Blue Rubber Pool: Excerpt #891

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Odd how you miss a thing more when going without. The sea, for instance, jumping into a big fat ocean wearing nothing but a can of beer and perhaps a bright green swim noodle from Big Lots.

I had swum with sharks at night in people-infested waters and clung to buggy logs floating by crocodiles sunning on muddy banks. But I could not relax in the Jonesville Reservoir. Not with those snakes swimming everywhere, making S-shaped wakes in the corner of my eye. Snakes not hanging from trees like I’m used to but actually in the water with me, mean and sneaky.

Just through the woods below my pasture, the water was so tempting. Especially when waking on a boat–regardless that the boat is on jacks beside the barn. I could not resist driving the Jeep across my pasture and through the woods for a little R & R in the town lake.

But mere minutes after wading in, I saw snake wakes and became a wreck of nerves.

Day after day, a heat wave drove me to the water, and then the snakes drove me out.





A week later I saw the pool at Big Lots, complete with ladder, filter, pump, and jet for just $200. No-brainer. I brought it home, set it up, and practically lived in the thing. I could not resist–water blue as Turks and Caicos. A real Dream Machine.

And, best of all, no snakes.

# # #

Buy it here.

# # #

–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

My Televangelist Cartoon

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[Rooting through that box from the liquor store where I toss my writings and doodles, I found a bunch of cartoon sketches from 30 years ago.]

In Blue Rubber Pool, I write about a man’s struggles to sort out his views on religion, good vs bad and so on. It’s been going on within me for a very long time. In this cartoon, a televangelist is depicted on the television screen saying “Feed me!~ Burp me! Change me Lord! I’m a born again Christian. Then another voice announcing: “For a written transcript of this sermon, send $800 to…” The caption reads If God had intended for preachers to be on TV He wouldn’t have invented the remote control and Sunday morning sex.
— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

Universal Design

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The National Association of Home Builders describes Universal Design as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.”

For instance:

  • No-step entry. No one needs to use stairs to get into a universal home or into the home’s main rooms.
  • One-story living. Places to eat, use the bathroom and sleep are all located on one level, which is barrier-free.
  • Wide doorways. Doorways that are 32-36 inches wide let wheelchairs pass through. They also make it easy to move big things in and out of the house.
  • Wide hallways. Hallways should be 36-42 inches wide. That way, everyone and everything moves more easily from room to room.
  • Extra floor space. Everyone feels less cramped. And people in wheelchairs have more space to turn.

Some universal design features just make good sense. Once you bring them into your home, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. For example:

  • Floors and bathtubs with non-slip surfaces help everyone stay on their feet. They’re not just for people who are frail. The same goes for handrails on steps and grab bars in bathrooms.
  • Thresholds that are flush with the floor make it easy for a wheelchair to get through a doorway. They also keep others from tripping.
  • Good lighting helps people with poor vision. And it helps everyone else see better, too.
  • Lever door handles and rocker light switches are great for people with poor hand strength. But others like them too. Try using these devices when your arms are full of packages. You’ll never go back to knobs or standard switches.

I’m just pointing this out because I live in a beach house in a cow pasture. The idea behind Pineapple Hill, an island surrounded by cows, came to me suddenly—in a dream, trance or stupor—without factoring in Universal Design. Despite a number of injuries (car wreck, sailing as a contact sport, etc) I still love this place despite the occasional wheel chair, walker or crutches.

So cheers, fellow baby boomers, to feeling forever young!

–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill


Did you feel that rumble ‘neath your feet?

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My novel Blue Rubber Pool goes live today, meaning it’s been published and available for sale. Did you hear the stampede?

I don’t know what to expect. Although it’s contracted with a traditional

Front and back covers for Blue Rubber Pool began with me cutting out photos and arranging them on my desk. The publishers artist took it from there. Nice job Jack!

press—not self-published, not print on demand (wherein copies are printed as they’re ordered, one at a time)—there’s a lot of new books out there, a lot of new authors hoping to be discovered.

I was always told not to quit my day job so I didn’t. I wrote an hour or two a day, usually in the early morning, until moving to Jonesville and having more freedom to do as I want.

Although I have a background in marketing, it wasn’t book marketing. I’ve needed oxygen to climb the learning curve: submissions to publishers, line edits, galley edits, cover design, teaser copy, etc. Who says you can’t teach a beat up old dog new tricks?

Anyway, it’s out there now. For better or worse. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill.

