Chuck Berry 1926 – 2017

I didn’t realize until last week that Chuck Berry was from St. Louis, my home town. He grew up in what we would call “the city” and then moved to the burbs in the 60s.  This made me curious to find out who else was from what I usually refer to as “the armpit of the nation”. Here are just a few: Yogi Berra, Lou Brock, Vincent Price, Kevin Kline, Dick Gregory, Miles Davis, Harry Truman and Scott Joplin.  Some St. Louis folks also like to claim Maya Angelou, but she didn’t live in St. Louis all that long, so I’m not sure claiming her is playing fair.

I didn’t grow up in a musical family; while I knew who Chuck Berry was, I didn’t know very much about him or his musical history. I’ve honed my little bit of knowledge on Wikipedia and YouTube so now I wish I had paid more attention when he was alive.


What celebrity do you miss from your hometown?


MORE Glossary

It’s been almost two years, Babooners, since our last glossary update. Here are the new terms I’ve picked up in that interim, with some context added when known, in case you want to go to the archives to revisit the conversation.

Blucky – A weather term, a combination of blustery and icky. Ex: “At the moment, it’s just cold, wet and blucky out.”    xdfben says:    March 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm    

Cententious? –  billinmpls says:   [Unfortunately, baboons, I forgot to note the date of this one, and I have no idea what was being discussed. Any idea, Bill?

Coleslawicide – a term coined by our Alpha Baboon, Dale Connelly, in this parody of Ogden Nash poetry in a post titled, “Why I don’t Eat the Coleslaw”:

 Did Ogden Nash know?

Did Ogden Nash, with his last breath,

decide to die a funny death?

His final meal – some stringy gabbage

hid the reaper ‘mongst the cabbage.

Did fate, ironic, choose to slay him

with this side of gastro-mayhem?

Or did Nash select this gaffe

to seal his doom with one last laugh?

One last punchline – Woe betide

all those who chews coleslawicide.

BiR, if you’re on the trail today, “coleslawicide” has GOT to go in our glossary.   verily sherrilee says: August 31, 2015 at 7:40 am

Corridordial – see Hallway friendships:        billinmpls says: January 27, 2016 at 11:19 am 

Degusting – a variation on disgusting, as in the following:    Wessew – “If prepared right”. I’m on to the games you culinary con artists love to play; trying to disguise the degusting. Next you’ll be saying lutefisk and liver are luscious… “if prepared right.” On with the food fight!      NOVMBER 6, 2015, 8:06 A.M.       PlainJane – I thing “degusting” deserves a place in our glossary. Sort of takes the wind out of culinary excesses. NOVEMBER 6, 2015, 8:55 A.M.

Espo-used – An alternate pronunciation for “espoused”.       Ex:  “As a 6th grader, back in the days when you could actually acknowledge Christmas in school, I was the narrator and got to read the Christmas story. Nearly got tripped up by the word espoused.”  K-two  DECEMBER 25, 2015, 9:20 A.M..

Hallway friendship – An apartment living phenomenon, as in:  “in our building those of us who have lived here a few years have a hallway friendship, hallway only. Clyde of Mankato  JANUARY 27, 2016, 10:29 A.M.

Outhousing – To be in the habit of using an outhouse, as in: “’modern’ shower facilities were separate and there were outhouses for, well, outhousing”… from Anna’s post called File For T Under Treasure.  AUGUST 15, 2015

Psychiatrically disabled – A person who is somewhat off-center.  Ex:  “As I recall, she was married to this guy who was somewhat psychiatrically disabled, and who walked up and down mainstreet in a big cowboy hat.    reneeinnd says: October 12, 2015 at 11:17 am

Teflon desk – the state in which everything that lands on your desk slides off onto someone else’s.   Comment to Wessew – “I think you’ve got this down!”     verily sherrilee says: August 22, 2015 at 10:40 am


_____________________   [creative opportunity here, baboons]

 verily sherrilee says: January 26, 2016 at 3:47 pm   Didn’t we have a word for a day when we went over 100 comments? I just checked glossary and didn’t see anything. Who has the best memory around here?


ABD   The appearance of an icon (gravatar) that looks like a blue doily beside your comment, and renders your comment as an Anonymous, rather than inserting your chosen icon. WordPress has done this to virtually everyone on the Trail at some time or another… it’s now considered an initiation exercise.

What’s your favorite dictionary or reference book?

Mud Season

Everybody I know seems happy that we’ve had a mild winter and that we appear to be having an early thaw. Not me.  I am not happy.  No snow and warming temperatures at this time of year mean just one thing; muddy paws.  It will be at least a month before grass will grow in my backyard — four weeks of mud, muddy paw prints, muddy paw prints all over the floor, muddy paw prints on my bedspread, even muddy paw prints on my shoes if I don’t get out of the way fast enough.  Aarrggghhhh!

