Thursday, April 27, 2023

Yip, Yap, and Yup, Part 2 of 3 Parts (A Guest Post) blog post #597


Last week, we had the first instalment of Mark Wildyr’s story of triplets, two identical and one fraternal. We heard from Yip (one of the identicals), who seems to be a malcontent. Today we hear from Yap, the peacemaker among the three peas in a pod.


            YIP, YAP, AND YUP

By Mark Wildyr


I dunno what’s going on with Yip and Yup these days. Seemed like everything was okay, and then Yip went off on a tear. I know identicals—IDs, I call us—are supposed to finish one another’s thoughts, but maybe if the thought processes involve the “three peas in a pod,” the magic doesn’t work.

All I know is, Yip’s turned nasty lately. Last night, when Yup suggested he and I go on a double date, I thought my ID was gonna go gorilla on us. Made threats that didn’t even make sense. I know the thing with Cindy’s a thorn between them, but seems like I’m getting to be one too. Don’t want any part of that. They’re both my brothers, and that’s the end of it. I’d give up my life for either of them. Not willingly, you understand, but in a pinch. Aw, you know what I mean. We’re close… or were.

Mae Lin takes up a lot of my time these days. I never thought of girls as “delicate” until I caught sight of Mae Lin when she transferred in last year. She’s from one of those families that came over after the Korean War way back in the 1950s. So she’s as Americanized as any of us, but with a difference. She still managed to stay “delicate.”

Native-born American girls have their own delicious way about them, but I don’t believe delicate has any part in it. I didn’t say that right. Mae Lin’s native-born like all the rest of them, but she still has her ethnicity, I guess you could say.

Anyway, Mae and I finally did go on a double date with Yup and Cindy. Had a good time at the movie, the soda shop afterward, and a really good time parked out on the mesa after that. Almost—but not quite—made it to Nirvana that night. At any rate, when we pulled into the driveway, Yip was waiting with a baseball bat. He whacked on Yup’s car a couple of times, and I really believe he was working up to applying it to our brother when Dad came outside to see what the ruckus was and put an end to it all.

Now I’m—along with Mom—known as the family peacemaker, but there wasn’t a thing I could do to calm Yip down. He went to bed seething that night. Yup, up till then, was just puzzled over it, but he’s beginning to get his back up too.

I think that was the night I started to believe there was something more to it than just sibling rivalry… even sibling rivalry of the romantic kind. Triplets are supposed to be closer than the three musketeers, right? All for one and one for all. And we were for a long time. When I tried to pick the puzzle apart, it became clear right off the bat that Yip and I had no problem between us. Same goes for Yup and me. I love—and like—both my brothers equally, or as well as I can judge something like that. You know how it is. One or the other of your bros does something to tick you off and you momentarily move closer to the other, but the thing generally balances out. I’m beginning to wonder if this one will.

Can it be something as simple as Yup doesn’t look exactly like Yip and I do? He used to, but as we’ve grown up, his features took their own path. Yip and I can still fool other people into thinking we’re our brother—our ID brother. Everyone except family and Mae Lin and Cindy, of course. But why would Yup looking different put Yip’s nose out of joint?

Then I had a thought that jarred me right out of my sneakers. Maybe Yip’s jealous because Yup looks like his own person, whereas Yip looks like… well, me. If he’s jealous of Yup, is he resentful of me because my kisser mirrors his own?

Yip almost got thrown off the soccer team because every time Yup played goalie, my ID’d kick the ball straight at him, not even pretending to be trying for a score. We used to have great fun playing driveway basketball till Yip started playing dirty. He’d stomp on Yup’s toes, kick his shins, butt him into the brick wall. He put a dent in the garage door a week ago when he shoved—not butted—Yup into it.

Things are escalating, and, dammit, I don’t know what to do about it.


Well, if the peacemaker among the bunch is worried, so should we all be. Let’s see what Yup, the fraternal brother, has to say next week.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Yip, Yap, and Yup, Part 1 of 3 Parts (A Guest Post) blog post #596


Thank you for allowing me to remember Bobbi Adams in last week’s post. I miss my friend very much, and posting about her helped. Again, thanks.


As I also indicated last week, my Okie buddy, Mark Wildyr asked to post his short story, “Yip, Yap, and Yup” starting this week. It runs contemporaneously on his site.


