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You don't know what kind of obstacles you're going to come up against," Mitsy persisted. It's better to be prepared. That is true, Buzz thought, but his face remained unchanged. He didn't want her to jump head first into a dangerous mission and beg later to be taken back home. Mitsy's face grew solemn. You asked for whoever was willing to assist you! You didn't say anything about size or brand.

Woody needs all of us. I want to help you. I'll never forgive myself if she gets hurt on the trek, especially if I could've kept it from happening. I did ask for who was willing to help, no strings attached. And living in Andy's room under Woody's direction, if there was one thing Buzz had learned about respect, it was that he should never underestimate size or ability, no matter what kind of toy. Besides, it wasn't as if Bo Peep was the one speaking to him right now.

Now, there was a mission impossible: Perhaps Mitsy was right, perhaps Buzz might need her in this journey. He still hesitated though. We're going to have to do a lot of walking. And I don't want you to get hurt. Mitsy's face fell and she rubbed her hands together. Buzz could see that she was very disappointed. He cleared his throat. Mitsy looked back up at him in surprise, her eyes brightening. She stood straight up like a soldier. I don't know how I got talked into this. We're heading out before too long. Mitsy's face lit up, she quivered, and clenched her fists happily.

The way she pranced around reminded Buzz of an excited little puppy. I'll try not to complain and I'll stick close to you guys, I promise. You're not going to lose me in the big city! Trolling on the level top of the gable outside Andy's bedroom, one by one, the toys rode down Slinky's back end to the sidewalk. Potato Head shouted as Bo Peep, Wheezy, and the others waved good-bye. The roundup gang's faces dropped and Jessie gasped. She clutched her chest, gasping with panic on her face. I can't go in storage again! What did I do?

Woody whispered to himself, totally confused. What's wrong with her? Without you, we go back into storage. Man, that's terrible, Woody thought to himself. I'm the only way out these guys have? I'm sorry," Woody protested, "but this is all a big mistake. You see, I was in this yard sale He never did anything to you. Oh, and another thing: I'm not going to any museum! Woody clutched his pop seam where his arm had been. He couldn't leave without his arm! What was he going to do now? Buzz skipped forward to the mailbox, then gave his friends the signal to join him.

Rex skipped away from the brush, looking like a moving bush. He whimpered nervously and shed his leaves. All but one was gone by the time he reached Buzz and Rex grinned sheepishly. Slinky and Mitsy snuck quickly across the sidewalk, with Potato Head and Hamm following them but Hamm flipped over and his money flew out as his cork popped out. He turned away, looking very embarrassed.

My parts are killing me," Potato Head moaned as he sat on the ground rubbing his sore, plastic blue shoes. Buzz knew his friends were probably a bit tuckered, but still, he expected them to have more spirit. After all, they were doing all of this for Woody! Now, let's move out! By and by, the pace dwindled. Within another hour, they were aching unbearably for a rest. I hate to say this, but I I've got to stop! I can't take another step unless we sit down. You've been driving us into the pavement," Potato Head complained, earning him five annoyed glares.

Buzz stared, exasperated at his band. The longer they kept going, the sooner they would reach Woody. But he did take note that Mitsy didn't have plastic feet like the rest of them, and her little sock ones must be dead sore. He blamed himself for not thinking of it sooner.

Let me give you a hand," he sighed and came to the wincing princess sitting on her knees. We should be near the park. Let's go," Buzz said, and they inched forward. Mitsy leaned her small head wearily on his shoulder. I've got to admit, Buzz thought to himself, I expected her to give up during our first half hour.

But, I was wrong. She persisted in "treading water" for three whole blocks. Mitsy had shown signs of fatigue, as had the guys.

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The last hour was the most that Buzz had heard her complain about anything. She'd been trying so hard not to, because she didn't want to hear any I told you so 's from Buzz if it could be prevented. If Buzz had his way, the group would trod all night nonstop and at a quick pace. But he knew better than to expect that to actually happen.

