Thursday Inspiration — Windy

Today’s Thursday Inspiration prompt from Jim Adams has given us the photo above, the word “wind,” and/or a song by Billy Squire. Jim generally focus his Thursday Inspiration prompt on a song by a recording artist, and it inspired me to think of the 1967 song “Windy,” by the Association.

When this song came out, I was dating a girl named Wendy. The song was a mega hit and was playing on the radio all the time. I loved the song, and I loved Wendy, and because of the name of the song and the lyrics, I started calling Wendy “Windy.” She didn’t appreciate that and it may have precipitated our break up.

“Windy” was written by Ruthann Friedman, a singer/songwriter entrenched in the San Francisco and Los Angeles music scene in the ’60s. She became friends with Beach Boys lyricist Van Dyke Parks, who introduced her to The Association, the first to record the song. Although Friedman had written the song about a boy, The Association turned “Windy” into a girl.

Although Ruthann Friedman won’t reveal the identity of “Windy,” she said that she was sitting on her bed in the apartment on the first floor of David Crosby’s house in Beverly Glenn. There was a fellow who came to visit and was sitting there staring at her. She felt that he was going to suck the life out of her, so she started to fantasize about what kind of a guy she would like to be with, and that was Windy, a fantasy guy. The song took her about 20 minutes to write. She was 25 at the time.

In a 2014 Ruthann Friedman said that she later came to understand the true meaning of the song. She said, “These days, looking back at myself in my mid to late 20s, I finally realized I was talking about me in that song, and how I wanted to be.”

Throwback Thursday — Book Report

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie chose the topic of “Reading Culture and Books.”

Maggie would like us to think about how our grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends felt about reading. Then consider how this impacted your life as we matured.

1. Who were the readers in your family?

My mother and my two older sisters were avid readers.

2. Were there some people who did not like to read or could not read?

My father was not a big book reader. His reading consisted mostly of the daily newspaper.

3. Did your family subscribe to the newspaper?

Yes, we subscribed to the daily newspaper.

4. If you did get the paper, was your Sunday newspaper considered special? What part did you enjoy?

Yes. It was bigger, the comics were printed in color, it include a local features magazine as well as Parade magazine. I liked the comics, the sports, and the movie sections.

5. Did your home have books strewn around? Hardbacks or paperbacks?

Not really. We had a few bookcases with a mixture of hardbacks and paperbacks. My mother was a fan of Reader’s Digest’s condensed books and my oldest sister was a member of the Book of the Month Club.

6. Did you frequent the library at school?

I did leverage the school library for papers that I had to write for my classes, but I used my local public library more than my school’s library.

7. How about the local community library? Did you have a library card?

Yes, because my school libraries were relatively small, I spent more time at the local public library. I did have a library card.

8. What was the first book you remember reading?

I don’t know. Maybe one of the Fun with Dick and Jane books.

9. Did you have a collection of books (Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Happy Hollisters, etc?)

I loved The Hardy Boys books and even Nancy Drew, but I checked them out from the library, so no big collections at home.

10. Did you read comic books? If so, what titles?

Yes, mostly DC and Marvel comics. I had a huge collection, but my father threw them all away when I went off to college. To this day that pisses me off.

11. Did you end up a bookworm, a casual reader, or someone who read only when required?

I’d say more of a casual reader.

12. Is there a book from your childhood you would like to read again? If so, what book?

Not really.

13. What book or books have been extremely meaningful or influential in your life?

Again, I’ve read so many books during my lifetime that it would be hard to pick specific books from my youth that were “extremely” influential. Maybe my love for The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew influenced my enjoyment of mystery and suspense books.

BONUS QUESTION: What book(s) do you frequently gift to others? Why?

Other than books for babies and toddlers that I get for my grandchildren, I rarely get books as presents for others. But one year for her birthday I bought my wife, who is a big Jane Austen fan, a vintage (1906) set of all of her books.

FFfPP — The Meter Reader

Alex had been reading meters for the electric company for 35 years. It was a plumb job, not like some of his coworkers who had to go from single family home to single family home checking meters. They walked their asses off. But Alex’s assigned route was mostly at apartment buildings. All the meters for the individual units were mounted on a large metal board and arranged in columns and rows. All he had to do was stand in front of those meter arrays and jot down the readings on his clip board. He could read hundreds of meters in the time it took some of his peers to read dozens. And with very little walking, by comparison.

He’d heard the rumors, but yesterday, the day he had been dreading, had arrived. The electric company was going to start replacing all of the old meters with new, state-of-the-art “smart meters.” Once installed, these smart meters automatically updated the central computers at the electric company, thus making the task of having employees physically go out to read and record the meters unnecessary.

The notice said that the smart meter swaps should be completed by the end of the month, at which point all meter readers would be laid off. Per the memo, the terminated meter readers would receive one week of severance for each year of service with the company.

At first Alex thought that was pretty generous. He would continue to get paid for about eight months after his last day. But then he read the fine print:

One week per year of service, up to a maximum of twelve weeks.

Alex had only three months to determine what to do with the rest of his life now that technology has made him obsolete.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash.

FOWC with Fandango — Bodacious


It’s May 19, 2022. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “bodacious.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.