Did you ever meet him?


Once when you and he

were fishing on the

Susquehanna at

Center Village.


I forgot about that.


I was fishing by myself on

one side of the river

and you two were fishing

the other side.

I wish you could have gotten

to know him more than

just shouting across

the river.

Well he had my line fouled.

That was funny.

Maybe to you.

He wanted you to let line out

so he could unfasten

his line from yours.

And you wanted him to

let his line out so you could

do the unfastening.

Well – – – if you remember correctly

neither of us had enough line to

let out.

So there the two of you stood

shouting at each other

like damn fools.


So we both backed up

until our lines were tighter

than a G-String on one of

those girls at the

Rocket Plaza.

Yes. And then the fishing line

broke right where it would have

if either of you could have

reeled it in.

Coincidence? Surely.


And then no one shouted

across the Susquehanna

for the rest of the afternoon.

I wish you could have gotten

to know him better.


Because once he felt comfortable

around you he was very

communicative; and witty too.

Hard to believe after that incident

at Center Village.


He could be tense at times.

But he could also be quite a cut-up.

Do tell.

I remember the fishing trips

we used to make up to the

Chateaugay River.

I remember you used to go

up to Chateaugay quite often.

Yes. We would rent a cabin

or cheap hotel room.

As long as it had a roof

and a shower;

we didn’t need much more.

But you were saying –

that he was funny?


He would put on his

best imitation voice;

apeing a Nazi Gestapo and say

“Ve know vere your vamily lives”


“So you haf vamily in the old country?”

And stuff like that – – –

stuff he picked up at the

Enjoy Theater.


I remember that place,

the one in Johnson City – – –


Yes! Ten cents for a whole

Saturday afternoon,

two movies, a cartoon,

and the “Newsreel of the Day.”

What else would he do that

made you think he was funny.

Well – – –

he would mix us a whiskey

while he kept up the Nazi chatter.

All the time combining what he

was doing with the imitations.

Like what?

Oh – – –

he would hand me my drink

and say something like

“Here Yank, you trink dis – – –

and den maybe you come ofer

to our side – – – Yah?”

I see why you would think he

was funny.

And this would go on for

fifteen or twenty minutes

until my sides were sore

from laughing.

He liked an audience?


And then after things

settled down and I would

ask him to mix another drink.

(No one could make a drink

like he could)

He would look at me

close his eyes and tip

his head down a little

then shake it with disdain

as if he was somebody’s

grandmother telling me

not to drink so much.

That was funny?


I would start cracking up

again, then – – – when he didn’t

move I would hand him

my glass.

And then?

And then he would start

that shameful grandma

head-shake all over again.

Was he serious?

No. Just trying to get me

to laugh.

And he would keep it up

until I stopped asking to

to mix a drink.

And then he would fix a drink?


He had to get a few laughs first though.

Did he have a downside?

No. Never mean to others.

But he was inconsistent.



Inconsitent with his own life.

Like what?

Like women.

Like jobs.

Couldn’t hold a wife?


I think he just couldn’t

find a woman who was serious

about marriage.

Oh. That’s a shame.

Well – – – maybe I need to clarify that.

His last one stuck by him until the end.

The end?


Cancer got him as soon as he retired.

How old was he?

He was a young man.

Early fifties.

Took an early retirement package.

I thought you said

he couldn’t hold a job.


I said he was inconsistent.

What does that mean?

It means that he would

seek a promotion

and then when he got it

he didn’t like the

new position.

Yes. That is inconsistent.

So he ended up a little better

than when he initially started out.

That’s good.


But he could have been a little

better off when he retired

if he stuck with the promotions.

In the end – – –

it didn’t make much difference;

did it?

You have a point there.

Maybe his overall life was better

than you thought it was.

Maybe you’re right.

Very insightful.

Was he smart?


Mostly street smart.

He did have

an intellectual side.


he didn’t like to display it.

How’s that?

He worked his way up through

the Mason Lodge but didn’t

mention it much.


I used to pick on him unmercifully

about showing me the secret handshake

or to tell me the secret words.

That wasn’t nice.

No – – – it was OK with him.


