Friday, January 31, 2020

Bus Route

For six years Charley rode the same bus. It traveled the same route for 45 minutes where he got off at the same stop and walked two blocks home. Nearly the same people occupied the bus every day.
A curious little old man; with a cane, a three-piece suit, and a smile climbed onto the bus at the same stop. Charley and he got off at the same stop. They never spoke.
The old man had a routine; every Monday. Wednesday, and Friday one week and only Tuesday and Thursday the next. It never varied. 
How could he smile?” Charley thought.
After six years the old man sat next to Charley and smiled. “Milton Harper,” he said.
Charles Marshall, but they call me Charley.”
Pleased to meet you, Charley,” Milton said.
Likewise, Milton,” Charley said.
I know you have a question,” Milton said. “I can tell by the way you look at me and you look away and wonder.”
Charley smiled. “You have remarkable powers of perception. Excuse me, but I mean no offense. You are considerably older than me. You have been riding this bus route probably longer than I’ve been alive. How do you do it? I’ve considered buying another car for myself just to take my own route to and from downtown.”
You no doubt note I alternate days on alternate weeks,” Milton said.
Yes,” Charley said. “I know when you’re scheduled to ride this bus.”
You too are a keen observer,” Milton said.
What else is there to do?” Charley said chuckled.
On the day you don’t see me on the bus I ride another bus that takes me to within three blocks of this stop,” Milton said. “It’s a little further to walk, but a pleasant walk. There are a few shops and cafes on the way. I sometimes stop for a coffee or a snack to tie me over until supper. There is also a fine bookstore on the way. And there is something of particular interest to you.”
What could that be?” Charley said.
A flower shop,” Milton said. “You have a wedding band. Wives like flowers. You know how they like those little knick-knacks and frilly things. There are a few of those places too.”
Do you mind if I walk with you tomorrow?” Charley said.
Certainly,” Milton said. “That would be fun. I’ll introduce you to everyone.”
Why don’t you go that way every day?” Charley said. “It sounds like you could never get bored by walking that way.”
Some days I just want to get home early,” Milton said. “But lately I’ve been watching you. You just seem to stare into space. That’s why I sat next to you today. I wanted to know what was bothering you.”
You’re never bored are you, Milton?” Charley said.
There are so many people to worry about,” Milton said. “How could I possibly be bored?”

Monday, January 27, 2020


Look at poor old Joe over there.”

Yeah, sure looks like he got the wrong end of the stick.”

Does anybody ever get the right end of the stick?”

Sure, they do.”

How come you never hear about it?”

What do you mean?”

Nobody ever says look at old Joe over there, it sure looks like he’s got the right end of the stick.”

Let’s go see if Joe has the wrong end of the stick with him.


So if somebody ever tries to hand us the wrong end of the stick we can say no thanks, give me the other end.”

I ain’t gonna bother Joe. After getting the wrong end of the stick he might not feel like discussing it with anybody.”

Yeah, that’s not a thing you talk about very much.”

That leaves the question, where are all the right ends of the sticks and where do they make ‘em?”

There should be some sort of public service announcement to warn people what the wrong end of the stick looks like.”

If we could have just one we could find out which end of the stick is the good one or bad one.”

Look there! It’s a stick.”

Don’t pick it up. It might be the wrong end.”

Both ends look alike.”

There has to be a way of knowing without picking it up.”

Let’s ask Joe. He would know.”

Nah, can you really trust a guy who’s already got the wrong end of the stick?”

Yeah, that’s risky. Misery loves company.”

We definitely need a public service announcement.”

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Release of New Novel by Byron Lehman

It gives great pleasure to announce the release of my 15th novel and 6th in the Rich Larsen Adventure Series. The novel is titled African Escape
The premise of the Rich Larsen books is to chronicle the saga of a young man driven from home and his
adventures of sailing around the world. 
The last adventure, Ere The Ghan And After, took place in Australia. In African Escape Rich finishes a voyage across the Indian Ocean and makes port on the east coast of South Africa.
His adventure starts from the moment he steps ashore. He helps two desperate men escape from a brutal national police force.
They sail to the other side of Africa and come across a cache of diamonds. The gems are part of a struggle between US government covert agents, an unsavory criminal mastermind, and despotic leaders who want them.
The novel takes the reader to places like Dakar and Zanzibar, not to mention a desert ghost town. And along the way, unforgettable, compelling, good, and bad characters.
It is available now on Amazon digitally or in paperback.
You will enjoy every episode of Rich’s adventure; African Escape.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

A Character Dies

I live 2,000 miles from where born and raised. Occasionally I read the obits from back home. There was one today that effected me deeper than most. It was a former schoolmate.
We were good friends for only a short time.
We were teammates on a pony league baseball team. He played shortstop. He really loved baseball and all sports for that fact but not very good at any of them.
He was spunky, smiled a lot, and the slowest runner I’ve ever come across. He could hit a slow roller deep to short and be thrown out with lob before he got halfway to first. However, his enthusiasm was infectious and whenever you saw him coming you were in for a good time. He was one of the best baseball teammates I ever had and a crafty and gutsy schoolyard quarterback.
After pony league, we drifted apart for a while. School friendships are like that—phases.
He tried out for sports but usually never made it beyond the first cut.
Our junior year in high school his girlfriend became pregnant. In those days a guy did the right thing; married the girl and made a go of it.
I was his best man. It was not so much we were that great of friends but it was most likely I was most aware of the plight before him and sympathetic toward it.
He got a job at a local supermarket. He bagged groceries; worked morning till night. He continued to attend school. He and his wife rented a small apartment. Man, he had a tough row to hoe but he made it. Eventually became a meat cutter—a good one. He made it—all the way to 72 and died.
The first marriage, as expected, ended in a divorce. He married again—42 years.
There are so many images of this wire-haired energetic bundle of laughs and smiles that it’s difficult for my mind to rest on just one. They seem to all run together in a bowl of nostalgic stew.
After high school, we made some effort to pal around but it never seemed to catch on. We moved in different directions on many levels. 
He impressed me so much I used him as a character in one of my novels.
A few days ago I spoke to my son about a character that needed to be developed for a novel I’m writing. The problem; for the story work the way envisioned the character must die.
Two things have given me pause for sober reflection: First, when my old school chum/teammate died it was as if the character died who you intended to have immortality on the page. Secondly how Jehovah, our creator, must feel about death, all deaths; creatures created to live forever, die.
(Revelation 21:4, 5) And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” 5 And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also he says: “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

Monday, January 13, 2020

Everybody's Gotta Get Somethin'

You’re gonna get yours someday.”
I already got mine.”
Ya do!”
What does it look like?”
Ya don’t know?”
Ha! Ya don’t have yours yet and I got mine!”
Maybe mine will be different than yours.”
They're all the same. Everybody who got their’s knows that.”
Will ya show me yours, so when I get mine I know if I have it or not?”
No way, pal. Ya gotta wait but there’s one thing for sure; ya got it comin’ to ya.”