What does an early thaw mean to you?

Let’s Pretend

A couple of years I bought I bought a new, three-story doll house for my play therapy room. My old one was posh and well-appointed, but it had no stairs that led from one floor to the next. This was a real problem for many of the children I see in therapy, as they couldn’t figure out how to get the dolls from one floor to the next, and it got in the way of their play. They couldn’t suspend reality and pretend that there were stairs, or just have the dolls jump up and down. I notice that children who pretend do much better in life and in play therapy than those who can’t or who have limited pretend skills.

The new doll house has two sets of stairs, and the dolls can run up and down at will, and so do, and therapeutic play can go on impeded.  I haven’t read any recent research about the capacity of modern children to pretend in their play. I hope my clients represent a special group not representative of our children as a group.

My nine month old kitten has better pretend skills than may of my young clients. I know Luna doesn’t pretend using words. I suppose she pretends in images or actions, but I know she pretends. She hides from, and then pounces on, unsuspecting foil balls. She knows that the balls only move if she bats them or she carries them to us to throw. She walks away from them when she is finished playing, and doesn’t act as though they will move if she turns her back. It is as if she assigns some temporary identity to them when she hides and pounces, and then thinks about them differently when she walks away and goes on to new activities.  You can see her on top of a cabinet in our living room. She loves to jump up there and pounce on the Tomten figures and attack the Finnish straw goats. They are all in a closet now until she slows down and loses interest in them. I wish I knew what she was thinking about them.

How do you pretend? How do you think your animals pretend?




Michigan or Bust!

Today’s post comes to us from Steve.

I have always had a strong sense of place. Born in Iowa, I grew up regarding Minnesota as my natural home. I left Iowa in 1960, and for 54 years I was proud to call myself a Minnesotan. Then in 2014 I sold my pink bungalow and moved to Portland, Oregon, driving 1,745 miles in two ferocious days. The main reason for changing my life so dramatically was a desire to be closer to my daughter and grandson. On Trail Baboon “Saint Paul Steve” became “Happy Valley Steve.” I settled into an apartment near the top of a small mountain. In view of my age, I was sure I’d never set foot outside of Oregon. Indeed, because of my physical limitations, I have not often set foot outside my apartment in three years.

Guess what? In June I will travel 2,400 miles to set up a new home in Michigan. “Happy Valley Steve” will become “Port Huron Steve,” or something like that. I’ll get a Michigan driving license and slap Michigan plates on my old Subaru.

Why make such a dramatic move when I only got to Oregon three summers ago? My son-in-law has accepted a job in Port Huron, the town he grew up in and where his mother and brother still reside. He, my daughter and my grandson returned to his childhood home for Christmas a few weeks ago. That home, built in the 19th century, is parked right on the edge of the Saint Clair River. The photos with this article were taken of that on their visit. My son-in-law came back to Portland convinced he really belonged in the Midwest, and that he should do something to make a return to Port Huron possible.

And me? How is it that I’m moving back to the Midwest? I’m like a gimpy old dog that my family rescued from a canine shelter. Having adopted me, they cannot abandon me now. I should start rooting for Michigan athletic teams, for they routinely kick the butts of Minnesota teams. In any fight between a gopher and a wolverine, my money is on the wolverine! But my heart still hopes the gopher will prevail. Hey, you Gophers, Ski-U-Mah! Whatever the hell that means.

I hope the upcoming move will be less wrenching than the one I’ve done. It would be even nicer if I feel more at home in Port Huron than I have in Portland. Oregon is astonishingly beautiful, at least in places, and Portland is a fascinating city. It is only slightly less quirky than “Portlandia” suggests. I expected to feel at home with Portland’s progressive politics, but each day I spend here offers fresh proof that I am a Minnesotan and always will be. I have found Portland to be like a gorgeous girlfriend who chain smokes and makes a toxic mess of her personal finances. She’s irresistible, yet it is hard to believe things will end well for her. And whenever I drive through Portland a little voice whispers, “This isn’t home, is it? We don’t belong here.”

My daughter knew it would not be easy to tell my grandson, Liam, about the move. Ever since he was a toddler, Liam (now seven) has struggled with “transitions.” Now he faces losing all his friends and leaving his wonderful Montessori school to start up life again in a strange land where nobody knows him. Liam raised some concerns, which his mother attempted to address. Then Liam said, “But Grampy, Mom . . . what about him? I can’t leave Grampy behind!” My daughter said, “Oh, no Liam! We’d never leave Grampy. When we move, he comes with us.” Liam reflected and finally smiled. “Well, then I guess we’re good. We can do this.”

When have you taken a leap of faith and moved?

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