He would then pick on me

about the pope,

and the priest chasing

the alter boys around

with that smoking device

with the incense.

Oh yeh.

what did they call that thing?

A ‘thurible.’

So you guys were best buddies

but had totally different

life styles,

work styles,

and selection of women?


Yes, but somehow we

got along very well.

Mutual respect I would guess.


I see.

We picked on each other about

all things considered

‘politically incorrect’

these days.

And I think you are correct

about that.

You know,

we even fished differently.

How could that be?

He liked to find a nice big hole

and would fish it for hours.

And you?

Twenty minutes at one hole

and I was off investigating

different parts of

the Chateaugay.

But you were fishing buddies!

Maybe that is why.

I believe we both liked

the solitude of the river

and the fresh smell

of the balsam trees.

So you both fished alone

yet together.


I would find a new fishing spot

and would tire of it quickly.

And then you would tell him

about it?


And I would take him there and

leave him in his solitude

while I investigated more of the

large Chateaugay river.

It sounds like you guys hit it off.


We had totally different outlook

on everything;

yet we made room

for each other’s differences.

That would make sense.


It worked out perfectly.




THE WOODLAND STREAM; All things to all people


If there ever was any one setting that God made

for all people it was the woodland stream,

the brook that is nestled between steep slopes,

jutting rock wall and, sometimes,

sapling studded flats.


The dark tannic water that flows silver

over broken stone,

amber in the pool below

and mixed with hues of gold

as it flows from the shade

into a sunbathed meadow.


It makes no difference

whether there is one

or one hundred

trout within its pools;

the sounds are there,

the solitude is there,

and sometimes,

a cherished companion,

with whom you have

spent the day – – – – is there.


To the busy person,

it is an opportunity to relax,

to the relaxed person,

it is an opportunity to be busy.


To the poor person, fantasies – – –

if only he were rich,

to the rich person, fantasies – – –

if only his responsibilities would vanish.


To the child, his dreams,

if only he were an adult,

to the adult, his dreams,

if only he were a child again.


To the old, memories,

of past trips and companions,

to the young, plans,

of future trips and companions.


To the troubled,

answers to problems appear,

to the placid,

questions about life arise – – –



To the agnostic, a “thank you”

to an unknown creator,

to the religious, a “thank you”

to the same being.


To good leaders,

fond thoughts of loyal followers,

to loyal followers,

faithful trust in good leaders.


To me, the many things,

I wonder if you ever dream of,

to you, the same things,

that you wonder if I ever dream of.


No one pastime and its surroundings

can evoke such commonality

and instantaneous understanding

between two opposite personalities

and backgrounds as the stream.


Enjoy it now.

Saturate your memory with each detail,

every venture, every stream,

every pool and run.


For, the sad part is,

your grandchildren will beg you

to tell them of things

that they may never have

the opportunity to experience.


by Waldo J. Tomosky

in memory of ‘Jeff’





About Waldo "Wally" Tomosky

I am proud of my work life (not the jobs, just the work).  Bait monger  Lawn mower  Paper boy  Windshield cleaner in a drive-in theater (if you don't know what a drive-in theater is there is no sense in you reading any farther)  Snack shack janitor in a drive in theater (ditto for drive-in theater)  Milling machine clean-up boy in a tool and die shop  Plastic injection press operator  Centurion in the US Army  Factory hand  Apprentice boy  Tool and die maker  Software user manual writer  Computer programmer  Ex-patriate par excellence  Engineering manager  Software test manager  Retiree  University administrator  System analyst  Retiree (2nd try)  Licensed amateur paleontologist  Retiree (3rd try)  Shovel bum (archaeology)  Retiree (4th try)  Delivery driver  Retiree (5th try)  Graduate student (skipped AA and BA due to the level of difficulty)  Retiree (finally got the drift of it) I have been writing for fourteen years and have fifteen books on Amazon/Kindle. Some horror, some twisted, some experimental, some essay and a few historical. I think that now I will really, really, really retire and just write. Lets see if I can do retirement correctly this time!
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3 Responses to THE GEMINI

  1. Rocket Plaza

    I don’t there any more . The girls have gotten a little too chubby for my taste.

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