Confessing … September 26th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog



I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

  • He was 69 years old and I was counting down the days to my 18th birthday.
  • He was slender and I was fat.
  • He was a veteran of World War II and I was trying to figure out how to get out from under the Vietnam draft.
  • He was an agnostic and I was “Little Charlie Church Chum.”
  • He was a psychiatrist and I, on the other hand, was impatient.
  • He loved his daughter and I was having a high school affair with her.

This man and myself shared absolutely nothing in common, which became obvious whenever we were left in a room alone together.

But despite all these differences and the fact that he did have a reputation for being a curmudgeon, he allowed the two of us to take his Corvette convertible to the prom. He gave me about three minutes of instruction, and with that exhaustive training, I went out in the middle of the night on the 3-C Highway to see how fast the car would go. When it hit 105 miles per hour, I chickened out, slowed down and went home.

I think he felt fairly confident in being supportive of his daughter’s present romantic choice because he knew that in a couple of months, he was retiring to Mexico to live by the ocean, taking his little family with him.

What he didn’t know was that his daughter was pregnant.

I wish I had been man enough to sit down with him and own up to the situation, but I was frightened over my actions and also feared that he would send her away to New York to get an abortion.

So instead, we plotted against him. And just a month and a half later, when my girlfriend was supposedly safe at the University of Arizona, learning how to be a freshman, I flew out, grabbed her and we took off to start a life together.

He was furious.

He was so upset that he called the Tucson, Arizona, police department to stop us, but of course, there was nothing they could do.

He disowned her.

Being a young foolish boy, I cast him into the role of the villain, easily fitting him with the required black hat.

I wish I could tell you that things worked out.

They didn’t.

Seven years later, he died of cancer in Mexico, having never reestablished contact with my wife nor having ever seen his three grandchildren.

I suppose I could tell you the reasons for my action or convince you of her father’s more sinister side.

But you see, that’s not what Confessing is about. It is not being apologetic while simultaneously trying to explain away your motivations.

I was young, dumb, careless and unappreciative to a man who could have used the image of a responsible Christian fellow.

I failed him.

Whatever he’s doing, wherever he is, I want him to know today that I’m very sorry that I interrupted his plans.


Confessing Leonard

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … September 23rd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog


PoHymn Anniversary September 23


45 years

Many good cheers

Started to date

Began to mate

Planted a seed

Created a need

Flew far away

Met at U of A

Decided to remain

Drove me insane

Changed your mind

In Buckeye we find

Gossip and chatter

Just doesn’t matter

Carolina bound

To confirm we’re sound

Started a coffeehouse

With my brand new spouse

Yet scared away

To New York that day

“Thou shalt not kill”

We changed our childish will

Birthed a son, then two

Three came before we knew

Music and dance

Take a chance

To the Bay we went

Running, not sent

Lost a son too soon

Born the last of June

So I took my maven

And started The Haven

Saw each state

Tempting the fate

Then came four

At Peoria’s door

Soon lads were men

And needed to begin

To Music City

Seemed quite pretty

Gained a daughter

To tote some water

Given another

Who married his brother

Welcomed a friend

Remains to the end

A flash of cash

Building a stash

Started a band

Blessed the land

Raised a quartet

Bayshore’s where we met

Music, movies and books

A festival of looks

Lost the family home

Time again to roam

Spreading the blessed news

Writing the daily views

We continue to this day

Seeking a better way

So I say to you from me

Happy Anniversary, E.G. C.

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Untotaled: Stepping 58 (Later That Same Night) Did I say no? What I meant was … March 14, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog




I invited my startled, shocked, surprised, nervous, worried, shattered, partially giddy and apprehensive girlfriend over to my motel room that night to share a pizza and discuss our dilemma.

Of course, being teenagers, the first thing we did in a motel room was ravage one another, unleashing the frustration of a five-week absence.

After the brief and awkward romantic encounter was over and the pizza was delivered, we sat and munched on Italian delight, discussing our Middle-American quandary.

Her situation was simple. Obviously, if she had wanted to return to a relationship and marriage, she would probably have found a way to fly back to Ohio to be with me.

She had naturally been wooed from such a committment by the fact that her parents had moved to a bungalow next to the ocean in Guaymas Sonora, Mexico, thirty paces from walking on the beach, and they had thoroughly excited her about being a freshman at the University of Arizona.