Without further ado, here, we go.



            YIP, YAP, AND YUP

By Mark Wildyr



I should tell you right away that we’re triplets… or so our parents insist. I think we’re twins with an add-on. Yap and I are identical, Yup might not even be a member of the family, much less the third triplet. That’s given me some heartburn over the years, I can tell you.

Our first photograph showed three peas in a pod. Dressed alike and looking alike... that is to say, wrinkled up little faces without any definition. The second one, a year later would get a passing grade. Dressed identically with pretty much the same kisser. By the third one, something was off. The duds were still the same, but one of the faces looked to be taking a different path toward maturity. Not a bad path… just a different one.

By the time we entered kindergarten, the difference was plain. That’s when we picked up our nicknames. Actually, we’re John, James, and Joseph Karlosian, but when Mom’s brother saw us for the first time, he shook his head and pronounced me as Yip, my identical as Yap, and the other as… well, Yup. Why those monickers? I have no idea, but that’s been who we’ve been ever since.

It’s not just the family who gets thrown for a loop by the physical difference. The kids in our group tend to treat me and Yap as a pair and Yup, well, not so much. And maybe that’s the source of the heartburn I mentioned earlier. I’m a part of a team, whereas Yup’s his own individual. He doesn’t even dress like us. Course, Yap and I have different tastes in clothing styles now that we’re seniors in high school, but, dammit, you know what I mean.

To be honest, it’s gotten to me this year more than earlier because Cynthia Sharpe started seeing both Yup and me. When I tried to put a stop to that, she looked me right in the eye.

“I know it’s weird. Yip. I like you and all, but when I’m with you, it’s like I’m dating Yap too. If you couldn’t make it one night, and Yap stepped in to cover for you, would I even know?”

“Course you would. We’re not that much alike.”

She fed me a line I’d come to hate. “Two peas in a pod. When I’m with Joey, I don’t feel like that. I’m seeing one guy, not two.”

Geez! She didn’t even call him Yup. He was Joey. But I was still Yip and my identical was still Yap. I tried to salvage things. “Hey, we have a good time when we go out, don’t we?

She nodded. “When I’m not feeling weird.”

“Come on, Cindy, let’s go steady. Look at it this way. With me, you get two for the price of one.”

She just glared at me. “That’s sick, Yip.” With that, she walked away, leaving me to watch her graceful gait, a sight that left me hungry for more and totally pissed at my disparate brother.

It got worse. We all made the basketball team, but Yap and Yup get playtime while I warm the bench. Once, Yap and I switched uniform tops so I wore his number and played without the coach knowing. Did okay too, until I fowled out. And when “Yip” did a better job, coach tumbled. We never tried that again.

But soccer is what really fried my fanny. That one sport I’m pretty good at. I surpass my identical in that sport. That’s great, right? Would be if Yup didn’t play goalie on the opposite team every time we practice. He really busts his butt blocking my shots, more’n any other player’s. I mean he really goes the extra mile to see I don’t score. He’ll literally eat dirt, leaping for my ball and taking hard falls to keep me from scoring. It’s gotten so, half the time I aim for his midriff hard as I can kick the ball. Giving him a good bruising every once in a while did wonders for my blood pressure.

Then Yup did the unforgivable. He started getting in between my identical and me. Dunno what Yap’s thinking, but he’s letting it happen. That was the last straw. I went from neutral to negative.

“Butt out, asshole,” I started my onslaught one day when Yup asked Yap what he was doing that evening. “We’ve got plans. And you’re not included.”

Yup got sort of a hurt look on his alien face—which sent a thrill up my spine—and stammered, “Why not? We used to do things together all the time.”

“That was before you left the family.”

“What the hell you talking about?”

“Before you started looking like a frog instead of a human being.”

“Now, Yip—” Yap started.

“Shut up. Don’t encourage him.”

Yup turned red in the face. “If I look like a frog, how come Cindy goes out with me?”

“Figured a kiss would turn you into a prince, I guess. Didn’t work, did it?”

“What brought this on?” Yup asked. “What’d I ever do to you.”

“Besides Cindy, you mean? Go away, man, you don’t belong here. You don’t even look like the rest of us. You’re parked in the wrong family.”

It went downhill from there.             


