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Brian Fleck

More than ghost troubles

Walkin'

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, our move in 2005 to our current home in Iowa City was supernatural in another way: Sabra was phenomenal in getting every last detail accomplished.

. . . . . Full story available to subscribers only. . . . . .

Ghost busted

Walkin'

The ghost is back.
Long time readers of this column know I have history with the other-worldly dating back to the 1990s when I lived in one of the half-dozen, 100-year-old, two-story brick buildings that make up downtown Solon. My loft apartment was originally the meeting place for the local Masonic Lodge, a mystical, civic service organization with roots in the Middle Ages.

Gene the plugger

Walkin'

One of the plusses of this past year is I made a new fishing buddy.
Gene and I met through the First Christian Church, in Coralville. During idle conversation, I learned he goes trout fishing regularly in Northeastern Iowa, and he invited me to join him for several trips last summer.
It didn’t take long to realize there’s something quirky and endearing about Gene. While driving to his favorite fishing holes, for example, he is on the constant look out for good rocks.

Life: past, present and future

In an earlier life, I was a human sacrifice tossed to my death off a precipice.
Nothing else explains the irrational fear I have of heights. While I can stand on a thick rug without getting dizzy, vertigo sets in about half way up a 6-foot ladder. Seriously, the room starts spinning, my heart and lungs race and my legs wobble.

More tales from the endless buffet

Walkin'

In my last column, I regaled with true, well mostly true, stories of trips to Mexico involving gluttony, gastronomical feats, miscommunications and strange encounters with half-naked women.
And there’s more.

Tales from the endless buffet

Walkin'

By the time you read this we’ll be in the land of the endless buffet, also called The Reef, an all-inclusive resort in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We’ve been to our southern neighbor, one of the few places in the world where the citizens don’t hate Americans, many times and have had many adventures, including:

We are sawdust

Walkin'

So, I take my second and last cup of coffee of the day and head out to face the world about 7:30 a.m. Where do I go? Work? Office? School? No, I go to the garage.

Gardening practice for Mom

Walkin'

I was pleased to learn on a recent visit to Mom and Dad, they are planning on staying in their home of 60 years at least until next winter.
Mom’s planting a garden and even has her seeds purchased.

An hour in the life

I’m the first one up.
I’ve always been an early riser. “Lay-a-beds,” were not tolerated in the Fleck household. If you tried to sleep past dawn, Dad would come through, whistle loudly and then shout “daylight’s burning.” Also, and more importantly, I had two older brothers. Last one up might miss a strip of bacon. Call me what you like, just don’t call me late for breakfast.

Nearer the bacon rasher

Walkin'

In November I get hungry.
It’s in my DNA. There’s something about shortened days and dropping temperature that shifts my already hearty appetite into overdrive.
In December, I make Chex mix for the holiday season and I triple the recipe of the crispy, salty snack. Actually, by the time I’m done adding in extra of my favorite ingredients it should be classified as quadruple, as in quadruple heart bypass surgery.

Memories of a colder time

“Specialist Fleck, grab your coat and come with me,” the General ordered in no uncertain tone.
To his face, everyone addressed him simply as sir, as in “Yes, sir!” Behind his back, we called him Crazy Eddie. The only thing worse than a loose cannon on deck is a loose cannon wearing a general’s star, and that was General Edward O’Conner.
His staff feared and dreaded him.

Developing film

walkin'

Attentive readers will note last week it was my byline on the photos taken at the Iowa/Ohio State football game. Don Lund normally takes them, but he’s sidelined after a hip replacement operation.
So they got me out of retirement, and you may have noticed the orange hat on the sidelines during the game. It was the first sporting event I’ve photographed since selling the newspapers in 2000.