Usually the toys were asleep with Andy at this time of night. Maybe that's another reason they want to take a break. Personally, he felt just fine and raring to go, filled with the drive to find Woody and bring him safely back home. But that was the Space Ranger mode in him. And if Woody was here, he'd tell Buzz to let them rest. They'll probably feel better once they've had a load off their feet, Buzz told himself. What was I thinking?

They won't do Woody or myself any good if they're drained of stamina and energy when we need them to take action! I'll take better care of them. She glanced at him skeptically. That's what I mean. If anyone could keep up a sense of humor, dry or not, while being exhausted at the same time, it was the smart alek piggy bank. I'll be on my toes though once we've had a rest!

I will, I will. I want us to find Woody too I'm sorry that I've been pushing you all so hard. I'm just hoping for us to reach Al's Toy Barn by morning. He set the princess down and they all made themselves comfortable. Because once we hit the road again, we're going to keep at it. But you all get some rest and take a breather for now. And while they took it easy, he checked the map and observed their surroundings. Well, we've still got a long ways to go, he whispered to himself. But every foot of ground we cover will get us closer to our destination.

Every little bit helps. Woody looked to his right and saw that the remote control was below Jessie's case. I should've guessed, Woody thought. Al found the remote, turned off the TV, and walked into the other room The moment the door shut, Woody glared at the cowgirl and burst out of his display case. But you didn't have to go and pull a stunt like that! Bullseye flew out of his case and ducked into a cookie jar. Jessie charged forward and pounced onto Woody like a cougar. They tumbled over and she pinned him to the ground. Jessie and Bullseye helped him up.

So I suggest you just wait until morning. The cleaner will come, fix your arm Don't take it that way. Bullseye turned and looked sadly back at the cowboy. Most of Andy's toys in the city park were sleeping soundly. Buzz had been observing the landscape while the others slept. At one point, he heard a timid voice lightly shrieking, and at first thought maybe one of his friends was having a nightmare.

Then he realized with relief that it was only Rex, talking in his sleep! I can do it! Stay still, oh, please stay still! I'm Buzz Lightyear and I will beat this, no matter how long it takes! Slinky wasn't talking, but even with his eyes closed, his paws were rapidly waving back and forth and he kept nodding his head. Buzz supposed that the dog was dreaming about chasing the thief who'd stolen his good pal.

Then Slinky's tail wagged in his sleep. Must be giving him a great feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Presently, Buzz was watching a very interesting scenario when he noticed that the princess was tossing around in her sleep, then she woke with a start.

She looked around frightfully. The other toys slept on, being dead tired, but Mitsy covered her ears, trying to shut out the scream. Buzz patted her arm reassuringly. He explained how a police officer had been scouting the park and spotted a car being stolen and had taken off after the thieving driver. I hope they catch him! I don't like them, and try to block them out. I keep telling the officers, 'Hurry! And I can't guarantee that you won't always be troubled by reminders of it. But maybe this could help you. If you hear sirens and feel afraid, try saying to yourself, 'Someone is in trouble and needs help.

Help is on the way! After a few silent moments, she nodded. But you really need to get some sleep before we hit the road again. Mitsy tried to follow Buzz's suggestion, and as the years went by, she grew less fearful of hearing sirens, understanding that they weren't intended for harm, but to bring harm under control.

She could sometimes feel bad when hearing them, but not consumed anymore. In time, the only time it made her shudder was if she knew it involved a fire. Woody's mind was so full he couldn't sleep as he stood in his glass case while Al fell back asleep on the couch. The sheriff felt disrespected, misunderstood, despised, and on top of everything else, trapped. All he wanted to do was grab his arm and get out of this place, this prison. He didn't care if he was a celebrity: I'm bustin ' out of here the first chance I get!

At first, he glared every time he stole a glance toward Jessie after the fight. But once he'd cooled off, when he looked in her direction, his was a face of exasperated, total confusion. I just don't understand why they're being so hard on Andy, Woody's thoughts spoke. I mean, it's not like they've ever met him, yet they talk as if they know what kind of kid he is.

