A Week Packed

A Week Packed

The last week has been filled with news, most good. So much stuff I’ll just randomly list.

This is my nephew, Lance Gledhill. Back in the day when he had just gotten out of dental school, didn’t have two nickels to rub together and was open to any way of making a dime, I talked him into making a house call. His operation was a success.


I long for the good old days (like back in 2012) when doctors made house calls.


The other day I got my second crown within a month. This is that same nephew Lance masquerading as a dentist at Gledhill Dental.

Just before his assault on my mouth, his assistant was messing around in my pie hole and said something like “We’ve got to be careful, sometimes people get a gag reflex with this.”

I waited a few seconds and then emitted a very admirable and realistic gag motion with sound effects. I was not aware before this very moment that I was so skilled in this field. I was also amazed at how prolonged a period I was able to stretch it out.

The poor assistant didn’t know me. She thought she was going to have a mess on her hands (and feet). She jumped back with a horrified look on her face. I should have snapped a picture but I was too busy laughing. It made the normally rough dental experience totally worthwhile.

Lance does a great job. I’m going to stick with him until I can get my brother Brent to buy into my dental auction idea. When that happens, I’ll probably put my dental work up for bid and see which of my relatives can bid the lowest.

Speaking of my brother and bidding, here’s a very recent happening. Yesterday, he was at work being a dentist and between patients was bidding on some equipment in Portland. He is also farming and needs a few pieces of iron to get started back up.

He bought a truck, a trailer and an excavator in Portland. Sight unseen. Last night he was starting to worry that they are all junk since he didn’t get to check them out before the buy. It reminded me of some of my purchasing history.

So today he is driving his car to Portland, a good 250 miles away. He’s going to load the excavator and his car on the trailer and then pull the load behind the truck. It’s going to rain all day and has the possibility of turning out like my Columbia Gorge story from my book. Did I mention that he’s very concerned the stuff is junk?

I wished him well. I didn’t offer to accompany him. Last night may be the last time I ever see him.

And speaking of missing brothers, another of my brothers is building a big house. A couple of days ago Brad was on the roof trying to cover it with a tarp. Slip came to slide and down Humpty Dumpty went. It was a great fall just like the nursery rhyme claims.

Just as he got to the 20 foot high eave, he wisely leaped toward a ladder. About halfway down, he hit the ladder and bent it which kind of broke his fall.

He then continued his way expeditiously to the ground. He got scraped up and dislocated and shattered his elbow. He had a guy there helping him who went into shock. Brad said if he hadn’t hit the ladder, he would probably have died. He said there was lots of pain involved. I can relate. He had surgery and they installed a plate and some screws.

He’s not getting any younger. I shattered my elbow 20 years ago (book) and have first-hand knowledge of the recovery period he’s got ahead of him.

Just before I visited Brad yesterday, I talked to my sister Lisa and her husband Todd. They were just coming home from the doctor and were ecstatic. He had just gotten word that his bones were clean and had no cancer.

A couple of weeks ago he found out that one kidney, lymph nodes, both lungs and brain are riddled with cancer. He immediately began radiation on the brain. They are devastated by the news, as we all are, but are determined to put up a good fight. They had been told if it was in the bones, there’s was no hope. Like I said, they were ecstatic.


This is Todd and Lisa after finding out the clean bone news and getting through half of the radiation treatments.

Speaking of brother-in-laws, you may remember my wife’s brother Scott in Alaska battling pancreatic cancer. I love the guy and wish there was something I could do for him besides prayer.

And speaking of brother-in-laws, I invented up a little dealie for my brother-in-law Tracy to use to sell real estate. He’s the guy in the middle. Truly one of the best men I’ve ever known. (He’s among many.) His side kicks aren’t so bad either.


So this little thingy I invented for their business gave them cause to send me a check for $1800. As soon as I get the patent filed, I’ll say more about it. I’m cautiously excited.

And speaking of patents, my son filed an application for me on another invention yesterday. Here it is:


For a hundred years, grain bin owners have fought the problem of water pooling up on the concrete base and leaking under the bin. This problem rots the grain and rusts the bin. My Bin Skirt solves the problem. There are a million grain bins in the U.S.A.

My realistic aim is to retrofit 98% of those bins with my skirt. I thought about calling it the Ben Skirt but my wife vetoed that idea.

I visited some bin owners the other day since I was finally getting the patent filed. They were very upbeat about it. I called a big wheel in the grain bin business last night and he too was positive. This might be the one.

Yesterday I packed in a visit to the Country Mercantile. They were quite cautious when they started selling my book last year but are all in now. They’ve gone through 120 books and have agreed to give it a little more presence in the store. Jay Wood, the owner, has been very helpful in this marketing experiment.


To be clear, the 50% off sign does not apply to my book.

Speaking of the book, I’ve sent applications and correspondence to Costco about the book with no response, even though they promised one. Several times I’ve visited the store and spoke to assistant managers who just kind of passed the buck.

