up with his growth. He would take a couple of steps, lose control, and then it would look like a tree being topped. His legs would remain locked but the top of his head would directly hit the ground. I’ve never seen anything like it. I was scared to death he would end up with a concussion. One time he stood up and tried to walk across the patio. Same old story…two steps and thumps! That time, I checked his eyes several times over the next few hours to make darn sure he was okay.

This probably only lasted for a week or two but Pat and I were so worried, it seemed like forever. We knew Doug would conquer this walking “thing” but just didn’t know when.

Our other son, Russ, had head problems, too, but they were of his own making. I remember two of them that could have been quite serious but ended safely. Russ was always an agile kid and wanted to climb to the top of everything in sight. One of the first harrowing experiences I recall took place at the grocery store. We had all gone to Safeway, one Saturday on our weekly grocery run. Back in those days the stores were configured so you had to go through a turnstile to get into the shopping area. Once you had done your shopping, checked out and paid, you were funneled back to the entry side of the chrome rails again. The floor plan and rails automatically guided you from the shopping area to the post check-out area.

Russ and Doug were small, grade school age kids and Terri wasn’t in school yet. We entered the store and Pat headed for the turnstile with the three kids in a line behind her. I spotted a cart at the end of a check-out table a couple of steps away.

I grabbed the cart and turned back toward the kids and was shocked to see Russ with his neck caught in the turnstile and a look of panic on his face. Turnstiles, if you recall, had a revolving head with 3 short posts coming out of it. You pushed on the upper post and the head revolved and let you through and then it was stopped by a detent system. I don’t know how Russ got his neck caught in there and there wasn’t time to try and figure it out. I grabbed the post that was holding him and braced my foot against the vertical pole that he was jammed up against and started forcing the sections apart. Fortunately, there was enough “play” in the system that Russ was able to slide out. It had scared the devil out of both of us but he was unhurt and we were able to complete our grocery shopping.

Another scary one for Russ happened when we were on a vacation trip to Kansas. The kids got bored after a few hours in the car. We were going through New Mexico and had stopped at a roadside rest area to relax, have a snack, and let the kids run around and burn off some energy. The look of the rest area matched the surrounding countryside in that there were a lot of boulders and piles of large rocks. Pat and I went to a table and started getting some snacks out of the cooler. The kids were climbing on every rock in sight and went behind the large rock pile next to our table. All of a sudden we heard the kids yelling for help. We both jumped up and ran around the rocks to see what was going on. There, on top of the rocks, was Russ with his head stuck in a crevice between the rocks and he couldn’t get out. I climbed up on the rocks and was able to see that Russ had stuck his head in this crevice and then when he wanted to get back out had turned his head slightly and it was like putting a key in a lock and turning it. You can’t get it out until you return it to the entry position. I just picked him up by the waist and turned his head a little and he came right out. He had a sheepish look on his face and the whole thing kind of tamed him down for a while. Since my adrenaline was pumping it took me a little longer to settle down.

Dave Thomas
October 29, 2014



It was a 4-door car and there were six of us in it. We’d been dragging State Street that summer evening. Like a lot of summer evenings in a small town it was really boring. I was fifteen at the time and don’t remember who I was with. Whoever was driving headed out to Garvin Park and the Augusta City Lake. We went through the gate into the park and the driver jogged a little to the right and picked up the single lane road that ran across the top of the earthen dam.

It was a beautiful evening with a full moon and when we got about to the middle of the dam we stopped and everyone got out. There was a concrete structure out in the water that rose up from the bottom of the lake. It was possibly 8 feet by 8 feet or maybe even 10 by 10. I guess it contained pipes and valves and was the place that the lake water entered the municipal water system and started its journey to the water treatment plant. You couldn’t help but think that it sure would be fun to swim out to that thing and jump off it a few times.

Apparently, “great minds” were thinking in unison that night for we all started stripping off our clothes and jumping into the lake. We had a fantastic time for 20 or 30 minutes and then, the local police car pulls up behind us on the dam. Out, step two of our city’s policemen, Harold Edwards and Billy Joe Davis. As I recall, at this time, the Augusta police force had a police chief, 3 cops, a car for patrol, and a car for the chief.

