The Man Who Divorced His Wife Over a Hat – more tales from “Stories from the Journey” collection

By Bruce A. Smith

I like hats. I have panamas, Stetsons, baseball caps, Indiana-Jones-type hats, and balaclavas. My wife has bought me many of those hats, but not any more since she doesn’t like me wearing them. That woman is no longer my wife. Continue reading

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Posted in Campfire Tales, Moth Stories, Stories from the Jounrey | 6 Comments

Miracle at the Crossroads – another tale of the “Stories From the Journey” collection

By Bruce A. Smith

On a Thursday before Christmas in 1998 I experienced a miracle at a shopping mall in Bellevue, Washington called The Crossroads. It involved a bizarre encounter with a janitor, and it seems that my teacher, Ramtha, the Enlightened One, was making an intervention in my life. But regardless of who or what the entity was, the experience brought me out of a very dark place. Continue reading

Posted in Moth Stories, Stories from the Jounrey | 7 Comments

Mail Call – from the “Stories from the Journey” collection

by Bruce A. Smith

Taking the unfamiliar and unsolicited tabloid-sized newspaper out of my mail box, I skimmed through the first few pages until I hit an article about back-to-the-earth folks in Yelm, Washington. After reading their strident fanaticism regarding One World Orders and UFO conspiracies, I shoveled the paper into the waste-paper basket as if it was on fire.

“Christ,” I said out loud, “this newspaper’s a cult.” Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Ramtha, Stories from the Jounrey | 5 Comments

Of Mice and Men’s Groups – another installment from “Campfire Tales – True Stories not Everyone Believes

By Bruce A. Smith

 A few years ago, my friend Jeff telephoned in a rush to say, “You have to come over right now and watch the Bill Moyers show on TV.” I did. It was a telecast titled: “A Gathering of Men,” and was an introspective on the work of poet Robert Bly and his efforts to help men discover their manhood.

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Posted in Back East, Campfire Tales | 8 Comments

There is Justice in this World – more Campfire Tales

By Bruce A. Smith

Back in the 1980s, I needed to sell one of my company’s pick-up trucks. It was a beat-up ol’ Ford with 154,000 miles on it, and I had put an ad in the paper asking $1,000. I was amazed how many guys called figuring this thousand-dollar beater with 154K on it was going to be a dream machine. Sigh.

So when I had a live customer, a guy much like myself, who wanted to buy the truck as a run-around rig for his masonry business, I was glad to accept his $650 offer.

Down we went to the garage to take the plates off my truck and put on the ones he had brought. “Took ’em off one of my other trucks until I get this one registered,” he said. Then we went back to my kitchen to sign-over the title and exchange the money. Surprisingly, he whipped out a check to write the $650.

Wait a minute, buddy. This is a cash deal,” I said.

Oh, don’t worry. It’s a good check,” he answered.

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Posted in Back East, Campfire Tales, Family, Folk tales and stories | 3 Comments

On Becoming a Hunter – another selection from the “Campfire Tales – True Stories Not Everyone Believes”

By Bruce A. Smith

Of all the things I did when I had a so-called mid-life crisis, the craziest according to my ex-wife was not leaving her, selling my business, nor relocating to Yelm, Washington to join Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment. For her, I truly went off the deep end when I bought a muzzle loading, black powder rifle and became a hunter.

Her consternation was understandable because when I lived with her on Long Island, New York, I too felt disgust seeing dead deer strapped to the hoods of pick-up trucks driving south from the Catskill Mountains.

But here in Yelm, which is halfway between the Seattle suburbs and Cascade Mountains, lots of people hunt. During the season, many of the pick-ups in my local Safeway parking lot have guns in their cab racks as hunters stop to buy groceries on the way home from a plinking session or a hunt. Continue reading

Posted in Campfire Tales, Environment, Folk tales and stories, Mount Rainier, Nature, Self Reliance, Weather | 8 Comments

Death of a Hero – more “Campfire Tales”

By Bruce A. Smith

Some say heroes are made, not born. Perhaps. For me, I’ve only known one true hero, and I say that heroes are simply ordinary guys who know how to do the right thing when trouble happens.

My hero was named Jimmy Gunderson, and when he was sixteen he risked his life off the coast of Long Island to save a man who was having a heart attack. The story didn’t make the evening news, but in my hometown we all knew that Jimmy was a hero.

I knew Jimmy as a buddy from a summer camp that our moms arranged for us to attend together. For three summers we were cabin mates at a YMCA camp in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, and back home on Long Island we would see each other on occasion – family affairs mostly as our mothers were old college friends. In fact, the first fish I ever caught was off the stern of Jimmy’s family cabin cruiser as we trolled the waters of Hempstead Harbor.

Continue reading

Posted in Campfire Tales, Folk tales and stories, Moth Stories | 2 Comments