I'd rather she put the blame on me instead of my owner. I can't stay here! No one's going to rant without a reason on my little deputy and get away with it on my watch! I hate leaving these guys in the spot they're in, but I'm Andy's toy. And I belong to him! He started sighing heavily and rubbed his forehead in frustration. Woody recognized it to be the Prospector's. The miner was looking from his own case in the cowboy's direction.

Woody just stared at the floor. You'll wear yourself to a frazzle. Woody glanced longingly at the door to the apartment. I don't belong here. I don't belong in a museum, thousands of miles away. My kid needs me, and so do my friends. I greatly admire you for it. You're a good sheriff. Jessie acts like she knows everything about children. Well, I'm here to tell you, Prospector that she does not!

Just because I have an owner and she doesn't, does that make me a criminal? That's what being a toy is all about: That's what we were made for. Why can't she get it through her thick head that toys are not meant to spend their lives in a glass case, being admired but never loved? She's the one who's selfish. I know she's been uncharitable towards you now, but aren't you doing the same thing? You don't understand her. You don't know Andy. He's the best kid in the world, and no one can talk about him like that!

You're doing it again. You obviously care deeply about your owner, and that's admirable. But what about us? Don't you realize what this means to us to be set free at last, and not live in the dark? Do you have any idea what that's like? He couldn't imagine what it would be like to open his eyes every morning and not be able to see the blue wallpaper with yellow stars in his owner's bedroom. He couldn't begin to comprehend what it would be like to never experience what he had: But three things that he dearly held close to his heart and would feel so lost if they'd never entered his life at all: Buzz Lightyear, his best friend in the world, his faithful confidant, right-hand man, and closest buddy who would go to the grandeur of the galaxy for the cowboy if he had to; sweet, lovely, gentle, kind-hearted, elegant Bo Peep, his one and only love, the strolls they took together, the way he was always the hero who had to save the damsel in distress during playtime, the private but dear conversations they shared, his spirits always lifted by her gentle but firm voice that was never afraid to tell him the truth about anything: But he knew that she secretly always hoped for the softie side of him.

But most of all there was Andy: Woody couldn't fathom never hearing a child's delighted laughter, never being able to soak in the beauties of wondrous sunrises and sunsets, never being able to play games with friends or pull pranks on them too and anxiously await their stunned reactions, never feeling useful and Woody looked thoughtfully at Prospector. Prospector, I'm truly sorry for all the mess you guys have been through. And if there was any possible way I could keep it from happening again, I'd do it in a second! I can't do that. And I already know my place: Prospector sighed in exasperation.

But we're your friends, aren't we? She's had an incredible disappointment with you choosing not to stay. Speaking for myself, I'm greatly disappointed too. I thought our big chance had finally come, that you would help us like everyone expects you to. But I guess it just wasn't important enough to you. Silence hung in the air. He was contemplating the Prospector's words. He felt confused, defensive, but also a twinge of guilt. Was he the one being selfish? Would it be so wrong for him to return home?

These toys had had it pretty rough, but going to Japan was out of the question. It tugged at Woody's heart to have to leave these guys behind to spend the rest of their lives crammed in dark boxes, never getting to participate in And deeply disappointed too, that the one person they were counting on for an endless waiting period had failed them. Woody glanced towards Jessie and Bullseye in their cases. Bullseye was lying down in an uncomfortable ball in the crammed glass. His ears and tail drooped.

Woody's brows furrowed in sympathy. The plucky horse was obviously very fond of him and had been anticipating romping around with cowboy. Woody felt awful thinking of seeing that sad look on Bullseye's face again. Then Woody slowly looked at Jessie. She was sitting on the floor of her case, tightly hugging her knees and resting her chin on her arms. She was sleeping, but her face looked so upset. Even in her sleep, her brows were furrowed and her eyes were squeezed tightly shut.