Somewhere in the midst of her enthusiasm, she had left two realities out of her thinking: the baby that continued to grow within her loins, and me, who had been the visitor to the same.

Even though the conversation I had with this girlfriend was very tender, fruitful and never escalated to anger, by the end of the evening she candidly shared that she would not return with me. There was just too much to leave behind.

I placed her in a taxi (which she had to pay for) and she was off and away.

As far as I knew, that was the end of it.

I didn’t sleep much that night. Mine was not merely the turmoil of a forsaken lover, but also the annoying prospect of trying to figure out how I was going to get a fifty dollar ticket to return to Columbus, Ohio, and what I was going to do when I arrived, since I had missed the opportunity to sign up for college in the fall.

It was the shortest night of my life because my brain moved at hyper-speed, and before I knew, it was six o’clock in the morning, and I was in desperate need for a plan to get from my motel room, to the airport, and back to my normal surroundings.

Yet I decided to call her one last time.

  • Was it to say good-bye?
  • Was it to ask her if she might reconsider?

Well, I got very little out of my mouth during the phone conversation before she explained that her new girlfriends at the dormitory had been talking to her all night about her decision. One of the young ladies had developed a tremendous dislike for my girlfriend’s father because of how rude he was when he called the dorm, looking for his errant daughter.

These young ladies thought she was a fool for walking away from love to merely study such encounters in books at the university.

So my girlfriend changed her mind.

She said she had packed her bag, would hop a taxi, and be there in less than an hour. She actually arrived. I was a little surprised, considering her history of missing appointments.

When she arrived, she showed me a checkbook her father had given her for college, with a balance of $750.

My dear God, I had never seen $750. We were starting off our journey wealthy.

With that money we were able to purchase our standby tickets and enjoy a swordfish dinner at a fancy restaurant during our Chicago lay-over. We landed in Columbus feeling like Romeo and Juliet, without being dead.

We were certainly not ready for what happened next…

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Untotaled: Stepping 57 (September 6th, 1970) Leavin’ on a Jet Plane … March 7, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog



I had never flown on an airplane.

Matter of fact, the only time I had been to the airport was when I got lost in Gahanna and ended up with the front end of my car staring at a fence, at the end of a runway.

So when a friend dropped me off at the Columbus International Airport Terminal (an unfortunate choice of names) I was scared to death and inched my way through the door and up to the ticket counter, where a lovely young woman assisted me to purchase a stand-by student ticket for Tucson, Arizona, which was due to leave at 10:44 that morning.

She asked me if this was my first flight. I lied and said no.

I don’t know why I lied–I guess I didn’t want to come off like a rube, but it was a huge mistake. Because after I acquired my ticket, I sat in the lobby at the front of the terminal, and when 10:44 came and went, I found the courage to ask the lady who had sold me the ticket why the plane was late.

She, realizing now that I was a liar about travel experience, explained that it was necessary to go to the gate to depart on the airplane–not stay in the lobby of the airport.

It was a good tip.

She graciously found a way to transfer my ticket to the next flight, and at 2:23 that afternoon, I flew out to Arizona.

Rube, as it turns out I was, I had not considered what I was going to do when I landed in Tucson. The airport ended up being quite a distance from the university and a taxi was out of the question.

I decided to walk through the desert to get to town. Fortunately, I was rescued by a long-haired young gentleman driving a green Volkswagon bug with a peace sign on it. He drove me to the college, took me to a motel, where I did actually acquire a room for the night–for five dollars.

Being insanely optimistic and young, I felt that the worst part of my journey was over, never realizing that back home in Ohio, somebody had gotten wind of my plans and had called my girlfriend’s father, warning him that I was on my way to get her.

So I took a short nap at the motel, walked out of my room towards the college, being trailed by a Tucson police car, which obviously couldn’t interrupt my plans, but certainly spooked me.

It was at that point that I realized that the adventure had just begun,

I found the dormitory my girlfriend stayed in, confirmed that she was going to be there and waited for her to get back with her friends.

It had just begun to rain in Tucson (which is usually a local holiday) when my girlfriend walked in the door with her pretty little raincoat and saw me for the first time.

I would not describe her look as glee; nor was it disgust.

How about horrified surprise?

