Bob James

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Leaning on mutual experiences, writers often neglect to describe what's most vivid to them, because those things are usually trivial, ephemeral, and even embarrassing:

The blueberry and lemon pie that was baked in an Amish woman's kitchen. It reminded me why humans have 10,000 separate taste buds.

The emerald-tinged background a Zoom caller used. It made her appear mighty and powerful, like a female Wizard of Oz.

The $300 check the state mailed to my house. It was a "gift" to help pay for gasoline. Delaware has more idle cash than Elon Musk.

A passage in The Searchers describing a harrowing skirmish with Comanches. "Sleep is good and books are better," R.R. Martin says. I love naps, but he's right: books are better. 

Speaking of books, the autographed first edition of Rabbit Run that I snagged off the web for $22. It arrived in the mailbox with the check from Delaware.

The Red Cross worker who spoke my first name every time she uttered a sentence. She either really liked me, or kept repeating my name to prevent her from labeling my blood-bag with some other donor's name. (There were four of us on her tables at once.)

The news from Odessa that Ukrainian soldiers digging a trench unearthed a trove of Ancient Roman amphorae, all in pristine condition.

The art teacher who told me that you're damned lucky to be married to such a beautiful woman.

The red fox in your backyard, out searching for a snack at twilight.

HAT TIP: This post was inspired by E.B. White's 1930 essay Unwritten.

Benjamin Hotel
Benjamin Hotel


Bob James

Bob James is a second-act still-life painter and obsessive blogger. His oil paintings can be found on his website.

While first to admit all his opinions are merely his own, Bob agrees with Oscar Wilde, who said, “In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.”

He currently resides in Delaware.