Mary Beth Writes

In spring Len got a $100 traffic ticket when he turned right at a corner we’ve been turning right at for seven years. However, construction had started and there were orange barrels and cones everywhere – plus a small sign NOT facing the street Len was on, telling drivers to not turn there.

Len went back later that day and took photos. Len called the city to mention that if they posted a sign that actually faced the traffic, the city could save the cost of the cop parked there ticketing drivers.

He mentioned this to the city traffic department. He explained it to an attorney in early summer. He sent letters with photos. He mentioned it again this past week when he talked to the judge plus a different city attorney the day before he was going to court on the ticket. The judge told the attorney to work it out and then left the phone call. 

The attorney mentioned that Waukesha cops have lost their police videos for the last several months (really?!!) therefore they no longer have the video of Len turning where he was not supposed to turn. 

Judge came back to the phone call. Attorney explained about the lost videos. Judge dismissed Len’s ticket.

I know you know this moment. A bad thing occurs and it’s not your fault and you can explain exactly why. Then a flying circumstance that has nothing to do with you deletes the bad thing and you are a free person - but what the heck just happened?

There’s grace in this world. There’s forgiveness. There’s also Wile E Coyote trying to catch Road Runner who just keeps beep-beep-beeping as life whizzes onwards. 

..

If you have't watched Wiley and Road Runner later - Click here. 

Seems like a fine place to insert a random photo that Len took, also last spring, of an osprey about to land on a pole.  

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After all that due diligence on Len's part - it all goes away with lost videos. The Osprey picture is really perfect timing. Beautiful!

MB & Len, a win is a win.......also maybe they just didn't want to admit they were wrong..... hooray for a win for the good guys! let's hope for a few wins next week at the ballot box!

Then you were able to spend the money Len saved you! Winner, winner chicken dinner!

Glad to read your last several pieces today- which is Election Day, so I am skipping some I usually read to get caught up here. This one because I had a similar traffic ticket experience a while back, technically in my OWN DRIVEWAY! My car was totaled! What a story but mine didn’t end happily. As a professional person who worked for county government, I knew and trusted my peers in the law enforcement and judicial parts of county government. The police officers and the judge destroyed my faith in those institutions in that incident. I’m deleting the details
Mary Beth's picture

I'm so sorry. This sounds awful.

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Three Things / Story, Eclipse, Brando

1. I scheduled my Substack story to go out at 8AM this morning. I just looked to see why it didn’t show up and it says it is going to be sent at 8:49 tonight. I’m going to leave it like that. Maybe 9PM on a weekend night is a good time to send short fiction. Let me know if you have an opinion.

2. I read this quote by Marlon Brando who said this early in his career. “I’m not afraid of anything and I don’t love money.”

Even though this is probably not exactly true of me and you, I do love the bravado.

Peace Like a River / Book Report

4/3/2024 She Writes

I just finished reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and I am going to talk about it for a little bit before I forget how profoundly interesting and evocative this book was and is, at least to me.

I get emails from Boswell Bookstore (2559 N Downer Ave in Milwaukee). They host artist events pretty often and Monday evening, April 15th Len and I will be there for the Author Evening with Leif Enger. You can look up more of the details if you are interested. (Tickets are free but you need to reserve them.)

My Grandkids & 'Wandering Stars'

4/1/2024

The past month has been jam-packed. The week in Mineral Point. Len’s two-day seminar in Chicago. Last week we had various grandkids here for three overnighters and yesterday our family came to Easter dinner here in our house which was clean after a week with grandkid overnighters so you know that was a piece of cake. Len smoked two hams (yes, hard to keep them lit) and I made the largest amounts of from-scratch scalloped potatoes plus macaroni and cheese that I have ever made. As in, I grated four pounds of cheese Saturday afternoon. “On Wisconsin.”

Ghost on a Post / Poetry with Third Graders

3/12/2024

This is what I texted to Len this afternoon after I finished the poetry class with third graders. “I’m done and back. The kids were great and I’m a limp washrag, Teaching forty 8-year-olds for 90 minutes is way more energy than Everest.” I then drank half a beer (I NEVER drink in the afternoon) and fell asleep until the Mineral Point afternoon ‘change of shift siren’ shrieked for several minutes. It’s been a full day.

How 2 Write a Poem (3rd grade edition)

3/7/2024

Next week is my Writers Week at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, WI. I won this when my story “How Crow Got Out of Jail” (Read Here) won first prize in the 2023 Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring contest for short fiction.

Winning that contest motivated me to open my Substack account. So far I’ve published 17 stories and only published once twice. (Who noticed that?)

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