Like Mark, I never thought about triplets being like twins, sometimes identical, sometimes fraternal. At any rate, that eventuality opens up all sorts of possibilities. We now know Yip’s thinking. I understand that next week, we see things from Yap’s perspective.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.  

Thursday, April 13, 2023

In Remembrance of Bobbi Adams (A Repost from Three Years Ago) blog post #595



I lost my best friend, my confidant, my conscience, and my buddy three years ago this past Easter Sunday. I miss Bobbi Adams as much as I miss my departed wife Betty, possibly as much as I miss my son Clai. That means little to readers, but it means everything to me. Please indulge me in a little maudlin wallowing. The following is published exactly as was the original piece.


Miss you, gal.





I met Bobbi ten years ago in a writing class at the Bear Canyon Center, the very class that I now co-host at the North Domingo Multigenerational Center. I walked into the classroom—open to anyone then as now—and took a vacant seat beside a tall blonde. She was busy talking to someone but soon introduced herself as Bobbi. What an inauspicious beginning to such a firm and lasting friendship. She didn’t know it at the time, but I had recently lost my wife after a four-month battle with pneumonia. She must have sensed something, because she latched onto the emotionally depleted stranger and never let go… until Easter Sunday of this year. But that comes later.

Bobbi originally hailed from Gallup, New Mexico where she was a rebellious member of a prominent family. She left home at her earliest opportunity and became a United Airlines stewardess—I guess they’re called “hostesses” these days. She retired from United and for a time piloted (yes, she was also a pilot) transport aircraft into hostile areas as a contract carrier for the US Defense Department. So by the time I met her, she had virtually been all over the world.

When I talked of my trips to Hong Kong, she topped them with much more adventurous stories of the colony. When I told her about Macau, she’d been there and won more money than I had lost at the gaming tables. When I told about my years in the army in what was then West Germany, she’d been to every place I had visited and all over the rest of Europe, as well. She was brimming with great stories based on her travels, hence her participation in the writing class.

She did publish a few of the stories, but soon became swept up in other activities like the Albuquerque Police Department’s and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Citizen’s Academies, and for good measure, the FBI’s equivalent course. She reveled in the firing range sessions and the ride-along nights. Her politics tended to waver now and then, but never her support for law enforcement. She volunteered every Thursday at APD’s crime lab on North Second Street.

And then there was the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Early October was taken up by volunteer work for the fiesta. She acted as a guide for puzzled tourists, ferried police and fiesta officials around the huge park, and even worked with Homeland Security to guard against bombers and other terrorists. I believe this was truly where her heart lay.

In the meantime, she took care of her family. Although she was married and divorced two times, she had no children. No human children, that is. But she did have a family of six dogs and three birds. The cockatoo squawked a lot, one canary sang at the drop of a hat, and the other took lots of baths. At one time, she also had a pet turtle that came to her when called. That one, I never met.

But her real children were the dogs, all of them rescue animals. Even though I became great friends with each one, I couldn’t begin to tell you what kind of dogs they were, except for describing them as small, happy, and yappy when someone showed up at the front door.

But they were not the only vagabonds she took in. A few years back, when I fell and injured my back, she saw me through the resulting operation and then took me into her home for close onto three months while I recovered.

Bobbi’s life had been plagued by health problems as well as adventures. Years before I met her, she had breast cancer, resulting in mastectomies. She had other infirmities as well but refused to allow them to get in the way of living. Not even when she was diagnosed with bone cancer a year and a half ago. She took the chemo and kept to her schedule, even when she was not feeling all that well. As the disease wore down her immune system, she was advised to avoid crowds. Although she took precautions, she continued to live her life as usual, including six days of volunteer work at last October’s Balloon Fiesta and her weekly volunteer day at the crime lab.

I went with Bobbi to most of her oncology visits and was there when they increased her chemo after her weekly blood tests began to escalate. I was with her last March when the doctor reviewed her latest blood chemistry and declared it as unsatisfactory but not alarming.

I generally phoned Bobbi after the 10:00 p.m. news and did so on Saturday the 20th. I started off by asking what kind of day she had. She might have put up a front with others, but she was usually frank with me. She told me she had a good day. No headache (she was subject to ferocious ones at times). She had worked in the yard and probably overdid it. Tired, but otherwise okay.