Yes, she was a wild girl, unlike any Woody had ever met, but she had been fun to be around, and had a sweet smile that reflected her extreme cheerfulness in her face when she was happy. Boy, had she lost her sugar and spice from the moment Woody had told her that he had an owner. All her sweetness had instantly evaporated into vinegar.

Yet, if Woody was in her shoes, he couldn't really blame her for being upset. What would his life be like if he didn't have all his friends, and all the good times they shared together, especially with their owner Andy? Right now the sounds of their squabbles, jokes, and just their voices would've been music to his ears! He heard the Prospector snoring. Woody leaned back in his display stand, and with an exhausted mind, finally drifted off to sleep. Buzz smiled at his friends. They were much perkier now, and with some extra effort, he hoped they would locate their intended target in time.

Everyone stick close together. We don't want anyone getting lost. Andy's brave band was making headway. Buzz was pleased that his troops were marching along with more persevering attitudes now. They were presently pattering the pavement in an older section of town that had seen better days. The houses were terribly run down, tall grass covered the lawns, and the area smelled musty. There was a slight breeze blowing, carrying the unpleasant scents across their faces.

I certainly hope no children have to live in places like these. The breeze strengthened itself a bit, and the map slipped out of Buzz's fingers and blew into the air! The wind carried the map over a privacy fence and dropped it into the yard that they couldn't see. Buzz was scanning the scene. The fence was incredibly high, and he was frustrated to not see any old brooms, tall poles, or any such things he could use for a booster. He was frustrated that there wasn't even any rusty old trash cans on this run down street, why, not even one!

The only thing he did see was the small end of a broken chained cord hanging over the tip of the fence. But it was still far out of reach.

He rubbed his chin, trying to think. He was just reaching the top of the fence when a larger, dark, frightful, and scroungy looking creature appeared out of nowhere right in his face. It was some kind of unfriendly, furry animal with glowing cat eyes. With its ears back, it hissed and spat loudly only inches from Slinky's face! That mangy critter just about took 10 years of playtime off my life!

Writer, "Streaker" & Speaker

Buzz looked just in time to see a blue figure sneak through a very narrow, open break in the run down fence. If what Slinky just experienced was on the other side of that wall…. Mitsy was on the other side of the fence, but didn't know that she was closed in! She'd seen the thin crack while Buzz and the others were contemplating how to retrieve the map. The guys' plastic bodies were built too wide, even Slinky.

I can fit through there! She'd thought to herself. I'll get the map! It hadn't taken much effort to slink through, and now all she had to do was find that paper and go back out. This place smells awful! It was a vacant lot, grown over with weeds, but apparently litter bugs decided to use it for their trash. There were opened old cans with flies buzzing out of them, worn out men's boots and sneakers, plus other kinds of rubbish. There was also rotten food. Maybe this wasn't a good idea, the princess gritted her teeth in disgust and held her breath.

It was still kind of dark out, but the street lights served as a guide.

She looked back and forth and frightfully tip-toed forward, searching for that map. She didn't see any creatures, but was trembling nervously. Please don't let there be any rats or cockroaches! I just want get out of here! Grubs and creepy crawly bugs were crouching along the ground. Mitsy gritted her teeth and shuddered. Then her eyes spotted a She ran forward and pulled it out from under a used to be soup can that reeked of filth. Yes, it was Buzz's map! I've got the map! Then she tripped and fell over a liquor bottle and heard hideous, frightening animal sounds.

She looked up and saw large, bulgy, mangy, live shadows crouching toward her! As the animals tried to pounce after her but were hindered from rolling cans that she kicked behind her, she realized that they were She just reached it, but to her dismay, it was shut, and she didn't have time to pry the huge plank open! Her eyes darted back and forth frantically for another way of escape when they fell on a very elderly chain hanging wrapped around a rusty water spigot low to the ground, but the other end was on the other side of the fence!