The cops yelled and motioned for us to get in a group and then started lecturing us. “You can’t swim in there! That’s our drinking water! It’s against the law, etc.” We all knew that swimming in the lake wouldn’t hurt the quality of the drinking water for that water went straight from the lake to the treatment plant where it would be purified. The harangue lasted a few minutes and then they ordered us to get dressed, get in the car, and drive straight to the police station. There wasn’t any question of getting away. Harold and Billy Joe knew every one of us, our parents, and where we lived. We had no choice but to do as we were told. 

The Police Station was located in the City Building along with the Fire Department, the City Library, the Mayor’s office, and a few other things. I was familiar with the place because I grew up visiting the library at least once a week and made regular visits to the Fire Station to slide down the brass pole.

When we arrived at the station we were immediately escorted to the back and shoved into one of the two cells. Tom Irwin, the Justice of the Peace had been called at home and he arrived in just a few minutes. Like the cops, Tom knew all of us and our folks and said they were calling them down to the station. We didn’t have a phone, so I had to tell the Judge to call our neighbors, the Pennington’s, and they would go over and tell Mom or Dad to come to the phone. By this time, we were all starting to sweat a little. We didn’t really think the Judge would do anything to us but we didn’t want our folks to hear about it.

It probably took 30 minutes for all of our parents to get there and the Judge and the cops spent the time barking at us for swimming in the drinking water and probably peeing in it, too.

The cops started off by telling our assembled parents how rotten we were. We had trespassed on city property, swam in the municipal water supply, caused a disturbance, wasted the time of the city’s police force, and I forget what else they had dreamed up. The Judge took over then, and discussed the gravity of the situation and that being a scofflaw at this young age could lead to a life of crime later. By this time, we were all sick to death of the whole thing and were ready to promise anything if they would just shut up and leave us alone. They sent us home and we couldn’t have been more thankful. Our parents were smart enough to realize that the Judge and the cops had definitely done a good job of grinding us and we certainly wouldn’t be doing this one again so nobody got punished.

Dave Thomas

October 19, 2014


Surprise, Surprise!

We were in the 8th grade. It had been a long, gloomy winter and we were all sick of it. Here it was, the first day of February, and there was a Teacher’s Conference and we were discharged from school, early. Several of us boys decided that we would hike out to Elm Creek, about 1 ½ miles west, and go skinny-dipping. The temperature was probably in the 40’s but that was deemed to be “close enough” as we were ready for summer and swimming. We also thought it would be pretty cool to be able to brag that we had gone swimming on February 1st.

We got to the creek in short order, stripped off our clothes, and jumped in the water. Needless to say, that water was cold! We swam across the creek and back as fast as we possibly could and climbed out and headed for our clothes. We had left our clothes on a downed tree on the bank and thought they would be safe. There were some small vines attached to the tree trunk but since there were no leaves on them we didn’t give it a thought. We sat on the tree trunk and leaned on it as we got our clothes and shoes and socks on. We went on home and did the things we normally did. By bed-time my rear end and everything in the vicinity was on fire. I yelled for my folks and after explaining the problem and describing what I had done that day, they diagnosed it as a case of poison oak. Of course, they laughed at me and Mom went and got the bottle of Calamine lotion and told me to get busy applying it.

It never occurred to us that even though it was winter and there were no leaves, the vines themselves were toxic. Oh well, a few days and a bottle of Calamine lotion took care of the problem.

Dave Thomas
December 3, 2013


I Wanna Go Home


Pat and the kids and I were on one of our vacation trips back to Kansas. Russ and Doug were almost six and Terri was almost three. We were on our favorite route which took us through the Salt River Canyon in eastern Arizona and on to Show Low and Springerville. Traveling on Highway 60 was an easy way through the mountains and after crossing into New Mexico takes us to Pie Town, Socorro, and Vaughn.

This particular night, it was getting pretty late and the kids were fussy and hadn’t dropped off to sleep yet. We always started our trips in the evening so the kids would fall asleep and we could have a peaceful ride without listening to “Are we there, yet” and the other normal kid stuff. Doug was complaining that he had to go to the bathroom. We were never sure whether he really had to go or just wanted to check the place out. We called him the “Bathroom Inspector” and I guess every family has one. Actually, they are just curious kids who want to get out of the car and see something new.

Russ was behaving well and only said that he was hungry. Terri, who was normally quiet and easy-going, however, was crying and whining because she didn’t want to sleep in the car. She wanted to sleep in her own bed. She had a “thing” about her bed. You could change the sheets and make up the bed but after that don’t sit on it and don’t touch it. When it was bed time she headed for bed without complaint and after being tucked in, went right to sleep.

