Author Archive: bjaybrooks


Another entry from the Jazzman!

The Jazz Man

‘A particular attitude toward or way of regarding a point of view.’

‘synonyms – outlook, view, viewpoint, point of view, standpoint, position, stand, stance, angle, slant, attitude’ Google

Elmer Woden had been a mean little kid! He was the type of child that tied firecrackers to cats tails. When the cat ran in abject fear…Elmer felt emboldened and a bit of a giant, compared to the hysterical cat!

When Elmer achieved his full height he measured, from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, four feet and 9 and one half inches. His favorite comedian/actor was Danny DeVito. Elmer told his assistant, Bill Bump, that he had taken, ‘so much shit from people that now that he had some authority…he was going to dish it out to all who crossed him!’

Elmer had his fans and his friends…and they received the ‘plum’ job assignments while others…

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Roller Coaster!

‘Life is amazing.  And then it is awful.  And then it is amazing again.  And in between the amazing and the awful its ordinary and mundane and routine.  Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary.  Thats just living heartbreaking, soul healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life.  And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.’    LR Knost

white and yellow roller coaster

Photo by Min An on

Last Friday Mary Jane and I enjoyed a wonderful visit with Jim and Laura, who have been our good friends for many years!

I heard from a former classmate yesterday and it was a pleasure to chat with her on Facebook and I thought of the first time we met…the first day of first grade!

We made our annual trek to Cape Girardeau, Missouri to eat a Father’s Day lunch at Katie O’ Ferrels.  I had a delicious beef sandwich!

Aaron bought me an, old cast iron, bank for Father’s Day and Jonathon purchased a Swiss Army knife, for me, with a picture of the Eiffel Tower on it!


Mary Jane got me a pin of the flag of Israel and American flag combined!

As the Brooks men and I enjoyed a Father’s Day beer this afternoon, I was shocked to have our bartender purchase my beer for me!  I was pleasantly surprised and humbled by her gracious gesture!

My brother Brock, wished me a happy Father’s Day!

My brother-in-law Ron, withed me a happy Father’s Day!

My buddy Ryan, wished me a happy Father’s Day!

I was speaking with my friend of many years, and we agreed that there are tremendous truths contained within the few lines of the quote by L.R. Knost.

Being well on the road to 62, I reflect on the many times that I have lived the, ‘awful and ordinary,’ and it seemed that it would never end!

Awful is not hard to understand.  You know that you are going through a crisis that could be your health or the health of your loved ones!  It could also be the loss of a job or financial insecurity.  It could be the dissolution of a relationship that, up until that time, your life was based upon.

Awful can be a supervisor or ‘boss’ who is picking on you.  The boss is a bully and they take joy in facilitating your misery!

The ‘awful’ has always compelled me to call on God for help and mercy…and wisdom to understand the Creator’s plan for me?

The ‘ordinary’ is more subtle and lulling in its complacency.

So many of our days are carbon copies of the day before and a good barometer of the day to come.

As the ‘ordinary’ days of our life pass by, ever so swiftly, it is easy to grasp on to many things that seem to be a constant and unchangeable!  When I was employed at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale it appeared certain to me that I would be working there for all of my life.  The idea that I would eventually become old enough to retire…seemed like a fairy tale to me!

I have been retired eight and one half years!

Ordinary days melt together in our memory!  Their sameness obscures their beauty! When our children are young we believe that the joy of parenting will last forever.  When we experience our first wedding anniversary or our fifth…we think…look what we have done!

white face decoration christmas

Photo by Pixabay on

The miracle of this life’s walk, that we are all taking together, is that every day is another piece of the puzzle.  Each day has a specific reason and purpose and if we can be given the grace to understand that guardian angels are walking with us and that we should savor and dwell upon every small gift that life brings us…. we understand that it’s tapestry is sewn from the majestic thread of countless small gifts that make up this roller coaster ride that we call life!

angel art black and white clouds

Photo by Pixabay on


Majestic Maine!

We have returned from another Maine adventure!

IMG_5041After landing at Portland we drove our, Ford Fusion, rental to the Ocean Point Inn and Resorts at about 9:00 pm.  As we passed a little, ocean front cabin called Seaward, Mary Jane announced that it was the cabin that we would be staying in for the week.