Well, yesterday I must have said the right stuff as I was able to weasel my way in and talk to the store manager. Without my previous travails, it never would have happened.

He was a nice guy and had some wonderful suggestions. However, now I’m starting to second-guess myself, kind of like Brent is doing right now as he drives to Portland. Speaking of Brent, I just spoke with him. The trailer wheels will not turn. I asked why he didn’t call up our baby brother Bryan who lives in Portland to come help him. Brent said he was too embarrassed about the junk he had just bought.

Back to my second guessing. Do I want to make a big sale to Costco? Say they order 40,000 books. I’ll probably make a buck or two at the most on each book. Costco doesn’t pay for your item until they sell it. If they don’t sell books, I get them all back. I wonder where my wife is going to store $200,000 worth of books about an idiot?

And I wonder what the bank will say when the note comes due.

Maybe I should just be content marketing to the Country Mercantile stores. They place their orders in 40 increment lots. I guess there’s not much of a difference. Just three zero’s.

I then stopped in to see Kevin Hague, owner of Hearing Healthcare Associates on Grandridge in Kennewick. I went to high school with Kevin, we played in the stage band together and then I had the great opportunity to be his trainer in the mission field in Pennsylvania. We had a wonderful time together.

As I walked in his office, a large picture, I should say pictures, assaulted my eyes on the wall. Here it is:


It was beautiful and awesome.

There are 3 unique things about it. What are they?

I was so struck that I asked where I could buy one. Kevin’s receptionist’s mom took the picture. I put in my order.

Kevin put my book up for display and sale on his counter.

This next stuff is cool for me but probably won’t mean much to you so you can stop reading now.

Kevin and I talked for a bit. I mentioned the name of a new friend I recently met who’s last name is Biesel. I mentioned his name and Kevin said he knew him from when he lived in Yakima.

I told Kevin that whenever I see this guy and think of his name, I am reminded of a family named Bieley. In 1975, Kevin and I met this family and shared our gospel message with them.

We rode our bikes from Lebanon to Cleona several times a week, on the same road I crashed and banged up my knee on. I might mention that it’s a little embarrassing to be in a suit and tie, riding a bicycle and then taking a header on the same asphalt that numerous cars and trucks are traveling on. Bicycle helmets were a thing of the future at that time.

The father of the Bieley’s played the organ (for pay) in the local Methodist church. However, the Bieley family belonged to a different religion Yesterday as we were talking and I brought up this family, I knew what that religion was but had a brain freeze. Kevin said “Yeah, it was the Bahá’í faith. I was amazed that he still remembered them 43 years later.

Possibly the reason we both remember them is the three very good-looking and kind daughters they had.

Speaking of memories, I’m convinced I’m in late stage Alzheimer’s. I ordered a bunch of packing and shipping supplies from a supplier in Spokane a month and a half ago. I told them to drop them off at Commercial Tire since the location we needed the supplies for is located another eight or so miles out in the boondocks.

The total for this bundle of supplies that I had already paid for was well over a thousand bucks. I immediately forgot about the whole deal.

A week or so ago, I decided to drive around my property (the tire store) and check things out. When I got to the truck slab, I saw this:


“Hmmm, I wonder what that stuff is?” I wondered snoopily as I drove by the truck slab. I stopped and sauntered over to take a look. I saw my name on the packing slip and suddenly the flood of memories came back into sharp focus. I was supposed to pick this stuff up a moon or two ago. It was still there. A little rain had wrinkled the cardboard but no matter.

The stuff was still sitting where the delivery service had dumped it! Nobody had bothered it. I was shocked.

For 24 years I ran the tire store. I was constantly getting ripped off. If we didn’t have everything of value locked up or brought inside, it would be gone by the next morning. If I dropped a nickel as I walked out the door in the evening, by morning the symbolic buzzards would have flown far-away with my five cents in their symbolic beaks. And many times, even locking the stuff up did nothing but encourage them (the buzzards) to break into the store.

I was reminded of another experience I had with Jay Wood back in the day. His backhoe and his back side are featured in the experience I’m thinking of. One of the reasons he is selling my book is I promised him that my book will never do the damage to his store that his backhoe did to my store.




Bye-bye plate glass windows, glass door, computers, inventory, etc.


To finish, last night we went to a Contra dance where Michele played. If you look closely, you can see the love of my life in her John Fogarty-like plaid shirt, making music just like John. If you look even closer at the 20 second mark, you can see my nephew/dentist swinging away on the dance floor. My brother-in-law/realtor Tracy is in the center, far to the back. Their wives Brittany and Jill are trying to keep up.

As for me, I danced a bit, aggravating my bone-on-bone knee. Spent the rest of the night hobbling around waiting for this eternal event to end.


I hate to cut it short but you gotta go. Me? I got no place to go.

Before you leave, cut and paste this post link to your facebook page. Also, pray for Todd and Scott. Thanks!



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