As we got into Pie Town, we spotted a diner on the north side of the road and pulled in. We thought we should have some pie in Pie Town. That and some coffee for Pat and I and some milk for the kids should fix us all up for the night. We made our way to the counter and seated ourselves on the stools. There was a cowboy sitting at the end of the counter and he noticed that Terri was fussing about something. He asked her what was wrong and she told him she didn’t want to sleep in the car. He told her that she would probably feel better if she could hear some music. He looked over at us and we nodded and he picked Terri up and took her over and sat her down on top of the juke box. He fished a nickel out of his pocket and put it in the slot. Then, he picked up Terri again and held her so she could see the buttons and explained to her how to push the button and select a song. Terri was intrigued by all of this and had quieted down. She pushed a button and in a few seconds, we could hear Bobby Bare singing “Detroit City”. Things are going great and we are all enjoying the music until Bobby gets to the chorus. Then, he sings out, loud and clear, “I wanna go home, I wanna go home!” Terri starts crying and yelling, “I wanna go home, too!” We were right back where we started. The cowboy had been thinking he had done something good but Terri’s song selection had wiped that out and now he was left with a red face. Pat and I had enjoyed the peace and quiet but that was over. We finally finished our pie and bathroom trips and got everyone back in the car and took off down the road.

The kids settled down and went to sleep and Pat and I relaxed and looked forward to an uneventful drive through New Mexico. Some hours later, we were a few miles from Vaughn and saw the most amazing sight. We were in an area of rolling hills and those hills were covered with jack rabbits! Everywhere we looked there were jackrabbits and their eyes were reflecting the headlights of the car. Mostly, they were setting in pairs so it must have been some kind of a mating thing. There were hundreds or maybe thousands of them. There wasn’t any traffic at that time of night so I slowed down and Pat tried to wake the kids. I don’t know if any of them got fully awake or if they remember seeing the jack rabbits. It was something that Pat and I will never forget.

Dave Thomas
December 3, 2014


A Real Homing Pigeon

Our son, Doug, brought home a wounded pigeon. The poor bird had evidently been hit by a car and suffered a broken wing. The tip of the wing dragged the ground and it appeared to have been broken right at the joint. Doug was always bringing home creatures that needed some kind of help and he enjoyed doing what he could for them. He knew that if this pigeon couldn’t fly it was doomed and would either starve or be killed by a predator.

Doug was really determined to help this bird and his Mom, Pat, got caught up in his enthusiasm and wanted to help also. She scrounged around the kitchen and found some Popsicle sticks that could be used as splints. She and Doug manipulated the wing and got it into as normal a position as possible and, using the Popsicle sticks and gauze, bound it in place. Doug found a box and made a home for the pigeon on the patio where it would be safe and then he fixed it up with bowls for food and water.

What I haven’t told you yet is that this was the ugliest pigeon we had ever seen. It was white with black splotches all over. It was kind of like a Dalmatian but the spots weren’t as nicely done.

The pigeon lived in its patio home and did well as Doug kept it supplied with food and water and checked on it regularly. It walked around in its cage, dragging that wing tip, but looking pretty spry otherwise. I don’t remember how long it took for that wing to mend but one day he was ready to fly. After a couple of days of practice, it took off and didn’t return. We all felt pretty good. A wounded creature had been patched up and sent back to the wild.

Time passed and we thought no more about our pigeon guest. However, one day, Doug comes in and announces that the pigeon is back! It was an eye-opener for us to think that over a period of weeks or months this bird had remembered where he found safety and was fed and cared for and it made such an impression that he returned. Pat and I went out and sure enough, there is a spotted bird walking around on the patio with one wing tip dragging. Doug got food and water for him and he hung around for a few days and disappeared again. 2

We’ve all had to scratch our heads to remember but we think that over the next few months he returned twice more. Then, his bachelor days must have ended because the next time he came back, he brought his family with him. On that day, our patio seemed to be covered with pigeons though actually there were only 5 or 6 of them. They were all white with black spots and, strutting around right in the middle of them, was this guy with his wing tip dragging on the ground. Again, something about our place made him feel good enough to bring his family back with him. I don’t know how pigeons think or what motivates them (other than food) but we all thought this was pretty neat.

Dave Thomas (with help from Pat and Doug)
October 15, 2014