When I Was a Kid, Our Parents Looked Like This

The handsome couple in the lower right hand corner are my parents, Bud Hanify up front, and my mother, Mary Lou, with her pretty hat and fetching smile. There was nothing rehearsed about my folks. When either one walked into a room, the local molecules got super-charged by their charisma. My sisters and I felt a natural pride toward our parents. Other people felt it, too. There was nothing pretentious in it. They did all this without tattoos.

That photo was taken around 1950 at the “Salmon Club,” which is where the Greatest Generation in Port Angeles, Washington continued their Big Band years as they sauntered into middle-age. Census records show that the population of Port Angeles in 1950 was 11, 233. Port Angeles was one of hundreds of fishing and logging towns that stretched from northern California to the Alaskan panhandle. See how they dressed? They put on ties and dresses to go out for dinner and dance with friends. Their shoes were polished, their ties and dresses pressed and straight. It looks like my father is wearing white socks. My bet is that they were argyles. He used to sing in front of the mirror and tell himself what a handsome bastard he was as he shaved, timing his razor strokes with the words of his song. He had a vivid Irish voice, polished to proficiency on their homestead in southeastern Montana, when the whole family sang through long winter nights. Continue reading “FROM CHARACTER TO CARICATURE”



Have you ever seen a ghost? If you have, do you tell others about it?


I have encountered three types of people in this world. 1) The skeptic, who disbelieves everyone and everything and can’t wait to explain your experience to you. 2) The gullible people who believe everything they’ve ever heard (and who are usually quite voyeuristic for some reason). And finally 3) the people, like me, who say:

“I’m not sure what I saw, but it wasn’t ordinary!”

Let me give you an example of something that happened to me which to this day has not been explained to my satisfaction, for reasons you will soon see. When I was 10-years-old, I made arrangements to meet my friend Danny down at the old, burned out mill that was halfway between our houses (we lived in the country). I waited and waited and waited, but Danny never showed up. I became very angry with my friend, but continued to wait for him. Finally, it got to be dark, so I started my hike home. Instead of hiking through the trees, I walked home along the highway which was then — and remains — unlit. I was silently muttering various curses to myself about my friend!

When I was halfway home, I saw what looked to be an oblong patch of light sliding across the pavement. It looked just like the patch of light a flashlight makes on pavement, only it was oblong. Also, it wasn’t yellowish like a flashlight. It was a very bright white. Continue reading “THE MYSTERIOUS LIGHT”