Easter Sunday, I decided not to call her because of the good report the previous evening. Around 11:15 that night, Rhonda, another close friend of Bobbi’s, called and asked if I had talked to Bobbi that day. She was worried because she hadn’t been able to reach Bobbi. After talking it over, Rhonda decided to call the county sheriff’s office and request a wellness visit. I told her to tell the dispatcher I would meet the deputies at the house to let them in with my key.

When I arrived, the house was dark, which was alarming. Her home has both a doorbell and a voice call button. I always used the call button. No response, except from the dogs, which were still in the living area, not back in the bedroom where they normally slept. I knew something was wrong, but I waited for the deputies before entering the house.

I did my best to keep the dogs in the living area while the deputies searched the house. They found Bobbi dead in a bathroom just off the kitchen area. I called Rhonda who said she was on her way from her home in Los Lunas, south of Albuquerque. OMI (Office of the Medical Inspector) arrived and asked us questions about her health and her doctors. Then the woman told us Bobby had been gone for at least twelve hours, but in her opinion, death had been quick.

Rhonda stayed to care for the dogs, but I remained only until OMI took her from the house. Then I left and said goodbye to a wonderful woman and fantastic friend as I wept while driving home. I arrived around 2:00 a.m. to spend a sleepless night thinking about life without Bobbi…poverty-stricken by her absence, yet rich with memories of her.



Thank you for your indulgence.

The next post will be a three-part guest post from my Okie buddy, Mark Wildyr about a set of triplets. It will run contemporaneously on both his post and this one. Not sure exactly how I allowed him to convince me to do this, but I did.

Sorry, but I can’t resist one more goodbye: Bye, Bobbi, love you and miss you more than you know. Hard to believe you’ve been gone that long. I can still hear your voice, your laugh. Rest easy.

The rest of you tay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 






Thursday, April 6, 2023

Portrait of Miss Emmalee (Part 5 of a 5 Part Story) - A Repost blog post #594

 Image Courtesy of


What can some woman named Hilda Winemaker, who lives in the far corner of the state, tell Richie about his mom and Miss Emmalee? Can she confirm what he suspects or lead him somewhere else? Here’s the conclusion to the story. Enjoy.



                                                      PORTRAIT OF MISS EMMALEE

 Hilda Winemaker reminded me of Miss Emmalee. Not in looks, but in personality. She was as elegant as her childhood friend. She welcomed me into her home and led me to a sunny breakfast nook where a light lunch was already laid out. She chatted like we were old friends as we ate, and I came to understand the friendship that had existed between Hilda and Emmalee. But life took them on different paths, and while they remained in touch, the companionship was lost.

Once the dishes were cleared away, we sat with coffee and a light sherbet for dessert. She leveled a green-eyed stare at me and asked what I wanted to know.

“It must be of some importance to you to bring you all the way up to Tulsa to meet an old woman.”

I smiled at the thought. “I’d hardly call you that, ma’am.”

“If you don’t start calling me Hilda, you can clear out of my house.”

“Okay, Hilda. First, I have to tell you, I was estranged from my family for several years.”

“I know that. Tossed out on your ear by your father at seventeen, I believe it was.”

My ears flamed. “Yes, ma’am. And if you know that, you likely know the reason why, as well.”

“Yes. Your father was a narrow-minded bigot. He didn’t believe you had a right to choose your own direction.”

“Delicately put. He couldn’t stand a pansy in his life. At the time, I recall my mother said something about violating a contract. I asked about it, and she said the unwritten contract between parents and a child.”

“Not exactly forthright, I’d say. But understandable.”

“Can I be blunt, Hilda?”

“We won’t get anywhere if you don’t.”

“I’ve run across things that have raised some questions in my mind about… well, frankly, about my mother and Miss Emmalee.”

Hilda’s laugh was like silver striking crystal. “Given your own life choices, I can see where your mind led you. But let me assure you, the thing that bound those two women together was not a matter of the flesh. Well, indirectly, I suppose it was, but not in the way you’re thinking.”

She paused and left me wondering if I was going to have to pry it out of her question by question.

The woman leaned back in her chair and relaxed, making me realize how tense I was. Finally, she asked a question. “Where were you born, Richie?”

“In Sidney.”

“No, you weren’t. You were born here in Tulsa.”


