Elaine Carlson will provide weekly columns to the Beat.

Much Ado About Thanksgiving

By Elaine Carlson

The man said one of their selections is venison. On their menu posted online they say, "It was served at the first Thanksgiving instead of turkey." Even so that will not be my choice.

When my husband Brad and I moved to Silver City I was happy to learn deer live here. I always enjoy seeing those lovely creatures standing outside of our kitchen or in other spots around our house. I miss them when they stay away. I just don't see how I could eat deer meat.

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A Short Little Stay

By Elaine Carlson

“I have an RV just outside of Silver City,” she said. “It's at --- and ---- .”

I told her it is a nice place to keep an RV. I had been speaking to Ann and told her I live in Silver City. My sister Joyce and I were checking into her Airbnb in San Antonio.

When we first got there Ann told us she couldn't help us move my walker. That is because she has a bad back and she “has to set some limits.” I was sympathetic when she said she had four health problems. While Joyce was taking in the walker and our luggage I stayed to talk to the owner and our host. .

Ann has diabetes which she got as a side effect of some medicine she had taken. I didn't ask her what her third and fourth health problems were. And I doubted she wanted to hear about my medical issues so I wished her a good night and left to go into our assigned room. 

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What To Do?

By Elaine Carlson

The book was The Ice Man: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer by Anthony Bruno.

A man who on the surface appears to be a devoted husband and father living an ordinary life but who secretly works as a professional hit man is an enduring American Theme. Surely as big as the one about two teenagers starting a business in a garage which goes on to become a Fortune 500 Company.

The Ice Man relates the experiences of Richard Kucklinski. He was the suburban man who lived with his wife and children and was known for in the summer inviting friends and family to weekend barbecues in his backyard. But that wasn't all that he did.

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Customer Service! Yeah Yeah Yeah!

By Elaine Carlson

My husband Brad told me about a Computer Show he went to in San Francisco not long after WordPerfect was launched. A marketing firm was there aggressively promoting that new word processing program. All day long the speakers blasted out the names of the people who won WP. Those announcements were followed by loud clapping. Indeed during the show the clapping and cheering from that section never stopped coming.

Within the noise and hype there was the clear message that this new product was supported by good Customer Service. Any time customers (and the winners that day) had any difficulty assembling WordPerfect or using it all they had to do was call a toll-free number to get help and they would be told what to do.

I can imagine that all of the people who entered the drawings sat in seats eager to learn just how wonderful WordPerfect was. It probably was not just the shills who clapped and cheered when the presenters told how WordPerfect makes it possible for everyone to achieve their full potential as writers.

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Swedish and Italian – A Great Combination?

A Short Story by Elaine Carlson

"Can we assume this will be another Ponzi Scheme?"

"Yes you can," I say. "And I am glad you and Greg are coming."

I had that conversation two weeks ago. Why, oh why, did I ever think it would be a good idea to look into our family's history?

It is difficult for me to keep my cool when someone (actually everybody in our family) says something they think is absolutely hilarious. These statements started when I announced that my mother's great-great grandmother was a Ponzi. . ..

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A Writer's Prompt?

By Elaine Carlson

The novel looks interesting – it opens with a woman attorney relaxing in front of a pool. Soon she will go on trial for charges of murdering her husband and desecrating his corpse. I hope as well as being an attorney she has a good attorney.

It is logical to think that if as alleged she hated her husband enough to kill him she could have thought mistreating his body after he is dead would be a wonderful thing to do.

I suspect the prosecution filed that desecration charge to pave the way for plea bargaining.

Also they could be trying to be prepared if their case for murder falls apart. If they have some, but not overwhelming, proof she is guilty of First Degree Murder they would be glad to be able to "at least get her on something."

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"Love Welled Up In Us"

"Love Welled Up In Us"
A Book Review by Elaine Carlson

The Deputy Sheriff Louis Stolz had a mission and was all set to go to the Kalalau Valley on the island of Kaua'l in Hawaii.

Before he set out, Stolz scribbled a note to William O. Smith, the president of the board of health."I will hurry up things as fast as possible," Stolz wrote, "and report progress as it occurs."

Smith received no reports. By midnight the next day Louis Stolz was dead [The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai, by John Tayman, 2006 Scribner, page 12].

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The Challenges of Being Heard

A Memoir by Elaine Carlson

"Don't be so irresponsible," he said. "You could die."

I was jolted out of my quiet reserve while exercising when I heard Arthur scolding his friend Carl.

"I know you are old but still," he said. "I am sure you would like to add at least several more years to your life."

Quickly I could see Carl just sitting there doing nothing so I knew he had stopped doing what his friend was concerned could kill him.

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