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Published in: on March 7, 2015 at 12:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Untotaled: Stepping 56 (August 26th, 1970) Weighting… February 28, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog



I was two minutes late.

For some reason I had scheduled an appointment with the preacher’s wife to talk about my dilemma. The plans I had made with my girlfriend–for her to fly in on her birthday, August 25th–apparently went awry. Well, at least, there was no girlfriend.

I was freaked out.

I had actually been freaked out for the whole five weeks while I was waiting for her to escape. I was so upset that my older brother, who was normally fairly unaware of my living condition, or even breathing, decided to step in and offer his gold Malibu for me to use to go on a date. He had souped it up (with as much as he knew about soup).

I had no desire to be with a girl but I did want to drive the car.

There was a young lady in Centerburg, Ohio, who kept bugging me to go on a date, so I thought there would be no harm in doing so.

It was a disaster.

I couldn’t stop thinking about my girlfriend, and she kept promoting herself like a car salesman at the end of the month trying to make quota.

So when the 25th came and went, I was desperate to talk to someone, and Larissa (as she insisted we call her), the pastor’s wife, was available.

I explained to her about our plan, as much as I was able to be forthcoming. I could not tell her about the pregnancy–that would have created so many problems that I would never have been able to get out of her office.

At the end of my sharing, she moved out from behind her desk, sat next to me on the couch and patted my hand. She said the following:

“Sometimes, Jonathan, we have to understand that not everybody knows our true value, and even though it hurts a whole lot, we have to let them go because they’re just not the right one. The one God has chosen for us.”

Well, folks, I was only eighteen years old, but I was pretty sure that God wasn’t choosing my female preferences, and if He was, I wasn’t particularly interested in His input.

I was courtly and mannerly to Larissa, but I walked out of the meeting more frustrated and confused than ever before.

There was only one thing left to do.

I made a secret phone call to the University of Arizona to find out when freshman Rush Week was, and discovered that it began on September 4th.

I also found out that a student standby airline ticket was $50 one way. I convinced my mother to give me $60. That gave me money for a one-way ticket to Tucson, Arizona, five dollars to eat, and five dollars for a motel room.

It was the most ridiculous plan ever devised by man.

But I was in all the way.

Next stop … Tucson.

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Untotaled: Stepping 55 (June 15th, 1970) Preaching to the Choir… February 21, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog




The Buckeye Teen Chorale.

It was a hand-selected group of singers from high schools across the state of Ohio who got together to perform for special events, and then culminated and confirmed their purpose with a three-week tour of Europe.

My girlfriend was one of the members.

After the prom things got really bad with her parents. Her father decided to spy on us and in so doing got quite an eye-full one night. So she was forbidden to see me and we had to plan clandestine rendezvous in order to fulfill our love and satisfy our lust.

So one weekend, when she was scheduled to be at the Ohio State Fairgrounds for rehearsals with the chorale, she and I made plans to skip out on the event and spend the weekend together goofing off and enjoying each other.

Of course, as I look back now, it sounds like the most ridiculous idea ever conceived–because we certainly would get caught and then things would be worse than they were before.

We were. And they were. Caught. And things worse than they were before.

Her parents were hoping that since there were only eight days left before the trip to Europe that they could control her environment and keep me out of the situation. But by night I crawled on my stomach through their horse pasture and she met me in the barn with the finesse and subtlety of a Shakespearean tragedy.

She promised she would write me every day from Europe, and in so doing, we would figure out what we were going to do next.

For the entire twenty-one days she was gone, I kept going to the post office to retrieve one of her notes, only to have my hopes dashed daily with no correspondence.

My mind went crazy. I figured she had met somebody on the trip–that she had found romance near the Eiffel Tower.

When she returned she went to her girlfriend’s house. I picked her up and we escaped to a nearby cemetery. She explained that she was scared she would be caught writing me, and that was why she failed to communicate.

It was in the midst of those tombstones that I proposed marriage to this woman who was carrying our child. And we made a covenant that on her birthday–August 25th–she would fly back to be with me.

For you see, her parents had decided to retire in Mexico while she attended The University of Arizona.

It was a great notion.

I tried to prepare for the five weeks before I would see her again. August 25th seemed a lifetime away.

And it seemed that my lifetime was contingent on August 25th.

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