“Hush now, and let me tell you a story. Many years ago, Emmalee Vanderport and I ran around everywhere together. Everyone considers us prim and proper now, but that wasn’t always the case. For a time, we were rounders. There was a third girl… woman to our group. She was from another part of the state, but we’d met her at college and kept in touch afterward. That was your mom. She was married and a bit more sober and considerably less affluent than we were, but she was lively and likeable, and pleasant to be around. So when it happened, she was naturally the one Emmalee turned to.”

“When what happened?”

“When you happened.”

I shook my head. “I… I don’t understand.”

“Let me tell you my story, and you will. Both your mother and Emmalee are dead and gone, so you should know the facts. Emmalee’s father was a doting father, indulged her shamelessly, but he was very strict about certain things. And one of those things was having a child out of wedlock. Emmalee got pregnant by a young man she met in school when he visited Sidney. To see her, I think. She was besotted by him beyond all reason. Emmalee had a good head on her shoulders except when it came to… well, let’s just call him John.

Hilda took a sip of her lukewarm coffee. “She surrendered to him one night in the firm expectation he was interested in marriage. It was only afterward that she learned he was already affianced to a girl from Virginia. In fact, they wed shortly thereafter. Your real father never knew that she had his child.

“When Emmalee learned she was expecting, she came to me up here in Tulsa. Confessing her condition to her father was impossible. She knew exactly what he would do. He’d find out who’d compromised his precious daughter and gone after the culprit. Then he’d do what your supposed father did to you. Throw her out. Emmalee was a strong woman, but not that strong. While the rest of the world thought Emmalee Vanderport was touring the world, she was hiding out up here in Tulsa with me.”

Hilda toyed with her sherbet spoon. “It was my idea to contact your mother. We knew and trusted her character, but we didn’t know the man she married. He had to be involved, of course, and agreed once he learned Emmalee intended to give you an inheritance the only way she could. Her grandmother had left her a trust and she transferred it over to your mother. Fortunately, she was wise enough to put everything in your mother’s name.”

I nodded. “Forever earning his enmity.”

She gave a wan smile. “He was resentful because Mary, the woman you called mother, wouldn’t take anything out of the trust except a modest monthly income. The money was for you. He wanted to live the lifestyle, and he took his revenge when he threw you out of the house at the first opportunity.” Hilda met my gaze squarely. “Emmalee did not intend to cause you troubles, but she did her best to ameliorate things. She—”

“She paid for my room and saw to it that I had a job.”

“She also expected your mother—well, the woman you called mother—would be able to overcome her husband’s animosity. You took care of things yourself, when you volunteered in the army as soon as you graduated high school.” She smiled. “And you’ve turned out very well. Very well, indeed.”

Except that I was gay—maybe because of the bastard of a father they’d chosen for me—and went without a family for a few years, but I didn’t say that. “Why didn’t they tell me any of this?”

“Emmalee swore everyone to secrecy. There were only two provision she put in the trust. One was that Mary and your so-called father had to move to Sidney so Emmalee could watch you grow up, and the other was that you were never to know about your real parentage.”

“So that’s the contract they referred to the day he tossed me out on my ear. He didn’t break it by throwing me out, but he could have by telling me about the deal.”

“Exactly. But now that you know, what are you going to do?”


“You aren’t going to violate her privacy?”

“I wouldn’t do that to my mom… either of them.”



I thought hard on the drive back to Sidney. Now that I knew, I understood Miss Emmalee’s frown. Mother’s frown. It must have plucked her heartstrings every time she saw me. I regretted that I hadn’t been able to show her more of the real me, but she saw to it that I couldn’t. Well, I’d solved the puzzle. And yet, there were still only two things important to me. Cars and Jorge. Not even a million and a half smackers could eclipse either of them. But they might enhance them. I’d figure that out later.


No wonder Miss Emmalee kept an eye on Richie in his teen years. She was actually his mother. But tell me something. Do you think Miss Emmalee was a strong woman? Wouldn’t a strong mother have revealed herself, at least, after her father died. But we all do things in our own way, don’t we? Thanks for hanging with me through five installments.

Thank you for indulging me in this repost for the past few weeks. I was right... March was a monster. More appointments than I can count. Next week, I'll try to do better.

Until then.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 



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