Elephant Hors d’oeurves Cartoon

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[Rooting through that box from the liquor store where I toss my writings and doodles, I found a bunch of cartoon sketches from 30 years ago.]

This one shows two guys with straw hats and canes—a vaudeville act. The first guys says “Say, Ralph, what’s covered with Philadelphia cream cheese, weighs 4000 pounds and sits on a Ritz?” The second guy answers “Well, Bert, I’d figure that to be one of those elephant hors d’oeurves, I betcha.”
–Tim Bryant
Surf Director at Blue Rubber Pool

Firsts in South Carolina

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My orientation to the Palmetto State includes factoids such as these “Firsts in South Carolina.” I quite likely pirated these from Wikipedia:

  • First town to use electricity; – Anderson, The Electric City
  • First European settlement in South Carolina in 1526 near Georgetown settled by Spanish explorer Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon named San Miguel de Gualdape
  • First permanent English settlement in South Carolina established at Albemarle Point in Charleston in 1670
  • First indigo planted, 1671 by Moses Lindo, a Portuguese Jew fleeing the Inquisition
  • First free library established — Charleston, 1698
  • First mutual fire insurance company — Friendly Society for the Mutual Insurance of Houses against Fire, 1735
  • First opera performed in America — Charleston, February 18, 1735
  • First building to be used solely as a theatre — Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, constructed in 1736
  • First slave insurrection — Stono area near Charleston, 1739
  • First Jewish synagogue in South Carolina (Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim) – Charleston, 1750
  • First cotton exported to England, 1764
  • First Black Baptist Church established, Silver Bluff, 1773
  • The Charleston Chamber of Commerce was the first city Chamber of Commerce in this country – 1773
  • First public museum — Charleston Museum, organized January 12, 1773
  • First business publication — South Carolina Price Current in Charleston, 1774
  • First time a Jew was elected to public office in America, 1774. Francis Salvador was elected to the General Assembly[84]
  • The first time a British flag was taken down and replaced by an American flag was in Charleston in 1775
  • First independent government formed among American colonies, March 1776
  • Golf was first played in the city limits of Charleston. The South Carolina Golf Club was formed in 1786 – this was the first golf club.
  • First Roman Catholic Church – St. Mary’s August 24, 1789, Charleston
  • First cotton mill built — James Island, 1789
  • First tea planted — Middleton Barony, 1802
  • First Roman Catholic Bishop of Charleston, Most Rev. John England – 1820, Charleston
  • First fireproof building built — Charleston, 1822
  • First steam locomotive built in the United States to be used for regular railroad service – “Best Friend of Charleston,” 1830.
  • First municipal college — College of Charleston, opened April 1, 1838
  • First Roman Catholic cathedral in South Carolina Cathedral of Saint John and Saint Finbar – Charleston, April 1845
  • First state to secede from the Union, December 20, 1860.
  • First shot fired in Civil War on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, April 12, 1861.
  • First Medal of Honor awarded to a Black recipient — W. H. Carney (Army), July 18, 1863.
  • The first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship was the H.L. Hunley used by the Confederates on February 17, 1864 in Charleston Harbor against the U.S.S. Housatonic.
  • First Black Associate Justice of a state supreme court — J. J. Wright, February 2, 1870
  • The first state intercollegiate football game took place on December 14, 1889 with Wofford defeating Furman
  • First commercial tea farm — Summerville, 1890
  • First black woman to practice medicine in the state was Dr. Matilda Arabelle Evans in 1897
  • First textile school established in a college — Clemson, 1899
  • The first car was manufactured in Rock Hill by John Gary Anderson in January 1916
  • First woman lawyer in South Carolina — Miss James M. Perry of Greenville was admitted to practice on May 4, 1918
  • First national historic preservation ordinance passed by Charleston city council on October 13, 1931
  • First television station WCSC broadcast from Charleston June 13, 1953
  • First U.S. Senator elected by a write-in vote — Strom Thurmond, November 2, 1954
  • First state to have a Nuclear Bomb dropped By the US Air Force — Due East of Florence — Nuclear part was unarmed- 1958
  • First nuclear power plant dedicated at Parr Shoals on October 24, 1963
  • First Spoleto Festival held in Charleston May 1977
  • First black federal judge in South Carolina’s history — Matthew J. Perry — appointed September 22, 1979
  • First governor Richard Riley elected November 6, 1984 to serve two consecutive four-year terms
  • Jean Toal — the first woman elected to state supreme court in 1988 and later elected chief justice in 2000
  • First SC female governor and first governor of Indian heritage elected on November 2, 2010 – Nikki Haley

— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill