Welcome to the Bumbastories Sunday Magazine Section.

A Song of Peace

To quote Elvis Costello: “What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?”

images-1  Here’s a great song by Pete Seeger.

Where Have All the Flowers Gone, written in 1955, recorded by Pete, Joan Baez, Bobby Darin and many, many others, most notably by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Bumbastories celebrates Pete’s straightforward stand against war. Bumbastories asks why it is that pacifism is no longer popular. It’s not in vogue. No one seems to talk any more about simply ending war. Not to end this war or that war, but to end armed conflict altogether. It’s a simple concept. Maybe they should hash-tag it. In any case, it’s a fine song, and Maybank does a decent job on these simple, but poetic lyrics. We were playing it the other day….. images

As a footnote, last week’s beautiful ceremony in Normandy, France that commemorated the soldiers who died on Omaha Beach seventy years ago was a fine demonstration that lasting peace is possible. The nations of western Europe, former enemies who are not without conflicting interests today and who may still not even like each other very much, have at least resolved to avoid war. Call it a Pax Americana. But they are not fighting with each other. They’ve had enough of war. The horrors of WW II are not forgotten. Never again. Let us live in peace.


As I Sat On the Bus (AISOTB #36) The Bus Rolls On

Just around the corner from the bus stop I found a shady stoop to sit, and I began to write. I knew that I needed a big story: a storyline that would carry the reader through pages of excitement and rapture. The wait for the bus was going to be long.

James Madison (no relation to the fourth American president and framer of the Declaration of Independence long gone) set out on the road.

Madison was a slim man who looked much like his namesake Guy Madison, the actor who played Bat Masterson on TV. James M weighed in at 178 lbs now. At 6’1”, at age 74, he still moved well.

I got up from my seat on the corner stoop to peek out to see if the bus was coming. Nope, no bus.

Madison had been a basketball player as a young man. A fine athlete. He even played in the InterContinental League for three seasons before his enlistment in the agency, the CIA. Madison was still in pretty good shape. He was a professional. The guys who were after him would have a hard time catching him.

James Madison sat on the #28 bus. Alongside him his suitcase and a large backpack. He was headed for Union Station. The Amtrak to….Madison still hadn’t decided what his next move would be.

I got up again to check for the bus. No sign of it.IMG_0621

“Probably Kansas City,” he considered. “They’ll never find me in Kansas City.”

Madison had left his cellphone, computer, GPS, etc at the apartment. He’d have to do without those devices. Credit cards out too. Madison carried $100,000 in cash. It would have to last a long time. James Madison (no relation to the American president) was charged with conspiracy. If they caught him, he’d never see the outside world again.

Madison sat on the bus and made plans for his next life. “Yes. Kansas City will be perfect.”


And the winner of last week’s Bumbastories Contest is none other than the well-preserved and partially pickled G.A. Miller, whose response to the “What color was George Washington’s white horse?” question won the hearts of all the Bumbastories judges. Miller’s blog is one to check out, by the way. Congratulations to Miller.

Sorry, no contest this week. But stay tuned.