The princess doll wasted no time and darted for it. She clamped the paper between her teeth and scrambled onto the spigot then started to frantically climb the cord. Suddenly, something small pounced on her head, startling her. Then it hopped off her back and started punching the cat's head! She looked back, confused. It was Potato Head's arm! She grabbed the end of it and still climbed up, with the arm defending her. But she could see the other cats close behind! When she'd first gone in, the other toys panicked. Buzz shot his laser at the feline, trying to distract and make it go away.

The cat had pawed at the light, trying to catch it. Then Slinky ran to the fence and snuck up about a foot, then barked like a real dog, pleasantly getting a little revenge for the unfriendly scare that pest had given him. But Slinky started to slide down on the aged wood. He was leaning on a smooth surface, not standing on a firm base like the gable on Andy's roof, and his wheeled paws couldn't maintain a firm hold with the heavy weight on his body. Then, they heard Mitsy's loud voice which startled the dog and they all fell back onto the concrete. Slinky was so stunned he couldn't make out what she was saying, but Buzz grinned with satisfaction, so it must have been something good.

Potato Head's right arm hopped off and tightly clung to the fence as it quickly inched its way up. Then Buzz saw the chain swaying back and forth. What's happening to her?! Buzz didn't answer, but ran into the street. Then he charged forward, his eyes pierced and brows furrowed in brave determination. Buzz managed to grab a hold of the chain before he started to fall. They reared back as hard as they could. We'll get you out! The team effort worked, the toys fell back as the chain sailed up in the air with the princess hollering through the sky.

The toys heard what sounded like a rushing splash on the vacant lot that was hidden from their view, then the end of the chain landed loudly on the pavement next to them. It was the spigot that had been on the low pipe! They'd pulled it off! And apparently water had burst forth from the open faucet, upsetting the now squealing, spitting, choking, howling, angry cats! Must have been screwed on in Then they spotted her.

The princess was wrapped like a snake around a streetlight pole across the street, her arms tightly clasping the metal. Her friends ran to her. Mitsy gritted her teeth and let go then tumbled down to them. Buzz leaned forward but the princess landed on Potato Head, scattering his pieces. Then she sat up. I didn't mean to. But she gritted her teeth, and her arms were shaking. I'm never going into a vacant lot again as long as I live! At least you're all in once piece. Mitsy hung her head and nodded. I was just trying to help! But I guess I was being stupid. Mitsy didn't answer, she just stared dejectedly at the cracked concrete sidewalk.

The important thing is that you're safe. Is that a smirk on her face? Mitsy snickered then raised her head, and pulled her left arm out from under her royal blue cape. A scroll shape was in her right hand and she spread it out. Buzz was secretly, incredibly relieved. Always happens to ladies in distress. Isn't that just like a woman? Buzz set Mitsy comfortably on Rex's back. He pinched his stuffed wrist to make sure it was real. He was back in Andy's room! He wasn't in a glass display case!

He was home, in the room where he was happy, then he heard Andy's excited voice rushing to him. Woody froze, but with a relieved smile on his face. Woody tumbled down to earth and landed on the floor. He waited for Andy to come back. Then unfamiliar shadows appeared and stood over him, blocking his view of the bedroom door.

They hovered over him, blocking his view of Andy's bedroom door. Jessie was anxiously clutching her chest, gasping for air and Woody looked at her very concerned, but for some reason, he couldn't get up off the floor. Some heavy weight was holding him down inside his body. Bullseye's nose was now right above Woody's, the horse looking so dejected and whining a plea. Then he heard Andy's voice and footsteps coming to the room! Bullseye pulled on the cowboy's wrist. You don't have a choice. Woody shrieked in anger, pain, and horror.

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What do we do?! Davis took the doll from her son and looked Woody's amputation over. Woody's eyes darted frantically down at the Roundup gang, watching with astonished faces,-wondering in a tangle of hope mixed with fear what their hero's fate would be- then back to his beloved owner, tears streaming down the boy's young, innocent face. Davis shook her head, putting her arm around her weeping son.

