Hammock Man with Uzi

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I’ve come home injured to Pineapple Hill, my beach house in a cow pasture in Jonesville, South Carolina, several times and, always, boredom gets the better of me. I recently found a bunch of home movies made a few years ago at about the time I began writing Blue Rubber Pool. In this one, I’m in a hammock reading Pablo Neruda with an Uzi resting on my lap. Why? I’ve no idea whatsoever. (Especially about that Uzi.) Thanks for looking. And not judging…

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

 

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The Tuesday Morning Woody 1941 Narval

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Found another wooden sailboat for sale online. This one’s quite a looker but short on details—which is how it almost always goes when I run into a random hottie.

Listing says “Legendary Classic Frers (senior) design, this cruiser-racer provided joy to many generations of sailors in argentina and brasil participating in many Buenos Aires to Rio Race since the first edition.”

Currently in Florida for $80,000. See it at SailboatListings.com

— Tim Bryant
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

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Large Glass Jar Labeled Cat

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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.]

Yet another on the Harold and cats series, this one shows Harrold’s bedroom complete with desk, lamp, Chicago Cubs pennant, skull and cross bones sign that says “Harold’s Room Keep Out” and, above all this a shelf. On the shelf are a baseball and bat and a large glass jar labeled “Cat”. The cat inside can barely be seen. The caption says Harold’s mother finally gave in and let him keep the pathetic little thing he’d found by the side of the road. (i.e., a dead cat)
–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

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The Tuesday Morning Woody Sparkman & Stephens

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Here’s another wooden sailboat for sale:

Aren’t Sparkman & Stephens designs sweet!

Built in 1955, this S&S Pilot Sloop is described as having had exemplary care and significant structural updates in 2001 and 2010. The listing says that a 2013 survey and comprehensive work records from 2013 to present are available upon request. The boat is sold with a 2014 Triad trailer. Located in East Boothbay, Maine.

Price: $89,000. See it at sailboatlistings.com

–Tim Bryant
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

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Blue Rubber Pool Excerpt #252

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The companionway is open. The doors are swung open to rest against the cabin trunk like butterfly wings. We hold our camera angle close on the companionway itself, a dark gap like the entrance to a cave, while listening to Ray and the dishes and, now, two guys talking down below. The frame is suddenly filled: a blur, then a woman–buxom, blonde, late-forties–has walked into our shot. She stops on the dock and turns, calling back to one of the boats, speaking in German. That accent is the sexiest thing you’ve ever heard. Someone off camera replies, also in German but instead of soft and seductive it is male–guttural and growling–reminding you of Nazis in movies you’ve seen. You recall rumors of Hitler escaping to Argentina. Sightings of Der Fuhrer and his henchmen–or their offspring and ever loyal followers–still come out of South America from time to time. The woman exits the frame and continues down the dock, away from the other voice, heading to the laundry shack beside the small cabana.

Our shot, now free of the fraulein, is still frozen on the ketch as black smoke begins billowing out the companionway, becoming thicker and blacker as it does. Now a big ruckus: loud cursing, things clanking and thudding down below while the smoke still thickens.

One of the guys–yours truly, twenty some years ago–clamors out. He holds an iron skillet, using a tee shirt to protect his hand. The skillet, spitting flames, renders a Hiroshima mushroom cloud that reminds you of a skull and death. He tosses the whole deal overboard. This fine lad is the younger, handsomer, fitter, less cynical version of me. He is the Me that once wore a ponytail and Army fatigue pants cut off at the knees. He swears and flicks his hand in the air, trying to cool the burn. He sucks the wounded fingers then, right on cue, the second guy emerges with two cans of beer. Alaska is laughing his head off.

Younger me takes the can, pours beer on the burn, then drinks. Alaska taps his can against mine, still cracking up, then drinks.

“Wish you’d give up on that cooking-with-rum. You’ll burn us to the waterline.”

“Just trying to jazz things up. There’s only so many ways to eat beans and sardines.”

# # #

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

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The Tuesday Morning Woody: 1952 Custom

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On a pool lounger, pampering my car wreck injury, I went looking for a

This listing on Boat Trader gets points for the photos alone.

wooden sailboat for sale on Boat Trader and came up with this 38-foot 1952 custom ketch. The photos alone are worth checking out the listing.

Currently in storage with a shrink wrap cover, it’s built of 1 1/4 African Mahogany on oak frames. The deck was replaced in 1988. She’s fit with original varnished sitka spruce spars with stainless steel rigging. The full length mahogany rudder is keel hung. Coverboards and trim are teak. Power is from a Volvo diesel with unknown condition. Ad says it’s offered at a discounted price in hopes an “enthusiastic new owner” will take over. Meaning YOU.

See it on Boat Trader.

–Tim Bryant
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

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Blue Rubber Pool Excerpt #237

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[NOTE: This excerpt from Blue Rubber Pool comes from early in the book.]

Squinting in the fading light, I saw it: a big, black blob chewing on my precious banana trees again, the little patch I put in to feel at home while still homeless and scouting builders. This beast was not just an intruder, it was a connoisseur, having chosen musa bashoos from the mountains of Japan, a house warming gift from Alaska. I thought it interesting that a cow eating a banana tree sounds like I do eating celery. I enjoyed watching the big dumb beasts while they stayed in the neighbor’s field, just loafing. It relaxed me. Especially after a hard day at work, shouting into the S-Phone at some guy speeding across the desert, or at some guy shouting back under heavy fire in the jungle. Cows took the edge off the fact that good help had become hard to find, nobody willing to go out delivering duffel bags anymore.

But a cow on the loose in my yard–Scooby snacking on my plants–screamed out for countermeasures. But which ones?

I dialed in the colonel. He answered right away.

“Well, what kind of cow is it?”

“Black. Built like a tank. A boy, I suspect, stocky and close to the ground. And short tempered. Not particularly glad to meet outsiders.” Beyond that, I was clueless to the ways of cattle–I was an alien who landed amongst farmers, just there for the farmer’s daughter.

“Just shoot the damn thing and be done,” he advised. That was always the colonel’s “go to” Plan A.

“I don’t want to kill it. Just want to save my bananas.”

“Call in an air strike,” he added, screwing with me now. The colonel thinks he’s funny.

“Too over-the-top. I need a ground-level solution, something low key that won’t unnerve the natives.”

“Do you still have that cattle prod I gave you?”

“The one with the broken amperage adjuster? Yeah. How’s that guy doing anyway?”

“Never mind that. You’re sure you still have it?”

“Of course I do. But I don’t need intel. I just want the cow to go away.”

“Use the cattle prod.”

“Seriously, Colonel, what’s a friggin’ cow going to tell me?” I was on a roll. Too much bourbon, I guess. The thought of interrogating a cow still cracks me up. Who’d want to torture a cow? What’s next, waterboarding chickens?

I heard Colonel John calmly light a stogie, take a long draw, then chase it down with bourbon of his own. I could see him in my mind, shaking his head the way he does.

“Listen to me, son. Two words: cattle and prod. Do the math.”

After that, he was gone. A mirage again on the Money Trail.

Weird, I hadn’t made that connection about the prod, always assumed it was meant as a brand name–like Rhino brand truck bed liners, implying the product stands up to a rhino.

You wouldn’t actually put that on a rhino.

Hmmmm. Cattle plus prod.

Well, I’ll be damned.

Always thought it meant “More than you’ll ever need for reluctant villagers because it’s strong enough for a cow!”

Silly me.

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

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The Tuesday Morning Woody: 1957 Walsted Folkboat

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Looking for a used wooden sailboat that’s trailerable. This could be a great restoration project. Built in 1957–and the boatyard that built it is still going.
For sale on Ebay is a 25 footer with 7-foot beam. Teak decking, inboard 2 cylinder diesel, miscellaneous sails. Trailer needs new axles, tires and rims.
Get out your checkbook. Take her home. Then get your checkbook out a lot more. See it here.
# # #
–Tim Bryant
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill
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Beat Andy Garcia Reading Neruda

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Can you beat Andy Garcia reading Neruda?

I’ve tried. But face planted. O yes I did.

A few years ago at Pineapple Hill—in my hammock recovering from an injury—I decided to read “The Morning Is Full out loud to a “dead” parrot then other Neruda poems to other things: an Uzi, a book of Nautical charts, a bag of frozen peas.

I cannot decide if this happened as a result of living in the boonies. Or if my move to the country was on account of things like this happening. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Yeah, seeing this years later makes me feel like an idiot. But what really sends me crawling under rocks Garcia’s reading of “Now I Can Write the Saddest Lines.”

My Neruda fail is here. Garcia’s triumph is here.

Now that you’ve see the competition, send me a YouTube video link leading to your very best shot at Neruda. Any selection you want. Really. Do it. Do it today!

But be warned: Neruda is not for lightweights. Try “Because Love Battles” sometime.

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

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The Tuesday Morning Woody 1935 Crocker Ketch

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Wooden sailboat for sale: In the second floor hammock at Pineapple Hill, waiting to see which way Hurricane Florence will turn, toward me in Upstate South Carolina, or toward other people in upstairs hammocks, I went window shopping and came up with this 1935 Crocker Ketch.

I like wooden sailboats. I like ketches. I like the price on this one, $45,900, knowing that’s only the cost of admission. The real money comes immediately after the title transfer.

But what the hey. Check this one out on yachtworld .

# # #

–Tim Bryant
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

 

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Blue Rubber Pool Excerpt #89

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I’d been nineteen and staying–living, actually–at the YMCA in St. Petersburg, Florida. My dorm-style room had a linoleum floor, metal-framed bed, dresser, and nightstand. The nightstand had three drawers. In the top one, a Bible, King James Version. In the middle, old copies of National Geographic. In the bottom, nothing. Nothing at all.

The walls, bare but for a single picture of Jesus, were a blank canvas on which to dream, but when dreams ran out, they closed in tight. There was a radiator, a window, and a bare light bulb hung like an exclamation point, as if to say, “If you are here, you’re screwed!”

It was an old building with old rules posted on the door: No smoking. No alcohol. No drugs. No women.

Another rule, not posted, barred the restless bouncing of a tennis ball. “No playing catch with yourself.” I learned about that one a mere hour into my first night.

The Y was basically for sleeping and, when that became tiresome, dying. A place for old men and down-and-outers at the end of the line. At night, the geezers got up to pee and us young ones heard them trekking down corridors painted in cheap yellow light, heard them coughing, farting, flushing–paper rattling off the rolls, the bathroom door propped wide with a trash can–heard cheap rubber sandals flip-flopping back to bed, then heard them hacking up phlegm, moaning vague echoes, calling out from dreams–names, a wife, a daughter, a son. Noises you’d think the rules would not allow.

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Cats As Seeds 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.]

Now I’m up to four of these Harold and cats cartoons resurrected from the liquor store burial vault. This one depicts tombstones lined up in a field beneath a happy sun. The tombstones have names of various cats (Kitty, Thomasina, Tiger, etc). One row of tombstones is marked “Catatoes” and the other “Catalopes”. Parked of to the side is a Caterpillar farm tractor. The caption reads Harold took his weird research to the agricultural Midwest, planting the seeds in neat rows.
–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

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