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Radical Yellow Duck

Joined July 2009.

286 stories, 5 challenges, 353 comments, and 19 friends

Ok, I’m back. One heart attack, a triple CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, pronounced cabbage) and two sessions of beating my computer into submission. I am back.

I’m old. Real old. I’m so old I remember when dialing a phone number actually involved using a dial.

I’ve worked as a projectionist, an armored car driver, a help desk tech, a museum tech and laserist, an historical interperter at Old Sturbridge Village, a university assistant at a planetarium and observatory. I’ve been a salesman, a techie, A union VP and a storyteller. I remember the Gemini missions, but was born after sputnik. I have a love of History, Technology, Space, my religion (Christianity) and my country. I believe there is more that binds us together than can tear us apart.

I’ve loved many, married one, was involuntarily divorced.

Oh and I suppose I should tell you. I don’t understand your music and when it comes to sports, I don’t care if the Red Sox beat the 49’ers for the Stanley cup or not. Not judging, it’s just me.

Stories

  1. The Coopers shed

    It was nearly eight o’clock when General Washington reigned in his horse a mile outside of Trenton. By the side of the road, a man was chopping wood. He stopped chopping and looked at the tall man in uniform at the head of a column of troops that str...

  2. Captain Stephen

    The General sat straight in his saddle. His cloak cast over his shoulders, his hands holding the bridle. A lieutenant from the vanguard of the column came riding to him and saluted. “General Washington, sir. We have encountered an armed group of men,...

  3. Pennington Rd.

    The sleet and snow have stopped. The road has frozen hard beneath our feet. In the brisk chill of dawns light we finally can see where we can place our feet. We also see the bloody fooprints of those without shoes. Our drummers march at the head of our...

  4. Birmingham crossroads

    The eastern sky grew bright and the snow stopped falling. Ahead, the road forked. An officer wearing a cloak, sat on a horse here, and greeted our colonel. “Col. Huntington, I’m Captain Webb, Gen. Washington’s aide de camp. The general gives his ...

  5. Jacob's creek

    The road became muddier, but much more flat, and we had an easier time marching than on the climb uphill. We knew the delays thus far had cost us our chance to attack before dawn. We pressed on. A creek cut across the road and we had to scramble down i...

  6. Bear Tavern

    We lay down, in the fresh snow, and waited near the shore for the orders to begin our march. The crossing was taking far longer than expected. From what I overheard the officers say, it should have been completed by midnight, but now it was nigh to 4 i...

  7. The Crossing

    We walked down the dock and climbed down into the boat. Six oarsmen sat at their stations and a man at the rear. Forty of us, trying not to rock the boat sat down, our muskets held between our legs. With a push we were away from the dock. And with each...

  8. Rocky Horror Part deux

    Riff Magenta Columbia Janet! Dr. Scott! Janet! Brad! Rocky! uh..

  9. Apollo 13 in ten words

    Flight to moon goes bang. Can they get back alive?………………………………

  10. Train 424 (deception challenge)

    We left Lodz four days ago, in a cattle car filled with 102 other Jews. You couldn’t sit down for lack of room. An old woman tried to perch herself above the one bucket used as a latrine. She lost her balance and knocked it over, spilling its content...

  11. Septembers will never be the same

    I can’t tell you how to get through today. I can’t promise you tomorrow will be any better. I’ve never been where you are. But I know people that have been there. It’s not that the pain ever really goes away, but it is like a gash in the earth ...

  12. Heathrow Conversation

    I ain’t gonna do it. Ya ain’t gonna do what? What e’er he said. What’s he say? Ya ‘eard what’s said. No I didn’t. Ya can’t tell me ya dinna hear him. Look, if I ‘erd ‘im I wouldn’t be sayin’ I dinna hear him. ‘e said that ...

  13. On the dock

    Around midnight we had made it to the docks, and were waiting for the next boat to load. The sleet had changed to snow, and was covering each us with a wet white blanket. Gen. Washington was there talking to Gen. Knox. Knox had asked for permission to ...

  14. Priorities

    “Glover,” said Gen. Knox, “you have to get my cannon across the river, now. The infantry is …” He didn’t get a chance to finish. “Do you know what it will take to get those cannon across the river? I will have to take two boats and lash t...

  15. McConkey's Tavern

    The rain had changed to hail and sleet as we waited our turn to cross. The march, which should have taken little more than an hour had taken four. And now we wait. Standing in the cold and mud. We waited in marching formation, while the officers went i...

  16. We set out

    A cold rain was falling as the officers read out our orders at sunset. We were to attack the Hessians. We would march, in silence, lest noise alert the enemy. Three days rations and sixty cartridges for the fight. We would march five miles to McConkey

  17. Preparations

    The weather was below freezing. Soon the Delaware would freeze over and the Hessian would be able to walk across. 1500 men, well armed, well fed, well supplied. We had fought against them on Long Island. They bayoneted those that had surrendered to the...

  18. Entering Camp

    For four days we stayed on our side of the river, watching the Hessians on the far shore. When we had crossed we took every boat on a seventy mile stretch of the Delaware, and brought them over to our side. Then the orders came for us to march. Only on...

  19. A Bitter December

    We’re soldiers of the first Connecticut, and had followed Col. Huntington since that spring day in ’76 when we marched to Boston. We were on Dorchester Heights when the lobsterbacks finally left. We were at Long Island when they marched around ...

  20. You can see it comming, if you look. Part two

    My hand was resting on my sidearm, a Sig P226. When I saw the gun I knew I didn’t have a chance. I considered my options. It is amazing how quickly the human mind works when it has to. His gun was out. It was in his hand but not yet pointed at me. I ...

  21. You can see it comming, if you look. Part one

    If you want to live to the end of your shift, don’t get complacent. I had been working for an armored car company and had cultivated what I called a healthy paranoia. 11 men in seven years had died in my company alone doing my job. I had no intention...

  22. A Tuesday in September, Part Two

    I got to the school and went in. The place was in lockdown and parents were enroute to pick up their kids. Everyone was upset and tense. My wife was outwardly calm, as she always was in a crisis. But inside, she was shaken to the core. There was a TV o...

  23. A Tuesday in September

    It was a Tuesday morning. The sky was clear and it promised to be a beautiful day. The summer was changing into fall. My wife, a middle school teacher, was already out of the house and at work when I got up. I was between jobs and had just sat down in ...

  24. Like a light in darkness

    She was like a candle, Shining with all her might, Too brief was the time that she Was allowed to share her light. I barely knew the light she cast Before it became dark I barely heard the song she sang Like a nightingale or lark In a place that’s r...

  25. rememberences forgotten

    I forgot what it was like with you. I forgot how our hands sought each other as we walked. I forgot the way you cupped your mug of coffee on cold winter mornings. I forgot waking up to the scent of you in our bed. I forgot the way you tossed your hair ...

  26. Pandora Virus

    “Beautiful”, she said looking at the image in front of her. “And deadly”, he replied. “An untreated morbidity rate of 100% within 36 hours. And even with treatment that only diminishes to 80%. Multiple pathogenic pathways. Airborne, contact, ...

  27. A view from above

    I press myself against the rack and listen. The sound of running feet, a whispered command, and then hushed silence. Quickly I turn and climb the rack, as quietly as I can. From above I can see the situation below more clearly and there’s much less c...

  28. Truth be told.... (limerick challenge)

    I hear of a man with a duck who had the most terrible luck Diabetes it seems had invaded his jeans and now he could no longer… unthinkingly consume large quantities of carbohydrates.

  29. Unwelcome Visitors

    I go about 2/3rds of the way one of the aisles and place the package between two of the missiles. Pressing the activation button and the indicator changes from green, to red, and then dark. If all goes according to plan, in less than 17 minutes, this e...

  30. Interlock

    The outer doors slide open and I step in. Two sets of doors lead from the hanger to the magazine. A precaution that dates back to the days of iron ships that sailed on seas of water and men fought in the open air. Two doors prevents fire from flashing ...