His pulse catapulted sky high and his heart rate escalated so much so that he was sure Andy could feel it against his own heart. Don't put Andy through this! The Prospector's words were pounding in Woody's head…. Come with us, Woody! He was here a minute ago! And this wasn't his room! Then he heard Al snoring and the cowboy realized where he was. He was stuck, trapped, unable to leave.

He panted after such a frightening dream. I'm trying to get back to you, and I will! But what about these guys? I can't just leave them here, not after what I saw in my dream! But I can't stay either. And without my arm, I'm not getting anywhere! Buzz chomped down on a few bush branches barring their way and stopped to check the map. It was finally bright morning. Must rest," Rex panted and came to a halt. The tired princess doll was on his back, resting her head on his broad neck.

The toys threw their fatigue aside and cheered. Cars rushed passed them on the busy street, tossing a crumpled soda can at their feet. There was a pile of orange traffic cones laying around. Keep a straight line. When I give the signal 'drop' , halt. Nobody should get hurt if we all follow directions.

Okay, are we ready? We're that much closer to Woody. Mitsy, curious about all the cars honking, looked back at the road. He friends looked at her. Online orders can be shipped to the same address. Also, please email me about your gift at woodywriter gmail. Had it been a year sooner, however, I believe I would have been far more upset — both at the loss and at myself for being responsible. Upon finding some imported dishes we favored, it was decided — by me — to get only one.

This was because a single bowl cost about as much as airfare to Tuscany where one could meet the artisan and buy his or her pottery wares in person.

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Before May even turned to June, the bowl suffered a chip beyond use. Mea culpa — rather, in Italian: Had I known any Italian swear words, I would have used them all. I made do with a few in English. Prudently, a month thereafter the expensive bowl was replaced with a beautiful locally crafted bowl purchased at the annual Ventura ArtWalk.

The bargain was extended with three more bowls to give us a full family table setting. My wife was perfectly pleased and yet I still felt a need to replace the Italian-made bowl. A few months thereafter, for her birthday, I did. Perhaps it should be no surprise, however, that it went largely unused. We were all afraid of breaking it, most especially me.

Indeed, to eat salad or soup or pasta, or cereal or oatmeal or ice cream, from it seemed a little like hanging an original Picasso sketch on the refrigerator door with magnets. The new Italian bowl belonged safely inside a frame, so to speak, on display in a dining room hutch. The dining room hutch in my boyhood home was filled with expensive bowls and more. It is where my late mom kept her good china and beloved blue-and-white Wedgewood plates. All were all destroyed when the Thomas Fire razed the house where my dad still lived.

Amid the heart-rending ruins, if one examined closely enough with rose-colored glasses, there was a sliver of a silver lining to be found: She thought her good silver and china should be used and enjoyed regularly, not cautiously saved for special occasions. She considered every day a special occasion.

In the dark aftermath of the Thomas Fire, I decided to start using our Italian bowl daily. Perhaps the dishwasher would have been safer. The other day, a combination of soapy suds and carelessness caused it to slip from my grasp. It fell all of a couple inches before striking the sink, but that was still too far. It shattered like Humpty Dumpty after his great fall.

Yet, quick as a finger snap, Zen calmness washed over me. If you were expecting words of nice this morning, put down the newspaper and go phone your grandma. I get annoyed by the early darkness and wish we could keep Daylight Saving Time year-round. I get annoyed that anyone in America has to wait in line for two or three hours, some even longer, to cast a ballot. As the year-old saying goes, If we can put a man on the moon.

I get annoyed by political yard signs that remain out long after the election is over. I get annoyed that Christmas advertising now begins before Halloween. The day is coming when Americans will return from trick-or-treating and sit down to eat huge turkey dinners with all the fixings and then open presents the next morning.

I say instead of ejection from a game, the first time a player uses his helmet as a weapon he should thereafter be forced to play in a bygone-era leather helmet. I love this wisdom from Dick Dodd, a year-old Venturan and longtime volunteer: In my boyhood, I fondly remember picking wild blackberries and raspberries on humid summer days spent at a weekend cabin retreat in rural Ohio.

My three siblings and I literally filled pail after pail with ripe berries despite the fact that nearly as many went directly into our mouths.

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Despite their ready abundance, these gathered berries — and store-bought strawberries as well — in summertime were always a delicious treat. Too, an expected one. Berries in the wintertime, in the Midwest, however, are something I cannot recall from my youth. I am sure they were available at the supermarket in the s for a premium, but Mom never brought them home. So it was a magical winter indeed when my family took a Christmas vacation to Ventura in And here is something else new and magical: The following summer we moved from Columbus to Ventura and plump strawberries became year-round fare.

I received such a treat this summer in an email from John Knittle. Knittle is a member of the Camarillo-Somis Lions Club and they wanted to learn more about my annual holiday sports ball drive. I came to a meeting and shared how it started. About 20 years ago, I was at a local youth basketball clinic when NBA All-Star Cedric Ceballos presented autographed basketballs to a handful of lucky attendees.

Leaving the gym afterward, I happened upon a year-old boy who won one of the prized keepsakes — which he was dribbling on the rough blacktop outdoor court, and shooting baskets with, while perhaps imagining he was Ceballos. Curious why the boy had not carefully carried the trophy basketball home and put it safely on a bookshelf, I interrupted his playing to ask.

Shortly after my visit to the Lions, president Russ White informed me the club had decided to throw in its support. Or drop balls off weekdays from 9 a. Or have online orders shipped to the same address. Such thoughts belong to nostalgic days.

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Mass shootings in America are no longer unthinkable; they are as commonplace as a sunrise. That is barely an exaggeration, for already this year — according to the Gun Violence Archive — there have been mass shootings in the U. Meanwhile, as I write this, we are days into Since I file my column on Thursday mornings, it is not unthinkable that the total will have risen higher by the time you read this. In fact, statistically, that is highly likely. The th mass shooting of happened in Zip Code How could a gunman kill 12 people in a restaurant located in a city that is annually ranked one of the safest cities in the nation according to crime rate per capita?

Indeed, the next mass-shooting rampage — and, sadly, there will be a next one, and a next, ad nauseam — can happen Anywhere USA. Just two weeks ago, on Oct. Those shootings above are not an aberration. In recent years, it happened at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas; in a gay nightclub in Orlando; at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas; in a movie theater in Colorado; in front of a supermarket in Tucson; in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Newtown, old towns, every town. The specific place changes, the number of victims varies, but the bullets constantly keep flying, keeping killing, keep injuring, keep shattering communities. The faces of the victims change and yet they also remain the same: And faces of heroes, like Ventura Police Sgt. There can be no borderline on this issue: And assault-type rifles are not the only scourge. The Borderline madman used a single. Following the Las Vegas Shooting, I wrote: I do not believe our Founding Fathers were idiots. I believe we Americans are.

I like to go there and browse and discuss books, etc. Reminiscing with an amusing story that has a fortuitous twist, Dick Pillow wrote: So, I relented and we learned on manual Remingtons. It was a half-semester class and I did get to 51, but could never make it to the This was in , by the way, and after about the first couple of weeks, guess what showed up? We both earned good grades and did indeed end up dating a couple of the girls in the class.

Before the school was to start, in about six weeks, there were about of us assembled by a grizzled old Chief Petty Officer to be assigned temporary jobs until our schools began. All the rest of you guys will do duty as mess-cooks same as KP in Army. So I hold dear my time learning to use the typewriter for sure!

In closing, what a lovely tribute in a single sentence by the Rev. Lonnie McCowan at the memorial service for Bedford Pinkard, who died two weeks ago at age 88 and whose impact extended far beyond being an Oxnard councilman:. The great author wrote some thirty books; his stately residence, built in , checks in with twenty-five rooms.

The three-story mansion features a facade of mostly red brick with some painted orange, and others black, to create intricate patterns. Everywhere there are exterior angles and corners, gabled roofs and four chimneys, ornamental trusses and awnings, balconies and porches.