The main offices for the Resort were just a few steps away from our cabin and we checked in and purchased some Whoopi Pies, a Maine desert delicacy, and some Blueberry soda.

IMG_5044There is a different tempo to life in Maine!  Mainers are laid back and welcoming of guests.  The breakfast, that was included in the price of the lodgings had the most wonderful Scotch Eggs and crisp bacon accompanied by hash brown potatoes that were to die for!

IMG_5255 3We visited several little towns during our stay including; Bath, Camden, Freeport which is the home of the renowned clothier, L.L. Bean and their signature store.

As we were pursuing the art galleries and speciality stores in Bath we encountered the, ‘Town Cryer,’ who had the most distinct Maine accent that I have ever heard!  He had been given some placards of notice to distribute to the businesses throughout the community and when the owner of the gallery that we met him in, asked if she could have both the large placard as well as the small one…he unhesitatingly announced that she could not as he had been instructed to only leave one per business establishment!

IMG_5073There was a, relatively, new Brewery in Bath…and we decided that we must sample it’s product! The nicest waitress served us and I swear that she admired the, younger, Brooks men!

In Camden we enjoyed a delicious seafood meal on the dock adjoining the restaurant that we were eating.  I had the most wonderful fried oysters, as did Aaron, while Mary Jane relished the fried clams!

IMG_5121IMG_5139IMG_5141As we were enjoying our wonderful seafood, an oarsman passed by and loudly announced that he was late to lunch and he must hurry!

IMG_5138I have often considering relocating to Maine…if it was not for the bitter winters!  When I asked a art gallery owner how the winters were in Maine, as she was a transplant from central Illinois forty years ago…she said that twenty years ago it was nothing unusual for Bath to receive two feet of snow that lingered throughout the winter and for them to have at least a couple of weeks with temperatures below zero.

IMG_5078The captivating allure of Maine has a siren song that keeps drawing me back!


Double Indemnity

Today’s chapter in the adventures’ of Billy Bump!

The Jazz Man

Carl had been Billy’s friend since the first day of first grade. He was happy when he discovered that another student in the class had the same last name. Carl had been adopted and it was comforting to him to meet a Bump that was his age.

Carl’s dad was a brick mason and a dark brown, from the sun, and swarthy man. He was a kind man who loved Carl and was happy that he had found a friend.

Velma, Carl’s mom, dotted on her son. She bought him a guitar and he was learning to play it from a Chet Atkins guitar tutorial. Carl was getting proficient in guitar!

Mrs. Bump enjoyed, what in that day, were called soap operas. She referred to them as, ‘her stories.’ Mrs. Bump never missed her stories!

The other Bumps, Carl and Carol and Velma, attended the Social Brethren Church in Paris…

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Maine in May

Please enjoy a great Blog by Jonathon Brooks!


My family and I had an excellent adventure to Boothbay, Maine recently. Maine has a different vibe than Southern Illinois. The temperature was in the high fifties. There were lighthouses and unique looking homes that don’t look the houses around Carbondale. The lobster dishes were highly amazing. And the cottage the four of us stayed at reminded me of the home I grew up in in Elkville, Illinois.

I thoroughly enjoyed the small towns and their cool art galleries and shops. Truly, I believe I stopped in all of the one-of-a-kind book shops. I got some great deals on new reading material.

Local beer was another thing the four of us delighted in. In Bath, Maine we stopped in at the Bath Brewery and toasted our mugs together as the friendly server snapped our picture. The photo is worth well over a thousand words.

I am a traveler and I…

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Harley Davidson…Lite

Another Billy Bump adventure from:

The Jazz Man

Billy Bump’ stepfather asked him to come out to the garage to see what he had purchased for him. When he opened the large wooden door of the, stepdad hideout, he discovered a twenty inch bicycle with large knobby tires and a middle that was made to appear like a motorcycle, and painted accordingly.

Billy had grown a lot in fifth grade, but he still thought that the motorcycle bicycle was very cool! When Demetrius told him to take it for a spin, he happily complied.

Now the gravel road that ran in front of Billy’s house had large gravel. The wide and pronounced tires bumped and and the handlebars shook and, in fact the entire means of conveyance was difficult to keep on track. Between the bumping and swerving that was caused by the combination of the tires and the muscular gravel and the fact that Billy’s legs were…

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Moo and Cackle

Here is another: short story! I invite you to click the follow button if you want to experience more adventures!

The Jazz Man

Finally summer had arrived. School was out and Billy Bump was extremely pleased! School was not his passion and after Christmas and the subsequent return to academia in January…it was all uphill until May.

But, summer meant swimming at Pounds Hollow Pond! Billy’s mom, Jane, loved to swim and she throughly enjoyed taking Billy and his friends to the Pond which was about a twenty mile drive.

Jane had a 1957 Chevy convertible and she gripped the steering wheel at 10 and 2…tightly! You see, Jane had not learned to drive until she was well into her 30’s, and one time she turned onto a one way street in Evansville, Indiana…and Billy screamed, ‘mom you are going to get us killed!’

When they arrived at Pounds Hollow, accompanied by Billy’s friend Carl, they proceeded down the wide and uneven stone steps that seemed to go on forever.

There were cookout…

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Another offering from;…please click follow if you want to see what else the jazzman has in store!

The Jazz Man

William J. Bump was a precocious child. Although he was only seven years old, he believed that he was on the level of any of the adults that he knew. He preferred the company of those that were significantly older than he and he had often been told that he had an old soul…in a young body!

Billy Bump loved movies! Nothing pleased him more than to attend both the Orpheum Theatre’s, new, Friday night offering, that also played for the Saturday matinee and Saturday night. Billy would then return to the sanctuary of the only church that he knew of, the Orpheum, for the Sunday matinee.

It was somewhat difficult to explain, although Billy prided himself on his communication skills, what emotional excitement that he received as he watched, not only the Dracula movies of the day, with Cristopher Lee as the evil vampire, as well as the, ‘Absent…

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Please enjoy my new blog:

The Jazz Man

We visited Ocean Point, Maine this past week…and we are forever changed!

Our last visit was in 2010, and that was a stay at the Crown Point Inn at Southwest Harbor…where the Stephen King Movie, ‘The storm of the Century,’ was filmed.

I have enjoyed a fascinating journey from fundamentalist christianity, in my youth, to an inclusive christianity that believes that God loves all humanity.

Aaron on the rocks!

Jazz has been my favorite music since the late 1990’s. We visited Portland, Oregon and I was taken away with the spontaneity of Jazz and it’s subsequent creativity!

Maine has a way of making me think big! It causes me to consider how I might reach out to help my fellow travelers!

I have loved Jazz music since the late 1990’s for it’s spontaneity and creativity! Many inspirations come in the moment and are similar to the musical inspiration of Jazz!

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The Jazz Man

Please check my new site, at:

We visited Maine this past week and during that time I was inspired to begin a new blog titled; the jazzman.

Maine is inspirational to me.  Our visit was the third that we have made and I felt that it was time to create a new blog that was, solely, dedicated to fictional writing, that is loosely based on my life experiences…at times, and with the goal of expanding love and understanding rather than hate and name calling!

IMG_5259 2I know that all of we humans are connected and that each of us are important to the other’s success!

I watched several millennials and other young people, during our vacation, and I observed that they are living in their own heads!  Between their I Phones and their I Pads and their laptop computers….other humans are little more than a nuisance!

Maine takes you back to the fundamentals of life!


I, attentively, listened to two young women speak to each other on the two hour flight from Washington D.C. to St. Louis and I was struck by their disconnect from their fellow human beings.

They, apparently, were both project managers and they spoke of their ability to deliver programs for companies, that they hid from the rank and file until the last minute.  They noted that, ‘people did not want to get rid of their babies for their superior plan,’ and that it was important to not reveal their ‘purpose’ until the last minute!

As we flew over many flooded areas in St. Louis they speculated as to where the boat  docks and the boats were…and one of them mused as to whether there would be, ‘delivery to the door…Sushi…in St. Louis?’

Jazz is spontaneous and creative in the moment!  Jazz allows for a rewriting of the musical story…as it is being performed!  Jazz allows for a renaissance of thinking!

Please join me at:,  for fictional writings that are loosely based on my life experiences…at times, and an exercise in the expansion of thought!